N.J. Assembly Considers Revising Definition Of ‘Vicious Dog’


New Jersey could soon revise its standards for what constitutes a “vicious dog” that must be euthanized.

Lawmakers have introduced a bill that would require courts to find clear and convincing evidence that a dog has been involved in fighting and that it poses a serious threat to people or other domestic animals.

The Assembly’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee was set to consider the bill Thursday but opted not to instead.

Under current law, a dog’s involvement in a fight would be enough for the court to declare the animal vicious. The measure would add more criteria for declaring a dog potentially dangerous. Under current law, a municipal court is required to declare a dog potentially dangerous if the court finds the dog has been trained, tormented, badgered, baited or encouraged to engage in unprovoked attacks upon persons or domestic animals.