Borough of West Cape May, NJ
Cape May County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. No. 10-70 Preamble.]
Chapter 64 of the Laws of 1966 amended N.J.S.A. 4:19-15.3, 4:19-15.11, and 4:19-15.12 by increasing the amount required to be paid to the State of New Jersey for the registration tag for a dog, and by authorizing municipalities to increase the sum to be paid annually for a dog license.
[Ord. No. 10-70 § 1; Ord. No. 61-82 § 1; Ord. No. 320-02 § 2; Ord. No. 382-07 § 2]
a. 
Neutered or Spayed Dogs. The person applying for a license for a neutered or spayed dog shall pay a total fee of $18 for each male or female dog, of which one ($1.00) dollar represents The New Jersey State Registration Fee per P.L. 1966 Chapter 64, as amended, and of which twenty ($.20) cents will be paid to the Pilot Spay/Neutering Clinic Fund of the New Jersey Department of Health.
b. 
Nonneutered or Nonspayed Dogs. The person applying for a license for a nonneutered or nonspayed dog shall pay a total fee of $21 for each male or female dog, of which one ($1.00) dollar represents the New Jersey State Registration fee per P.L. 1966, Chapter 64, as amended, twenty ($.20) cents will be paid to the Pilot Spay/Neutering Clinic Fund, and $3 is a surcharge for nonspayed and nonneutered dogs that will be paid to the Animal Population Control Fund of the New Jersey Department of Health.
c. 
Annual Renewal Fees. The same fees set forth in paragraphs a and b above shall be charged for the annual renewal of each license and registration tag.
d. 
License Duplicates. Duplicates of tags shall be issued upon execution of an affidavit of loss and the payment of a fee of $5.
e. 
Dog Licenses. Dog licenses shall be obtained from the Borough Clerk. In addition, a late fee of $5 shall be added to the license fee after April 1 of each year. Proof of new residency or a newly acquired dog is to be provided to the licensing official.
[Ord. No. 320-02 § 3; Ord. No. 382-07 § 2]
Any person owning or harboring a dog shall obtain a license annually for each dog.
a. 
Any dog owned or kept within the Borough by a resident of the Borough on January 1 of any calendar year.
b. 
Any dog acquired by any person during the course of any calendar year and kept within the Borough for more than 10 days after acquisition.
c. 
Any unlicensed dog brought into the Borough by any person and kept within the Borough for more than 20 days.
d. 
Any dog licensed by another State brought into the Borough by any person and kept within the Borough for more than 90 days.
[Ord. No. 320-02 § 6; Ord. No. 382-07 § 2]
Each dog license and registration tag shall expire on January 31 of the calendar year following the calendar year for which it was issued.
[Ord. No. 84-84 § 1]
No person shall keep, harbor or maintain any dog which habitually cries, barks, howls or otherwise disturbs the peace.
[Ord. No. 84-84 § 2]
No person owning, possessing, or harboring any dog shall suffer or permit it to be in the public streets or any public place in the Borough unless each dog is accompanied by a person over the age of 12 years, and is securely confined and controlled by an adequate leash not more than six (6') feet in length.
[Ord. No. 84-84 § 3]
No person owning, keeping or harboring a dog shall permit it or suffer it to do any injury or damage to any person or property.
[Ord. No. 320-02 §§ 4, 5; Ord. No. 382-07 § 2]
a. 
No person owning, harboring, keeping, walking or in charge of any dog shall cause, suffer, permit or allow such dog to defecate on any common thoroughfare, street, sidewalk, passageway, road, path, play area, park or any place where people congregate or walk or any public property whatsoever, or upon any private property without the permission of the owner of the private property unless immediate cleanup and disposal is undertaken by such person. Proper cleanup and disposal shall mean that such person shall immediately remove all feces and droppings deposited by the dog, which removal shall be in a sanitary manner by shovel, container, disposal bag or other similar device and such feces and droppings shall be removed by such person from the aforesaid designated areas and disposed of by such person in a sanitary manner in a proper receptacle, so as to prevent any noxious odors, attraction of vermin, or any public health nuisance or public health and safety problem. This subsection shall not apply to or be enforced against blind persons in connection with their use of seeing eye dogs.
b. 
Violation of Provisions. Anyone violating provisions of this subsection shall, upon conviction of such violation, be subject to a fine of not more than $100 for each and every violation of this section.
[Ord. No. 343-05]
Definitions used throughout the following section are as follows:
BEDDING
Shall mean material to provide a bed for dogs.
CARETAKER
Shall mean 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
Shall mean a covered and protected domicile for a dog.
ENCLOSURE
Shall mean any structure used to restrict a dog or dogs to a limited amount of space, such as pen, run, cage or compartment.
HANDLER
Shall mean any person in immediate physical charge of a dog.
KENNEL
Shall mean any establishment wherein or whereupon the business of boarding or selling dogs or breeding dogs for sale is carried on, except a pet shop.
OWNER
When applied to proprietorship of a dog shall mean every person having a right of property in that dog and every person who has that dog in his or her keeping.
PEN
Shall mean an enclosure for dogs.
PET SHOP
Shall mean 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.
POUND
Shall mean any establishment for confinement of dogs or other animals seized either under the provisions of N.J.S.A. 4:19-15.16 or otherwise.
SHELTER
Shall mean any establishment where dogs or other animals are received, housed and distributed.
[Ord. No. 343-05]
a. 
Owners, caretakers, guardians or handlers of dogs will exercise diligence and reasonable care to prevent dogs from leaving their premises regardless of whether their premises is owned, leased or rented. Restraint exists when the dog is:
1. 
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.
2. 
Pens or other enclosures for each dog must be four feet in height and square footage as follows:
1 Dog
64 sq. ft.
2 Dogs
90 sq. ft.
3 Dogs
144 sq. ft.
4 Dogs
196 sq. ft.
Over 4 Dogs
An additional 24 sq. ft. for each dog.
3. 
The pens or other enclosures shall include a soundly constructed, safely positioned and properly maintained doghouse.
4. 
Every doghouse shall contain bedding such as straw or other absorbent material in sufficient quantity 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.
b. 
Owners, caretakers, guardians 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, guardians or handlers, dogs must be handled in a humane manner pursuant N.J.S.A. 4:22-17.
c. 
Owners, caretakers, guardians or handlers of dogs may attempt to prevent said dogs from leaving the premises by installing an invisible fence. Owners, caretakers, guardians 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.
d. 
Kennels, pet shops, shelters and pounds shall comply with the provisions of applicable state statutes and administrative regulations.
[Ord. No. 343-05; Ord. No. 456-10]
Dogs must be able to move freely when chained or tethered and shall be confined for a period no greater than 18 hours. 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.
[Ord. No. 343-05]
a. 
No owner, caretaker, guardian or handler shall withhold proper shelter, protection from weather, veterinary care and immune care to any animal. No owner, caretaker, guardian 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 or water consumption type container, feeder or waterer.
b. 
No animal shall be subjected 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.
c. 
Any violations of Chapter 5, or any provision contained therein including but not limited to subsections 5-2.7 through 5-2.10, in addition to other methods of enforcement provided by law, may be enforced by the issuance of a Notice of Violation Citation issued by the City of Cape May Police, any Animal Control Officer or any other person who actually observes or witnesses a violation.
[Ord. No. 343-05]
a. 
Any operator of a motor vehicle who accidentally strikes a dog or cat shall stop and render such assistance to the dog or cat as may be possible, provided it could be accomplished safely and without danger to the motorist, pedestrians or other motorists.
b. 
The operator of a motor vehicle involved in such an accident shall promptly report such injury or death to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
[Ord. No. 343-05]
a. 
Enforcement of all subsections with section shall be commenced by the filing of a complaint with the Intermunicipal Court of the Borough of West Cape May.
b. 
Any person found guilty of violation of this section, or any subsection therein, shall be subject to a fine not to exceed the sum of $200 for a first offense. For a second offense or subsequent offense a fine of not less than $200 nor more than $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 Chapter. An individual need not be charged as a subsequent offender in order to be fined as a subsequent offender.
[Ord. No. 257-98 § 2; Ord. No. 467-11]
The Board of Commissioners of the Borough of West Cape May has determined that the Borough of West Cape May will reimburse its citizens that have neutered their cats, through either Animal Alliance of Cape May County, Inc. or a New Jersey Licensed Veterinarian in the amount of $25 per cat.
Such reimbursement is conditioned upon the submission of paid receipts and proof that the procedure was performed by that County Agency or by a licensed veterinarian.
[Ord. No. 257-98 § 3]
No more than three cat neuterings per family, per year may be presented for reimbursement by the Borough residents.
[Ord. No. 353-05 § I]
The purpose of this section is to prohibit the feeding of unconfined wildlife in any public park or on any other property owned or operated by the Borough of West Cape May so as to protect public health, safety and welfare, and to prescribe penalties for failure to comply.
[Ord. No. 353-05 § II]
For the purpose of this section, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meanings stated herein unless their use in the text of this section clearly demonstrates a different meaning. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future, words used in the plural number include the singular number, and words used in the singular number include the plural number. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.
FEED
Shall mean to give, place, expose, deposit, distribute or scatter any edible material with the intention of feeding, attracting or enticing wildlife. Feeding does not include baiting in the legal taking of fish and/or game.
PERSON
Shall mean any individual, corporation, company, partnership, firm, association, or political subdivision of this State subject to municipal jurisdiction.
WILDLIFE
Shall mean all animals that are neither human nor domesticated.
[Ord. No. 353-05 § III]
No person shall feed, in any public park or on any other property owned or operated by the Borough of West Cape May any wildlife, excluding confined wildlife (for example, wildlife confined in zoos, parks or rehabilitation centers, or unconfined wildlife at environmental education centers).
[Ord. No. 353-05 § IV]
a. 
This section shall be enforced by the Code Enforcement Officer of the Borough of West Cape May and/or the City of Cape May Police Department.
b. 
Any person found to be in violation of this section shall be ordered to cease the feeding immediately.
[Ord. No. 353-05 § V]
Any person found guilty of a violation of any provision of this section shall, upon conviction, be liable to the penalty stated in Chapter 1, Section 1-5 of the Revised General Ordinances of the Borough.
Any person who is convicted of violating this section within one year of the date of a previous violation of this section, and who was fined for the previous violation, shall be sentenced to an additional fine as a repeat offender. The additional fine shall not exceed the maximum fine for a violation of the section, but shall be calculated separately from the fine imposed for the violation of the section.
[Ord. No. 505-2015 § 1]
As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER
Shall mean the Borough's certified Animal Control Officer or, in the absence of such an officer, the Chief of Police or his designee.
DOG
Shall mean any dog or dog hybrid.
DOMESTIC ANIMAL
Shall mean any cat, dog or livestock, other than poultry.
POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS DOG
Shall mean any dog or dog hybrid declared potentially dangerous by a Municipal Court pursuant to subsection 5-6.6.
VICIOUS DOG
Shall mean any dog or dog hybrid declared vicious by a Municipal Court pursuant to subsection 5-6.5.
[Ord. No. 505-2015 § 2]
a. 
The Animal Control Officer shall seize and impound a dog when the Officer had reasonable cause to believe that the dog:
1. 
Attacked a person and caused death or serious bodily injury to that person as defined in N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1(b);
2. 
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;
3. 
Engaged in dogfighting activities as described in N.J.S.A. 4:22-24 and 4:22-26; or
4. 
Has been trained, tormented, badgered, baited or encouraged to engage in unprovoked attacks upon persons or domestic animals.
b. 
The dog shall be impounded until the final disposition as to whether the dog is vicious or potentially dangerous. Subject to the approval of the Municipal or County Health Officer, the dog maybe impounded in a facility or other structure agreeable to the owner.
c. 
The Animal Control Officer shall document all evidence relating to the decision to seize and impound the dog, including statements from witnesses, complainants or victims, including the incident date or dates and the names, addresses and telephone numbers of such witnesses, complainants or victims; police reports; observations of the Animal Control Officer; and other relevant information.
[Ord. No. 505-2015 § 3]
a. 
The Animal Control Officer shall notify the Municipal Court and the Municipal or County Health Officer immediately that he has seized and impounded a dog pursuant to subsection 5-6.2, and that a hearing is required. The Animal Control Officer shall, through a reasonable attempt, determine the identity of the owner of any dog seized and impounded pursuant to subsection 5-6.2. If its owner cannot be identified within seven days, that dog may be humanely destroyed.
b. 
The Animal Control Officer shall, within three working days of the determination of the identity of the owner of a dog seized and impounded pursuant to subsection 5-6.2, 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 days, by certified mail or hand delivery, a signed statement indicating whether he wishes the hearing to be conducted or, if not, relinquishing 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 days of receipt, the dog may be humanely destroyed.
c. 
In the event that the owner requests a hearing, the Animal Control Officer shall promptly notify the Municipal Court Administrator and the Municipal Court Prosecutor. The Animal Control Officer shall be responsible to provide the Municipal Court Prosecutor with all evidence relating to the dog in question, including the names, addresses and telephone numbers of witnesses who should be subpoenaed for the hearing and their probable testimony.
[Ord. No. 505-2015 § 4]
Notwithstanding any provision in this section or in N.J.S.A. 4:19-17 et seq. to the contrary, the Borough and the owner of the dog may settle and dispose of the matter, at any time, in such manner and according to such terms and conditions as maybe mutually agreed upon in a writing signed by both parties. Notwithstanding any provision or law to the contrary, neither the Borough nor any of its officers, employees or agents shall have any liability by virtue of having entered into any settlement agreement pursuant to this section for any action or inaction related to the entry into such agreement, or for any injuries or damages caused thereafter by the dog. The Borough may, as a condition of the settlement agreement, also require that the owner of the dog hold the Borough and its officers, employees and agents harmless for any legal expenses or fees incurred in defending against any such cause of action brought against the Borough, notwithstanding the prohibition against such causes of action set forth in N.J.S.A. 4:19-21.1. For the purposes of settlement agreements made under this section, the Animal Control Officer is authorized to negotiate and execute such agreements on behalf of the Borough, provided that the Borough Attorney review, and the Borough Commission approve, all such settlement agreements.
[Ord. No. 505-2015 § 5]
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 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 Borough 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. 505-2015 § 6]
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. 
Severely injured or 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. 
Severely injuring or killing a domestic animal if the domestic animal was the aggressor.
c. 
For the purposes of paragraph b,1 of this subsection, the Borough shall bear the burden of proof to demonstrate that the dog was not provoked.
[Ord. No. 505-2015 § 7]
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. The owner shall:
1. 
Apply, at his own expense, to the Borough Clerk or other Borough 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 issued pursuant to subsection 5-6.11. The owner shall, at his own expense, have the registration number tattooed upon the dog in a prominent location. A potentially dangerous dog shall be impounded until the owner obtains a municipal potentially dangerous dog license, municipal registration number and red identification tag.
2. 
Display, in a conspicuous manner, a sign on his premises upon which the dog is kept warning that a potentially dangerous dog is on the premises. The sign shall be visible and legible from 50 feet of the enclosure required pursuant to paragraph a,3 below.
3. 
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, and which shall be securely fastened to the ground, to prevent the potentially dangerous dog from escaping by climbing, jumping or digging, and which is within a fence of at least six feet in height separated by at least three 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. 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 Animal Control Officer 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 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 Borough 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. 505-2015 § 8]
The owner of the dog or the Animal Control Officer may appeal any final decision, order or judgment, including any conditions attached thereto, of the Municipal Court, 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. 505-2015 § 9]
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 Borough for the costs and expenses of impounding and destroying the dog. The owner shall incur the expenses 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 10 days previous to the time of euthanasia, the Animal Control Officer shall cause its head to be transported to the New Jersey Department of Health laboratory for rabies testing.
[Ord. No. 505-2015 § 10]
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. 505-2015 § 11]
The owner of a potentially dangerous dog shall:
a. 
Comply with the provisions of this section in accordance with a schedule established by the Municipal Court, but in no case more than 60 days subsequent to the date of determination.
b. 
Notify the Animal Control Officer, the Police Department and the Borough Clerk if a potentially dangerous dog is at large or has attacked a human being or killed a domestic animal.
c. 
Notify the Animal Control Officer, the Police Department and the Borough Clerk within 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 department and licensing authority, Police Department or Force and Animal Control Officer of that municipality of the transfer of ownership and name, address and telephone of the new owner.
f. 
In addition to any license fee required pursuant to the Borough's Animal Control Ordinances, pay a potentially dangerous dog license fee to the Borough as provided by subsection 5-6.14 of this section.
[Ord. No. 505-2015 § 12]
The owner of a potentially dangerous dog who is found by clear and convincing evidence to have violated this section or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, or to have failed to comply with a court's order shall be subject to a fine of not less than $100 per day and not more than $1,000 per day of the violation. The Municipal Court shall have jurisdiction to enforce this section. The Animal Control Officer is authorized to seize and impound any potentially dangerous dog whose owner fails to comply with the provisions of this section 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. 505-2015 § 13]
a. 
The Borough Clerk shall issue 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 Animal Control Officer that he has complied with the court's orders. The last three digits of each potentially dangerous dog registration number will be the three-number code assigned to the Borough in the regulations promulgated pursuant to N.J.S.A. 4:19-33. The Animal Control Officer shall verify, in writing, compliance to the Borough Clerk or other official designated to license dogs in the Borough.
b. 
The Animal Control Officer shall publicize a telephone number for reporting violations of this section. The telephone number and any changes in this number shall be reported immediately to the New Jersey Department of Health.
[Ord. No. 505-2015 § 14]
Each person who shall own, possess, keep or harbor any potentially dangerous dog or dogs shall obtain an annual license for each dog and shall have the same registered and numbered with the Borough Clerk and for such license shall pay the sum of $700 as a license fee for each and every potentially dangerous dog.
[Ord. No. 505-2015 § 15]
The Animal Control Officer shall inspect the enclosure and the owner's property at least monthly to determine continuing compliance subsection 5-6.7a,2 and 3 of this section. The dog owner shall bear the cost of this inspection.
[Ord. No. 505-2015 § 16]
All fines and fees collected or received by the Borough pursuant to subsections 5-6.12 or 5-6.14 of this section shall be deposited in a special account and used by the Borough to administer and enforce its provisions.
[Ord. No. 505-2015 § 17]
The provisions of this section shall not apply to dogs used for law enforcement activities.