NJ Senate Approved Animal Cruelty Law

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State Sen. Tom Kean

TRENTON — The New Jersey Senate passed legislation sponsored by state Sen. Tom Kean, Jr. (R- Union) to boost penalties for animal cruelty in the wake of a well-publicized case in Newark .

S-1303, known as “Patrick’s Law”, upgrades from a disorderly persons offense to a crime of the fourth degree the starvation or infliction of severe physical cruelty on an animal, and increases corresponding civil penalties.

“How someone treats animals in their care is a window into his or her soul,” said Kean. “Caring for an animal comes with basic responsibilities that include finding a safe, humane environment for that animal if you cannot or do not wish to care for it any longer. Patrick’s Law will make the penalties for those who shirk those responsibilities appropriately more severe.”

The measure now heads to the Assembly for consideration.

“The pictures of Patrick the Pitbull after he was discovered were heartbreaking,” Kean said. “How anyone could try to dispose of a pet by throwing it down a trash chute still alive is beyond me, but I think we can all agree that it should be severely punished as animal cruelty is often a precursor to other violent acts.”

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