New Jersey legislators are taking a big step toward ending puppy mills. The state Senate approved a bill in the first week of July that would require pet stores to only sell cats and dogs brought in from shelters. The bill passed by a vote of 27-8 and will head to the Assembly for debate.
The bill, a revision of the New Jersey Pet Protection Act, comes in the wake of several puppy mill raids in the state, including one on a store in East Brunswick that is now facing 267 animal cruelty charges. There have also been recent busts in Tennessee, Maryland, and Arkansas.
The provision also follows several local efforts to fight animal cruelty associated with puppy mills. In September, Camden County announced a similar resolution that restricted retailers to selling dogs and cats that have been obtained from shelters or rescue organizations. Seven other municipalities in the state have passed similar laws: Brick, North Brunswick, Hoboken, Manasquan, Oceanport, Point Pleasant, and Point Pleasant Beach.
Cruelty to animals is a Disorderly Persons Offense that can carry a fine of $250 to $1,000 and up to six months in prison. A charge of Aggravated Cruelty is a Felony Crime of the Fourth Degree with a fine up to $3,000 and up to 18 months in prison.
If you or someone you love has been arrested for animal cruelty or any other criminal offense in New Jersey, it is advisable that you retain an attorney to fight the charges. Adam H. Rosenblum of the Rosenblum Law is a skilled criminal defense attorney with experience helping people in similar situations. Email Rosenblum Law or call 888-815-3649 today for a free consultation about your case.