[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Florence 11-13-1996 by Ord. No. 1996-19. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Land development — See Ch. 91.
Noise — See Ch. 102.
Public Health nuisances — See Ch. 104.
Parks and recreation — See Ch. 110.
It is the objective of this chapter to protect the public and animals from the spread of rabies to animals and humans and to protect the public from animal-related nuisances and threats of public health safety and welfare.
It has been determined that these objectives can be fostered by assuring that animal owners meet responsibilities for the control and care of their pets.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ANIMAL CONTROL AUTHORITY
- Any person or agency designated or certified by the State of New Jersey to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
- AT LARGE
- Any dog or cat, licensed or unlicensed, registered or unregistered, muzzled, unmuzzled, traveling unattended by at least one person and under no control by harness, rope, leash on other proper controlling device.
- A domesticated carnivore, Felis Domestica, bred in many varieties, of either sex of variety, whether or not neutered or spayed.
- A domesticated carnivore, Canis Familaris bred in many varieties, of either sex or variety, whether or not neutered or spayed.
- A tract of land of six acres or more.
- Any establishment wherein or whereon the business of boarding or selling dogs or breeding dogs for sale is carried on, except a pet shop.
- LICENSING AUTHORITY
- The Clerk of the Township of Florence or any designated representative thereof charged with administering the issuance and revocation of permits and licenses under the provisions of this chapter.
- Rendered permanently incapable of reproduction as certified by a licensed veterinarian.
- When applied to the proprietorship of a dog or cat, includes every person having a right of property or custody in such dog or cat, and every person who has such dog or cat in his/her keeping or who harbors or maintains a dog or cat or knowingly permits a dog or cat to remain on or about any premises occupied by that person.
- Any individual, corporation, partnership, organization or institution commonly recognized by law as a unit.
- PET STORE
- Any room or group of rooms, cage or exhibition pen, not part of a kennel, wherein dogs or cats for sale are kept or displayed.
- PUBLIC NUISANCE
- Within the purview of this chapter, a dog or cat shall be considered a public nuisance if it has no known owner or custodian or if it has no known place of care or shelter or if it habitually trespasses upon or damages either private or public property or annoys, bites, scratches or harms lawful uses or occupants thereof.
[Amended 5-6-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-10]
It shall be unlawful for any dog or cat to travel at large either upon the public streets or other public or private places, other than upon the private property of the owner or keeper of such dog or cat within said Township of Florence.
It shall be unlawful for any dog or cat to be allowed to enter upon any portion of public properties used for organized sports and other recreation activities or services, including but not limited to those areas used for baseball and softball fields, football and soccer fields, basketball and tennis courts, tot-lots and play areas, batting cages and warm-up areas, memorial gardens and monument areas.
The Township of Florence is hereby authorized to rent or otherwise prepare a suitable place or places, within or without said township, to be used as a public pound for the retention, care and maintenance of any dog or cat seized or otherwise taken under the authority of this chapter.
The Mayor and Council shall have the power to appoint one or more animal control officers for such period or periods of time as it may deem advisable. The animal control officer will have the authority to enforce all provisions of this chapter.
Whenever any dog or cat, as indicated in § 41-3 of this chapter, shall be found traveling at large, it shall be the duty of any animal control officer or of any member of the uniformed Police Department of said township, or other persons thereby designated and authorized, to seize or otherwise take into possession such dog or cat and to take or transport such dog or cat to the public pound established for such purpose and thereto be retained. If said dog or cat shall not have been redeemed by payment of costs and charges as authorized by law within seven days following its detention, said dog may be offered for adoption upon public notice being provided, as required by N.J.S.A. 4:19-15.16, and notice that such dog or cat will be offered for adoption given to the owner or keeper of such dog or cat, if known; or if the name and address of the owner or keeper of such dog or cat cannot be reasonably ascertained and, in the opinion of said animal control officer or Police Department, such dog or cat is not valued at the amount of costs and charges assessable against it and it is not reclaimed within seven days after notice, when such notice can be given, said animal control officer or Police Department may cause said dog or cat to be destroyed in any manner causing as little pain as possible.
This chapter shall not be deemed to be inconsistent with any law of the State of New Jersey controlling the licensing of dogs or cats and kennels, but only as supplemental thereto.
Any and all costs incident to the seizing or taking or detention of any dog or cat by virtue of this chapter shall be paid by the owner of said dog or cat.
Every owner of or person who harbors or keeps a dog or cat within the limits of Florence Township shall report to the Township Clerk annually, within 30 days after the first day of January each year, his or her name and address and shall give the name, breed, color and sex of each and every dog and/or cat owned or kept by said person and shall pay to the Township Clerk of the Township of Florence a fee as established in Schedule A of Chapter 2 of the Code of the Township of Florence.
[Amended 6-2-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-11]
The owner of any dog or hybrid dog determined to be a "potentially dangerous dog" pursuant to the terms and provisions of N.J.S.A. 4:19-17 et seq., shall pay a licensing fee of $700 for a potentially dangerous dog license and a registration tag fee of $1.
Dogs used as guides for the blind and commonly known as "Seeing Eye" dogs shall be licensed and registered as other dogs, except that the owner or keeper of the dog shall not be required to pay any fee therefor.
Editor's Note: Former Subsecetion D, regarding registration and license fee for cats, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed 6-2-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-11.
No dog or cat shall be issued a license or registration tag unless the owner thereof provides evidence that said dog or cat has been given a rabies vaccine of a type approved by and administered in accordance with the recommendation of the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare, or has been certified to be exempt by the regulations of the State Department of Health of the State of New Jersey.
In the event that the owner or keeper of a dog within the Township of Florence fails to make application to the Clerk of the Township of Florence within 30 days of the first day of each year, then an additional late fee of $5 shall be charged and paid to the Township Clerk; provided, however, that where a dog or cat becomes eligible for licensing during any calendar year after January 31, then said owner or keeper of a dog or cat shall be entitled to a grace period not to exceed 30 days from the date of acquisition of the animal. After January 31, an additional late fee of $2 will be charged to the owner or keeper of a cat within the Township of Florence.
The owner of any "potentially dangerous dog," as defined in N.J.S.A. 4:19-17 et seq., shall be subject to the violations and penalties set forth in § 41-15 of this chapter in the event of failure to renew the dog license prior to January 31 of any calendar year or within 30 days of the dog becoming eligible for licensing during any calendar year after January 31.
No person owning, harboring, keeping or in charge of any dog or cat shall cause, suffer or allow such animal to do any injury to any person or any animal or do any damage to any property, either real or personal, owned privately or publicly, or permit such dog or cat to soil, defile, defecate on or commit any nuisance on any common thoroughfare, passageway, bypass, play area, park or any place where people congregate or walk or upon any public property whatsoever or upon any private property without the permission of the owner of said property; except, however, that dogs or cats may soil, defile or defecate on that portion of the public street line between the curblines, which portion of the street shall be used to curb dogs or cats.
In the event that any dog or cat shall soil, defile, defecate on or commit any nuisance contrary to the foregoing provisions, regardless if done in a place other than between the curbs, the person owning, harboring, keeping or in charge of such dog or cat shall immediately remove all feces by such dog or cat by any sanitary method, including but not limited to implements and plastic bags, to remove any feces so deposited, and said person shall dispose of such feces in a sanitary manner.
Residential properties on which animals are kept or maintained must be kept free of accumulated feces so as not to create an unsanitary or odorous nuisance as defined in Section II of the New Jersey State Department of Health Public Nuisance Code No. 102-3.
The provisions of this section shall not apply to blind persons who may use dogs as guides.
The provisions of this section shall be enforced upon written complaint by the complaining witness filed in the Municipal Court.
License fees and other moneys collected or received under the provisions of this chapter, except registration tag fees and costs, fines and fees collected pursuant to N.J.S.A. 4:19-17 et seq., shall be forwarded to the Township Chief Financial Officer within 30 days after collection or receipt and shall be placed in a special account separate from any of the other accounts of the Township and shall be used for the following purposes:
For collecting, keeping and disposing of animals liable to seizure.
Local prevention and control of rabies and for providing for anti-rabies treatment under direction of the local Board of Health for any person known or suspected to have been infected with rabies.
For all other purposes prescribed in the statutes of the State of New Jersey governing the subject and for administering the provisions of this chapter.
Any unexpended balance remaining in such special accounts 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 subsection. At the end of said third fiscal year following and at the end of each fiscal year thereafter, there should be transferred from such special account to the general funds of the township any amount that is in such account which is in excess of the total amount paid into said special account during the last two fiscal years next preceding. The registration tag fees shall be forwarded within 30 days after collection by the township to the State Department of Health.
The costs, fines and fees collected pursuant to N.J.S.A. 4:19-17 et seq., shall be deposited in a special account separate from any of the other accounts of the Township and shall be used by the township to administer and enforce the provisions of N.J.S.A. 4:19-17 et seq.
[Amended 10-20-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-17]
It shall be the duty of the Chief of Police to receive and investigate complaints involving attacks or bites by any dog, including dog-fighting activities in the training or encouragement of dogs to make unprovoked attacks upon persons or domestic animals.
It shall be the duty of all appropriate Township officials to enforce the provisions of N.J.S.A. 4:19-17 et seq. as applicable within the Township.
Potentially dangerous dogs, license required. Where a dog has been declared potentially dangerous by the Municipal Court in accordance with the provisions of this section, the owner shall, within the time provided in the Court's order, or, in any event, not less than 60 days from the date of the Court's decision, obtain a special potentially dangerous dog license, registration number and red identification tag. The fee for such license, and renewals thereof, shall be $700. Renewals shall be made at the same time and manner as ordinary dog licenses, except that the same registration number shall be reissued for the life of the dog. In addition, the owner shall, at his own expense, have the registration number tattooed upon the dog in a prominent location. The time for compliance shall be tolled by the filing of an appeal.
In order to receive a license, the owner must comply with the following conditions:
Display, in a conspicuous manner, a sign on his premises warning that a potentially dangerous dog is on the premises. The sign shall be visible and legible from 50 feet of the enclosure.
Immediately erect and maintain an enclosure for the potentially dangerous dog on the property where the dog will be kept and maintained, which has sound sides, top and bottom to prevent the dog from escaping by climbing, jumping or digging and within a fence of at least six feet in height separated by at least three feet from the confined area. The owner shall securely lock the enclosure to prevent the entry of the general public and to preclude any release or escape of the dog by an unknowing child or other person. All potentially dangerous dogs shall be confined in the enclosure or, if taken out of the enclosure, securely muzzled and restrained with a tether approved by the Chief of Police and having a tensile strength sufficiently in excess of that required to restrict the potentially dangerous dog's movements to a radius of no more than three feet from the owner and under the direct supervision of the owner.
If required by the Municipal Court, provide proof of liability insurance in an amount specified by the Court to cover any damage or injury caused by the dog. The liability insurance, which may be separate from any other homeowner policy, shall contain a provision naming the Township Clerk as a party to be notified by the insurance company in the event that the policy is canceled or terminated or expires.
Seizure and impoundment:
The Chief of Police, or other designated official, shall seize and impound a dog when the officer has reasonable cause to believe that the dog:
Attacked a person and caused death or serious bodily injury, as defined in N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1b, to that person;
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;
Engaged in dog-fighting activities as described in N.J.S.A. 4:22-24 and 4:22-26; or
Has been trained, tormented, badgered, baited or encouraged to engage in unprovoked attacks upon persons or domestic animals.
The dog shall be impounded until the final disposition as to whether the dog is vicious or potentially dangerous. Subject to the approval of the Chief of Police, the dog may be impounded in a facility or other structure agreeable to the owner.
It shall be the responsibility of the Municipal Court of the Township of Florence to determine whether a dog is vicious or potentially dangerous pursuant to N.J.S.A. 4:19-17 et seq. The Court may impose a fine in accordance with penalties as provided in § 1-10 of the Florence Code.
Cost of impoundment and destruction. If a dog is declared vicious or potentially dangerous and all appeals pertaining thereto have been exhausted, the owner of the dog shall be liable to the Township for the accrued costs and expenses of the impoundment and/or destroying the dog. The owner shall incur that expense of impounding the dog in a facility other than the municipal pound, regardless of whether the dog is ultimately found to be vicious or potentially dangerous.
[Amended 10-20-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-17]
Except where otherwise provided by law:
The owner or owners or keeper or keepers of any dogs, hybrid dogs, cats or livestock (as defined in Article II) who should knowingly or willfully cause, allow, permit or otherwise be responsible for any animal traveling at large or who should otherwise violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine not exceeding $1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days or to a period of community service not exceeding 90 days, or any combination thereof.
The owner of a "potentially dangerous dog," as defined by N.J.S.A. 4:19-17 et seq., who is found by a preponderance of the evidence to have violated the provisions of this chapter or the provisions of N.J.S.A. 4:19-17 et seq. or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto or to have failed to comply with an order of the court shall be subject to a fine of not more than $1,000 per day of the violation, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days or a period of community service not exceeding 90 days, or any combination thereof, and each day's continuance of the violation shall constitute a separate offense.
Disposition of fees and fines. All fines and fees collected or received by the Township pursuant to this section shall be deposited in a special account and used by the Township to administer and enforce the provisions hereof.
The keeping of livestock shall be permitted subject to the following standards, which shall be applicable to small lots and areas rather than full-scale farms:
Not more than one livestock unit may be kept on a lot of at least one acre, provided that a pen or corral containing at least 800 square feet is included and that a stable under a roof of at least 100 square feet is provided, and further provided that the pen, corral, fences or similar enclosures are not closer than 20 feet to the adjacent property lines or 10 feet to the adjacent property lines with proper screening, but in no case closer than 50 feet to any existing neighboring dwelling.
Not more than two livestock units may be kept on a lot of at least 1 1/2 acres, provided that they are enclosed in a pen or corral containing at least 800 square feet per animal, including a stable under a roof of at least 100 square feet per animal, and further provided that the pen, corral, fences or similar enclosures are not closer than 20 feet to the adjacent property lines or 10 feet to the adjacent property with proper screening, but in no case closer than 50 feet to any existing neighboring dwelling.
Not more than three livestock units may be kept on a lot of two acres, provided that they are enclosed in a pen or corral containing 800 square feet for the livestock unit and 400 square feet for each additional livestock, including a stable under a roof containing at least 100 square feet per animal, and further provided that the pen, corral, fences or similar enclosures are not closer than 20 feet to the adjacent property lines or 10 feet to the adjacent property lines with proper screening, but in no case closer than 50 feet to any existing neighboring dwelling.
Not more than four livestock units may be kept on a lot of 2 1/2 acres and must comply with the provisions of § 41-16A(3).
Not more than five livestock units may be kept on a lot of 3 1/2 acres and must comply with the provisions of § 41-16A(3).
Nor more than six livestock units may be kept on a lot of 4 1/2 acres and must comply with the provisions of § 41-16A(3).
The "stable" shall be defined as a structure on a tract qualifying as a farm for housing livestock and products used for the keeping and handling of livestock. No structure housing livestock shall be located nearer than 50 feet to any adjacent property lines with proper screening and 50 feet to any neighboring dwelling. Stables must be built so as not to create offensive odors, fly breeding or other nuisances.
A planted buffer (all season evergreens) will be required along the dividing line between an applicant's property and that of his neighbor.
Manure from stabled horses or other livestock must be removed from a stable or a similar housing structure three times each week. Manure must be stored a minimum of 25 feet from a stable and 75 feet from the nearest neighboring dwelling. Any stockpile of manure shall not exceed 100 square feet. All stockpiles of manure shall be limed at least once every week.
Fences must be constructed of such materials and in such a manner as to prevent and preclude the escape of livestock. Any application for a building permit for a fence to pen livestock must include, in addition to any other information required, the height, the span between fence posts, a sketch of the proposed fence, the type of material to be used and whether the same has been treated. The Building Inspector shall issue a building permit for any such fence only when, in his discretion, the proposed fence shall adequately prevent the escape of livestock.
For purposes of this section, the term "livestock" shall include the term and concept "animal unit" and shall refer to domestic animals only. Livestock shall be permitted as per the provision of this section in accordance with the description, number and ratios set forth in the following Table 1. An "animal unit" shall be defined to be a large, mature, domesticated animal such as a horse, cow or steer. A horse, cow or steer shall be considered one animal unit. Combination of different types of livestock are authorized so long as the total densities are not exceeded for the acreage available. Table 1 establishing the categories and animal unit ratios and descriptions is as follows:
Notwithstanding the provisions of this section and in the event that a property contains chickens, ducks, turkeys, geese, rabbits or small birds (such as pigeons), the following pen and stable requirements shall apply:
The location of a pen, barn, cage, coop, hutch or any other type of enclosure on the property shall conform to the location requirements.
Pen or barn, fully enclosed (applicable to chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese):
Three square feet per chicken and six square feet for ducks, turkeys and geese. The total size of the pen or barn shall depend on the mix of fowl.
If the poultry or fowl has access to an outside enclosure, 15 square feet per animal. The outside enclosure shall be fenced to contain the fowl to prevent escape.
Cage or coop (applicable to pigeons): one square foot per bird. The cage or coop shall be separate from a pen or barn.
For a three-and-one-half-pound to seven-pound mature rabbit, the hutch shall be 2 1/2 feet deep by three feet long and two feet wide.
For a rabbit in excess of seven pounds to an eleven-pound mature rabbit, the size shall be 2 1/2 feet deep by four feet long by two feet wide.
For a rabbit in excess of 11 pounds to a fifteen-pound mature rabbit, the size shall be two and one-half feet deep by five feet long by two feet high.
The hutch shall be separate from cages, coops, pens or barns.
Pigeons or rabbits may be located outside a cage or coop or hutch in an area which must be fenced or fully enclosed in order to contain the pigeon or rabbit and to prevent escape.
Health requirements. In addition to the requirements of this section and any other provision of the Code of the Township of Florence with respect to the care and maintenance of animal waste, animal waste shall be managed in accordance with the recommended management practices established in "Recommended Guidelines for Home Animal Agricultural in Residential Areas," as published and revised by the New Jersey Cooperative Extension Service, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, Cook College, Rutgers, New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey, hereinafter referred to as "recommended guidelines," copies of which are on file in the office of the Township Clerk and available for public inspection during regular business hours . Furthermore, the premises on which animals on residential lots are maintained and kept shall meet and conform to the following health standards:
The location of any building, stable or other structure for the keeping of animals shall be located so as to preclude odors and sounds from interfering with the comfortable enjoyment of life and property on neighboring premises.
Buildings, food storage bins, appliances, equipment and such other facilities on premises are to be constructed and maintained in such a fashion as to permit proper cleansing.
There shall be adequate water supply on the premises to ensure proper sanitation.
Water or other liquids to which mosquitoes may have access is to be properly treated to prevent their breeding.
Disposition of animal waste, garbage, refuse or vegetable matter shall be such so as to prevent insects breeding, rodent infestation, pollution of the air or any body of water or the creation of any other unhealthy or unsanitary condition.
The Health Officer of the Township of Florence shall be authorized to inspect any premises where animals are kept for the purpose of enforcing the provisions herein.
Any person who keeps or operates or proposes to establish a kennel, a pet shop, a shelter or a pound shall apply to the Clerk of the Township or other local official designated to license dogs in the municipality for a license entitling him to keep or operate such establishment.
The application shall describe the premises where the establishment is located or is proposed to be located, 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 State Department of the Board of Health showing compliance with the local and state rules and regulations governing location of and sanitation at such establishment.
All licenses issued for a kennel, pet shop, shelter or pound 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 Township Council on recommendations of the State Department of Health for failure to comply with the rules and regulations of the State Department of the Board of Health governing the same after the owner has been afforded a hearing by the State Department Board of Health.
Any person holding such license shall not be required to secure individual licenses for dogs owned by such licensee and kept at such establishment; such license shall be transferable to another owner.
The annual fee for a kennel providing accommodations for 10 or less dogs shall be $10 and for more than 10 dogs, $25. The annual license fee for a pet shop shall be $10. No fee shall be charged for a shelter or pound.
The Clerk of the township or other local official designated to license dogs in the municipality shall forward to the State Department of Health a list of all kennels, pet shops, shelters and pounds licensed within 30 days after the licenses therefor are issued, which list shall include the name and address of the licensee and kind of license issued.
No dog kept in a kennel, pet shop, shelter or pound shall be permitted off such premises, except on a leash or in a crate or other safe control.