Township of Hamilton, NJ
Mercer County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted as Ch. 22, Art. II, of the 1994 Code of Ordinances]
[Amended 11-8-2004 by Ord. No. 04-047]
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
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.
KEEPER
Any person exercising control over a dog or permitting a dog to remain on premises under his 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.
OWNER
When applied to the proprietorship of a dog, includes every person having a right of property in such dog and every person who has such dog in his keeping.
PET SHOP
Any room or group of rooms, cage or exhibition pen, not part of a kennel, wherein dogs for sale are kept or displayed.
POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS DOG
Any dog declared potentially dangerous pursuant to the criteria set forth in N.J.S.A. 4:19-23, Finding to declare dog potentially dangerous, as same may be amended.
[Amended 9-18-2018 by Ord. No. 18-045]
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.
[Amended 7-18-2017 by Ord. No. 17-029]
VICIOUS DOG
Any dog declared vicious pursuant to the criteria set forth in N.J.S.A. 4:19-22, Finding to declare dog vicious; grounds, as same may be amended.
[Amended 9-18-2018 by Ord. No. 18-045]
[Amended 11-8-2004 by Ord. No. 04-047]
A. 
Required. Licenses shall be required for the following dogs of licensing age:
(1) 
Any dog owned or kept within the Township by a resident of the Township on January 1 of any calendar year.
(2) 
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.
(3) 
Any dog attaining licensing age during the course of the calendar year.
(4) 
Any unlicensed dog brought into the Township by any person and kept within the Township for more than 10 days.
(5) 
Any dog licensed by another state which is brought into the Township by any person and kept within the Township for more than 90 days.
(6) 
Any potentially dangerous dog.
B. 
Application.
(1) 
Each application for a license under this article shall give the following information:
(a) 
A general description of the dog sought to be licensed, including breed, sex, age, color and markings and whether such dog is of a long- or short-haired variety.
(b) 
The name, street and post office address of the owner of and the person who shall keep or harbor such dog.
(2) 
Registration numbers shall be issued in the order in which applications are received.
(3) 
Applications for licenses for dogs which are required to be licensed by the provisions of Subsection A(1) of this section shall be made to the Health Officer before February 1 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 section. Each application for a license shall be accompanied by evidence that the dog to be licensed and registered has been inoculated against rabies in accordance with N.J.S.A. 4:19-15.2a.
C. 
Record of licenses. 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 Health Officer. In addition, he shall forward similar information to the State Department of Health each month on forms furnished by the Department.
D. 
Fees.
[Amended 8-16-2016 by Ord. No. 16-036[1]]
(1) 
The person applying for a license shall pay a license fee and a registration tag fee for each dog. The same fees shall be charged for the annual renewal of each license and registration tag. The fees are set forth in Chapter 215, Fees, of the Township Code.
(2) 
Any resident of the Township who shall have attained the age of 65 years of age applying for a license shall pay a reduced license fee and registration tag fee for each dog. The same fees shall be charged for the annual renewal of each license and registration tag. The fees are set forth in Chapter 215, Fees, of the Township Code.
(3) 
There shall be an additional fee payable annually, applicable to Subsections D(1) and (2) above, for each dog which has not had its reproductive system surgically altered. The additional fee is set forth in Chapter 215, Fees, of the Township Code.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
E. 
Expiration. Each dog license and registration tag shall expire on January 31 of the calendar year following the calendar year in which it was issued.
F. 
Exceptions. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any dog licensed under § 108-9. Dogs used as guides dogs or service dogs (as defined in N.J.S.A. 10:5-5) shall be licensed and registered as other dogs as hereinabove provided for, except that the owner or keeper of such dog shall not be required to pay any fee therefor. A dog temporarily placed in a foster home as part of a formalized training to be a guide dog or service dog shall not be required to be licensed and registered while the dog remains in the foster home for such training.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
G. 
Penalty. For each violation of this section there shall be a fine of $10, plus $2 per month from the date a license is required.
H. 
Potentially dangerous dog license.
(1) 
In addition to the obligations set forth in this chapter, in the event the Municipal Court has declared that a dog is a potentially dangerous dog, the owner of said animal shall be responsible for complying with all requirements and conditions imposed by the Municipal Court, including those set forth in N.J.S.A. 4:19-24, Order and schedule for compliance with potentially dangerous dog; conditions, as same may be amended.
(2) 
The fee for a potentially dangerous dog license shall be set forth in Chapter 215, Fees, of the Township Code.[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
[Amended 4-24-1998 by Ord. No. 98-014]
A. 
License required; transfer of license. Any person who keeps or operates or proposes to establish a kennel, pet shop, shelter or pound shall apply to the Health Officer for a license entitling him to keep or operate such establishment. Any person holding such license shall not be required to secure individual licenses for dogs owned by such licensee and kept at such establishments. Such licenses shall not be transferable to another owner or different premises.
B. 
Application for license. 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 by such establishment at any one time.
C. 
Approval by Division of Health. No license shall be issued until the proposed licensee submits a written statement from the Health Officer of the Division of Health that the establishment or proposed establishment complies with local and state rules governing the location of and sanitation at such establishment.
D. 
Contents of license; expiration of license. 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 June 30 of each year.
E. 
License fees. The annual license fees for kennel and pet shop licenses shall be as set forth in Chapter 215, Fees, of the Township Code. There shall be no fee for a shelter or pound.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
F. 
Revocation; compliance with applicable regulations.
(1) 
All licenses issued for a kennel, pet shop, shelter or pound shall be subject to revocation by the Township Council on recommendation of the State Department of Health or the Division of Health for failure to comply with the rules and regulations of the State Department of Health or the Division of Health, after the owner has been afforded a hearing by either the State Department of Health or the Division of Health.
(2) 
Any person holding a license to establish, keep or operate a kennel, pet shop, shelter or pound shall comply with all Township 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 Health Officer 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 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.
I. 
Certain sales prohibited.
[Added 9-20-2016 by Ord. No. 16-040]
(1) 
Definitions. When used in this subsection, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
ANIMAL CARE FACILITY
An animal control center or animal shelter, maintained by or under contract with any state, county, or municipality, whose mission and practice is, in whole or significant part, the rescue and placement of animals in permanent homes or animal rescue organizations.
ANIMAL RESCUE ORGANIZATION
Any not-for-profit organization which has been granted tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code and whose mission and practice is, in whole or in significant part, the rescue and placement of animals in permanent homes.
CAT
A member of the species of domestic cat, felis catus.
DOG
A member of the species of domestic dog, canis familiaris.
OFFER FOR SALE
To sell, offer for sale or adoption, advertise for the sale of, barter, auction, give away or otherwise dispose of a dog or cat.
PET SHOP
A retail establishment where dogs and cats are sold, exchanged, bartered or offered for sale as pet animals to the general public at retail. Such definition shall not include an animal care facility or animal rescue organization, as defined.
(2) 
Restrictions on the sale of animals.
(a) 
A pet shop may offer for sale only those dogs and cats that the pet shop has obtained from or displays in cooperation with:
1. 
An animal care facility; or
2. 
An animal rescue organization.
(b) 
A pet shop shall not offer for sale a dog or cat that is younger than eight weeks old.
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 Township 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 Township 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; providing antirabies treatment under the direction of the local Division of Health for any person known or suspected to have been exposed to rabies; all other purposes prescribed by the statutes of the state governing the subject; and administering the provisions of this article. Any unexpended balance remaining in such 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 such special account to the general funds of the Township any amount then in such 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 Health Officer to the State Department of Health.
The Township Division of Health shall biennially, before September 1, cause a canvass to be made of all dogs owned, kept or harbored within the limits of the Township and shall report to the State Department of Health the results thereof, setting forth in separate columns the names and addresses of persons owning, keeping or harboring dogs and the number of licensed dogs owned, kept or harbored by each person, together with the registration number of each dog; and the number of unlicensed dogs owned, kept or harbored by each person, together with a complete description of each unlicensed dog.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
[Amended 4-22-1999 by Ord. No. 99-015]
A. 
Causes for impounding. The Animal Control Officer shall take into custody and impound, or cause to be taken into custody and impounded, any of the following dogs:
(1) 
Any dog running at large in violation of the provisions of this article.
(2) 
Any dog off the premises of the owner or of the person keeping or harboring such dog, which the Animal Control Officer or his agent has reason to believe is a stray dog.
(3) 
Any dog off the premises of the owner of or the person keeping or harboring such dog without a current registration tag on its collar.
(4) 
Any female dog in season off the premises of the owner of or the person keeping or harboring such dog.
(5) 
Any dog which has been determined to be a vicious dog, provided that such dogs may also be seized by any police officer, and provided further that, if such dogs cannot be seized with safety, they may be killed.
B. 
Access to premises. Any officer or agent authorized or empowered to perform any duty under this article is hereby authorized to go upon any premises to seize for impounding any dog which he may lawfully seize and impound when such officer is in immediate pursuit of such dog, except upon the premises of the owner of the dog if the owner is present and forbids such entry.
C. 
Notice of seizure.
(1) 
If any dog so impounded or seized wears a registration tag, collar or harness having inscribed thereon or attached thereto the name and address of any person, or if the owner of or the person keeping or harboring the dog 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 dog, a notice in writing stating that the dog has been seized and will be liable to be disposed of or destroyed if not claimed within seven days after 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. The Animal Control Officer 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:
(1) 
When any dog so seized has not been claimed by the person owning, keeping or harboring such 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 Subsection C of this section.
(2) 
If the person owning and 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 a pickup charge, plus a daily maintenance charge. These fees are set forth in Chapter 215, Fees, of the Township Code.
[Amended 7-18-2017 by Ord. No. 17-029]
(3) 
If the seized dog is unlicensed at the time of its seizure and the person owning, keeping or harboring such dog has not produced a license and registration tag as provided in this article.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection E. Destruction at request of owner, as amended 7-18-2017 by Ord. No. 17-029, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed 1-2-2019 by Ord. No. 18-073. This ordinance also redesignated former Subsection F, Redemption Fee, as Subsection E.
E. 
Redemption fee. Any dog may be claimed by its owner during the seven-day custodial period upon the payment to the Animal Control Officer of a pickup fee and a daily maintenance fee for each day or fraction thereof that the dog has been in custody. The fee or any portion thereof may be waived by the Director of the Department of Health, Recreation, Senior and Veterans Services, based upon a finding of genuine hardship.
[Amended 7-18-2017 by Ord. No. 17-029]
[Amended 4-22-1999 by Ord. No. 99-015; 5-5-2004 by Ord. No. 04-020]
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. 
Dogs to wear collar and tag; removal or unlawful use of registration tag.
(1) 
All dogs for which licenses are required by the provisions of this article shall wear a collar or harness with the registration tag for such dog securely fastened thereto.
(2) 
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.
B. 
Interference with officials. No person shall hinder, molest or interfere with anyone authorized or empowered to perform any duty under this article.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original Sec. 22-37(3), Noisy dogs, which previously followed this subsection, was deleted 7-18-2017 by Ord. No 17-09.
C. 
Running at large. No person owning, keeping or harboring any dog shall suffer or permit it to run at large upon the public streets or in any public park, public building or other public place within the Township.
D. 
Leashing. 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 of age and is securely confined and controlled by an adequate leash not more than six feet long.
E. 
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.
F. 
Dogs trained to attack prohibited. No person, with the exception of duly appointed public officials or employees acting in their official capacity, shall keep, harbor or have custody or possession of any dog which has been or shall be intentionally trained to attack, injure, maim or kill any human being or domestic pet, either voluntarily or upon command.
G. 
Adoption from Township shelter. There will be an initial fee, as set forth in Chapter 215, Fees, of the Township Code, to be paid to the Township for each dog adopted from the Township animal control shelter. The fee or any portion thereof may be waived by the Director of the Department of Health, Recreation, Senior and Veterans Services based upon a finding of genuine hardship.
[Amended 7-18-2017 by Ord. No. 17-029]
(1) 
The owner of any dog must have the dog spayed or neutered within 60 days of adoption, and verification must be presented to the Animal Control Officer at the time. The 60 days begins for puppies at the age of six months.
(2) 
When the dog owner or other party presents verification that the dog has been spayed or neutered or the dog is returned within 60 days due to allergies, temperament or housing difficulties, the owner or other party will be refunded $20 from the initial fee by the Township. Proof of license must also be presented.
(3) 
Any dog may be exempted from the requirements of such vaccination for a specified period of time by the Health Officer, upon presentation of a veterinarian's certificate stating that, because of an infirmity or other physical condition or regimen of therapy, the inoculation of such dog shall be inadvisable. The requirements also do not apply to dogs held in a kennel or those held by a state-licensed or federally licensed research facility or a veterinary establishment where dogs are received or kept for diagnostic, medical, surgical or other treatments, or licensed animal shelters, pounds, kennels or pet shops.
H. 
Exemptions from adoption fee. The Township Division of Police and other law enforcement agencies and organizations which obtain dogs from the Township shelter for the purposes of training as Seeing Eye dogs are exempt from the adoption fees provided in this section.
I. 
[2]Animal trap fee. The fee for utilization of an animal trap provided by the Hamilton Township Animal Shelter shall be a deposit in the amount set forth in Chapter 215, Fees, of the Township Code.
[Amended 7-18-2017 by Ord. No. 17-029]
[2]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection I, regarding adoptions of vicious or potentially dangerous dogs, added 5-3-2016 by Ord. No. 16-015, was repealed 9-18-2018 by Ord. No. 18-045. This ordinance also provided for the redesignation of former Subsection J as Subsection I.
No provision of this article shall be construed to apply to any establishment wherein or whereon dogs are received or kept for diagnostic, medical, surgical or other treatments, owned by and operated under the immediate supervision of a graduate veterinarian licensed in the state.
Where it has been determined by a physician that a person has been bitten by a dog, such individual, or his parent or guardian if he is a minor, shall immediately notify the police. When the owner or keeper of any dog shall be notified by the police that the dog has bitten any individual, 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 Division of Health.