NJ lawmakers take up a pair of animal welfare bills

The New Jersey General Assembly considers a pair of animal welfare bills: one would impose tougher dog-fighting penalties and the other would let judges issue restraining orders to protect pets.

The anti-dog-fighting bill would allow prosecutors to charge leaders of dog fighting rings under anti-racketeering or RICO laws, like they do Mobsters. If convicted, dog fighting organizers could face stiffer sentences in cases where weapons are involved and would it allow authorities to seize their property.

The other bill would offer the protection of a restraining order to pets caught in acrimonious family situations. It's well known that perpetrators of domestic violence often target pets first.

More from my colleague Jonathan Tamari here.