kittens, puppies, pets, animals, killing, euthanizing, bills, legislation, new jersey, email,
christopher christie, governor, chris christie, chris.christie@gov.nj.state.us, oppose SBN 2923, oppose assembly 4036

EMAIL CHRIS CHRISTIE AT chris.christie@gov.nj.state.us 
 

EMAIL GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE - chris.christie@gov.state.nj.us and say no to senate bill 2923 and assembly bill 4036..puppy and kitten killing bills


also...

Call the Gov. office at 609-292-6000 and tell them "NO!!!" on Assembly bill 4036 and senate bill 2923! Does not matter if you are from NJ. If you love animals just call!


 

SENATE, No. 2923 STATE OF NEW JERSEY 214th LEGISLATURE

An Act concerning the sterilization and impoundment of animals and amending and supplementing P.L.1941, c.151.

      Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

      1.    Section 1 of P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.1) is amended to read as follows:

     1.    As used in P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.1 et seq.):

     "Animal rescue organization" means an individual or group of individuals who, with or without salary or compensation, house and care for homeless animals in the home of an individual or in other facilities, with the intent of placing the animals in responsible, more permanent homes as soon as possible.

     "Animal rescue organization facility" means the home or other facility in which an animal rescue organization houses and cares for an animal.

     "Certified animal control officer" means a person 18 years of age or older who has satisfactorily completed the course of study approved by the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services and the Police Training Commission as prescribed by paragraphs (1) through (3) of subsection a. of section 3 of P.L.1983, c.525 (C.4:19-15.16a); or who has been employed in the State of New Jersey in the capacity of, and with similar responsibilities to those required of, a certified animal control officer pursuant to the provisions of P.L.1983, c.525 for a period of three years before January 17, 1987.

     "Dog" [shall mean] means any dog, bitch or spayed bitch.

     "Dog of licensing age" [shall mean] means any dog which has attained the age of seven months or which possesses a set of permanent teeth.

     "Foster home" means placement of a cat or dog with an individual or group that is not an animal rescue organization for the purpose of temporarily caring for the cat or dog, without the individual or group assuming ownership and with the intent of the individual or group relinquishing the cat or dog to a suitable owner when one is located.

     "Kennel" [shall mean] means any establishment wherein or whereon the business of boarding or selling dogs or breeding dogs for sale is carried on, except a pet shop.

     "Owner" when applied to the proprietorship of a dog shall include every person having a right of property in that dog and every person who has that dog in his keeping, and when applied to the proprietorship of any other animal, including, but not limited to, a cat, shall include every person having a right of property in that animal and every person who has that animal in his keeping.

     "Pet shop" [shall mean] means 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 and companionship rather than for business or research purposes .

     "Pound" [shall mean] means an establishment for the confinement of dogs or other animals seized either under the provisions of this act or otherwise.

     "Shelter" [shall mean] means any establishment where dogs or other animals are received, housed and distributed.

     "Sterilize" means to render an animal incapable of reproducing by either spaying or neutering.

     "Stray animal" means a domestic animal that is off the owner's property and not under the direct control of the owner or person charged with the care of the animal.

(cf: P.L.1997, c.247, s.1)

 

     2.    Section 16 of P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.16) is amended to read as follows:

     16.  [Any person] a.  The certified animal control officer 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] any animal, to thereafter [destroyed] be euthanized or offered for adoption, as provided in this section.  Specifically, the certified animal control officer may take into custody and impound:

   [(a)] (1) Any dog or other animal off the premises of the owner or of the person [keeping or harboring said] charged with the care of the dog or other animal, which [said official or his agent or agents have reason to believe] is reasonably believed to be a stray dog or stray animal;

     [(b)] (2) Any dog or other animal off the premises of the owner or [of] the person [keeping or harboring said] charged with the care of the dog or other animal without a current registration tag on [his] its collar or elsewhere;

   [(c)] (3) Any female dog in season off the premises of the owner or [of] the person [keeping or harboring said] charged with the care of the dog;

     [(d)] (4) Any dog or other animal which is suspected to be rabid; or

     [(e)]  (5) Any dog or other animal off the premises of the owner or the person charged with its care that is 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.

     b.    If [any] an animal [so seized wears] taken into custody and impounded pursuant to subsection a. of this section has a collar or harness [having inscribed thereon or attached thereto] with identification of the name and address of any person , or has a registration tag, or has a microchip with an identification number that can be traced to the owner or person charged with the care of the animal, or the owner or the person [keeping or harboring said] charged with the care of the animal is otherwise 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,]  the certified animal control officer shall ascertain the name and address of the owner or the person charged with the care of the animal, and serve to the identified person as soon as practicable, a notice in writing [stating] that the animal has been seized and will be liable to be offered for adoption or [destroyed] euthanized if not claimed within seven days after the service of the notice.

     c.     A notice [under] required pursuant to this section may be served [either] :  (1) 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,] residence or [at] the address given on the collar, harness, or microchip identification; or (2) by [forwarding it by post in a prepaid letter addressed] mailing the notice to that person at [his] the person's usual or last known place of [abode] residence, or to the address given on the collar, harness or microchip identification.

   [Any person authorized by the governing body may cause an animal to be destroyed] d.  A shelter, pound, or kennel operating as a shelter or pound receiving an animal from a certified animal control officer pursuant to subsection a. of this section, or from any other individual, group, or organization, shall hold the animal for at least seven days before offering it for adoption, or euthanizing, relocating, or sterilizing the animal, except if:

     (1) the animal is surrendered voluntarily by its owner to the shelter, pound, or kennel operating as a shelter or pound;

     (2) the age, health, or other care needs of the animal require the shelter, pound, or kennel operating as a shelter or pound to place it in an animal rescue organization facility, foster home, or other unlicensed facility;

     (3) the age, health, or behavior of the animal warrants euthanizing it before seven days have elapsed; or

     (4) the animal is suspected of being rabid, in which case the provisions of subsection j. of this section shall apply.

     e.     If a shelter, pound or kennel operating as a shelter or pound is not required to hold an animal for at least seven days pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection d. of this section, the shelter, pound, or kennel operating as a shelter or pound:

     (1) shall offer the animal for adoption for at least seven days before euthanizing it; or

     (2) may transfer the animal to an animal rescue organization facility or a foster home prior to offering it for adoption if such a transfer is determined to be in the best interest of the animal by the shelter, pound, or kennel operating as a shelter or pound.

     f.     Except as otherwise provided for under subsections d. and e. of this section, no shelter, pound, or kennel operating as a shelter or pound receiving an animal from a certified animal control officer may transfer the animal to an animal rescue organization facility or a foster home until the shelter, pound, or kennel operating as a shelter or pound has held the animal for at least seven days.

     g.     If the owner or the person charged with the care of the animal seeks to claim it within seven days, or after the seven days have elapsed but before the animal has been sterilized, adopted, or euthanized, the shelter, pound, or kennel operating as a shelter or pound:

     (1) shall, in the case of a cat or dog, release it to the owner or person charged with its care, without requiring it to be sterilized, provided the owner or person charged with the care of the animal provides proof of ownership, which may include a valid cat or dog license, registration, rabies inoculation certificate or documentation from the owner's veterinarian that the cat or dog has received regular care from that veterinarian;

     (2) may, in the case of a cat or dog, charge the cost of sterilizing the cat or dog, if the owner requests such sterilizing when claiming it; and

     (3) may require the owner or person charged with the care of the animal to pay all the animal's expenses while in the care of the shelter, pound, or kennel operating as a shelter or pound. 

     h.     If the animal remains unclaimed, is not claimed due to the failure of the owner or other person to comply with the requirements of this section, or is not adopted after seven days after the date on which notice is served pursuant to subsection c. of this section or, if no notice can be served, not less than seven days after the date on which the animal was impounded, the impounded animal may be placed in a foster home, transferred to another shelter, pound, kennel operating as a shelter or pound, or animal rescue organization facility, or euthanized 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:

     (1) Notice is given as set forth above and the animal remains unclaimed ; or

     (2) 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

     (3) 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].

     i.      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,] taken into custody, impounded, sent or otherwise brought to a [pound or] shelter, pound, or kennel operating as a shelter or pound shall be sold or otherwise be 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] j.  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 and Senior Services, and shall be quarantined, observed, and otherwise handled and dealt with as appropriate for an animal suspected of being rabid or as required by the Department of Health and Senior Services for such animals.

     k.    When a certified animal control officer takes into custody and impounds, or causes to be taken into custody and impounded, an animal, the certified animal control officer may place the animal in the custody of, or cause the animal to be placed in the custody of, only a licensed shelter, pound, or kennel operating as a shelter or pound.  The certified animal control officer may not place the animal in the custody of, or cause the animal to be placed in the custody of, any animal rescue organization facility, foster home, or other unlicensed facility.  However, the licensed shelter, pound, or kennel operating as a shelter or pound may place the animal in an animal rescue organization facility, foster home, or other unlicensed facility if necessary pursuant to subsections d., e., or h. of this section.

     l.      Notwithstanding the provisions of this section and sections 3 and 4 of P.L.    , c.     (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) to the contrary, no cat or dog being transferred between shelters, pounds, or kennels operating as shelters or pounds, or being transferred to an animal rescue organization facility or placed in a foster home, shall be required to be sterilized prior to that transfer.

(cf:  P.L.1997, c.324, s.1)

 

     3.    (New section)  a.  The Department of Health and Senior Services shall develop and establish a pilot program to be known as the "Pet Sterilization Pilot Program." The pilot program shall operate in any county with significant animal overpopulation issues that is selected  for the program by the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services and agrees to participate in the program.  Upon the county's agreement to participate, every shelter, pound, and kennel operating as a shelter or pound in the county shall participate in the pilot program.

     b.  The pilot program shall implement the following requirements in each participating county:

     (1) A shelter, pound, or kennel operating as a shelter or pound, upon receiving an animal from a certified animal control officer pursuant to section 16 of P.L.1941, c.151, (C.4:19-15.16), or from any other individual, group, or organization, shall hold the animal for at least seven days before offering it for adoption, or euthanizing, relocating, or sterilizing the animal, except if:

     (a)   the animal is surrendered voluntarily by its owner to the shelter, pound  or kennel operating as a shelter or pound;

     (b)   the age, health, or other care needs of the animal require the shelter, pound or kennel operating as a shelter or pound to place it in an animal rescue organization facility, foster home, or other facility, whether licensed or not; or

     (c)   the animal is suspected of being rabid, in which case paragraph (5) of this subsection shall apply.

     (2) If a shelter,  pound,  or kennel operating as a shelter or pound is not required to hold an animal for at least seven days pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection, the shelter, pound or kennel operating as a shelter or pound:

     (a)   shall offer the animal for adoption for at least seven days before euthanizing it, unless the animal is deemed by a licensed veterinarian to be terminally ill and therefore should be euthanized for humane reasons; or

     (b)   may transfer the animal to an animal rescue organization facility or a foster home prior to offering it for adoption if such a transfer is determined to be in the best interest of the animal by the shelter, pound or kennel operating as a shelter or pound.

     (3) Except as otherwise provided for under paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection, no shelter, pound or kennel operating as a shelter or pound receiving an animal from a certified animal control officer may transfer the animal to an animal rescue organization facility or a foster home until the shelter, pound, or kennel operating as a shelter or pound has held the animal for at least seven days.

     (4) If a person seeks to adopt a cat or dog when adoption is permitted pursuant to this subsection, the shelter, pound, or kennel operating as a shelter or pound, before releasing the animal to the person adopting it, shall require the animal to be sterilized.  The shelter, pound, or kennel operating as a shelter or pound may charge the person adopting the animal the cost of sterilization.

     (5)  If an animal is suspected of being rabid, the animal shall immediately be reported to the executive officer of the local board of health and to the Department of Health and Senior Services, and shall be quarantined, observed, and otherwise handled and dealt with as appropriate for an animal suspected of being rabid or as required by the Department of Health and Senior Services for such animals.

     c.  The pilot program shall operate for a period of at least two years.  No later than two years after the pilot program is established and becomes operative, the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services shall submit a written report to the Governor and, pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), to the Legislature.  The report shall contain information on the implementation of the pilot program and shall include the recommendation of the commissioner on the feasibility of implementing the pilot program on a Statewide basis.

 

     4.    (New section)  a. Pursuant to the pilot program established pursuant to section 3 of P.L.    , c.   (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), a person may adopt and remove a cat or dog from a shelter, pound, kennel operating as a shelter or pound, or animal rescue organization facility, without sterilizing the cat or dog, if: (1) the cat or dog is less than six months old; and (2) the person pays a refundable deposit, the amount of which is to be established by the shelter, pound, kennel operating as a shelter or pound, or animal rescue organization facility.

     b.    The shelter, pound, kennel operating as a shelter or pound, or animal rescue organization facility shall refund the deposit required pursuant to subsection a. of this section if, within 180 days after the date of adoption, the person who adopted the cat or dog submits a certification from a licensed veterinarian that the cat or dog (1) has been sterilized, or (2) cannot be sterilized because it would be detrimental to the health of the cat or dog for reasons other than age.  The shelter, pound, kennel operating as a shelter or pound, or animal rescue organization facility shall issue the refund within 30 days after receipt of the licensed veterinarian's certification.

     c.     A person adopting a cat or dog that cannot be sterilized for reasons other than age may remove the cat or dog from the shelter, pound, kennel operating as a shelter or pound, or animal rescue organization facility without paying a deposit on the cat or dog, provided that a licensed veterinarian has certified the cat or dog cannot be sterilized because it would be detrimental to the health of the cat or dog for reasons other than age.

 

     5.    (New section)  a.  When a cat or dog is put in the custody of and impounded with a shelter, pound, or kennel operating as a shelter or pound, or an animal rescue organization facility receives a cat or dog, the shelter, pound, kennel operating as a shelter or pound, or animal rescue organization facility shall, if the identity of the owner is not known, scan the animal for microchip identification, provided the shelter, pound, kennel operating as a shelter or pound, or animal rescue organization facility has such technology available.

     b.    Prior to release of any cat or dog for adoption, transfer to another facility or foster home, or euthanasia of the cat or dog, the shelter, pound, kennel operating as a shelter or pound, or animal rescue organization facility shall, if the identity of the owner is not known, scan the cat or dog for microchip identification, provided the shelter, pound, kennel operating as a shelter or pound, or animal rescue organization facility has such technology available.

     c.     If either scan required pursuant to subsection a. or b. of this section reveals information concerning the owner of the cat or dog, the shelter, pound, kennel operating as a shelter or pound, or animal rescue organization facility shall immediately seek to contact and notify the owner of the whereabouts of the cat or dog.  Furthermore, if microchip identification is found, the shelter, pound, kennel operating as a shelter or pound, or animal rescue organization facility shall hold the animal for at least seven days after the notification to the owner.

 

     6.    (New section) a. The Department of Health and Senior Services shall establish a registry of animal rescue organizations and their facilities in the State.  Any animal rescue organization may voluntarily participate in the registry.

     b.    The department, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), may adopt any rules and regulations determined necessary to implement the voluntary registry and coordinate its use with the provisions of P.L.   , c.    (C.     ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) and section 16 of P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.16).

 

   7.    This act shall take effect on the 180th day following enactment, but the Department of Health and Senior Services may take any administrative or regulatory action prior thereto to implement the provisions of the act.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     The bill establishes a pilot program concerning required sterilization of stray and  adopted animals, and revises various other sections of law addressing care, impoundment, and sterilization of stray, abandoned, and adopted animals.

     With regard to the pilot program, the bill establishes a program to be known as the Pet Sterilization Pilot Program.  It would operate in any county with significant animal overpopulation issues that is selected for the program by the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, with the county's agreement to participate in the program.  Upon the county's agreement to participate, every shelter, pound, and kennel operating as a shelter or pound in the county would be required to participate in the pilot program.

     The bill also establishes several requirements concerning offering animals for adoption, and euthanizing, relocating or sterilizing the animals, enumerated in subsection b. of section 3 of the bill, including requiring a person adopting a cat or dog from a shelter, pound, or kennel operating as a shelter or pound in the participating county to have the animal sterilized.  The bill permits the shelter, pound, and kennel operating as a shelter or pound to charge the person adopting the cat or dog the cost of sterilizing the adopted cat or dog.

     The bill further provides for the pilot program to operate for a period of at least two years.  No later than two years after the pilot program is established and becomes operative, the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services is required to submit a written report to the Governor and the Legislature, providing information on the implementation of the pilot program and including the recommendation of the commissioner on the feasibility of implementing the pilot program on a Statewide basis.