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  • NJ A772
  • Establishes process for recovering cost of caring for domestic companion animals involved in animal cruelty violations.*
Introduced
(1/27/2016)
In Committee
(6/29/2017)
Crossed Over
(6/29/2017)
PassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill provides for the cost of care for certain animals involved in animal cruelty violations, and establishes a procedure, when the owner is the alleged violator, for the owner of the animal to pay for the cost of care of the animal. Specifically, the bill requires: 1) the custodial animal care agency at which the animal is impounded to issue, no later than seven days after the animal has been impounded, a custodial care notice with the information required in subsection a. of section 1 of the bill, including an itemized accounting of the actual costs of caring for the animal during the first seven days of impoundment, and the projected reasonable costs of caring for the animal for each 30-day period the animal may be impounded after the first seven days; and 2) the defendant to pay the amounts set forth in the notice, within 15 business days after receipt thereof, or to request a court hearing, within 10 business days after receipt of the custodial care notice, to contest the reasonableness of the amounts itemized therein. Every 20 days after the defendant's receipt of the initial notice, the custodial animal care agency would be required to issue an additional custodial care notice in the same manner required for the initial custodial care notice, in order to provide the defendant with notice of the projected reasonable costs of caring for the animal for the next 30-day period. The defendant would be required to pay the projected costs within 10 business days after receipt of any such supplemental notice. The bill prohibits any impounded animal from being sold, euthanized, offered for adoption, or otherwise disposed of by the custodial animal care agency if the defendant pays for the requisite care expenses, or if a court hearing contesting these expenses is pending, except when a licensed veterinarian determines that the animal is experiencing severe pain and is beyond any reasonable hope 2 of recovery. In such a case, the bill allows for the immediate euthanizing of the animal. The bill provides that the defendant would be liable, until the animal is euthanized, for any reasonable costs associated with the animal's care, and that, if the animal is euthanized, the defendant would also be liable for all costs associated with the disposal of the animal. When an animal is reclaimed by a defendant who has complied with the cost of care requirements pursuant to the bill, the custodial animal care agency would be required to reimburse any amount paid by the defendant which remains unexpended. The bill directs the court to establish any unpaid care expenses as a lien on the animal, and it prohibits the return of the animal to the defendant until the lien is paid. The bill further provides that costs of care would continue to accrue until the defendant pays the lien in full and removes the animal from the custodial animal care agency. Pursuant to the bill's provisions, an impounded animal would be deemed abandoned, and the custodial animal care agency would assume ownership of the animal, by operation of law, on the 16th business day after the defendant's receipt of a custodial care notice, if: 1) the custodial animal care agency has proof of service showing that the custodial care notice was served on the defendant named therein; 2) the defendant named in the custodial care notice has failed to request a hearing to contest the amounts specified in the notice within the time allotted for such a request, or a court has determined, following a hearing, that the amounts specified in the notice are reasonable; and 3) the defendant has failed to pay any of the costs that are identified in the custodial care notice, or that have otherwise been established by the court, within the timeframes established for payment thereof. Upon assumption of ownership of the animal, the custodial animal care agency would be authorized to offer the animal for adoption, or to otherwise address disposition of the animal as authorized pursuant to section 16 of P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.16), the State law that provides for disposition of an animal held in a shelter, pound, or kennel operating as a shelter or pound.
2nd Reading in the Assembly, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Economic Growth, Passed Assembly
Received in the Senate, Referred to Senate Economic Growth Committee  (on 6/29/2017)
 
 
Date Chamber Action Description
6/29/2017 S Received in the Senate, Referred to Senate Economic Growth Committee
6/29/2017 A Passed by the Assembly (65-5-8)
6/22/2017 A Assembly Floor Amendment Passed (Vainieri Huttle)
6/8/2017 A Assembly Floor Amendment Passed (Jones)
12/12/2016 Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Hearing (14:00 12/12/2016 Committee Room 15, 4th Floor)
12/12/2016 A Reported out of Assembly Comm. with Amendments, 2nd Reading
11/14/2016 Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Hearing (14:00 11/14/2016 Committee Room 15, 4th Floor)
1/27/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
Detail 6/29/2017 Assembly Floor: Third Reading - Final Passage 65 5 10
Detail 12/12/2016 Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee: Reported with Amendments 4 0 1