Egg Harbor City, NJ
Atlantic County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Vicious and Potentially Dangerous Dog Ordinance of the City of Egg Harbor City."
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER
A certified municipal animal control officer or, in the absence of such an officer, the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality or his/her designee.
BODILY INJURY
Physical pain, illness or any impairment of physical conditions.
DOG
Any dog or dog hybrid.
DOMESTIC ANIMAL
Any cat, dog or livestock other than poultry.
POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS DOG
Any dog or dog hybrid declared by the Municipal Court to be the same if it finds that the dog caused bodily injury as defined herein and in N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1a to a person during an unprovoked attack and poses a serious threat of bodily injury or death to a person; or killed another domestic animal and poses a serious threat of bodily injury or death to a person; or poses a threat of death to another domestic animal; or has been trained, tormented, badgered, baited or encouraged to engage in unprovoked attacks upon persons or domestic animals. A dog shall not be declared potentially dangerous for causing bodily injury as defined herein and in N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1a to a person if that person was committing or attempting to commit a crime or if that person was tormenting or inflicting pain upon the dog in such an extreme manner that an attack of such nature could be considered provoked; or killing a domestic animal if the domestic animal was the aggressor.
SERIOUS BODILY INJURY
Bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
VICIOUS DOG
Any dog or dog hybrid declared to be the same if the Municipal Court finds that the dog killed a person or caused serious bodily injury as defined herein and in N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1b to a person; or has engaged in dog-fighting activities as defined in N.J.S.A. 4:22-24 and N.J.S.A. 4:22-26. A dog shall not be declared vicious for inflicting death or serious bodily injury as defined herein and in N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1b upon a person if that person was committing or attempting to commit a crime or inflicting pain upon the dog in such an extreme manner that an attack of such nature could be considered provoked.
The Animal Control Officer shall seize and impound a dog when the officer has reasonable cause to believe that the dog attacked a person and caused death or serious bodily injury, as defined in § 97-58, to that person; caused bodily injury, as defined in § 97-58, to a person during an unprovoked attack and poses a serious threat of harm to persons or domestic animals; engaged in dog-fighting activities as described in N.J.S.A. 4:22-24 and 4:22-26; or has been trained, tormented, badgered, baited or encouraged to engage in unprovoked attacks upon persons or domestic animals. 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 Health Officer, the dog may be impounded in a facility or other structure agreeable to the owner.
A. 
The Animal Control Officer shall notify the Municipal Court within three working days that he/she has seized and impounded a dog pursuant to § 97-59 or that he/she has reasonable cause to believe that a dog has killed another domestic animal and that a hearing is required. The Animal Control Officer shall, through a reasonable effort, attempt to determine the identity of the owner of any dog seized and impounded. If its owner cannot be identified within seven days, that dog may be humanely destroyed.
B. 
The Municipal Court shall, within three working days of the determination of the identity of the owner of a dog seized and impounded pursuant hereto, notify by certified mail, return receipt requested, the owner concerning the seizure and impoundment and the grounds for a hearing pursuant to § 97-61. The notice shall also require that the owner return within seven days, by certified mail or hand delivery, a signed statement indicating whether he/she wishes the hearing to be conducted; or, if not, to relinquish 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 refused 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.
A. 
The Municipal Court shall conduct a hearing, within 30 days of the receipt of the signed statement from the dog's owner as required by § 97-60B, to determine whether the dog impounded pursuant to § 97-59 is vicious or potentially dangerous.
B. 
The Municipal Court shall notify the owner of the impounded dog by certified mail, return receipt requested, and the State Department of Health of the date and time of the hearing. The owner shall have the opportunity to present evidence to demonstrate that the dog is not vicious or potentially dangerous.
A. 
The Municipal Court shall declare the dog vicious if it finds by clear and convincing evidence that the dog killed a person or caused serious bodily injury as defined in § 97-58 or has engaged in dog fighting 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 § 97-58 upon a person if the dog was provoked. The municipality shall bear the burden of proof to demonstrate 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 § 97-65, the dog shall be destroyed in a humane and expeditious manner, except that no dog may be destroyed during the pendency of an appeal.
A. 
The Municipal Court shall declare a dog to be potentially dangerous if it finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that the dog caused bodily injury, as defined in § 97-58, to a person during an unprovoked attack and poses a serious threat of bodily injury or death to a person, or killed another domestic animal and poses a threat of serious bodily injury or death to a person; or poses a threat of death to another domestic animal or 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 causing bodily injury, as defined in § 97-58, to a person if the dog was provoked or for killing a domestic animal if the domestic animal was the aggressor. The municipality shall bear the burden of demonstrating that the dog was not provoked.
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:
(1) 
To apply, at his/her own expense, to the City Clerk for a special municipal potentially dangerous dog license, municipal registration number and red identification tag issued pursuant to § 97-70 herein. The owner shall, at his/her 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 potentially dangerous dog license, municipal registration number and red identification tag.
(2) 
To display, in a conspicuous manner, a sign on his/her premises 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 Subsection A(3).
(3) 
To immediately erect and maintain an enclosure for the potentially dangerous dog, which has sound sides, top and bottom to prevent the potentially dangerous dog from escaping by climbing, jumping or digging, and 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 the potentially dangerous dog by an unknowing individual. The potentially dangerous dog 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 comply with the following conditions:
(1) 
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 naming the City of Egg Harbor City 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.
The owner of the dog, or the Animal Control Officer in the municipality in which the dog was impounded, may appeal any final decision, order or judgment, including any conditions attached thereto, of a municipal court pursuant to P.L. 1989, c. 307 (N.J.S.A. 4:19-17 et seq.) 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.
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 for the costs and expenses of impounding and destroying the dog. The owner shall incur the expense of impounding the dog in a facility other than the city's dog 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, its head shall be transported to the New Jersey State Department of Health laboratory for rabies testing.
If the Municipal Court find 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.
The owner of a potentially dangerous dog shall:
A. 
Comply with the provisions of this article and N.J.S.A. 4:19-17 et seq., 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 City Clerk, the Police Department and the Animal Control Officer if a potentially dangerous dog is at large or has attacked a human being or killed a domestic animal.
C. 
Notify the City Clerk, the Police Department and the Animal Control Officer 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 State Department of Health and the licensing authority, the Police Department and the Animal Control Officer of that municipality of the transfer of ownership and the name, address and telephone number of the new owner.
F. 
In addition to any license fee required, pay a potentially dangerous dog license fee as provided in § 97-71 of this article.
The owner of a potentially dangerous dog who is found by clear and convincing evidence to have violated this article 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 no less than $250 and not more than $1,000 per day and/or a jail term not to exceed 30 days for a first violation; shall be subject to a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 per day of the violation and/or a jail term not to exceed 90 days for a second violation; and shall be subject to a fine of not less than $1,000 per day of the violation and/or a jail term not to exceed 180 days for a third and subsequent violation. Each day's continuance of said violation shall constitute a separate and distinct violation by said owner of a potentially dangerous dog. 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 article or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant hereto 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.
A. 
A potentially dangerous dog registration number and red identification tag along with a potentially dangerous dog license, upon a demonstration of sufficient evidence by the owner to the Animal Control Officer that he/she has complied with the court's orders, shall be issued. The last three digits of each potentially dangerous dog registration number shall end with 002. The Animal Control Officer shall verify, in writing, compliance to the City Clerk.
B. 
A telephone number to report violations of this article shall be published in the Atlantic City Press and in the City Clerk's office. This telephone number shall be forwarded to the Department of Health. Any changes in this number shall be reported immediately to the Department of Health.
The fee for all potentially dangerous dog licenses shall be $500 annually and each renewal thereof.
The Animal Control officer shall inspect the enclosure and the owner's property at least monthly to determine continuing compliance with § 97-64.
Any action undertaken pursuant to this article shall be subject to the provisions of the New Jersey Tort Claims Act (N.J.S.A. 59:1-1 et seq.).
All fines and fees received and collected shall be deposited into a special account to help administer and enforce this article.
The provisions of this article shall not apply to dogs used for law enforcement activities.