TRENTON, NJ --Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) called for action on stricter animal cruelty laws following news that the man who left a pit bull named River in a cage to drown in the Shrewsbury River was found not guilty of attempting to kill the dog.
“Something clearly needs to change when a person can leave a dog trapped in a cage to be drowned by the rising tide but not be convicted of attempting to kill that animal. It is simply barbaric,” said O’Scanlon. “While I’m glad he was found guilty of fourth-degree animal cruelty at the very least, we need to do more. What happened to River and the outcome of this case highlights that action must be taken.”
Following last year’s news of River’s case, O’Scanlon introduced “River’s Law”, S-3453, in February. His legislation establishes a second degree crime of aggravated animal abuse.
“We have a good starting point with River’s Law but there are further changes that need to be made to help clarify existing statutes so that we don’t have this sort of legal confusion surrounding the ‘attempt to kill,’” O’Scanlon added. “Even though It’s clear to many of us what this attempt was, it seems it’s not as clear on the legal end. We are going to work with the SPCA to reintroduce a new version of River’s Law to deal with the issues that came out of River’s case. I hope that my legislative colleagues will join me in the effort.”