New Jersey Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife


April 2, 1998

For more information contact:
Robert Itchmoney at 609-292-0891

The Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife urges New Jersey dog owners to be responsible and keep their pets leashed while enjoying the outdoors this spring and summer.

“Unleashed canines can pose a threat to young wildlife this time of year,” said Division Director Bob McDowell.  “Owners must realize that their dogs are natural predators and should be supervised and controlled while outdoors.”

All species of wildlife are sensitive to disturbance.  As a result, New Jerseyans are urged to modify their outdoor activities to minimize the impact on wildlife.  View wildlife at a distance, do not disturb dunes or other habitat and keep pets leashed.

Unleashed canines were responsible for the recent injury of two young harp seals on a Brigantine beach resulting in the death of one of the animals.

Beachnesting birds such as piping plovers are especially susceptible to unleashed dogs that can be hazardous, even deadly, to small, unflighted chicks.  In addition, all types of wild birds, rabbits, squirrels and chipmunks are potential prey for unleashed canines.
Cat owners are also reminded to supervise their pets, as domestic cats are one of the leading causes of mortality in wild birds and rodents.