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Borough of Spotswood, NJ
Middlesex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Derived from Ch. IX of the 1969 Revised General Ordinances]
The following words and terms shall have the meanings herein indicated for the purposes of this article:
ANIMAL CONTROL AUTHORITY
Any person or agency designated and/or certified by the State of New Jersey to enforce the provisions of this article.
CAT
Any member of the domestic feline species, male or female, and whether or not neutered.
CAT OF LICENSING AGE
Any cat which has attained the age of seven months or which possesses a set of permanent teeth.
DOG
Any dog, bitch or spayed bitch.
DOG OF LICENSING AGE
Any dog which has attained the age of seven months or which possesses a set of permanent teeth.
FERAL CAT
A wild or stray cat that is not owned by an owner, as defined herein.
[Added 8-27-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-08]
HARBOR
To provide food, shelter, health care or any other care to cats, whether on a regular or irregular basis, and whether the cats are vaccinated or housed.
[Added 8-27-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-08]
KEEPER
Any person exercising control over a dog or permitting a dog to remain on premises under his/her control.
KENNEL
Any establishment wherein or whereon the business of boarding or selling dogs or breeding dogs for sale is carried on, except a pet shop.
NEUTERED
Rendered permanently incapable of reproduction as certified by a licensed veterinarian.
OWNER
When applied to the proprietorship of a dog or cat, includes every person having a right of property in such animal and every person who has such animal in his/her keeping. In addition, when applied to a cat, one who harbors or maintains a cat or knowingly permits a cat to remain on or about any premises occupied by that person.
PET SHOP
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.
POUND
An establishment for the confinement of dogs seized either under the provisions of this article or otherwise.
SHELTER
Any establishment where dogs are received, housed and distributed without charge.
VICIOUS CAT
Any cat which has attacked or bitten any human being without provocation.
VICIOUS DOG
Any dog which has been declared by the Municipal Judge to be a vicious dog, which has attacked or bitten any human being or which habitually attacks other dogs or domestic animals.
A. 
License, when required.
(1) 
Licenses shall be required for the following dogs and cats of licensing age:
(a) 
A dog or cat owned, harbored or kept within the Borough by a resident of the Borough on the first day of January of any calendar year.
(b) 
A dog or cat acquired by any person during the course of any calendar year and kept within the Borough for more than 10 days after acquisition.
(c) 
A dog or cat attaining licensing age during the course of the calendar year.
(d) 
A licensed dog or cat brought into the Borough by any person and kept within the Borough for more than 10 days.
(e) 
A dog or cat licensed by another state, brought into the Borough by any person and kept within the Borough for more than 90 days.
(2) 
Licenses for not more than five dogs for any one household may be issued for the same licensing period. Any additional dog shall make the person or persons owning or harboring it liable for owning or harboring an unlicensed dog unless such person or persons shall be the holder of a kennel or pet shop license. This article shall commence on January 1, 1995. Any household with more than five licensed dogs at the passage of this article shall be permitted to continue said licensing for the life of those particular licensed dogs at which time the limitations of this article shall prevail. This article shall be read in conjunction with § 46-16A and in no instance shall any one household be issued more than a total of five licenses for dogs and cats combined.
[Added 11-21-1994 by Ord. No. 1994-564]
B. 
Application for license. Each applicant for a license under this article shall give the following information:
(1) 
A general description of the dog or cat sought to be licensed, including breed, sex, age, color and markings and whether long- or short-haired.
(2) 
Name, street and post office address of the owner and of the person who keeps or harbors the animal.
(3) 
Registration numbers shall be issued in the order in which applications are received.
C. 
Application for license, when made. Applications for licenses for dogs or cats required to be licensed by the provisions of Subsection A(1)(a) 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 on which the animal in question first becomes subject to the provisions of this article.
D. 
License record and proof of licensing.
(1) 
License record. The information on all applications under this article and the registration number issued to each licensed dog or cat shall be preserved for a period of three years by the Clerk. In addition, (s)he shall forward similar information to the State Department of Health each month on forms furnished by the Department.
(2) 
Proof of licensing. Proof of licensing shall be produced by any person owning, keeping, maintaining or harboring a dog or cat upon the request of any health official, police officer, Animal Control Officer or other authorized person.
E. 
Fees. Every person, who owns, harbors and keeps one or more dogs or cats within the limits of the Borough shall procure a yearly license for each animal of licensing age and pay the license fee as set forth in § 91-6 of Chapter 91, Fees. In addition, the following fees shall be charged:
(1) 
The sum set forth in § 91-6 for each dog license for the Pilot Clinic Fund for the State of New Jersey.
(2) 
Any person applying for a license shall pay the fee set forth in § 91-6 for any dog or cat of reproductive age which has not had its reproductive capacity permanently altered through sterilization, as provided for in Chapter 172 of the laws of 1983.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 4:19-15.3b.
F. 
Expiration date.
(1) 
Each dog or cat 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. Accordingly, all license fees shall be due and payable no later than the last day of January. Where an applicant fails to make application for a license and fails to pay to the Borough the required license fee by the last day of January, (s)he shall be liable for the late fee set forth in § 91-6. The license fee shall not be prorated for a portion of the year of initial licensing.
(2) 
For dogs attaining the age of seven months after January 31, application for a license and payment of the required fee shall be made within 30 days of the dogs attaining the age of seven months.
G. 
Exceptions. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any dog licensed under § 46-3 of this article. Dogs used as guides for blind persons and commonly known as "Seeing Eye dogs" shall be licensed in the same manner as other dogs, except that the owner or keeper shall not be required to pay any fee.
A. 
License required. A person who keeps, operates or proposes to establish a kennel, pet shop, shelter or pound shall apply to the Clerk for a license; (s)he shall not be required to secure individual licenses for dogs (s)he owns and keeps at such establishment; and his/her licenses shall not be transferable to another owner or to different premises.
B. 
Application information. The application shall contain the following information:
(1) 
The name and permanent and local address of the applicant.
(2) 
The street address where the establishment is located, or proposed to be located, together with a general description of the premises.
(3) 
The purposes for which the establishment is to be maintained.
(4) 
The maximum number of dogs to be accommodated at any one time.
C. 
Approval of Health Officer. No license shall be issued until the proposed licensee submits a written statement from the Health Officer that the establishment or proposed establishment complies with local and state rules governing the location and sanitation.
D. 
License term. 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 June of each year.
E. 
License fees. The annual license fees for kennel and pet shop licenses shall be as set forth in § 91-6 of Chapter 91, Fees.
F. 
Compliance with state regulations.
(1) 
All licenses issued for a kennel, pet shop, shelter or pound shall be subject to revocation by the Borough Council on recommendation of the State Department of Health or the Board of Health of the Borough for failure to comply with the rules and regulations of the State Department of Health or the Borough Board of Health, after the owner has been afforded a hearing by either the State Department of Health or the Borough Board of Health.
(2) 
A person holding a license to establish, keep or operate a kennel, pet shop, shelter or pound shall comply with all Borough ordinances and the rules and regulations promulgated by the State Department of Health governing the sanitary conduct and operation of kennels, pet shops, shelters and pounds, the preservation of sanitation therein, and the prevention of the spread of rabies and other diseases of dogs within and from such establishments.
G. 
Reports to State Health Department. The Clerk shall forward to the State Department of Health a list of all kennels, pet shops, shelters and pounds within 30 days after the licenses are issued. The list shall include the name and address of each licensee and the kind of license issued.
H. 
Control of dogs off premises. No dog kept in a kennel, pet shop, shelter or pound shall be permitted off such premises, except on leash or in a crate or other safe control.
A. 
License fees and other moneys collected or received under the provisions of this article, except the registration tag fees, shall be forwarded to the Borough Treasurer within 30 days after collection or receipt, and shall be placed in a special account separate from any of the other accounts of the Borough and shall be used for the following purposes only: collecting, keeping and disposing of dogs and cats liable to seizure under this article; local prevention and control of rabies; providing anti-rabies treatment under the direction of the Board of Health for any person known to have been or suspected of having been exposed to rabies; all other purposes prescribed by the statutes of New Jersey governing the subject; and for administering the provisions of this article. Any unexpended balance remaining in the special account shall be retained there 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 Borough 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 shall be as set forth in § 91-6 of Chapter 91, Fees, and shall be forwarded within 30 days after collection by the Clerk to the State Department of Health.
The Chief of Police of the Borough shall annually cause a canvass to be made of all dogs and cats owned, kept or harbored within the limits of the Borough and shall report the results to the Clerk, the Board of Health and the State Department of Health, setting forth in separate columns the names and addresses of persons owning, keeping or harboring dogs or cats, the number of licensed animals owned, kept or harbored by each person, and the registration number of each animal; the number of unlicensed animals owned, kept or harbored by each person and a complete description of each unlicensed animal.
[Amended 8-10-2009 by Ord. No. 12-2009]
A. 
Complaint; investigation; report. Complaints against dogs shall be received and investigated by the Police Department and the entity charged with animal control within the Borough. If either deem any dog complained of to be vicious or potentially dangerous as defined under § 46-1 herein or as provided under N.J.S.A. 4:19-22 et seq. or any revisions thereto, either shall file a complaint with the Municipal Court.
B. 
Notice; hearing. Subsequent to the filing of a complaint, a hearing shall be held in the Municipal Court in conformance with the laws and procedures of the State of New Jersey. If after a hearing a dog is declared vicious or potentially dangerous, penalties shall be imposed in conformance with N.J.S.A. 4:19-22 et seq. or any amendments or revisions thereto. In addition to the penalties provided by statute, a dog which is declared vicious or potentially dangerous shall require an initial license registration fee of $200 and an annual license fee of $100.
A. 
Causes for impounding. The Animal Control Officer of the Borough shall take into custody and impound, or cause to be taken into custody and impounded, any of the following:
(1) 
An unlicensed dog or cat running at large in violation of the provisions of this article.
(2) 
A dog or cat off the premises of the owner or the person keeping or harboring such animal which the Animal Control Officer has reason to believe is a stray dog or cat.
(3) 
A dog or cat off the premises of the owner of or the person keeping or harboring such animal without a current registration tag on its collar.
(4) 
A female dog or cat in season off the premises of the owner of or the person keeping or harboring such animal.
(5) 
A dog which has been determined to be a vicious dog as described in § 46-6, provided that such dog may also be seized by any police officer, and provided further that if such dog cannot be seized with safety, it may be killed.
B. 
Access to premises. An officer or agent authorized or empowered to perform any duty under this article is authorized to go upon any premises to seize for impounding a dog or cat which (s)he may lawfully seize and impound when (s)he is in immediate pursuit of such animal, except upon the premises of the owner of the animal if the owner is present and forbids it.
C. 
Notice of seizure.
(1) 
If an impounded or seized dog or cat wears a registration tag, collar or harness bearing the name and address of any person, or if the owner of or the person keeping or harboring the animal is known, the Animal Control Officer shall immediately serve on the person whose address is given on the collar or on the person owning, keeping or harboring the animal a notice, in writing, stating that the animal has been seized and will be liable to be disposed of or destroyed if not claimed within seven days after the service of the notice.
(2) 
A notice under this subsection may be served either by delivering it to the person on whom it is to be served, or by leaving it at the person's usual or last known place of abode, or at the address given on the collar, or by forwarding it by mail in a prepaid letter addressed to that person at his usual or last known place of abode, or to the address given on the collar.
D. 
Disposition of unclaimed dogs or cats. The Animal Control Officer is authorized and empowered to cause the destruction of any unclaimed dog or cat, in as humane a manner as possible, under any of the following contingencies:
(1) 
When any dog or cat so seized has not been claimed by the person owning, keeping or harboring the animal within seven days after notice or within seven days of the animal's detention, when notice has not been or cannot be given as set forth in the previous subsection.
(2) 
If the person owning, keeping or harboring a dog or cat so seized has not claimed the animal and has not paid all expenses incurred by reason of its detention.
[Amended 9-24-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-016]
(3) 
If the seized dog or cat is unlicensed at the time of its seizure and the person owning, keeping or harboring the animal has not produced a license and registration tag as provided in this article.
E. 
Impoundment fee. Any person whose animal shall be picked up by the Animal Control Officer or a police officer shall be required to pay all expenses incurred by the Borough by reason of its detention. In addition to the expenses incurred by the Borough, the owner or person charged with the care of the animal shall be required to pay the full maintenance charge imposed by the holding facility for each full or partial day held, not to exceed $4 per day or the limit set forth in N.J.S.A. 4:19-15.16. The expenses of impoundment shall be paid to the Borough Clerk’s Office of the Borough of Spotswood, and a receipt shall be delivered to the person paying such charges, which receipt shall be the authority.
[Added 9-24-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-016; amended 9-11-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-09 A]
No person shall own keep or harbor a dog or cat in the Borough, except in compliance with the provisions of this article and the following regulations.
A. 
Wearing of registration. A dog or cat for which a license is required by the provisions of this article shall wear a collar or harness with its registration tag securely fastened thereto.
B. 
Use of registration tags. No person, except an officer in the performance of his/her duties, shall remove a registration tag from the collar of any dog or cat without the consent of the owner, nor shall any person attach a registration tag to a dog or cat 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 a dog which habitually barks or cries between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.
E. 
Running at large. No person owning, keeping or harboring a dog shall permit it to run at large on the public streets or in any public park, public building or other public place within the Borough.
F. 
Leashing of dogs. No person owning, keeping or harboring a dog shall permit it to be on the public streets or in any of the public places of the Borough unless the dog is accompanied by a person over the age of 12 and it is securely confined and controlled by an adequate leash not more than six feet long.
G. 
Property damage. No person owning, keeping or harboring a dog shall permit it to do any injury or damage to any lawn, shrubbery, flowers, grounds or property.
H. 
Removal of dog and cat feces.
(1) 
Duty of owner or person in charge. No person owning, harboring, keeping or in charge of any dog or cat shall cause, suffer or allow such animal to soil, defile, defecate on or commit any nuisance on any common thoroughfare, sidewalk, passageway, bypath, 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 such property, except under the following conditions:
(a) 
The person who owns, harbors, keeps or is in charge of such animal shall immediately remove all feces deposited by such animal by any sanitary method.
(b) 
The feces removed from the aforementioned designated area shall be disposed of by the person owning, harboring, keeping or in charge of any animal curbed in accordance with the provisions of this subsection, in a sanitary manner approved by the local health authority.
(2) 
Enforcement. The provisions of this subsection shall be covered by the local Police Department and the Borough Health Officer.
(3) 
Violations and penalties. Any person who violates or fails or refuses to comply with the provisions of this subsection, upon conviction, shall be liable to a fine of not more than $500.
I. 
Any individual found feeding or in any way attracting or harboring cats and/or feral cat colonies without complying with the vaccination or other provisions of this article shall be deemed in violation of this provision and will be responsible for any costs incurred by the Borough of Spotswood in the process of collecting and surrendering of said cats, as well as any fines or penalties provided in this chapter. No person shall trap or capture any cat. Such activity will be deemed as ownership, and individuals will be responsible for any cats, including medical costs incurred by the Borough to process the cats.
[Added 8-27-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-08]
J. 
Inasmuch as cats are generally considered to be domestic animals/pets, wildlife preserves such as cat colonies for feral cats may contribute to public health potential for rabies in the wildlife community and place residents at risk. No person shall place food intended or suitable for consumption by a cat in any location out of doors unless a licensed cat or dog is regularly kept, harbored or maintained on the premises where such food is placed, and if the person placing such food is not the owner or licensee of the cat or dog, then only if the owner or licensee of the same consents to such feeding. All such food shall be removed within two hours, and in no event shall such food be allowed to remain out of doors more than 30 minutes after sunset and before sunrise. The setting out of food or liquids, empty dishes and bowls by a person not the owner or licensee of a licensed cat or dog, or in violation of the time provisions stated above, shall operate as evidence of the establishment of feral cat colonies. Such evidence shall act as a presumption against the individual. Any individual harboring a feral cat colony will be in violation of this provision and will be responsible for any costs incurred by the Borough in the process of collecting and surrendering of said cats, as well as any fines or penalties provided in this chapter.
[Added 8-27-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-08]
Where it has been determined by a physician that a person has been bitten by a dog, that person, or his/her parent or guardian if (s)he is a minor, shall immediately notify the police. When the owner or keeper of a dog is notified by the police that the dog has bitten an individual or individuals, the owner or keeper of the dog shall 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.
A. 
When applicable. When any dog or cat attacks or bites a human being, the Chief of Police, or his/her representative, may order the owner of the animal to confine it, either on the owner's premises or any other reasonable location which (s)he designates, for a period of at least 10 days. The expenses of confining the animal shall be borne by the owner.
B. 
Examination of quarantined dogs and cats. The Chief of Police, or his/her representative, shall have the right to examine any dog or cat confined under the provisions of this article at any reasonable time, including daily examinations, for a period of 10 days after the animal has attacked or bitten any person, to ascertain whether the animal shows symptoms of rabies.
C. 
Release from quarantine. Regardless of whether or not the period of time from which the owner was directed to confine the dog or cat has expired, no animal confined under the provisions of this article shall be released from quarantine until the Chief of Police issues a certificate of release. The certificate shall only be issued after either the person designated by the Chief of Police, or his/her representative, to examine the animal or a licensed veterinarian has certified, in writing, that the animal appears to be healthy and free from rabies.
D. 
Imposition of general quarantine. Whenever the Chief of Police, or his/her representative, is notified by the State Department of Health or other appropriate agency that there is danger of an epidemic of rabies in the Borough, (s)he shall order all persons owning or having custody of dogs or cats in the Borough to keep their animals confined to their own premises. Notice that an order has been issued may be either written or oral and may be served personally, by mail, by publication in a newspaper circulating in the Borough, by conspicuously posting it in public places or by any other method calculated to actually reach the person affected.
The Chief of Police and the Animal Control Officer shall have the primary duty of enforcing this article.
A. 
Vaccination required. No person shall own, keep or harbor a dog or cat within the Borough unless it has been vaccinated against rabies and licensed.
B. 
Procedure for vaccination. Vaccinations shall be performed by a veterinarian licensed to practice in the State of New Jersey in accordance with the latest "Compendium of Animal Rabies Vaccines and Recommendations of Immunization" published by the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians. The vaccine used shall be from a manufacturer licensed by the Bureau of Animal Industry of the United States Department of Agriculture. The dosage shall be recommended by the manufacturer. All dogs shall be revaccinated before the expiration of the period of time for which the vaccine used is known to be effective.
C. 
Exceptions.
(1) 
The Borough Clerk may exempt any dog or cat from the provisions of this section if there is presented to him/her a certificate from a licensed veterinarian stating that it would be undesirable to vaccinate that particular animal for a specified period of time because of the animal's age, infirmity or other physical condition, regimen or therapy.
(2) 
No vaccination shall be required for any dog or cat confined to a licensed kennel, pound, pet shop, shelter veterinary hospital, licensed animal shelter or state or federally licensed research facility.
D. 
Certificate.
(1) 
Dogs. The fact that a dog has been vaccinated against rabies shall be evidenced by a certificate from the veterinarian performing the vaccination. The certificate shall either be on a form approved by the Borough Clerk or a standard immunization certificate used by the veterinarian. The certificate shall be presented to the Borough Clerk within 10 days after the vaccination. In the case of dogs vaccinated before being brought into the Borough, the certificate shall be presented to the Borough Clerk within 10 days after the dog is brought into the Borough.
(2) 
Cats. A certificate of vaccination shall be issued to the owner of each cat vaccinated. This certificate shall be in the form recommended by the State of New Jersey.
E. 
Certificate required prior to issuance of license. No dog or cat license shall be issued until the certificate required by Subsection C or the certificate provided for in Subsection D is presented to the Borough Clerk.