New Law is a Victory for New Jersey Pet Facilities
By Kathy Hosler
The state of New Jersey just passed a new law that affects almost everyone who provides pet boarding and daycare services. It expands the choices of what pet care businesses in New Jersey can use as a surface for their outdoor pet containment areas.
“It was a hard uphill battle and took more than four years to get the law changed,” says Steven Parker, co–founder and co–ceo of K–9 Resorts. “When you believe in something and you know it’s right, you need to persevere and not give up—even if you’re fighting city hall (or worse—the state).”
A determined Steven Parker launched a campaign to change the outdated law in New Jersey. He was extremely instrumental in preparing the bill and in getting it passed into a law. He explains how it happened.
“In 2012 we were going to open a new franchise location,” says Steven. “In doing research, we came across a New Jersey regulation that stated that any pet care facility that had an outdoor enclosure must have flooring that had an impervious surface—concrete or asphalt.”
The old law did not allow outdoor containment surfaces to be grass, dirt, gravel, or artificial turf. This archaic law was a real concern for modern pet care facilities that wanted to use surfaces like artificial turf. It is more likely that a pet can be hurt while playing on a hard surface like concrete or asphalt. Also, many dogs will not eliminate on these surfaces. And, they can become extremely hot and could lead to the injury of a pet.
Steven Parker contacted the state and explained why the regulation should be modified. But, the state refused to consider any modification. Mr. Parker reached out to industry experts; Veterinarians, other kennel owners, and engineers. They worked together and made a presentation to the state, explaining in detail why the law needed changed. Still, the state would not budge on the wording of the law.
In early 2016, they contacted New Jersey state assemblyman, Jon Bramnick, and explained their dilemma. He agreed with their reasoning immediately and consented to sponsor a bill to change the outdated law.
The old regulation stated;
8:23A-1.5 Facilities (outdoor) (e) Surfaces of outdoor enclosures of pet shops, shelters, pounds, and boarding kennels shall be constructed and maintained so that they are impervious to moisture and may be readily cleaned and disinfected; run off from outdoor enclosures shall be disposed of in accordance with N.J.A.C. 8:23-1.4(g)
The wording in the new proposal now allows facilities to use artificial turf in their outdoor enclosures.
Steven Parker wrote the bill. It was sponsored by assemblymen Jon Bramnick and backed by many of his fellow assemblymen. It went into committee and passed. From there it went to the Assembly and passed unanimously. Then it went on to the Senate where it also passed unanimously. Very few laws have ever passed with 100 bi-partisan percent votes. Finally, it went to the desk of Governor, Chris Christie, and was signed into law.
“This is huge for our industry on so many levels,” shares Steven Parker. “It’s a victory for four-legged and two-legged residents of New Jersey.”