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'Heartbroken' Family Agrees To Give Up Dog

Jefferson residents Susan and Gary Kolb's dog Imani would be moved to a facility out of state, per agreement with officials.

The legal battle may be over, but for the Kolb family, the mourning process is just beginning.

After a protracted court struggle to win back custody of their pets, Susan and Gary Kolb have agreed to let the animal go in exchange for keeping their dog out of harms way.

"This is not the outcome we were hoping for," Susan Kolb said in an e-mail. "My husband is broken-hearted and so is my son."

Susan and Gary Kolb agreed to forfeit their Boerboel named Imani as a way to resolve a criminal charge and civil forfeiture issues plaguing the Jefferson residents. 

Kolb agreed to transferring Imani to a Utah facility that specializes in handling Boerboels, and according to Kolb, if the transfer happens by April 10, the state is willing to halt prosecution on a charge of violating a consent order she signed in Jersey City in October 2011.

"There are still a lot of hurdles to overcome so we are reserving our judgement until the agreement is signed and Imani is safe and out of harm's way," Kolb said.

Last week, Jefferson Township prosecutor James LaSala said he did not see the Kolbs bringing Imani home and anticipated the trial ending, “by forwarding the request to forfeit the dog and authorize to euthanize/put down Imani.”

At the time, LaSala said he is was willing to consider having the dog placed permanently away from the Kolbs in an appropriate facility where they can either house the dog or have the credentials to retrain Imani.

"Gary can't believe he is being asked to give up Imani whom he has spent so many wonderful hours bonding with," Susan Kolb said. "Training and getting to know all because of a minor infraction in the middle of the night that caused no one any harm."

Susan and her husband Gary were originally indicted on contempt of court charges after police found them walking their African Boerbel pet dogs unmuzzled, per court order, on Oct. 18, 2011. A state Superior Court Judge dismissed the charge against Gary Kolb.

Gary and Susan Kolb have been battling since 2008 in various state courts to keep the two 100-pound dogs, Jumba, a male and Imani, a female, after the dogs allegedly knocked over a woman and her grandchild in 2008 and allegedly bit two people in 2009 while the couple lived in Jersey City.

The Kolbs moved to Jefferson in October 2011 after the Jersey City incidents. The Kolbs were ordered to keep the dogs muzzled and on a short leash while they were being walked in public. The dogs were taken away following the Jefferson incident, and Jumba died in January while living in a shelter.

The Kolbs continued to try to regain possession of Imani, who is kenneled in Hackettstown.

For her part, Susan Kolb said the infraction of the dog removing his own muzzle could have gone unnoticed if not for three "self appointed vigilantes who had nothing better to do."

Now the Kolb family will say goodbye to another member of their extended family.

"Imani is a member of our family and we have tried to protect her and Jumba with everything we have and as vigorously as possible," Susan Kolb said.


Rita Ross March 25, 2013 at 02:11 PM
My error for saying LaSala was elected. Just what is there for the Mayor to comment on? Do you really think the Mayor would criticize LaSala? After all, LaSala is 'protecting' the people of Jefferson. You keep on blaming the Kolbs for defying the court order, and I keep on saying you should blame the officials for not doing anything when they defied the court order. To quote your constant refrain, I thought I covered that before! That the Kolbs did not send Jumba and Imani to California is understandable. They wanted their dogs and who knows the initial pressure on them when they agreed to send them. Again, I thought I covered that before!
james joyce April 01, 2013 at 04:40 PM
Hey muppets, wake up and read through your tears for a second. Coincidences don't exist. There is not a conspiracy between Jersey City and Jefferson Township and their neighbors to take the Kolb's dogs away from them. They were taken away because these people are incredibly irresponsible. I was bit by these dogs in Jersey City in 2009 and the owners did not act like a resonsible dog owner. Instead they refused to help me, refused to give me any information on them (the Kolbs) or their dogs, and failed to report a dog attack to the police. Where is the logic behind this sympathy for the family? People bad mouthed Michael Vick for being a bad dog owner but people can cheer on the Kolbs? These guys are horrible dog owners as well. Please trust me on this for your own good: you do not want Susan and Gary Kolb owning a dog. You don't. They are irresponsible parents and dog owners. You have a handful of stories about these people, I lived in their neighborhood in Jersey City and once I was attacked I heard all the other people telling me their experiences with this joke of a family. Cheer on the responsible but do not empathize with somebody just because they say they are sad. Let's start holding people accountable.
Jim Copeland April 06, 2013 at 01:25 PM
One of my neighbors has a dog that he says is a Bazinge ( I have never heard of this breed or seen anything quite like it) while I was out walking a few weeks ago he came out of his house and then he bent down and took off the dogs muzzle.At first I thought that he was planning an attack but he kept him on his leash.I tried to lighted the situation up a little by joking that it looked like he had reversed what people normaly do.and then he volunteered that his Grand Children were visiting. I walk a different way now. I think that when it comes to Family pets people lose thier minds. JC
Rita Ross April 06, 2013 at 02:38 PM
Jim Copeland: The dog is a Basenji, not "Bazinge." That your neighbor has his dog wear a muzzle when his grandchildren are visiting indicates a person who should never have a pet. Note the comment below which comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on basenji, visit Britannica.com. , "It (the Basenji] is clean and gentle." Also from Encyclopaedia Britannica Concise: [Basenji] Ancient breed of hound native to central Africa, where it is used to point and retrieve and to drive quarry into a net. Known as the barkless dog, it produces a variety of sounds other than barks. Its finely wrinkled forehead, erect ears, and tightly curled tail give it a characteristic alert expression. It has a short, silky reddish brown, black, or black-and-tan coat and white feet, chest, and tail tip. It stands 16–17 in. (41–43 cm) high and weighs 22–24 lbs (10–11 kg). It is clean and gentle. This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on basenji, visit Britannica.com.
Karen Currier April 12, 2013 at 07:35 PM
Was it a vicious attack, Mr. Joyce? Please explain so we can understand your obvious hostility.

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