New Jersey Dog Controversy

There is an article in the New York Times today concerning a dog attack on a landscape laborer in New Jersey. There has been a great deal of controversy in the state over putting the German Shepard down after the attack. State law requires that a dog be put down after an unprovoked attack, but supporters are trying to get a pardon from the governor:

State Assemblyman Neil M. Cohen, a Democrat from Union, has introduced
legislation, which he calls Congo’s Law, that could spare the life of Congo and
other dogs in similar situations by giving judges more discretion in meting out
punishment.

And now, thousands of people from Princeton and elsewhere are petitioning the
governor for a pardon. (There is precedent for such things in New Jersey.)

In a letter to The Princeton Packet on Tuesday, a resident, Jonathan
Eckstein, wrote: “I urge the State Legislature to vote down this absurd
legislation and put the rights of human beings like Mr. Rivera above those of
domestic animals, however tragically misunderstood. I would hate my hometown and
home state to go down in history as the place where suburbanites valued their
dogs above the lives of those they hire to tend their yards.”

From past experience, it can be a bit tricky working on landscape projects with dogs, who can be defensive of their owners or territory.