By JOHN T. WARD
The mayor, whose canine companion of 14 years died last month, introduced a proposed ordinance Wednesday night that he said would make it easier to prosecute those who neglect dogs by leaving them tied up for hours, or with heavy tethers, or when the weather is “extraordinarily cold or extraordinarily warm.”
The amendment, which Menna called “very humane,” addresses when and under what conditions dogs may be tethered in yards or left in vehicles. Chains are prohibited. Dogs may not be left outside for more than half an hour when the temperature drops below 32 degrees or climbs above 85. Dogs under a year old or weighing less than 20 pounds may not be tethered.
Another provision of the law requires that any motorist who hits a dog must report the accident to the police and try to assist the animal, if possible. And dogs may not be left alone in cars for more than 15 minutes in extreme cold or heat.
Here’s the full text of the amendment, which is set for an adoption vote on March 11: RB 2015-03
Menna, who championed the town’s annual Dog Days of Summer festivals on Monmouth Street, said the proposed law is more useful that the existing state statute on cruelty, which he said requires that a municipality prove an offense was “willful,” a threshhold that renders enforcement efforts futile.
“This will make the standard of proof very simple, so it’s easier to enforce,” he said.
Fines range as high as $1,000 per day.
Here’s what Menna had to say about the law on his Facebook page:
2/25/15: At the request of Yoshi [a dog owned by borough residents Megan Prenderville and Mike Harper, founders of the Paws for a Cause pet accessory kiosk in the Galleria] and in memory of my dear Bella I introduced an ordinance tonight as Mayor of Red Bank that protects dogs in Red Bank b having a comprehensive ordinance that regulated the times and conditions that a dog may be outside a home and the protections that it needs in terms of shelter and food. It is the tethering ordinance that bans dogs from being outside in inclement temperatures in cold and in excessive heat in summer and makes property owners civilly liable for the violations and enforcement of the regulations. To protect our four legged family members who cannot speak for themselves. One of the few time that a Mayor can make a difference for those who are very appreciative.