Category Archives: New Jersey

New Jersey S 1310 would end breed discrimination by insurance companies

A bill has been introduced in the New Jersey legislature that would end discriminatory practices by insurance companies in New Jersey.

S 1310 has been referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.

There are several different aspects to this bill.

First, it states that, “An insurer shall not (1) refuse to issue, (2) cancel, or (3) non-renew a homeowners insurance policy solely on the basis of a dog harbored upon the insured property.”

Secondly, the bill does allow insurance companies to not cover the dog specifically in the policy.    “Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of this section, an insurer may offer or issue a homeowners insurance policy which contains an exclusion against covering any liability for a dog harbored upon the insured property.”  This means that people will be able to get coverage for their property, but may have to sign an exclusion for liabilities concerning the dog.

The last part of the bill states that companies are allowed to charge different rates for different dogs.  “...nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit an insurer’s use of underwriting guidelines, risk classifications, or other rules of any rating-system, as defined by section 1 of P.L.1944, c.27 (C.17:29A-1), which establish rates and premiums for that coverage on the basis of a dog harbored upon the insured property.”

These bills, traditionally, have been very difficult to pass because of the money and power that is behind the insurance lobby.  Insurance discrimination is an incredibly important issue, however.  It does not just effect home owners, but also effects renters.  Many landlords have policies against certain breeds and types of dogs because they cannot get coverage under their insurance policies to protect them, as the owner of the property.  This bill will not alleviate the problem completely, but it does provide a base line that will begin to address these issues.

Since this particular bill is so light on prohibitions on what an insurance company can do, the traditional backlash may be somewhat lessened.

New Jersey residents should reach out to support this bill.

You can contact your legislators via the states website.

Best Friends Animal Society has also set up a form, if you are having trouble with what to say.

East Coast bike relay event to protest BSL, Aug 29–Sept 2

Bless the Bullys Pit Bull Rescue & Education and Southern Ontario Animal Rescue (SOAR) invite you to take part in a unique effort to bring awareness to breed specific legislation, rescue, and responsible dog ownership.

Bikers and Bullys Without Borders” is a bike ride from Miami, Florida to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and is an effort to demonstrate a united stance against BSL. Just as BSL has no borders, the effort to stop it knows no borders, as well.

The ride is taking place from August 29 to September 2, 2012. It starts in Miami, FL and goes up the east coast finishing in Toronto, Canada.

We are dedicating the ride to Lennox and the Barnes family, the people who loved and fought to save his life. After a two year battle, Lennox was killed last week by the Belfast, Ireland council simply because he looked like a “pit bull.” We are having a stuffed Lennox made, and along each stop on the route, he will be handed off to the next group of riders, along with any notes of condolence and support to the Barnes family. After the ride, both the stuffed Lennox and all the cards and letters will be sent to the Barnes family to show that although we are separated by thousands of miles, we stand united with them in their fight, and we all mourn the death of an innocent animal.

You don’t need to be part of an animal welfare organization to take part in the ride…you only need to have a desire to see BSL come to an end so that no dog and no family ever face the heartbreak and anguish of breed specific legislation again.

SOAR is organizing the troops for a vote on the Ontario pit bull ban in September, and using the bike rally as a fundraiser for their efforts to end BSL there. However, those taking parts in the states can simply use the ride to bring awareness to the fight against BSL, and to promote rescue and responsible dog ownership.

We need every leg of the ride filled – even if its just one bike – so that Lennox and our messages to the family can make it to Canada. Please consider taking part in this very special event, and share this with your friends and bike clubs who may be interested in taking part. Just like the effort to stop BSL, we really need YOU to make this happen!

More information on the ride can be found at the SOAR website, or you can contact me at The route for the ride can be found here.

Plumsted, NJ: Animal control officer calls for BSL

Plumsted animal control officer John Klink (John Bilyk) says he will ask a judge for a court order mandating that “pit bull” owners put muzzles on their dogs. We’re not lawyers, but we’re pretty sure it’s not possible to get a court order that would do this. (Any lawyers out there who can chime in here?)

Also, New Jersey municipalities are prohibited from passing breed-specific ordinances—so Plumsted council can’t legally pass an ordinance to this effect either.

Nevertheless, we suggest that some respectful, educational dialogue with officials may be necessary in Plumsted, especially since the animal control officer seems to be ignorant about the state laws he is supposed to be enforcing.

You can reach Plumsted animal control officer John Klink (Bilyk), Mayor Ronald Dancer, and any other township official via the Township main phone number 609-758-2241 or Fax 609-758-0123.
Other contact info:

After attacks, official calls for muzzles for pit bulls in Plumsted

10:02 PM, Dec. 29, 2011
Written by Stephanie Loder | Staff Writer

PLUMSTED — Residents who own pit bulls and let them outside would be forced to muzzle their dogs if the township animal control officer has his way.[…]

“There have been too many bites,” said John Klink, who provides animal-control services for the township.

He said he was going to ask a judge for a court order mandating that residents with pit bulls muzzle the animals when they are outside.

The township has no ordinance regarding the restraining of pit bulls, he said. […]

Full article retrieved 12/30/11 from

Lodi, NJ: Pit bull regulation ordinance will not go forward

Previous alert for Lodi:

Pit bull regulation ordinance will not go forward

Last updated: Thursday May 27, 2010, 1:24 AM
Community News (Lodi Edition)

The council has decided against an ordinance regulating pit bulls in Lodi.

At a public meeting on May 17 any ordinance involving dogs or pit bulls was missing from the agenda. However, a member of the public addressed the council, stating her opposition to the proposed ordinance….

Mayor Bruce Masopust told Sheldon that the council considered the ordinance for a while but ultimately decided against it.


Full story retrieved May 27, 2010 from

Lodi, NJ: BSL proposed

Update 5/17: Lodi, NJ has decided to drop the breed-specific proposal.

BSL is prohibited by NJ state law. Lodi’s proposal is modeled after the ordinance in Garfield, which was shot down after massive public protest earlier this week. It is not clear whether Lodi will take the hint and remove the breed-specific language.

Contact info for Lodi city officials:

City of Lodi, New Jersey
Debra A. Cannizzo, Borough Clerk
One Memorial Drive, 2nd Floor, Room 202, Lodi, NJ 07644
(973) 365-4005

Mayor Bruce Masopust,
Deputy Mayor Paula Fiduccia,
Councilman Thomas DeSomma,
Councilman Marc N. Schrieks,
Councilwoman Karen Viscana,

Online contact form:

Pit bull ordinance is modeled after Garfield’s measure

Last updated: Thursday May 13, 2010, 1:32 AM
Community News (Lodi Edition)

The borough council in Lodi is discussing the possibility of an ordinance regulating pit bulls.

The ordinance, still in draft form, would require specific licensing and control requirements for pit bulls if passed.

Article retrived 5/13/10 from

Garfield, NJ: Garfield City Council tables pit bull ordinance after public outcry

Previous alerts for Garfield:

Garfield City Council tables pit bull ordinance after public outcry

Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Community News (Garfield Edition)

In response to countless e-mails, letters and phone calls from concerned residents and animal lovers throughout northern New Jersey, the Garfield City Council unanimously voted against adopting an ordinance that would have increased licensing fees for pit bulls in the city, along with several other requirements for owners including liability insurance coverage and muzzling of the pit bull in public.

The announcement that the ordinance would be tabled was met with thunderous applause from all those in attendance.

In addition to overwhelming documentation and correspondence received by the city council from concerned citizens about the ordinance, the governing body also learned that the ordinance violated state law which prohibits breed specific legislation.

Article retrieved 5/12/10 from

Garfield, NJ reminder: City council to possibly vote on proposed BSL, May 11

The proposed breed-specific ordinance may be voted on and may pass at the next city council meeting: May 11, 8:00 PM at City Hall.

City of Garfield, 111 Outwater Lane, Garfield, New Jersey 07026

City Manager’s Office (973) 340-2000
City Clerk (973) 340-2001
Mayor’s Office (973) 340-2439

Previous alerts for Garfield: