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Pass an Extreme Weather Ordinance for Animals in Atlantic County, NJ

This petition had 2,765 supporters

Atlantic County SPCA agents respond to an average of 10-15 new complaints of animal cruelty, abuse, or neglect every week, of which, most are complaints of dogs living outside. During times of extreme weather, the number of complaints regarding dogs living outside doubles.

We conduct investigations into allegations of cruelty to animals pursuant to N.J.S. 4:22 et. seq., which states that animals need necessary care, including, but not limited to “access to adequate protection from the weather.” 

Unfortunately, animals suffer because of varying interpretations of “access to adequate protection from the weather.”  To combat this, many states and municipalities are adopting tethering and/or extreme weather ordinances. 

Buena Vista Township, Egg Harbor City, Hammonton, Northfield, and Somers Point have adopted Extreme Weather Ordinances. We hope to see tethering and extreme weather ordinances passed in every municipality in Atlantic County, and request this be put on the next meeting agenda.

Proposed Ordinance: Chaining or tethering of dogs.

A.            Dogs must be able to move freely when chained or tethered and shall be so confined for a period no greater than nine hours within a twenty-four hour period. The size of the tether or chain must be a minimum of 15 linear feet and shall remain tangle free. Dogs must be equipped with properly fitted harness or buckle-type collars. The tether or chain shall be constructed of lightweight cable not weighing more than 1/16 of the animal’s weight. A doghouse shall be accessible to dogs that are chained or tethered.  Tethered animal shall have access to potable water, food, shelter and dry ground at all times. 

B.            No animal shall remain outdoors, tethered, untethered or penned during a period of extreme weather, including but not limited to, extreme heat (above 90 degrees), extreme cold (below 32 degrees), thunderstorms, tornadoes, tropical storms, or hurricanes. 

C.            In no instance shall an animal remain outdoors, tethered, untethered or penned under the age of six months old, or while sick, injured or in distress.


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