Thursday, February 10, 2022
New Jersey’s latest attempt at creating courtroom advocates for animals program, Assembly Bill 1965, has been scheduled for a hearing by the Assembly Judiciary Committee on Monday, February 14, 2022. Although the bill’s primary sponsor, Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, is also the chairman of the Judiciary Committee(likely ensuring the bill’s approval), it is imperative that all concerned New Jersey dog owners contact the committee and respectfully urge it to not approve A.1965 as currently written.
Purportedly based on a novel 2016 Connecticut law, A.1965 is a reintroduction of legislation considered during the 2020-2021 legislative session. However, A.1965 is significantly different from that Connecticut law, and represents a much more radical threat to animal ownership principles.
First, Connecticut law explicitly describes dogs as the personal property of their owners. New Jersey law does not feature a similar explicit declaration. AKC has repeatedly requested a similar amendment be added to New Jersey’s “lawyers for dogs” bills, but sponsors and the organizations pushing for the legislation have refused.
Second, Connecticut’s law allows an advocate only in cases involving dogs and cats. A.1965 would apply to all animals, therefore making it much more expansive.
Third, unlike Connecticut’s law,