Patrick’s Law introduced for tougher animal cruelty penalties in N.J.

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“Great News, now we just have to keep our fingers crossed that the legislation is approved by the House of Representatives and Senate.

Named after a defenseless pit bull puppy who was tossed into a trash bag and thrown down a garbage chute in a New Jersey apartment house, Patrick’s Law was introduced into the Senate Economic Growth Committee on Thursday in Trenton calling for more severe penalties for animal cruelty.

Fully recovered and living happily with his foster parent from Garden State Veterinary Specialists, Patrick has become a symbol for the need for stronger animal cruelty laws.
Credits: Facebook/The Patrick Miracle

The bill, S1303 which was introduced by Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean (Morris, Somerset and Union Counties) was approved by a vote of 3-0 and will increase animal cruelty crimes upgrading current disorderly animal cruelty offenses to fourth degree crimes. In cases of egregious abuse cruelty, where a domestic animal dies as a result of a person who has a prior conviction, the crime would be upgraded to a third degree crime.

Punishments would include fines up to $5,000, community service, and restitution including veterinary costs and continued care.

Juveniles involved in animal cruelty could be tried as adults. The bill also provides mental health evaluations and ordered treatment for juveniles.

Patrick’s Law will also include stricter penalties for dog fighting, proper care and shelter for dogs, and more penalties for leaving dogs in hot cars.

The idea of Patrick’s Law was introduced nearly two years ago when a starved one-year-old pit bull was rescued. Named Patrick because of St. Patrick’s Day as the day the miracle dog was rescued, the 20 pound bag of bones who could not even stand on his own was taken to Garden State Veterinary Specialists for emergency treatment. Despite the great odds against his recovery, Patrick not only survived but became a symbol of the need for stricter animal cruelty laws to protect innocent animals.

Patrick As He Was Found

Kisha Curtis, the New Jersey woman who has been charged with the neglect to Patrick was charged with animal cruelty, but contends she was not responsible for starving the dog, although she has admitted she abandoned Patrick. Curtis is due back in court in October.

Patrick has made a full recovery and continues to reside with his foster family from the Garden State Veterinary Specialists. His future placement will be decided at a later date.

On the Patrick Miracle Facebook page, over 17,000 people “liked” the introduction of the new law, 1217 people shared the link explaining the stricter animal cruelty law, and 2600 people gave their opinions on the page extolling the benefits of Patrick’s Law.

The legislation must be approved by the House of Representatives and Senate.

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Lesniak Bill Package To Address Animal Cruelty Advances From Committee

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“Well done Mr. Lesniak, 2 bills that I am in full agreement with, lets hope the full Senate agrees & passes these as law. Read the full article, at the link below, I have cut out quite a bit!”

TRENTON – A pair of bills sponsored by Senate Economic Growth Committee Chairman Raymond J. Lesniak which would prohibit the use of “gestation crates” for pigs and the slaughter of horses or the sale of horse meat for human consumption in New Jersey was approved by the Committee today.

“We have to recognize that if our society values such things as justice, fairness and compassion, then we have a societal responsibility to apply those conditions across the board – in our dealings with people as well as animals,” said Lesniak, D-Union. “German philosopher Immanuel Kant said it best when he said, ‘We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.’ If we are serious about fostering a moral and ethical society, we have to be concerned not just with cruelty and injustice perpetrated by humans against humans, but also cruelty and injustice perpetrated by humans against the animal kingdom.”

The first bill in the package, S-1921, would establish an animal cruelty offense of cruel confinement of a gestating pig as a disorderly persons offense. The bill would define cruel confinement as crating, confining or tethering a gestating sow in order to prevent the free range of motion. Under the bill, a violator would be guilty of a disorderly persons offense, punishable by a fine of between $250 and $1,000 and up to six months imprisonment – and each gestating sow that is cruelly confined would be considered a separate offense. The bill would also subject violators to an additional civil penalty of between $250 and $1,000 to be recovered in the name of the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or a county society for the prevention of animal cruelty.

The bill was approved by a vote of 3-0, and now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

The second bill in the package, S-1976, would prohibit a person from engaging in the slaughter of horses for human consumption, or the sale, trade or attempted sale of horse meat in New Jersey.

Under the bill, a person would be guilty of a disorderly persons offense, subject to a minimum criminal fine of $100 or a term of imprisonment not less than 30 days, for knowingly slaughtering a horse for consumption purposes, knowingly selling, bartering or attempting to sell or barter the flesh of a horse for human consumption, or any product made in whole or part from the flesh of a horse, and knowingly transporting a horse or horse meat for the purpose of human consumption.

In addition to the criminal penalties under the bill, violators would be subject to additional civil fines of between $500 and $1,000 for each horse that has been slaughtered or transported, and each horse carcass or meat product that has been sold or bartered in violation of the bill’s provisions

The bill was approved by a vote of 3-0, and now heads to the full Senate for consideration

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