A few years ago my township of North Brunswick made me very proud. We passed ordinances banning pet stores from ever opening up in our town, thereby closing off at least one more avenue of opportunity for puppy and kitten mills to ply their insidious trade. As a pet owner, animal rights and welfare advocate, and rescuer, I recognize the importance of being socially aware, responsible and empathetic for all life.
I thought of that enlightened and progressive animal welfare thinking when my local condominium community of Governor’s Pointe II in North Brunswick made me as ashamed of being a resident of this particular local community as I am proud of being a resident of the township itself.
In a prime example of backward thinking, and without cause, the board of the association determined that breed restrictions and pet limitations are a good idea. Without notice or discussion with the members of this local condominium community, it imposed arbitrary restrictions of certain breeds. No reason was provided for selecting these particular breeds. We were advised that no particular incidents were reported that led to the decision and this was a “preemptive” decision. An “administrative fee” for dog owners, with no clear explanation of it’s intended use, has been imposed.
Completely disregarding any semblance of consciousness or consideration the resolutions were passed in February by the board, but announced four months later in June, giving the condominium residents 30 days to comply or face fines, without any opportunity to refute, since the next board meeting is not until Aug. 15.
It has been proven time and time again that breed bans are discriminatory and do not create a safer community; promoting responsible pet ownership does. As for pet limits, the township has a five pet per household limit, but Governor’s Point II in its infinite wisdom has determined that two pets – two – is the most that any household should be allowed to have.
In addition, and not to take away from the inhumane and immoral nature of these resolutions, there is also a financial aspect to consider. By imposing these restrictions they have adversely impacted all of the residents of this condominium community, even the non pet owners, since they have effectively limited the prospective resale market of their units. While it’s all well and good that the present pet owners are grandfathered in, no one can sell to anyone if the prospective buyer has a dog, or plans to adopt a dog on the banned list, or has more than two pets. Also to be considered should be that grandfathering only covers presently owned pets. Current pet owners who might want to add any in the future, and non pet owners who might decide to become pet owners at a later date, are subject to the new rules and regulations and will not be covered.
The ill conceived breed restrictions and two pet limit will negatively effect overcrowded municipal shelters and rescues in New Jersey by reducing the number of families able to adopt homeless animals.
If this is what passes for progressive thinking in this day and age, someone needs to look up the definition of “progressive”.