Gusciora Bill to Strengthen Penalties for Pet Shops, Revise Animal Cruelty Law in New Jersey Clears Assembly Panel

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrat Reed Gusciora and Raj Mukherji to increase fines for pet shop violations and revise current law concerning animal cruelty was recently approved by an Assembly panel.

“Animals should be treated humanely while in the care of pet shop owners and waiting for adoption,” said Gusciora (D-Mercer, Hunterdon). “Unfortunately, some pet shop owners do not abide by the law. Stronger penalties will send a message to pet shops that violate the animal cruelty laws will no longer receive a slap on the wrist.”

The bill (A-2152) intends to enhance the power of the state and its municipalities to enforce certain laws regulating the treatment of animals. Specifically, this bill increases penalties for pet shop owners or operators found to be in violation of certain pet shop laws and regulations from a range of $5 to $50 to a range of $100 to $1000 for each offense.

“When families go to a pet shop to find a new addition to their family, they expect the animal to be in good health and properly cared for,” Gusciora added. “This legislation helps to ensure that pet shops be held accountable for the animals in their care.”

The bill was released by the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.