Does your dog love rides in the car? You may soon need to buckle your pooch up in New Jersey

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Does your dog love rides in the car? You may soon need to buckle your pooch up in New Jersey

We've all seen the dog parents on the highway with their canines' heads planted firmly outside the window and enjoying every minute of the wind rushing against their faces. However, if you're a New Jersey resident, those days may be numbered. According to the Los Angeles Times, Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer (D) has presented a piece of legislation that will require all New Jersey drivers to restrain their dogs during car trips or face a $20 fine and possibly an animal cruelty charge.

The potential law has inflamed political tensions on both sides of the spectrum, with Democrats seeing the measure as a means of protecting animal welfare, and Republicans viewing the bill as another form of government intrusion into the private lives of citizens.

The sponsor of the bill believes that dogs can be "more of a distraction than a cellphone, especially if the animal is hopping from seat to seat, trying to sit on your lap, or worse, jump down by your feet," Spencer told the news source.

According to CBSLocal.com, a recent poll of Garden State voters found that they narrowly support the new law by a 45 to 40 percent margin. However, the biggest discrepancy came from dog parents, of which 38 percent support the legislation, while 48 percent of voters without dogs are in favor.

Currently, New Jersey state law restricts dog parents from letting their pets ride in the back of pickup trucks or ride with their bodies halfway out the window, but the new bill would go much farther than that. For those prospective dog parents who are searching for a new pet at a New York animal shelter or a New Jersey rescue group, investing in a harness for their vehicles may be a real possibility if the legislation ends up passing.

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