Update: The New Jersey Herald has received feedback from the victim in this dog biting case. Can you believe that part of his nose was bitten off, has needed over 60 stitches AND plastic surgeries have cost him five figures? Imagine a dog running into your yard again and again, potentially threatening you and your dogs?
This has been a passionately debated issue in Vernon, Sussex County, and beyond our community. Tank the dog was involved in a biting incident, and could be sentenced to death this week by a judge. This situation has been involving our local court system for many months after a judge has granted several extensions in an attempt to preserve Tank's life. Sussex County has so many passionate animal lovers, this case has been widely reported. The judge recently granted a 3 week final extension for Tank's owners to meet safety requirements put into place due to this biting incident. A local animal lover even started a GoFundMe account raising thousands of dollars to help towards legal fencing required. That animal lover is saying that there hasn't seemed to be much appreciation nor cooperation from Tank's owners. While many suspected that this could be a case of breed discrimination due to Tank being an American Bully, the legal situation seems to indicate otherwise. In related news, Vernon has recently enacted a $700 special license for "vicious dogs." This again on the surface appeared as it could be a case of breed discrimination, but further research clearly showed this only affects dogs who have been involved in incidents. Regarding the dog special license impacting dogs and their owners who require regular visits by town officials costing our taxpayer resources --- should they pay for these expenses or should we? While I'm supportive of doing everything possible to rehabilitate and save so many dogs when too often the wrong side of their leash gets blamed, we shouldn't have to foot the bill unless it is our choice.