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N.J. Assemblywoman Wants Dogs to Wear Seatbelts – Good Idea or Ridiculous [POLL]

NJ Legislature
NJ Legislature

This was worth reposting in the wake of the news today over the support given by registered voters of a “doggie restraint” law.

Back in August, I posted this…and I guess I overestimated the intelligence of the electorate when I mused how something like this would be seen for the exercise in futility I though it was then….and still do now!

But, I was wrong…(no shocker there!)

So back we go, into the archives of Posse Postings, to check out this little ditty from a little over a month ago.

In the words of rapper Turbo in the 1990 hit, “The Power”…”it’s gettin’, it’s gettin’, it’s getting’ kinda hectic”…it seems as though there’s no lack of dopey ideas from legislators.

Here’s the new one.

Assemblywoman Grace Spencer (D-Essex) is looking to require you to buckle up your dog in the car.

Much the same way State Senator Ray Lesniak came up with the idea of banning smoking in the car with little children present on the advice of his trainer some years back, this new one comes at the advice of the assemblywoman’s vet.

According to this:

Assemblywoman Grace Spencer (D-Essex) said she got the idea from a class at a Newark charter school and started pushing it after her veterinarian mentioned a small pooch who had broken a leg after its owner made a sudden stop.

If enacted, New Jersey would have the nation’s toughest seat belt law for pets.

Spencer believes the law isn’t tough enough. After she talked to the students, she moved her Teacup Pomeranian, AJ, from riding unharnessed in the front seat to buckled up in back.
“AJ got harnessed. He’s not happy, but he’s harnessed in the back seat,” she said. “I realize there are people that think that is going too far, but I’m optimistic it will move through the Assembly.”

Under the bill (A3221), drivers would get a $20 ticket and could also be convicted of an animal cruelty offense, which carries a civil penalty of $250 to $1,000. Pet car harnesses range in price from $12 to more than $40.

Not to be outdone, the Republicans countered with a move of their own:

A group of Republican lawmakers led by Assemblyman Jay Webber, however, say the existing pet transportation law may be too tough. They’ve introduced a bill clarifying that failure to buckle up animals is not cruel or inhumane.

Webber said he introduced his bill (A3182) after an official from the New Jersey SPCA warned at a press conference with the Motor Vehicle Commission that drivers who don’t buckle up their animals could face fines from $250 to $1,000 and up to six months in prison.

“I just thought that was outrageous,” said Webber (R-Morris), who added that a local pet shop used the comments to advertise pet harnesses. “No one has ever interpreted it that way. And now there are hundreds of thousands of pet owners in the state who are now confused whether they have to restrain their pets while driving around.”

Can’t anyone stop them before it’s too late.

I mean…do we really need legislators at this point. Will someone tell me why we don’t have Initiative and Referendum already?

However much to the credit of the aforementioned Senator Lesniak, the report states:

The bill’s prospects are uncertain. In the upper house, state Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Union) — who often proposes animal rights legislation — said he’s not into it.
“I have bigger fish to fry,” he said. “Actually, that’s a bad choice of words.”

Do you feel we need a law mandating that pets be buckled up in the car?


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