CHAPTER V - ANIMAL CONTROL*

 

 

5-1   LICENSING OF DOGS.

 

5-1.1   Required.

       Each and every dog shall be duly licensed and shall bear evidence of such license at all times, in accordance with the laws of the State of New Jersey. The annual fee for such license shall be as provided herein. (1976 Code § 38-7; Ord. No. 27-82; Ord. No. 86-29)

 

5-1.2   Expiration of License; Annual Fee.

       Licenses, registration tags and the renewal thereof shall expire on the last day of January of each year. A late fee shall be due and owing to the Township for each and every dog licensed after the 31st day of January of any year. (1976 Code § 38-7; Ord. No. 27-82; Ord. No. 86-29)

 

 

5-2   CONTROL OF DOGS.

 

5-2.1   Dogs Running at Large Restricted.

       No dog shall run at large at any time in this Township, except that this provision shall not apply to hunting dogs during hunting season or while they are being trained, provided that, at all times, such dogs are under the control of the owner or trainer. (1976 Code § 38-1)

 

5-2.2   Dogs Leaving Premises Restricted.

       No person owning or having the care, custody or control of any dog shall suffer or permit such dog to go or be off the premises owned by or in the possession of such person, unless the dog shall be accompanied by a person who is capable of controlling such dog and who has the dog securely confined and controlled by an adequate leash not more than six (6) feet long. (1976 Code § 38-2)

 

 

5-2.3   Dogs Prohibited from Soiling or Committing Nuisances on Sidewalks, Streets and Thoroughfares.

       No person owning or having the care, custody or control of any dog shall permit such dog to soil or defile or to commit any nuisance upon any sidewalk, street or thoroughfare in or upon any public property or in or upon the property of persons other than the owner or person having the care, custody or control of such dog. (1976 Code § 38-3)

 

5-2.4   Permitting Dogs to Soil or Damage Lawns, Shrubbery, Trees or Flowers.

       No person owning or having the care, custody or control of any dog shall suffer or permit it to soil or defile or do any injury or damage to any lawn, shrubbery, trees, flowers, grounds or any property of persons other than the owner or person having the care, custody or control of such dog. (1976 Code § 38-4)

 

5-2.5   Barking or Crying Dogs.

       No person shall keep, harbor or maintain any dog which habitually barks or cries so as to disturb the public peace. (1976 Code § 38-5)

 

5-2.6   Owners of Dogs Responsible for Damage Caused.

       The owner or custodian of any dog shall be responsible for any damage done by such dog. (1976 Code § 38-6)

 

 

5-3   VICIOUS DOGS/POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS DOGS; IMPOUNDMENT.*

 

       5-3.1   Definitions. As used in this section:

       Owner shall mean any person who shall own, keep or harbor a dog within the Township.

       Potentially dangerous dog shall mean any dog or dog hybrid which has been declared by a Municipal Judge to be potentially dangerous.

       Poundmaster shall mean a certified Animal Control Officer as defined in N.J.S.A. 4:19-15.1.

       Vicious dog shall mean any dog or dog hybrid which has been declared by a Municipal Judge to be a vicious dog.

       (Ord. No. 96-34 § I)

 

5-3.2   Complaint; Investigation; Report; Notification.

       a.     It shall be the duty of the Poundmaster or his designee to receive and investigate complaints against dogs. If he reasonably believes any dog complained of to be a vicious or potentially dangerous dog, he shall report his findings in writing to the Municipal Judge.

       b.     The Poundmaster or his designee shall notify the Municipal Court and the municipal health officer immediately that he has seized and impounded a dog pursuant to this section or that he has reasonable cause to believe that a dog has killed another domestic animal and that a hearing is required. The Poundmaster or his designee shall through a reasonable effort attempt to determine the identity of the owner of any dog seized and impounded pursuant to this section. If its owner cannot be identified within seven (7) days, that dog may be humanely destroyed.

       c.     The Poundmaster or his designee shall, within three (3) working 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, 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 (7) 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 (7) days of receipt, the dog may be humanely destroyed.

(Ord. No. 96-34 § I)

 

5-3.3   Notice; Hearing.

       The Municipal Judge shall notify in writing the owner or keeper of an allegedly vicious or potentially dangerous dog that a complaint has been made and require the person to appear before him at a stated time and place for a hearing. (Ord. No. 96-34 § I)

 

5-3.4   Finding to Declare Dog Vicious; Grounds.

       a.     The 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 provoked. The municipality shall bear the burden of proof to demonstrate that the dog was not provoked.

       c.     If the Municipal Court declares a dog to be vicious, and no appeal is made of this ruling pursuant to N.J.S.A. 4:19-25, 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. No. 96-34 § I)

 

5-3.5   Finding to Declare Dog Potentially Dangerous.

       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.     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.     Killing a domestic animal if the domestic animal was the aggressor.

       For the purpose of paragraph b, 1 of this subsection, the municipality shall bear the burden of proof to demonstrate that the dog was not provoked.

(Ord. No. 96-34 § I)

 

5-3.6   Control of Vicious Dogs.

       No person owning or keeping a vicious dog shall permit the dog to be off the property of the owner or keeper without being securely muzzled. (Ord. No. 96-34 § I)

 

5-3.7   Order and Schedule for Compliance for Potentially Dangerous Dog; Conditions.

       If the 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 Municipal Clerk or other official designated to license dogs pursuant to N.J.S.A. 4:19-15.2, for a special municipal potentially dangerous dog license, municipal 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 a municipal potentially dangerous dog license, municipal registration number, and red identification tag;

         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 fifty (50) feet of the enclosure required pursuant to paragraph a, 3 of this subsection;

         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 Poundmaster or his designee 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.     May require the owner to maintain liability insurance in an amount determined by the 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 Township of Holmdel 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.

(Ord. No. 96-34 § I)

 

5-3.8   Procedures for Appeal.

       The owner of the dog, or the Poundmaster or his designee may appeal any final decision, order, or judgment, including any conditions attached thereto, of a Municipal Court pursuant to N.J.S.A. 4:19-17 et seq. 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. No. 96-34 § I)

 

5-3.9   Liability of Owner for Costs of Impoundment and Destruction.

       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 Township of Holmdel for the 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 municipal 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 ten (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. No. 96-34 § I)

 

5-3.10  Right to Convene Hearing for Subsequent Actions of Dog.

       If the 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. No. 96-34 § I)

 

5-3.11  Duties of Owner of Potentially Dangerous Dog.

       The owner of a potentially dangerous dog shall:

       a.     Comply with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 4:19-17 et seq. in accordance with a schedule established by the Municipal Court but in no case more than sixty (60) days subsequent to the date of determination;

       b.     Notify the licensing authority, the Police Department and the Poundmaster or his designee if a potentially dangerous dog is at large, or has attacked a human being or killed a domestic animal;

       c.     Notify the licensing authority, the Police Department and the Poundmaster or his designee within twenty-four (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 health department and 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

       f.     In addition to any license fee required pursuant to N.J.S.A. 4:19-15.3, pay a potentially dangerous dog license fee to the municipality as provided by N.J.S.A. 4:19-31.

(Ord. No. 96-34 § I)

 

5-3.12  Violations by Owner; Penalties; Enforcement; Seizure and Impoundment of Dog; Destruction by Order of Court.

        The owner of a potentially dangerous dog who is found by clear and convincing evidence to have violated this chapter, or to have failed to comply with a court's order shall be subject to a fine of not more than two thousand ($2,000.00) dollars per day of the violation, and each day's continuance of the violation shall constitute a separate and distinct violation. The Municipal Court shall have jurisdiction to enforce this section. The Poundmaster or his designee is authorized to seize and impound any potentially dangerous dog whose owner fails to comply with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 4:19-17 et seq., or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, or a court's order. The Municipal Court may order that the dog so seized and impounded be destroyed in an expeditious and humane manner. (Ord. No. 96-34 § I; Ord. 2006-07 § VI)

 

5-3.13  Potentially Dangerous Dog Registration Number, Red Identification Tag and License; Issuance; Telephone Number to Report Violations; Publicity.

       a.     There shall be issued a potentially dangerous dog registration number and red identification tag along with a municipal potentially dangerous dog license upon a demonstration of sufficient evidence by the owner to the Poundmaster or his designee that he has complied with the court's orders. The last three (3) digits of each potentially dangerous dog registration number issued will be the three (3) number code assigned to the Township of Holmdel in the regulations promulgated pursuant to N.J.S.A. 4:19-33. The Poundmaster or his designee shall verify, in writing, compliance to the Municipal Clerk or other official designated to license dogs in the Township of Holmdel;

       b.     The Township of Holmdel will publicize a telephone number for reporting violations of this chapter. This telephone number shall be forwarded to the State of New Jersey Department of Health and any changes in this number shall be reported immediately to the State of New Jersey Department of Health.

(Ord. No. 96-34 § I)

 

5-3.14  Impounding and Destruction of Certain Dogs.

       a.     Causes for Impounding. The Poundmaster or his designee shall take into custody and impound, or cause to be taken into custody and impounded, any of the following dogs:

         1.     Any unlicensed dog running at large in violation of the provisions of this chapter.

         2.     Any dog off the premises of the owner of or the person keeping or harboring the dog which the dog warden or his agent has reason to believe is a stray dog.

         3.     Any dog off the premises of the owner of or the person keeping or harboring such dog without a current registration tag on its collar.

         4.     Any female dog in season off the premises of the owner or of the person keeping or harboring such dog.

         5.     Any dog which has been determined to be a vicious dog as provided in subsection 5-3.4, provided that these dogs may also be seized by any law enforcement officer, and provided further that if the dogs cannot be seized with safety, they may be killed.

         6.     Any dog or other animal which is suspected to be rabid.

         7.     Any dog or other animal off the premises of the owner reported to or observed by the Poundmaster or his designee to be ill, injured or creating a threat to public health, safety and welfare or otherwise interfering with the enjoyment of property.

         8.     Any dog or dog hybrid which the Poundmaster or his designee has reasonable cause to believe that the dog or dog hybrid has attacked a person and caused death or serious bodily injury as defined in N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1(b) to that person; or has 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; or has engaged in dog fighting activities as described in 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.

(Ord. No. 96-34 § I)

 

5-3.15       Redemption of Seized Animals.

       a.     If an animal taken into custody and impounded that can be traced to the owner or person charged with the care of the animal, the certified Animal Control Officer shall ascertain the name and address of the owner or the person charged with the care of the animal, and serve to the identified person, as soon as practicable, a notice in writing that the animal has been seized and the owner or the person charged with the care of the animal will be liable for all fees incurred, by the municipality, from a licensed kennel or  shelter.

       b.     Any owner or person charged with the care of the animal who refuses or neglects to pay forthwith the costs and charges incident thereto shall be deemed to have violated the provisions of this subsection.

       c.     Redemption fees shall not exceed $275/cat and $300/dog along with appropriate veterinary fees.

(Ord. No. 2015-09 § 1)

 

 

5-4   POUNDMASTER.

 

5-4.1   Appointment and Duty of Poundmaster; Power of Township Committee to Contract Services.

       The Township Committee shall have power to appoint a Poundmaster or other designated authority, whose duty it shall be to enforce the provisions of this chapter. The Township Committee shall also have power to enter into a contract with one (1) or more persons for the exercise of the duty of Dogcatcher, Dog Warden or Poundmaster and to enforce the provisions of this chapter. (1976 Code § 38-8)

 

 

5-5   VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES.

       Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be liable to a penalty of not more than twenty-five ($25.00) dollars for the first conviction of such violation and, upon failure to pay the fine and the costs and charges incidental thereto, may be imprisoned in the county jail for a period not exceeding ten (10) days and, in the case of a conviction for a second, subsequent or continuing violation, shall be liable to a penalty of not more than fifty ($50.00) dollars for each offense and, upon failure to pay the fine and the costs and charges incidental thereto, may be imprisoned in the county jail for a period not exceeding thirty (30) days. (1976 Code § 38-11)

 

 

5-6         PET SHOP DISCLOSURE.

 

5-6.1         Definitions.

       As used in this section:

       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.

       Pet shop shall mean any room or group of rooms, cage or exhibition pen, not part of a kennel, wherein animals for sale are kept or displayed.

(Ord. No. 2015-09 § 2)

 

5-6.2         Disclosure Required.

       a.     Every pet shop shall submit to the Township Clerk or other official designated to license dogs in the Township, a report providing the following information from the prior year of operation:

         1.     The name, full street address, email address, if available, and USDA license number of: (i) any breeder from which the pet shop purchased an animal, whether or not the pet shop offered the animal for sale, (ii) any breeder that bred an animal that the pet shop purchased from a broker, whether or not the pet shop offered the animal for sale, and (iii) any broker from which the pet shop purchased an animal, whether or not the pet shop offered the animal for sale;

         2.     If a breeder whose identity the pet shop is required to report pursuant to subsection 5-6.2a,1 is required to be licensed in the state in which the breeder is located, the breeder’s state license number;

         3.     If a broker whose identity the pet shop is required to report pursuant to subsection 5-6.2a,1 is different from any breeder whose identity the pet shop is required to report pursuant to subsection 5-6.2a,1, and the broker is required to be licensed in the state in which the broker is located, the broker’s state license number; and

         4.     The total number of animals for each breeder and broker for which the pet shop has reporting requirements subsection 5-6.2a,1. 

       b.     This subsection 5-6.2 shall not apply to a pet shop submitting an initial license application to the Township.

(Ord. No. 2015-09 § 2)

 

 

5-7         RESTRICTIONS ON SALE OF CATS AND DOGS.

 

5-7.1         Definitions.

       Animal rescue organization means an individual or group of individuals who, with or without salary or compensation, house and care for homeless animals in the home of an individual or in other facilities, with the intent of placing the animals in responsible, more permanent homes as soon as possible.

       Animal rescue facility means the home or other facility in which an animal rescue organization houses or cares for animals.

       Cats means a member of a species of domestic cat, Felis catus.

       Dogs means a member of a species of domestic dog, Canis familiaris.

       Offer for Sale means to sell, deliver, offer for sale or adoption, advertise for the sale of, barter, auction, give away, or otherwise transfer or dispose of a dog or cat.

       Pet shop means 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. 2018-02)

 

5-7.2         Restrictions on the Sale of Animals.

       No pet shop may offer for sale any cats or dogs.  Nothing in this section shall prohibit pet shops from collaborating with animal care facilities or animal rescue organizations to offer space for such entities to showcase dogs and cats in their custody or control for adoption. (Ord. No. 2018-02)

 

 

 



*Editor's Note: See also Board of Health ordinances regarding License Fees for Dogs, Rabies Vaccination of Cats and Rabies Vaccination of Dogs.

*Editor's Note: Prior ordinance history includes portions of 1976 Code § 38-9)

CHAPTER V - ANIMAL CONTROL*
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