CHATHAM,  NJ - Resident Michael Neibert came before the Chatham Township Committee, asking for an amended ordinance that would allow him to protect his dog from repeated attacks from a neighbor's German Shepherd. 

Neibert, a resident of Parkview Road, told the committee during the public portion of the meeting held Thursday night that he cannot walk his rescue Collie without fear that his neighbor's German Shepherd will attack his dog. There have been three attacks in the last year, one in which his wife was knocked to the ground. The third came on May 7 when his dog required emergency care for its injuries.

"When I went to talk to the court administrator in Madison, he told me it's not an ordinance and that animal control has to be contacted," Neibert said. "The ordinance covers damage to a tree, a shrub, ornamentation, everything but another dog. I'm sure there is a state law about a dog injuring a person. He put my wife down on the ground, this dog. He's a large, male German Shepherd and my dog is older and can't defend himself at his age.

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"What I need is a third party, like a judge, to make a decision as to how to prevent this from happening again. If there was a local ordinance (that included pet on pet violence) I wouldn't have to rely on an animal control officer. I could have filed a complaint and gotten a summons." 

Michael Neibert asks the township committee to amend the ordinance so that a summons can be issued if his neighbor's dog attacks his dog again

Neibert said he went through mediation when his wife was knocked down by the German Shepherd, but noted that the remedies agreed to were not enforceable and that the third attack followed.

"I was able to follow up and fight because the town has an ordinance about the dog injuring a person, but not another dog," Neibert said.

Albert Cruz, township attorney, suggested that the resident go through Animal Control