[HISTORY: Adopted by the Bloomfield Board of Health as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Animals and Fowl
Article II Feral Cats
[Adopted 6-9-2004 (Ch. 282 of the 1987 Code)]
It shall be unlawful for any person to keep or maintain swine, goats, cattle, horses, other livestock, or ducks, geese, pigeons, chickens or other fowl within the Township of Bloomfield on any private or public plot of land or other premises.
It shall be the duty of all persons owning or having interest in or having in their possession or under their control or having knowledge of any dog, cat or other animal affected with rabies or suspected of being affected with rabies to report this fact immediately to the Board of Health or the Health Officer by telephone and in writing. The written report shall contain a description of the animal, the location of the animal and the name and address of the owner.
By reason of the density of the population in the Township and the offensiveness of slaughterhouses, live-chicken markets and similar places, it is hereby declared that a slaughterhouse or any market or store where live animals or fowl are kept for sale or slaughtered on the premises occupied by or connected with such market or store is a nuisance and shall not be conducted or permitted in the Township.
No person shall slaughter, kill or butcher, or raise or keep for the purpose of slaughtering, killing or butchering, any swine, sheep, goats, cattle, other livestock or fowl within the Township of Bloomfield.
Because of the density of population in the Township of Bloomfield, and the danger to health caused by a large number of permanently domiciled domestic animals in any one household and odors arising therefrom, it is determined that no one household may keep more than five permanently domiciled domestic animals over the age of three months at any one time.
It shall be unlawful for any reason to feed any migratory or resident waterfowl or wildlife on any private or public land within the Township.
It shall be unlawful to create any condition or allow any condition to exist which results in a congregation or congestion of migratory or resident waterfowl or wildlife within the Township which:
Results in an accumulation of feces or droppings;
Results in damage to flora, fauna or private or public property;
Results in a threat or nuisance to the public health, safety or welfare; or
Results in a threat to the health, safety or welfare of said migratory or resident waterfowl or wildlife.
This chapter shall not be applicable to residential bird feeders.
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine not exceeding $1,000, imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days or a period of community service not exceeding 90 days or a combination thereof, and each violation of any of the provisions of this chapter and each day this same is violated shall be deemed and taken to be a separate and distinct offense.
Should any section, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase of this chapter be declared unconstitutional or invalid for any reason, the remainder of said chapter shall not be affected thereby.
In any case where a provision of this chapter is found to be in conflict with any state or federal regulation on the effective date of this article, the provision which establishes the higher standard for the promotion and protection of the health and safety of the people shall prevail.
[Adopted 6-21-2006 as §§ 78-42 through 78-48 of the 1987 Code; amended in its entirety 2-27-2017 by Ord. No. 17-07]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Forsake a cat entirely or neglect to provide appropriate care and support for a cat.
- ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER
- Any person employed or appointed by the Township who is authorized to investigate violations of laws and regulations concerning animals, and to issue citations in accordance with New Jersey law and this Code.
- Any person who provides food, water or shelter to or otherwise cares for a cat, and who has been trained and registered by the sponsor as an approved caregiver.
- EAR TIPPING
- Straight-line cutting of the tip of the left ear of a cat by a licensed veterinarian while the cat is anesthetized.
- FERAL CAT
- A cat who is completely or substantially unsocialized to humans. The usual and consistent temperament of a feral cat is extreme fear and resistance to contact with humans. Feral cats are (i) born in the wild, (ii) offspring of tame or feral cats and not socialized, or (iii) formerly tame cats who have been abandoned and have reverted to an untamed state.
- FERAL CAT COLONY
- An individual feral cat or a group of cats who congregate together outside as a unit. Any nonferal cats who congregate with a multiple-cat colony shall be deemed part of it.
- Disturbing the peace by (a) habitually or continually howling, crying or screaming, or (b) the habitual and significant destruction, desecration or soiling of property against the wishes of the owner of the property.
- Any person, firm, corporation, partnership, association, trust, estate, or any other legal entity.
- An individual or entity qualified and approved by the Township Board of Health and the Township Council to provide the services, and undertake the responsibilities, of a TNR program sponsor as set forth more fully in this article.
- SUITABLE SHELTER
- Shelter that provides protection from rain, sun, and other elements that is adequate to protect the health of the cat.
- TAME CAT
- A cat who is socialized to humans and is appropriate as a companion for humans.
- Trap, neuter and return.
- TNR PROGRAM
- The Township's program set forth in this article pursuant to which feral and stray cats are trapped, neutered or spayed, vaccinated against rabies, eartipped and returned to the location where they congregate.
- Township of Bloomfield in the County of Essex, New Jersey.
The owner of a cat shall not under any circumstances abandon the cat. Affirmatively placing a cat at the location of a feral cat colony on property belonging to another individual or entity shall be considered abandonment.
Engaging in trap-neuter-return of feral cats in a manner consistent with the terms of this section shall not be considered abandonment.
Feral cat colonies shall be permitted and caregivers shall be entitled to maintain them in accordance with the terms and conditions of this section.
Sponsorship of TNR program.
Persons and organizations may apply to the Township Board of Health to serve as TNR program sponsors ("sponsors"). Any person or entity so applying shall comply with the requirements of this section. Any person intending to undertake the responsibilities of sponsor shall advise the Township Board of Health in writing and provide his/her/its address and telephone number, and any other information deemed necessary by the Board of Health to evaluate the qualifications of the applicant to provide the services, and assume the obligations of, a sponsor. It is anticipated that the Township will approve of only one TNR program sponsor to provide services at any one time within the Township.
It shall be the duty of a sponsor to:
Take all reasonable steps to get community cat populations in the Township spayed/neutered and ear tipped and vaccinated against rabies;
Review and approve of colony caregivers;
Assist approved caregivers with getting cats spayed/neutered, ear tipped and vaccinated if they are unable to do so on their own;
Help to resolve any complaints over the conduct of a colony caregiver or of cats within a colony;
Maintain records provided by colony caregivers on the size and location of the colonies as well as the vaccination, ear tipping and spay/neuter records of cats in the colonies, and make these available for inspection to the Health Officer or Animal Control Officer upon request; and
Report annually to the Township on the following:
Caregivers are responsible for the following:
Applying to the sponsor to obtain caregiver status; and registering the feral cat colony with the sponsor;
Taking all reasonable steps to vaccinate every cat in the colony for rabies and update the vaccinations;
Taking all reasonable steps to get all cats in the colony population spayed/neutered and ear tipped by a licensed veterinarian;
Providing the sponsor with a description of each cat in the colony and copies of documents evidencing that the cats have been vaccinated, spayed/neutered, and ear tipped;
Providing food, water and suitable shelter for colony cats;
Observing the colony cats and keeping a record of any illnesses or unusual behavior noticed in any colony cats;
Obtaining the prior written approval of the owner of any property, including the property upon which the caregiver resides, to which the caregiver requires access to provide colony care;
In the event that kittens are born to a colony cat, taking steps to remove the kittens from the colony after they have been weaned, and place the kittens in homes, foster homes, or with animal shelters, rescue organizations or veterinary offices for the purpose of subsequent permanent placement;
Reporting annually to the sponsor on the status of the colony, including data on the number and gender of all cats in the colony, the number of cats who died or otherwise ceased being a part of the colony during the year, the number of kittens born to colony cats and their disposition, and the number of cats and kittens placed in permanent homes as companion cats; and
Obtaining proper medical attention for any colony cat who appears to require it.
Caregivers are required to feed the cats in their colonies as part of properly managing the colonies. As part of this requirement, caregivers must:
Feed only during daylight hours.
Feed only the amount of food required by the cats in the colony.
Leave food out for a maximum of one hour per feeding, no more than twice per day, which shall mean removing all food dishes after each one-hour feeding.
A bowl or similar small container with fresh water may be left out at all times.
Feeding must take place in the location least likely to cause a nuisance to tenants, neighbors, customers, and the general public.
It shall be unlawful to feed feral cats who are not spayed/neutered, ear tipped and vaccinated in accordance with this article, unless the caregiver is in the process of trying to trap the cats for spay/neuter, ear tipping and vaccination. Animal Control Officers shall be empowered to give a warning notice to any individual feeding one or more feral cats not spayed/neutered, ear tipped and vaccinated in accordance with this article. The warning notice shall require the individual to contact the sponsor within 15 days to obtain assistance in getting the cat(s) spayed/neutered, ear tipped and vaccinated and otherwise brought into compliance with this article. Failure to make such contact within 15 days and cooperate with the Township and the sponsor in meeting the requirements of this article will subject the violator to those fines and penalties prescribed in § 1-15 of the Township Code.
If an Animal Control Officer determines that an ear tipped feral colony cat is causing a nuisance as defined by this § 586-9 or state law, the Township shall contact the sponsor and allow the sponsor 60 days to resolve the complaint or remove the cat before the Officer takes further action. The caregiver or sponsor must begin nuisance abatement procedures within 48 hours after being notified of a nuisance by the Township and must take all reasonable steps to resolve the nuisance in as short a time period as possible, not to exceed 60 days.
Disposition of colony cats. An Animal Control Officer who has trapped a cat whose left ear has been tipped shall release the cat unless the cat is injured or sick and requires medical attention. If the cat requires medical attention, the Animal Control Officer shall bring the cat to the sponsor. If the Animal Control Officer releases the cat, the Animal Control Officer shall contact the sponsor and provide the sponsor with a description of the cat, the location where the cat was trapped, and the complaint which caused the Animal Control Officer to set the trap.
The Township shall have the following rights:
The right to seize or remove any cat from a colony who is demonstrating signs of rabies and is not up to date with rabies vaccinations.
The right to seize or remove a cat from a colony which is creating a nuisance as defined in this article or state law, after the caregiver and sponsor have been given 60 days to abate the nuisance or remove the cat and have failed to do so.
The right to seize or remove a colony of cats when the caregiver regularly fails to comply with the requirements of this article and the sponsor has not been able to obtain a replacement or substitute caregiver within 60 days of the Township's notice to the sponsor of the caregiver's failure to comply with this article.
The requirements of this article notwithstanding, Animal Control Officers may investigate any nuisance complaint. If an Animal Control Officer determines that an ear tipped feral colony cat is causing a nuisance as defined by this article and the sponsor fails to resolve the nuisance or remove the cat within 60 days, the Animal Control Officer may remove the cat. If an Animal Control Officer reasonably determines that a cat is injured or poses a significant threat to public health, the Officer may reduce the time that the sponsor has to resolve the complaint, as necessary to protect the cat and public health, before taking further action. In the case of an emergency, the Animal Control Officer or a police officer may remove the cat, but within 24 hours the Township must provide the sponsor with notice of the cat's whereabouts and allow the sponsor an opportunity to retrieve the cat for treatment, return, or relocation.
Trapping cats prohibited except as part of TNR program.
It shall be unlawful for any individual to trap a cat other than for the purpose of complying with the requirements of § 586-11. Individuals may not trap cats for the purpose of euthanizing the cats or surrendering the cats for impoundment.
Use of cat licensing fees for TNR; addition of voluntary donation language on cat and dog license application and renewal forms.
The Township may utilize funds derived from cat licensing fees to pay for spay/neuter and vaccination of cats in the TNR program.
The Township may add language to all dog and cat license application and renewal forms encouraging applicants to donate to the sponsor's TNR efforts in the township. The form shall include the sponsor's name and the address where checks can be mailed, and the sponsor's website for online donations, and language encouraging donors to mark the donations "for TNR in the Township of Bloomfield."
In addition, the Township shall allow the sponsor to place a locked donation box in the Animal Shelter for collection of contributions to the TNR project.