Skip to navigation |
In this section, the Office of Animal Welfare features provisions of the law for the benefit of regulators and regulated entities.
4:19-15.2 Dogs; license and metal registration tag required; placing tag on dog
Any person who shall own, keep or harbor a dog of licensing age shall annually or every third year, in accordance with a 3-year dog license or renewal thereof issued under subsection b. of section 12 of this act (C. 4:19-15.12b), apply for and procure from the clerk of the municipality or other official designated by the governing body thereof to license dogs in the municipality in which he resides, a license and official metal registration tag for each such dog so owned, kept or harbored, and shall place upon each such dog a collar or harness with the registration tag securely fastened thereto.
4:19-15.2a Evidence of inoculation with rabies vaccine or certification of exemption; requirement for license
No municipal clerk or other official designated by the governing body of any municipality to license dogs therein shall grant any such license and official metal registration tag for any dog unless the owner thereof provides evidence that the dog to be licensed and registered has been inoculated with a rabies vaccine of a type approved by and administered in accordance with the recommendations of the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, or has been certified exempt as provided by regulations of the State Department of Health. Such vaccination shall be repeated at intervals as provided by regulations of the State Department of Health, and shall be administered by a duly licensed veterinarian or by such other veterinarian permitted by law to do the same. The State Department of Health shall promulgate regulations providing for the recognized duration of immunity, interval of inoculation, certificate of vaccination, certificate of exemption, and such other matters related to this act.
4:19-15.4 Time for applying for license
The owner of any newly-acquired dog of licensing age or of any dog which attains licensing age, shall make application for license and registration tag for such dog within ten days after such acquisition or age attainment.
4:19-15.8 Licensing of kennel, pet shop, shelter, pound.
- Any person who keeps or operates or proposes to establish a kennel, a pet shop, a shelter or a pound shall apply to the clerk or other official designated to license dogs in the municipality where such establishment is located, for a license entitling him to keep or operate such establishment.
The application shall describe the premises where the establishment is located or is proposed to be located, the purpose or purposes for which it is to be maintained, and shall be accompanied by the written approval of the local municipal and health authorities showing compliance with the local and State rules and regulations governing location of and sanitation at such establishments.
- All licenses issued for a kennel, pet shop, shelter or pound shall state the purpose for which the establishment is maintained, and all such licenses shall expire on the last day of June of each year, and be subject to revocation by the municipality on recommendation of the State Department of Health or the local board of health for failure to comply with the rules and regulations of the State department or local board governing the same, after the owner has been afforded a hearing by either the State department or local board, except as provided in subsection c. of this section.
Any person holding such license shall not be required to secure individual licenses for dogs owned by such licensee and kept at such establishments; such licenses shall not be transferable to another owner or different premises.
- The license for a pet shop shall be subject to review by the municipality, upon recommendation by the State Department of Health or the local health authority for failure by the pet shop to comply with the rules and regulations of the State department or local health authority governing pet shops or if the pet shop meets the criteria for recommended suspension or revocation provided under subsection c. or d. of section 5 of P.L.1999, c.336 (C.56:8-96), after the owner of the pet shop has been afforded a hearing pursuant to subsection e. of section 5 of P.L.1999, c.336 (C.56:8-96).
The municipality, based on the criteria for the recommendation of the local health authority provided under subsections c. and d. of section 5 of P.L.1999, c.336 (C.56:8-96), may suspend the license for 90 days or may revoke the license if it is determined at the hearing that the pet shop: (1) failed to maintain proper hygiene and exercise reasonable care in safeguarding the health of animals in its custody or (2) sold a substantial number of animals that the pet shop knew, or reasonably should have known, to be unfit for purchase.
- The municipality may issue a license for a pet shop that permits the pet shop to sell pet supplies for all types of animals, including cats and dogs, and sell animals other than cats and dogs but restricts the pet shop from selling cats or dogs, or both.
- Every pet shop licensed in the State shall submit annually and no later than May 1 of each year records of the total number of cats and dogs, respectively, sold by the pet shop each year to the municipality in which it is located, and the municipality shall provide this information to the local health authority.
N.J.S.A. 4:19-15.14 Rules and Regulations for kennels, pet shops, shelters and pounds
The State Department of Health shall, within six months of the approval of this act and with the co-operation and assistance of the State Department of Agriculture, prepare and promulgate rules and regulations governing the sanitary conduct and operation of kennels, pet shops, shelters and pounds, to preserve sanitation therein and prevent the spread of rabies and other diseases of dogs within and from such establishments.
Such rules and regulations shall be enforced by the State Department of Health and by local boards of health.
N.J.S.A. 4:19-15.16 Impounding or taking dogs or other animals into custody; grounds; notice; destruction or adoption; sale or availability for experimentation prohibited; penalty; reporting of rabid animals
Any person appointed for the purpose by the governing body of the municipality shall take into custody and impound or cause to be taken into custody and impounded, and thereafter destroyed or offered for adoption as provided in this section:
- Any dog off the premises of the owner or of the person keeping or harboring said dog which said official or his agent or agents have reason to believe is a stray dog:
- Any dog off the premises of the owner or of the person keeping or harboring said dog without a current registration tag on his collar;
- Any female dog in season off the premises of the owner or of the person keeping or harboring said dog;
- Any dog or other animal which is suspected to be rabid;
- Any dog or other animal off the premises of the owner reported to, or observed by, a certified animal control officer to be ill, injured or creating a threat to public health, safety or welfare, or otherwise interfering with the enjoyment of property.
If any animal so seized wears a collar or harness having inscribed thereon or attached thereto the name and address of any person or a registration tag, or the owner or the person keeping or harboring said animal is known, any person authorized by the governing body shall forthwith serve on the person whose address is given on the collar, or on the owner or the person keeping or harboring said animal, if known, a notice in writing stating that the animal has been seized and will be liable to be offered for adoption or destroyed if not claimed within seven days after the service of the notice.
A notice under this section 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 post in a prepaid letter addressed to that person at his usual or last known place of abode, or to the address given on the collar.
Any person authorized by the governing body may cause an animal to be destroyed in a manner causing as little pain as possible and consistent with the provisions of R.S. 4:22-19 or to be offered for adoption seven days after seizure; provided that:
- Notice is given as set forth above and the animal remains unclaimed; or,
- The owner or person keeping or harboring the animal has not claimed the animal and paid all expenses incurred by reason of its detention, including maintenance costs not exceeding $4.00 per day or,
- The owner or person keeping or harboring a dog which was unlicensed at the time of seizure does not produce a license and registration tag for the dog.
At the time of adoption, the right of ownership in the animal shall transfer to the new owner. No dog or other animal so caught and detained or procured, obtained, sent or brought to a pound or shelter shall be sold or otherwise made available for the purpose of experimentation. Any person who sells or otherwise makes available any such dog or other animal for the purpose of experimentation shall be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.
After observation, any animal seized under this section suspected of being rabid shall be immediately reported to the executive officer of the local board of health and to the Department of Health.
4:19-15.16b Appointment of certified animal control officer
The governing body of a municipality shall, within three years of the effective date of P.L.1983, c.525, appoint a certified animal control officer who shall be responsible for animal control within the jurisdiction of the municipality and who shall enforce and abide by the provisions of section 16 of P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.16). The governing body shall not appoint a certified animal control officer, shall not contract for animal control services with any company that employs a certified animal control officer, and shall revoke the appointment of a certified animal control officer, who has been convicted of, or found civilly liable for, a violation of any provision of chapter 22 of Title 4 of the Revised Statutes or whose name is on the list or any revision thereto established and provided by the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services pursuant to subsection c. of section 3 of P.L.1983, c.525 (C.4:19-15.16a). The governing body shall, within 30 days after receipt thereof, review any such list or revision thereto received by the municipality and shall, within that 30-day period, take action accordingly as required pursuant to this section.
26:4-78 Report of suspected cases of rabies
Whenever a dog, cat or other animal is affected by rabies or suspected of being affected by rabies or has been bitten by an animal known or suspected to be affected by rabies, the owner or person in charge of the animal or any person having knowledge thereof, shall forthwith notify the local board having jurisdiction of the place where the animal is located. The notification shall be in writing, signed by the person making the same and shall state where the animal may be found.
26:4-79 Report by physician attending person bitten by animal
Every physician shall, within twelve hours after his first professional attendance upon any person bitten by a dog, cat or other animal, report to the person designated by law or by the local board, under authority of law, to receive reports of reportable communicable diseases in the municipality in which the person so bitten may be, the name, age, sex, color and the precise location of the person so bitten.
26:4-80 Report by parent or guardian when child is bitten and no physician attends
The parent or guardian of a child bitten by a dog, cat or other animal, when no physician attends such child, shall within twelve hours after first having knowledge that the child was so bitten, report to the person designated by law or by the local board, under authority of law, to receive reports of reportable communicable diseases in the municipality in which the child so bitten may be, the name, age, sex, color and the precise location of the child.
26:4-81 Report when adult is bitten and no physician attends
If an adult is bitten by a dog, cat or other animal and no physician attends him, the adult, or if he is incapacitated, the person caring for him, shall report to the person designated by law or by the local board of health to receive reports of communicable diseases in the municipality in which the adult so bitten may be, the name, age, sex, color and the precise location of the adult.
The report shall be made within twelve hours after the adult was so bitten, or if he is incapacitated, the report shall be made within twelve hours after the person caring for him shall first have knowledge that the adult was so bitten.
26:4-82 Confining animal which has attacked or bitten person
The local board, within its jurisdiction, may serve notice upon the owner or person in charge of a dog, cat or other animal which has attacked or bitten a person, to confine the animal at the expense of the owner or person in charge of it upon the premises of the owner or person in charge or at some other place designated in the notice, for at least ten days after the animal has attacked or bitten a person.
26:4-83 Killing or confining animal bitten by another
The local board, within its jurisdiction, shall serve a notice, in writing, upon the owner or person in charge of a dog, cat or other animal known or suspected to have been bitten by an animal known or suspected of being affected by rabies, requiring the owner or person in charge of the animal to kill it or confine it for a period of not less than six months.
26:4-84 Confining animals to prevent spread of rabies
Whenever the local board or any officer or inspector thereof has reason to believe or has been notified by the State Department that there is danger that rabies may spread within the jurisdiction of such board, such board, officer or inspector shall serve a notice, in writing, upon all persons within the jurisdiction of such board, so far as the same may be known to the board or to such officer or inspector thereof, owning or having charge of any dog, requiring such person to confine such dog, or such board, officer or inspector in lieu of serving such notice, in writing, may cause a notice to be published in the official newspaper of such municipality. Other animals may be included in the order whenever, in the opinion of such board, this is necessary.
Whenever the State Department has knowledge that any case of rabies exists among dogs or other domestic animals, within the State, and in its judgment the disease is liable to spread, the department may issue an order requiring any local board to order animals confined as provided in this section, and to cause its provisions to be enforced, by appropriate proceedings either in law or in equity.
26:4-85 Permit to release animals
An animal confined under order of the local board shall not be released until a certificate of release has been issued by the board.
26:4-86 Examination of animals by local board
The local board or the duly authorized agent of such board, within its jurisdiction, shall be permitted by the owner or person in charge of a dog, cat or other animal which has attacked or bitten a person, to examine the animal at any time, and daily if desired, within a period of ten days after the animal has attacked or bitten a person, to determine whether the animal shows symptoms of rabies.
If the animal dies within the ten day confinement period or if the owner or person in charge of the animal elects to destroy the animal at any time during the confinement period, the local board may order a laboratory examination for rabies to be performed.
No person shall refuse, obstruct, or interfere with the local board in making any examination authorized pursuant to this section.
26:4-89 Free Pasteur treatment
Each local board may furnish without charge the Pasteur treatment for any indigent person, residing within its jurisdiction, who has been bitten by an animal known or suspected to be affected by rabies.
Any expense thus incurred shall be provided for by the governing body having charge of the finances of the municipality in which the indigent person resides in the same manner as the regular funds of the board are provided for.