[Ord. No. 446 § 1]
This chapter shall be known as "The Maurice River Township Animal Control and Licensing Regulations."
[Ord. No. 446 § 2]
As used in this chapter:
- Shall mean any domestic short or long haired cat.
- CERTIFIED ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER
- Shall mean a person eighteen (18) years or older who has satisfactorily completed a course of study approved by the Commissioner of Health on the control of animals, or who has been employed in the State of New Jersey in the capacity of, and with similar responsibilities to those required of a Certified Animal Control Officer for three (3) years. This can also refer to an agency which supplied the animal control services of a Certified Animal Control Officer.
- Shall mean any male dog or female bitch.
- Shall mean any bird, including but not limited to ducks, geese or chickens.
- Shall mean any person over eighteen (18) years of age exercising control over a dog, cat or other animal to remain on premises under his or her control.
- Shall mean any establishment wherein or whereon the business of boarding or selling dogs or breeding dogs for sale is carried on, except a pet shop.
- LICENSING AGE
- Shall mean a dog which has attained the age of seven (7) months or which possesses a set of permanent teeth.
- Shall mean any domestic animal, including but not limited to cattle, horses, pigs, goats, rabbits, swine, or fowl raised for home use or profit.
- Shall mean every person over eighteen (18) years of age having a right of property in such dog, cat, or other animal in his or her keeping for a period of ten (10) days or longer.
- PET SHOP
- Shall mean any room or group of rooms or cages or exhibition pen not part of a kennel wherein animals, birds, and/or fish are kept, displayed, or offered for sale.
- POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS DOG
- Shall mean a dog that has been identified by virtue of their unprovoked attacks on, and associated injury to, persons or animals.
- Shall mean an establishment for the confinement of dogs or other animals seized under the provisions of this chapter.
- Shall mean an establishment where dogs, cats, or other animals are received, housed and distributed.
- TOWNSHIP CLERK
- Shall mean the Township Clerk of Maurice River Township or any other person or official designated in the Clerk's place and stead by the Township Committee.
- VICIOUS DOG
- Shall mean a dog that has been identified by virtue of their unprovoked attacks on, and associated injury to, or causing the death of persons or animals.
[Ord. No. 446 § 3]
No persons shall own, keep or harbor any dog within the Township except in compliance with the provisions of this section and unless such person shall first obtain a license and official metal registration tag therefor issued by the Township Clerk upon application by the owner, payment of the prescribed fee and proof of rabies vaccination as per State law.
The license which shall be issued by the Township shall contain the name and address of the owner of such dog, a short description of the dog to be licensed, such as breed, sex, age, color and markings, proof of current rabies vaccination which extends to the entire licensing year in which the license is to be issued, and also the registration number of such license shall bear the signature of an authorized agent thereof.
The information supplied on all licenses under this section and the registration number issued to each licensed dog shall be preserved for a period of three (3) years. Information regarding dog licenses shall be forwarded to the State Department of Health each month.
In no case shall there be allowed or maintained more than five (5) dogs in any one (1) household or upon any one (1) property in the Township unless that property is licensed as a pound, kennel, shelter or pet shop.
[Ord. No. 446 § 4]
Any person who owns, keeps or harbors a dog of licensing age in the Township shall apply for and procure a license and official metal registration tag from the Township for each dog owned, kept or harbored and shall place a collar or harness upon the dog with the registration tag securely fastened thereto. Applications shall be made from January 1 through March 31 annually, and are due no later than March 31 of each year. In the event that a dog is owned, kept or harbored in the Township on January 1, then the application for a license shall be made within ten (10) days of the date upon which a dog in question first became subject to the provisions of this section.
[Ord. No. 446 § 5; Ord. No. 603]
Fees. The person applying for the license and registration tags shall pay to the Township a fee of seven ($7.00) dollars: five dollars and eighty ($5.80) cents payable to the Township for each dog license plus the State of New Jersey fee of one ($1.00) dollar for registration and twenty ($.20) cents for the State's Pilot Clinic Fund for a total fee of seven ($7.00) dollars. In addition, the person applying for the license and registration tag shall pay a fee of three ($3.00) dollars for any dog of reproductive age which has not had its reproductive capacity permanently altered through sterilization. A late fee of five ($5.00) dollars will be charged on and after April 1 of each year. The license and registration tags and renewal thereof shall expire on December 31 of each year.
"Seeing Eye Dogs" and "Hearing Ear Dogs." No fee shall be charged for dogs used as guides for blind persons and commonly known as "Seeing Eye Dogs," dogs used to assist deaf persons and commonly known as "Hearing Ear Animals," dogs used to assist handicapped persons commonly known as "Service Dogs" and dogs used by the Police Department to assist in official law enforcement matters and commonly known as "K-9 Dogs." These animals shall be licensed in the same manner as other dogs, except that the owner or keeper shall not be required to pay any fees.
Potentially Dangerous or Vicious Dogs. A person applying for a license for an identified potentially dangerous or vicious dog shall pay to the Township a fee of seven hundred ($700.00) dollars in addition to the fees listed above. In addition, the owner or keeper of an identified potentially dangerous or vicious dog shall present to the Township proof that the owner or keeper has procured liability insurance in the amount of at least one million ($1,000,000.00) dollars, covering the twelve (12) month period during which licensing is sought. This policy shall contain a provision requiring the Township to be named as an additional insured for the sole purpose of the Township to be notified by the insurance company of any cancellation, termination or expiration of the policy.
[Ord. No. 446 § 6]
A license shall be required for any dog owned by a resident:
On the first day of January of a calendar year (application for licenses due from January 1 through March 31 of each year).
Any dog acquired by any person during the course of any calendar year and kept within the Township for more than ten (10) days after acquisition.
Any dog attaining licensing age during the course of the calendar year.
Any unlicensed dog brought into the Township by any person and kept for more than ten (10) days.
Any dog licensed by another State brought into the Township by any person and kept for more than ninety (90) days.
[Ord. No. 446 § 7]
No person, except the Animal Control Officer or Police Officer in the performance of his duties, shall remove a registration tag and/or collar from 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.
[Ord. No. 446 § 8]
License fees and other moneys collected or received under the provision of this section shall be forwarded to the Chief Financial Officer of the Township after collection or receipt and shall be placed in a special account separate from any of the other accounts of the Township and used for the following purposes only:
Collecting, keeping and disposing of dogs and other animals liable to seizure.
Local prevention and control of rabies.
Providing anti-rabies treatment under the direction of the County Health Department for any person exposed to rabies.
All other purposes prescribed by the Statutes of New Jersey governing the subject.
Any unexpended balance remaining in such special accounts 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 the special account to the general funds of the Township any amount then in the special account which is in excess of the total amount paid into the special account during the last two (2) fiscal years next preceding.
The registration tag fee for each dog shall be forwarded within thirty (30) days after collection by the Township Clerk to the State Department of Health.
[Ord. No. 446 § 12]
Any person or agency appointed for the purpose by the Township Committee shall once every two (2) years cause a canvass to be made of all dogs owned, kept or harbored within the limits of the Township. A report will be made to the Municipal Clerk or other person designated to license dogs in the Township and to the County Board of Health, and to the State Department of Health on or before September 1 of that year.
[Ord. No. 446 § 9]
No dog, cat, cattle, goat, swine, fowl and/or other like animal or livestock shall run or be permitted by its owner to run upon any public street, sidewalk, thoroughfare, park, playground, school yard or in any of the public places of the Township or upon any private property without the prior consent of the owner.
[Ord. No. 446 § 10]
No person shall own, keep, harbor, or maintain any dog, or other animal which habitually barks, howls, or cries frequently and thereby disturbs the peace and quiet of the neighborhood and creates a nuisance at any time of the day or night. Whenever a complaint shall be made in writing, under oath, by two (2) or more persons setting forth that such barking and howling is continued for unreasonable periods of time, to the annoyance and discomfort of the complainant and their neighbors and families so that it can be established that such barking and howling is a nuisance to the immediate neighborhood, then in such case, the owner of the dog or dogs shall cause the barking and howling to cease and immediately terminate, and if such barking and howling shall occur again, the owner of such dog or dogs shall be deemed to be violating this section and shall be subject to penalty as set forth herein.
[Ord. No. 446 § 11]
An Animal Control Officer or agency shall be appointed by the Township Committee. The person or agency so designated and appointed an Animal Control Officer shall be entitled to be paid as compensation for services an amount established by the Township.
[Ord. No. 446 § 13]
The Animal Control Officer shall take into custody and impound or cause to be taken into custody and impounded, and thereafter destroyed or offered for adoption, the following:
Any dog, cattle, goat, swine, fowl and/or other animal or livestock running at large within the limits of the Township.
Any dog which is not licensed or tagged.
Any dog or other animal which is off the premises of the owner or the person keeping or harboring such dog or other animal which is believed to be a stray animal.
Any dog or other animal which has a dangerous or vicious propensity or which has been noticeably infected with rabies or which has been bitten by a dog or other animal suspected of having rabies.
Any female dog in season not confined in such a way so as not to be accessible to males or any female dog in season off the premises of the owner or of the person keeping or harboring such dog.
Any dogs creating a nuisance while off their property.
Any dog or other animal with a dangerous or vicious propensity that is unmuzzled, uncontrolled by proper restraining or running at large, provided that the dog or other animal may be seized by the Animal Control Officer, and provided further that if the dog or other animal cannot be seized with safety, it may be killed.
If any dog or other animal so impounded or seized wears a collar or harness, having inscribed thereon or attached thereto the name and address of any person or registration tag or if the owner or the person keeping or harboring the animal is known, the Animal Control Officer shall serve to the person whose address is given on the collar or to the owner or the person keeping or harboring the animal, if known, a notice in writing that the animal has been seized and will be liable to be offered for adoption or destroyed if not claimed within seven (7) days after service of the notice.
A notice under this section may be served either by delivering it to the person upon 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 or her usual or last known place of abode or to the address given on the collar.
The Animal Control Officer may cause an animal to be destroyed or offered for adoption seven (7) 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 or veterinary cost.
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.
At the time of adoption, the right of ownership in the animal shall transfer to the new owner. No dog or other animal so caught and detained shall be sold or otherwise made available for the purpose of experimentation.
[Ord. No. 446 § 14]
The Animal Control Officer engaged in the performance of his duty is hereby authorized to enter upon any premises to seize and impound any dog, cat or other animal, which he may lawfully seize or impound when such Officer is in immediate pursuit of the animal except upon the premises of the owner of the animal if the owner is present and forbids the same.
[Ord. No. 446 § 15]
No person shall distract, give false information, hinder, molest or interfere with anyone authorized or empowered to perform any duty under this chapter.
[Ord. No. 446 § 16]
Seizure and Impounding. An Animal Control Officer shall seize and impound a dog when the Officer has reasonable cause to believe that the dog:
Attacked a person and caused death or serious bodily injury to that person.
Caused bodily injury to a person during an unprovoked attack and poses a serious threat of harm to persons or animals.
Engaged in dog fighting activities.
Has been trained, tormented, badgered, baited, or encouraged to engage in unprovoked attacks upon persons or animals.
Impounding. The dog shall be impounded until the final disposition as to whether the dog is vicious or potentially dangerous. Subject to the approval of the Animal Control Officer or County Health Officer, the dog may be impounded in a facility or other structure agreeable to the owner.
Hearing. A hearing shall be held in Municipal Court, and during the hearing the owner shall have the opportunity to present evidence to demonstrate that the dog is not vicious or potentially dangerous.
Findings of the Court.
A dog may not be declared vicious or potentially dangerous for inflicting death or serious bodily injury:
Upon a person if that person was committing or attempting to commit a crime.
Upon a person if that person was tormenting or inflicting pain upon the dog in such an extreme manner that an attack of such nature could be considered provoked.
Upon a domestic animal if the domestic animal was the aggressor.
If the Court declares a dog to be vicious, and no appeal is made of this ruling, the dog shall be destroyed in a humane and expeditious manner, except that no dog may be destroyed during the pendency of an appeal.
The Court shall declare a dog to be potentially dangerous, if it finds that the dog:
Caused bodily injury to a person during an unprovoked attack, and poses a serious threat of bodily injury or death to a person.
Killed another domestic animal and poses a threat of death to a person or another domestic animal.
Has been trained, tormented, badgered, baited or encouraged to engage in unprovoked attacks upon persons or domestic animals.
If the Court declares a dog to be potentially dangerous, the owner must:
Apply for a special Township potentially dangerous dog license, registration number and red identification tag.
Have the registration number tattooed upon the dog in a prominent location.
Display, in a conspicuous manner, a sign on his premises warning that a potentially dangerous dog is on the premises.
Immediately erect and maintain an enclosure for the potentially dangerous dog on the property where the dog will be kept and maintained, which has sound sides, top and bottom to prevent the dog from escaping by climbing, jumping or digging and within a fence of at least six (6) feet in height separated by at least three (3) feet from the confined area.
Securely lock the enclosure to prevent entry of the public and prevent release or escape.
Inspection of Owner's Property. The Animal Control Officer shall inspect the enclosure and the owner's property at least monthly to determine continuing compliance.
[Ord. No. 446 § 17]
No person owning, keeping or harboring any dog and/or other like animal or livestock shall permit it upon a public street, sidewalk, thoroughfare, park, playground, school yard or in any of the public places of the Township unless it is controlled by an adequate leash or tether or not more than six (6) feet long.
[Ord. No. 446 § 18]
No person owning, keeping or harboring a dog, cat, and/or other animal shall permit it to do any injury or do any damage to any lawn, shrubbery, flowers, grounds, garden or property.
[Ord. No. 446 § 19]
No person shall bring, allow, or knowingly permit any dog, cat or other animal onto any private property without the owner's permission, or into any store or other building or portion thereof which members of the public at large are invited or expected to enter or frequent. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prohibit the keeping or bringing of any dog, cat or other animal into the premises of the owner. Specifically excluded from this section are "Seeing Eye Dogs," "Hearing Ear Animals," Police K-9 Dogs or other service animals.
[Ord. No. 446 § 20]
No person shall own, keep, or harbor any wolf or wolf-hybrid, or wildlife-hybrids within the Township.
No person shall own, keep, or harbor any exotic animal within the Township.
No person shall own, keep, or harbor a pot-belly pig, or other livestock within the Township on a property of less than two (2) acres in size.
No person shall own, possess, or have custody on his premises any wild or vicious animal for display, training, or exhibition purposes, whether gratuitously or for a fee.
No person shall keep or permit to be kept any wild animal as a pet.
No person shall own, keep, or harbor a dog or other animal on an unoccupied premises.
[Ord. No. 446 § 21]
No person keeping, harboring or in charge of any dog, cat or other animal shall cause, suffer or allow such dog or other to soil, defile, deface, or defecate on, or commit any nuisance on any public property, including but not limited to any common thoroughfare, sidewalk, passageway, by-path, play area, park or any place where people congregate or walk. The aforesaid restrictions shall not apply to those persons who comply with the following:
The person in charge of such dog, cat or other animal shall immediately remove all feces deposited by such animal by any sanitary method.
The feces removed from the aforementioned designated area shall be disposed of by the person owning, harboring, keeping or in charge of any dog, cat or other animal in a sanitary manner.
No person keeping, harboring, or in charge of any dog, cat or other animal shall cause, suffer, or allow such a dog, cat or other animal to soil, defile, deface or defecate on or commit any nuisance upon any private property without the permission of the property owner.
No person shall abandon, leave, relinquish control over, or cause to remain, any dog, cat, bird, or other animal on any public or private property without the prior approval of the property owner.
[Ord. No. 446 § 22]
The premises on which dogs, cats, livestock, birds, or other animals are maintained shall at all time conform to the following requirements:
Dogs, cats, livestock, birds and other animals shall at all times be confined to such premises or portion thereof as will preclude odors and sound emanating from such animals or birds, or engendered by their care, feeding or other activity connected with such animals or birds from interfering with the ordinary and reasonable use, occupation, and enjoyment of property on neighboring premises.
All sheds, coops, pens, runways, stalls, or other enclosures or facilities related to animals or birds shall be located or maintained at least fifty (50) feet from the main building and/or from any lot line. Dog boxes shall be located or maintained at least twenty (20) feet from any lot line.
Buildings, food storage bins, appliances, equipment, feeding areas and other facilities on the premises shall be constructed with rat proofing materials and maintained in such fashion as to permit proper cleansing and shall be cleaned, deodorized and disinfected regularly.
Water supply shall be adequate for proper sanitation.
Water or other liquid to which mosquitoes may have access shall be properly drained to prevent their breeding.
Disposition shall be made to animal wastes, excrement, garbage, refuse, or vegetable matter deposited upon the premises in such a manner as to prevent insect breeding or rodent infestation or pollution of the air, ground, or body of water or the creation of any other unhealthy or unsanitary condition.
All necessary measures shall be employed to ensure that rodents or insects hazardous to public health shall be precluded from infesting the premises.
Adequate measure shall be taken to prevent the animals or birds maintained from escaping or at any time roaming at large.
Adequate facilities shall be available to maintain the premises in a sanitary condition at all times.
No person shall willfully sell, or offer to sell, use, or expose any animal or bird having contagious or infectious disease dangerous to the health or life of human beings or animals.
[Ord. No. 446 § 23]
Any person who keeps or operates or proposes to establish a kennel, pet shop, shelter or pound shall apply to the Township for a license to keep or operate such establishment. Any person holding such a license shall not be required to secure individual licenses for dogs or cats owned by such licensee and kept at such establishments. Such licenses shall not be transferable to another owner of different premises.
The application shall describe the premises where the establishment is located or proposed to be located. The purpose or purposes for which it is to be maintained and shall be accompanied by the written approval of the local municipal and health authority showing compliance with the local and State rules and regulations governing location and sanitation at such establishment. The application will also describe the maximum number of dogs, cats or other animals to be accommodated by such establishment at any one time. The maximum number of dogs allowed is twenty (20) on the site at any one time. The maximum number of cats allowed is twenty (20) on the site at any one time.
All licenses issued for a kennel, pet shop, shelter or pound shall state the purpose for which the establishment has been maintained, and all such licenses shall expire on January 31 annually and be subject to revocation by the Township on recommendation of the State Department of Health or County Board of Health for failure to comply with the rules and regulation of the Board, after the owner has been afforded a hearing by either the State Department or County Board.
Any person holding such license shall be required to secure individual licenses for dogs or cats owned by the licensee and kept at the establishment. Licenses shall not be transferable to another dog or cat or different premises.
The Animal Control Officer shall ensure that any person holding a license to establish, keep or operate a kennel, pet shop, shelter or pound shall comply with applicable State and local laws.
[Ord. No. 446 § 24]
The Township Clerk shall forward to the State Department of Health a list of all kennels, pet shops, shelter and pounds licensed within thirty (30) days after the licenses are issued. The list shall include the name and address of each licensee and the kind of license issued.
[Ord. No. 446 § 25]
No dog, cat or other animals kept in a kennel, pet shop, shelter or pound shall be permitted off the premises except on a leash, in a crate or other like method.
[Ord. No. 446 § 26]
When it has been determined by a hospital, physician or veterinarian that an animal bite has occurred, the Animal Control Officer, as agent of the County Health Officer, shall receive and investigate all animal bites. The Animal Control Officer, in conjunction with the Health Officer having jurisdiction, will ensure that all quarantine periods and suspected rabies specimens are handled expeditiously.
If any animal is involved in three (3) incidents within a twelve (12) month period where such bites have been reported by a hospital physician or veterinarian, the Animal Control Officer shall report to the Municipal Court Judge and to the owner or keeper in writing of these reported incidents and that such animal may be determined at a hearing held before a Municipal Judge to have a propensity to cause harm to people or other domestic animals. The owner or keeper shall be notified in writing of the results of the hearing, including the determination of the Judge.
No person owning or keeping an animal which has been determined to have a propensity to cause harm to people or other domestic animals shall permit such animal off the premises of the owner or keeper unless being muzzled or crated and on a leash no longer than six (6) feet. Housing conditions shall be adhered to as set by the State Board of Health.
[Ord. No. 446 § 27]
To redeem any dog/cat found running at large, the owner shall be required to present acceptable proof of compliance. If the owner does not have acceptable proof, he/she shall be required to pay a fine equal to the spay/neuter cost of that dog/cat, according to prevailing rates. The fine will be forfeited unless the owner presents, within thirty (30) days, acceptable proof of compliance.
Any dog/cat that comes to the attention of an Animal Control Officer or other Law Enforcement Officer or Official will be required to provide acceptable proof of compliance.
Any owner/keeper, shelter, or agency which sells or adopts-out a dog/cat to any person must provide a copy of this registration to the new owner and obtain a signed acknowledgement of receipt of same.
[Ord. No. 446 § 28]
Any person who violates or refuses to comply with the provisions of this chapter or with the rules and regulations of the State Department of Health governing the sanitary conduct and operation of kennels, pet shops, shelters and pounds shall be liable for a penalty upon conviction in the Municipal Court as follows:
Failure to have a proper license and registration tag for a dog or other animal required to be licensed and/or registered first offense, if dog or other animal is licensed and registered before designated court appearance date payment of the sum of twenty ($20.00) dollars plus fifteen ($15.00) dollars court cost to the Court Administrator prior to the court date with evidence that the dog or other animal is properly licensed and registered. Failure to have a proper license and registration for a dog for the first offense at the time of court appearance if the dog has not been previously registered and licensed and the fine paid to the Court Administrator, the sum of thirty ($30.00) dollars plus court costs and the defendant must obtain a license within five (5) days of the sentence and provide a copy of the license to the Court Administrator. A fine of fifty ($50.00) dollars for all subsequent offenses plus acquisition of a proper license within five (5) days.
Destruction of vegetation and nuisance to surrounding neighbors, a minimum fine of twenty-five ($25.00) dollars to a maximum fine of one hundred ($100.00) dollars for the first offense: a minimum fine of fifty ($50.00) dollars to a maximum fine of five hundred ($500.00) dollars for all subsequent violations.
All other violations, except as otherwise provided herein, any person who violates or refuses to comply, shall be liable for a fine not less than one hundred ($100.00) dollars and not more than one thousand ($1,000.00) dollars for a term not to exceed ninety (90) days in the County jail for a term not to exceed ninety (90) days of Community Service in lieu of any jail time imposed as determined in the discretion of the Municipal Court Judge having jurisdiction over these matters. The continuation of such violations for each successive day shall constitute a separate offense and the person or persons allowing or permitting continuation of the violation may be fined or otherwise punished as more fully set forth above for each separate offense by the Municipal Court Judge having jurisdiction over these matters.
The violation of the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to abatement, restraining order or injunction issued by a court of competent jurisdiction.
[Added 8-15-2019 by Ord. No. 688]
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER OR ACO
- A person 18 years of age or older who has satisfactorily completed the course of study approved by the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services of the State of New Jersey and the Police Training Commission as prescribed by paragraphs (1) through (3) of Subsection a of Section 3 of NJ P.L. 1983, c. 525 (N.J.S.A. 4:19-15.16a); or who has been employed in the State of New Jersey in the capacity of, and with similar responsibilities to those required of, a certified animal control officer pursuant to the provisions of NJ P.L. 1983, c. 525, for a period of three years before January 17, 1987.
- CONTINUOUSLY (or PERSISTENTLY)
- Nonstop utterances for 30 consecutive minutes with interruption of less than 30 seconds at a time.
- EAR TIPPING/EAR-TIPPED
- The removal of the one-fourth-inch tip of a free-roaming cat's left ear, performed while the cat is under anesthesia by a licensed veterinarian and designed to be an indication that the free-roaming cat has been sterilized and vaccinated for rabies.
- FERAL CAT
- A cat that:
- FOSTER HOME
- Placement of a cat after the seven-day holding period by an animal rescue organization with a caretaker, who may be an individual or group, for the purpose of providing temporary care for a cat, without the caretaker assuming ownership, and with the intent that the caretaker relinquishes the cat to the animal rescue organization or a suitable owner upon one being located. [A foster home may provide care to a cat without the effect of the fostered cat counting toward a municipality's household pet limit (should one exist); however, a foster home must comply with all other provisions of this section.]
- FREE-ROAMING CAT
- Any free-roaming or feral cat that may be cared for by one or more residents of the immediate area and which has no discernible form of ownership identification.
- FREE-ROAMING CAT CAREGIVER
- A person who provides care, including food, water, shelter or medical care, to a free-roaming cat. A free-roaming cat caregiver shall not be considered to be the owner, custodian, harborer, controller, or keeper of a free-roaming cat.
- FREE-ROAMING CAT COLONY
- A group of outside cats that congregates, more or less, together as a unit.
- FREE-ROAMING CAT MANAGEMENT
- A program in which any person, known or unknown, engages in trapping, neutering and returning (TNR) a free-roaming cat to a colony. Management of the colony shall include, but not be limited to, trapping, sterilizing, vaccinating, ear-tipping, microchipping, and returning a free-roaming cat to its colony of origin, from which it was trapped. Managing shall also include providing adequate food, water, medical care and shelter for the cats within the colony being managed. Assuming temporary custody of any cat within the colony from time to time may also be necessary to providing adequate care.
- The act of caring for and keeping an animal or the act of providing a premises or residence to which the animal returns for food, shelter, or care, where the caregiver is providing the primary source of sustenance for the animal for at least seven days. Free-roaming cat caregivers do not harbor free-roaming cats for the purpose of this section but are subject to the provisions of this section pertaining to free-roaming cats.
- An electronic identification device inserted into an animal, typically on the back between the shoulder blades, by a veterinarian in accordance with professional medical standards.
- Maurice River Township, Cumberland County, New Jersey.
- NEUTER OR SPAY
- To have a licensed veterinarian surgically sterilize the animal.
- 1. Disturbing the peace by habitual howling, crying or screaming continuously for at least 30 minutes, occurring at least three separate times within a period of eight hours.
- 2. Disturbsing the peace by habitually or repeatedly desecrating or soiling, destroying public or private property or directly or detrimentally affecting a person shall constitute a public nuisance.
- Any person, household, firm, corporation, or other organization who, except a foster home, possesses a legal title to, a property interest in, or permanent custody of any animal regulated by this section. A person must be age 18 or older to be considered the legal owner of an animal. If a person under age 18 is considered the custodian or caretaker of the animal, the parent or legal guardian shall be considered the legal owner of the animal. A free-roaming cat caregiver is not an owner of free-roaming cats for the purposes of this section but is subject to the provisions pertaining to free-roaming cat caregivers.
- PERSISTENTLY (or CONTINUOUSLY)
- Nonstop utterances for 30 consecutive minutes with interruption of less than 30 seconds at a time.
- An establishment for the confinement of dogs or other animals seized either under the provisions of this chapter or otherwise.
- PROPER SHELTER
- A structure that:
- 1. Provides at all times:
- (a) Adequate ventilation to allow the free-roaming cat, domestic companion animal, or service animal to remain dry and maintain a normal body temperature.
- (b) Access to water in a sanitary and liquid state.
- (c) Exposure to natural or artificial light according to a regular cycle of day and night.
- (d) Sufficient space so that the free-roaming cat, domestic companion animal, or service animal can easily turn around in a full circle and lie down on the animal's side with limbs outstretched.
- (e) When the animal is in a normal sitting position in the proper shelter, the top of the head of the animal cannot touch the ceiling of the proper shelter.
- 2. Is maintained in a manner to minimize the accumulation of any waste, other debris, precipitation, or other moisture inside, surrounding, and underneath any area or structure providing proper shelter, and to provide reasonable protection from flooding.
- 3. Is soundly constructed to prevent the sagging or collapse of any part of the structure or protection and is maintained in a good repair with no exposed sharp points or edges.
- 4. Remains in an upright position at all times.
- 5. In the event of adverse environmental conditions, is an enclosed structure that has:
- (a) A solid roof, solid walls with a single opening no larger than necessary to allow the free-roaming cat, domestic companion animal, or service animal to comfortably enter and exit the structure, and a floor that is not the ground.
- (b) Insulation, dry bedding, and a windbreak at the entrance that are sufficient to keep the free-roaming cat, domestic companion animal, or service animal dry and maintain the animal's normal body temperature.
- 6. In the event of adverse environmental conditions, provides the free-roaming cat, domestic companion animal, or service animal with adequate shade or other cooling area, by natural or artificial means, to allow the animal to maintain a normal body temperature.
- SEVERE INJURY
- Any physical injury that results in one or more broken bones or one or more lacerations requiring sutures, or an injury requiring reconstructive or plastic surgery.
- Any animal found to be at-large, whether lost by its owner or otherwise, or that is on the common areas of apartments, condominiums, trailer parks or other multiresidential premises, and that does not have an identification tag and for which there is no identifiable owner. The term "stray" shall not be applied to free-roaming cats managed in accordance with this section.
Responsibilities of caregiver.
The caregiver shall provide free-roaming cats with sufficient food; sufficient water; proper shelter and protection from weather; veterinary care as needed to prevent suffering; and humane care and treatment.
The caregiver shall exercise reasonable care to guard against the animal creating a nuisance.
Free-roaming cat management program.
Maurice River Township believes that the safest place for pet-domesticated cats is indoors. Maurice River Township also recognizes that feral and free-roaming cats, as defined in this chapter, are not, in the majority of cases, suitable to be taken indoors and kept as pets because their home is outdoors. The Township further recognizes the need for innovation in addressing the issues presented by feral or free-roaming cats. To that end, the Township finds that properly managed free-roaming cat colonies are part of the solution to reducing the numbers of feral cats in the Township and the rate of cats euthanized in area shelters.
Free-roaming cat colonies shall be permitted in the Township as part of a free-roaming cat management program in accordance with the following provisions:
Free-roaming cat caregivers must ensure free-roaming cats are sterilized, vaccinated against the threat of rabies, ear-tipped, and microchipped, and must cooperate with the municipality to abate any nuisance.
The location of free-roaming cat colonies must be maintained in compliance with property laws.
To be exempt from certain provisions of this chapter, all cats that are part of an approved free-roaming cat management program pursuant to this chapter must be sterilized, vaccinated against the threat of rabies, ear-tipped, and microchipped for easy identification. If these requirements are met, the free-roaming cat is exempted from the licensing, if applicable, stray and at-large provisions of this chapter.
Free-roaming cat caregivers shall make a reasonable attempt to remove young kittens from the field for domestication as well as not adding additional cats to their existing colony.
Ear-tipped free-roaming cats.
An ACO who has trapped a cat whose ear has been tipped or which bears some other distinguishing mark indicating that it belongs to a free-roaming cat colony shall transport the cat to the contracted municipal shelter, where the cat will be scanned for a microchip. If a registered microchip is found, the registered owner or caregiver will be contacted and advised that the cat is located at the Cumberland County SPCA.
The owner or caregiver shall be responsible for retrieving the cat from the municipal shelter within seven days or advising the shelter if the owner or caregiver does not intend to retrieve the cat. If no identification, microchip or information of the caregiver is available to the receiving shelter at the minimum stray hold period of seven days, then it is at the sole discretion of the receiving shelter to determine the outcome of the cat retrieved, which may include transfer, euthanasia, foster care, and/or adoption.
Resolution of complaints; procedures.
The requirements of this section notwithstanding, ACOs and law enforcement may investigate any nuisance complaint. If an ACO or law enforcement officer determines that an ear-tipped free-roaming cat is causing a nuisance as defined by this section, the ACO or law enforcement officer shall attempt to contact the caregiver or owner. The caregiver or owner shall begin nuisance abatement procedures within 48 hours of notification and make all reasonable efforts to resolve the nuisance as quickly as possible, not to exceed 30 days. If the caregiver or owner fails to resolve the nuisance or the caregiver cannot be identified, the animal control officer may remove the cat.
Enforcement of free-roaming cat management program. The Township shall have the following rights:
The right to seize or remove cats from a colony which is demonstrating signs of a life-threatening disease.
The right to seize or remove a cat from a colony which is creating a nuisance, as defined in this section, after the free-roaming cat caregiver has been given 30 days to abate the nuisance or remove and relocate the cat and failed to do so.
The right to seize or remove a cat or colony of cats when the free-roaming cat caregiver regularly fails to comply with the requirements of this chapter and the caregiver has not been able to obtain a replacement or substitute caregiver within 30 days of the Township or animal control officer having given notice to the caregiver. If one or more cats are in danger due to a caregiver's lack of compliance, the caregiver or owner may work with other local caregivers to find a suitable replacement caregiver or relocate the cats.
Abandonment of cats. No person may desert or abandon any cat at any public or private location. The practice of caring for a free-roaming cat in accordance with the provisions of this section do not constitute desertion or abandonment of the free-roaming cat. However, the placement of a cat at a free-roaming cat colony by a person other than the free-roaming cat caregiver constitutes abandonment. Any person who is found to be in violation of the provisions of this section shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $1,000 for each offense of abandoning one cat and $100 per additional cat.
Duration of section. This section shall remain in full force and effect for a period of five years from its formal adoption by the Maurice River Township Committee. Thereafter, this section shall have no further force or effect.