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Taking Your Dog for a Ride? Think Again

NJ Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals issues warning to pet owners

As we turn the bend into summer in the Rumson-Fair Haven area, say goodbye to your faithful companion hopping into your car, sitting in the passenger seat and hanging his shaggy head out of the window, tasting the freedom of the open road.

Northjersey.com Road Warrior John Cichowski reported last week that Col. Frank Rizzo, police superintendent for the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, issued a warning that any motorist found driving with an unrestrained pet will face a penalty much stiffer than the $46 fine issued to unbuckled drivers and passengers.

Penalties for unrestrained dogs range from $250 to $1,000 and as much as six months in jail.

Rizzo told reporters that the rationale for the enactment of this new law is that in car accidents, dogs become projectiles if they are hanging their heads out of the window. 

Patch decided to go straight to the ones charged with the task of enforcing this law and issuing summonses — police officers who own dogs. Those who agreed to respond asked not to be identified, but had the same opinion. 

"Seriously," one veteran officer said. "The best part of my day is hitting the road with my dog sitting right beside me in my truck."

Another thought that this was a particularly intrusive law, especially given the severe penalties.

"Does a K-9 have to be restrained?" still another cop questioned. "I can hear it now, 'Wait, we can't sniff out the perp. The K-9's caught in the restraint.'" 

In a dog run on Saturday, the owner of Daisy, a great dane, said he thought this was just a back door way for the state to make money. "Really," he said "$250 to $1000? Why not just say you have to add dogs onto your car insurance policy?"

"Oh wait," he continued. "The state wouldn't get that money."

The owner of Millie, a Jack Russell Terrier said, "Great, so now when I restrain her she'll bark non-stop in the car and I'll get into an accident." 

Sutah Ann Robins June 14, 2012 at 08:49 PM
i hear ya!
Sutah Ann Robins June 14, 2012 at 08:49 PM
Amen Nevrno! What bunk. I'm furious. My dogs love to "get" in the car and hang their head out the window. Makes me want to drink and drive.
Sutah Ann Robins June 14, 2012 at 08:51 PM
I'm sure if you think about it you can find someone who died from every scenerio immaginable. Like making love for example. Born to do it! Too much control over personal decisions make me nauseous.
Nylongirl June 15, 2012 at 01:03 AM
Sutah, Sure you are right... but 2 points: 1: "you" aka as the driver, being distracted by your dog or cell phone may kill someone else. If you want to kill yourself, you should have a right to. But your behavior should not endanger me or your dog---which is my 2nd point... dogs can't say BUCKLE ME UP. They might if they could, but they don't get a choice. When it comes down to someone else behaviors/actions that can injure another we need protection. If you want to drive un-seat-belted drunk inside wall of brick, go ahead, as long as you can't take anyone else out with you if you crash. That being said I think the government cares less about your pet and more if you are being distracted and because of that kill someone else who is paying attention. I feel the same about cell phones and texting.
Sutah Ann Robins June 15, 2012 at 01:13 AM
My dogs like fresh air. So without furthe ado let's go for a ride guys. You aee worth $1000 a ride.

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