A Jefferson couple whose two 100-pound African Boerboels have been deemed "potentially dangerous" said they are ready to move for a second time if it means getting the dogs back and saving them from possibly being euthanized.
Susan and Gary Kolb said because of "tremendous hostility" by "certain individuals in the Township of Jefferson," they asked their attorney to propose them moving "to an agreed upon location if the Township drops their complaint and returns the dogs," the couple said in an email sent Friday night to several local media organizations.
The Oak Ridge couple had been given until last Thursday to decide if they would forfeit the dogs to the township or risk the animals being put down. However, their appearance in Jefferson Municipal Court was postponed until Oct. 25.
The Kolbs signed an agreement to sell the dogs to a buyer in Los Angeles after three alleged incidents near their previous home in Jersey City, but then refused to give up the dogs and were held in contempt of court in 2010, according to the Daily Record.
In October 2011, the Kolbs agreed to move the dogs to their current residence in Oak Ridge. State law required specific fencing, an enclosure and signage be erected at the home, and the dogs could only be out in public if muzzled and secured on 3-foot leashes.
According to Jefferson Police, the Kolbs were cited in October 2011 for walking the dogs without a muzzle near their Summer Walk Circle home.
The couple claims they are "innocent of all charges and that this is a misunderstanding."
The Kolbs also owe the town approximately $10,000 for housing the dogs since last October, according to municipal officials. The dogs, Jumba and Imani, spent part of the last year at the Jefferson Pound and currently reside at Woofs N Whiskers in Andover.
Susan Kolb has disagreed with the amount they owe because the family brings the dogs food each day. However, Jefferson Mayor Russell Felter said the charge is for the facility's daily boarding fee.
Safety concerns have been raised after the dogs allegedly knocked over a woman and her grandchild in 2008 and allegedly bit two people, including one man in the groin, in 2009. However, Susan Kolb said her dogs were not at fault in any of those Hudson County incidents.
Kolb also trusts the dogs with her .
"It’s a proven fact how much animals can help autistic people,” Kolb said. “Arthur isn’t really capable of holding long conversations, but he can have a friendship with an animal. He isn’t able to have that with his peers."
The Kolbs have established a website, savenjdogs.com, and have raised more than $4,000 since May 23 toward their goal of $20,000 for the "Jumba and Imani Defense Fund."
Susan Kolb said her family doesn't understand why they have been "put in the Biblical position of giving up custody of the dogs or having the dogs killed."