Press Release – Legislation sponsored by Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Dave Wolfe and Greg McGuckin, all R-Ocean, to protect pet owners and their boarded animals today won General Assembly approval.
“Betsy’s Law” was drafted in response to the death of a dog following a minor veterinary procedure. Betsy was boarded overnight and hanged herself in her crate as a result of a lack of animal supervision.
The bill, S-903/A-1186, requires veterinarians and animal hospitals to provide pet owners with written notification if a boarded animal will not be subject to 24-hour supervision by a person physically on the premises. Pet owners must also be made aware of the dangers associated with boarding their pets overnight.
“When you leave a pet in the care of the veterinary facility you believe they are in good hands and are being supervised around the clock,” said Holzapfel. “Betsy’s incident was a tragic accident that could have been prevented.”
The measure will allow pet owners to make an informed choice regarding their authorization of an unsupervised veterinary stay for their animal.
“We’re talking about animal lovers who are leaving their pets in the care of veterinarian facilities, and this was a poignant situation,” said Wolfe. “I think it provides peace of mind for the customer, but is not burdensome for veterinarians.”
In addition, the bill helps to prevent veterinarians from misleading animal owners about the safety of these boarding conditions, as was done in Betsy’s case.
“Most people don’t realize that when boarding your pet overnight, it will be hours in between visits from a staff member or technician,” stated McGuckin. “We have been at the forefront of protecting pet owners from experiencing the same tragic outcome as Betsy did when leaving their pet with a vet overnight.”