Badge - Rated by Super Lawyers Victor A. Rotolo
Badge - Rated by Super Lawyers Anthony P. Kearns third
Badge - Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Badge - Multi Million Dollar Advocates Forums
Badge - New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Attorney
Badge - New Jersey's Best Lawyers For Families 2018
Badge - AV Preeminent Victor A. Rotolo 2024
Badge - Client Champion Gold 2024
Badge - Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce
Badge - Top 100 The National Trial Lawyers
Please click Award & Selection Criteria & Methodology for information regarding the specific criteria used for selection of each of the above awards.

August 2020 - Being a Responsible Pet Owner

Responsible Pet Ownership If you adopted a pet while under recent stay-at-home orders, congratulations! You’re in good company. Shelters across the country reported a record number of adoption and foster applications during the pandemic, allowing them to place most of their animals in homes.

Your furry companion may have started out as a welcome distraction in an otherwise trying time, but he or she is a commitment. New Jersey has several laws to promote responsible pet ownership and protect you, your community, and your pets from injury.


All dogs and, in some municipalities, cats must be licensed. Proof of rabies vaccine or certificate of exemption under State Department Health regulations is required. Fines apply for failure to license your pet.

Dog Bites

New Jersey is a strict liability state regarding dog bites, meaning you can be held liable in a civil lawsuit for injuries incurred if your pet bites someone while that person is on public property or legally on private property. This also covers injuries from your dog jumping on or otherwise attacking someone.

Leash Laws

Local municipalities have the authority to pass and enforce leash laws, which serve several purposes, including reducing:

  • accidents caused by pets running into traffic;
  • fights with other unrestrained animals and/or wildlife
  • exposure to canine diseases like Parvo and Distemper which can be transmitted through animal waste.
Pets in Cars

On a sunny 70-degree day, temperatures inside a car can rise to 104 degrees in half an hour; 113 degrees in an hour. Under these conditions, a pet can suffer from heatstroke in only 15 minutes.

The first time you’re caught leaving an unattended pet in a car in New Jersey, you could be charged as a disorderly person and fined between $250 and $1,000. If your pet dies, the charge can rise to a 4th degree crime, and if you have a prior conviction, to a 3rd degree crime.

Note: We’re the only state to consider driving with loose pets in your car an act of animal cruelty.

Have a safe – and pet-friendly – summer!

What Our Clients are Saying

I was very proud to be represented by Tony and felt secure at a time I needed a compass to head out of a difficult bind. Confidence in your counsel and a sense of security in understanding how best to proceed are important reasons to consider Anthony Kearns and his team of outstanding lawyers.

- Lynn

Tony was excellent! He was knowledgeable, responsive and on-time. His experience as a County Prosecutor definitely helped our case as he knows how the legal system works and how to navigate. I highly recommend Tony and his office.

- Matt

Thankfully I found Kearns Rotolo Law and I had a wonderful experience working with Charles Rifici on a difficult divorce/child custody issue. I am so grateful for all the work and guidance he provided. He always took his time and diligently went through all my options with me so I could make the decisions that benefitted my family and I. I will be forever thankful for the top notch services he provided.

- Cinthya

In March of 2022 I contacted Kearns Rotolo Law Firm with an urgent problem, Mr. Kearns and Mr. Rotolo contacted me immediately to give me hope as to rectify my problem. The end result was Mr Kearns was able to solve my issue through extreme professionalism, I am very grateful I found Kearns Rotolo Law firm and I would recommend their law firm to anyone that has a less extreme problem or a more complex problem, I am very grateful for their services.

- Bill

I met with Mr. Kearns yesterday about a devastating situation affecting our family. Mr. Kearns and his entire staff made us feel extremely comfortable and showed our family a compassionate side that gave us comfort in the most uncomfortable of situations. Thank you very much. God Bless.

- Christian