Borough of North Plainfield, NJ
Somerset County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Editor's Note: Prior ordinance history includes portions of Ordinance Nos. 237-C, 237-D, 237-F, 237-I, 237-J-83-11; 237-L-83-11, 382, 527, 530, 673-B, 677, 738, 83-8, 89-21, 90-04, 91-07, 91-10, 96-11, 99-14, 06-21, 07-02, 07-12.
For regulations prohibiting the hunting and trapping of animals and birds, See Chapter 3, Police Regulations, Section 3-4.
[Ord. #07-21]
As used in this Section:
ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER
Shall mean any person or agency designated or certified by the State of New Jersey Commissioner of Health and Senior Services to enforce the provisions of this Section.
AUTHORIZED AGENT
Shall mean the Health Officer, Sanitarian, an Animal Control Officer, a police officer or any other authorized representative of the Borough of North Plainfield.
DOG
Shall mean any dog, bitch or spayed bitch.
DOG OF LICENSING AGE
Shall mean any dog which has attained the age of seven months or which possesses a set of permanent teeth.
DOMESTIC ANIMAL
Shall mean any dog, cat, livestock other than poultry, or other animal, including but not limited to reptiles, rodents or fowl obtainable through a retail pet shop, breeder or livestock trader.
KENNEL
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 AUTHORITY
Shall mean the office of the Borough Clerk or any designated representative charged with administering this Section and/or issuing or revoking licenses under the provisions of this Section.
OWNER
Shall mean and include, when applied to the proprietorship of a dog, every person having a right of property in such dog and every person who has such dog in his keeping.
POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS DOG
Shall mean any dog or dog hybrid declared potentially dangerous by a municipal court pursuant to this Section.
RUN AT LARGE
Shall mean and apply to any dog not being physically restrained by the owner which is off and not on the premises of the owner.
VICIOUS DOG
Shall mean any dog or dog hybrid declared vicious by a Municipal Court pursuant to this Section.
[Ord. #07-21]
a. 
No person shall keep or harbor any dog within the Borough without first obtaining a license and metal registration tag therefor to be issued by the Licensing Authority upon application by the owner and payment of the prescribed fee and no person shall keep or harbor any dog in the Borough except in compliance with the provisions of this Section.
b. 
No license or metal registration tag shall be issued by the Borough unless the owner thereof presents to the Borough a completed National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians Form #51, "Rabies Vaccination Certificate," as proof that the dog has been inoculated against rabies with a vaccine having duration of immunity which extends throughout at least 10 of the 12 months of the licensing period. Dogs with a duration of immunity against rabies that expires prior to the tenth (10th) month of the licensing period shall be revaccinated prior to issuance of a license. The rabies inoculation shall be one approved by the United States Department of Agriculture and administered by a duly licensed veterinarian in accordance with the regulations promulgated by the New Jersey State Department of Health.
c. 
The inoculation requirement of paragraph b above shall not apply for any dog that a duly licensed veterinarian certifies in writing to be incapable of being inoculated for a specified period of time because of an infirmity, other physical condition, or regimen of therapy.
[Ord. #07-21]
Any person who shall own, keep or harbor a dog of licensing age shall apply for and procure from the Licensing Authority a license, whether annually or every three years as applicable pursuant to subsection 5-1.4 below, and shall apply annually for an official metal registration tag for each such dog so owned, kept, or harbored and shall place upon each such dog a collar or harness with the registration tag securely fastened thereto.
[Ord. #07-21; Ord. No. 2018-07]
a. 
The person applying for the license and registration tag of a spayed or neutered dog shall pay an annual fee of $21 for each dog. The person applying for the license and registration of a dog which is not spayed or neutered shall pay an annual fee of $25. Proof of neutering or spaying shall be required prior to issuance of a license at the rate for a neutered or spayed dog. The license and registration tag shall expire on the last day of January of the year following their issuance. An annual license and registration tag shall be issued upon payment of the annual fee. License and registration tag fees are to be paid for each dog, regardless of the number of dogs.
b. 
In addition to the license fees provided in paragraph a., the person applying for said license shall be required, as a condition for the issuance of the license to pay such additional sums, such as annual metal registration tag fees, nonsterilized fees, other fees or surcharges as shall be required by the State of New Jersey to be collected and/or forwarded to the State or any agency thereof by way of sum, fee or surcharge in connection with the issuance of any dog license.
c. 
Any dog owner, or person harboring a dog, found to have an unlicensed dog by the Borough Animal Control Officer, dog canvassers or any other municipal official after January 31 of any year, shall be required to pay an additional $5 delinquent fee plus the required license fee as provided in this Section for each dog license and registration tag, for failure to obtain a dog license before February 1st, together with any other fines due to summonses issued that may be imposed as provided in this Section for failure to obtain a dog license before February 1. The aforementioned delinquent fee shall not apply to dogs which have been acquired by the owner after January 31, provided the owner shall present sufficient proof to establish that the dog was acquired after January 31 and provided further that the dog shall be licensed within the time as otherwise required by this Section. The aforementioned delinquent fee shall not apply to dogs which do not attain licensing age until after January 31 and provided further that the dog shall be licensed within the time as otherwise required by law.
d. 
Assistance dogs, such as dogs used as guides by the visually impaired, hearing dogs for the deaf and hearing impaired, and service dogs used for other medical purposes, shall be licensed and registered as other dogs hereinabove provided, except that the owners or keepers of such dogs shall not be required to pay any fee therefor.
e. 
Any person applying for a duplicate license and/or registration tag shall pay a fee of $10.
f. 
Any person applying for a potentially dangerous dog license, registration number and/or red identification tag pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 4:19-17 et seq., shall pay a fee of $1,000 plus all other fees, sums and/or surcharges as established herein or by law.
[Ord. #07-21]
The owner of any newly acquired dog of licensing age, or of any dog which attains licensing age, shall make application for license and registration tag for such dog within 10 calendar days after such acquisition or age attainment.
[Ord. #07-21]
The application shall state the breed, sex, age, color and markings of the dog for which license and registration are sought, whether it is of a long or short haired variety, whether it has been surgically debarked or silenced and if it is of reproductive age, whether it has been spayed or neutered. The application shall also state the name, street and post office address of the owner and the person who shall keep or harbor such dog. The information on the application and the registration number issued for the dog shall be preserved for a period of three years from date of issuance of the registration number by the Licensing Authority. In addition he or she shall forward similar information to the New Jersey State Department of Health each month on forms furnished by the Department. Registration numbers shall be issued in the order of the applications.
[Ord. #07-21]
Any person who shall bring or cause to be brought into the Borough any dog licensed in another State for the current year, and bearing a registration tag, and shall keep the dog or permit the dog to be kept within the Borough for a period of more than 90 calendar days after being brought into the Borough shall immediately apply for a license and registration tag for each such dog unless such dog be licensed under Section 5-3.
Any person who shall bring or cause to be brought into the Borough any unlicensed dog and shall keep the same or permit the same to be kept within the Borough for a period of more than 10 days shall immediately apply for a license and registration tag for each such dog unless such dog be licensed under Section 5-3 below.
[Ord. #07-21]
Any dog for which a registration tag has been issued pursuant to this Section 5-1 of the Borough Code shall have at all times on its body a collar or harness with the registration tag securely fastened thereto. No person, except a municipal officer in the performance of his/her 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.
[Ord. #07-21]
License fees and other moneys collected or received under the provisions of this Chapter, except registration tag fees, shall be forwarded to the Treasurer of the Borough, within forty-eight hours (48) after collection or receipt and shall be placed in a special account separate from any of the other accounts of the Borough and shall be used for the following purposes only: for collecting, keeping, and disposing of dogs liable to seizure under this Chapter; for local prevention and control of rabies; for providing anti-rabic treatment under the direction of the local Board of Health for any person known or suspected to have been exposed to rabies; for all other purposes prescribed by the statutes of New Jersey governing the subject and for administering the provisions of this Section. Any unexpended balance remaining in such special account shall be retained therein until the end of the third (3rd) fiscal year following and may be used for any of the purposes set forth in this Section. At the end of the third (3rd) fiscal year following collection, and at the end of each fiscal year thereafter, there shall be transferred from such special account to the general funds of the Borough 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.
The registration tag fee for each dog shall be forwarded within 30 calendar days after collection by the Licensing Authority to the New Jersey State Department of Health. Any other fees as required by the State of New Jersey to be collected and/or forwarded to the State or any agency thereof in connection with the issuance of any dog license shall be forwarded to such department, agency designated by the State within 30 calendar days of collection by the Licensing Authority.
[Ord. #07-21]
The authorized agent of the Borough shall cause an annual canvass to be made of all dogs owned, kept, or harbored within the limits of the Borough and shall report to the Licensing Authority, the Board of Health of the Borough and to the New Jersey State Department of Health the result thereof, setting forth in separate columns the names and addresses of persons owning, keeping, or harboring such dogs, the number of licensed dogs owned, kept, or harbored by each of the persons, together with the registration numbers of each of the dogs, and the numbers of unlicensed dogs owned, kept, or harbored by each of the persons, together with a complete description of each of the unlicensed dogs.
[Ord. #07-21]
The Mayor shall have the power to appoint an authorized agent(s) and/or assistants, whose duty it shall be to enforce the provisions of this Chapter, with advice and consent of the Council.
[Ord. #07-21]
a. 
The authorized agent of the Borough shall take into custody and impound, or cause to be taken into custody and impounded, and thereafter destroyed or offered for adoption as provided in this Section:
1. 
Any dog off the premises of the owner or of the person keeping or harboring the dog which the official or his agent or agents have reason to believe is a stray dog;
2. 
Any dog off the premises of the owner or of the person keeping or harboring the dog without a current registration tag on his collar;
3. 
Any female dog in season off the premises of the owner or of the person keeping or harboring the dog.
4. 
Any dog or other animal which is suspected to be rabid.
5. 
Any dog or other animal off the premises of the owner reported to, or observed by, a certified animal control officer to be ill, injured or creating a threat to public health, safety or welfare, or otherwise interfering with the enjoyment of property.
b. 
If any dog 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 owner or the person keeping or harboring the dog is known, the authorized agent 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, if known, a notice in writing stating that the dog has been seized and will be liable to be offered for adoption or destroyed if not claimed within seven calendar days after the service of this notice.
c. 
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 in a letter addressed to that person at his usual or last known place of abode or to the address given on the collar.
d. 
When any dog so seized has been detained for seven calendar days after notice, when notice can be given as above set forth, or has been detained for seven calendar days after seizure, when notice has not been and cannot be given as above set forth, and if the owner or person keeping or harboring the dog has not claimed the dog and paid all expenses incurred by reason of its detention, including maintenance not exceeding $15 per day and if the dog be unlicensed at the time of the seizure and the owner or person keeping or harboring the dog has not produced a license and registration tag for the dog, the authorized agent may cause the dog to be destroyed in a manner causing as little pain as possible, or offered for adoption, if practicable, by the authorized agent, to some person desiring to acquire the ownership of the dog, all rights or prior ownership having ceased on failure to redeem within said seven calendar days. No impounded dog shall be transferred by adoption to a new owner until same has been licensed and tagged as required by this Section. No dog or other animal so 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. It shall be the duty of the authorized agent to keep male and female dogs separate at all times and it shall be the further duty of the authorized agent to segregate and keep segregated all sick animals and animals suspected of being affected with any communicable disease. After observation, any animal seized under this Section suspected of being rabid shall be immediately reported to the Health Officer of the Borough and to the State of New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services.
[Ord. #07-21]
Any officer or agent authorized or empowered to perform any duty under this Section is hereby authorized to go upon any premises to seize for impounding any dog which he/she may lawfully seize and impound when such officer is in immediate pursuit of such dog or dogs, except upon the premises of the owner of the dog if the owner is present and forbids the same.
[Ord. #07-21]
No person shall hinder, molest or otherwise interfere with anyone authorized or empowered to perform any duty under this Chapter.
[Ord. #07-21]
No person owning, keeping or harboring a dog shall permit or allow the dog to do any damage to any shrub, tree or other property in any street, park or other public place, in the Borough, nor shall the person allow the dog to soil or defile or commit any nuisance upon any sidewalk, pedestrian street crossing, schoolyard or municipal playground. The person shall not permit or allow the dog to habitually bark, howl or cry. The habitual barking, howling or crying of a dog in the Borough is hereby declared to be a disturbing noise within the meaning of N.J.S.A. 40:48-1, subsection (8) and a nuisance, as defined under law.
[Ord. #07-21]
a. 
No owner shall permit or allow any dog of licensing age to run at large.
b. 
No person shall abandon any dog, no matter what its age or condition, within the Borough.
c. 
No person shall permit a dog to leave the premises of the owner or person keeping or harboring a dog unless such dog is securely confined upon a tether (leash) no greater than 10 feet in length and accompanied by a person over the age of 12 years.
[Ord. #07-21]
No person owning, keeping, or harboring a dog shall permit it to do any injury or to do any damage to any lawn, shrubbery, flowers, grounds or property.
[Ord. #07-21]
Any person who violates or who fails or refuses to comply with any part of any of the preceding subsections, namely subsections 5-1.1 to 5-1.17 or with the rules and regulations promulgated by the New Jersey State Department of Health governing the prevention and spread of rabies and other diseases of dogs shall be liable to a penalty of $100 for each offense, to be recovered by and in the name of the Borough of North Plainfield. A person who refuses or neglects to pay forthwith the amount of a judgment rendered against him and the costs and charges incident thereto may be committed by the court to the County Jail for a period not exceeding 10 days in the case of the first conviction and in the case of a conviction for a second, subsequent or continuing violation, for a period not exceeding 30 days. In any case, fines and penalties shall apply and any day they remain unpaid shall constitute a separate violation.
[Ord. #07-21]
a. 
The Animal Control Officer shall seize and impound a dog when the officer has reasonable cause to believe that the dog:
1. 
Attacked a person and caused death or serious bodily injury as defined in N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1(b) to that person;
2. 
Caused bodily injury as defined in N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1(a) to a person during an unprovoked attack and poses a serious threat of harm to persons or domestic animals;
3. 
Engaged in dog fighting activities as described in N.J.S.A. 4:22-24 and N.J.S.A. 4:22-26;
4. 
Has been trained, tormented, badgered, baited or encouraged to engage in unprovoked attacks upon persons or domestic animals.
b. 
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 Borough Health Officer, the dog may be impounded in a facility or other structure agreeable to the owner.
[Ord. #07-21]
a. 
The Animal Control Officer shall notify the Borough Municipal Court and the Borough Health Officer immediately that he has seized and impounded a dog pursuant to this Chapter, or that he/she has reasonable cause to believe that a dog has killed another domestic animal and that a hearing is required. The Animal Control Officer shall through a reasonable effort, attempt to determine the identity of the owner of any dog seized and impounded. If its owner cannot be identified within seven calendar days, that dog may be humanely destroyed.
b. 
The Animal Control Officer shall, within five calendar days of the determination of the identity of the owner of a dog seized and impounded pursuant to this Section, notify by certified mail, return receipt requested and regular mail, the owner concerning the seizure and impoundment and that, if the owner wishes, a hearing will be held to determine whether the impounded dog is vicious or potentially dangerous. This notice shall also require that the owner respond within seven calendar days, by certified mail or hand delivery, a signed statement indicating whether he or she wishes the hearing to be conducted or, if not, to relinquish ownership of the dog, in which case the dog may be humanely destroyed. If the owner cannot be notified by certified mail, return receipt requested and regular mail, or refuses to sign for the certified letter/regular letter, or does not reply to the certified letter with a signed statement within seven calendar days of receipt, the dog may be humanely destroyed.
[Ord. #07-21]
The Borough and the owner of the dog may settle and dispose of any violation of this Chapter at any time in such manner and according to such terms and conditions as may be mutually agreed upon. Neither the Borough nor any of its employees shall have any liability by virtue of having entered into any settlement agreement pursuant to this Section, or for any action or inaction related to the entry into such agreement, for any injuries or damages caused thereafter by the dog. The Borough shall, as a condition of the settlement agreement, also require that the owner of the dog hold the Borough harmless for any legal expenses or fees the Borough may incur in defending against any cause of action brought against the Borough of North Plainfield notwithstanding the prohibition against such causes of action set forth in this Section.
[Ord. #07-21]
a. 
The Borough of North Plainfield Municipal Court shall declare the dog vicious if it finds by clear and convincing evidence that the dog:
1. 
Killed a person or caused serious bodily injury, as defined in N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1(b), to a person; or,
2. 
Has engaged in dog fighting activities, as described in N.J.S.A. 4:22-24 and N.J.S.A. 4:22-26.
b. 
A dog shall not be declared vicious for inflicting death or serious bodily injury as defined in N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1(b) upon a person, if the dog was found to have been provoked. The Borough shall bear the burden of proof to demonstrate that the dog was not provoked.
c. 
If the Borough of North Plainfield Municipal Court declares a dog to be vicious, and no appeal is made of this ruling pursuant to this Section, the dog shall be destroyed in a humane and expeditious manner, except that no dog may be destroyed during the pendency of an appeal.
[Ord. #07-21]
a. 
The Municipal Court shall declare a dog to be potentially dangerous if it finds by clear and convincing evidence that the dog:
1. 
Caused bodily injury as defined in N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1(a), to a person during an unprovoked attack and poses a serious threat of bodily injury or death to a person; or,
2. 
Severely injured or killed another domestic animal; and,
(a) 
Poses a threat of serious bodily injury or death to a person; or,
(b) 
Poses a threat of death to another domestic animal, or,
3. 
Has been trained, tormented, badgered, baited or encouraged to engage in unprovoked attacks upon persons or domestic animals.
b. 
A dog shall not be declared potentially dangerous for:
1. 
Causing bodily injury as defined in N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1(a), to a person if the dog was provoked; or,
2. 
Severely injuring or killing a domestic animal if the domestic animal was the aggressor.
c. 
For the purposes of paragraph a1 of this Section, the Borough shall bear the burden of proof to demonstrate that the dog was not provoked.
[Ord. #07-21]
If the Borough of North Plainfield Municipal Court declares the dog to be potentially dangerous, it shall issue an order and a schedule for compliance which, in part:
a. 
Shall require the owner to comply with the following conditions:
1. 
To apply, at his own expense, to the Borough Clerk or other official designated by the Borough to license dogs, for a special potentially dangerous dog license, Borough registration number, and red identification tag issued by the Borough pursuant to this Chapter. The owner shall, at his own expense, have the registration number tattooed upon the dog in a prominent location. A potentially dangerous dog shall be impounded until the owner obtains a potentially dangerous dog license, Borough registration number, and red identification tag from the Borough;
2. 
To display, in a conspicuous manner, a sign on his premises warning that a potentially dangerous dog is on the premises. The sign shall be visible and legible from 50 feet of the enclosure required pursuant to the provisions of subsection 5-1.24a3 below;
3. 
To immediately erect and maintain an enclosure for the potentially dangerous dog on the property where the potentially dangerous dog will be kept and maintained, which has sound sides, top and bottom to prevent the potentially dangerous 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. The owner of a potentially dangerous dog shall securely lock the enclosure to prevent the entry of the general public and to preclude any release or escape of a potentially dangerous dog by an unknowing child or other person. All potentially dangerous dogs shall be confined in the enclosure or, if taken out of the enclosure, securely muzzled and restrained with a tether approved by the animal control officer and having a minimum tensile strength sufficiently in excess of that required to restrict the potentially dangerous dog's movements to a radius of no more than three (3') feet from the owner and under the direct supervision of the owner;
b. 
Shall require the owner to maintain liability insurance in an amount determined by the Borough of North Plainfield Municipal Court to cover any damage or injury caused by the potentially dangerous dog. The liability insurance, which may be separate from any other homeowner policy, shall contain a provision requiring the Borough of North Plainfield to be named as an additional insured for the sole purpose of being notified by the insurance company of any cancellation, termination or expiration of the liability insurance policy. The owner shall provide the Borough with a copy of said policy.
[Ord. #07-21]
The owner of the dog, or the Animal Control Officer in the municipality in which the dog was impounded, may appeal any final decision, order, or judgment, including any conditions attached thereto, of the Borough of North Plainfield Municipal Court by filing an appeal with the Superior Court, Law Division, in accordance with the Rules Governing the Courts of the State of New Jersey pertaining to appeals from courts of limited jurisdiction. The Superior Court shall hear the appeal by conducting a hearing de novo in the manner established by those rules for appeals from courts of limited jurisdiction.
[Ord. #07-21]
a. 
If a dog is declared vicious or potentially dangerous, and all appeals pertaining thereto have been exhausted, the owner of the dog shall be liable to the Borough of North Plainfield for the actual costs and expenses of impounding and destroying the dog. The owner shall incur the expense of impounding the dog in a facility other than the Borough pound, regardless of whether the dog is ultimately found to be vicious or potentially dangerous.
b. 
If the dog has bitten or exposed a person within 10 days previous to the time of euthanasia, its head shall be transported to the New Jersey State Department of Health laboratory for rabies testing.
[Ord. #07-21]
If the Borough of North Plainfield Municipal Court finds that the dog is not vicious or potentially dangerous, the Municipal Court shall retain the right to convene a hearing to determine whether the dog is vicious or potentially dangerous for any subsequent actions of the dog.
[Ord. #07-21]
The owner of a potentially dangerous dog shall:
a. 
Comply with the provisions of this Chapter in accordance with a schedule established by the Borough of North Plainfield Municipal Court, but in no case more than 20 days subsequent to the date of determination, with the exception of an appeal filed under subsection 5-1.25 above;
b. 
Notify the Borough Clerk or other licensing authority designated by the Borough of North Plainfield, local Police Department, and the Animal Control Officer if a potentially dangerous dog is at large, or has attacked a human being or killed a domestic animal;
c. 
Notify the Borough Clerk or other licensing authority designated by the Borough of North Plainfield, local Police Department or force, and the Animal Control Officer within 24 hours of the death, sale or donation of a potentially dangerous dog;
d. 
Prior to selling or donating the dog, inform the prospective owner that the dog has been declared potentially dangerous;
e. 
Upon the sale or donation of the dog to a person residing in a different municipality, notify the department and the licensing authority, Police Department, and Animal Control Officer of that municipality of the transfer of ownership and the name, address and telephone of the new owner; and,
f. 
In addition to any license fee required pursuant to this Chapter, pay a potentially dangerous dog license fee to the applicable municipality.
[Ord. #07-21]
The owner of a potentially dangerous dog who is found to have violated this Section, namely subsections 5-1.19 through 5-1.28, or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, or to have failed to comply with a court order shall be subject to a fine of not more than $1,000 per day of the violation, and each day's continuance of the violation shall constitute a separate and distinct violation. The Borough of North Plainfield Municipal Court shall have jurisdiction to enforce this Chapter. An Animal Control Officer is authorized to seize and impound any potentially dangerous dog whose owner fails to comply with the provisions of this Chapter, or a court's order. The Borough of North Plainfield Municipal Court may order that the dog so seized and impounded be destroyed in an expeditious and humane manner.
[Ord. #07-21]
The Borough of North Plainfield shall:
a. 
Issue a potentially dangerous dog registration number and red identification tag, along with a potentially dangerous dog license upon a demonstration of sufficient evidence by the owner of the potentially dangerous dog to the Animal Control Officer that he/she has complied with the Borough of North Plainfield Municipal Court's orders. The last three digits of each potentially dangerous dog registration number issued by the Borough will be the three number code assigned to the Borough of North Plainfield by the New Jersey State Department of Health. The Animal Control Officer shall verify, in writing, the owner's compliance to the Borough Clerk or other licensing authority designated by the Borough of North Plainfield.
b. 
Publicize a telephone number for reporting violations of this Chapter. This telephone number shall be forwarded to the department and any changes in this number shall be reported immediately to the department.
[Ord. #07-21]
The Animal Control Officer shall inspect the enclosure and the owner's property at least monthly to determine continuing compliance with subsections 5-1.24a2 and 3 above.
[Ord. #07-21]
All fines and fees collected or received by the Borough of North Plainfield from the owner of a vicious dog or potentially dangerous dog pursuant to this Chapter shall be deposited in a special account and used by the Borough to administer and enforce the provisions of this Chapter dealing with vicious dogs or potentially dangerous dogs.
[Ord. #07-21]
The provisions of this Section shall not apply to dogs used for law enforcement activities within the Borough.
[Ord. #07-21]
a. 
Prohibited Acts. It shall be unlawful for any person to willfully or maliciously torture, torment, beat, kick, strike, mutilate, injure, disable or kill any dog used by the Police Department of the Borough in the performance of the functions or duties of such Department or to interfere with or meddle with any such dog while being used by the Department or any member thereof in the performance of any of the functions or duties of the Department or of any officer or member of the Department.
b. 
Penalty. Any person violating the provisions of this Section shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a penalty as established in Chapter 1, Section 1-5 of the Borough Code.
[Ord. #07-21]
A certified Animal Control Officer, either appointed by the Borough of North Plainfield or responding to a request for assistance by the Borough of North Plainfield, shall have the power and authority, within the jurisdiction of the Borough to:
a. 
Enforce all laws and/or ordinances enacted for the protection of animals, including, but not limited to, animal control, animal welfare and animal cruelty laws of the State of New Jersey and ordinances of the Borough;
b. 
Investigate and sign complaints concerning any violation of an animal control, animal welfare or animal cruelty laws of the State of New Jersey or ordinance of the Borough; and
c. 
Act, by virtue of the officer's appointment or employment and in addition to any other power and authority, as an officer for the detection, apprehension and arrest of offenders against the animal control, animal welfare and animal cruelty laws of the State of New Jersey and ordinances of the Borough.
d. 
A certified Animal Control Officer who signs a complaint, issues a summons, makes an arrest, or otherwise acts pursuant to his authority under the laws of the State of New Jersey or ordinances of the Borough, shall forward within seven calendar days a copy of that complaint, summons, or arrest warrant or report to the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and shall forward a report of any related court action within 30 calendar days of final disposition.
[1]
Editor's Note: Ordinance No. HO 2016-01, codified throughout this section, was adopted by the North Plainfield Board of Health.
[Ord. No. 07-21; Ord. No. HO 2016-01 § 1]
As used in this Section:
ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER
Shall mean any person or agency designated or certified by the State of New Jersey Commissioner of Health and Senior Services to enforce the provisions of this Section.
AUTHORIZED AGENT
Shall mean the Health Officer, Sanitarian, an Animal Control Officer, a Police Officer or any other authorized representative of the Borough of North Plainfield.
CAREGIVER
Shall mean any person who provides food, water or shelter to or otherwise cares for a feral cat that has been Trap, Neuter, Return or is in the process of being a Trap, Neuter and Return.
[Ord. No. HO 2016-01 § 1]
CAT
Shall mean any animal of the domestic feline species; male, female, or altered.
CAT OF LICENSING AGE
Shall mean any cat which has attained the age of seven months, or which possesses a set of permanent teeth.
FERAL CAT
Shall mean a cat who is not socialized to humans and not an owned cat by any individual or entity.
[Ord. No. HO 2016-01 § 1]
LICENSING AUTHORITY
Shall mean the office of the Borough Clerk or any designated representative charged with administering this Section and/or issuing or revoking licenses under the provisions of this Section.
OWNER
Shall mean every person having a right of property (or custody) in any cat and every person who has a cat in his or her keeping, with the exception of a feral cat who is Trap, Neuter, Return ("TNR") or is in the process of being a Trap, Neuter, Return.
[Ord. No. HO 2016-01 § 1]
RUN AT LARGE
Shall mean and apply to any cat not being physically restrained by the owner which is off and not on the premises of the owner.
STRAY CAT
Shall mean a cat who is socialized to humans and is not an owned cat.
[Ord. No. HO 2016-01 § 1]
TRAP, NEUTER, RETURN ("TNR")
Shall mean the process by which feral cats are trapped, neutered or spayed, vaccinated against rabies, ear-tipped and returned to the location where they congregate.
[Ord. No. 07-21; Ord. No. HO 2016-01 § 1]
No person shall abandon any cat, no matter what its age or condition, within the Borough. The Trap, Neuter, Return of a feral or stray cat shall not constitute abandonment pursuant to this section.
[Ord. No. 07-21; Ord. No. HO 2016-01 § 1]
No owner shall permit or allow any cat of licensing age to run at large. Nothing in this Section shall be construed to apply to feral cats.
[Ord. #07-21]
No owner shall permit or allow, either willfully or negligently, any cat to create a nuisance upon the property of another or to destroy or deface the property of another, whether the same be real or personal.
[Ord. No. 07-21; Ord. No. HO2016-01 § 1]
a. 
No person shall own, keep, harbor or maintain any cat of licensing age within the Borough unless the cat is vaccinated against rabies and licensed. All such cats shall be vaccinated by a duly licensed veterinarian in accordance with the regulations promulgated by the New Jersey Department of Health. A feral cat who is a Trap, Neuter, Return or is in the documented process of being a Trap, Neuter, Return is exempt from the licensing requirement.
[Ord. No. HO 2016-01 § 1]
b. 
Newly acquired cats of licensing age must be vaccinated within 10 days of acquisition and before a permit or license will be issued.
c. 
Any person owning, keeping, harboring or maintaining a cat within the Borough may, subject to such reasonable rules and regulations which may be established by the Health Officer, have such cat inoculated at any Borough sponsored clinic for the prevention of rabies in cats.
[Ord. #07-21]
A certificate of vaccination shall be issued to the owner of each cat vaccinated on a form recommended by the New Jersey State Department of Health and consistent with Borough requirements.
[Ord. No. 07-21; Ord. No. HO 2016-01 § 1]
The foregoing vaccination and licensing requirements shall not apply to cats held by a State or Federally licensed research facility or a veterinary establishment where cats are received or kept for diagnostic, medical, surgical, or other treatment, or licensed animal shelters, pounds, kennels or pet shops. The foregoing licensing requirement shall not apply to feral cats who are Trap, Neuter, Return or are in the documented process of being Trap, Neuter, Return.
[Ord. #07-21]
A cat may be exempted from the requirements of vaccination for a specific period of time by an authorized agent upon presentation of a veterinarian's certificate stating that because of an infirmity or other physical condition, regimen or therapy, the inoculation for the cat is deemed inadvisable.
[Ord. No. 07-21; Ord. No. HO 2016-01 § 1]
Any person who owns, keeps, harbors or maintains a cat of licensing age, must apply and procure annually from the licensing authority, a license and official registration tag with license number for each cat so owned, kept, harbored or maintained. Licenses and registration tags shall not be transferable. This requirement shall not apply to feral cats who are Trap, Neuter, Return or are in the documented process of being Trap, Neuter, Return.
[Ord. #07-21]
Cat licenses shall be applied for and procured before January 31st of each year. The owner of any newly acquired cat of licensing age, or any cat which attains licensing age during any other period, must purchase a license within 10 calendar days of such acquisition or age attainment.
[Ord. #07-21]
a. 
Any person who brings or causes any cat of licensing age to be brought into the Borough which is licensed in another State for the then current year and which bears a registration tag, may keep or permit said cat to be kept within the Borough for a period of no more than 90 calendar days, unless a license and registration tag for such cat is applied for and procured pursuant to the provisions of this Section.
b. 
Any person who brings or causes to be brought any unlicensed cat of licensing age into the Borough, may keep or permit said cat to be kept within the Borough for a period of no more than 10 calendar days, unless a license and registration tag for such cat is applied for and procured pursuant to the provisions of this Section.
c. 
Any valid New Jersey license and registration tag or similar type identification marker issued by a New Jersey municipality shall be accepted by the Borough as evidence of compliance with the provisions of this Section for the year of issuance of such license.
[Ord. #07-21]
The application shall state the breed, sex, whether or not spayed or neutered, date of birth, color, and markings of the cat for which license and registration tag are sought, and whether it is of a long or short haired variety; and the names, streets, and mailing addresses of the owner and the person, if other than the owner, who shall keep, harbor or maintain said cat. The information on said application and the registration number issued for the cat shall be preserved for a period of three years by the licensing authority.
[Ord. #07-21]
License forms and registration tags shall be furnished by the licensing authority, shall be numbered sequentially, shall bear the year of validity and the name of the Borough. Licenses and registration tags shall be valid from January 1 of a given year through December 31 of the same year.
[Ord. #07-21]
The Borough Clerk or other licensing authority designated by the Borough of North Plainfield to license cats shall not grant a license for any cat unless the owner presents a certificate of vaccination pursuant to subsection 5-2.6 above, or has been certified as exempt as provided in subsection 5-2.7 above.
[Ord. #07-21; Ord. No. 2018-07]
A license shall be issued upon payment of a fee by the person applying therefor of $15 for each reproductive cat and $13 for each spayed or neutered cat, regardless of the number of cats. Proof of spaying or neutering by a duly licensed veterinarian shall be required prior to issuance of a license at the rate for spayed or neutered cat(s). Persons who fail to obtain a license as required within the time period specified in this Section shall be subject to a delinquent fee per cat of $3 for any license application received after January 31 of the licensing year, together with any other fines due to summonses issued that may be imposed as provided in this Section for failure to obtain a cat license before February 1. The aforementioned delinquent fee shall not apply to cats which have been acquired by the owner after January 31, provided the owner shall present sufficient proof to establish that the cat was acquired after January 31 and provided further that the cat shall be licensed within the time as otherwise required by this Section. The aforementioned delinquent fee shall not apply to cats which do not attain licensing age until after January 31 and provided further that the cat shall be licensed within the time as otherwise required by law. The fee for the renewal of license and registration tag shall be the same as for an original issuance. Each original license and registration tag or renewal thereof shall expire on December 31 of the applicable year. If a license tag has been misplaced or lost, the Borough Clerk or other person designated by the licensing authority may issue a duplicate license and registration tag for that particular cat upon payment of a fee of $5.
[Ord. No. 07-21; Ord. No. HO 2016-01 § 1]
The owner shall place and maintain upon each such cat a collar, harness, or other device with the registration tag securely fastened thereto. No person, except a municipal officer in the performance of his/her duties, shall remove a registration tag from the collar of any cat without the consent of the owner nor shall any person attach a registration tag to a cat for which it was not issued. Proof of licensing shall be produced by any person owning, keeping, maintaining or harboring a cat upon the request of any authorized agent of the Borough. This requirement shall not apply to feral cats who are Trap, Neuter, Return or are in the documented process of being Trap, Neuter, Return.
[Ord. #07-21]
No person shall hinder, molest or interfere with any authorized agent in the performance of any duty under this Section.
[Ord. #07-21]
License fees and other moneys collected or received under the provisions of this Section shall be forwarded to the Borough Treasurer within 48 hours of receipt and shall be placed in a separate account to be used for the following purposes only: collecting, keeping, and disposing of animals liable to seizure; local control of rabies; providing anti-rabies treatment for any person known or suspected to have been exposed to rabies; and for administering and implementing the provisions of this Section.
[Ord. No. 07-21; Ord. No. HO 2016-01 § 1]
The authorized agent of the Borough shall cause an annual canvass to be made of all cats owned, kept, or harbored within the limits of the Borough and shall report to the Licensing Authority and to the Board of Health of the Borough the result thereof, setting forth in separate columns the names and addresses of persons owning, keeping, or harboring such cats, the number of licensed cats owned, kept, or harbored by each of the persons, together with the registration numbers of each of the cats, and the numbers of unlicensed cats owned, kept, or harbored by each of the persons, together with a complete description of each of the unlicensed cats. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to require a canvass to be made of feral cats.
[Ord. No. 07-21; Ord. No. HO 2016-01 § 1; Ord. No. 2018-07]
a. 
An authorized agent may take cats into custody and impound and later destroy them, release them to the owner, or offer them for adoption, as provided within this Section, in the following situations:
1. 
The owner does not produce a current license or registration tag for a cat which is required to be licensed; or,
2. 
A cat is suspected to be a stray, abandoned, diseased, injured, or to have bitten a person or other animal pursuant to N.J.S.A. 26:4-82.
b. 
If any 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 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 cat has been seized and is subject to being offered for adoption or destroyed if not claimed within seven calendar days after the service of the notice.
c. 
A notice under this Section shall be deemed to be effective if served personally, or by leaving it at the person's usual or 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.
d. 
An authorized agent may cause a cat to be offered for adoption or destroyed in a humane manner and consistent with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 4:22-19, seven calendar days after seizure, provided that:
1. 
The cat was not wearing a valid registration tag at the time of seizure and the owner is unknown; or,
2. 
A notice was served as provided and the cat was not claimed; or,
3. 
The owner or person keeping or harboring a cat which was unlicensed at the time of seizure does not within a reasonable period of time produce a valid license and registration tag for the cat.
e. 
Whether or not the cat is claimed, the owner is responsible for:
1. 
All maintenance charges for the cat, not to exceed $20 per day.
2. 
All expenses involved in euthanizing and preparing the cat for submission to appropriate authorities.
f. 
No impounded cat shall be sold or otherwise made available for the purpose of experimentation.
g. 
After observation, any cat seized under this Section suspected of being rabid shall be immediately reported to the executive officer of the Borough Board of Health and to the State of New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services. If the cat has bitten or exposed a person within 10 days previous to the time of euthanasia, its head shall be transported to the New Jersey State Department of Health laboratory for rabies testing.
h. 
If an owner requests pickup of an animal, including any kitten(s) born to the parent cat, the owner shall be responsible for all expenses in connection with offering the animal(s) for adoption or euthanasia of the unwanted animal(s).
[Ord. #07-21; Ord. No. 2018-07]
Any person who violates or who fails or refuses to comply with any part of any of this Section or with the rules and regulations promulgated by the New Jersey State Department of Health governing the prevention and spread of rabies and other diseases of cats shall be liable to a penalty of $150 for each offense, to be recovered by and in the name of the Borough of North Plainfield. A person who refuses or neglects to pay forthwith the amount of a judgment rendered against him and the costs and charges incident thereto may be committed by the court to the County Jail for a period not exceeding 10 days in the case of the first conviction and in the case of a conviction for a second, subsequent or continuing violation, for a period not exceeding 30 days. In any case, fines and penalties shall apply and any day they remain unpaid shall constitute a separate violation.
[Ord. #07-21]
As used in this Section:
PET SHOP
Shall mean any room or group of rooms, cage or exhibition pen, not part of a kennel, wherein dogs, cats or other animals including but not limited to, reptiles, rodents or fowl for sale are kept or displayed.
POUND
Shall mean an establishment for the confinement of dogs seized either under the provisions of this Section or otherwise.
SHELTER
Shall mean any establishment where dogs are received, housed and distributed without charge.
[Ord. #07-21]
Any person who keeps or operates or proposes to establish a kennel, a pet shop, a shelter, a pound or a private home in which a total of six or more dogs and/or cats are kept or harbored, shall apply to the Health Officer of the Borough for a license entitling him or her to keep or operate such establishment.
The application shall describe the premises where the establishment is located or is 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 Health Officer of the Borough showing compliance with all of the local and State rules and regulations governing location of and sanitation at such establishments. The application shall also state the name, street and post office address of the owner and the person who shall keep or harbor such dogs and/or cats.
All licenses issued for a kennel, a pet shop, a shelter, a pound or a private home in which a total of six or more dogs and/or cats are kept or harbored shall expire on the last day of January of each year and be subject to revocation by the Borough Council on recommendation of the New Jersey State Department of Health or the Health Officer of the Borough after the owner has been afforded a hearing by either the New Jersey State Department of Health or the Board of Health of the Borough.
Any person holding such license shall not be required to secure an individual license for a dog or cat owned by such licensee and kept at such establishments except in the case of private homes with a total of six or more dogs and/or cats, in which case individual licenses are required. Such licenses shall not be transferable to another owner or different premises.
[Ord. #07-21; Ord. No. 2018-07]
The annual license fee for a kennel or pet shop shall be $300. An annual license fee of $10 per dog/cat shall be charged for a private home in which a total of six or more dogs and/or cats are kept or harbored. In addition to these license fees, the person applying for said license shall be required, as a condition for the issuance of a license, to pay such additional sums, fees and/or surcharges as shall be required by the State of New Jersey to be collected and/or forwarded to the State or any agency thereof by way of sum, fee and/or surcharge in connection with the issuance of any dog license. No fee shall be charged for a shelter or pound.
[Ord. #07-21]
No dog or cat kept in a kennel, pet shop, shelter or pound shall be permitted off such premises except on a leash or in a crate or other safe control.
[Ord. #07-21]
The Licensing Authority shall forward to the New Jersey State Department of Health a list of all kennels, pet shops, shelters and pounds licensed within 30 calendar days after the licenses therefor are issued, which list shall include the name and address of the licensee and the kind of license issued.
[Ord. #07-21]
Any person who violates or who fails or refuses to comply with any part of this Section or with the rules and regulations promulgated by the New Jersey State Department of Health governing the sanitary conduct and operation of kennels, pet shops, shelters, pounds, or private homes wherein more than six dogs and/or cats are kept or harbored, to preserve sanitation therein and prevent the spread of rabies and other diseases of dogs or cats within and from such establishments shall be liable to a penalty of $100 for each offense, to be recovered by and in the name of the Borough of North Plainfield. A person who refuses or neglects to pay forthwith the amount of a judgment rendered against him and the costs and charges incident thereto may be committed by the court to the County Jail for a period not exceeding 10 days in the case of the first conviction and in the case of a conviction for a second, subsequent or continuing violation, for a period not exceeding 30 days. In any case, fines and penalties shall apply and any day they remain unpaid shall constitute a separate violation.
[Deleted by Ord. No. 2016-14 and Ord. No. HO 2016-02 § 13]
[1]
Editor's Note: Prior regulations concerning the removal and disposal of animal waste as adopted by Ord. No. 07-21 and previously codified at Section 5-4 are superseded by Board of Health Ord. No. HO 2014-02 and may be found in Chapter 26, Health Regulations, Section 26-5.
[Ord. #07-21]
For the purpose of this Section, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meanings stated herein unless their use in the text of this Section clearly demonstrates a different meaning. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future, words used in the plural number include the singular number, and words used in the singular number include the plural number. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.
FEED
Shall mean to give, place, expose, deposit, distribute or scatter any edible material with the intention of feeding, attracting or enticing wildlife. Feeding does not include baiting in the legal taking of fish and/or game.
PERSON
Shall mean any individual, corporation, company, partnership, firm, association, or political subdivision of this State subject to municipal jurisdiction.
WILDLIFE
Shall mean all animals that are neither human nor domesticated.
[Ord. #07-21]
No person shall feed, in any public park or on any other property owned or operated by the Borough of North Plainfield, any wildlife, excluding confined wildlife (for example, wildlife confined in zoos, parks or rehabilitation centers, or unconfined wildlife at environmental education centers, or feral cats as part of an approved Trap-Neuter-Release program).
[Ord. #07-21]
a. 
This Section shall be enforced by the Police Department and/or other municipal officials of the Borough of North Plainfield.
b. 
Any person found to be in violation of this Section shall be ordered to cease the feeding immediately.
[Ord. #07-21]
Any person(s) who is found to be in violation of the provisions of this Section shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $1,250.
[Ord. #07-21]
It shall be unlawful for any person train, torment, badger, bait or encourage a dog, cat or other domestic animal to engage in unprovoked attacks upon persons or other dogs, cats or domestic animals.
[Ord. #07-21]
It shall be unlawful for any person to willfully or maliciously torture, torment, unnecessarily or cruelly beat, kick, strike, mutilate, injure, hang, maim, poison, disable or kill any dog, cat or domestic animal or cause or procure, by any direct or indirect means, including but not limited to through the use of another living animal or creature the foregoing acts.
[Ord. #07-21]
It shall be unlawful for any person surgically debark or silence a dog, or cause a dog to be surgically debarked or silenced.
[Ord. #07-21]
Any person who violates any provision of this Section shall be subject to a fine of not less than $3,000 nor more than $5,000 for each such offense. For purposes of this Section, each occurrence of an act prohibited by this Section on an animal or more than one animal subject to this Section shall be considered separate offenses for each animal and for each act inflicted upon each animal.
[1]
Editor's Note: Ordinance No. HO 2016-01, codified herein was adopted by the North Plainfield Board of Health.
[Ord. No. HO 2016-01 § 2]
A feral cat is an unsocialized cat who is unable to live indoors. Feral cats are domestic animals and, therefore, exempt from restrictive ordinances concerning wildlife. Feral cats who are managed through Trap, Neuter, Return ("TNR") are neither owned animals nor stray animals, thus they are exempt from the code provisions which are intended for owned or stray animals. The following sections of Chapter 5 of the Borough Code listed below shall not apply to feral cats managed through TNR or to any person or organization that is providing care for one or more feral cats and has taken demonstrable steps to trap and sterilize the animal or animals:
§ 5-2.10 — 5-2.15 Licensing provisions;
§ 5-2.17 — 5-2.18 Licensing provisions; and,
§ 5-5 Wildlife Feeding.
[Ord. No. HO 2016-01 § 2]
The person or entity employed by the Borough, or under contract with the Borough, to provide animal control services shall, upon receiving a complaint about a feral cat, or trapping a feral cat, attempt to determine if the cat has been a Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR). If there is evidence that the cat is a TNR feral cat, including, but not limited to, information provided by the complainant, an ear-tip on the cat, and/or evidence that the cat is neutered, the Animal Control Officer shall attempt to identify and contact the caregiver of the cat and shall, before impounding the cat, attempt to resolve the situation using best practice nuisance abatement procedures including, but not limited to, mediation, recommendations for or provision of deterrent and/or exclusionary devices, and/or recommendations for enclosing the cat.