As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- All animals.
- ANIMAL SHELTER
- The term 'animal shelter' means a public or private facility that:
- A. Has a physical structure that provides temporary shelter to stray, abandoned, abused, or owner-surrendered animals; and
- B. Is operated, owned, or maintained by a society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, humane society, pound, dog/animal control officer, government entity, or contractor for a government entity.
- IRREMEDIABLE PHYSICAL SUFFERING
- The term 'irremediable physical suffering' means an animal which has a poor or grave prognosis for being able to live without severe, unremitting pain, as certified by a licensed veterinarian.
- Any establishment wherein or whereon the business of boarding or selling dogs or breeding dogs for sale is carried on, except a pet shop.
- LICENSED VETERINARIAN
- The term 'licensed veterinarian' means a veterinarian licensed to practice veterinary medicine in this state.
- OWNER (WHEN APPLIED TO THE PROPRIETORSHIP OF AN ANIMAL)
- Includes every person having a right of property in such animal and every person who has such animal in his keeping.
- PET SHOP
- Any room or group of rooms, cage or exhibition pen, not part of a kennel, wherein pets for sale are kept or displayed.
- RESCUE ORGANIZATION
- An organization that is:
All persons are prohibited from permitting any animals belonging to them or in their possession to run at large in any of the public streets, parks or other open places in the Township. Service animals, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, and animals engaged in police, fire, or other government-sanctioned activities are exempt from this provision.
It shall be the duty of the Animal Control Officer to impound any animal or fowl which may be found running at large as provided in the preceding section.
If the owner or person harboring any impounded animal does not pay the fine so imposed upon him and the charges of keeping such animal within seven days after the same is impounded, the impounded animal becomes the property of the town.
The notice referred to in this section may be served either by delivering it to the person on whom it is to be served or by leaving it at that person's usual or last known place of abode or by forwarding it by post in a prepaid letter addressed to that person at his usual or last known place of abode.
The required holding period for stray animals impounded by the animal shelter shall be seven business days, not including the day of impoundment. Animals shall be held for owner redemption during the first two days of the holding period and shall be available for owner redemption, transfer, and adoption for the remainder of the holding period, except as follows:
If an animal is impounded with identification or the shelter knows who the owner is, the animal will be held for seven days for owner redemption and shall be available for owner redemption, transfer, and adoption for the remainder of the holding period.
The requirements of this provision do not apply to cats impounded for purposes of sterilization and then returned.
At any time after impounding, shelters may transfer animals, except animals arriving with identification or a known owner, to a nonprofit rescue group, a private shelter, or an organization formed for the prevention of cruelty to animals as long as potential owners are afforded the same rights of reclamation as if the animal was still in the shelter.
The Township Council may establish by resolution a municipal animal shelter.
The animal shelter shall be subject to the supervision and control of the Bloomfield Police Department.
The position of Animal Control Officer is hereby created.
The tasks of the Animal Control Officer shall be those defined by the statement of typical tasks relating to the position as they appear now or may hereafter be defined by the State Civil Service Commission or the Township.
The Animal Control Officer shall be under the jurisdiction of the Police Department.
S/he shall perform the foregoing and such other duties in connection with the care, seizure and custody of animals as may be assigned to him.
While the Animal Control Officer is performing his/her duties, s/he shall wear the uniform prescribed to be worn and shall conspicuously display identification on the outermost garment.
It shall be the duty of the Animal Control Officer to receive, properly house, and care for all animals brought to the animal shelter by any authorized person. After receiving such animal, the Animal Control Officer shall cause a short description of the animal to be created, including source, the time of bringing the same to the animal shelter and recorded in accordance with N.J.A.C. 8:23A-1.13. All information recorded will be in accordance with state requirements. The Animal Control Officer will also be responsible for receiving or picking up injured wildlife and bringing it to a licensed rehabilitation center or a veterinarian.
No person owning, harboring, keeping or in charge of any dog or cat shall cause, suffer or allow such dog or cat 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 (except under provisions of 134-27(B) or upon any private property without the permission of the owner of such property.
Any person owning, harboring, keeping or in charge of any dog or cat which soils, defiles, defecates on or commits 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 shall immediately remove all feces deposited by such dog or cat by any sanitary method approved by the local health authority.
The feces removed from the aforementioned designated areas shall be disposed of by the person owning, harboring, keeping or in charge of any such dog or cat, in accordance with the provisions of this section, in a sanitary manner approved by the local health authority.
No person owning, harboring, keeping or in charge of any dog or cat shall be permitted to keep any such dog or cat on any common thoroughfare, sidewalk, passageway, bypath, play area, park or any place within the Township of Bloomfield where people congregate upon public property of any common thoroughfare for the purpose of any public event or festivity within the Township of Bloomfield. This subsection shall not apply to service animals, animals displayed at any public event by the municipal animal shelter or animal rescue groups displayed for the purpose of finding such animals a suitable home or to entertainment groups who are invited that utilize animals for entertainment purposes.
The provisions of this section shall not apply to blind persons who may use dogs as guides.
No person owning, keeping or harboring a dog or cat shall permit or suffer it to do any injury or to do any damage to any lawn, shrubbery, flowers, grounds or property.
It shall be unlawful for any dog or cat, whether licensed or not, to run at large within the Township. A dog or cat shall be deemed to be running at large when off the premises of its owner or of the person keeping or harboring such dog or cat, which dog or cat is not on a leash, tether, chain, rope or the like, the overall length of which, including the hand grip, shall not exceed six feet, held by its owner or other person able to control such dog or cat.
Any dog or cat which has attacked or bitten any human being or which habitually attacks other dogs or cats or domestic animals is hereby defined to be a "vicious dog or cat" for the purposes of this section. It shall be the duty of the Animal Control Officer to receive and investigate complaints against dogs or cats and, when any dog or cat complained against shall be deemed by such Animal Control Officer to be a vicious dog or cat, as herein defined, the officer shall report the facts to the recorder of the Township, who shall thereupon cause the owner or person harboring such dog or cat to be notified, in writing, of the complaint against such dog or cat and to appear before the Judge at a stated time and place.
The Judge, at the time set for such hearing, shall inquire into the facts and give all interested persons an opportunity to be heard, under oath, and to be represented by counsel, and the Judge shall decide that such dog or cat complained of is a vicious dog or cat as defined by this section; notice of such decision shall be given to the owner or person harboring such dog or cat.
No dog or cat which has been so determined to be a vicious dog or cat shall be permitted to run at large or be upon any street or public place in the Township, except while securely muzzled and under leash, as provided in this article, and the owner or person harboring any such vicious dog or cat who shall suffer or permit such dog or cat to run at large or be upon any street or public place in the Township while not securely muzzled and under leash shall be guilty of a violation of this article.
Any dog or cat which bites a person shall immediately be impounded and kept under observation at a place designated by the Animal Control Officer for a period of 10 days from the date of such biting in order to ascertain whether such dog or cat is suffering from rabies. All reasonable expense in connection with such impoundment shall be paid by the owner or person in charge of such dog or cat before such dog or cat is released. If any such dog or cat is not claimed and the expenses paid at the expiration of 10 days, the dog or cat may be professionally evaluated and thereafter may be put up for adoption (if not declared by court order to be dangerous), sent to sanctuary, or humanely euthanized.
The Animal Control Officer of the Township shall take into custody and impound or cause to be taken into custody and impounded and thereafter adopted or euthanized (depending on health or temperament), as provided in this article:
Any dog or cat off the premises of the owner or of the person keeping or harboring the dog or cat which the Officer or his agent has reason to believe is a stray dog or cat. Any dog or cat off the premises of the owner or of the person keeping or harboring the dog or cat without a current registration tag on his collar.
Any female dog or cat in season off the premises of the owner or of the person keeping or harboring the dog or cat.
If any dog or cat so seized wears a collar or harness having inscribed thereon or attached thereto the name and address of any person or a registration tag, or the animal is wanded and a chip is found registered to the owner, or the owner or the person keeping or harboring the dog or cat is otherwise known, the Animal Control Officer shall forthwith serve on the person whose address is given on the collar or on the owner or the person keeping or harboring the dog or cat, if known, a notice, in writing, stating that the dog or cat has been seized and will be liable to be adopted or euthanized depending on health or temperament, if not claimed within seven days after the service of the notice.
A notice under this section 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 post in a prepaid letter addressed to that person at his usual or last known place of abode or to the address on the collar.
Abandonment. A summons will be served by the Animal Control Officer if the ownership is clear and the owners refuse to acknowledge it is their pet.
Every animal shelter shall maintain continuously updated lists of animals reported lost and found, and shall regularly check these lists and animals in the shelter for matches, and shall also post a photograph of and information on each stray animal impounded by the shelter on the Internet with sufficient detail to allow the animal to be recognized and claimed by its owner.
An animal shelter shall provide all animals during the entirety of their shelter stay with fresh food; fresh water; environmental enrichment to promote their psychological well-being such as socialization, toys and treats; and exercise as needed; however, never less than once daily, except that dogs exhibiting vicious behavior towards people or adjudged to be dangerous by a court of competent jurisdiction may but are not required to be exercised during the holding period.
Notwithstanding Subsection A, the shelter shall work with a licensed veterinarian to develop and follow a care protocol for animals with special needs such as, but not limited to, nursing mothers, unweaned animals, sick or injured animals, extremely frightened animals, geriatric animals, or animals needing therapeutic exercise. This care protocol shall specify any deviation from the standard requirements of Subsection A and the reasons for the deviation(s).
During the entirety of their shelter stay, animals shall be provided prompt and necessary cleaning of their cages, kennels, or other living environments no less than two times per day, to ensure environments that are welcoming to the public, hygienic for both the public and animals, and to prevent disease. This cleaning shall be conducted in accordance with a protocol developed in coordination with a licensed veterinarian, and shall require that animals be temporarily removed from their cages, kennels, or other living environments during the process of cleaning, to prevent them from being exposed to water from hoses or sprays, cleaning solutions, detergents, solvents, and/or chemicals.
During the entirety of their shelter stay, all animals shall be provided with prompt and necessary veterinary care, including but not limited to preventative vaccinations, cage rest, fluid therapy, pain management, and/or antibiotics, sufficient to alleviate any pain caused by disease or injury, to prevent a condition from worsening, and to allow them to leave the shelter in reasonable condition.
Animals may be euthanized by a veterinarian in a manner causing as little pain as possible and consistent with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 4:22-19 or offered for adoption seven days after seizure, provided that:
Notice is given as set forth above and the animal remains unclaimed;
The owner or person keeping or harboring the animal has not claimed the animal and paid all expenses incurred by reason of its detention, including maintenance costs; or
The owner or person keeping or harboring an animal which was unlicensed at the time of seizure does not produce a license and registration tag for the animal;
Before the euthanasia of any animal, a reasonable attempt should be made to contact accredited sanctuaries or rescues to determine whether a better option is available based on the animal's evaluation and medical history. However, it may be determined by a licensed veterinarian that euthanasia is the most humane option due to quality of life.
Exclusions. Subsection D shall not apply to:
An animal suspected to carry and exhibiting signs of rabies, as determined by a licensed veterinarian;
A dog that, after physically attacking a person, has been determined by a court having competent jurisdiction to be dangerous pursuant to state law;
An animal experiencing irremediable physical suffering; or
An animal that is not adoptable to the general public due to advanced age and serious chronic or untreatable health problems.
Any animal that has been determined to be unadoptable by virtue of its temperament, as determined by a licensed veterinarian/animal evaluator.
The animal shelter shall not euthanize or cause to be euthanized any animal simply because the animal's holding period has expired.
A report will be filed with the animal's records detailing reasons for euthanization and will be kept on file for one year or as otherwise stipulated by N.J.A.C. 8:23A-1.13.
Animals impounded by the animal shelter shall be euthanized, only when necessary and consistent with the requirements of this chapter, by lethal intravenous injection of sodium pentobarbital, except as follows:
Intraperitoneal injections may be used only under the direction of a licensed veterinarian, and only when intravenous injection is not possible for infant animals, companion animals other than cats and dogs, or in comatose animals with depressed vascular function.
Intracardiac injections may be used only when intravenous injection is not possible for animals who are completely unconscious or comatose, and then only by a licensed veterinarian and in accordance with N.J.S.A. 8:23A-1.1 (c).
No animal shall be allowed to witness any other animal being killed or being tranquilized or sedated for the purpose of being killed or to see the bodies of animals which have already been killed.
Animals shall be sedated or tranquilized before being killed as necessary to minimize their stress or discomfort, or in the case of vicious animals, to ensure staff safety, except that neuromuscular blocking agents shall not be used.
Following their lethal injection, animals shall be lowered to the surface on which they are being held and shall not be permitted to drop or otherwise collapse without support.
An animal may not be left unattended between the time procedures to kill the animal are commenced and the time death occurs, nor may the animal's body be disposed of until death is verified.
Verification of death shall be confirmed for each animal in all of the following ways:
By lack of heartbeat, verified by a stethoscope;
By lack of respiration, verified by observation;
By pale, bluish gums and tongue, verified by observation; and
By lack of eye response, verified if lid does not blink when eye is touched and pupil remains dilated when a light is shined on it.
The room in which animals are euthanized shall be cleaned and regularly disinfected as necessary, but not less than once per day on days the room is used, except the specific area in the room where the procedure is performed shall be cleaned and disinfected between each procedure.
The room in which animals are euthanized shall have adequate ventilation that prevents the accumulation of odors.
No one other than a licensed veterinarian or a euthanasia technician certified by the state euthanasia certification program shall perform the procedures referenced in this section except as otherwise noted.
When necessary, wildlife shall be euthanized in accordance with New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife regulations.
Under circumstances determined by a licensed veterinarian, euthanasia may be performed in the interest of the animal's well-being.
At the time of adoption, the right of ownership of the animal shall transfer to the new owner. No cat or other animal caught and detained or procured, obtained, sent or brought to a pound or shelter shall be sold or otherwise made available for the purpose of experimentation. Any person who sells or otherwise makes available any such cat or other animal for the purpose of experimentation shall be guilty of a disorderly person's offense.
The animal shelter shall report to the Department of Health & Human Services an annual summary which includes the following information by species-type:
The number of animals impounded during the previous calendar year;
The number of animals who were killed by the animal shelter, at the animal shelter's direction, with the animal shelter's permission, and/or by a representative of the animal shelter during the previous calendar year;
The number of animals who died, were lost, and/or were stolen while in the direct or constructive care of such agency during the previous calendar year;
The number of animals who were returned to their owners during the previous calendar year;
The number of animals who were adopted during the previous calendar year;
The number of animals who were transferred to other organizations during the previous calendar year;
The number of animals transferred to other organizations that are located more than 20 miles from the originating shelter;
The number of animals who were on hand at the start of the year;
The number of animals who were on hand at the end of the year.
Service fees shall be as follows: (For extenuating circumstances, the Police Liaison has the authority to adjust individual fees and will provide a report to the Finance Department.)
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 or cat which s/he may lawfully seize and impound when such officer is in immediate pursuit of such dog or cat, except upon the premises of the owner of the dog or cat if the owner is present and forbids the same.
No person shall hinder, molest or interfere with anyone authorized or empowered to perform any duty under this article.
After observation, any animal seized under this article suspected of being rabid shall be immediately reported to the Health Officer.
The shelter shall not ban, bar, limit or otherwise obstruct the adoption or transfer of any animal based on breed, breed mix, species, age, color, appearance or size.
Any person who keeps or operates or proposes to establish a kennel, a pet shop, a shelter or a pound, or to breed animals, shall apply to the Health Officer for a license entitling him to keep or operate such establishment.
The application for a license required by Subsection A above shall describe the premises where the establishment is located or is proposed to be located and the purpose for which it is to be maintained and shall be accompanied by the written approval of the Health Officer of the Township, showing compliance with the local and state rules and regulations governing location of and sanitation at such establishments.
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 the following year.
The Township Council may, in its discretion, refuse to issue a license to any person to conduct any of the businesses described in Subsection A above in any place in the Township where, in the judgment of the Township Council, the existence or conduct of such business will be detrimental or injurious to the peace and quiet of the neighborhood.
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 not be transferable to another owner or different premises.
The annual license fee for a kennel providing accommodations for 10 or fewer dogs shall be $75, and for more than 10 dogs, the fee shall be $125. The annual license fee for a pet shop shall be $50. No fee shall be charged for a shelter or pound.
It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or offer for sale, barter or give away rabbits, baby chicks, ducklings or other fowl as pets or novelties.
It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or offer for sale or for any person to permit to be sold or offered for sale, within his place of business within the limits of the Township, live rabbits, baby chickens or other domestic fowl less than three weeks of age in lots of less than six to a single sale.
This section shall not be construed to prohibit the sale of rabbits, chicks or other domestic fowl in proper brooder facilities by hatcheries or stores engaged in the business of selling the same to be raised for commercial purposes.
Any person who violates any provision of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to the penalty as provided in § 1-15, General penalty, of this Code.