Old Nanny in a Bad Situation

Does anyone know if in Northern New Jersey, animals are provided some sort of protection under the law? My former nanny is now working for a family in Bergen County and she is terrified of the father of the home. She has seen him pick up the 2 year old dog twice, once throwing it down the steps of the deck for having an accident in the house. She also says he kicks the dog in the stomach "all the time", "whenever it's in the way" and that he does it in front of the young children, but never the wife.

If there is nowhere to report this animal abuse, what are the laws of say leaving your own cellphone to capture animal abuse on camera? She is afraid to tell her female boss or anyone about because her employer is "big and powerful" but says if she had proof, she wouldn't be scared because she would be believed.

We don't use a nanny any longer as our kids go to school full time and an after school program. But I am worried for her. In addition to the abuse against a helpless animal, she told me that he one time walked in on her reminding the four year old to take his shoes off because he was tracking mud across the carpet. The father's response was to go outside and yank out a flower plant and throw it on the carpet, so mud and dirt went everywhere. He then told her, "Stop harping on my son."

This sounds completely unreasonable, right? I don't know how to help her but she sounds very frightened of this man. We live two hours away from her, so I don't know anything first hand, but she worked for us for four years and was as good as you could be. I keep telling her to quit and she can stay with us while she looks for another job. She is afraid to quit, afraid to do anything to make this guy mad.

Is there anything else I can do? I really think she should just leave the situation as quickly as she can. She's worried about having a contract (a one year agreement) and thinks he will "come after her". To be honest, this whole situation is starting to stress me out!


Anonymous said...

She needs to leave ASAP! This sounds miserable if not also very dangerous! If she is truly frightened, you can maybe help her move out while the family is away. Or else she can tell him there was an emergency in the family.

Then she can stay with you and you can provide great references for a new family. Try and make sure she finds a better family, maybe interview their former nannies or something.

Jessica said...

I dont know where all the hand wringing posts are coming from! Whatever happened to commonsense? If you see abuse,report it. Call the non emergency number at the police station and let them decide on the best action. Look up animal rights in your area, call a vet, tell the mom. Who cares if you have no proof. You witnessed it. It cannot be an issue of wanting to have proof to avoid being fired. Either way, you'd have to leave. There's no way to work for a family that you've reported. AND you shouldn't want to stay.
Kicks and being thrown down the stairs would show up on a vet exam but for heaven's sakes, leave! No job is worth living in fear. If you fear your boss, they should no longer be your boss. After the mud incident,I'd have known he's an angry, irascible unreasonable person. I wouldn't wait for further dog abuse before leaving. Seriously ridiculous post! We're not helpless little wrens. We're adults employed in a professional capacity. If it doesn't work and or you're in a hostile environment QUIT!!!

Anonymous said...

Animal cruelty is against the law, and based on research, if they are that way to animals, they will certainly be that way to children and/or adults. Call the police and report it, or get the puppy out of there!

this_nick said...


this_nick said...

Everything Jessica said times 1,000. Tell her to pack up her stuff and be ready to leave. Drive over there with your spouse to pick her up when the dad boss isn't home. BTW, she should call not only animal authorities but DCF.

Anonymous said...

I agree with some of what Jessica said; ask her to look up animal rights in her area, tell the mom, and swiftly get out of that situation. I think it's wonderful that you're willing to offer her a place to stay. As for the contract, that might be a bit more dicey. If it's a written contract, perhaps there's something in there she can find that says something about how she could leave prior to the expiration of her contract, and just get out of there. If she fears for her safety, she should not be in that situation.

For the record, the "proof" of the dog abuse would most likely be more important to the mom than the authorities.