This court case of Tank, the Vernon dog on death row continues! Last week the judge ruled that Tank be euthanized after multiple extensions for safety had been exhausted. Yesterday Vernon resident and patent lawyer, Nicholas DuBois reportedly made an emergency request which results in a 4 week stay for Tank. The judge has granted another extension, as they try to find a responsible owner who can meet all of the safety requirements with a June 9th deadline. Much credit to both Nicholas, and another good samaritan who after reading NJ Herald's coverage has offered to pay the $1,000 in boarding fees that Tank's current owner owes. This has been a passionately debated issue in Vernon, Sussex County, and beyond our community. Tank was involved in a biting incident, where his dog loving neighbor has needed thousands of dollars in plastic surgery procedures. 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, before the ruling him needing to be euthanized. Sussex County has so many passionate animal lovers, this case has been widely reported. The judge in April granted a 3 week final extension for Tank's owners to meet safety requirements put into place due to this biting incident. 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. I feel great sadness for all parties involved, and hope that the best case scenario for all involved happens. This is tough for Tank, the dog lover neighbor who almost had his nose bit off by him, and local authorities who appeared to do everything possible trying to preserve this pet's life. 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.
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