[Adopted 6-7-2004 by Ord. No. 1158-04; amended in its entirety 5-18-2015 by Ord. No. 1499-15]
If you own or keep animals, you have a legal duty to take care of those animals, and you need to take reasonable steps to protect their welfare and prevent their suffering.
As a general principle, you must not leave or place animals in circumstances where they are likely to suffer.
Editor's Note: Ordinance No. 1199-05, adopted 7-18-2005, changed the title of this article, which formerly was Care and Treatment of Dogs.
Definitions used throughout this Article III are as follows:
- ANIMAL SHELTER
- Any establishment where dogs or other animals are received, housed and distributed.
- Material to provide a bed for dogs.
- 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.
- A clean receptacle, designed to hold water, which is sturdy, hard to tip and suitable to the pet and circumstance.
- A covered and protected domicile for a dog.
- Any structure used to restrict a dog or dogs to a limited amount of space, such as pen, run, cage or compartment.
- EXTREME WEATHER
- Temperatures above 85° F. or below 40° F. and depending on the species, age, condition, size and type of each animal, weather warnings and watches, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and blizzards.
- Any person in immediate physical charge of a dog.
- Any establishment wherein or whereupon the business of boarding or selling dogs or breeding dogs for sale is carried on, except a pet shop.
- When applied to proprietorship of a dog means every person having a right of property in that dog and every person who has that dog in his or her keeping.
- An enclosure for dogs.
- PET SHOP
- Any place of business that is not part of a kennel wherein animals, including, but not limited to, dogs, cats, birds, fish, reptiles, rabbits, hamsters or gerbils are kept or displayed chiefly for the purpose of sale to individuals for personal appreciation and companionship rather than for business or research purposes.
- Any establishment for the confinement of dogs or other animals seized either under the provisions of N.J.S.A. 4:19-15.16 or otherwise.
- An area out of the direct sunlight or an area having the direct sunlight blocked during the months of May to October.
- Shelter/doghouse that is suitable for the species, age, condition, size and type of each animal and protects each animal from injury, rain, sleet, snow, hail, direct sunlight, the adverse effects of heat or cold and maintains the physical condition of the animal so as to maintain the animal in a state of good health. Such shelter shall be large enough for the animal to turn around and lay down yet not so tall that the animal’s body heat dissipates easily.
- TUFTS SCALE
- The Tufts Animal Care and Condition Scale for assessing body condition, weather and environmental safety, and physical care in dogs; authored by the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine.
- Fresh, clean water provided daily in all situations in sufficient quantity in an appropriate container for the pet and the circumstance (e.g., no metal bowls in winter.)
Owners, caretakers, or handlers of dogs will exercise diligence and reasonable care to prevent said dogs from leaving their premises regardless of whether their premises is owned, leased or rented. Restraint exists when the dog is:
Enclosed and properly provided for pursuant to N.J.S.A. 4:22-17 within a house, building, properly maintained fence, pen or other enclosure.
Pens or other enclosures for each dog must be four feet in height and square footage as follows:
Number of Dogs
Size of Enclosure
An additional 24 for each dog
The pens or other enclosure shall include a soundly constructed, safely positioned and properly maintained doghouse.
Every doghouse shall contain bedding such as straw or other absorbent material in a sufficient quality to provide adequate insulation for the dog(s) in the doghouse. Bedding shall be maintained in a dry condition and renewed or changed as necessary.
Owners, caretakers, or handlers of dogs will exercise diligence and reasonable care to keep dogs under restraint. In circumstances in which the dogs are not located on premises owned, leased or rented by the caretakers or handlers, dogs must be handled in a humane manner pursuant N.J.S.A. 4:22-17.
Owners, caretakers or handlers of dogs may attempt to prevent said dogs from leaving the premises by installing an invisible fence. Owners, caretakers or handlers of dogs are responsible for the maintenance of the invisible fences and shall exercise diligence to keep the fence in proper working order.
Kennels, pet shops, shelters, pounds, and veterinary facilities are exempt from this section and shall comply with the provisions of any applicable state statutes and administrative regulations.
All pet owners, caretakers, handlers or keepers (walkers, sitters) must immediately pick up and dispose of their pet's solid waste deposited on any property, public or private, that is not owned or possessed by that person. If the property is owned or possessed by the pet owner, caretaker, handler or keeper (walker, sitter), then they are not responsible for the immediate pick up and disposal of the pet's solid waste.
The Township is required to hand out literature explaining this section every time a pet license is issued.
"Pet," for the purpose of this section, shall apply to any and all domesticated animals and not just dogs.
Any person who violates this section shall be subject to a fine which shall amount to no less than the minimum amount of $100 and not to exceed a maximum amount of $500.
Dogs must be able to move freely when chained or tethered. The size of the tether or chain must be a minimum of 15 linear feet and shall remain tangle free. Dogs must be equipped with properly fitted harness or buckle-type collars. The tether or chain shall be constructed of lightweight cable. A doghouse shall be accessible to dogs that are chained or tethered.
Dogs that are not spayed or neutered will not be allowed to be tethered or chained for any period of time and must be in a completely enclosed yard or housed indoors.
No dogs may be tethered or chained after dark (prior to sunrise or after sunset).
The Tufts Animal Care and Condition Scale shall be used as a guide to assess reasonable treatment.
No owner, caretaker or handler shall withhold proper shelter, protection from weather, safety in extreme 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 fresh drinkable water on a daily basis. Food and water must be in an animal food-consumption- or water-consumption-type container, feeder or watering device.
No animal shall be subjected to unnecessary suffering and cruelty such as subjecting the animal to prolonged fear, injury, pain or physical abuse or extreme weather. Interaction with humans and other animals shall not be unreasonably withheld. This section does not apply to any individual currently licensed by the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners to practice veterinary medicine, who is acting within his or her scope of practice to deliver acceptable and medically sound veterinary care for an animal.
No animal shall be left unattended in a motor vehicle without sufficient airflow or under extreme heat conditions (70° F. or more on a sunny day and/or more than 84° F. inside the vehicle) as to render the animal susceptible to heat prostration or any other adverse condition that would be caused by said behavior, including death.
Any operator of a motor vehicle who accidentally strikes a dog or cat shall promptly report such injury or death to the Township Police Department, Township Code Enforcement Officer(s), Middle Township Animal Control, Dog Canvasser(s) and/or Township Clerk.
For purposes of this section, if more than one animal is involved, each act shall constitute a separate offense.
Enforcement of all sections within Article III shall be commenced by the filing of a complaint or a notice of violation with the Municipal Court of the Township of Middle. A notice of violation may be issued by a member of the Middle Township Police Department, Middle Township Animal Control Officer, or Township Animal Cruelty Investigator.
A complaint may be issued by a member of the Township Police Department or the Middle Township Animal Cruelty Investigator.
Any person found guilty of a violation of § 121-22 shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $25 for the first offense; $50 for the second offense; and $100 for any subsequent offenses.
Any person found guilty of all other sections of this Article III by the Municipal Court of the Township of Middle shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $500 or imprisonment not to exceed 90 days, or both; provided, however, that the Court shall waive or suspend any fines if the Court determines it is appropriate to do so. Furthermore, the Court may order restitution be paid to any person or entity that incurs expenses related to the investigation and prosecution of any offender of this Article III.