No person shall own, harbor or keep any dog or cat within the municipal limits of the Town of Westfield which is not inoculated against rabies; provided, however, that dogs or cats which have not attained the age of six months shall not be required to be inoculated, and further provided that any dog or cat may be exempt from the requirements of such inoculation for a specified period of time by the Board of Health upon the presentation of a certificate from a veterinarian stating that, because of infirmity or other physical condition, the inoculation of such dog or cat for said specified period of time shall be deemed inadvisable by said veterinarian.
The inoculation against rabies shall be performed each year and shall be performed prior to the procurement of the dog or cat license required by Ordinance of the Town of Westfield, or evidence shall be presented at the time of procurement of the dog or cat license by the dog or cat owner that a three-year inoculation has been performed and that the inoculation has not expired.
It is imperative that the public is protected from the effects of rabies epizootic to the greatest extent technically and economically possible. Wildlife rabies cannot be controlled, but spill over into our domestic animal population is preventable. This article is intended to serve as a means to develop a long-term solution to the rabies problem, as well as implementation of appropriate measures to reduce the problem before demands for solutions and protection overwhelm available resources and capabilities to effectively respond to those demands.
An effective barrier can only be established if both dogs and cats are required to have rabies vaccination. By instituting and maintaining mandatory dog and cat licensing and vaccination, the Board of Health will be able to assess the level of immunity in these species within the Town and provide needed resources to meet the rabies challenge.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- BOARD OF HEALTH
- The agency of the Town of Westfield ("Town") charged with enforcing the requirements of Title 26 of the New Jersey Statutes and created pursuant to Chapter 17 of the Town Code.
- Any member of the domestic feline species: male, female or neutered.
- CAT OR DOG OF LICENSING AGE
- Any cat or dog which has attained the age of seven months, or which possesses a set of permanent teeth.
- Any room or group of rooms, cage or exhibition pen, not part of a kennel, where cats for sale are kept or displayed.
- CONTROL AUTHORITY
- Any person or agency designated or certified by the State of New Jersey to enforce provisions relating to licensing and vaccination of dogs and cats.
- FOSTER PLACEMENT
- A temporary placement of less than six months that a domestic animal resides in while attempting to find a permanent placement.
- LICENSING AUTHORITY
- The licensing authority is hereby designated as the Town Clerk.
- LICENSING YEAR
- The period from January 1 to December 31 of the following year during which time the license required by this article shall be in effect.
- Rendered permanently incapable of reproduction as certified by a licensed veterinarian.
- Every person having custody of a dog or cat and every person who has such dog or cat in his or 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. The owner of a dog or cat shall be considered the initial owner of its puppies or kittens. A person who continually feeds a stray dog or cat shall also be considered its owner.
- Any individual, corporation, partnership, organization or institution.
- A physical separation and confinement of an animal or groups of animals who are or who may have been exposed to a contagious or possibly contagious disease and who do not show symptoms of a contagious disease, from non-quarantined animals or humans, to prevent or limit the transmission of the disease to non-quarantined animals or humans.
- RESIDENCE, MULTI UNIT
- A dwelling which is occupied, as a rule, for permanent residence purposes and which is either sold, rented, leased, let or hired out, to be occupied as the residence or home with two or more separate independent units, each of which usually contains sanitary, sleeping, kitchen and dining facilities, fixed or portable.
- RESIDENCE, SINGLE UNIT
- One or more rooms comprising living accommodations designed and used for occupancy with one single housekeeping unit and usually containing sanitary, sleeping, and kitchen and dining facilities, fixed or portable, for one such unit.
Vaccination requirements. No person shall own, keep, harbor or maintain any dog or cat over seven months old unless it is vaccinated and in compliance with the provisions of this article. This section shall not apply to cats held in a cattery, a state or federal research facility, a veterinary establishment where dogs or cats are kept for diagnostic, medical, surgical or other treatments or licensed animal shelters, pounds, kennels or pet shops.
Vaccination. Except as provided in Subsection D, all dogs or cats shall be vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian in accordance with the latest Compendium of Animal Rabies Vaccines and Recommendations for Immunization published by the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, and with a rabies vaccine of a type approved by and administered in accordance with the recommendations of the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
Vaccination certificate. The owner of each dog or cat must, as evidence of such vaccination, produce a certificate of vaccination, which shall be in a form recommended by the state and, if no form is so recommended by the state, in a form approved by the Board of Health. Said vaccination must be current through at least October 31 of the following licensing year.
Exemptions. Any dog or cat may be exempted from the vaccination requirements for a specified period of time by the Board of Health upon presentation of a veterinarian's certificate stating that, because of an infirmity of other physical condition, regimen or therapy, the inoculation of such dog or cat is deemed inadvisable.
License requirements. No person shall own, keep, harbor or maintain any dog or cat over seven months old unless a license is procured from the licensing authority through the Town Clerk, and in compliance with the provisions of this article. This section shall not apply to cats or dogs held in a cattery, a foster placement, a state or federal research facility, a veterinary establishment where dogs or cats are kept for diagnostic, medical, surgical or other treatments or licensed animal shelters, pounds, kennels or pet shops.
License number displayed. Any person who owns, keeps or harbors a dog or cat of licensing age shall annually apply for and procure from the licensing authority through the Town Clerk, upon payment of the prescribed fee, a license and official registration tag with license number for each dog or cat so owned, kept or harbored and shall place upon such dog or cat a collar or other device with the license number securely fastened or displayed. Acceptable methods of displaying a license number shall include, but are not limited to, breakaway or elastic collars. License tags are not transferable.
Time for applying for license.
The owner of any dog or cat in the Town shall make application for a license or renewal thereof on or before January 31 of each year. Only one license and registration tag shall be required in the licensing year for any dog or cat in the Town of Westfield.
In the case of dogs or cats that become licensing age after January 31 but before December 31 of the same year, the owner shall make application for a license tag for such dog or cat within 10 days after acquisition of age attainment. If a dog or cat becomes licensing age during the month of January, the owner need only make application for a license tag for such dog or cat prior to January 31 for the new licensing year.
Dogs or Cats brought into jurisdiction.
Any person who brings into or causes to be brought into the Town any dog or cat currently licensed in another municipality in this state or any other state through, at least, December 31 of the current licensing year and providing evidence to the licensing authority through the Town Clerk of the registration tag shall be permitted to keep said dog or cat within the Town through the current licensing year ending December 31 so long as said dog or cat is vaccinated against rabies through October 31.
Except as provided in Subsection C(1) above, any person who brings into or causes to be brought into the Town any unlicensed dog or cat, shall not be permitted to keep the same within the Town for a period of more than 10 days unless such person shall have applied for a license and registration tag for each such dog or cat within that time period.
Application, contents, preservation of information. The application for a dog or cat license or renewal thereof shall state the breed, sex, age, color and markings of the dog or cat, also the name, street and post office address of the owner and the person who shall keep or harbor such dog or cat. The information on said application and the registration number issued for the dog or cat shall be preserved for a period of three years by the licensing authority.
License forms and tags. License forms and official tags shall be furnished by the licensing authority through the Town Clerk and shall be numbered serially, and shall bear the year of issuance and the name of the municipality.
Evidence of inoculation. The licensing authority shall not grant a license and official registration tag for any dog or cat unless the owner provides a vaccination certificate pursuant to § BOH2-5C above or the dog or cat has been certified exempt as provided in § BOH2-5D above. The rabies inoculation shall be administered by a duly licensed veterinarian permitted by law to do it.
License fee schedule. Effective January 1, 2009, and for each successive licensing year or portion thereof a payment of $19 for each unneutered dog and $13 for each unneutered cat and $16 for each neutered dog and $10 for each neutered cat. Persons who fail to obtain a license as required within the time period specified herein shall be subject to a delinquent fee as specified by the licensing agent.
Fees, renewals; expiration date of license. The fee for the renewal of license and registration tag shall be the same as for an original license. Each original license and registration tag and renewal thereof shall expire on the 31st day of December, in the following year.
Loss of license. If a license tag is misplaced or lost, the licensing authority through the Town Clerk may issue a duplicate license and/or registration tag, effective January 1, 2009, at a fee of $5.
Proof of license. Proof of licensing shall be produced by any person owning, keeping, maintaining or harboring a dog or cat, upon request of any health official, police officer, animal control officer or other authorized person.
Examination of animals during quarantine. The owner or the person in charge of a dog, cat or other animal which has attacked or bitten a person or animal shall allow the examination of that animal at any time. Quarantine shall be necessary to determine whether the animal shows signs of rabies.
Disposition of fees collected.
License fees and other moneys collected or received under the provisions of this article shall be forwarded to the Treasurer of the Town of Westfield, and shall be placed in a trust account of the Town of Westfield and shall be used for the following purposes only:
Collecting, keeping and disposing of dogs or cats liable to seizure.
For local prevention and control of rabies.
Providing anti-rabies treatment under the direction of the Board of Health for any person known or suspected to have been exposed to rabies.
For administering the provisions of this article.
Such money shall be used to help defray the costs incurred by residents of the Town to pick up injured, deceased or wild animals that do not belong to them.
Limit on number of dogs and cats. No more than eight dogs and/or cats are permitted to be harbored or kept in any single family residence. No more than four dogs and/or cats are permitted to be harbored or kept in an individual unit of a multi-family residence. All dogs and cats must be in compliance with the provisions of this article.
An agent designated by the licensing authority may take dogs or cats into custody and impound and later destroy them, release them to the owner, or offer them for adoption, as provided in this Section, in the following situations:
If any dog or cat is taken into custody whose owner is known or which is wearing a registration tag, an authorized agent shall attempt to contact the owner. If the dog or cat is not claimed by the owner or contact cannot be made with the owner within 48 hours of seizure, a notice in writing will be sent to the owner stating that the dog or cat has been seized and is subject to being offered for adoption or destroyed if not claimed within 14 days after the service of the notice.
Notice under this section shall be deemed to be effective if served personally, or by leaving it at the person's usual last known place of abode or at the address given in the license application or by mailing to any such address by United States mail, postage prepaid.
An authorized agent of the licensing authority may cause a dog or cat to be offered for adoption or destroyed in a manner causing as little pain as possible and consistent with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 4:22-19, 14 days after seizure, provided that:
The dog or cat was not wearing a valid registration tag at the time of seizure and the owner is unknown;
A notice was served as provided and the dog or cat was not claimed; or
The owner or person keeping or harboring a dog or cat, which was unlicensed at the time of seizure, does not, within seven days, produce a valid license and registration tag for the dog or cat.
No impounded dog or cat shall be sold or otherwise made available for the purpose of experimentation.
After observation, any impounded dog or cat shall be reported immediately to the Health Officer of the Town.
If an owner requests pickup of a dog or cat to be disposed, including any puppies or kittens born to the parent dog or cat, the owner shall be responsible for all expenses in connection with disposal of the unwanted animal(s).
Any person who violates any portion of this article shall, upon conviction, be fined not less than $50 nor more than $2,000 for each offense. Each day the violation continues shall constitute a separate and distinct offense.