ASSEMBLY, No. 2746

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MAY 10, 2012

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  GREGORY P. MCGUCKIN

District 10 (Ocean)

Assemblyman  DAVID W. WOLFE

District 10 (Ocean)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     The “Healthy  Puppies and Kittens Assurance Act.”

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning cats and dogs, amending and supplementing P.L.1941, c.151 and P.L.1999, c.336, and amending various parts of statutory law.

 

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

 

     1.    (New section) This act shall be known and may be cited as the “Healthy Puppies and Kittens Assurance Act.”

 

     2.    (New section) The Legislature finds and declares that since the enactment of the “Pet Purchase Protection Act” in 1999, there has been significant progress in identifying and closing pet shops that habitually purchased and sold sick puppies and kittens; that this success needs to be built upon by expanding the “Pet Purchase Protection Act” to cover all pet dealers because puppy mills and kitten mills continue to exist; that far too many of the puppies and kittens from these disreputable breeding places continue to be sold with seriously impaired health due to the manner in which the puppies or kittens were bred and raised in the first months of life; that many breeders of dogs and cats are reputable, conscientious business people and do not deserve to be lumped together with other breeders who engage in poor breeding practices or run puppy mills or kitten mills; and that providing more information to the consumer pursuant to the “Pet Purchase Protection Act” and establishing the registration of breeders so that the reputable breeders can be recognized apart from disreputable ones, would further enhance protection under the law of puppies, kittens, and the people who seek to own and care for them.

     The Legislature therefore determines that it is in the public interest to provide additional protection of the health of puppies and kittens by establishing additional requirements for the breeding, raising, and selling of puppies and kittens, and to establish a State registration of dog and cat breeders so that pet dealers and pet purchasers can be treated fairly under the laws of the State.

 

     3.    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.

     "Animal shelter" means any establishment that receives, houses and distributes animals that have been abandoned or lost or are in physical danger and are in need of temporary care and housing until the animal is relocated to permanent care and housing or is euthanized.  The term "animal shelter" shall include, but need not be limited to, a shelter and a facility that is contracted by a municipality as an animal control facility to which the animal control officer of the municipality may deliver animals that are found abandoned, lost or in physical danger.

     "Board" means the Canine and Feline Health Board established pursuant to section 13 of P.L.  , c.       (C.     ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

     "Breeder" means any person who owns or operates a breeding facility and sells or offers for sale more than five cats or dogs per year, regardless of whether the person is not required to have a license issued by the United States Department of Agriculture pursuant to the "Animal Welfare Act," 7 U.S.C. §2131 et seq., or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, or does not have a valid United States Department of Agriculture breeder license for any reason.

     "Breeding facility" means any building or other structure, or area whether indoor or outdoor, in which more than two cats or dogs are housed and bred for the purposes of selling the resulting kittens or puppies for any purpose.  The term "breeding facility" shall include a kennel as defined in this section except if the kennel is used exclusively for the boarding of cats or dogs.

     “Cat dealer” means any person, including an out-of-State pet dealer, engaged in the ordinary course of business in the sale of cats to the public for profit, or who sells or offers for sale more than one litter of cats in one year, and whose business is not operated or licensed as a kennel, pet shop, shelter, or pound.

     "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.

     "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of the Department of Health and Senior Services.

     "Department" means the Department of Health and Senior Services.

     “Division” means the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety.

     "Dog" means any dog, bitch or spayed bitch.

     “Dog dealer” means any person, including an out-of-State pet dealer, engaged in the ordinary course of business in the sale of dogs to the public for profit, or who sells or offers for sale more than one litter of dogs in one year, and whose business is not operated or licensed as a kennel, pet shop, shelter, or pound.

     "Dog of licensing age" 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" 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.

     “Out-of-State pet dealer” means any cat dealer or dog dealer whose primary residence or primary place of business is not in this State.

     "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] the person’s keeping.

     "Pet" means a domestic companion animal, as defined in section 1 of P.L.1995, c.145 (C.4:19A-16).

     “Pet dealer” means any person who sells or offers for sale cats or dogs at retail in the State for use as pets, or at wholesale to persons or businesses that sell cats or dogs at retail for use as pets.  The term "pet dealer" shall include, but need not be limited to, a breeder, or a Class A or Class B breeder licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture pursuant to the "Animal Welfare Act," 7 U.S.C. §2131 et seq., who sell cats or dogs to individuals or to kennels or pet shops. “Pet dealer” includes any cat dealer or dog dealer. “Pet dealer" shall also include, but need not be limited to, a kennel or a pet shop, persons selling more than five cats or dogs per year who are otherwise exempted from the federal license requirements established pursuant to the "Animal Welfare Act," 7 U.S.C. §2131 et seq., and the rules or regulations adopted pursuant thereto, and all pet dealers regulated pursuant to subchapter 12 of chapter 45A of Title 13 of the New Jersey Administrative Code.  Individuals that sell five or fewer animals per year and animal shelters shall not be considered pet dealers under this act.

     "Pet shop" means any place of business which is not part of a kennel, wherein animals, including, but not limited to, [dogs, cats,] birds, cats, dogs, fish, [reptiles, rabbits, hamsters or] , gerbils, hamsters, rabbits, or reptiles, 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" means an establishment for the confinement of dogs or other animals seized either under the provisions of this act or otherwise.

     "Shelter" means any establishment where dogs or other animals are received, housed and distributed or an animal shelter.

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

(cf:  P.L.2011, c.142, s.1)

 

     4.    (New section)   a.  The Department of Health and Senior Services shall inspect each pet shop and kennel at least twice per calendar year to enforce the provisions of P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.1 et seq.) and P.L.1999, c.336 (C.56:8-92 et al.) and the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto.  

     b.    A pet shop or kennel that refuses entrance to an authorized representative of the department shall be deemed to be in violation of this act. 

     c.     When an authorized representative of the department attempts a pet shop or kennel inspection in a building and no person is present to grant access, the authorized representative may post an order on an entrance to the building demanding access to the building within 36 hours. Failure to permit an inspection within the 36-hour time period indicated in the posted order shall constitute a refusal of entry for purposes of this section, unless there are no animals at the pet shop or kennel, or the owner or operator of the pet shop or kennel and the authorized representative of the department who posted the order agree within the 36-hour time period indicated in the posted order to permit an inspection at a time agreed to by both parties.  It shall be an affirmative defense to this subsection that there were no animals in the pet shop or kennel at the time the order was posted.

     d.    As used in this section, “refuses entrance” or “refusal of entry” means preventing an authorized representative from entering the establishment, preventing an authorized representative from inspecting an animal, hiding an animal from an authorized representative, or an act or omission that prevents an authorized representative from gaining entry to the establishment.

 

     5.  (New section)     a.  In addition to the rules and regulations adopted pursuant to section 14 of P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.14), each pet shop and kennel in the State shall:

     (1) house animals with adequate food that is clean and free of contaminants and with sufficient heating, cooling, and ventilation systems;

     (2) equip the pet shop or kennel with a smoke alarm and shall have proper equipment for fire suppression, including a fire extinguisher and sprinkler system;

     (3) keep the premises of, and surrounding, the pet shop or kennel clean and in good repair;

     (4) establish an insect control program and an appropriate plan to provide cats or dogs with the opportunity to exercise; and

     (5) comply with any other requirements established by the Canine and Feline Health Board, created pursuant to section 13 of P.L.     , c.     (C.         ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

     b.    The exercise plan established pursuant to paragraph (4) of subsection a. of this section shall be approved by a veterinarian and shall be within the exercise guidelines, established by the Department of Health and Senior Services, in consultation with the Canine and Feline Health Board, pursuant to section 14 of P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.14).

     c.     Every pet shop or kennel selling cats or dogs shall provide with each cat or dog sold the health certificate required pursuant to sections 9 and 33 of P.L.  , c.   (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).  Every pet shop or kennel selling cats or dogs shall post in a conspicuous location a sign stating:  “UPON REQUEST, YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO A COPY OF THE HEALTH HISTORY AND BREEDER INFORMATION FOR ANY ANIMAL OFFERED FOR SALE IN THIS ESTABLISHMENT, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER YOU ARE BUYING THE ANIMAL.”

 

     6.    Section 14 of P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.14) is amended to read as follows:

     14.  a.   The [State] Department of Health and Senior Services shall, within six months of the approval of [this act] P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.1 et seq.) 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 and cats within and from such establishments.

     Such rules and regulations shall be enforced by the [State] Department of Health and Senior Services and by local boards of health.

     b.    The Department of Health and Senior Services shall consult with the Canine and Feline Health Board, established pursuant to section 13 of P.L.    , c.   (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), within six months after the date of enactment of P.L.    , c.   (C.     ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), prior to (1) modifying any rules and regulations concerning cages or other primary enclosures to ensure the clean, sanitary, and safe care of cats and dogs, and (2) establishing general exercise guidelines or an exercise plan for cats and dogs, to be followed by kennels and pet shops.

     After consulting with the Canine and Feline Health Board, the department shall modify rules and regulations and establish guidelines consistent with the board’s standards, as appropriate and necessary.

(cf: P.L.1941,  c.151, s.14)

 

     7.    Section 8 of P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.8) is amended to read as follows:

     8.    a.   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] the applicant to keep or operate such establishment, except that no person convicted of, or found civilly liable for, violating any State animal cruelty law or regulation, or convicted of, or found civilly liable for, substantially similar conduct pursuant to an animal cruelty law of another state, may apply for such a license or the renewal of such a license.  The Department of Health and Senior Services shall provide a list of persons known to be ineligible for such licenses on the website and database established and maintained pursuant to section 11 of P.L.  , c.    (C.    ) (now pending before the Legislature as this bill).

     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.

     b.    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 and Senior Services 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] subsections c. , f. and g. 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.

     c.     The license for a pet shop or a kennel that sells cats or dogs, or breeds them for sale shall be subject to review by the municipality, upon recommendation by the [State] Department of Health and Senior Services [or], the local health authority , or the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety, for failure by the pet shop or kennel to comply with the rules and regulations of the [State] department or local health authority governing pet shops and kennels or if the pet shop or kennel meets the criteria for recommended suspension or revocation provided under this section and section 37 of P.L.    , c.  (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), or as 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 or kennel 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 owner or operator of the pet shop or kennel that sells dogs or breeds them for sale : (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 or kennel knew, or reasonably should have known, to be unfit for purchase , or (3) was convicted of, or found civilly liable for, violating any State animal cruelty law or regulation, or convicted of, or found civilly liable for, substantially similar conduct pursuant to an animal cruelty law of another state .

     d.    The municipality may issue a license for a pet shop or kennel that permits the pet shop or kennel 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 or kennel from selling cats or dogs, or both.

     e.     Every pet shop or kennel 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.

     f.     A municipality may revoke or suspend the license of a shelter or pound, after the owner or operator is afforded a hearing, when: (1) it is determined that the owner or operator of the shelter or pound was convicted of, or found civilly liable for, violating any State animal cruelty law or regulation, or convicted of, or found civilly liable for, substantially similar conduct pursuant to an animal cruelty law of another state; or (2) the owner or operator of the shelter or pound is arrested pursuant to the provisions of article 2 of chapter 22 of Title 4 of the Revised Statutes or a warrant is issued for such an arrest.

     g.     The municipality shall provide written notice of a kennel, pet shop, shelter or pound license revocation, suspension or denial to the person whose license is revoked, suspended or denied. The notice shall set forth the general factual and legal basis for the action and shall advise the affected person that within 10 days of receipt of the notice the person may file with the municipality a written request for an administrative hearing. Written notice of revocation, suspension, or denial shall be served by personal service or by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the person whose license is revoked, suspended or denied or to a responsible employee of that person. Revocation, suspension, or denial shall be effective upon the expiration of a 10-day period for requesting an administrative hearing, unless a timely request for a hearing has been filed with the municipality.

(cf: P.L.1999, c.336, s.6)

 

     8.    (New section)   a. No person may:

     (1) breed a cat or a dog from a litter with another cat or dog from the same litter;

     (2) breed a cat or a dog more than once per calendar year;

     (3) sell more than 25 cats or dogs per year for use as pets to individuals, kennels or pet shops in the State; or

     (4) deliver to a pet shop for sale at the pet shop any cat or dog that is less than 10 weeks old.

     b.    Any person breeding cats or dogs in the State shall comply with the Canine and Feline Health Board standards of care for cats and dogs established pursuant to section 13 of this act.

     c.     The Department of Health may adopt, pursuant to the provisions of the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), such rules and regulations as may be necessary to implement the provisions of this section.

 

     9.    (New section)   a.  Upon  the effective date of this act and every year  thereafter, each breeder doing business in the State as a pet dealer shall register with the Department of  Health and Senior Services.  At that time, the breeder shall sign a document that attests to the breeder's knowledge of State law, rules and regulations concerning the care, treatment, and sale of animals in the State, and to the breeder's compliance with the requirements of subsections c. and d. of this section.  The department may charge the breeder a reasonable fee for the administrative and processing costs of the registration.

     b.    The Department of Health and Senior Services, in consultation with the Canine and Feline Health Board established pursuant to section 13 of this act, professional veterinarian associations, the Humane Society of the United States, the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and other groups, associations and organizations involved in the proper care and treatment of animals, shall adopt, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), rules and regulations establishing a standardized program of responsible veterinary care to be implemented by breeding facilities.  The program shall include, but need not be limited to, provisions for vaccinations, internal and external parasite control, disease prevention and control, grooming, spaying, neutering and care of pregnant animals, first aid and emergency care protocols, housing considerations associated with illness and injury, and humane euthanasia methods.

     c.     Each breeder doing business in the State as a pet dealer shall be required to comply with the federal requirements established by the "Animal Welfare Act," 7 U.S.C. §2131 et seq., and any rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto, section 14 of  P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.14), and the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto, and the following:

     (1) Indoor temperatures of breeding facilities shall be maintained at a minimum of 50 degrees and a maximum of 80 degrees Fahrenheit for cats or dogs older than eight weeks, and a minimum of 65 degrees and a maximum of 80 degrees Fahrenheit for cats or dogs eight weeks old or younger;

     (2) Air shall be constantly circulated at a rate of at least eight to 12 times per hour;

     (3) Flooring in animal cages or other types of enclosures used to house animals shall be made of substances that are nonporous and can be sanitized;

     (4) Wire flooring shall be used only if it is plastic-coated and is spaced at intervals that prevent the possibility of foot or leg injury and allow for waste to fall through the flooring onto a surface or into an area where no animals are held or housed;

     (5)  Each enclosure for a dog shall have a height of not less than  six inches above the head of the dog when the dog is standing on its hind legs, and shall provide access to an outdoor run.   Enclosures for dogs shall have, for a large-sized breed weighing 50 pounds or more, a minimum size of  four feet by eight feet, or 32 square feet, and an outdoor run of four feet by 15 feet; for a medium-sized breed weighing 21 to 50 pounds, a minimum of four feet by six feet, or 24 square feet, and an outdoor run of  four feet by 10 feet; and for a small-sized breed weighing less than 21 pounds, a minimum of three feet by five feet and an outdoor run of three feet by 10 feet;

     (6) Individual enclosures for cats shall provide a space of no less than nine cubic feet with a ground area of three feet by three feet and a height of three feet, and no more than one cat shall be housed per cage, except a cat with nursing offspring shall share the enclosure with its offspring;

     (7) Ground areas shall be cleaned daily and dry bedding shall be provided, such as straw or hay, but newspaper is prohibited;

     (8) Constant access to potable water shall be provided, in mounted feeders whenever possible, and food shall be nutritionally balanced and kept dry at all times;

     (9) Cages, enclosures, mounted feeders and other containers providing food and water shall be cleaned and sanitized daily;

     (10) All dogs shall be allowed the opportunity for exercise daily and be allowed to run unleashed for at least 20 minutes daily in an area no smaller than four feet by 10 feet;

     (11) A standardized program of veterinarian care consistent with the program established pursuant to subsection b. of this section shall be implemented in breeding facilities; and

     (12) Any requirements established by the Canine and Feline Health Board after its establishment and organization pursuant to section 13 of this act.

     d.    In addition to the requirements set forth in subsection c. of this section, every breeder shall provide with each cat or dog a single document created pursuant to this subsection as the health certificate of the animal.  This health certificate shall remain with the animal for the duration of its life and shall be updated annually by the licensed veterinarian caring for the animal.  Every breeder shall provide the health certificate to the purchaser of each cat or dog at the time of sale.

     The health certificate shall be in a standardized form prescribed by the Department of Health and Senior Services, and contain the following information:

     (1) The name and street address of the breeder and, if the person is a dealer licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture, the person's federal dealer identification number;

     (2) The date of birth of the cat or dog, the cat’s or dog’s age, or an approximation provided by a licensed veterinarian;

     (3)   The cat’s or dog’s origin, including contact information for the breeder of the cat or dog, that the cat or dog did not originate within an area under quarantine for rabies, and, as ascertained by the veterinarian, that the cat or dog has not been exposed to rabies within 100 days of importation;

     (4)   A record of the immunizations administered to the cat or dog as of the time of sale, including the dates of administration and the

type of vaccine, and for a dog,  the rabies tag number;

     (5)   the cat’s or dog’s health, including whether the cat or dog shows no signs or symptoms of infectious or communicable disease;

     (6) If purebred or registerable with a cat or dog registry, the sire's and the dam's registration, if any, from the registry organization; and

     (7) A record of any veterinarian treatment or medication received by a cat or dog while in the possession of  a pet dealer to treat any disease, illness, or condition that required hospitalization or surgical procedures, and one of the following –

     (a)  A statement that the cat or dog has no known disease, illness, or condition that requires hospitalization, surgical procedures or ongoing treatment at the time of sale, dated and signed by a licensed veterinarian no more than 14 days prior to the sale, that also authorizes the sale of the cat or dog; or

     (b) A record of any known disease, illness, or condition that requires hospitalization, surgical procedures or ongoing treatment with which the cat or dog is afflicted at the time of sale, and a statement, dated and signed by  a licensed veterinarian no more than 14 days prior to the sale, that recommends a course of treatment, authorizes the sale of the cat or dog afflicted with the disease, illness or condition, and states that the recommended course of treatment is necessary for the good health and survival of the cat or dog being sold.

     e.     The department shall annually compile, publish and make available to the public a list of the breeders doing business as pet dealers who are registered in the State.  The department shall also provide, upon request, a summary of the requirements established under subsection b. of this section and information on how a complaint may be filed against a pet dealer who appears to be violating State law, rules or regulations.  The information required pursuant to this section shall be provided on the website established pursuant to section 11 of P.L.   , c.   (C.   ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

 

     10.  (New section)   No pet dealer may purchase any cats or dogs from any person who is not a registered breeder named on the list compiled and published by the Department of Health pursuant to subsection e. of section 9 of this act, except if that person has documentation that each of the cats or dogs being sold were bred by a registered breeder named on the list compiled and published by the department pursuant to subsection e. of section 9 of this act, or if the person signs a notarized affidavit attesting to the fact that the individual is not a breeder or a pet dealer regulated by this act.

 

     11.  (New section)   a.  For the purposes of enforcing this act, the Department of Health and Senior Services shall establish and maintain a website and database providing the following information:

     (1) the name and contact information of every breeder and pet dealer registered in the State, and whether the breeder or pet dealer is in good standing,  under license suspension, or license revocation;

     (2) the name of every violator of P.L.     , c.      (C.    ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), P.L.1941, c.151, P.L.1999, c.336, chapter 22 of Title 4 of the Revised Statutes, and any other animal cruelty statute in the State; and

     (3) the names of violators of animal cruelty laws in other states, as the identity of such persons becomes known to the department.

     b.    The department may incorporate into the website and database established pursuant to subsection a. of this section, the list established and maintained pursuant to subsection c. of section 3 of P.L.1983, c.525 (C.4:19-15.16a).

 

     12.  (New section)     There is established in the Department of Health and Senior Services an special and separate account to be known as the “Good Breeders Accountability Fund, ” for the purposes of establishing and maintaining the website and database established pursuant to section 11 of this act. The Department of Health and Senior Services shall administer the fund established by this section.

     The monies collected for the “Good Breeders Accountability Fund,” pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1983, c.172 (C.4:19-15.36) and section 1 of P.L.1983, c.181 (C.4:19-15.3c), shall be deposited in the fund.  The funds provided for the website and database pursuant to this section may also be used to incorporate and maintain the information required pursuant to subsection c. of section 3 of P.L.1983, c.525 (C.4:19-15.16a).

 

     13.  (New section) a.     There is established in the Department of Health and Senior Services the Canine and Feline Health Board.  The purpose of the board shall be to determine the standards of care for cats and dogs kept by kennels, pet shops, and pet dealers, based on recognized, sound animal husbandry and breeding practices, and to review and make recommendations to the Department of Health and Senior Services and the Division of Consumer Affairs on rules and regulations adopted pursuant to P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.1 et seq.) and P.L.1999, c.336 (C.56:8-92 et al.).

     b.    The Canine and Feline Health Board shall be composed of veterinarians with expertise in small animal medicine and in the caring for and treating of canines and felines, and others involved with the care of animals. The board shall consist of seven members, as follows:

     (1)   the State Veterinarian, or the veterinarian’s designee,

     (2)   the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, or the commissioner’s designee;

     (3)   the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs, in the Department of Law and Public Safety, or the director’s designee;

     (4)   the President of the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association, or the president’s designee; and

     (5)   three members of the public who are members of a recognized organization that advocates for and participates in the care and welfare of cats or dogs and are licensed as a kennel, pet dealer, or pet shop in this State, to be appointed by the Governor for four-year terms.  The public members shall be appointed within three months after the date of enactment of P.L.    , c.   (C.     ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

     The board shall organize as soon as possible, but no later than the 60th day after the appointment of its members, and shall select a chairperson from among its members and a secretary who need not be a member of the board.

     c.     Vacancies in the membership of the board shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments are made and a member may be eligible for reappointment. 

     d.    A majority of the entire board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.  Action may be taken and motions and resolutions adopted by the board at any meeting thereof by the affirmative vote of a majority of the full membership of the board.

     e.     The members of the board shall serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties, within the limits of funds appropriated or otherwise made available to the board for its purposes.

     f.     If requested by the board, the Department of Health and Senior Services shall provide primary staff support to the board.

 

     14. (New section)   a.  Whenever the commissioner finds that a person has violated any provision of this act, or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant to this act, the commissioner may:

     (1) Issue an order requiring the person found to be in violation to comply in accordance with subsection b. of this section;

     (2) Bring a civil action in accordance with subsection c. of this section;

     (3) Levy a civil administrative penalty in accordance with subsection d. of this section; or

     (4) Bring an action for a civil penalty in accordance with subsection e. of this section.

     b.    Whenever the commissioner finds that a person has violated any provision of this act, or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant to this act, the commissioner may issue an order specifying the provision or provisions of this act or of any rule or regulation of which the person is in violation, citing the action which constituted the violation, and ordering abatement of the violation.  Whenever a breeder has violated any provision of this act, or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, the commissioner shall include in the order the following prohibitions on the retail or wholesale sale of cats or dogs:

     (1)  For a first offense, a prohibition from selling or offering for sale cats or dogs for five years;

     (2)  For a second and subsequent offenses, a prohibition from selling or offering for sale cats or dogs at retail or wholesale for an additional five years for each offense.

     The order shall give notice to the person of the person's right to a hearing on the matters contained in the order.  The ordered party shall have 20 calendar days from receipt of the order within which to deliver to the commissioner a written request for a hearing.  Such order shall be effective upon receipt and any person to whom such order is directed shall comply with the order immediately.  A request for hearing shall not automatically stay the effect of the order.

     c.     The commissioner, a local board of health or county health department may institute an action or proceeding in the Superior Court for injunctive and other relief, including the appointment of a receiver for any violation of this act, or of any rule or regulation adopted thereto, or order issued pursuant to this act, and the court may proceed in the action in a summary manner.  In any such proceeding the court may grant temporary or interlocutory relief.

     Such relief may include, singly or in combination:

     (1) A temporary or permanent injunction, including for any breeder in violation of this act an injunction from selling or offering for sale  at retail or wholesale cats or dogs for five years for a first offense, and for a second offense and subsequent offenses, a prohibition from selling or offering for sale cats or dogs at retail or wholesale for five years for each offense; and

     (2)  Assessment of the violator for the costs of any investigation or inspection which led to the establishment of the violation, and for the reasonable costs of preparing and litigating the case under this subsection.  Assessments under this subsection shall be paid to the State Treasurer, or to the local board of health, or to the county health department, as the case may be.

     If a proceeding is instituted by a local board of health or county health department, notice thereof shall be served upon the commissioner in the same manner as if the commissioner were a named party to the action or proceeding.  The department may intervene as a matter of right in any proceeding brought by a local board of health or county health department.

     d.    The commissioner is authorized to assess civil administrative penalties as follows:

     (1)  For a first offense by a breeder, a penalty of $5,000.

     (2)  For a second or subsequent offense by a breeder, a penalty of $10,000 for each offense.

     (3) For a first offense by any person other than a breeder, a penalty of  $1,000, except that a pet dealer who knowingly purchases cats or dogs from a breeder whose registration has been revoked or who is not properly registered with the Department of Health shall be subject to a penalty of $5,000 per animal purchased for the first offense.

     (4) For a second offense by any person other than a breeder, a penalty of $2,500, except that a pet dealer who knowingly purchases cats or dogs from a breeder whose registration has been revoked  or who is not properly registered with the Department of Health shall be subject to a penalty of $10,000 per animal purchased under a second or subsequent offense.

     (5) For a third offense by any person other than a breeder, a penalty of $5,000, except that a pet dealer who knowingly purchases cats or dogs from a breeder whose registration has been revoked  or who is not properly registered with the Department of Health shall be subject to a penalty of $10,000 per animal purchased under a third or subsequent offense.

     (6) For a fourth offense or subsequent offenses by any person other than a breeder, a penalty of not less than $5,000 nor more than $10,000, except that a pet dealer who knowingly purchases cats or dogs from a breeder whose registration has been revoked  or who is not properly registered with the Department of Health shall be subject to a penalty of $10,000 per animal purchased under a fourth or subsequent offense.

     No assessment shall be levied pursuant to this section until after the violator has been notified by certified mail or personal service.  The notice shall include a reference to the section of the statute, rule, regulation, or order violated, a concise statement of the facts alleged to constitute a violation, a statement of the amount of the civil administrative penalties to be imposed, and a statement of the party's right to a hearing.  The ordered party shall have 20 calendar days from receipt of the notice within which to deliver to the commissioner a written request for a hearing.  After the hearing and upon finding that a  violation has occurred, the commissioner may issue a final order after assessing the amount of the fine specified in the notice.  If no hearing is requested, the notice shall become a final order after the expiration of the 20-day period.  Payment of the assessment is due when a final order is issued or the notice becomes a final order.  The authority to levy a civil administrative penalty is in addition to all other enforcement provisions in this act, and the payment of any assessment shall not be deemed to affect the availability of any other enforcement provisions in connection with the violation for which the assessment is levied.  The department may compromise any civil administrative penalty assessed under this section in to any amount the department determines appropriate.

     e.     Any person who violates the provisions of this act or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, shall be liable to the following penalties, to be collected in a civil action commenced by a local board of health, a county health department, or the commissioner:

     (1)  For a first offense by a breeder, a penalty of $5,000.

     (2)  For a second or subsequent offense by a breeder, a penalty of $10,000 for each offense.

     (3) For a first offense by any person other than a breeder, a penalty of  $1,000, except that a pet dealer who knowingly purchases cats or dogs from a breeder whose registration has been revoked  or who is not properly registered with the Department of Health shall be subject to a penalty of $5,000 per animal purchased for the first offense.

     (4) For a second offense by any person other than a breeder, a penalty of $2,500, except that a pet dealer who knowingly purchases cats or dogs from a breeder whose registration has been revoked  or who is not properly registered with the Department of Health shall be subject to a penalty of $10,000 per animal purchased under a second or subsequent offense.

     (5) For a third offense by any person other than a breeder, a penalty of $5,000, except that a pet dealer who knowingly purchases cats or dogs from a breeder whose registration has been revoked  or who is not properly registered with the Department of Health shall be subject to a penalty of $10,000 per animal purchased under a third or subsequent offense.

     (6) For a fourth offense or subsequent offenses by any person other than a breeder, a penalty of not less than $5,000 nor more than $10,000, except that a pet dealer who knowingly purchases cats or dogs from a breeder whose registration has been revoked  or who is not properly registered with the Department of Health shall be subject to a penalty of $10,000 per animal purchased under a fourth or subsequent offense.

     Any person who violates an administrative order issued pursuant to subsection b. of this section, or a court order issued pursuant to subsection c. of this section, or who fails to comply with an administrative assessment in full pursuant to subsection d. of this section is subject upon order of a court to a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 per day of such violation.

     Any penalty imposed pursuant to this subsection may be collected with costs in a summary proceeding pursuant to 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 provisions of the "Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999" in connection with this act.

 

     15.  (New section)     A member of the public who supplies information to an enforcing authority which proximately results in the imposition and collection of a civil penalty as the result of a civil action brought pursuant to subsection e. of section 14 of this act, or any rule or regulation adopted, administrative order issued, or assessment imposed pursuant thereto, shall be entitled to a reward of 10% of the civil penalty collected, or $250, whichever amount is greater.  The reward shall be paid by the department from any money received by the department pursuant to section 14 of this act.  The Attorney General shall adopt, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), rules and regulations necessary to implement this section.

     16.  (New section)     All fees and penalties collected pursuant to this act shall be placed in a special dedicated fund to be known as  the "Puppy and Kitten Health Assurance Fund," which shall be separate from the General Fund of the State.  All moneys in the "Puppy and Kitten Health Assurance Fund" shall be used by the commissioner exclusively for the control of animal populations, and the administration, enforcement and implementation of this act, and shall be allocated in the following manner:

     (1) 50 percent to the "Animal Population Control Fund," established pursuant to P.L.1983, c.172 (C.4:19A-5); and

     (2) 50 percent to the Department of Health for the purposes of administering, enforcing and implementing this act.

 

     17.  Section 1 of P.L.1983, c.172 (C.4:19-15.3b) is amended to read as follows:

     1.    a. In addition to the fee charged pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1941, c.151  (C.4:19-15.3) and forwarded to the Department of Health and Senior Services pursuant to section 11  of P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.11), any person applying for the license and  registration tag pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.2) shall  pay a fee of [$3.00] $10 for any dog of reproductive age which has not had its reproductive capacity permanently altered through sterilization.

     b.    [All  fees] From each $10 fee collected pursuant to the provisions of subsection a. of this section, $3 shall be deposited in the “Good Breeders Accountability Fund,” established pursuant to section 12 of P.L.    , c.     (C.    ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), and $7 of the fee and all of the fees collected pursuant to section 5 of [this amendatory and supplementary act] P.L.1983, c.172 (C.4:19A-4) shall be forwarded to the State Treasurer, for deposit in the  "Animal Population Control Fund" created pursuant to section 7 of [this act] P.L.1983, c.172 (C.4:19A-5).

(cf:  P.L.1983, c. 172, s. 1)

 

     18.  Section 1 of P.L.1983, c.181 (C:4:19-15.3c) is amended to read as follows:

     1.    a.  In addition to the fee charged pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.3) and forwarded to the Department of Health pursuant to section 11 of P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.11), any person applying for the license and registration tag pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.2) shall pay an additional fee of [$0.20] $3 for any dog, $2 of which shall be deposited in the “Good Breeders Accountability Fund,” established pursuant to section 12 of P.L.    , c.     (C.    ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

     b.    Any municipality that requires cats to be licensed and charges a fee therefor, shall charge an additional $3 per cat license and any additional amount necessary to cover the administrative expense of establishing, collecting and forwarding the additional fee established pursuant to this section.  The proceeds from collection of the additional $3 fee shall be forwarded to the Department of Health and Senior Services and deposited in the “Good Breeders Accountability Fund,” established pursuant to section 12 of P.L.    , c.     (C.    ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), for the exclusive purpose of funding the operation and maintenance of the website and database established pursuant to section 11 of P.L.  , c.       (C.     ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

(cf:  P.L.1983, c.181, s.1)

 

     19.  Section 3 of P.L.1983, c.525 (C.4:19-15.16a) is amended to read as follows:

     3.    a. The Commissioner of Health and Senior Services shall, within 120 days after the effective date of P.L.1983, c.525, and pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), adopt rules and regulations concerning the training and educational qualifications for the certification of animal control officers, including, but not limited to, a course of study approved by the commissioner and the Police Training Commission, in consultation with the New Jersey Certified Animal Control Officers Association, which acquaints a person with:

     (1)   The law as it affects animal control, animal welfare, and animal cruelty;

     (2)   Animal behavior and the handling of stray or diseased animals;

     (3)   Community safety a it relates to animal control; and

     (4)   The law enforcement methods and techniques required for an animal control officer to properly exercise the authority to investigate and sign complaints and arrest without warrant pursuant to section 8 of P.L.1997, c.247 (C.4:19-15.16c), including, but not limited to, those methods and techniques which relate to search, seizure and arrest.  The training in law enforcement methods and techniques described pursuant to this paragraph shall be part of the course of study for an animal control officer only when required by the governing body of a municipality pursuant to section 4 of P.L.1983, c.525 (C.4:19-15.16b).

     Any person 18 years of age or older may satisfy the courses of study established pursuant to this subsection at that person's own time and expense; however, nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing a person to exercise the powers and duties of an animal control officer absent municipal appointment or authorization pursuant to section 4 of P.L.1983, c.525 (C.4:19-15.16b).

     b. (1) The commissioner shall provide for the issuance of a certificate to a person who possesses, or acquires, the training and education required to qualify as a certified animal control officer pursuant to paragraphs (1) through (3) of subsection a. of this section and to a person 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.  The commissioner shall not issue a certificate to any person convicted of, or found civilly liable for, a violation of any provision of chapter 22 of Title 4 of the Revised Statutes.

     (2)   The commissioner shall revoke the certificate of any person convicted of, or found civilly liable for, a violation of any provision of chapter 22 of Title 4 of the Revised Statutes, and shall place the name of the person on the list established pursuant to subsection c. of this section.

     c.     (1) The commissioner shall establish a list of all persons issued a certificate pursuant to subsection b. of this section (a) for whom that certificate has been revoked, or (b) who have been convicted of, or found civilly liable for, a violation of any provision of chapter 22 of Title 4 of the Revised Statutes.  [The] Until establishment of the website and database pursuant to section 11 of  P.L.   , c.   (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), the commissioner shall provide each municipality in the State with a copy of this list within 30 days after the list is established and not less often than annually thereafter if no revised list required pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection has been issued in the interim.  Within 30 days after establishment of the website and database pursuant to section 11 of  P.L.   , c.   (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), the commissioner shall notify each municipality in the State of the website and database, how they may be accessed, and how updates of the list required pursuant to this section may be found on the website and database.

     (2)   Upon receipt of a notice required pursuant to section 3 or 4 of P.L.2003, c.67 (C.4:22-57 or C.2B:12-17.1) involving a person who has been issued a certificate pursuant to subsection b. of this section, the commissioner shall add to the list required pursuant to this section the name of the person convicted of, or found civilly liable for, a violation of any provision of chapter 22 of Title 4 of the Revised Statutes according to the notice, and, until establishment of the website and database pursuant to section 11 of  P.L.   , c.   (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), the commissioner shall issue a copy of the revised list to each municipality within 30 days after receipt of any such notice. After establishment of the website and database pursuant to section 11 of  P.L.   , c.   (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) and provision of the notice required pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection, the commissioner need not issue a copy of the revised list to each municipality after each revision of the list.

(cf:  P.L.2003, c.67, s.1)

     20.  Section 18 of P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.18) is amended to read as follows:

     18.  No person shall hinder, [molest] harass or interfere with anyone authorized or empowered to perform any duty under [this act] P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.1 et seq.) and P.L.1999, c.336 (C.56:8-92 et al.) .

(cf: P.L.1941, c.151, s.18)

 

     21.  Section 1 of P.L.1986, c.89 (C.4:22-50.1) is amended to read as follows:

     1.    When the license of a shelter or pound is revoked or suspended, pursuant to subsection f. of section 8 of P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.8), or the owner or operator of an animal pound or shelter is arrested pursuant to the provisions of article 2 of chapter 22 of Title 4 of the Revised Statutes by an agent of the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or any other person authorized to make the arrest under that article, or when the warrant is issued for the arrest, the municipality revoking or suspending the license or the person making the arrest or any other officer or agent of the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals may petition the Chancery Division of Superior Court to remove the owner or operator as custodian of the animals and appoint a receiver to operate the pound or shelter.  The petitioner shall serve a copy of the petition on the Department of Health and Senior Services, the local board of health, and the owner or operator.

(cf: P.L.1986, c.89, s.1)

 

     22.  Section 3 of P.L.2003, c.67 (C.4:22-57) is amended to read as follows:

     3.    a. For the purposes of establishing the list of persons not eligible to be certified animal control officers as required pursuant to subsections b. and c. of section 3 of P.L.1983, c.525 (C.4:19-15.16a) and establishing, updating and maintaining the website and database pursuant to section 11 of P.L.     , c.        (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), notice shall be provided, within 90 days after the effective date of this section, to the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services of any person 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, by any court or other official administrative entity maintaining records of such violations adjudged on or before the effective date of this section.

     b.    For the purposes of maintaining the list of persons not eligible to be certified animal control officers as established pursuant to subsections b. and c. of section 3 of P.L.1983, c.525 (C.4:19-15.16a) and establishing, updating and maintaining the website and database required pursuant to section 11 of P.L.     , c.        (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), the court or other official adjudging the guilt or liability for a violation of any provision of chapter 22 of Title 4 of the Revised Statutes, shall charge the prosecutor, officer of the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or the county society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or other appropriate person, other than a certified animal control officer, with the responsibility to notify within 30 days the commissioner, in writing, of the full name of the person found guilty of, or liable for, an applicable violation, and the violation for which or of which that person was found guilty or liable, and the person charged with the responsibility shall provide such notice.

(cf:  P.L.2005, c.372, s.21)

 

     23.  Section 2 of P.L.1999, c.336 (C.56:8-93) is amended to read as follows:

     2.    [As used in sections 1 through 5 of this act] For the purposes of P.L.1999, c.336 (C.56:8-92 et al.):

     "Animal" means a cat or dog[;].

     "Consumer" means a person purchasing a cat or dog[;].

     "Director" means the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety[;].

     "Division" means the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety[;].

     “Kennel” means a kennel as defined pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.1), but, for the purposes of P.L.1999, c.336 (C.56:8-92 et al.), shall include only kennels that sell cats or dogs, or breed them for sale.       

     "Pet dealer" means any [person engaged in the ordinary course of business in the sale of cats or dogs to the public for profit or any person who sells or offers for sale more than five cats or dogs in one year] pet dealer and out-of-State pet dealer, as defined in section 1 of P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.1) and licensed pursuant to section 28 of P.L.    , c.   (C.     ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).  "Pet dealer" shall include a pet shop or a kennel.

     "Pet shop" means a pet shop as defined in section 1 of P.L.1941, c.151  (C.4:19-15.1)[;].

     "Quarantine" means to hold in segregation from the general population any cat or dog because of the presence or suspected presence of a contagious or infectious disease[;].

     "Unfit for purchase" means any disease, deformity, injury, physical condition, illness or defect which is congenital or hereditary and severely affects the health of the animal, or which was manifest, capable of diagnosis or likely contracted on or before the sale and delivery of the animal to the consumer.  The death of an animal within 14 days of its delivery to the consumer, except by death by accident or as a result of injuries sustained during that period, shall mean the animal was unfit for purchase[; and].

     "Veterinarian" means a veterinarian licensed to practice in the State of New Jersey.

(cf: P.L.1999, c.336, s.2)

 

     24.  Section 3 of P.L.1999, c.336 (C.56:8-94) is amended to read as follows:

     3.    No provision of this act shall be construed in any way to alter, diminish, replace, or revoke the requirements for pet dealers that are not pet shops or kennels, or the rights of a consumer purchasing an animal from a pet dealer that is not a pet shop or kennel , as may be provided elsewhere in law or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto.  Except as provided in section 4 and section 5 of P.L.1999, c.336 (C.56:8-95 and C.56:8-96), any provision of law pertaining to pet shops or kennels , or rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, shall continue to apply to pet shops or kennels, as appropriate . No provision of [this act] P.L.1999, c.336 (C.56:8-92 et al.) or P.L.    , c.   (C.     ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall be construed in any way to alter, diminish, replace, or revoke any recourse or remedy that is otherwise available to a consumer purchasing a cat or a dog from a pet dealer, pet shop, or kennel under any other law.

(cf: P.L.1999, c.336, s.3)

 

     25.  Section 4 of P.L.1999, c.336 (C.56:8-95) is amended to read as follows:

     4.    a.  Notwithstanding the provisions of any rule or regulation adopted pursuant to Title 56 of the Revised Statutes as such provisions are applied to pet shops, kennels, and pet dealers, and without limiting the prosecution of any other practices which may be unlawful pursuant to Title 56 of the Revised Statutes, it shall be a deceptive practice for any owner or operator of a pet shop or kennel, or a pet dealer, or employee thereof, to sell animals within the State without complying with the provisions and requirements of this section.

     b.    Within five days prior to the offering for sale of any animal, the owner or operator of a pet shop or kennel, or the pet dealer, or employee thereof, shall have the animal examined by a veterinarian licensed to practice in the State.  The name and address of the examining veterinarian, together with the findings made and treatment, if any, ordered as a result of the examination, shall be noted on the animal history and health certificate for each animal as required by regulations adopted pursuant to Title 56 of the Revised Statutes. If [fourteen] 14 days have passed since the last veterinarian examination of the animal, the owner or operator of the pet shop or kennel, or the pet dealer, or employee thereof, shall have the animal reexamined by a veterinarian licensed to practice in the State as provided for in subsection g. of this section, except as otherwise provided in that subsection.

     c.     Each cage in a pet shop, kennel, or pet dealer premises shall have a label identifying the sex and breed of each animal kept in the cage, the date and place of birth of each animal, and the name and address of the veterinarian attending to the animal and the date of the initial examination of the animal.  Any cage, or other primary enclosure for an animal, shall be cleaned and sanitized in accordance with any rules or regulations adopted pursuant to section 14 of P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.14).

     d.    The owner or operator of a pet shop or kennel, or the pet dealer, or employee thereof, shall quarantine any animal diagnosed as suffering from a contagious or infectious disease, illness, or condition and may not sell such an animal until such time as a veterinarian licensed to practice in the State treats the animal and determines that such animal is free of clinical signs of infectious disease or that the animal is fit for sale.  All animals required to be quarantined pursuant to this subsection shall be placed in a quarantine area, separated from the general animal population of the pet shop, kennel, or pet dealer premises.

     e.     The owner or operator of a pet shop or kennel, or the pet dealer, or designated employee thereof, may inoculate and vaccinate animals prior to purchase only upon the order of a veterinarian.  No owner or operator of a pet shop or kennel, or pet dealer, or employee thereof, may represent, directly or indirectly, that the owner or operator of the pet shop or kennel, or the pet dealer, or any employee thereof, other than a veterinarian, is qualified to, directly or indirectly, diagnose, [prognose] give a prognosis, treat, or administer for, prescribe any treatment for, operate concerning, manipulate or apply any apparatus or appliance for addressing, any disease, pain, deformity, defect, injury, wound or physical condition of any animal after purchase of the animal, for the prevention of, or to test for, the presence of any disease, pain, deformity, defect, injury, wound or physical condition in an animal after its purchase.  These prohibitions include, but are not limited to, the giving of inoculations or vaccinations after purchase, the diagnosing, prescribing and dispensing of medication to animals and the prescribing of any diet or dietary supplement as treatment for any disease, pain, deformity, defect, injury, wound or physical condition.

     f.     The Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety shall provide each owner or operator of a pet shop or kennel, and each pet dealer with notification forms, to be signed by the owner or operator of the pet shop or kennel, or a pet dealer, or employee thereof, and the consumer at the time of purchase of an animal.  The notification form shall provide the following:

     (1)   The full text of the rights and responsibilities provided for in subsection h. of this section;

     (2)   The full text and description of the recourse to which the consumer is entitled pursuant to subsection i. of this section;

     (3)   The statement that it is the responsibility of the consumer to obtain such certification within the required amount of time provided by subsection h. of this section;

     (4)   The full text of the rights and responsibilities of the owner or operator of the pet shop or kennel, or the pet dealer, and the employees thereof, and the consumer provided in subsection l. of this section; and

     (5)   The notification, reporting and enforcement provisions provided in section 5 of P.L.1999, c.336 (C.56:8-96), including the name and address of the local health authority with jurisdiction over the pet shop, kennel, or the pet dealer.

     The owner or operator of the pet shop or kennel, or the pet dealer, or an employee thereof, shall obtain the signature of the consumer on the form and shall also sign the form at the time of purchase of an animal, and shall provide the consumer with a signed copy of the form and retain a copy of the form on the pet shop, kennel, or pet dealer premises.  Copies of all such notices shall be readily available for inspection by an authorized representative of the Division of Consumer Affairs, upon request.  No [pet shop] owner or operator of a pet shop or kennel, or pet dealer, or employee thereof, may construe or use the signed notification form required pursuant to this subsection as an abdication of the right to recourse provided for in subsection i., or as a selection of recourse pursuant to subsection k. of this section.

     g.     The owner or operator of a pet shop or kennel, or the pet dealer, or an employee thereof, shall have any animal that has been examined more than 14 days prior to the date of purchase, reexamined by a veterinarian for the purpose of disclosing its condition, within 72 hours of the delivery of the animal to the consumer, unless the consumer has waived the right to the reexamination in writing. The owner or operator of a pet shop or kennel, or the pet dealer, or an employee thereof, shall provide a copy of the written waiver to the consumer prior to the signing of any contact or agreement to purchase the animal and the written waiver shall be in the form established by the director by regulation.

     h.     If at any time within 14 days after the sale and delivery of an animal to a consumer, the animal becomes sick or dies and a veterinarian certifies, within the 14 days after the date of purchase of the animal by the consumer, that the animal is unfit for purchase due to a non-congenital cause or condition, or that the animal died from causes other than an accident, the consumer is entitled to the recourse described in subsection i. of this section.

     If the animal becomes sick or dies within 180 days after the date of purchase and a veterinarian certifies, within the 180 days after the date of purchase of the animal by the consumer, that the animal is unfit for sale due to a congenital or hereditary cause or condition, or a sickness brought on by a congenital or hereditary cause or condition, or died from such a cause or condition or sickness, the consumer shall be entitled to the recourse provided in subsection i. of this section.  If the animal is sold as a pedigree and congenital or genetic defects are discovered, and the defects are certified by a licensed veterinarian within 26 months after the sale, the consumer shall be entitled to the recourse provided in subsection i. of this section.

     It shall be the responsibility of the consumer to obtain such certification within the required amount of time provided by this subsection, unless the owner or operator of the pet shop or kennel, or a pet dealer, or the employee thereof selling the animal to the consumer, fails to provide the notice required pursuant to subsection f. of this section.  If the owner or operator of the pet shop or kennel, or a pet dealer, or the employee thereof, fails to provide the required notice, the consumer shall be entitled to the recourse provided for in subsection i. of this section.

     i.      [Only] The consumer shall have the sole authority to determine the recourse the consumer wishes to select and accept, provided that the recourse selected is one of the following:

     (1)   The right to return the animal and receive a full refund of the purchase price, including sales tax, plus the reimbursement of the veterinary fees, including the cost of the veterinarian certification, incurred prior to the receipt by the consumer of the veterinarian certification;

     (2)   The right to retain the animal and to receive reimbursement for veterinary fees incurred prior to the consumer's receipt of the veterinarian certification, plus the future cost of veterinary fees to be incurred in curing or attempting to cure the animal, including the cost of the veterinarian certification;

     (3)   The right to return the animal and to receive in exchange an animal of the consumer's choice, of equivalent value, plus reimbursement of veterinary fees, including the cost of the veterinarian certification, incurred prior to the consumer's receipt of the veterinarian certification; or

     (4)   In the event of the death of the animal from causes other than an accident, the right to a full refund of the purchase price of the animal, including sales tax, or another animal of the consumer's choice of equivalent value, plus reimbursement of veterinary fees, including the cost of the veterinarian certification, incurred prior to the death of the animal.

     The consumer shall be entitled to be reimbursed an amount for veterinary fees up to and including two times the purchase price, including sales tax, of the sick or dead animal.  No reimbursement of veterinary fees shall exceed two times the purchase price, including sales tax, of the sick or dead animal.

     j.     The veterinarian shall provide to the consumer in writing and within the seven days after the consumer consults with the veterinarian any certification that is appropriate pursuant to this section upon the determination that such certification is appropriate.  The certification shall include:

     (1)   The name of the owner;

     (2)   The date or dates of examination;

     (3)   The breed, color, sex and age of the animal;

     (4)   A statement of the findings of the veterinarian;

     (5)   A statement that the veterinarian certifies the animal to be "unfit for purchase";

     (6)   An itemized statement of veterinary fees incurred as of the date of certification;

     (7)   If the animal may be curable, an estimate of the possible cost to cure, or attempt to cure, the animal;

     (8)   If the animal has died, a statement establishing the probable cause of death; [and]

     (9)   The name and address of the certifying veterinarian and the date of the certification ; and

     (10) Any additional information required pursuant to section 10 of P.L.    , c.   (C       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) .

     k.    Upon the presentation of the veterinarian certification required in subsection j. of this section to the pet shop, kennel, or pet dealer, the consumer shall select the recourse to be provided and the owner or operator of the pet shop or kennel, or the pet dealer, or the employee thereof, shall confirm the selection of recourse in writing.  The confirmation of the selection shall be signed by the owner or operator of the pet shop or kennel, or the pet dealer, or an employee thereof, and the consumer and a copy of the signed confirmation shall be given to the consumer and retained by the owner or operator of the pet shop or kennel, or the pet dealer, or employee thereof, on the pet shop, kennel, or pet dealer premises. The confirmation of the selection shall be in the form established by the director by regulation.

     l.      The owner or operator of the pet shop or kennel, or the pet dealer, or an employee thereof, shall comply with the selection of recourse by the consumer no later than 10 days after the receipt of the veterinarian certification and the signed confirmation of selection of recourse form.  In the event the owner or operator of the pet shop or kennel, or the pet dealer, or an employee thereof, wishes to contest the selection of recourse of the consumer, the owner or operator of the pet shop or kennel, or the pet dealer, or an employee thereof, shall notify the consumer and the director in writing within the five days after the receipt of the veterinarian certification and the signed confirmation of selection of recourse form.  After notification to the consumer and the director of the division, the owner or operator of the pet shop or kennel, or the pet dealer, or an employee thereof, may require the consumer to produce the animal for examination by a veterinarian chosen by the owner or operator of the pet shop or kennel, or the pet dealer, or employee thereof, at a mutually convenient time and place, except if the animal has died and was required to be cremated for public health reasons.  The director shall set, upon receipt of such notice of contest on the part of the owner or operator of the pet shop or kennel, or the pet dealer, or an employee thereof, a hearing date and hold a hearing, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.) and the Uniform Administrative Procedure Rules adopted pursuant thereto, to determine whether the recourse selected by the consumer should be allowed.  The consumer and the owner or operator of the pet shop or kennel, or employee thereof, shall be entitled to any appeal of the decision resulting from the hearing as may be provided for under the law, or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, but upon the exhaustion of such remedies and recourse, the consumer and the owner or operator of the pet shop or kennel, or the pet dealer shall comply with the final decision rendered.

     m.    Any owner or operator of a pet shop or kennel, or any pet dealer, or employee thereof, shall be guilty of a deceptive practice if the owner or operator, or employee thereof, secures or attempts to secure a waiver of any of the provisions of this section except as specifically authorized under subsection g. of this section.

     n.     The owner of a pet shop or kennel, or the pet dealer shall be responsible and liable for any recourse or reimbursement due to a consumer because of violations of any provisions of this section by the owner or operator of the pet shop or kennel, or the pet dealer, or any employee thereof, or because of any document signed pursuant to this section by the owner or operator of the pet shop or kennel, or the pet dealer, or any employee thereof.

(cf: P.L.1999, c.336, s.4)

 

     26.  Section 5 of P.L.1999, c.336 (C.56:8-96) is amended to read as follows:

     5.    a.   Any consumer who purchases from a pet shop, kennel, or pet dealer an animal that becomes sick or dies after the date of purchase may take the sick or dead animal to a veterinarian within the period of time required pursuant to the notification form provided upon the date of purchase, receive certification from the veterinarian of the health and condition of the animal, and pursue the recourse provided for under the circumstances indicated by the veterinarian certification, as required and provided for pursuant to section 4 of P.L.1999, c.336 (C.56:8-95).

     b.    Upon receipt of the certification from the veterinarian, the consumer may report the sickness or death of the animal and the pet shop, kennel, or pet dealer where the animal was purchased to the local health authority with jurisdiction over the municipality in which the pet shop, kennel, or pet dealer where the animal was purchased is located, and to the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety.  The consumer shall provide a copy of the veterinarian certificate with any such report.  The director shall forward to the appropriate local health authority a copy of any such report the division receives.  The local health authority shall record and retain the records of any such report and documentation submitted by a consumer.

     c.     By the May 1 immediately following the effective date of [this act] P.L.1999, c.336 (C.56:8-92 et al.) , and annually thereafter, the local health authority with jurisdiction over pet shops and kennels shall review any files it has concerning reports filed pursuant to subsection b. of this section and shall recommend to the municipality in which the pet shop or kennel is located the revocation of the license of any pet shop or kennel with reports filed as follows:

     (1)   15% of the total number of animals sold in a year by the pet shop or kennel were certified by a veterinarian to be unfit for purchase due to congenital or hereditary cause or condition, or a sickness brought on by a congenital or hereditary cause or condition;

     (2)   25% of the total number of animals sold in a year by the pet shop or kennel were certified by a veterinarian to be unfit for purchase due to a non-congenital cause or condition;

     (3)   10% of the total number of animals sold in a year by the pet shop or kennel died and were certified by a veterinarian to have died from a non-congenital cause or condition; or

     (4)   5% of the total number of animals sold in a year by the pet shop or kennel died and were certified by a veterinarian to have died from a congenital or hereditary cause or condition, or a sickness brought on by a congenital or hereditary cause or condition.

     A local health authority with jurisdiction over pet shops and kennels may recommend to the municipality in which the pet shop or kennel is located the revocation of the license of any pet shop or kennel based on criteria established pursuant to this section and section 37 of P.L.    , c.   (C.     ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

     d.    By the May 1 immediately following the effective date of [this act] P.L.1999, c.336 , and annually thereafter, the local health authority with jurisdiction over pet shops and kennels shall review any files it has concerning reports filed pursuant to subsection b. of this section and shall recommend to the municipality in which the pet shop or kennel is located a 90-day suspension of the license of any pet shop or kennel with reports filed as follows:

     (1)   10% of the total number of animals sold in a year by the pet shop or kennel were certified by a veterinarian to be unfit for purchase due to congenital or hereditary cause or condition, or a sickness brought on by a congenital or hereditary cause or condition;

     (2)   15% of the total number of animals sold in a year by the pet shop or kennel were certified by a veterinarian to be unfit for purchase due to a non-congenital cause or condition;

     (3)   5% of the total number of animals sold in a year by the pet shop or kennel died and were certified by a veterinarian to have died from a non-congenital cause or condition; or

     (4)   3% of the total number of animals sold in a year by the pet shop or kennel died and were certified by a veterinarian to have died from a congenital or hereditary cause or condition, or a sickness brought on by a congenital or hereditary cause or condition.

     e.     Pursuant to the authority and requirements provided in section 8 of P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.8), the owner of the pet shop or kennel shall be afforded a hearing and, upon the recommendation by the local health authority pursuant to subsection c. or d. of this section, the local health authority, in consultation with the [State] Department of Health and Senior Services, shall set a date for the hearing to be held by the local health authority or the [State] Department of Health and Senior Services and shall notify the pet shop involved.  The municipality may suspend or revoke the license, or part thereof, that authorizes the pet shop or kennel to sell cats or dogs after such hearing has been held and as provided in section 8 of P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.8).  At the hearing, the local health authority [or], the [State] Department of Health and Senior Services, or the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety, whichever entity is holding the hearing, shall receive testimony from the pet shop or kennel and shall determine if the pet shop or kennel : (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 or kennel knew, or reasonably should have known, to be unfit for purchase, (3) was convicted of, or found civilly liable for, violating any State animal cruelty law or regulation, or convicted of, or found civilly liable for, substantially similar conduct pursuant to an animal cruelty law of another state, or (4) met the criteria for license revocation or suspension established pursuant to section 37 of P.L.    , c.   (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

     f.     No provision of subsection c. shall be construed to restrict the local health authority or the [State] Department of Health and Senior Services from holding a hearing concerning any pet shop or kennel in the State irrespective of the criteria for recommendation of license suspension or revocation named in subsection c. or d., or from recommending to a municipality the suspension or revocation of the license of a pet shop or kennel within its jurisdiction for other violations under other sections of law, or rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto.

     g.     No action taken by the local health authority or municipality pursuant to this section or section 8 of P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.8) shall be construed to limit or replace any action, hearing or review of complaints concerning the pet shop or kennel by the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety to enforce consumer fraud laws or other protections to which the consumer is entitled.

     h.     The requirements of this section shall be posted in a prominent place in each pet shop and kennel in the State along with the name, address and telephone number of the local health authority that has jurisdiction over the pet shop or kennel , and this information shall be provided in writing at the time of purchase to each consumer and to each licensed veterinarian contracted for services by the pet shop or kennel upon contracting the veterinarian.

     i.      The Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs may investigate and pursue enforcement against any pet shop or kennel reported by a consumer pursuant to subsection b. of this section.

(cf: P.L.1999, c.336, s.5)

 

     27.  Section 7 of P.L.1999, c.336 (C.56:8-97) is amended to read as follows:

     7.    The [Director of the] Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety, in consultation with the Canine and Feline Health Board, established pursuant to section 13 of P.L.    , c.   (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), and 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 [as the director deems] necessary for the implementation of this act and any provision of P.L.    , c.   (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) .

(cf: P.L.1999, c.336, s.7)

 

     28.  (New section)   a.   Any pet dealer operating in the State shall apply to the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety, for a license to operate as a pet dealer in this State.

     No person convicted of or found civilly liable for violating any State animal cruelty law or regulation, or convicted of or found civilly liable for substantially similar conduct pursuant to an animal cruelty law of another state, may apply for a license or a renewal of a license to operate in this State as a pet dealer.

     The application shall describe the premises where the pet dealer is located or is proposed to be located, and the purpose or purposes for which it is to be maintained, and shall be accompanied by the written approval of a local municipal or health authority, showing compliance with the federal, State, or local rules and regulations governing sanitation.  An out-of-State pet dealer shall provide documentation of compliance with the requirements in its respective state or local authority.  The division may charge a reasonable fee to cover the administrative costs of the pet dealer license.

     b.    All pet dealer licenses shall expire on the last day of June of each year, and be subject to suspension or revocation by the division for failure to comply with this section, P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.1 et seq.), P.L.1999, c.336 (C.56:8-92 et al.), or the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto.

     c.     A pet dealer license shall not be transferable to another person or to a different premises.

     d.    The license for a pet dealer shall be subject to review by the Division of Consumer Affairs, upon recommendation by the Department of Health and Senior Services, a municipality, or a local health authority, for failure by the pet dealer to comply with the rules and regulations of the division, a municipality, or local health authority, or because the pet dealer meets the criteria for recommended suspension or revocation provided pursuant to section 37 of P.L.    , c.   (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) and section 8 of P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.8), as applicable, after the pet dealer has been afforded a hearing pursuant to this section.

     The division, when applying the criteria 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 dealer: (1) failed to maintain proper hygiene and exercise reasonable care in safeguarding the health of animals in its custody, (2) sold a substantial number of animals that the pet dealer knew, or reasonably should have known, to be unfit for purchase, or (3) was convicted of violating any State animal cruelty law or regulation, or convicted of substantially similar conduct pursuant to an animal cruelty law of another state.

     e.     The division shall provide written notice of a pet dealer license revocation, suspension or denial to the person whose license is revoked, suspended or denied. The notice shall set forth the general factual and legal basis for the action and shall advise the affected person that within 10 days of receipt of the notice the person may file with the division a written request for an administrative hearing. The hearing before the division shall be conducted in accordance with the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.).  Written notice of revocation, suspension or denial shall be served by personal service or by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the person whose license is revoked, suspended or denied or to a responsible employee of that person. Revocation, suspension, or denial shall be effective upon the expiration of a 10-day period for requesting an administrative hearing, unless a timely request for a hearing has been filed with the division.

     f.     A licensed pet dealer shall submit to the division annually and no later than May 1 of each year records of the total number of  cats or dogs sold by the dealer each year.

     g.     A licensed pet dealer who applies for renewal of a license and is found to have violated any provision of P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.1 et seq.) or P.L.1999, c.336 (C.56:8-92 et al.) may be denied a license renewal by the division.

 

     29.  (New section) a. Any person who falsely attests to compliance with any item attested to in the signed document required pursuant to subsection a. of section 30 or in a license application submitted pursuant to section 28 of this act is in violation of this act.

     b.    The department shall deny registration to, or revoke the registration of, any breeder doing business in the State as a pet dealer or any pet dealer who is found in violation of this act, or who has been found guilty of:

     (1) Cruelty to animals in the State or another jurisdiction; or

     (2) Any animal protection law in any state concerning the proper breeding, care, housing, raising or treatment of animals.

     c.     Any breeder who sells or offers for sale a cat or dog without  valid registration is in violation of this act.  Any pet dealer who knowingly purchases a cat or dog from a breeder who is without valid registration is in violation of this act.

 

     30.  (New section)     No pet dealer may purchase any cats or dogs from any person who is not a registered breeder named on the list compiled and published by the Department of Health and Senior Services pursuant to subsection e. of section 9 of this act, except if that person has documentation that each of the cats or dogs being sold were bred by a registered breeder named on the list compiled and published by the department pursuant to subsection e. of section 9 of this act, or if the person signs a notarized affidavit attesting to the fact that the individual is not a breeder or a pet dealer regulated by this act.

 

     31.  (New section)   a.  No cat or dog may be sold in the State by a kennel, pet shop, or other retail establishment that sells cat or dogs unless the name, address and phone number of the person who provided the cat or dog to the kennel, pet shop, or other retail establishment that sells cats or dogs is provided at the time of sale to the person purchasing the cat or dog.  If the cat or dog was raised by the kennel, pet shop or other retail establishment, the name, address and phone number of the owner of the kennel, pet shop, or other retail establishment shall be provided to the person purchasing the cat or dog.  No provision of this subsection shall be construed to apply to a shelter, pound or other nonprofit organization that provides cats or dogs to individuals, regardless of any fee or charge that may be applied by the shelter, pound or nonprofit organization at the time that the cat or dog is provided to an individual.

     b.    Any person violating the provisions of subsection a. of this section shall be subject to a fine of $500 for each violation, to be collected by the division 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.).

 

     32.  (New section)   A pet shop, kennel, or pet dealer shall have a bill of sale or record for each animal purchased.  A bill of sale or record which is fraudulent or indicates the theft of an animal may be used as evidence for license revocation by a municipality or by the Division of Consumer Affairs, pursuant to section 37 of P.L.    , c.   (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), and a pet shop, kennel, or pet dealer may be required to pay to the division a reasonable administrative penalty, as established by the division.

     A bill of sale or record shall include the current and valid license number of the pet shop, kennel, or pet dealer that sold, exchanged, bartered, gave away, or transferred the animal and any other information required by the division.  The bill of sale or record shall be kept for at least two years.

 

     33.  a.  The information required pursuant to subsection c. of this section shall be available in writing to any person who requests it.  Every pet dealer shall post in a conspicuous location a sign stating:  “UPON REQUEST, YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO A COPY OF THE HEALTH HISTORY AND BREEDER INFORMATION FOR ANY ANIMAL OFFERED FOR SALE IN THIS ESTABLISHMENT, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER YOU ARE BUYING THE ANIMAL.”

     b.    The information required pursuant to paragraphs (1) through (8) of subsection c. of this section shall be provided in a single document created pursuant to this subsection as the health certificate of the animal.  This health certificate shall remain with the animal for the duration of its life and shall be updated annually by the licensed veterinarian caring for the animal.

     c.     Every pet dealer shall provide the purchaser of each cat or cat or dog sold by the pet dealer at the time of sale a written statement, in a standardized form prescribed by the Department of Health and Senior Services, containing the following information:

     (1) The name and street address of the person from whom the cat or dog was obtained and, if the person is a dealer licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture, the person's federal dealer identification number;

     (2) The breeder's and pet dealer's name, street address, if different from the information required in paragraph (1) of this subsection, and, if licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture, the breeder's and pet dealer's federal dealer identification number;

     (3) The date of birth of the cat or dog, the cat’s or dog’s age, or an approximation provided by a licensed veterinarian;

     (4)   The cat’s or dog’s origin, including contact information for the breeder of the cat or dog, that the cat or dog did not originate within an area under quarantine for rabies, and, as ascertained by the veterinarian, that the cat or dog has not been exposed to rabies within 100 days of importation;

     (5)   A record of the immunizations administered to the cat or dog as of the time of sale, including the dates of administration and the

type of vaccine, and for a dog,  the rabies tag number;

     (6)   the cat’s or dog’s health, including whether the cat or dog shows no signs or symptoms of infectious or communicable disease;

     (7) If purebred or registerable with a cat or dog registry, the sire's and the dam's registration, if any, from the registry organization;

     (8) A record of any veterinarian treatment or medication received by a cat or dog while in the possession of  a pet dealer to treat any disease, illness, or condition that required hospitalization or a surgical procedure, and one of the following –

     (a)  A statement that the cat or dog has no known disease, illness, or condition that requires hospitalization, a surgical procedure or ongoing treatment at the time of sale, dated and signed by  a licensed veterinarian no more than 14 days prior to the sale, that also authorizes the sale of the cat or dog; or

     (b) A record of any known disease, illness, or condition that requires hospitalization, surgical procedures or ongoing treatment with which the cat or dog is afflicted at the time of sale, and a statement, dated and signed by  a licensed veterinarian no more than 14 days prior to the sale, that recommends a course of treatment, authorizes the sale of the cat or dog afflicted with the disease, illness or condition, and states that the recommended course of treatment is necessary for the good health and survival of the cat or dog being sold; and

     (9) confirmation that the pet dealer or owner or operator of the kennel or pet shop has not been convicted of, or found civilly liable for, any State animal cruelty law or regulation, or convicted of, or found civilly liable for, substantially similar conduct pursuant to an animal cruelty law of another state.

     The statement dated and signed by a licensed veterinarian required pursuant to this section shall not be required to address the presence of external parasites unless their presence makes the cat or dog ill to the point of requiring hospitalization or a surgical procedure, or is likely to make the cat or dog ill to the point or requiring hospitalization or a surgical procedure within the foreseeable future if left untreated.  The statement shall include confirmation from the licensed veterinarian that the veterinarian has checked the cat or dog and its feces for internal parasites and has found none, or if internal parasites are found, the statement shall report the type of internal parasite and the recommended treatment, and shall confirm that  hospitalization or a surgical procedure is not likely to be required as a result of the presence of the internal parasites if the recommended treatment is followed.

     The statement dated and signed by a licensed veterinarian required pursuant to this section is invalid if the cat or dog is not purchased within 14 days following the date of the statement.  Any cat or dog subject to the provisions of this section may not be sold without a valid veterinarian statement as required pursuant to this subsection.  Any disclosure made pursuant to this section shall be signed by both the pet dealer certifying the accuracy of the statement, and the purchaser of the cat or dog acknowledging receipt of the statement.

     d.    Any pet dealer selling a cat or dog to another pet dealer shall provide the purchasing pet dealer with the documentation and information required in subsection b. of this section.  The purchasing pet dealer shall retain the documentation and information and shall update it during the period of time that the purchasing pet dealer is in possession of the cat or dog.

     e.     All information required to be disclosed pursuant to this section may be made orally to a person inquiring about the cat or dog, but shall be provided in writing upon request regardless of whether the cat or dog is being purchased at the time of the request.

     f.     Any pet dealer that fails to provide or misrepresents any documentation or information required pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall be guilty of fraud and violation of this act, and shall be subject to the penalties provided pursuant to sections 37 through 41 of P.L.    , c.   (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) and P.L.1960, c.39 (C.56:8-1 et seq.) as well as any other penalties applicable under State or federal law.

 

     34.  (New section)   a.   Each cat or dog transported into this State for sale by a kennel, pet shop, or pet dealer shall have the health certificate required pursuant to section 33 of P.L.    , c.   (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), except that an out-of-State dealer may have a certificate prepared by a veterinarian licensed in the out-of-State dealer’s state.  All other health certificates shall be prepared by a State licensed veterinarian.  The health certificate, or a copy thereof, shall accompany the animal while in this State.

     b.    A copy of the health certificate shall be retained by the pet dealer, kennel, or pet shop for 14 days after the sale or transfer of an animal.

     c.     A pet dealer, kennel, or pet shop that sells cats or dogs or breeds them for sale shall have a bill of sale or record for each cat or dog purchased, pursuant to section 32 of P.L.    , c.   (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), which shall be kept by the pet dealer, kennel, or pet shop for at least two years.

 

     35.  (New section) a.  Except as otherwise provided for in section 25 of this act, no pet dealer shall knowingly sell a cat or dog which is diseased, ill, or has a condition that requires hospitalization or a surgical procedure.  Every pet dealer shall comply with, and every purchaser of a pet shall be entitled to the protections provided under, P.L.1960, c.39 (C.56:8-1 et seq.) and any rules or regulations adopted pursuant thereto concerning the sale of animals.

     b.    No pet dealer shall keep a cat or dog in a pet shop for more than eight consecutive weeks.  Every pet dealer shall establish procedures and methods for the return of cats or dogs for any reason that shall include the humane transfer of cats or dogs to a pound, shelter or other municipal animal control facility.  Any cat or dog that has not been sold after eight consecutive weeks in the pet shop shall be delivered in a humane  manner and at no cost to  the pound, shelter, or other municipal animal control facility with which the municipality in which the pet shop is located has contracted for the holding of animals.

 

     36.  (New section) a.  Every pet dealer shall post conspicuously on the cage of each cat or dog offered for sale a notice indicating the name, license number, and address of the breeder of the cat or dog in the cage.

     b.    Every pet dealer shall post conspicuously within close proximity to the cage of a cat or a dog offered for sale, a notice containing the following language in 100-point type:

     "Information on the source of this cat or dog and the veterinary treatments it has received is available for review upon request."

    

     37.  (New section) a.     In addition to the provisions of section 8 of P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.8), section 5 of P.L.1999, c.336 (C.56:8-96), and section 24 of P.L.    , c.   (C      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), a municipality may revoke, suspend, or deny to issue a pet shop or kennel license, and the division may revoke, suspend, or deny to issue a pet dealer license, for any one or more of the following reasons:

     (1) the person holding or applying for a license is convicted of, or found civilly liable for, violating any State animal cruelty law or regulation, or convicted of, or found civilly liable for, substantially similar conduct pursuant to an animal cruelty law of another state;

     (2) the person holding or applying for a license has made a material misstatement or misrepresentation in the license application, or has made a material misstatement or misrepresentation to the municipality, department, division, or any personnel regarding a matter relevant to the license;

     (3)   the person holding or applying for a license has failed to comply with P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.1 et seq.) or P.L.1999, c.336 (C.56:8-92 et al.), or any regulation adopted pursuant thereto;

     (4)   the person holding or applying for a license has been convicted of any crime;

     (5)   the person holding or applying for a license has, within the last 10 years, entered into an agreement with the Office of the Attorney General or the Division of Consumer Affairs, in the Department of Law and Public Safety, which requires the person to cease and desist from operating a kennel, pet shop, shelter, or pound, or owning, selling or caring for cats or dogs, or both;

     (6)   the location of the kennel or pet shop, for which the license is sought, is subject to a final, binding order, which is not subject to a pending legal challenge, declaring the kennel or pet shop is not a permitted use under the applicable zoning ordinance;

     (7)   the person holding or applying for a license has had a kennel, pet shop, shelter, pound, or pet dealer license revoked, suspended or denied within the past 10 years; or

     (8) the person holding or applying for a license is in business with a person who does or will play a role in the ownership of the pet shop or kennel, or caring for the cats or dogs, and such other person would be denied a license if that person applied. A “role” shall include ownership of a financial interest in the operation of, caring for the dogs at, or participation in the management of the pet shop or kennel.

     b.    In determining whether to revoke, suspend, or deny a pet shop, kennel, or pet dealer license for a misstatement as set forth under paragraphs (1) or (2) of subsection a. of this section, the municipality or division, as applicable, shall consider the gravity of the misstatement. In determining whether to revoke, suspend, or deny an existing pet shop, kennel, or pet dealer license for a failure to comply with a provision of P.L.1941, c.151, P.L.1999, c.336, or any rules or regulations adopted pursuant thereto, the municipality or division, as applicable, shall consider the following factors:

     (1)   the gravity of the violation;

     (2)   the number of current or past violations;

     (3)   the potential effect of the violation on the health or welfare of a dog;

     (4)   whether the pet shop, kennel, or pet dealer has been warned previously to correct the violation;

     (5)   whether the violation resulted in a criminal conviction or civil liability; and

     (6)   the length of time that has elapsed between violations.

 

     38.  (New section)   a.   Upon revocation or denial of a license by a municipality or the division, as applicable, pursuant to section 8 of P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.8), section 5 of P.L.1999, c.336 (C.56:8-96), or sections 28 or 37 of P.L.    , c.   (C.     ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), respectively, a pet shop, kennel, or pet dealer shall:

     (1)   immediately cease and desist from operating a pet shop or kennel or operating as a pet dealer in this State, including boarding, buying, exchanging, selling, offering for sale, giving away or in any way transferring cats or dogs;

     (2)   acquire no additional cats or dogs nor increase the number of cats or dogs in the pet shop or kennel, by any means, including breeding, except if the acquisition or increase is by birth of offspring from a mother which, at the time of revocation or denial, was: (a) on the property; (b) pregnant; and (c) owned by the pet shop, kennel, or pet dealer;

     (3)   notify the division prior to the euthanization of any cat or dog, except as provided in subsection c. of this section;

     (4)   permit an authorized representative of the municipality or the division, as applicable, to inspect a pet shop or kennel without a warrant in order to determine compliance with a municipal order, any relevant court order and any provision of P.L.1941, c.151 or P.L.1999, c.336; and

     (5)   divest itself of any cats or dogs numbering more than 25, unless directed otherwise by the municipality, division, or court order, within a reasonable time period as determined by the municipality or division, but not to exceed 10 days, pursuant to subsection b. of this section.

     b.    The notice of revocation or denial, from the municipality or the division, as applicable, shall set forth the manner by which the pet shop or kennel owner may divest of the cats or dogs, as required pursuant to paragraph (5) of subsection a. of this section. If there are more cats or dogs on the premises than permitted in the municipal or court order after the expiration of the time period set forth in the order, the pet shop or kennel may select the cats or dogs to be kept, up to the number allowed under this subsection. The cats or dogs not selected shall be forfeited to the entity set forth in the municipal or court order, or to an entity approved by the municipality or the division, as appropriate, without compensation to the owner.

     c.     No cat or dog may be euthanized unless it is determined by a licensed veterinarian that the euthanasia will prevent the cat or dog from suffering caused by a medical condition. If a veterinarian determines a cat or dog should be euthanized, a copy of the veterinarian's findings, signed by the veterinarian, shall be provided to the division.  If, in an emergency situation, it is deemed by the licensed veterinarian that immediate euthanasia is necessary to relieve the suffering of the cat or dog, the cat or dog may be euthanized immediately following that determination.  Following euthanasia in an emergency situation, a copy of the veterinarian's findings shall be signed by the licensed veterinarian and provided to the division.

     39.  (New section)   a.  A person whose license is denied or revoked under section 8 or P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.8) or sections 28 or 37 of P.L.    , c.   (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), and who timely files a request for an administrative hearing, pursuant to section 8 of P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.8) or section 28 of P.L.    , c.   (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), and would continue to require a license under P.L.    , c.   (C.     ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), pending the exhaustion of all appeals, shall:

     (1)   be considered to be operating under suspension;

     (2)   receive notice from the municipality or division of the license being suspended; and

     (3)   during the duration of all appeals, and thereafter if the municipal or division action is upheld, be subject to the requirements set forth in paragraphs (2) through (5) of subsection a., and subsections b. through c. of section 38 of P.L.    , c.  (C.     ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill). 

     b.    Within 10 days after the exhaustion of an administrative appeal under subsection a. of this section, in which the municipal or division action is upheld, the pet shop or kennel shall reduce the number of cats or dogs as required pursuant to paragraph (5) of subsection a., and subsection b. of section 38 of P.L.    , c.   (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

 

     40.  (New section)  a.    After service of an order or during the duration of an appeal and administrative hearing pursuant to sections 28, 37, 38, or 39 of P.L.    , c.  (C.     ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), a municipality may order the seizure of any cat or dog from a pet shop or kennel, or the division may order the seizure of any cat or dog from a pet dealer, if it is determined by the municipality or the division, based on the conditions found at the pet shop or kennel, or at the pet dealer’s primary place of business, as applicable, that there are reasonable grounds to believe the cat’s or dog’s health, safety or welfare is endangered because of neglect; lack of care; deprivation of necessary sustenance, water, shelter or veterinary care; lack of access to clean and sanitary shelter which will protect the cat or dog against inclement weather and preserve the cat’s or dog’s body heat and keep it dry; or other conditions which a licensed veterinarian determines are a serious health risk to the cat or dog. The seizure may occur immediately upon notice, whether personal or otherwise, and shall be followed by service of the order.

     b.    The order of seizure, issued pursuant to subsection a. of this section, shall set forth the general factual and legal basis for the action taken and shall advise the pet shop, kennel, or pet dealer that, within 10 days of receipt, the owner or dealer may file with the municipality or division, as appropriate, a written request for an administrative hearing subject to bonding requirements of subsections e. and f. of this section. The order shall be served by personal service or by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the pet shop, kennel owner, or pet dealer affected, or to a responsible employee of such owner or dealer. The municipal or division order, as appropriate, shall become final upon the expiration of the 10-day period for requesting an administrative hearing, unless a timely request for a hearing has been filed with the municipality or division.

     c.     A written request for a hearing must be filed by the affected pet shop or kennel owner with the municipality, or by the affected pet dealer with the division, within 10 days of receipt of the order of seizure or such order shall become final. The request for a hearing shall set forth the factual and legal grounds upon which the request is based. A hearing on the matter may be held in accordance with the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), if applicable. The issue on appeal shall be limited to whether the municipal or division order was justified under this subsection.

     d.    If the order from the municipality or division, as appropriate, has become final or after the exhaustion of any appeals, in cases where the action of the municipality or division, as applicable, is upheld, the cats or dogs seized under the order shall be forfeited to the entity set forth in the order or to an entity approved by the municipality or division, as appropriate, without compensation to the kennel or pet shop owner or pet dealer.

     e.     If cats or dogs are seized from a kennel, pet shop, or pet dealer under this section and an administrative appeal is filed, within 10 days of filing the appeal, the owner of the licensed or unlicensed kennel or pet shop or the licensed or unlicensed pet dealer shall either: (1) post a surety bond in the amount determined by the division applying the criteria set forth in subsection c. of this section; or (2) deposit a sum of money not to exceed 10% of the amount of the surety bond determined by the division applying the criteria set forth in subsection f. of this section.

     f.     (1)  The amount of the surety bond shall be based on the number of cats or dogs seized and shall be equal to the estimated cost of transportation and 30 days of care and feeding resulting from the removal and impoundment.

     (2)   Any surety bond posted pursuant to this section on behalf of a pet dealer shall be payable to the Division of Consumer Affairs, in the Department of Law and Public Safety.  Any surety bond posted pursuant to this section on behalf of a pet shop or kennel shall be payable to the Department of Health and Senior Services.  The division or department, as applicable, shall remit such funds to the entity holding the cats or dogs.

     (3)   Any deposit made pursuant to this section shall be held by the Division of Consumer Affairs or Department of Health and Senior Services, as appropriate, until after the appeal. If, after the appeal, the cats or dogs are not placed under the care of the kennel or pet shop owner or pet dealer from which they were seized, the division or department, as applicable, shall be entitled to keep the deposit and collect from the owner the remainder of the amount determined by the division or the department applying the criteria set forth in paragraph (1) of this subsection.

     (4)   If, after appeal, the cats or dogs are placed under the care of the owner from which they were seized, the division shall reimburse the owner for the deposit or the reasonable costs of the bond incurred under this subsection.

     (5)   The division or department, as applicable, shall guarantee payment of any difference in the amount paid to the holding entity and the amount owed. The division or department, as appropriate, may refer the matter to the Attorney General who may initiate an action in the appropriate court to recover the amount paid under this section.

     g.     No cat or dog removed under this section may be:

     (1)   sold or given freely, or conveyed in any manner, for the purpose of vivisection, auction or research;

     (2)   conveyed to a pet dealer;

     (3)   sold to pay the costs of its transportation, care and feeding under this section before the issuance of a final order and the exhaustion of all appeals; or

     (4)   spayed or neutered before the issuance of a final order and the exhaustion of all appeals.

 

     41.  (New section)   In addition to any other penalties allowed under P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.1 et seq.), failure to take action or to meet the conditions imposed under sections 24 through 28 of P.L.    , c.   (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) may result in imposition by the Division of Consumer Affairs, in the Department of Law and Public Safety, or the Department of Health and Senior Services, of an administrative penalty of not less than $100 nor more than $500 per day for each violation. Each cat or dog in excess of the number of cats or dogs permitted under sections 26 and 27 of P.L.    , c.   (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall count as a separate violation.

 

     42.  This act shall take effect on the 180th day after the date of enactment, but the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services may take such anticipatory administrative action in advance thereof, as shall be necessary for the implementation of the act.

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill, entitled the “Healthy Puppies and Kittens Assurance Act,” establishes a State registry of breeders and in-State and out-of-State pet dealers, and requirements for providing information on the health and breeding history of a cat or dog being sold, including the creation of a health certificate to be updated annually and to remain with the animal throughout its life.

     This bill prohibits certain breeding practices, limits the selling of cats or dogs as pets to 25 animals per year per breeder, and establishes numerous requirements for proper trade in animals. "Breeder"  is defined in the bill as any person who owns or operates a breeding facility and sells more than five cats or dogs per year, regardless of whether or not the person holds a valid breeder license issued by the United States Department of Agriculture.

     This bill also expands and revises the “Pet Purchase Protection Act” to extend consumer protections under that act to purchasers of cats and dogs for pets. It amends the “Pet Purchase Protection Act” to make it consistent with the provisions of this bill, and authorizes the Department of Health and Senior Services and the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety to adopt regulations necessary to implement the act.

     Under current law, pet shops, kennels, shelters, and pounds are licensed by municipalities, but other sellers of cats or dogs are not licensed.  The bill establishes a pet dealer license to be issued by the Division of Consumer Affairs, without changing the current licensing of pet shops, kennels, shelters, and pounds by municipalities or the Department of Health and Senior Services.  A person convicted of an animal cruelty violation is not prohibited from operating a licensed pet shop, kennel, shelter, or pound.  This bill would prohibit anyone convicted of, or found civilly liable for, an animal cruelty violation from obtaining or renewing the newly established pet dealer license, or a license for a pet shop, kennel, shelter or pound.

     The bill also establishes a Canine and Feline Health Board as an advisory body to the Department of Health and Senior Services and the Division of Consumer Affairs to establish standards for care and housing of cats and dogs. The Canine and Feline Health Board would be composed of seven members: the State Veterinarian, or the veterinarian’s designee; the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, or the commissioner’s designee; the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety, or the director’s designee; the President of the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association, or the president’s designee; and three members of the public who are members of a recognized organization that advocates for and participates in the care and welfare of dogs and cats or are licensed at or as a kennel, pet dealer, or pet shop in this State, to be appointed by the Governor for four-year terms.

     Currently, many diseased or abused dogs sold in the State as pets come from breeding facilities nicknamed "puppy mills," and there is evidence that similar mills to breed cats exist as well.  Puppy mills are mass breeding dog farms which engage in widespread abuse of the dogs they breed.  Because many of these operations are located outside the State and may not have valid United States Department of Agriculture breeder licenses, it is difficult to discern which breeders are puppy mill operations and to detect abuse and its effects at the time of sale of the cat or dog.  Therefore, the bill broadly defines breeder, restricts the number of animals to be sold by a breeder in the State, and requires disclosure of essential information about a cat's or dog's origins and health at the time of sale.

     It is the sponsor's intent that, by requiring registration of breeders, providing the retail purchaser with information about the cats and dogs, and imposing heavy penalties on violators, individuals and pet shops would be encouraged to purchase cats or dogs from reputable breeders, thus eliminating the market for cats or dogs from mass breeding establishments with poor and unhealthy conditions.