SENATE, No. 2952

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

213th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 18, 2009

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator THOMAS H. KEAN, JR.

District 21 (Essex, Morris, Somerset and Union)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     The “Dog Ownership Guarantee Act.”

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning dog purchases, and amending and supplementing P.L.1941, c.151 and P.L.1999, c.336.

 

     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 “Dog Ownership Guarantee Act.”

 

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

     1.    "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.

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

     “Dog dealer” means any person, including out-of-State dealers, 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" [shall mean] means any dog which has attained the age of seven months or which possesses a set of permanent teeth.

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

     “Out-of-State dealer” means any 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 keeping.

     "Pet shop" [shall mean] means any place of business which is not part of a kennel, wherein animals, including, but not limited to, dogs, cats, birds, fish, reptiles, rabbits, hamsters or gerbils, are kept or displayed chiefly for the purpose of sale to individuals for personal appreciation and companionship rather than for business or research purposes.

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

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

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

 

     3.    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 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 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 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 section 5 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 refusal to the person whose license is revoked, suspended or refused. 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 refusal shall be served by personal service or by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the person whose license is revoked, suspended or refused or to a responsible employee of that person. Revocation or refusal 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)

 

     4.    (New section)   a.   A dog dealer operating in this State, including an out-of-State dealer, shall apply to the Division of Consumer Affairs, in the Department of Law and Public Safety, for a license to operate as a dog 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 dog dealer.

     The application shall describe the premises where the dog dealer 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 a local municipal or health authority, showing compliance with the federal, State, or local rules and regulations governing sanitation.  Out-of-State dealers shall provide documentation of compliance with the requirements in their respective state or local authority.  The division may charge a reasonable fee to cover the administrative costs of the dog dealer license.

     b.    All dog 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 dog dealer license shall not be transferable to another person or to a different premises.         

     d.    The license for a dog 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 dog dealer to comply with the rules and regulations of the division, a municipality, or local health authority, or because the dog dealer meets the criteria for recommended suspension or revocation provided under section 5 of P.L.    , c.   (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), after the dog dealer has been afforded a hearing pursuant to this section.

     The division, 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 dog 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 dog 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 dog dealer license revocation, suspension or refusal to the person whose license is revoked, suspended or refused. 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 refusal shall be served by personal service or by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the person whose license is revoked, suspended or refused or to a responsible employee of that person. Revocation or refusal 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 dog dealer shall submit to the division annually and no later than May 1 of each year records of the total number of  dogs sold by the dealer each year.

     g.     A licensed dog 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.

 

     5.    (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 4 of P.L.    , c.   (C      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), a municipality may revoke or refuse to issue a pet shop or kennel license, and the division may revoke or refuse to issue a dog 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;

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

     (4)   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.);

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

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

     (7)   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 dogs, or both;

     (8)   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;

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

     (10) the person holding or applying for a license has a person who does or will play a role in the ownership of the pet shop or kennel, or caring for the dogs, and such other person would be refused a license if that person had been the applicant. 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 or refuse a pet shop, kennel, or dog 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 or refuse an existing pet shop, kennel, or dog 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 dog 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.

 

     6.    (New section)   a.   Upon revocation or refusal 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 4 or 5 of P.L.    , c.   (C.     ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), respectively, a pet shop, kennel, or dog dealer shall:

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

     (2)   acquire no additional dogs nor increase the number of 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 refusal, was: (a) on the property; (b) pregnant; and (c) owned by the pet shop, kennel, or dog dealer;

     (3)   notify the division prior to the euthanization of any 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 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 refusal, 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 dogs, as required pursuant to paragraph (5) of subsection a. of this section. If there are more 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 dogs to be kept, up to the number allowed under this subsection. The 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 without compensation to the owner.

     c.     No dog may be euthanized unless it is determined by a licensed veterinarian that the euthanasia will prevent the dog from suffering caused by a medical condition. If a veterinarian determines a 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 dog, the 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.

 

     7.    (New section)   a.   A person whose license is refused, revoked or suspended under section 8 or P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.8) or sections 4 or 5 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 4 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 d. of section 6 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 kennel or pet shop shall reduce the number of dogs as required pursuant to paragraph (5) of subsection a., and subsection b. of section 6 of P.L.    , c.   (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

 

     8.    (New section)   a.   After service of an order or during the duration of an appeal and administrative hearing pursuant to section 4, 5, 6, or 7 of P.L.    , c.  (C.     ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), a municipality may order the seizure of any dog from a pet shop or kennel, or the division may order the seizure of any dog from a dog dealer, if determined, based on the conditions found at the pet shop or kennel, or at the dog dealer’s primary place of business, as applicable, that there are reasonable grounds to believe the 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 dog against inclement weather and preserve the dog’s body heat and keep it dry; or other conditions which a licensed veterinarian determines are a serious health risk to the 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 dog 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 or kennel owner or dog 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 dog 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 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 dog dealer.

     e.     If dogs are seized from a kennel, pet shop, or dog 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 dog 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 dogs seized and shall be equal to the estimated cost of transportation, care and feeding, pursuant to removal and impoundment, for a period of 31 days.

     (2)   Any surety bond posted pursuant to this section on behalf of a dog 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 dogs.

     (3)   Any deposit 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 dogs are not placed under the care of the kennel or pet shop owner or dog 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 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 under paragraph (1) of this subsection. 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 paragraph.

     g.     No 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 dog 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.

 

     9.    (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 4 through 8 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 dog in excess of the number of dogs permitted under sections 6 and 7 of P.L.    , c.   (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall count as a separate violation.

 

     10.  (New section)   a.   A dog transported into this State for sale by a kennel, pet shop, or dog dealer that is not an out-of-State dealer shall have a certificate of health prepared by a State licensed veterinarian, and the certificate, or a copy thereof, shall accompany the animal while in this State.  

     A dog transported into this State by an out-of-State dealer shall be accompanied by a certificate of health, and the certificate may be prepared by a veterinarian licensed in the out-of-State dealer’s state.  The certificate, or a copy thereof, shall accompany the dog while in this State. 

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

     b.    The certificate of health shall include the following information:

     (1)   the dog’s age;

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

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

     (4)   the dog’s rabies vaccination, including the date of administration, the vaccine manufacturer, and the rabies tag number; and

     (5)   confirmation that the dog 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.

     c.     A dog dealer, kennel, or pet shop that sells dogs or breeds them for sale shall have a bill of sale or record for each dog purchased, pursuant to section 21 of P.L.    , c.   (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), which shall be kept by the dog dealer, kennel, or pet shop for at least two years.

 

     11.  (New section)   a.  An animal housed by a pet shop or kennel shall be provided with adequate food that is clean and free of contaminants.

     b.    A pet shop or kennel shall establish an appropriate plan to provide dogs with the opportunity to exercise.  The exercise plan shall be approved by a veterinarian and shall be within the exercise guidelines, established pursuant to section 14 of P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.14), by the Department of Health and Senior Services in consultation with the Canine Health Board.

     c.     A pet shop or kennel shall be equipped with a smoke alarm and shall have proper equipment for fire suppression, including a fire extinguisher and sprinkler system. 

     d.    A pet shop or kennel shall house an animal in a facility with sufficient heating or cooling and sufficient ventilation.

     e.     The premises of, and surrounding, a pet shop or kennel shall be kept clean and in good repair, and the pet shop or kennel shall establish an insect control program.

 

     12.  (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” mean 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.

 

     13.  (New section) a.     There is established in the Department of Health and Senior Services the Canine Health Board.  The purpose of the board shall be to determine the standards of care for dogs kept by kennels, pet shops, and pet dealers, based on recognized, sound animal husbandry and breeding practices, and to review and make recommendations 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 Health Board shall be composed of veterinarians with expertise in small animal medicine and in the caring for and treating of canines, 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, who shall serve ex officio;

     (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 dogs or are licensed at or as a kennel, dog dealer, 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.  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 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 State Department of Health and Senior Services shall consult with the Canine Health Board, established pursuant to section 13 of P.L.    , c.   (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), within six months after the approval of P.L.    , c.   (C.     ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), to (1) modify any rules and regulations concerning cages or other primary enclosures to ensure the clean, sanitary, and safe care of dogs, and (2) establish a general exercise guideline or plan for dogs, to be followed by kennels and pet shops.

(cf: P.L.1941,  c.151, s.14)

 

     15.  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.) or P.L.1999, c.336 (C.56:8-92 et al.) .

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

 

     16.  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)

 

     17.  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] 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 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 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 , in one year, sells or offers for sale more than five cats or dogs [in one year] or more than one litter of dogs, and includes a “dog dealer” as defined in section 1 of P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.1) and licensed pursuant to section 4 of P.L.    , c.   (C.     ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) ;

     "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)

 

     18.  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 shop or kennel under any other law.

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

 

     19.  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 and kennels , 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 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 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 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 or kennel 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 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.

     e.     The owner or operator of a pet shop or kennel , 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 employee thereof, may represent, directly or indirectly, that the owner or operator of the pet shop or kennel , or any employee thereof, other than a veterinarian, is qualified to, directly or indirectly, diagnose, prognose, 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 with notification forms, to be signed by the owner or operator of the pet shop or kennel , 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 , 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 or kennel .

     The owner or operator of the pet shop or kennel , 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 or kennel 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 or kennel owner or operator, 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 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 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.

     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 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 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 or kennel , the consumer shall select the recourse to be provided and the owner or operator of the pet shop or kennel , 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 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 employee thereof, on the pet shop or kennel 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 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 an employee thereof, wishes to contest the selection of recourse of the consumer, the owner or operator of the pet shop or kennel , 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 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 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 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 shall comply with the final decision rendered.

     m.    Any owner or operator of a pet shop or kennel , 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 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 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 any employee thereof.

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

 

     20.  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 or kennel 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 or kennel where the animal was purchased to the local health authority with jurisdiction over the municipality in which the pet shop or kennel 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 pursuant to section 5 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 pursuant to section 5 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)

 

     21.  (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 5 of P.L.    , c.   (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), and a pet shop, kennel, or pet dealer may pay 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.

 

     22.  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 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)

 

     23.  This act shall take effect on the 120th day after the date of enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill, to be known and cited as the “Dog Ownership Guarantee Act” or DOG Act, would protect potential pet owners and pets by expanding and revising requirements under current State law.

     Under current law, pet shops, kennels, shelters, and pounds are licensed by municipalities, but other sellers of dogs are not licensed.  The bill establishes a dog dealer license to be issued by the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety, without changing the current licensing of pet shops, kennels, shelters, and pounds by municipalities or the Department of Health and Senior Services regulations of these entities.  A dog dealer is defined in the bill as any person engaged in the ordinary course of business in the sale of dogs to the public for profit or any person who sells or offers for sale more than one litter of dogs in one year, including out-of-State dealers, and who does not operate as a  kennel, pet shop, shelter, or pound.

     Under current law, 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 dog dealer license, or a license for a pet shop, kennel, shelter or pound.  This bill would also authorize a municipality to suspend or revoke the license of a pet shop, kennel, shelter, or pound, or the Division of Consumer Affairs to suspend or revoke a dog dealer license, including out-of-State dealers licenses, for any animal cruelty violation, and under certain other circumstances specified in the bill.  Under the bill, a person whose license is revoked, suspended, or refused may file a request for an administrative appeal and an administrative hearing.  A municipality or the division could order the seizure of a dog if the well-being of the dog is at risk under the supervision of a pet shop, kennel, shelter, pound, or dog dealer.

     Under this bill, the current requirements relating to the sanitation of an animal’s cage or primary enclosure would be expanded.  All pet shops and kennels would be required to have proper fire suppression equipment and sufficient heating, cooling, and ventilation, establish an appropriate exercise plan for dogs, and provide all animals with adequate food free of contaminants.  This bill also requires an authorized representative from the Department of Health and Senior Services to inspect a pet shop or kennel twice a year.

     The bill further provides that a dog transported into this State, for sale by a dog dealer, kennel, or pet shop, would be required to have a certificate of health prepared by a veterinarian licensed in this State.  A dog transported into this State by an out-of-State dealer would also be accompanied by a certificate of health prepared by a licensed veterinarian in the out-of-State dealer’s state.  A certificate of health, or a copy, would be retained by the dog dealer, kennel, or pet shop for 14 days after the sale or transfer of a dog, and the certificate or copy would also accompany the dog while in this State.  The certificate would include information on the dog’s (1) age, (2) health, including that the dog shows no signs or symptoms of infectious or communicable disease, (3) origin, including contact information of the breeder of the dog, that the dog did not originate within an area under quarantine for rabies, and, as ascertained by the veterinarian, that the dog has not been exposed to rabies within 100 days of importation, and (4) rabies vaccination, including the date of administration, the vaccine manufacturer, and the rabies tag number.  The certificate would also include confirmation that the dog dealer, kennel, or pet shop has not been convicted of or found civilly liable for violating any animal cruelty law in this State, or convicted of substantially similar conduct pursuant to an animal cruelty law of another state.

     Additionally, every dog dealer, pet dealer, kennel, and pet shop would be required to have a bill of sale or record for each animal purchased.  A bill of sale or record would include the current and valid license number of the dog dealer, pet dealer, kennel, out-of-State dealer, or pet shop that sold, exchanged, bartered, gave away, or transferred the animal and any other information required by the division, and the bill of sale or record would be kept for no less than two years.

     The bill also establishes the Canine Health Board, in the Department of Health and Senior Services, to determine the standards of care for dogs kept by kennels, pet shops, and pet dealers, based on recognized sound animal husbandry and breeding practices, and to review and make recommendations on rules and regulations adopted pursuant to animal purchasing laws, including P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.1 et seq.), the “Pet Purchase Protection Act,” P.L.1999, c.336 (C.56:8-92 et al.), and this bill.  The Canine Health Board would be composed of seven members: the State Veterinarian, or the veterinarian’s designee, who shall serve ex officio; 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 or are licensed at or as a kennel, dog dealer, pet dealer, or pet shop in this State, to be appointed by the Governor for four-year terms.

     Finally, the bill 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 to adopt regulations necessary to implement the act and this bill.