NJ has hit-and-run law for drivers, so why not bite-and-run for dog owners?
New Jersey drivers face an array of penalties for hit and run accidents, including fines and possible jail time.
One Garden State lawmaker is proposing similar types of punishments for a “bite and run” scenario, where a dog owner flees the scene if his pooch attacks someone.
Assembly Republican leader Jon Bramnick, R-Union, is proposing a measure, A6036, that would make it a disorderly persons offense if a dog owner fails to immediately notify police or leaves the scene after their pet bites an individual.
There have been a number of incidents in the Garden State recently where a dog has attacked somebody and then the owner and the pet take off.
'There’s a woman whose leg was ripped to pieces by a dog who was on a leash, and the person who had the dog on a leash just left.'
“They did not identify themselves, so it’s just like leaving the scene of an accident, that is a violation of law. Why shouldn’t leaving the scene of a dog bite be a violation of the law?” he said.
Bramnick said there’s nothing complicated about this idea.
“Your dog hurt somebody, you’ve got to tell that person and tell the police, you just can’t let your dog attack somebody and go run away. I mean this is common sense,” he said.
Bramnick got the idea for the legislation after becoming aware of a bite-and-run situation in his own district.
“There’s a woman whose leg was ripped to pieces by a dog who was on a leash, and the person who had the dog on a leash just left,” he said.
“Dogs are great. This is about people, not their pets," he added.
Under the proposed measure a person convicted of a disorderly persons offense for fleeing a dog bite would be subject to a fine between $500 and $1,000 or six months in prison, or both.
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com.