[First Reprint]

 

SENATE COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR

SENATE, No. 1643

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

  ADOPTED OCTOBER 14, 2010

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  STEPHEN M. SWEENEY

District 3 (Salem, Cumberland and Gloucester)

Senator  JEFF VAN DREW

District 1 (Cape May, Atlantic and Cumberland)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires sterilization of all dogs and cats released for adoption from shelters, pounds, animal rescue organizations or auxiliary organizations and establishes penalty for noncompliance.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As amended by the Senate on October 18, 2010.

  

 

 

 


An Act concerning the sterilization of dogs and cats to be adopted from shelters, pounds, animal rescue organizations or auxiliary organizations, and supplementing Title 4 of the Revised Statutes.

 

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

 

     1.    a.  (1) A shelter, pound, animal rescue organization or 1[an]1 auxiliary organization shall not release a dog or cat for adoption unless:  (a) seven days have elapsed after arrival of the dog or cat at the shelter, pound, animal rescue organization or 1[an]1 auxiliary organization, except as provided otherwise pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection; and (b) the dog or cat has been sterilized 1unless a licensed veterinarian determines that sterilization would be detrimental to the health of the dog or cat1 .

     (2)   No dog or cat, received at a shelter, pound, animal rescue organization or 1[an]1 auxiliary organization, that has a license, registration, or any other type of identification tag may be sterilized in preparation for its release for adoption 1[until] if1 the dog or cat has 1[not]1 been claimed by its owner, with proof of ownership 1[, or the owner has not asserted a claim, for] within1 seven days after arrival of the dog or cat at the shelter, pound, animal rescue organization or 1[an]1 auxiliary organization.  1[If any person asserts a claim of ownership within that seven-day period, the shelter, pound, animal rescue organization or an auxiliary organization shall not sterilize the dog or cat in preparation for its release for adoption until seven days have elapsed since the claim was asserted and the person asserting the claim has failed to provide proof of ownership in that time period.]1  Proof of ownership may include a valid dog or cat license, registration, rabies inoculation certificate or documentation from the owner's veterinarian that the dog or cat has received regular care from that veterinarian.

     (3)   A shelter, pound, animal rescue organization or 1[an]1 auxiliary organization may charge a person adopting a dog or cat from the shelter, pound, animal rescue organization or 1[an]1 auxiliary organization for the cost of sterilizing the animal prior to its release for adoption, up to a maximum of $100 or such higher maximum as may be established by rule or regulation adopted by the Department of Health and Senior Services, pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.).

     b.    Any shelter, pound, animal rescue organization or 1[an]1 auxiliary organization that violates any provision of subsection a. of this section shall be liable to a penalty not to exceed $100 for each dog or cat that was the basis of the violation.  Penalties may be collected by the municipality in which the shelter, pound, animal rescue organization or 1[an]1 auxiliary organization is located, or by the Department of Health and Senior Services, in a civil action by a summary proceeding under the “Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999,” P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.).  The Superior Court and the municipal court shall have jurisdiction to enforce the “Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999.”  All penalties collected pursuant to this subsection, whether by the municipality or the State, shall be deposited into a special account created by the municipality to be used solely for municipal animal control, health, and welfare programs.

     c.     The Department of Health and Senior Services may adopt, pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), any rules or regulations necessary for the implementation of the provisions and requirements of this section.

 

     2.    This act shall take effect on the 90th day following enactment.