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Friday, November 30, 2007

Princeton dog taking a bite out of Assemblyman Green's dog law?

A number of years ago, after several maulings of Plainfielders by vicious dogs, Assemblyman Jerry Green proposed -- and got passed -- legislation toughening the laws regarding vicious dogs and penalties their owners face.

Now comes a story from Princeton -- picked up today by the NY Times -- of an incident in which a landscaper, an undocumented laborer from Honduras, was severely bitten by a German shepherd named 'Congo' and four other dogs belonging to the owner of a property where he was working.

The gardener underwent three hours of surgery and endured 65 painful rabies shots as a result.

Giovanni Rivera after being attacked.

Photo by Kevin Riechelson.

A judge has ordered the German shepherd put down.

Animal lovers are rallying around the owner, and the victim's legal status has become a major part of the public discussion.

Even Union County Assemblyman Neil Cohen has gotten into the act, proposing legislation -- nicknamed 'Congo's Law' -- to give judges more latitude in declaring a dog vicious.

Thus putting the bite on the law previously championed by his Union County colleague Jerry Green.

The AP story was previously run by both the Courier and Newsday. Curiously, the Courier cut the mention of Cohen's legislative maneuver when it ran the story.

NY Times: "Landscaper mauled, and sympathy goes to dog"
Newsday: "Immigration debate ignited after gardener mauled by dog in N.J."
Courier: "Princeton dog attack sparks immigration debate"

-- Dan Damon

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