Dog owners should not be forced by NJ to fence their properties (Opinion)
Well here’s another overreaction from Trenton. After the tragic death of a 3-year-old little boy in Carteret who was set upon in his own backyard by the neighbor's pit bulls, New Jersey Assemblyman Benjie E. Wimberly is sponsoring the Responsible Dog Ownership Act.
If you have a larger dog your local health department will be required to force you to put up a fence.
And if you’re thinking wait, wasn’t there a fence involved in that fatal dog mauling in Carteret? You’re right. And we'll get to more of that in a second.
So yes, if you have a larger dog you will be required to get a fence even if your dog only goes outside on a leash with you for walks. Even if there’s already an invisible fence on your property that you pay big money for. Even if your dog is the most gentle dog in town, it’s not going to matter.
The state of New Jersey will force your town to force you to go through the expense and trouble of putting up a fence. Or else there will be stiff fines.
So back to the matter of there having been a fence in the very case that is spurring this legislation. Yes, you remembered right. There was. But the story had it that these dogs dug their way under that fence and got into the victim's yard.
But the assemblyman has an answer for that. Wimberley said, “If you’ve ever seen a big dog dig a hole in a yard under a fence, you know you have to stabilize your fence more than the height of it, you know you may have to put a brick foundation or boards there to keep them from coming out,"
This law should die just the same as the brain cells that thought it up. It is a ridiculous overreach and overreaction. And before you think that I don’t care about what happened to little Aziz Ahmed, think again. We talked extensively on our afternoon drive show about that case. It never should have happened and the owners of those dogs had been talked to about them being aggressive.
The victim's family says they were laughed at for bringing it up. They were callous, uncaring, irresponsible dog owners. But the real answer to that case should not be forcing every responsible owner of a larger dog in the state of New Jersey to put up expensive fencing. The real answer should have been to figure out a way to charge those idiots and put them in jail for years.
That’s the law that needs to happen: A more specific law to go after irresponsible dog owners when something like this happens with at least second-degree charges. That’s the thing that will send a strong message.
Selfish dog owners are selfish people across-the-board. The only thing they’re going to care about is how something is going to impact their life. And a 10 year jail stint would be a good start for these fools
But that’s not what Wimberley is doing. He wants to make all the responsible dog owners pay a price for what the very few irresponsible dog owners didn’t do. This is bad legislation.
What makes it even more unappealing is he never even bothers trying to legally define a larger breed. The dogs that killed 3-year-old Aziz Ahmed were pit bulls and not all pits are necessarily that large. How ironic if this reactionary law would have ended up not even applying to the dogs that brought it about.
The thing that really needs a sturdy fence put around it for containment is Wimberly's dumb idea.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.