Township of Deerfield, NJ
Cumberland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[H1STORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Deerfield as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Licensing — See Ch. 124.
[Adopted 2-15-1984 by Ord. No. 1984-1 as Ch. 47, Art. I, of the 1984 Code]

§ 45-1 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
DOG OF LICENSING AGE
Any dog which has attained the age of seven months or which possesses a set of permanent teeth.
KEEPER
Any person exercising control over a dog or permitting a dog to remain on premises under his control.
KENNEL
Any establishment where the business of boarding, selling or breeding dogs for sale is carried on, except a pet shop.
[Amended 12-1-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-7]
A. 
Nuisance dogs. The definition of nuisance dogs includes, but is not limited to, dogs whose owners repeatedly allow them to:
(1) 
Bark excessively;
(2) 
Roam free or unrestrained;
(3) 
Trespass on private property;
(4) 
Damage property;
(5) 
Molest passersby;
(6) 
Chase vehicles; and/or
(7) 
Disturb the peace in any way.
B. 
Vicious dogs.
(1) 
Vicious dogs are defined as dogs who, unprovoked, have attacked or bitten a human being or animal, or have a known propensity, tendency or disposition to attack unprovoked, to cause injury or to endanger the safety of human beings or animals.
(2) 
No dog shall be declared "vicious" if injury or damage is sustained by a person who was willfully trespassing or committing or attempting to commit a crime or committing other tort upon the premises occupied by the owner or keeper of the dog. Also exempted are dogs who were teased, tormented, abused or assaulted by the injured person or animal prior to attacking or biting. No dog shall be declared vicious if the dog was protecting or defending a human being in its immediate vicinity from attack or assault.
(3) 
The definition of vicious dog also includes dogs who are trained or kept for dogfighting or any of the breeds commonly referred to as belonging to the “Pit Bull” variety or terrier, which consists of the following breeds or breed types and mixtures: American Staffordshire Terrier, American Pit Bull and Pit Bull Terrier. No person shall own, keep or have the custody, care or control of any of these breeds or mixtures thereof in the Township of Deerfield.
C. 
Potentially vicious dogs. Potentially vicious dogs are defined as dogs who, when unprovoked, in a vicious or terrorizing manner approach any person or animal in an apparent attitude of attack in any public place in Deerfield Township.
OWNER (when applied to the proprietorship of a dog)
Includes every person having a right of property in the dog and every person who has a dog in his keeping.
PET SHOP
Any room or group of rooms, cage or exhibition pen, not part of a kennel, where dogs are kept or displayed for sale.
POUND
An establishment for the confinement of dogs seized either under the provisions of this article or otherwise.
POUNDMASTER
Dog Registrar and Control Officer.
SHELTER
Any establishment where dogs are received, housed and distributed without charge.

§ 45-2 Licensing requirements.

Licenses shall be required for the following dogs of licensing age:
A. 
Any dog owned or kept within the Township by a resident of the Township on the first day of January of any calendar year.
B. 
Any dog acquired by any person during the course of any calendar year and kept within the Township for more than 10 days after acquisition.
C. 
Any dog attaining licensing age during the course of the calendar year.
D. 
Any unlicensed dog brought into the Township by any person and kept within the Township for more than 10 days.
E. 
Any dog licensed by another state brought into the Township by any person and kept within the Township for more than 10 days.

§ 45-3 Application for license.

A. 
Each application for a license under this article shall give the following information:
(1) 
A general description of the dog sought to be licensed, including breed, sex, age, color and markings and whether the dog is of a long- or-short-haired variety.
(2) 
Name, street and post office address of the owner of and person who shall keep or harbor the dog.
B. 
Registration numbers shall be issued in the order in which applications are received.

§ 45-4 Time for license application.

Applications for licenses for dogs which are required to be licensed by the provisions of § 45-2A shall be made before the first day of February of each calendar year. In all other cases, the application for a license shall be made within 10 days of the day upon which the dog in question first becomes subject to the provisions of this article.

§ 45-5 License record.

The information on all applications under this article and the registration number issued to each licensed dog shall be preserved for a period of three years by the Township Clerk. In addition, he shall forward similar information to the State Department of Health each month on forms furnished by the Department.

§ 45-6 License fees.

[Amended 12-1-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-7; 10-17-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-11]
The person applying for a license shall pay a fee of $7 for each dog. However, after March 31 of each year the fee shall be $10 for each dog licensed.

§ 45-7 Expiration of license.

Each dog license and registration tag shall expire on the last day of January of the calendar year following the calendar year in which it was issued.

§ 45-8 Disposition of fees.

[Amended 7-15-1992 by Ord. No. 1992-3]
A. 
License fees and other moneys, except the registration tag fees, shall be paid to the Township Clerk after the application is filed with the office of the Township Clerk and shall be placed in a special account separate from any of the other accounts of the Township within five days and shall be used for the following purposes only: collecting, keeping and disposing of dogs liable to seizure under this article; local prevention and control of rabies; all other purposes prescribed by the statutes of New Jersey governing the subject; and administering the provisions of this article. Any unexpended balance remaining in the special account shall be retained therein until the end of the third fiscal year following and may be used for any of the purposes set forth in this section. At the end of the third fiscal year following and at the end of each fiscal year thereafter, there shall be transferred from the special account to the general funds of the Township any amount then in the account which is in excess of the total amount paid into the special account during the last two fiscal years next preceding.
B. 
The registration tag fee of $1 for each dog shall be forwarded within 30 days after collection by the Clerk to the State Department of Health.

§ 45-9 Annual dog canvass.

The Township Clerk of the Township shall annually cause a canvass to be made of all dogs owned, kept or harbored within the limits of the Township and shall report to the Health Officer and the State Department of Health the results thereof, setting forth in separate columns the names and addresses of persons owning, keeping or harboring dogs, the number of licensed dogs owned, kept or harbored by each person, together with the registration number of each dog; the number of unlicensed dogs owned, kept or harbored by each person, together with a complete description of each unlicensed dog.

§ 45-10 Vicious dogs.

[Amended 12-1-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-7]
Control of vicious dogs. No person owning or keeping a vicious dog shall permit the dog to be off the property of the owner or keeper without being securely muzzled.

§ 45-11 Impounding of dogs.

[Amended 12-1-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-7]
A. 
The Animal Control Officer shall seize and impound a dog when the officer has reasonable cause to believe that the dog:
(1) 
Attacked a person and caused death or serious bodily injury as defined in N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1b to that person;
(2) 
Caused bodily injury, as defined in N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1a, to a person during an unprovoked attack and poses a serious threat of harm to persons or domestic animals;
(3) 
Engaged in dogfighting activities as described in N.J.S.A 4:22-24 and 4:22-26; or
(4) 
Has been trained, tormented, badgered, baited or encouraged to engage in unprovoked attacks upon persons or domestic animals.
B. 
The dog shall be impounded until the final disposition as to whether the dog is vicious or potentially dangerous.
C. 
The Animal Control Officer shall document all evidence relating to the decision to seize and impound the dog, including statements from witnesses, complainants or victims, regarding the dog, concerning specific incidents, in detail, and including the date or dates and the names, addresses and telephone numbers of such witnesses, complainants or victims; police reports; observations of the Animal Control Officer; and other relevant information.

§ 45-12 Access to premises.

Any officer or agent authorized or empowered to perform any duty under this article is hereby authorized to go on any premises to seize for impounding any dog which he may lawfully seize and impound when the officer is in immediate pursuit of the dog, except on the premises of the owner of the dog if the owner is present and forbids the same.

§ 45-13 Notice of seizure.

[Amended 12-1-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-7]
A. 
The Animal Control Officer shall notify the Municipal Court immediately that he has seized and impounded a dog pursuant to § 45-11 and that a hearing is required. The Animal Control Officer shall, through a reasonable attempt, determine the identity of the owner of any dog seized and impounded pursuant to § 45-11. If its owner cannot be identified within seven days, the dog may be humanely destroyed.
B. 
The Animal Control Officer shall, within three working days of the determination of the identity of the owner of a dog seized and impounded pursuant to § 45-11, notify by certified mail, return receipt requested, the owner concerning the seizure and impoundment and that, if the owner wishes, a hearing will be held to determine whether the impounded dog is vicious or potentially dangerous. This notice shall also require that the owner return, within seven days, by certified mail or hand delivery, a signed statement indicating whether he wishes the hearing to be conducted or, if not, relinquishing ownership of the dog, in which case the dog may be humanely destroyed. If the owner cannot be notified by certified mail, return receipt requested, or refuses to sign for the certified letter or does not reply to the certified letter with a signed statement within seven days of receipt, the dog may be humanely destroyed.
C. 
In the event that the owner requests a hearing, the Animal Control Officer shall promptly notify the Municipal Court Administrator and the Municipal Court Prosecutor. The Animal Control Officer shall be responsible to provide the Municipal Court Prosecutor with all evidence relating to the dog in question, including the names, addresses and telephone numbers of witnesses who should be subpoenaed for the hearing and their probable testimony.

§ 45-14 Disposition of unclaimed dogs.

The Poundmaster is authorized and empowered to cause the destruction of any unclaimed dog, in as humane a manner as possible, under any of the following contingencies:
A. 
When any dog so seized has not been claimed by the person owning, keeping or harboring the dog within seven days after notice or within seven days of the dog's detention when notice has not been or cannot be given as set forth in the previous section.
B. 
If the person owning, keeping or harboring any dog so seized has not claimed the dog and has not paid all expenses incurred by reason of its detention, including maintenance, not to exceed $4 per day.

§ 45-15 General regulations.

No person shall own, keep or harbor a dog in the Township except in compliance with the provisions of this article and the following regulations:
A. 
Wearing of registration tag. All dogs which are required by the provisions of this article to be licensed shall wear a collar or harness with the registration tag for the dog securely fastened thereto.
B. 
Use of registration tags. No person, except an officer in the performance of his duties, shall remove a registration tag from the collar of any dog without the consent of the owner, nor shall any person attach a registration tag to a dog for which it was not issued.
C. 
Interference with official duties. No person shall hinder, molest or interfere with anyone authorized or empowered to perform any duty under this article.
D. 
Disturbing the peace. No person shall own, keep, harbor or maintain any dog which habitually barks or cries between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.
E. 
Leashing of dogs. No person owning, keeping or harboring any dog shall suffer or permit it to be upon the public streets or in any of the public places of the Township unless such dog is accompanied by a person over the age of 12 years and is securely confined and controlled by an adequate leash not more than eight feet long.
F. 
Property damage. No person owning, keeping or harboring a dog shall permit or suffer it to do any injury or to do any damage to any lawn, shrubbery, flowers, grounds or property.

§ 45-16 Dog bites.

Where it has been determined by a physician that a person has been bitten by a dog, the individual, or his parent or guardian if he is a minor, shall immediately notify the police. When the owner or keeper of any dog is notified by the police that the dog has bitten any individual or individuals, the owner or keeper of the dog must comply with the following procedures:
A. 
Have the dog examined by a licensed veterinarian within 12 hours.
B. 
Have the dog kept in quarantine in the owner's home or at a kennel for a period of 10 days.
C. 
At the end of 10 days have the dog reexamined by a veterinarian and a written report of the dog's state of health sent to the Board of Health.

§ 45-17 Enforcement.

The Chairman of the Township Committee shall have the power to appoint a Poundmaster or an agency to serve as Poundmaster, whose duty it shall be to enforce the provisions of this article. The Chairman of the Township Committee shall also have the power to appoint any agency or one or more persons, to be known as "dogcatchers," who may impound unlicensed dogs running at large in violation of the provisions of this article.

§ 45-18 Violations and penalties.

Any person or persons found guilty of violating any of the provisions of this article shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $500 or by imprisonment in the county jail for a term not exceeding 90 days, or both, at the discretion of the Municipal Judge of the Township of Deerfield.
[Adopted 2-15-1984 by Ord. No. 1984-1 as Ch. 47, Art. II, of the 1984 Code]

§ 45-19 License required. [1]

Any person who keeps or operates or proposes to establish a kennel, pet shop, shelter or pound shall apply to the Township Clerk for a license entitling him to keep or operate such establishment. Such application shall describe the premises where the establishment is located or is proposed to be located and the purpose or purposes for which it is to be maintained and shall be accompanied by the written approval of the Health Officer of the Township of Deerfield, showing compliance with the local and state rules and regulations governing the location of and sanitation at such establishment.
[1]
Editor's Note: For general provisions applicable to licensing, see Ch. 124, Licensing.

§ 45-20 Fees.

[Amended 12-1-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-7]
The annual license fee for a kennel providing accommodations for four or less dogs shall be $10, and for more than four dogs, $25. The annual license fee for a pet shop shall be $10. No fee shall be charged for a shelter.

§ 45-21 Expiration of license; revocation.

All licenses issued for a kennel, pet shop or shelter shall state the purpose for which the establishment is maintained, and all such licenses shall expire on the last day of January of each year and be subject to revocation by the municipality on recommendation of the State Department of Health or Health Officer of the Township of Deerfield for failure to comply with the rules and regulations of the State Department or the Health Department of the Township of Deerfield, after the owner has been afforded a hearing by either the State Department or local department.