New Jersey Town Passes Ordinance To Make "Dangerous" Dogs More Expensive

Is Ridgewood, NJ going to make it harder for bigger dogs to find homes?

The village council in Ridgewood, NJ has approved of a new ordinance that require owners of dogs that are tagged as “potentially dangerous” to pay up to $700 in annual licensing fees.

While the fees aren’t stuck to a specific breed, breed bias could clearly become apparent via the new law. The label for a dangerous dog would be decided in a municipal court.

The impact of the fees could mean less adoption of dogs. Some might consider the law unfair, as the exact parameters for a dangerous label are not disclosed.

The change was in response to an allegedly unprovoked attack by a dog in December.

Written by Lauren Varga


  1. Mary says

    This is unfair to the dogs since it is the breeders who breed too close in the bloodline or owners that create the dangerous/mean dogs by training them that way. Thus leaves dog haters to run and make all dogs dangerous for some reason or another. I am originally from N.J. and used to work at the AWA and have seen some of the nasty ones come in. Dogs don’t just get that way. Something had to happen to MAKE them that way. I totally disagree with this.

  2. Jason says

    Dog Files, I don’t understand your poor choice to purposely post a picture of a pit bull on this article, despite the fact that the law is not breed specific to pit bulls. How are you serving to be a “vibrant community for dog’s best friend” if you are only adding to an unfair stigma about pit bulls? In the future, please be more conscious of your choices, especially if your intent is to be an advocate for dogs.

    • says

      Please read the caption under the photograph. This whole law is because of the town council’s aversion to Pit Bulls and comes very close to BSL, of which this town has been trying to pass for years. And by freaking people out that if they get a big dog they may have to worry about paying more money, it could make adopting out big dogs harder because people may think that they don’t want to take a chance. And who does that hit hardest? Pit Bulls, which is the #1 breed in shelters and the hardest dog in shelters to find home for. That is why I used the photo.

      • says

        EXACTLY RIGHT!! I have 8 dogs, 6 related, ranging from 75-120lbs. Four Alaskan Husky’s, one Siber, one Mal/Pyr cross and four Alaskan mutts.
        Unfortunately, most people who do not have a fear of big dogs in general, regard those such as mine as not nearly as dangerous as Pits. This is and can be a DEADLY mistake.
        Very recently I had, again, the misfortune of coming across a Pit owner talking to a local rescue and adoption group and in front of several knowledgeable and experienced dog people and with the internet hanging on his side, this moron with a Pit says his dogs LOCKING JAWS make them the MOST formidable guard dog on the planet.
        THIS is how Pits got their truly UNdeserved rep!!

  3. says

    I guess I’m okay with the law—as long as only on the most dangerous beasts are focused on———those mothers who are drunks and abuse their children, ANY adult who raises their hand to hit, slap, shove a child. I mean, I see in the paper a LOT more articles every day abut how dangerous humans can be, even to their own children. You think leaving illegal drugs and loaded guns sitting around is less dangerous than having a pit bull in the house??? Or having kids in the car or anywhere around the car when the driver has been drinking—–much more dangerous and potentially more fatal than a Rottweiler. Ask anyone who works in a hospital ER whether they treat more patients injured by other humans or injured by dogs??? We all know there isn’t such a think as a bad dog, just bad owners———-but who gets the blame & punishment when a child gets bit??? Seldom the bad owner who shouldn’t have a dog in the first place. A small percentage of dogs get dangerous, whereas “Adult correctional authorities supervised about 6,977,700 offenders at yearend in
    2011, ” {Bureau of Justice Statistics}

  4. Owns 3 Mixed Breeds says

    This is total absurd, did the council do any research on dog bites and/or attacks by dogs?

    How are they going to decide which breeds are “potentially dangerous”? What will their guidelines be?

    It has been well documented that anytime there is an attack or fatality by a mix breed who is mixed with a potentially dangerous breed, the news media will always headline it with the name of the “dangerous breed”, it also will be front page news or a news breaking story. In the past there have been attacks by smaller breeds who would never be consider “potentially dangerous”. One such attack occurring on 4/25/12 Courier Post Dorchester, South Carolina: A 2 month old baby was killed by his family’s retriever while his father slept. He died after he was bitten multiple times and dismembered. Did anyone hear this story?

    Saturday , April 20 A Toddler was savaged by a dog at a Hampshire pub. He will be scarred for life. The attack occurred after he began stroking one of 2 American Cocker Spaniels. Did the village council of Ridgewood, NJ read this story? I could site many more stories with dates, newspapers and articles on both these breeds and many others. So let’s get real, we should consider all breeds of dogs “potentially dangerous” .

    Maybe it is not the dogs who we should consider dangerous but the hands of whom they fall into.

    To sum it up, no breed is more likely to bite than another or cause harm; if properly raised and treated well by a good owner.

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