As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Dog or cat.
- ANIMAL CONTROL AUTHORITY
- Any person or agency designated or certified by the State of New Jersey to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
- AT LARGE
- A dog off the premises of the person owning, keeping or harboring it and not securely fastened to a tether, leash, cord or chain or the like, not to exceed eight feet in length, held by its owner or other person capable of controlling such dog.
- Any member of the domestic feline species; male, female or altered.
- CAT OF LICENSING AGE
- Any cat which has attained the age of seven months, or which possesses a set of permanent teeth.
- Any room or group of rooms, cage or exhibition pen, or part of a kennel, wherein cats for sale are kept or displayed.
- CERTIFIED ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER
- A person who has satisfactorily completed a course of study, approved by the State Commissioner of Health, on the control of animals, or who has been employed in the State of New Jersey in the capacity of, and with similar responsibilities to those required of, certified animal control officers for a period of three years.
- Any dog, bitch or spayed bitch.
- DOG OF LICENSING AGE
- Any dog which has attained the age of seven months, or which possesses a set of permanent teeth.
- Any person exercising control over a dog or cat or permitting a dog or cat to remain on premises under his/her control.
- Any establishment wherein or whereon the business of boarding or selling dogs or breeding dogs for sale is carried on, except a pet shop.
- LICENSING AUTHORITY
- The agency or department of Clark Township or any designated representative thereof charged with administering the issuance and/or revocation of permits and licenses under the provisions of this chapter.
- Rendered permanently incapable of reproduction as certified by a licensed veterinarian.
- When applied to the proprietorship of a dog or cat, shall mean and include every person having a right of property in such dog and every person who has such dog in his/her keeping.
- Any individual, corporation, partnership, organization or institution commonly recognized by law as a unit.
- PET SHOP
- Any place of business which 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 or companionship rather than for business or research purposes.
- POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS DOG
- Any dog or hybrid dog declared potentially dangerous by a municipal court pursuant to N.J.S.A., Title 4, Chapter 19, Section 4:19-23. The vicious dog law supersedes all local municipal ordinances.
- An establishment for the confinement of dogs seized either under the provisions of this chapter or otherwise.
- Any establishment where dogs are received, housed and distributed without charge.
License; when required. Licenses shall be required for the following dogs or cats of licensing age:
Any dog or cat owned or kept within the Township by a resident of the Township on the first day of January of any calendar year.
Any dog or cat acquired by any person during the course of any calendar year and kept within the Township for more than 10 days after acquisition.
Any dog or cat attaining licensing age during the course of the calendar year.
Any unlicensed dog or cat brought into the Township by any person and kept within the Township for more than 10 days.
Any dog or cat licensed by another state and brought into the Township by any person and kept within the Township for more than 90 days.
Application for license.
Each application for a license under this chapter shall give the following information:
A general description of the dog or cat sought to be licensed, including breed, sex, age, color and marking, and whether such dog or cat is of a longhaired or shorthaired variety and whether such dog has been surgically debarked or silenced.
[Amended 1-17-2012 by Ord. No. 12-01]
Name, street and post office address of the owner and the person who shall keep or harbor such dog or cat.
Registration numbers shall be issued in the order in which applications are received.
Application for license; when made. Applications for licenses for dogs and cats which are required to be licensed by the provisions of Subsection A(1) shall be made before February of each calendar year. In all other cases the application for a license shall be made within 10 days of the day upon which the dog or cat in question first becomes subject to the provisions of this section.
License record. The information on all applications under this chapter and the registration number issued to each licensed dog or cat shall be preserved for a period of three years by the Board of Health. In addition, he/she shall forward similar information to the State Department of Health and Senior Services each month on forms furnished by the Department.
The person applying for a license shall pay the fee in Subsection E(3) below, which includes state fees for each dog. The same fees shall be charged for annual renewal of each license.
[Amended 1-17-2012 by Ord. No. 12-01; 11-21-2016 by Ord. No. 16-11]
Schedule of license fees for cats and dogs.
[Amended 6-18-2007 by Ord. No. 07-12; 10-18-2010 by Ord. No. 10-21; 1-17-2012 by Ord. No. 12-01; 11-21-2016 by Ord. No. 16-11]
Expiration date. Each dog or cat license and registration tag shall expire on December 31.
Exceptions. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any dog licensed under § 84-3. Dogs used as guides for blind persons and commonly known as "Seeing Eye" dogs, dogs used to assist handicapped persons and commonly known as "service dogs" and dogs used to assist deaf persons and commonly known as "hearing ear" dogs shall be licensed in the same manner as other dogs, except that the owner or keeper shall not be required to pay any fee.
License forms and tags. License forms and uniform official metal registration tags shall be furnished by the Board of Health. They shall be numbered serially and shall bear the year of issuance and the name of the Township.
Required rabies vaccination. All dogs and cats kept in the Township are required to be vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian. The rabies vaccination must be valid through October 31 of the licensing year.
Compliance with regulations required. No person shall own, keep or harbor a dog or cat in the Township of Clark, except in compliance with the provisions of this chapter and the regulations contained in this section.
Wearing of registration tag. All dogs and cats for which licenses are required by the provisions of this chapter shall wear a collar or harness with the registration tag for such dog securely fastened thereto.
Use of registration tags. No person, except an officer in the performance of his/her duties, shall remove a registration tag from the collar of any dog or cat without the consent of the owner, nor shall any person attach a registration tag to a dog or cat for which it was not issued.
Interference with official duties. No person shall hinder, molest or interfere with anyone authorized or empowered to perform any duty under this chapter.
Disturbing the peace. No person shall own, keep, harbor or maintain any dog which, by frequent, habitual or prolonged continued noise, defined as unsolicited response lasting 10 minutes or more, shall annoy or disturb the peace, comfort or repose of any person in the neighborhood or of any person passing upon the streets or highways.
Running at large. No person owning, keeping or harboring any dog or cat shall suffer or permit it to run at large upon the public streets, in any public park, upon private property other than that of the owner or any other public place within the Township.
Leashing of dogs. No person owning, keeping or harboring any dog shall suffer or permit it to be upon the public streets or in any of the public places of the Township unless such dog is accompanied by a person over the age of 10 years and is securely confined and controlled by a harness or an adequate leash not more than six feet long.
Property damage. No person owning, keeping or harboring a dog or cat shall permit or suffer it to do any injury or to do any damage to any lawn, shrubbery, flowers, grounds or property.
Nuisances by dogs and cats. No person owning, harboring, keeping, walking or in charge of any dog or cat shall cause, suffer, permit or allow such dog or cat to soil, defile, defecate on or commit any nuisance on any common thoroughfare, street, sidewalk, passageway, road, bypass, play area, park, any place where people congregate or walk, upon any public property whatsoever or upon any private property without the permission of the owner of the private property in the last instance. If any such person permits the dog or cat to soil, defile, defecate on or commit any nuisance in the areas aforesaid, he/she shall immediately remove and dispose of all feces and droppings deposited by the dog or cat. Removal shall be in a sanitary manner by shovel, container, disposal bag or such other sanitary means. In a multiple dwelling complex, the tenant owner shall take his/her dog or cat to only the designated areas for walking of dogs or cats or other animals which shall be provided and maintained in a sanitary manner by the management of the complex, if any. On the dog or cat owner's property, such owner shall maintain the property in a sanitary manner in order to prevent any noxious odors, attraction of vermin breeding or any other public health nuisance to neighbors.
Penned dogs, cats and other animals. Dogs, cats and other animals which are penned outside of the home shall be adequately housed in a shelter which provides protection from the weather, is kept in a clean and sanitary condition and is of appropriate size for the size of the animal. Adequate food necessary to maintain the good health of the animal and water which is clean, in sufficient quantity to sustain the animal and not frozen shall be provided for the animal.
Female dogs. A female dog in season shall be confined to the house or a pen. When she is walked or exercised she must be on a leash and controlled by a responsible adult. During the period a female dog is in season, such dog shall not be chained or tied in an open yard or area at any time.
The Animal Control Officer or a designee of the Township shall perform the annual canvass of animals, to be made by an annual mailing, concerning all dogs and cats owned, kept or harbored within the limits of the Township and shall report to the Township Board of Health and to the State Department of Health and Senior Services, on or before September, every two years, the results thereof, setting forth in separate columns the names and addresses of persons owning, keeping or harboring dogs or cats, the number of licensed dogs or cats owned, kept or harbored by each person, together with the registration number of each dog or cat, the number of unlicensed dogs or cats owned, kept or harbored by each person, together with a complete description of each unlicensed dog or cat.
Complaint and investigation. It shall be the duty of the Animal Control Officer, Health Officer or designee to receive and investigate complaints against dogs and cats.
Determination of viciousness; notice; hearing. See N.J.S.A. 4:19-19, Vicious Dog Law.
Quarantine of dogs and cats. In the event a dog or cat has attacked, bitten or injured a human being, the Health Officer shall impound the biting dog or cat for a period of 10 days, or may order the owner of the dog or cat, if the owner is known, to quarantine the dog or cat on his/her premises, with his/her liability for custody, or in a veterinary clinic for a period of 10 days. At the end of the ten-day period, any dog or cat under impoundment or quarantine shall be observed by the Health Officer or a licensed veterinarian who shall ascertain that the dog or cat is alive and well and is not exhibiting any signs or symptoms of rabies and issue a release authorization as to the dog's or cat's condition to the owner and to the Township Health Officer.
If there are any absorbed costs to the Township for such quarantine or impoundment, the owner of the dog or cat shall be liable to pay the cost of maintenance, redemption fees and charges and veterinarian fees, if any, expended by the Township. The owner of the dog or cat which has attacked, bitten or injured any person, or caused any suffering or injury to a person without the victim's contributing negligence, may be liable for recovery or compensation for any suffering or injuries resulting from the dog or cat attack, bite or physical threat.
For the purposes of this subsection or any subsection under the terms of this section or amendment thereto, a person is lawfully upon private property of the owner when that person is on the property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him/her by the laws of the state, the laws of postal regulations of the United States of America, any corporation authorized to act as a postal authority or when such person is on such property of the owner by invitation, either expressed or implied.
Causes for impoundment. The Animal Control Officer shall take into custody and impound, or cause to be taken into custody and impounded, any of the following dogs and cats:
Any unlicensed dog or cat running at large in violation of the provisions of this chapter.
Any dog or cat off the premises of the owner or the person keeping or harboring such dog or cat which the Animal Control Officer and/or Health Officer has reason to believe is a stray dog or cat.
Any dog or cat off the premises of the owner or the person keeping or harboring such dog or cat without a current registration tag on its collar.
Any female dog in season off the premises of the owner or the person keeping or harboring such dog.
Access to premises. 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 or cat which he/she may lawfully seize and impound when such officer is in immediate pursuit of such dog or cat, except upon the premises of the owner of the dog or cat if the owner is present and forbids same.
Notice of seizure.
If any dog or cat so impounded or seized wears a registration tag, collar or harness having inscribed thereon or attached thereto the name and address of any person, or the owner or the person keeping or harboring the dog or cat is known, the Animal Control Officer and/or Health Officer shall immediately serve on the person whose address is given on the collar, or on the person owning, keeping or harboring the dog or cat, a notice, in writing, stating that the dog or cat has been seized and will be liable to be disposed of or destroyed if not claimed within seven days after the service of the notice.
A notice under this subsection may be served either by delivering it to the person on whom it is to be served, or by leaving it at the person's usual or last known place of abode, or at the address given on the collar, or by forwarding it by mail in a prepaid letter addressed to that person at his/her usual or last known place of abode, or to the address given on the color.
Disposition of unclaimed dogs or cats.
The Animal Control Officer and/or Health Officer of the Township is authorized and empowered to cause the destruction of any unclaimed dog or cat in as humane a manner as possible, or offer same for adoption under and of the following contingencies:
When any dog or cat so seized has not been claimed by the person owning, keeping or harboring such dog or cat within seven days of the dog's or cat's detention when notice has not been or cannot be given as set forth in the previous subsection.
If the person owning, keeping or harboring any dog or cat so seized has not claimed the dog or cat and has not paid all expenses incurred by reason of its detention, including maintenance, as set forth in the current contractual agreement for animal control services.
If the seized dog or cat is unlicensed at the time of its seizure and the person owning, keeping or harboring such dog or cat has not produced a license and registration tag, as provided in this chapter.
The requirements of Subsection D(1)(a) through (c) of this section shall not be deemed applicable when any dog or cat seized and impounded pursuant to Subsection A, whether licensed or unlicensed, is, or appears to be, suffering from rabies, is immediately dangerous to the public or has been so badly injured that it cannot be moved or helped by veterinarian care. In such case, the Animal Control Officer and/or Health Officer or any member of the Police Department may forthwith cause such dog or cat to be destroyed.
When destroying any animal that is rabid or appears to have the symptom of rabies, the animal must be tested for rabies after it is euthanized in a humane manner.
No dog or cat shall be returned to the owner or claimant of such dog or cat unless the dog or cat shall have a current license and shall have complied with the rabies inoculations requirements as hereinafter provided and the owner has paid the fees required.
Any redemption of a dog or cat pursuant to the provisions of this section shall not be deemed to discharge or release the owner thereof from the penalties prescribed for any violation of this chapter.
Violations. For violation of any of the regulations under this chapter, complaints may be filed by either citizens or police or Health Officer for the violation of any of the regulations on either public or private property.
Except as provided in N.J.S.A. 4:19-15.19, any person who violates any provisions of this chapter, upon conviction thereof, shall be punishable as provided in Chapter 1, Article III, General Penalty, with a minimum fine of $50 for each and every offense.
A separate violation shall be deemed to be committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues.
Any person who violates any provision of §§ 84-1 through 84-5 and who elects to plead guilty to the violation prior to the time fixed for his/her appearance before the Municipal Court shall be excused from making such appearance and shall pay a fine in the amount of $50 to the Violations Clerk of the Municipal Court.