New Jersey ranks second only to California in having developed strong animal protection laws, according to the Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest animal protection organization. The society ranked every state in 65 categories dealing with pets, animal cruelty, wildlife, horses, farm animals and the use of animals in research. New Jersey scored 41 out of 65 possible points.
The Garden State scored highest with laws against animal fighting, wildlife abuse, the prohibition of exotic pets and the protection of animals in research. Oddly enough, New Jersey, which has the horse as its state animal, rated most poorly in equine protection.
The next three states on the list behind California and New Jersey were Colorado, Maine and Massachusetts. At the bottom of the list were South Dakota, which scored only 8 of 65 possible points, Alabama, Hawaii, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and Ohio.