This Borough of Stone Harbor feral cat ordinance sets up a Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR) program outside of the area between 111th Street and the southern end of the Borough, as well as outside of the entire Bird Sanctuary and Stone Harbor Point areas. Under this ordinance, any feral cats found within the area between 111th Street and the southern end of the Borough, the Bird Sanctuary, or the Stone Point area must be captured and transported to the County Animal Shelter for handling in accordance with the interlocal agreement between the Borough and the county applicable to such animals. Caregivers, who are uncompensated volunteers, serve to facilitate the TNR program and their duties, as well as potential penalties for not complying with their duties, are indicated within this ordinance.
§ 147-24 Purpose
§ 147-25 Definitions
§ 147-26 Funding
§ 147-27 Registration of feral cat colonies; role of Animal Coordinator
§ 147-28 Ear Tipping
§ 147-29 Enforcement; responsibilities of caregiver
§ 147-30 Restrictions on location of cat colonies
§ 147-31 Adoption of rules and regulations
§ 147-32 Sunset Provision
The Borough of Stone Harbor, like many communities throughout the State of New Jersey and the United States, has an obligation to effectively and humanely control feral cat populations within its borders. The volunteers of the Borough's Special Feral Cat Committee has spent many months investigating methods of carrying out this obligation and has recommended that the Borough institute a Trap, Neuter and Return Program (TNR) in an effort to reduce the feral cat population over time without the necessity of wholesale capture and euthanization. The Borough recognizes that this approach must be balanced against the Borough's obligations in connection with a portion of the Borough being an identified nesting area for certain endangered or threatened avian species. That portion of the Borough consists of a dynamic area of beach at Stone Harbor Point south of the 122nd Street parking lot and the adjacent area of bayberry and dune. The Borough has also dedicated 21 acres between 111th and 117th Streets as an internationally recognized Bird Sanctuary. In keeping with those obligations, the Borough has crafted this article to provide for the reduction of certain feral cat colonies through TNR while requiring the removal of other colonies in an effort to protect avian populations. The Borough also has incorporated a "sunset provision" in order that the TNR Program may be properly evaluated and reassessed after an appropriate period of time.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER
The person appointed annually by the Borough Council, either directly or by interlocal services agreement, to handle the animal control needs of the Borough of Stone Harbor.
The person appointed annually by the Mayor with the advice and consent of Council, to maintain records of feral cats, to recommend caregivers and to do such duties specified in § 147-27 or as added by § 147-31.
A volunteer, uncompensated person who agrees to serve to facilitate the TNR program within the Borough in accordance with this article and any rules and regulations that may be established by Borough Council. A caregiver shall not be deemed an employee of the Borough and shall hold such volunteer position at the pleasure of Borough Council and may be removed from or precluded from holding such volunteer position in the sole discretion of Borough Council.
The marking of a cat's ear through a surgical procedure performed by qualified personnel.
Any cat that is not licensed in accordance with Borough ordinances and is free roaming as part of an identifiable colony of such cats, which may consist of several cats or a single cat.
The Borough may establish a fund or provide services to offset the costs of trapping, neutering, and vaccinating captured feral cats that can be returned to an appropriate, controlled, protected and registered colony site. Caregivers for such colonies, whether one or several animals, may be aided by the Borough in providing traps for the capture of the cat, transportation to a spay/neuter facility and offsetting costs, to the extent that funding is available.
Each feral cat colony will be registered by the caregivers with the Borough's Animal Coordinator, who will serve as a clearinghouse for information on current caregivers, education for new caregivers, and assistance for persons found in violation of this article.
Ear tipping will be used on feral cats in order to be identified as a spayed or neutered and vaccinated member of a managed colony.
Any person or caregiver determined to be in violation of Subsections A through D below shall be issued a written warning and be allowed a period of time in the discretion of the Animal Control Officer, but not longer than 90 days, to come into compliance, or provide satisfactory evidence of working to achieve compliance. Failure to comply shall result in a violation of this article, which may result in the issuance of a citation. Caregivers of feral cat colonies shall implement proper management and sterilization practices, as well as seek the assistance of the Animal Control Officer and/or Animal Coordinator as follows:
A. Sterilize (spay/neuter) all adult cats that can be captured.
B. Vaccinate, as required by law, all cats that can be captured against rabies, preferably with a three-year vaccine; and any other infectious disease as mandated by law.
C. Make every attempt to remove kittens from the colony before eight weeks of age for domestication and placement.
D. Make every attempt to remove sick or injured cats from the colony for immediate veterinarian care or humane euthanasia.
E. Assure responsibility and arrangements for feeding the cat colony regularly throughout the year, including weekends, holidays and vaccinations of the feral cat caregiver. Feeding on caregiver's property of feral cats managed by such caregiver shall not constitute a violation of the prohibition of § 147-20.
F. Make every attempt to ear tip all cats with a single cut preferably on the left ear and arrange for the implantation of an identification microchip for each cat in the colony. If this is not practicable under the circumstances, photographic documentations adequate to identify the cat shall be obtained.
G. Maintain proof of sterilization, vaccination, ear tipping and implantation of microchip and medical records for all cats. These records must be provided to the Animal Coordinator upon request.
H. Register the feral cat colony with the Animal Coordinator for the Borough of Stone Harbor.
I. Execute all documents required by the Borough which may be established by this article or by resolution of the Borough Council.
No feral cat colony shall be permitted to be established in the area between 111th Street and the southern end of the Borough, to include the entire Bird Sanctuary and Stone Harbor Point area. In these areas the Animal Control Officer shall effectuate the capture of all feral cats and transport same to the County Animal Shelter for handling in accordance with the interlocal agreement between the Borough and the county applicable to such animals.
The Borough Council shall have the authority to adopt further rules and regulations applicable to the TNR Program to the extent that the same are consistent with and do not modify the provisions of this article.
Sections 147-26 through 147-29 shall expire at 12:00 midnight on December 31, 2008, unless an appropriate amendment to this article is adopted by the Borough Council prior to such time and date. If those sections are allowed to so expire, then the Animal Control Officer shall handle all feral cats in any area of the Borough by capture and transport of same to the County Animal Shelter for handling in accordance with the interlocal agreement between the Borough and the county applicable to such animals.