Target: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
Goal: Commend Governor Christie for protecting service dogs from animal attacks
A recent ForceChange petition, http://forcechange.com/100929/protect-service-dogs-from-vicious-attacks/, highlighted new legislation in New Jersey to protect service dogs that are attacked by other, aggressive, dogs. Recently, Governor Chris Christie signed this important legislation into law. Thank Governor Christie for making animal safety a priority.
This new law, Dusty’s Law, was created after a German Shepherd puppy named Dusty was viciously attacked by another dog while training as a seeing eye companion. Dusty needed hundreds of stitches and was so emotionally scarred by the attack that he can no longer work as a service dog. Unfortunately Dusty’s story isn’t rare; over 40% of all service dogs are attacked at some point in their career. Before this law was passed the dogs, and their handlers, had few protections.
Now that has all changed. Any person who recklessly allows a dog in their control to attack or interfere with a service dog can now face criminal charges. In addition, he or she is responsible for the costs to the handler for the value of the service dog, cost of training or retraining, veterinary and medical bills, and any lost wages suffered by the handler due to the loss of the his or her service animal.
Thank Governor Christie for his attention to this important law and for making service dog protection a priority.
Dear Governor Christie,
Thank you for making Dusty’s Law a priority and signing it so quickly after it passed the New Jersey legislature. This new law ensures that anyone who recklessly allows an animal in his or her care to attack or interfere with a service dog will face criminal charges and be held responsible for the damages he or she caused. Unfortunately these types of attacks are all too frequent with over 40% of service dogs being attacked at some point in their career. The natural temperament and the training possessed by service dogs can make it hard for them to defend themselves. Many will not even leave the side of their handler to save their own life.
Dusty’s Law is a huge step forward in protecting service dogs and their handlers. Devastating attacks, like the one that left Dusty unable to perform his duties, leave handlers in the lurch. Often they cannot work or live independently until they get a new service animal and the cost of a service dog can range from $15,000 – $50,000. Before this law passed the handlers had little recompense for those costs.
Governor Christie, thank you for prioritizing the protection of service dogs.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: CliffViewPilot via The Seeing Eye