She said her 19-year-old son, Arthur, who is severely autistic, doesn’t understand it, either.
“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.
“How can I teach Arthur that there is justice in the world when we moved here and now his dogs are being taken away,” she said.
Kolb would like the township to understand that she has no reason to own dogs that would harm anyone.
“I’m married, I have a business, I like to cook, I have the blessing of a wonderful son, does this sound like the profile of someone who would have killer dogs,” she asked. “Why would we have spent the last three years training them if they were that dangerous?”
After a series of incidents in Jersey City, followed by a contempt charge in Jefferson Township, Kolb and her husband Gary may be forced to forfeit the two African Borboel dogs or face them being euthanized.
The Kolbs will be in municipal court in Jefferson on Thursday night to give the court their decision after prosecutor James LaSala offered them one week to decide whether to forfeit the dogs before he proceeded with a motion that could include euthanization of the animals.
Court records indicate that the dogs knocked over a woman and her grandchild in Jersey City in 2008, and bit people twice in 2009.
Kolb said she has explanations for each incident, and believes that her dogs were not at fault in any of the Hudson County cases.
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 three-foot leashes.
However, according to Jefferson police, the Kolbs were cited for walking the dogs without a muzzle on Oct. 18, 2011, putting them in contempt of the agreement they had signed.
Kolb explained that on the morning in question, Jumba removed his muzzle because a bear was nearby and he panicked. Imani’s muzzle was on the whole time police were present, she said.
“We have complied with every point of the agreement,” Kolb said. “The police even came and inspect our house to be sure everything was in order so the neighbors were comfortable. We even had a police escort out of Jersey City.”
Jefferson Mayor Russell Felter contended that township officials didn’t know the dogs were coming until well after they’d arrived.
“We inspected the house after the incident last October, but not before,” he said.
“It’s just shocking to me the way the town is lying,” Kolb said.
Jumba and Imani currently reside at Woofs N Whiskers in Andover, and the Kolbs go visit them every day, bringing them food.
“Yet we are still charged $25 a day for their care, and I don’t understand, since we bring them food and watch them eat it,” Kolb said.
“The charge is for boarding,” Felter said. “Any place that shelters animals requires a boarding fee, and owners still have to bring food.”
The Kolbs have to make their decision public in court on Thursday, as Judge William Bowkley told them it is time to “fish or cut bait.”
The Kolbs have not indicated what their decision will be, and their attorney Robert Dunn said he will “have a decision by the next hearing.”
The Kolbs have the right to appeal the municipal court’s decision.
“I think this is still America, and Jefferson Township doesn’t have the right to ignore all the laws of the whole country,” Kolb said.
For more information on Jumba and Imani, visit www.savenjdogs.com.