This summer, an animal impoundment bill proposed by New Jersey Senator Jeff Van Drew, Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assemblyman John Burzichelli sat on Governor Chris Christie's desk, awaiting his signature. The bill, S2923, would remove the 7-day hold provision on animals arriving at New Jersey shelters, which would allow for the immediate euthanization of an animal based on its age, health or behavior.
Once Hand4Paws, an online network of animal lovers, learned of this proposed bill, they started a petition on Change.org demanding that Governor Christie conditionally veto S2923. Believing that all animals should be given the chance for adoption or rescue, the petition asked that the language to remove the 7-day hold be striken from the bill.
Less than a week later, and after more than 2,200 supporters rallied together and signed the petition on Change.org, Governor Christie conditionally vetoed the bill. Under a conditional veto, the Governor objects to parts of a bill and proposes amendments that would make it acceptable. Working with the bill's original authors, Governor Christie modified the bill, removing the language allowing for an animal to be killed before the end of the 7-day holding period.
Sometimes, animals which arrive at kill shelters have been abused and may be injured. Sometimes they bark or jump too much, so may be considered aggressive. And sometimes they are brought to the shelter after living a long life with a family, but for whatever reason, the family can no longer keep the senior dog or cat. A bill currently awaiting NJ Governor Chris Christie’s signature would allow the immediate euthanization of any animals which are surrendered by owner, as well as those brought to the shelter without tags that are injured, appear as aggressive, are too young - or too old.
Is this right? Should a dog be immediately put down because he is injured due to neglect by his former owner, or a cat because she is 10 years old?
And what about pets that have broken free from their yard – shouldn’t there be a hold time so that owners can get them back?
Whether a shelter animal has a sore paw or is a senior, that is no reason for them to be immediately put down.
Please let Governor Christie know that these animals should be given a chance to get adopted or rescued so they can live a full and happy life.
The Bill nos. are S2923 and A4096. See changes to Bill A4096 as discussed above under Section 16 of P.L.1941: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2010/Bills/A4500/4096_I1.PDF
For more information: NJ.com http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/08/bill_to_accelerate_euthanizati.html
Photo courtesy of Andrew Miller/For The Times
This petition will be updated as more information becomes available; however, the intent will remain the same.