Senator Van Drew is nothing, if not persistent.

He has recently entered the following bills into the legislative hopper known as New Jersey’s 217th Legislative session.  The bills include amendments that were largely included in Van Drew’s original omnibus bill introduced and referred to Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee on 2/23/2006, when the Senator was still an assemblyman.

Notably, the 2006 version originated from the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association (NJVMA), but the NJVMA eventually withdrew their support of the bill when it was amended to include provisions the association felt were adverse to animal health.

Many of the original amendments are now included in the following separately filed bills:

S 1577-Would revise animal cruelty offenses involving neglect, care and euthanasia of impounded animals, and the penalties therefor.

S 1578-Would revise current animal cruelty offenses concerning abuse, abandonment, neglect, and improper euthanizing of animals in chapter 22 of Title 4 of the Revised Statutes, by creating a new framework of existing and new offenses designated as animal abuse, aggravated animal abuse, animal neglect, aggravated animal neglect, and extreme animal neglect. It also would also revise the offenses of animal abandonment and improper euthanizing of an animal.  Additionally, it would establish that neither the properly conducted practice of veterinary medicine by a licensed veterinarian, nor the killing of animals other than domesticated animals that are causing damage to agricultural or horticultural crops and property, would be considered animal cruelty.

S 1600-Would require the training of employees in a place of public accommodation or other public facility about access to public facilities for individuals with service or guide dogs.

S 1614-Would revise animal cruelty offenses and penalties concerning animal abandonment and failure to report injuring certain animals with a motor vehicle; increases civil penalties for certain other animal cruelty offenses.

S 1624-Would permit municipalities to contract with animal and humane societies which engage in animal foster care.  The bill would require that the foster care entity not be organized for pecuniary profit and that it have continuously engaged in animal foster care for at least one year.

S 1640-Would establish failure to provide certain specific protections from weather and during emergencies for domestic companion animals as animal cruelty.  This bill would prohibit leaving a cat, dog, or other domestic companion animal unattended outdoors when the outside ambient temperature is 32 degrees Fahrenheit or less or 90 degrees Fahrenheit or more, without readily available access to shelter in which the ambient temperature is maintained properly and safely above 32 degrees Fahrenheit and below 90 degrees Fahrenheit.  This bill would also require domestic companion animals to be relocated to a safe location when the State or local government recommends evacuation due to weather or other emergency conditions.

S 1641-Would revise animal fighting laws elevating the crime of animal fighting from a third degree to a second degree crime; would establish minimum penalty for criminal animal cruelty offenses; would establish additional penalties for animal cruelty offenses.

S 1642-Would establish cruelly restraining a dog (defined in part as using a choke collar, prong collar, or any other type of collar or similar device other than a properly fitted harness or buckle-type collar on the dog) as a criminal and civil animal cruelty offense.  This bill would also allow a municipality to collect a civil penalty of $250 to $1,000 if brought by a certified animal control officer or animal cruelty investigator, instead of the current law which requires a municipality to share penalties with the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Some of these bills seemingly overlap or would revise similar provisions of existing laws.

Time will tell if any of all of these bills will move through the legislative process and become law.