[ SHOWGSD-L ] Fw: congo alert

  • From: "Connie" <ValleSaladoGSD@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Fran Henry" <fhenry1@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2007 16:33:05 -0700

Just received this e-mail .
 
********************************************************************************************
 
CONGO'S LAW ALERT!!!! We need to step it up folks! 
Congo's Law needs your help immediately..please  we need your support of 
Congo's Law. Especially from the Princeton Community & surrounding areas!!!!
Please CALL....... Rally via phone calls, in addition...
write letters and email ..
New Jersey Legislature - Electronic Coorespondence to your State Representative 
District 15   
 Senator    SHIRLEY K. TURNER  -  Democrat    
       District Office:  1440 Pennington Rd., 1st Floor, Ewing, NJ 08618  
(609)-530-3277
 
 Assemblyman    REED  GUSCIORA  -  Democrat      
       District Office:  226 W. State St., Trenton, NJ 08608  (609)-292-0500
 
 Assemblywoman    BONNIE  WATSON COLEMAN  -  Democrat 
       District Office:  226 W. State St., Trenton, NJ 08608  (609)-292-0500 
________________________________________________________________
Congo's Law opponents lead in calls to local Assemblyman
Friday, December 14, 2007 7:09 AM EST
By Nick Norlen, Staff Writer

      Though Congoâ??s owners have said thousands are contacting the governor 
to support the dog and the bill that bears his name, one local Assemblyman said 
the majority of the feedback directed to his office has been from those opposed 
to the bill.

   According to the office of state Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Princeton), 
approximately 60 percent of the correspondences he has received oppose the bill 
â?? and the bulk of those are coming from Princeton.

   The calls and e-mails in support of the bill have come from all over the 
state, according to Assemblyman Guscioraâ??s legislative aide, Michael 
DeLoreto, who said the office has received approximately 60 comments on the 
bill.

   A state Assembly vote on the so-called â??Congoâ??s Lawâ?? â?? named for the 
German shepherd ordered to be euthanized after it attacked a landscaper in 
Princeton Township in June â?? has not yet been scheduled.

   In a telephone interview Tuesday â?? during which he said he received at 
least five more e-mails about the bill â?? Assemblyman Gusciora said peopleâ??s 
views on the proposed law are â??all over the map.â??
   Its supporters â??are animal welfare people who e-mail that Congo should be 
saved,â?? he said.

   Opponents, on the other hand, have questioned whether the legislature could 
be spending its time on what they see as more important issues, such as 
property taxes.

   Others have said the law should not include a â??beyond a reasonable doubt 
standard,â?? he said, noting that he has the same reservations.

   â??Particularly when you canâ??t get testimony from a dog, it would be very 
difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt what the dogâ??s intentions 
were,â?? he said, noting that he has concerns about the potential difficulty of 
euthanizing dogs raised to be vicious.

   Despite the approximately 30 amendments made during the committee session on 
the bill, Assemblyman Gusciora said he wonâ??t support the bill as it is 
currently written.

   The bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Neil Cohen (D-Union), was successfully 
approved for a floor vote by the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources 
Committee last week.

   Assemblyman Cohen introduced the bill to amend the current state statutes 
that govern consequences and requirements for dogs labeled as â??viciousâ?? and 
â??potentially dangerousâ?? after he heard about Congoâ??s case.

   That ruling is currently being appealed to the Superior Court by the James 
family.

   If passed, the legislation could have the same result â?? it would apply to 
current and pending cases and retroactively to dogs facing euthanasia by court 
orders back to Jan. 1.

   Among other changes, the bill provides an alternative for the euthanizing of 
dogs declared â??viciousâ?? by allowing their owners to comply with the same 
precautions mandated for keeping a â??potentially dangerousâ?? dog, which 
include posting signs and restricting the dogâ??s contact with people and other 
animals.

   In addition, the bill would hold prosecutors to stricter standards for 
proving that dogs were not provoked during attacks.

   Provocation will be among the primary issues raised during the appeal, 
according to the James familyâ??s attorney, Robert Lytle.

   It has also been a source of debate among those who have joined the 
widespread discussion of the case since the ruling.

   In an e-mail response to a constituent requesting her support for Congoâ??s 
Law â?? which was later forwarded to The Packet â?? state Sen. Shirley Turner 
(D-Lawrence) noted that she has â??been informed that this was an unprovoked 
attack.â??

   That claim, she said, has been substantiated by Princetonâ??s animal control 
officer and the police report from the incident.
   However, Sen. Turner did not mention in the e-mail whether she will support 
the bill if it in fact reaches the Senate.

   Neither Sen. Turner nor Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman could be reached 
for comment.

   A member of the legislatureâ??s Democratic press office said a vote on 
Congoâ??s Law is possible before the end of the year, but declined to speculate 
on when it might be scheduled.
 


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