Township of Bloomfield, NJ
Essex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Bloomfield Board of Health as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Animals — See Ch. 134.
Public nuisances (Board of Health) — See Ch. 640.
[Adopted 6-9-2004 (Ch. 282 of the 1987 Code)]
It shall be unlawful for any person to keep or maintain swine, goats, cattle, horses, other livestock, or ducks, geese, pigeons, chickens or other fowl within the Township of Bloomfield on any private or public plot of land or other premises.
It shall be the duty of all persons owning or having interest in or having in their possession or under their control or having knowledge of any dog, cat or other animal affected with rabies or suspected of being affected with rabies to report this fact immediately to the Board of Health or the Health Officer by telephone and in writing. The written report shall contain a description of the animal, the location of the animal and the name and address of the owner.
A. 
By reason of the density of the population in the Township and the offensiveness of slaughterhouses, live-chicken markets and similar places, it is hereby declared that a slaughterhouse or any market or store where live animals or fowl are kept for sale or slaughtered on the premises occupied by or connected with such market or store is a nuisance and shall not be conducted or permitted in the Township.
B. 
No person shall slaughter, kill or butcher, or raise or keep for the purpose of slaughtering, killing or butchering, any swine, sheep, goats, cattle, other livestock or fowl within the Township of Bloomfield.
Because of the density of population in the Township of Bloomfield, and the danger to health caused by a large number of permanently domiciled domestic animals in any one household and odors arising therefrom, it is determined that no one household may keep more than five permanently domiciled domestic animals over the age of three months at any one time.
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any reason to feed any migratory or resident waterfowl or wildlife on any private or public land within the Township.
B. 
It shall be unlawful to create any condition or allow any condition to exist which results in a congregation or congestion of migratory or resident waterfowl or wildlife within the Township which:
(1) 
Results in an accumulation of feces or droppings;
(2) 
Results in damage to flora, fauna or private or public property;
(3) 
Results in a threat or nuisance to the public health, safety or welfare; or
(4) 
Results in a threat to the health, safety or welfare of said migratory or resident waterfowl or wildlife.
C. 
This chapter shall not be applicable to residential bird feeders.
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine not exceeding $1,000, imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days or a period of community service not exceeding 90 days or a combination thereof, and each violation of any of the provisions of this chapter and each day this same is violated shall be deemed and taken to be a separate and distinct offense.
Should any section, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase of this chapter be declared unconstitutional or invalid for any reason, the remainder of said chapter shall not be affected thereby.
In any case where a provision of this chapter is found to be in conflict with any state or federal regulation on the effective date of this article, the provision which establishes the higher standard for the promotion and protection of the health and safety of the people shall prevail.
[Adopted 6-21-2006 as §§ 78-42 through 78-48 of the 1987 Code; amended in its entirety 3-30-2020 by Ord. No. 20-17]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ABANDON
Forsake a cat entirely or neglect to provide appropriate care and support for a cat.
ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER
Any person employed or appointed by the Township who is authorized to investigate violations of laws and regulations concerning animals, and to issue citations in accordance with New Jersey law and this Code.
COMMUNITY CAT
Any free-roaming, feral, or barn cat that may be cared for by one or more residents of the immediate area and which has no discernible form of ownership identification.
COMMUNITY CAT CAREGIVER
Any person who provides food, water or shelter to, or otherwise cares for, a community cat. A community cat caregiver shall not be considered to be the owner, custodian, harborer, controller or keeper of a community cat.
EAR-TIPPING
The removal of the one-quarter-inch tip of a community cat's left ear. This means straight-line cutting of the tip of the left ear of a cat by a licensed veterinarian while the cat is anesthetized. This indicates that the community cat has been sterilized and vaccinated for rabies.
FERAL CAT
Feral cats are:
A. 
Born in the wild;
B. 
Offspring of tame or feral cats and not socialized; or
C. 
Formerly tame cats who have been abandoned and have reverted to an untamed state.
COMMUNITY CAT COLONY
An individual feral cat or a group of cats who congregate together outside as a unit. Any nonferal cats who congregate with a multiple-cat colony shall be deemed part of it.
NUISANCE
Disturbing the peace by:
A. 
Habitually or continually howling, crying or screaming; or
B. 
The habitual and significant destruction, desecration or soiling of property against the wishes of the owner of the property.
OWNER
Any person, film, corporation, partnership, association, trust, estate, or any other legal entity.
SUITABLE SHELTER
Shelter that provides protection from rain, sun, and other elements that is adequate to protect the health of the cat.
TAME CAT
A cat who is socialized to humans and is appropriate as a companion for humans.
THE SHELTER
The Bloomfield Animal Shelter.
TNR
Trap, neuter and return.
TNR PROGRAM
The Township's program set forth in this article pursuant to which feral and community cats are trapped, neutered or spayed, vaccinated against rabies, ear-tipped and returned to the location where they congregate.
TOWNSHIP
Township of Bloomfield in the County of Essex, New Jersey.
A. 
The owner of a cat shall not under any circumstances abandon the cat. Affirmatively placing a cat at the location of a feral cat colony on property belonging to another individual or entity shall be considered abandonment.
B. 
Engaging in trap-neuter-return of community cats in a manner consistent with the terms of this section shall not be considered abandonment.
C. 
Community cats meeting the requirements of this section are exempt from any licensing, stray and at-large provisions of the Township ordinances.
A. 
Purpose: to permit implementation of a community cat trap-neuter-release (TNR) program in Bloomfield Township, for the purpose of reducing the population of feral and free-roaming cats, benefiting public health, improving the quality of life for residents, and ensuring the humane treatment of community cats.
B. 
Implementation. Community cat colonies shall be permitted, and caregivers shall be entitled to maintain them in accordance with the terms and conditions of this section. A person assigned within the Bloomfield Shelter shall administer and implement the program set forth in this article in accordance with applicable guidelines and standards as set forth in state and local statute.
C. 
It shall be the duty of the Bloomfield Animal Shelter to:
(1) 
Take all reasonable steps to get community cat populations in the Township spayed/neutered, ear-tipped and vaccinated against rabies;
(2) 
Coordinate ACOs and volunteer organizations to assist caregivers with getting cats trapped, spayed/neutered, ear-tipped and vaccinated if they are unable to do so on their own;
(3) 
Help to resolve any complaints over the conduct of a colony caregiver or of cats within a colony;
(4) 
Maintain a database of colony caregivers, including name and contact information, and number of cats spayed/neutered, vaccinated, returned or adopted.
(5) 
Report annually to the Township on the following:
(a) 
Number of colonies in the Township;
(b) 
Number of cats and kittens spayed/neutered, ear-tipped, vaccinated against rabies, and returned pursuant to the TNR program; and number of cats and kittens removed from colonies to be offered for adoption.
(6) 
In the absence of other funding, the Township will provide the funding for the costs of the TNR program.
Caregivers are responsible for the following:
A. 
Providing food, clean water, and suitable shelter for colony cats.
B. 
Community cat caregivers are required to make reasonable efforts to provide medical care if needed. If medical care is unavailable or too expensive, the community cat caregiver must not allow the cat to suffer. If unable to provide needed medical attention, caregivers shall contact the Bloomfield Animal Shelter to pick up the cat(s) and procure appropriate medical care for them. Caregivers shall not euthanize any colony cats.
C. 
Obtaining the prior approval of the owner of any property, including the property upon which the caregiver resides, to which the caregiver requires access to provide colony care;
D. 
In the event that kittens are born to a colony cat, the caregiver should make reasonable attempts to remove kittens from the field for domestication, or notify the Bloomfield Animal Shelter so an animal control officer can pick them up and take them to the shelter for adoption once they have been weaned;
E. 
Reporting consistent with provisions set forth in § 586-11C(5).
Caregivers are required to feed the cats in their colonies as part of properly managing the colonies. As part of this requirement, caregivers must:
A. 
Feed only during daylight hours.
B. 
Feed only the amount of food required by the cats in the colony. Any food remaining after cats have eaten must be removed before dark.
C. 
Food must be offered to cats in a container and shall not be dumped on the ground.
D. 
A bowl or similar small container with fresh water may be left out at all times.
E. 
Feeding must take place in the location least likely to cause a nuisance to tenants, neighbors, customers, and the general public.
F. 
It shall be unlawful to feed feral cats who are not spayed/neutered, ear-tipped and vaccinated in accordance with this article, unless the caregiver is in the process of trying to trap the cats for spay/neuter, ear-tipping and vaccination. Animal Control Officers shall be empowered to give a warning notice to any individual feeding one or more feral cats not spayed/neutered, ear tipped and vaccinated in accordance with this article. The warning notice shall require the individual to contact the shelter within 15 days to obtain assistance in getting the cat(s) spayed/neutered, ear-tipped and vaccinated and otherwise brought into compliance with this article. Failure to make such contact within 15 days and cooperate with the Township meeting the requirements of this article will subject the violator to those fines and penalties prescribed in § 1-15 of the Township Code.
A. 
If an Animal Control Officer determines that an ear-tipped community colony cat is causing a nuisance as defined by this § 586-9 or state law, the Township shall contact the caregiver and allow the caregiver 60 days to resolve the complaint or remove the cat before the Officer takes further action. The caregiver must begin nuisance abatement procedures within 48 hours after being notified of a nuisance by the Township and must take all reasonable steps to resolve the nuisance in as short a time period as possible, not to exceed 60 days.
B. 
Disposition of colony cats. An Animal Control Officer who has trapped a cat whose left ear has been tipped shall release the cat unless the cat is injured or sick and requires medical attention. If the cat requires medical attention, the Animal Control Officer shall bring the cat to the shelter. If the Animal Control Officer releases the cat, the Animal Control Officer shall record a description.
A. 
The Township shall have the following rights:
(1) 
The right to seize or remove any cat from a colony who is demonstrating signs of rabies and is not up-to-date with rabies vaccinations.
(2) 
The right to seize or remove a cat from a colony which is creating a nuisance as defined in this article or state law, after the caregiver has been given 60 days to abate the nuisance or remove the cat and has failed to do so.
(3) 
The right to seize or remove a colony of cats when the caregiver regularly fails to comply with the requirements of this article and the shelter representative has not been able to obtain a replacement or substitute caregiver within 60 days.
(4) 
The requirements of this article notwithstanding, Animal Control Officers may investigate any nuisance complaint. If an Animal Control Officer determines that an ear-tipped community colony cat is causing a nuisance as defined by this article and the caregiver fails to resolve the nuisance or remove the cat within 60 days, the Animal Control Officer may remove the cat. If an Animal Control Officer reasonably determines that a cat is injured or poses a significant threat to public health, the Officer may reduce the time that the caregiver has to resolve the complaint, as necessary to protect the cat and public health, before taking further action.
B. 
Trapping cats prohibited except as part of TNR program.
(1) 
It shall be unlawful for any individual to trap a cat other than for the purpose of complying with the requirements of § 586-11. Individuals may not trap cats for the purpose of euthanizing the cats or surrendering the cats for impoundment.
(2) 
This section shall not apply to:
(a) 
Township officials and their agents trapping cats in the course of their employment or contract; or
(b) 
Any individual trying to recover his or her own lost cat through trapping on his or her own property or with permission of the property owner.
C. 
Use of cat licensing fees for TNR; addition of voluntary donation language on cat and dog license application and renewal forms.
(1) 
The Township may utilize funds derived from cat licensing fees to pay for spay/neuter and vaccination of cats in the TNR program.
(2) 
The Township may add language to all dog and cat license application and renewal forms encouraging applicants to donate to the shelter's TNR efforts in the Township. The form shall include the name and the address where checks can be mailed, the website for online donations, and language encouraging donors to mark the donations "for TNR in the Township of Bloomfield."