Jimmy Steal

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There are plenty of quirky laws on the books in towns throughout New Jersey. In Haddon Township, Statute 175-12 says it is illegal to annoy someone of the opposite sex. Hoboken prohibits residents from operating legalized “games of chance” such as bingo on Sundays before 1 p.m. And in Blairstown, Statute 171-2 says shade trees may be planted along streets and highways, but only if they don’t “obscure light and air.”

In Fanwood, they prohibit dogs.
Not throughout the entire borough, mind you, but just in the very places dog owners would most likely take their canine companions: its three public parks (LaGrande Park, Forest Road Park and Carriage House Park). Violators “may draw a summons or fine,” the borough’s official website says.

Now, a  group of Fanwood residents are hoping for an amendment to ordinance 118-23B, which reads: “No dog, except a guide dog accompanying a blind or otherwise disabled person, is permitted in any public park of the Borough of Fanwood, regardless of whether such dog is controlled by a leash.”

As you can imagine, the ordinance — adopted in June 2001 — has drawn widespread debate in recent months within the square-mile bedroom community. The large majority of municipalities in New Jersey are dog-friendly, not only allowing canines in public parks, but providing dog runs and other infrastructure.

But not Fanwood.