Animal rights activists have asked the Toms River Council to consider adopting an ordinance that would set out clear rules for how dogs can be restrained outside.


Louise O'Brien says the current laws on the books in most New Jersey towns just don't get the job done.

"They're very antiquated and old, they've been written up in the 1800s," O'Brien said.  "They don't make sense.  There's nothing for heat, cold, any extremities, nothing - it just says water, food, and shelter."

O'Brien says even those requirements need to be better-defined - for instance, what constitutes an acceptable shelter?  But the proposal also includes a progressive schedule of fines for violators:

  • 1st offense:  Warning
  • 2nd offense:  $150 fine
  • 3rd offense:  $500 fine
  • 4th offense:  $750 fine and seizure of animal

The group has already gotten similar measures passed in Plainfield and Voorhees.  Cape May, Scotch Plains, and Berkeley are considering them.  Billy Bauer of Toms River says it's the least we can do for man's best friend.

"They've been bomb-sniffing dogs, they've used them with post-traumatic stress, with warriors coming back from the wars, they've used them in children's hospitals," Bauer said.


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