Dog’s death inspires N.J. move to shield animals from abusers

A New Jersey Assembly committee has advanced legislation to prevent anyone convicted of animal cruelty from working in animal care.

Known as Moose’s Law, the bill is named for a dog taken from its owners and left in a hot car where it died.

The measure also would allow judges to keep offenders from owning a pet, according to sponsor Assemblyman Troy Singleton, D-Burlington.

“We’re hopeful that judges will use their discretion to see if someone is truly contrite, and if they’ve demonstrated that, then they should be able to have pets back,” he said Monday during a hearing on the measure.

Not all are on board, however.

The bill could increase employers’ costs during the course of background checks, said John Holub. president of the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association.

“I’ve talked to members where they’ve got employees that have been working for a decade or more in their store, and they will not be able to be alone with an animal at any time until which time the Department of Health gives the OK,” he said. “So right there, that doubles our labor costs.”

Legislators passed a similar bill, but Gov. Chris Christie did not sign it during the last legislative session.

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