Township of Hamilton, NJ
Atlantic County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 12-2-1957 by Ord. No. 201]

§ 105-1 Harboring or having charge of licensed or unlicensed dogs.

Hereafter each and every person owning, harboring, keeping or having charge of any licensed or unlicensed male or female dog shall:
A. 
Prevent such dog from running at large upon any public highway, street, alley, park or other public place in the Township at any time.
B. 
Prevent such dog from being on any public highway, street, avenue, alley, park or other public place in said Township at any time unless such dog is accompanied by a person and is securely confined and controlled by an adequate leash not more than six feet in length.
C. 
Prevent such dog from running at large in said Township upon the lands or other real estate of any person without the consent of the owner of such lands or other real estate.
D. 
Prevent such dog from injuring or damaging any vegetable garden, flower garden, lawn, plant, tree, shrubbery, grounds or other property of any person other than the person owning, harboring, keeping or having charge of such dog.
E. 
Prevent such dog from worrying, wounding or killing any sheep, lamb, domestic animal or poultry of any person other than the person owning, harboring, keeping or having charge of such dog.

§ 105-2 Impoundment; disposition; fee.

[Amended 1-18-1965 by Ord. No. 302]
Any unlicensed or licensed male or female dog that shall be found running at large upon any public highway, street, avenue, alley, park or other public place in said Township at any time, doing any of the other things mentioned in § 105-1 of this article, and which the person owning, harboring, keeping or having charge of such dog is required by this article to prevent, shall forthwith be taken and impounded by the Animal Control Officer or police of said Township and shall be kept and confined for a period of three days next thereafter and shall then be humanely destroyed or otherwise disposed of according to law; provided, however, that within said period of three days, the Animal Control Officer or police of said Township shall release such dog to the owner thereof upon claim therefor and upon payment thereof to said Township of the expense of keeping such dog while impounded for said period or portion thereof a fee of $5.

§ 105-3 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 3-7-1983 by Ord. No. 840-83]
Violations of any of the terms or provisions of this article shall be punishable in the Municipal Court for the Township of Hamilton as follows:
A. 
Conviction of first offense: a fine of not less than $25 nor more than $100.
B. 
Conviction of second offense: a fine of not less than $75 nor more than $150.
C. 
Conviction of third offense or subsequent offenses: a fine of not less than $150 nor more than $500 or imprisonment in the county jail for such term not exceeding 90 days, or both, as the sentencing Judge may impose.

§ 105-4 Annual license fee.

[Amended 9-19-1966 by Ord. No. 338; 12-7-1981 by Ord. No. 811-81; 3-16-1992 by Ord. No. 1112-92]
A. 
Commencing April 1, 1992, the annual dog license fee shall be $10 for spayed/neutered dogs and $13 for nonspayed/nonneutered dogs. This fee shall include the assessment for the registration tag, the New Jersey state fees and the New Jersey pet population control fees where applicable. Said license and registration tag shall expire on January 31 of the next calendar year.
B. 
Notwithstanding the provisions of Subsection A hereinabove, licensees shall be charged an annual dog license fee of $7 for spayed/neutered dogs and $10 for nonspayed/nonneutered dogs under the following circumstances:
[Amended 6-20-2016 by Ord. No. 1823-2016]
(1) 
When the licensee preregisters between January 1 and April 30 of each year.
(2) 
When the dog owner becomes a new resident of the Township of Hamilton during a given calendar year after January 31.
(3) 
When the dog to be licensed is less than six months old on April 30 of a given calendar year or the dog is born subsequent to April 30 of a given calendar year.

§ 105-5 License and tag requirements.

[Added 2-16-1988 by Ord. No. 963-88]
Any person who shall own, keep or harbor a dog of licensing age (meaning any dog which has attained the age of seven months or which possesses a set of permanent teeth) shall annually apply for and procure from the Clerk of Hamilton Township, or other official designated by the governing body thereof to license dogs in the municipality in which he resides, a license and 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. Any person failing to comply with the provisions of this section shall be liable for a penalty of not less than $5 nor more than $50 for each offense; except that for the first offense in cases of violations under this section, the penalty shall be not less than $1 nor more than $50 in accordance with the directives set forth in N.J.S.A. 4:19-15.19.

§ 105-5.1 Restraint and care of animals.

[Added 10-3-2011 by Ord. No. 1703-2011; amended 8-1-2016 by Ord. No. 1828-2016]
A. 
Incorporation of state law. The provisions of N.J.S.A. 4:22-11-1 through N.J.S.A. 4:22-60 governing the prevention of cruelty to animals are incorporated herein by reference.
B. 
Definitions. As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BEDDING
Material to provide a bed or resting place for a dog.
CARETAKER
Any person who takes care of the house or land of an owner who may be absent and is responsible for the keeping of a dog.
DOGHOUSE
A covered and protected domicile for a dog.
HANDLER
Any person in immediate physical charge of a dog.
KENNEL
Any establishment wherein or whereon the business of boarding or selling dogs or breeding dogs for sale is carried on, except a pet shop.
OWNER
When applied to the proprietorship of a dog, includes every person having a right of property in such dog and every person who has such dog in his keeping.
PEN
An enclosure for a dog.
PET SHOP
Any room or group of rooms, cage or exhibition pen, not part of a kennel, wherein dogs for sale are kept or displayed.
POUND
An establishment for the confinement of dogs seized under the provisions of this article or otherwise.
SHELTER
Any structure used to restrict a dog or dogs to a limited amount of space, such as a pen, run, cage or compartment and/or any establishment where dogs are received, housed and/or distributed with or without charge.
TETHER
To restrain an animal by tying to any object or structure, including but not limited to a house, tree, fence, post, garage or shed, by any means, including, but not limited to, a chain, rope, cord, leash or pulley/running line, but shall not include the use of a leash when walking an animal.
C. 
Shelter requirements. No person shall keep, use, or maintain a dog on any premises unless the dog is provided full access to an enclosed building, doghouse, or similar shelter at all times. The dog must have equal space outside its shelter to move around and relieve itself away from its confinement. Said shelter shall:
(1) 
Have five sides, including a top, a bottom and three sides and be soundly built.
(2) 
Have a floor, raised off the ground, free of cracks, depressions and rough areas where insects, rodents or eggs from internal parasites may lodge. An effective program for the control of insects, ectoparasites, and other pests shall be established and maintained.
(3) 
Be cleaned and maintained in a manner designed to insure the best possible sanitary conditions. Excreta shall be removed from the shelter as often as necessary. Rugs, blankets or other bedding material shall be on the floor and shall be kept clean and dry.
(4) 
Be of adequate size to allow the dog to stand up and turn about freely, stand easily, sit and lie in a comfortable normal position, being a minimum of four feet in height as follows:
Number of Dogs
Square Footage
1
64
2
96
3
144
4
196
Over 4
An additional 24 square feet for each additional dog
(5) 
Have a floor constructed so as to protect the dog's feet and legs from injury.
(6) 
Allow dogs kept outdoors to remain dry during rain.
(7) 
Have sufficient clean bedding material or other means of protection from weather elements provided when the ambient temperature falls below that temperature to which the dog is acclimated.
(8) 
Provide sufficient shade to allow the dogs kept outdoors to protect themselves from the direct rays of the sun, when sunlight is likely to cause overheating or discomfort.
(9) 
Be structurally sound and maintained in good repair to protect the dog from injury.
(10) 
Be constructed and maintained so that the dog contained therein has convenient access to food and water.
D. 
Water requirements. No person shall keep, use or maintain any dog on any premises unless the dog has access to clean and fresh water at all times. Clean potable water shall be available to the dog unless restricted for veterinary care; and
(1) 
If the water is kept in a container, this container shall be designed sufficiently to prevent tipping and spilling of the water contained therein. If necessary to accomplish this, the container shall be secured to a solid structure or secured in the ground. Watering containers shall be kept clean, kept out of sun, and must be emptied and refilled with fresh water at least once a day; or
(2) 
If the water is provided by an automatic or demand device, the water supply connected to the device must function 24 hours a day.
E. 
Feeding requirements. No person shall keep, use or maintain any dog on any premises unless the dog is provided sufficient food daily to maintain proper body weight and good health.
(1) 
The dog shall be provided food, which shall be free from contamination, wholesome, palatable, and sufficient quantity and nutritive value to meet the normal daily requirements for the condition and size of the animal.
(2) 
Food receptacles shall be accessible to the dog and shall be located so as to minimize contamination by excreta and/or insects. Feeding pans shall be durable and kept clean. Disposable food receptacles may be used but must be discarded after each feeding. Self-feeders may be used for the feeding of dry food, and they shall be sanitized regularly to prevent molding, deterioration or caking of feed. Spoiled or contaminated food shall be disposed of in a sanitary manner.
F. 
Confinement requirements. Though highly discouraged, tethering is only acceptable if:
(1) 
The tether is attached to a stake in the ground with a pulley like system.
(2) 
The tether is attached to the dog by a non-choke-type collar or body harness which allows the dog access to food, water and shelter, but free from obstructions.
(3) 
The dog must be tethered by a non-choke type collar or a body harness to a tether that is at least three times the body length of the dog, measured from the dog's nose to the back of the hindquarters and which tether is free from entanglement.
(4) 
The dog must have access to food, water and shelter as described above.
(5) 
If female, the dog is sterilized or not in estrus.
(6) 
The tether does not exceed 10% of the dog's body weight.
(7) 
The tether is at least three times the length of the dog from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail.
(8) 
The tether allows the dog to easily stand, sit, lie, turn around, and make all other normal body movements in a comfortable, normal position for the dog.
(9) 
The tether allows the dog to interact safely with other animals, if at all.
(10) 
Only one dog is attached to a single tether.
G. 
Prohibited activities and treatment.
(1) 
No owner, caretaker or handler shall withhold proper shelter, protection from weather, veterinary care and immune care to any animal. No owner, caretaker or handler shall fail to provide his or her animal with sufficient food and drinkable water on a daily basis. Food and water must be in an animal food consumption-type container, feeder or waterer.
(2) 
No animal shall be subject to unnecessary suffering and cruelty, such as subjecting the animal to prolonged fear, injury, pain or physical abuse. Interaction with humans and other animals shall not be unreasonably withheld.
(3) 
No dog or other domesticated animal shall remain outdoors, tethered, untethered or penned during a period of extreme weather, including, but not limited to, extreme heat (above 90° F.), extreme cold (below 32° F.), during thunderstorms, tornadoes, tropical storms, or hurricanes.
H. 
Duties of citizens.
(1) 
Any operator of a motor vehicle who accidently strikes a dog shall stop and render such assistance to the dog as may be possible, provided it can be accomplished safely and without danger to the motorist, pedestrians or other motorists.
(2) 
The operator of a motor vehicle involved in such an accident shall promptly report such injury or death to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
I. 
Enforcement; violations and penalties.
(1) 
Enforcement of § 105-5.1 shall be commenced by the filing of a complaint with the Municipal Court of the Township of Hamilton. In addition to other methods of enforcement provided by law, any violations of this article may be enforced by the issuance of a notice of violation by members of the Hamilton Township Police Department or the Hamilton Township Animal Control Officer.
(2) 
Violation of any provision of § 105-5.1 shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a minimum fine of $200 or a maximum of $1,000 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 30 days or by a period of community service not exceeding 30 days. Each and every violation shall be considered a separate violation. Any person who is convicted of violating the provisions of this article within one year of the date of a previous violation and who was fined for the previous violation may be sentenced to the court with an additional fine as a repeat offender. The additional fine imposed as a repeat offender shall not be less than the minimum or exceed the maximum fine provided herein, and same shall be calculated separately from the fine imposed for the violation of this article. The court shall order restitution be paid to any agency or member of the public that incurs expenses related to the investigation and prosecution of any offender of this article. The court shall also require the offender to pay restitution for any costs for food, drink, shelter or veterinary care or treatment or other costs incurred by any agency, entity or organization. The court may direct the term of community service to be served by providing assistance to the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.