Editor's Note: Prior ordinance history: Ordinances 6/20/55, 12/18/72, 11/18/74, 3/20/78, 8/7/78, 2/5/79, 11/19/79, 2/4/80, 86-5, 19-91, 04-92, 013-94, 97-03, 97-09, 97-11.
[Ord. No. 2012-07; Ord. No. 2015-01 §§ 1, 2]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER
- Shall mean a certified municipal animal control officer or, in the absence of such an officer, the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality or his designee.
- Shall mean any member of the domestic feline species, male, female, or altered.
- Shall mean any dog, bitch or spayed bitch or dog hybrid.
- DOG OF LICENSING AGE
- Shall mean any dog which has attained the age of seven months or which possesses a set of permanent teeth, whichever is earlier.
- DOMESTIC ANIMAL
- Shall mean any cat, dog, livestock other than poultry, or any mammal within the borders of the Borough of Sussex which is owned, kept or harbored by a resident of the Borough of Sussex as a pet or for nonagricultural purposes.
- Shall mean the act of providing space or making available food or shelter in such a manner which attracts a cat or cats to one's premises.
- 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, and shall include any establishment wherein there is carried on the business or practice of boarding, grooming, selling or breeding dogs or where dogs are kept or maintained for any commercial purpose whatever, except pet shops as herein mentioned, or where five or more dogs of licensing age are kept or maintained for any reason in any one place or establishment.
- Shall mean, when applied to the proprietorship of a domestic animal, and include every person having a right of property in such domestic animal and every person who has such domestic animal in his keeping.
- PET SHOP
- Shall mean any room or group of rooms, cage or exhibition pen, not part of a kennel, wherein domestic animals for sale are kept on display.
- POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS DOG
- Shall mean any dog or dog hybrid declared potentially dangerous by the panel pursuant to section 5-20 of this Article.
- Shall mean any establishment for the confinement of domestic animals seized under the provisions of this Article or otherwise.
- Shall mean any establishment where domestic animals are received, housed and distributed without charge.
Any person owning, harboring or keeping a domestic animal in the Borough of Sussex shall be required to maintain evidence that the animal has been inoculated with a rabies vaccine of a type as set forth in N.J.S.A. 4:19-15.2a, or has been certified exempt as provided by regulations of the State Department of Health. Such evidence of inoculation also must indicate that the validity date for said inoculation has not expired. Proof of evidence for rabies inoculation shall be presented upon demand to the animal control officer or any duly authorized officer acting on behalf of the animal control officer.
[Ord. No. 2012-07; Ord. No. 2015-01 § 3]
No person shall own, keep, feed or harbor any dog within the Borough without obtaining a license therefor, to be issued by the borough clerk or animal control officer upon application by the owner and payment of the prescribed fee; and no person shall keep, feed, or harbor any dog except in accordance with the provisions of this Article.
The owner of any dog may, if the license tag is mislaid, stolen or lost, procure a replacement tag upon the payment of the prescribed fee. The owner must provide adequate proof that the dog is currently licensed for the year in which the replacement tag is desired.
[Ord. No. 2012-07; Ord. No. 2015-01 § 4]
Any person who shall own, keep, or harbor a dog of licensing age shall in the month of January of each year, and annually thereafter, apply for and procure from the borough clerk or animal control officer a license and official metal registration tag for each such dog so owned, kept or harbored, and shall place upon each dog a collar or harness with a registration tag securely fastened thereto.
[Ord. No. 2012-07; Ord. No. 2015-01 § 5]
The person applying for the license and registration tag shall pay a fee as established herein for the licensing of each dog. The licenses, registration tags and renewals thereof shall expire on the last day of January of each year.
The fees for licensing and registration of dogs, issuance of a replacement tag and the licensing and registration of vicious dogs is that fee set forth in this chapter.
Dogs used as guides for persons who are blind, commonly known as "seeing eye dogs," dogs used to assist persons with a handicap, commonly known as "service dogs" or dogs used to assist persons who are deaf, commonly known as "hearing ear dogs," shall be licensed and registered the same as other dogs herein provided for, except that the owner or keeper of such dog shall not be required to pay any fee therefor.
[Ord. No. 2012-07; Ord. No. 2015-01 § 6]
Any dog owner or person harboring a dog, found to have an unlicensed dog by the animal control officer, or any other municipal official after January 31 of any year, shall be required to pay a delinquent fee, as provided for herein, plus the required license and registration tag fees as provided in this Article, in addition to any fine which may be imposed in municipal court for failure to obtain a dog license. The borough clerk shall levy a per-calendar-month late fee for any license issued after January 31 of the calendar year for which the license is required, in accordance with the fee schedule established in this chapter.
[Ord. No. 2012-07; Ord. No. 2015-01 § 7]
Only one license and registration tag shall be required in any licensing year for any dog owned in New Jersey. A license and tag issued by another municipality of this state shall be accepted by the Borough as evidence of compliance with this Article, and no fee shall be charged for issuance of a Sussex Borough license and registration tag.
[Ord. No. 2012-07; Ord. No. 2015-01 § 8]
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 ten days after such acquisition or age attainment. The fee shall be the same as required in section 5-5. Failure to obtain a license as provided herein shall result in a delinquent fee being imposed as set forth in section 5-7. The owner shall be required to show sufficient proof to establish that the dog was acquired after February 1 and that application has been submitted within the ten-day requirement.
[Ord. No. 2012-07; Ord. No. 2015-01 §§ 9, 10]
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-haired or short-haired variety; and the name, street and post office address of the owner and the person who shall own, keep or harbor such dog.
There shall be provided with the application evidence that the dog to be licensed and registered has been inoculated with a rabies vaccine of a type required by N.J.S.A. 4:19-15.2a or has been certified exempt as provided by regulations of the State Department of Health. No license or registration tag shall be issued without proof of inoculation as required hereunder.
The information on the application and the registration number issued for the dog shall be preserved for a period of three years by the borough clerk. Registration numbers shall be issued in the order of the application.
The borough clerk shall forward to the State Department of Health each month an accurate account of registration numbers issued or otherwise disposed of, as required.
[Ord. No. 2012-07; Ord. No. 2015-01 § 11]
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 who shall keep the same or permit the same to be kept within the Borough for a period of more than 90 days, shall immediately apply for a license and registration tag for each such dog.
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 ten days shall immediately apply for a license and registration tag for each such dog.
[Ord. No. 2012-07; Ord. No. 2015-01 § 12]
No person, except an officer in the performance of his duties, shall remove a registration tag from the collar of any dog without the consent of the owner, nor shall any person attach a registration tag to a dog for which it was not issued.
No licensed dog shall be allowed off the premises of the person harboring or keeping the dog without the metal registration tag attached to its harness or collar.
[Ord. No. 2012-07; Ord. No. 2015-01 § 13]
Any person who keeps or operates or proposes to establish a kennel, a pet shop, a shelter or a pound shall apply to the borough clerk for a license entitling him to keep or operate such establishment.
The application shall describe 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 local board of health and the land use board, showing compliance with the local and state rules and regulations governing location of and sanitation at such establishments.
All licenses for a kennel, pet shop, shelter or pound shall state the purpose for which the establishment is maintained. Such license shall expire on the last day of January of each year and shall be subject to revocation by the Borough on recommendation of the State Department of Health or the local board of health for failure to comply with the rules and regulations of the State Department of Health or the local board of health governing the same, after the owner has been afforded a hearing by either the State Department of Health or the local board of health in accordance with the statutes providing for such hearings.
Any such person holding such license shall not be required to secure individual licenses for dogs owned by him and kept at such establishments. Such license shall not be transferable to another owner or different premises.
One female dog for breeding purposes may be kept by not more than one person for each family household without obtaining a kennel license for not more than one litter per year, and further provided that the pups from such breeding shall be sold or disposed of after seven months of age, unless kept as licensed dogs, and that the female dog kept for breeding purposes must be registered as a breed bitch each year when the license for the dog is obtained.
The fees for kennels and pet shops shall be paid at the time of the application. The fee for said license(s) shall be charged in accordance with the fee schedule established in this chapter.
No domestic animal kept in a kennel, pet shop, shelter or pound shall be permitted off such premises except on leash or in a crate or other safe and humane control device.
Disposition of Fees. Any license fee(s) and other moneys collected or received under this section after payment to the state of its statutory fees shall be forwarded to the Chief Financial Officer of the Borough within 30 days after collection or receipt and shall be placed in a special account separate from any of the other accounts of the Borough, and such funds shall be used, expended or transferred only in accordance with statutes of the State of New Jersey governing and regulating the use, expenditure or transfer of such funds.
List of Licensed Kennels, Pet Shops, Shelters and Pounds. The borough clerk shall forward to the State Department of Health a list of all kennels, pet shops, shelters and pounds licensed, as required.
The animal control officer shall annually cause a canvas to be made of all dogs owned, kept or harbored within the limits of the Borough and as required to the local board of health and to the State Department of Health, the result thereof, setting forth in separate columns the names and addresses of persons owning, keeping or harboring unlicensed dogs, the number of unlicensed dogs owned, kept or harbored by each of said persons, together with a complete description of each of said unlicensed dogs.
The mayor and council shall appoint a certified animal control officer or contract for such services with another municipality, as required by N.J.S.A. 4:19-15.1, as the same may be amended from time to time, whose duties shall be those provided for by state statute and this chapter. The certified animal control officer shall have all powers provided for by law, including but not limited to powers to investigate and sign complaints, arrest violators or otherwise act as an officer for detection, apprehension and arrest of offenders against the animal control, animal welfare or any animal cruelty laws of the state and ordinances in the Borough, provided that the officer has completed the training required by law.
[Ord. No. 2012-07; Ord. No. 2015-01 § 14]
Impounding of Domestic Animals.
The animal control officer or other persons designated by the mayor and council shall take into custody and impound or cause to be taken into custody and impounded, and thereafter destroyed or offered for adoption as hereinafter provided in this section:
Any dog off the premises of the owner or of the person keeping or harboring said dog which the official or his agent have reason to believe is a stray animal.
Any dog off the premises of the owner or of the person keeping or harboring said dog without a current registration tag on his collar.
Any female dog in season off the premises of the owner or the person keeping or harboring said dog.
Any domestic animal kept in a kennel, pet shop, shelter or pound and off such establishment and not confined or controlled as prescribed by section 5-13; said domestic animal shall be deemed to be a stray.
Any domestic animal or other animal that is inspected to be rabid.
Any dog or cat, if the owner or persons keeping or harboring said dog or cat renounces ownership, custody and control in writing.
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.
Any domestic animal, if the owner or person keeping or harboring said animal is no longer in a position to provide care for said domestic animal due to death, disability, homelessness or incarceration.
If any domestic animal 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 domestic animal is known, an animal control officer or anyone authorized by the mayor and council shall forthwith serve on the person whose address is given on the collar, or on the owner or the person keeping or harboring the domestic animal, if known, a notice in writing stating that the domestic animal has been seized and will be liable to be offered for adoption or destroyed if not claimed within seven days after the service of the notice.
A notice under paragraph a2 of this section may be served either by delivering it to the person on whom it is to be served or by leaving it at the person's usual or last known place of abode or at the address given on the collar, or by forwarding it by mail in a prepaid letter addressed to that person at his usual or last known place of abode or to the address given on the collar.
A domestic animal which shall bite any person and/or be suspected to be rabid shall be examined by a veterinarian within 24 hours after impoundment for the purpose of determining if such domestic animal is affected by any disease and shall thereafter be quarantined for such a period of time that the veterinarian shall determine as appropriate under the circumstances. The owner shall be required to pay for all testing and quarantine expenses. In lieu of impounding the domestic animal, the animal control officer may notify the owner to have the animal examined by a veterinarian within 24 hours after such notification and upon testing may order the owner to quarantine said domestic animal in accordance with the instructions of the veterinarian. Failure of the owner to comply with the order of the animal control officer and/or quarantine instructions of the veterinarian, if any, shall result in a minimum fine of $150 plus additional fines for violation of this Article, as may hereinafter be set forth.
When any domestic animal so seized has been detained for seven days after notice, when notice can be given as above set forth in this section, or has been detained for seven days after seizure, when notice has not been and cannot be given as above set forth in this section, 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, and if the dog is 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 animal control officer may cause the dog to be destroyed in a manner causing as little pain as possible or offered for adoption.
Impounding and Disposal Fees. There shall be charged to the owner of each domestic animal which is impounded pursuant to section 5-16 all fees incurred by the Borough in the picking up and detention including the per-day maintenance fee for each day or part thereof that the domestic animal has been impounded, which fees shall be paid before the animal shall be released.
Seizure of Domestic Animals; Entry Upon Premises. Any officer or agent authorized to perform any duty under this Article is hereby authorized to go upon any premises to seize for impounding any domestic animal(s) which he may lawfully seize and impound when such officer is in immediate pursuit of such animal(s), except upon the premises of the owner of the animal(s) if the said owner is present and forbids the same.
Interference Forbidden. No person shall hinder, molest or interfere with anyone authorized or empowered to perform any duty under this section. The mandatory minimum penalty for violation of this section shall be $100 with a maximum penalty up to $1,000.
No person shall allow any domestic animal in his keeping, custody, control or ownership to bark, howl or cry continuously for any period longer than 15 minutes between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. or otherwise repeatedly at intervals of more than 15 minutes at any time of the day or night, in such volume or manner as to disturb the comfort, peace and repose of persons in the vicinity.
No person owning, keeping or harboring any domestic animal shall suffer or permit such animal to run at large in, upon, or through any public, quasi-public or private street, public park or recreation area, public building or any other public place or place to which the public is invited, and no person owning, keeping or harboring any domestic animal shall suffer or permit such animal to run at large in, upon or through any private property without the authority of the owners of said private property.
When a domestic animal has been impounded for running at large, the animal control officer may file a complaint of this violation in the municipal court.
No person owning, keeping or harboring any dog shall suffer or permit it to be upon the public or private streets or in any public place of the Borough unless such dog is accompanied by a person and is securely confined and controlled by an adequate leash not more than six feet long.
Except as modified by this section, the provisions, practices and procedures for addressing vicious or potentially dangerous dogs shall be as provided for by New Jersey state statute, including but not limited to N.J.S.A. 4:19-17 et seq.
Agreement Between Borough and Dog Owner Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 4:19-21.1. In the event that the Borough enters into an agreement pursuant to N.J.S.A. 4:19-21.1, such agreement shall include as a condition the requirement that the owner indemnify, defend and hold harmless the Borough from any claim or lawsuit. In addition, the owner shall reimburse the Borough for any and all legal expenses or fees it may incur related to the vicious or potentially dangerous dog, including but not limited to prosecuting such matters before the municipal court.
License Fee for Potentially Dangerous Dogs. The fee for potentially dangerous dogs shall be as provided for in this chapter.
A domestic animal shall be considered a public nuisance and shall be subject to impound pursuant to section 5-16 for the following reasons:
The animal damages property (that is not the property of the owner), including land devoted to commercial agriculture production, lawns or structures, or deposits fecal matter on the property of the public or others that the owner fails to remove promptly.
The animal, without provocation, chases, molests or approaches pedestrians or bicyclists in a threatening manner upon the streets, sidewalks, right-of-way, or any public property, or habitually chases automobiles on the public streets or highways.
The animal is kept under unsanitary and/or inhumane conditions such that the maintenance or keeping of any animal creates odors to the annoyance of the public in the vicinity.
The animal kills or attacks another domestic animal or animals associated with a commercial farm operation without provocation while off the owner's property.
The owning, keeping or harboring of any animal which shall, by any noise, unreasonably and/or excessively disturb the peace and quiet of any person in the vicinity. The phrase "unreasonably and/or excessively disturb the peace and quiet" shall include, but is not limited to, the creation of any noise which can be heard by any person, including an animal control officer or law enforcement officer, from a location off the animal owner's property where the animal is being kept, and which noise occurs repeatedly over at least a 15-minute period of time with one minute or less lapse of time between each animal noise during the 15-minute period. This provision shall not apply to animals that are responding to trespassers or to animals that are teased or similarly provoked to bark.
Any person may, by telephone, notify the borough clerk, animal control officer, borough administrator, or law enforcement officer of an alleged violation of this section. A telephone call does not, however, constitute a formal complaint to initiate the citation process. All formal complaints shall be submitted in writing to the attention of the animal control officer and shall describe the animal, state the acts committed by the animal, the name and address of the person owning or harboring the animal, the date and time of the acts, and the name and address of the person making the complaint. The animal control officer shall then promptly notify the person owning or harboring the animal of the acts complained of, either by letter or door tag, and shall request that the nuisance be abated or eliminated within a specified time period. The animal control officer shall investigate and file a report on the complaint.
Defecation on Private Property. No person owning or in charge of any domestic animal shall cause or allow such animal to soil, defile, defecate upon or commit any nuisance upon any private property, without the permission of the owner of the property. Any person owning or in charge of a domestic animal which soils, defiles, defecates or commits any such nuisance shall immediately remove all feces deposited by such animal in a sanitary manner.
Defecation on Public Property. No person owning or in charge of any domestic animal shall allow such animal to soil, defile, defecate upon or commit any nuisance on any place where people congregate or walk, or upon any public property. Any person owning or in charge of a domestic animal which soils, defiles, defecates or commits any such nuisance shall immediately remove all feces deposited by such animal in a sanitary manner.
Defecation on Owner's Property. No person shall permit the accumulation of domestic animal feces or urine upon his/her own property, or property occupied by him/her, to the extent that the odor may be noticeable to any adjoining property owners.
Disposal of Defecation. The feces removed from the aforementioned designated areas shall be disposed of by the person owning or in charge of any such domestic animal in a sealed, nonabsorbent, leakproof container. Disposal in a sanitary manner shall include taking the feces home for deposit or wrapping the feces and placing the same in a public trash receptacle. It shall not include burial, disposal or placement in a storm sewer or placing unwrapped feces in a trash can.
Defense to Violation. It shall be a complete defense to violations of paragraph d if a person shall have immediately removed such defecation and disposed of it in a sanitary manner.
Exceptions to Violation. The provisions of this section shall not apply to dogs used as guides for persons who are blind, commonly known as "seeing eye dogs," dogs used to assist persons with a handicap, commonly known as "service dogs," or dogs used to assist persons who are deaf, commonly known as "hearing ear dogs."
Complaints of Violations. In the event of a violation on private property, a complaint is only to be filed by the owner of such property. In the event of such a violation occurring on public property, thoroughfare, walkways or parks, a complaint may be filed by any witness to such an act.
No person owning, keeping or harboring a domestic animal shall permit it to do any injury to or to do any damage to any lawn, shrubbery, flowers, grounds or property or a complaint may be made against the owner or keeper of such domestic animal.
[Ord. No. 2012-07; Ord. No. 2015-01 § 15]
Any person found guilty of violating any provision of this Article shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to one or more of the following:
Imprisonment in the county jail or in any place provided by the municipality for the detention of prisoners, for any term not exceeding 90 days;
By a fine not exceeding $1,000;
By a period of community service not exceeding 90 days; provided, however, that the following mandatory minimum fines shall apply:
Any person who is convicted of violating this Article within one year of the date of a previous violation of the same Article and who was fined for the previous violation shall be sentenced by court to an additional fine as a repeat offender. The additional fine imposed by the court upon a person for a repeated offense shall not be less than the minimum or exceed the maximum fine fixed for a violation of this Article, but shall be calculated separately from the fine imposed for the first violation of this Article.
It shall be the duty of the animal control officer or his duly authorized representative to enforce the provisions of this Article.