City of Newark, New Jersey debating whether to change vicious dog law

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The city of Newark, New Jersey is reconsidering its vicious dog law. Currently the law labels all pit bull type dogs as vicious dogs. The state of New Jersey has removed the automatic labeling of pit bull type dogs as vicious, but as a charter city Newark does not have to do the same. The City Council Safety Committee has been discussing whether they should change the ordinance or not.

Under the current Newark ordinance owners of pit bull type dogs are required to post “dangerous dog” signs and buy a dangerous dog tag in addition to the regular dog tag. These extra tags cost $50. Owners must also microchip and spay or neuter their pit bull type dog. Finally, owners are required to keep the dog in a fenced-in-yard or confined to a locked enclosure. When taking the dog off of their property they must be on a leash 6 feet or under.

Councilman Duke Frost opposes changing the current ordinance and has said police officers have told him they prefer no change to be made. “The law enforcement has to deal with these dogs,” Frost said. “Move slowly. There is no reason we can’t keep the law exactly as it is. Keep the requirement that protects law enforcement and people that have to deal with these dogs.” The city’s animal control officer, Toby Willis, says about one-third of the call he deals with involve pit bulls and he supports keeping the law as it is. Councilman Frost says he isn’t against the breed but basing his decision on the information from those who deal directly with animal calls.

Councilman Jeff Rath sits on the other side of the debate, favoring treating pit bull type dogs just like every other dog. He has proposed a compromise to try to get the city to move in that direction. His compromise would remove pit bull breeds from the automatic label as a vicious dog but would keep some special rules for pit bull type dogs. The compromise would require these dogs to be restricted by a fence, cage or tether, or contained within a 6-foot fence. Rath says, “It’s like putting a criminal on parole. Let the pit bulls free (of the label), but cautiously watch them to protect the public as well.”

The safety committee plans to discuss the issue again in two weeks.

4 thoughts on “City of Newark, New Jersey debating whether to change vicious dog law”

  1. Councilman Duke Frost, you’re an ass. Supercilious, middle grade bureaucrats are the REAL threats to people, not dogs. YOU need to protect people from vicious dogs so YOU’VE decided what a vicious dog is? Drop the arrogance, get some education on bully dogs or go to hell.

  2. Newark is a dump , Crime, Drugs and Gangs have nothing to do with it I suppose . Its the dog.
    How many crimes take place every day in Newark ?
    How many of them involve a dog ? not so many i imagine.
    Does newark do anything to stop its out of control violence? Hell No.
    I cannot believe how ignorant people are.
    Humans have the worst trait of all and only humans have it : IGNORANCE.
    Only to true asshole would blame a dog for that which it is forced into.

  3. I agree with a part of that law. That people who own pits should have a taller fence. And I don’t agree with the rest of the law. Spay and neuter is also a very good idea, but that will need to be changed, cause the law is aiming to bring the breed to extinction. The part of the fence is good, cause not everybody who owns a pit is indeed a good owner. There are people who only get the dog for it’s appearance and don’t care about it.

    But anyway, instead of all that crap. Why not make a simple law like, if you cannot control your dog and if it bites someone then your dog will be put down and you will have to pay medical costs AND pay a fee of 5000 dollars or more. And best part would be do that FOR ALL BREEDS! Then you have protected humans against dog bites! It may not work first few times, but then in the later future, when people hear of incidents and that the owners had to pay. They will start leashing and muzzling their dogs and be more careful. That is one of the best laws. It depends how bad the dog bite is, if it’s serious then your dog gets put down and you need to pay up. But if it’s a playful bite then the owner gets to keep the dog but has to pay a lot of money.

    Stop being ignorant and pointing your finger at something and labeling it! Not all black people are criminals! Not all asians are good at math! Not all whites are racists! Dogs are the same! Not because it’s a pit bull it’s going to kill everyone.

    People fail to understand that there are millions of pits all over the world. If they were so dangerous, then there would be millions of people who die each day by them. In reality there are only a few cases of irresponsible dog owners that (train to bite or) don’t socialize their dogs.

  4. Came across this in a google search. This article needs to be corrected. This story is regarding Newark Ohio, not Newark NJ. There are no Councilmen by that name in Newark New Jersey.


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