[Ord. #68-10; New; Ord. #96-11, S1; Ord. No. 2017-6]
As used in this chapter:
- AND and OR
- May be used interchangeably, and either of the two may be applicable, whichever is more conducive to effectuating of this chapter.
- ANIMAL CARE FACILITY
- Shall mean an animal control center or animal shelter, maintained
by or under contract with any state, county, or municipality, whose
mission and practice is, in whole, or significant part, the rescue
and placement of animals in permanent homes or rescue organizations.[Ord. No. 2017-6]
- 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 Township or his designee, or as otherwise referred to in this chapter as "dog warden" or "animal warden."
- ANIMAL RESCUE ORGANIZATION
- Shall mean any not-for-profit organization which has tax-exempt
status under Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue
Code, whose mission and practice is, in whole or in significant part,
the rescue ad placement of animals in permanent homes.[Ord. No. 2017-6]
- Shall mean a member of the species of domestic cats, Felis
catus.[Ord. No. 2017-6]
- Shall mean the department of health.
- Shall mean any dog 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.
- DOMESTIC ANIMAL
- Shall mean any cat, dog or livestock other than poultry.
- 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.
- OFFER FOR SALE
- Shall mean to sell, offer for sale or adoption, advertise
for the sale of, barter, auction, give away or otherwise dispose of
a dog or cat.[Ord. No. 2017-6]
- When applied to the proprietorship of a dog, shall mean and include every person having a right of property in such dog and every person who has such dog in his keeping.
- PET SHOP
- Shall mean a retail establishment where dogs and cats are
sold, exchanged, bartered or offered for sale as pet animals to the
general public at retail. Such definition shall not include an animal
care facility or animal rescue organization, as defined.[Ord. No. 2017-6]
- POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS DOG
- Means any dog or dog hybrid declared potentially dangerous by the Township municipal court.
- Shall mean an establishment for the confinement of dogs seized either under the provisions of this chapter or otherwise.
- Shall mean any establishment where dogs are received, housed and distributed without charge.
- Shall mean the Township of Scotch Plains in the County of Union.
- VICIOUS DOG
- Shall mean any dog or dog hybrid declared vicious by the Township municipal court.
No person shall keep or harbor any dog within the Township without first obtaining a license therefor, to be issued by the Clerk of the Township upon application by the owner and payment of the prescribed fee, and no person shall keep or harbor any dog in the Township except in compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
Any person who shall own, keep or harbor a dog of licensing age shall annually in the month of January apply for and procure from the Township Clerk 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 the registration tag securely fastened thereto.
[Ord. #68-10; New; Ord. #79-1; Ord. #80-1; Ord. #81-25; Ord. #2012-20; Ord. No. 2017-30]
The person applying for a license and registration tag shall pay a fee of $10.00 dollars for each neutered or spayed dog and $15.00 dollars for each dog not neutered or spayed, this sum is inclusive of any such fee that may be fixed by the State of New Jersey, for the registration tag of each dog; for each annual renewal, the fee for the license and for the registration tag shall be the same as for the original license and tag; and the license, registration tags and renewals thereof shall expire on the last day of January in each year.
Any person who fails to apply for a license and registration fee within the time period provided by subsection 5-2.2 (Registration), subsection 5-2.5 (Newly Acquired Dogs), subsection 5-2.8 (Licensed in Another State), shall pay a late fee in the amount of $5.00 between February 1 to May 31 and $10.00 between June 1 and December 31. Dogs awaiting rabies renewal and first time dog licensing shall be exempt from the late fee.
Dogs used as guides for blind persons and commonly known as "seeing eye" dogs shall be licensed and registered as other dogs hereinabove provided for, except that the owner or keeper of such dog shall not be required to pay any fee therefor.
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.
Only one license and registration tag shall be required in any licensing year for any dog owned in New Jersey, and such license and tag issued by any other municipality of this State shall be accepted by the Township as evidence of compliance with this chapter.
The application shall state the breed, sex, age, color and markings of the dog for which license and registration are sought, and whether it is of a long or short haired variety; also the name, street and post office address of the owner and the person who shall keep or harbor such dog. The information on said application and the registration number issued for the dog shall be preserved for a period of three years by the Township Clerk. In addition he shall forward similar information to the State Department of Health each month, on forms furnished by the said department. Registration numbers shall be issued in the order of the applications.
Any person who shall bring or cause to be brought into the Township any dog licensed in another state for the current year and bearing a registration tag, and shall keep the same or permit the same to be kept within the Township for a period of more than 90 days, 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 Township any unlicensed dog and shall keep the same or permit the same to be kept within the Township for a period of more than ten days, shall immediately apply for a license and registration tag for each such dog, unless such dog be licensed under section 5-3.
[New; Ord. #68-10]
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 registration tag attached to its harness or collar.
Any person who keeps or operates or proposes to establish a kennel, a pet shop, a shelter or a pound shall apply to the Township Clerk for a license entitling him to keep or operate such establishment.
[Ord. #68-10; Ord. #98-19, S1]
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 Township, showing compliance with the local and state rules and regulations governing location of and sanitation of such establishments. The applicant shall also complete the "Additional Information" questionnaire in the form attached hereto as Exhibit A.
Editor's Note: Exhibit A, referred to herein, may be found on file in the office of the borough Clerk attached to Ordinance No. 98-19.
[Ord. #68-10; Ord. #98-19, S2]
All licenses issued for a kennel, pet shop, shelter or pound shall state the purpose for which the establishment is maintained and all such licenses shall expire on the last day of June of each year, and be subject to revocation by the Township council on recommendations of the State department of health or the health officer of the Township for failure to comply with the rules and regulations of the State department of health, or health department of the Township governing the same after the owner has been afforded a hearing by either the State department of health or the health department of the Township.
Any person holding such license shall not be required to secure individual licenses for dogs owned by such licensee and kept at such establishments; such licenses shall not be transferable to another owner or different premises.
All licenses issued for a kennel, pet shop, shelter or pound shall be subject to revocation by the Township council for failure to comply with applicable provisions of this chapter and/or any New Jersey State Statute rule or regulation dealing with the licensing and operation of kennels, pet shops and pounds, after the licensee has been afforded a hearing by the Township council.
The annual license fee for a kennel providing accommodations for ten or less dogs shall be $10, and for more than ten dogs $25. The annual license fee for a pet shop shall be $10 . No fee shall be charged for a shelter or pound.
No dog 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 control.
[Ord. No. 2017-6]
[Ord. No. 2017-6]
A pet shop shall maintain records stating the name and address of the animal care facility or animal rescue organization that each cat or dog was obtained from for at least two years following the date of acquisition. Such records shall be made available, immediately upon request, to Township police and submitted annually, and no later than May of each year, to the Township of Scotch Plains. Each pet shop shall display on each cage a label stating the name and address of the animal care facility or animal rescue organization of each animal kept in the cage.
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 Township within 30 days after collection or receipt and shall be placed in a special account separate from any of the other accounts of the Township and which 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-rabid treatment under the direction of the local department of health for any person known or suspected to have been exposed to rabies; for payment of damage to or losses of poultry and domestic animals, except dogs and cats, caused by a dog or dogs; for all other purposes prescribed by the statutes of New Jersey governing the subject, and for administering the provisions of this chapter. Any unexpended balance remaining in such special account 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 of the general funds of the Township any amount then in the 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 of twenty-five ($0.25) cents for each dog shall be forwarded within 30 days after collection by the Clerk to the State department of health.
The Township Clerk shall forward to the State department of health a list of all kennels, pet shops, shelters and pounds licensed within 30 days after the licenses therefor are issued, which list shall include the name and address of the licensee and the kind of license issued.
Annually the Chief of Police of the Township or such other person appointed by the Township council shall promptly cause a canvass to be made of all dogs owned, kept or harbored within the limits of the Township and shall report to the Clerk of the Township, the department of health of the Township, and to 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 number of unlicensed dogs, owned, kept or harbored by each of the persons, together with a complete description of each of the unlicensed dogs.
[Ord. No. 2017-30]
An agent designated by the licensing authority may take dogs into custody and impound and later destroy them, release them to the owner, or offer them for adoption, as provided in this section, in the following situations:
If any dog is taken into custody whose owner is known or which is wearing a registration tag, an authorized agent shall attempt to contact the owner. If the dog is not claimed by the owner or contact cannot be made with the owner within 48 hours of seizure, a notice in writing will be sent to the owner stating that the dog has been seized and is subject to being offered for adoption or destroyed if not claimed within 14 days after service of the notice.
Notice under this section shall be deemed to be effective if served personally, or by leaving it at the person's usual last known place of abode or at the address given in the license application or by mailing to any such address by United States mail, postage prepaid.
An authorized agent of the licensing authority may cause a dog to be offered for adoption or destroyed in a manner causing as little pain as possible and consistent with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 4:22-19, 14 days after seizure, provided that:
The dog was not wearing a valid registration tag at the time of seizure and the owner is unknown;
A notice was served as provided and the dog was not claimed; or
The owner or person keeping or harboring a dog which was unlicensed at the time of seizure, does not, within seven days, produce a valid license and registration tag for the dog.
No impounded dog shall be sold or otherwise made available for the purpose of experimentation.
After observation, any impounded dog shall be reported immediately to the Health Officer of the Township.
If an owner requests pickup of a dog to be disposed, including any puppies born to the parent dog, the owner shall be responsible for all expenses in connection with disposal of the unwanted animal(s).
Editor's Note: Prior ordinance history: Ord. No. 68-10; Ord. 79-37; Ord. No. 81-4; Ord. No. 96-11.
Any officer or agent authorized or empowered to perform any duty under this chapter is hereby authorized to go upon any premises to seize for impounding any dog which he may lawfully seize and impound when such officer is in immediate pursuit of such dog, except upon the premises of the owner of the dog if the owner is present and forbids the same.
No person shall hinder, molest or interfere with anyone authorized or empowered to perform any duty under this chapter.
No person shall keep, harbor or maintain any dog which habitually barks, howls, whines or cries between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.; or which, at any time by frequent barking, howling, whining or crying, disturbs the peace, comfort and quiet of any individual, thereby creating a nuisance.
No person owning, keeping or harboring any dog shall suffer or permit it to run at large upon the public streets or in any public park, or in any public building, or in any other public place within the Township, or on private property of another without the permission of the owner of the property.
No person shall permit any dog in his care or under his control, whether or not on a tether, leash, cord or chain or the like, to go upon the lawn, yard or entrance walk or driveway of any private residence without the permission of the owner or tenant thereof.
No person owning, keeping or harboring any dog shall suffer or permit it to be upon the public streets or in any public place of the Township unless such dog is accompanied and controlled by a person reasonably calculated to have the strength and agility to exercise control over the dog's activities and is securely confined and controlled by an adequate leash not more than six feet long. Seeing eye dogs shall be excused from the control set forth in this subsection when accompanied by their masters.
[Ord. #68-10; Ord. #93-21; Ord. #24-06, SSII—V]
No person owning, keeping, harboring, or having custody of a pet shall permit it to cause a traffic hazard; or to do or cause any injury to other domestic animals which are not at fault; or to do damage to any lawn, shrubbery, flowers, or garden grounds; or to commit any nuisance on any other property of others. The said person may either be liable for the injury or damage or for compensation of the absorbed cost.
Definitions. For the purpose of this subsection, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meanings stated herein unless their use in the text of this subsection 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. Where the definitions herein may conflict with definitions in other portions of Chapter 5, these definitions shall control.
- Shall mean that the pet solid waste is removed at once, without delay.
- Shall mean any person who shall possess, maintain, house or harbor any pet or otherwise have custody of any pet, whether or not the owner of such pet.
- Shall mean any individual, corporation, company, partnership, firm association, or political subdivision of this State subject to municipal jurisdiction.
- Shall mean a domesticated animal (other than a disability assistance animal) kept for amusement or companionship.
- PET SOLID WASTE
- Shall mean waste matter expelled from the bowels of the pet; excrement.
- PROPER DISPOSAL
- Shall mean placement in a designated waste receptacle, or other suitable container, and discarded in a refuse container which is regularly emptied by the municipality or some other refuse collector; or disposal into a system designed to convey domestic sewage for proper treatment and disposal.
Requirement for disposal. All pet owners and keepers are required to immediately and properly dispose of their pet's solid waste deposited on any property, public or private, not owned or possessed by that person.
The provisions of this subsection 5-8.7 shall not apply to blind persons who may use dogs as guides.
Enforcement. The provisions of this subsection shall be enforced by the police department and the local board of health of the Township of Scotch Plains.
Violations and penalty. Any person(s) who is found to be in violation of the provisions of this subsection shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $100.
[New; Ord. #96-11, S1]
Seizure and impoundment of dog. The 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 as defined in N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1(b) to that person;
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;
Engaged in dog fighting activities as described in N.J.S.A. 4:22-24 and N.J.S.A. 4:22-26; or
Has been trained, tormented, badgered, baited or encouraged to engage in unprovoked attacks upon persons or domestic animals.
The dog believed to possess the above qualities shall be impounded until the final disposition as to whether a dog is vicious or potentially dangerous is made. Subject to the approval of the Township health officer, the dog may be impounded in a facility or structure agreeable to the owner.
Notice of seizure.
The animal control officer shall notify the Township municipal court and the Township health officer immediately that he has seized and impounded a dog pursuant to this subsection 5-8.8, or that he 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 pursuant to this subsection 5-8.8. If its owner cannot be identified within seven days, the dog may be humanely destroyed.
The animal control officer shall, within three working days of the determination of the owner of a dog seized and impounded pursuant to this subsection 5-8.8, notify by certified mail, return receipt requested, 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 return within seven days, by certified mail or hand delivery, a signed statement indicating whether he 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, or refuses to sign for the certified letter, or does not reply to the certified letter with a signed statement within seven days of receipt, the dog may be humanely destroyed.
Finding to declare dog vicious.
The Township municipal court shall declare the dog vicious if it finds by clear and convincing evidence that the dog:
A dog shall not be declared vicious as a result of inflicting death or serious bodily injury as defined in N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1(b) upon a person if the dog was provoked. The Township shall bear the burden of proof to demonstrate that the dog was not provoked.
If the Township municipal 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.
Finding, declaring dog potentially dangerous:
The Township municipal court shall declare a dog to be potentially dangerous if it finds by clear and convincing evidence that the dog:
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
Kills 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
Has been trained, tormented, badgered, baited or encouraged to engage in unprovoked attacks upon persons or domestic animals.
A dog shall not be declared potentially dangerous for:
Order and schedule for compliance. In the event that the Township municipal court declares a dog to be potentially dangerous, it shall issue an order and a schedule for compliance which, in part:
Shall require the owner to comply with the following conditions:
To apply, at his own expense, to the Township Clerk or other official designated to license dogs for a special Township potentially dangerous dog license, Township registration number and red identification tag. The owner shall, at his own expense, have the registration number tattooed upon the dog in a prominent location. The potentially dangerous dog shall be impounded until the owner obtains the Township potentially dangerous dog license, Township registration number and red identification tag;
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 by paragraph e,1(c) below;
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 feet in height separated by at least three feet from the confined area. The owner of the potentially dangerous dog shall securely lock the enclosure to prevent the entry of the general public and to preclude any release or escape of the 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 feet from the owner and the dog shall be under the direct supervision of the owner.
May require the owner to maintain liability insurance in an amount determined by the Township municipal court to cover any damage or injury caused by the potentially dangerous dog. The liability insurance, which may be separate from any homeowner policy, shall contain a provision requiring that the Township 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.
Appeal. The owner of the dog, or the animal control officer in the Township, may appeal any final decision or judgment, including any conditions attached thereto, of the Township 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 a 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.
Liability of owner for costs of impoundment and destruction.
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 Township for the cost and expenses of impounding the dog (see subsection 5-7.2f, for fee schedule of these costs and expenses). In addition to the above charges, the owner of the dog shall be liable to the Township for all costs and expenses of destroying the dog pursuant to the provisions hereof. The owner shall incur the expense of impounding the dog in a facility other than the municipal pound, regardless of whether the dog is ultimately found to be vicious or potentially dangerous.
If the dog has bitten or exposed in another manner a person within ten days previous to the time of euthanasia, its head shall be transported to the New Jersey State Department of Health laboratory for rabies testing.
Right to convene hearing for subsequent actions of dog. If the Township municipal court finds that a dog is not vicious or potentially dangerous, the Township 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.
Duties of owner of potentially dangerous dog. The owner of a potentially dangerous dog shall:
Comply with the provisions of this subsection 5-8.8 in accordance with the schedule established by the Township municipal court, but in no case more than sixty days subsequent to the date of determination;
Notify the Township Clerk, Township 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;
Notify the Township Clerk, Township police department and the animal control officer within 24 hours of the death, sale or donation of a potentially dangerous dog;
Prior to selling or donating the dog, inform the prospective owner that the dog has been declared potentially dangerous;
Upon the sale or donation of the dog to a person residing in a different municipality, notify the licensing authority, police department or force and animal control officer of that municipality of the transfer of ownership and the name, address and telephone of the new owner; and
Violations. Any owner of a potentially dangerous dog who is found by clear and convincing evidence to have violated subsection 5-8.8 of this chapter or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, or has failed to comply with the Township municipal court's order shall be subject of 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 Township municipal court shall have jurisdiction to enforce this subsection 5-8.8. The animal control officer is authorized to seize and impound any potentially dangerous dog whose owner fails to comply with the provisions of this subsection 5-8.8 or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant hereto or the Township municipal court's order. The Township municipal court may order that the dog so seized and impounded be destroyed in an expeditious and humane manner.
Potentially dangerous dog registration number. The Township shall:
Issue a potentially dangerous dog registration number and red identification tag along with a Township potentially dangerous dog license upon the demonstration of sufficient evidence by the owner to the animal control officer that he has complied with the municipal court's orders and that the potentially dangerous dog has had a rabies vaccination valid for the term of the potentially dangerous dog license. The last three digits of each potentially dangerous dog registration number issued by the Township will be the three number code assigned to the Township in the regulations promulgated pursuant to N.J.S.A. 4:19-33. The animal control officer shall verify, in writing, compliance to the Township Clerk or other official designated to license dogs in the Township.
Publicize a telephone number for reporting violations of this section.
Fees for license. The fee to be paid annually for a potentially dangerous dog license and each renewal thereof shall be $700.
Inspection to determine continuing compliance. The animal control officer shall inspect the enclosure and the remainder of the owner's property at least monthly to determine continuing compliance with this section.
[Ord. #96-11, S1]
Except as otherwise provided in subsection 5-8.8 of this chapter, all dogs which bite any person shall be quarantined by the Township department of health for a ten day period. After that ten day period, the dog shall be examined by a veterinarian, at the owner's expense, for the purpose of determining whether such dog is affected by any disease and that veterinarian shall forward to the Township department of health a report of the results of examination, which report shall be received within 12 days of the dog bite.
[New; Ord. #96-11, S1; Ord. No. 2017-30]
Any person who violates any portion of this section shall, upon conviction, be fined not less than $50.00 nor more than $2,000.00 for each offense. Each day the violation continues shall constitute a separate and distinct offense.