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'These Are Not Attack Dogs,' Oak Ridge Woman Argues

Couple must decide by next week whether to forfeit the animals.

A Jefferson Township couple has one week to decide whether to forfeit their two African Boerboel dogs to the municipality, and they have vowed to fight the town's ruling.

Gary and Susan Kolb of Oak Ridge were in municipal court on Thursday on a motion brought by Prosecutor James LaSala regarding forfeiture of the dogs.

“We will give the Kolbs one week to decide if they will forfeit the dogs to the township,” LaSala said. “If they agree to those terms, we will send the dogs to a facility outside of the state where they can possibly be trained, although I’m not entirely convinced that’s possible,” LaSala told Judge William Bowkley.

"So next week it's fish or cut bait," Bowkley said.

As part of the agreement, the Kolbs must also work out a payment plan to repay the township $10,000 that it has spent to house the dogs for the last year, LaSala said.

The two 100-pound dogs have been housed by Jefferson Township since last October. Part of their time was spent at the Jefferson Pound, but they now reside at Woofs N Whiskers in Andover, according to Deputy Police Chief William Craig.

According to a story in The Daily Record, court records from Jersey City in Hudson County showed the dogs attacked knocked over a woman holding her six-month-old granddaughter in September 2008 and bit people twice in January 2009. During one of those attacks, Susan Kolb was pulled to the ground while trying to restrain the dogs. 

The Kolbs signed an agreement to sell the dogs to a buyer in Los Angeles, but reneged on that agreement and was held in contempt of court in 2010.

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, the Daily Record reported.

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.

“If the Kolbs don’t accept this agreement, we will move forward with our motion,” LaSala said. The motion includes the possible euthanization of the dogs.

The Kolbs’ attorney, Robert Dunn, told the court they would make a decision and advise the court at their next appearance on Oct. 11. However, Susan Kolb appeared determined to fight.

“We’re going to take our attorney’s advice, but I think we’re going to fight and we’re going to win,” she said. “These are not attack dogs, they are defense dogs. It is phenomenal that they would make us leave New Jersey to be with our dogs.

"I'm a business woman and a mother. Do you really think I would have dangerous dogs that would harm kids?"

Donna Sue October 05, 2012 at 12:01 PM
sounds like they are putting people in danger by not obeying the laws. why walk them un muzzled when you know they have bitten before and could do it again. disrespectful to others.
Susan van Heerden October 05, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Whilst I agree that the dog owners put themselves, others and apparently the dogs at risk by not obeying the law as they should have, I vehemently disagree that it warrants euthanization.
ACE October 06, 2012 at 12:33 PM
They are defense dogs and not attack dogs? Knocking down a grandmother holding her grandchild and biting other people? What's the difference?! Some nutty people will put their dogs above everything else. I would not want such irresponsible dog owners living near me. They have been given ample opportunity to do the right thing.
Charles Jackson October 09, 2012 at 03:52 PM
This article fails to mention that this couple VIOLATED A COURT ORDER from 2009 in Jersey City that required them to move the dogs out of state after numerous attacks on innocent people! They didn't do what they were supposed to and they were caught with the dogs again in January of 2011! After the dogs were impounded for several months, they got the dogs back again - despite having violated a court order and flagrantly disregarding the law! They are required to keep the dogs muzzled when out on public streets by the courts, and then violate this court order too. Do they think the laws and the courts don't apply to them? If they had just followed the original court order from Jersey City, we wouldn't be reading this today. Also, I understand they live in a neighborhood with numerous small children - I would not be happy living next to these people - even if they don't get the dogs back (as they should not), what's to stop them from buying new dogs and breaking the laws again?
CookieMaker42 October 22, 2012 at 07:17 PM
What is frightening to me about this story is that the couple claims they are innocent. They have asked for and are awaiting a Trial. There doesn't even seem to be a MOTIVE. WHY WOULD THEY WALK THEIR DOGS WITHOUT MUZZLES? Makes no sense. But Jefferson Township seems bent on convicting them and killing their dogs. I for one think we should AT LEAST LISTEN TO THE FACTS. If they are wrong, they should be punished. WHAT HAVE WE BECOME AS A TOWN IF WE CONDEMN BEFORE WE LOOK FOR THE TRUTH.

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