Law & Justice

Cranbury: Township Committee Seeks To Increase Pet Licensing Fees, Change Township Code

Credits: Carterse on flickr

CRANBURY, NJ – Keeping Fido or Fluffy legal might soon leave residents' wallets $3 thinner, when it comes time for their annual re-licensing.

That's because members of the Township Committee voted unanimously to increase the dog/cat licensing fees and amend the violation and penalty sections of the township code, during Monday night's meeting.

According to ordinance 09-15-16, the spayed/neutered dog/cat license fee would increase to $10 from the current $7, and the non-spayed/neutered dog/cat license fee would increase to $13 from the current $10. Additionally, a dog/cat license obtained after Jan. 31 would be charged a late fee of $5 per animal, plus $1 per month for each month delinquent.

Sign Up for E-News

The committee is considering the ordinance after a survey of neighboring municipalities revealed that Cranbury's dog/cat licensing fees were due for an increase.

The changes to the violation and penalty section of the code were based on recommendations made by the township Board of Health (BOH), according to the ordinance.

A state-mandated dog and cat census conducted in August 2014, which found that only approximately one-third of township dogs and about 10 percent of cats were licensed, informed the BOH's recommendations.

Prior to the census being conducted, an un-vaccinated township dog had to be euthanized after he was attacked by a rabid raccoon in his family's backyard on S. Main Street.

The purpose of the license is to ensure that dogs and cats kept as pets receive periodic rabies vaccinations, as the license cannot be obtained without proof of a current rabies vaccination.

“If you ever had a bat in your house, your pet could get bitten very easily and you'd never know it and could get rabies,” Deputy Mayor Dan Mulligan said. “So just be aware of that.”

Ensuring that pets are vaccinated for rabies provides a degree of protection for the people living with them, he said.

If a dog/cat license has not been obtained by March 1, a first offense violation summons, with a fine of $50, would be issued by the Board of Health Officer, according to the ordinance.

The Board of Health Officer would issue a second offense violation summons, with a mandatory court appearance and a fine of between $75 and $150, if the dog/cat license has not been obtained by April 1.

Pet owners convicted of failing to obtain a dog/cat license would be fined between $5 and $50 for each offense, according to the ordinance.

This year, non-compliant pet owners didn't have a first or second offense option – everyone found with a dog or cat and without a 2015 dog/cat license was required to appear in Plainsboro municipal court.

According to Township Clerk Kathleen Cunningham, a portion of the monies collected by the township in dog licensing fees goes back to the state and a portion remains with the township, while all the monies collected in cat licensing fees remain with the township.

The reason the state receives a portion of the monies collected from dog licensing fees is because state statute mandates it, Deputy Township Clerk Jean Golisano said.

Cat licensing is not required by state statute but is required by township ordinance, which is why the monies collected from cat licensing fees remain with the township, she said.

For every $7 spayed/neutered dog license fee the township collects, the state receives $1.20 and for every $10 non-spayed/neutered dog license fee the township collects, the state receives $4.20, Golisano said.

According to Golisano, of the $4.20, $1.20 is the amount due the state as per the statute, with the remaining $3 going to the state for population control.

The monies from licensing fees that remain with the township are used as a revenue to balance the budget, Township Administrator and Chief Financial Officer Denise Marabello said.

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal.” The vast majority of cases reported to the CDC “each year occur in wild animals like raccoons, skunks, bats and foxes.”

The virus “infects the central nervous system, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death,” according to the CDC's website.

Early symptoms in people are similar to that of many other illnesses and include, “fever, headache and general weakness or discomfort,” however, as the disease progresses, more specific symptoms appear, which may include, “insomnia, anxiety, confusion, slight or partial paralysis, excitation, hallucinations, agitation, hypersalivation (increase in saliva), difficulty swallowing, and hydrophobia (fear of water).”

According to the CDC's website, “death usually occurs within days of the onset of these symptoms.”

A similar ordinance was introduced in February, but was not adopted on second reading in March due to lack of motion from the committee.

Ordinance 09-15-16 will be considered for final passage, following second reading and public hearing, at the next Township Committee meeting, scheduled for Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. in the meeting room of Town Hall.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

South Brunswick-Cranbury

Upcoming Events

Tue, May 29, 7:00 PM

The Heldrich Hotel, New Brunswick

New Jersey's Environment - A Pivotal Moment: an ...

Education Government Green Home & Garden Other

Wed, May 30, 6:30 PM

Cooper Conference Room, The Erdman Center, Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton

Artists' Round Table with Performing Artists from ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

South Brunswick and Cranbury Police Blotter

August 9, 2017

Sponsored by Reilly's Collision Center in Monmouth Junction. Click here and scroll down for the latest updates and alerts from South Brunswick and Cranbury Police.

See the most recent messages from South Brunswick Twp Police Department, powered by Nixle.

PayPal CEO says Rutgers grads need to "Help Repair the World"

May 14, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Dan Schulman, president and CEO of PayPal, called on the Class of 2018 on Sunday to take a stand for social justice as they graduate during a time of unprecedented technological and social change.

He talked about the decision at PayPal to rescind plans to build a global operations center in North Carolina following legislation many considered discriminatory ...

3 Stabbed in Late Night Assault at Party

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Three people were stabbed following a fight at a party late Saturday on Delafield Street between Bristol and Courtland streets, Rutgers police said in an alert sent out to students.

The assault, which was not on the Rutgers University campus, occurred about 11:45 p.m., police said.

They said the victims are not affiliated with the university. All three victims reported ...

3 Flee After Armed Robbers Break Into New Brunswick Apartment House

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Two robbers brandishing a handgun and a knife forced their way into a Hamilton Street house Sunday, causing three tenants - one of them affiliated with Rutgers University - to flee the apartment building, Rutgers police said.


The incident came hours after two people were robbed while walking on Easton Avenue early Sunday morning. One of those victims is ...

Belmar Mayor’s Pardoning of Lobster Will Kick Off New Jersey Seafood Festival

May 17, 2018

BELMAR, NJ — With the start of the New Jersey Seafood Festival tomorrow, Belmar Mayor Brian Magovern wants to show a lobster some love.

At 3:30 p.m. on May 18, he will kick off the annual three-day event by pardoning “Lucky Larry the Lobster” on the Fifth Avenue beach and then releasing it into the ocean … hopefully.

“In my power as mayor, I want to pardon a ...

Rutgers Center Battles Noise Pollution Nationwide

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ  - Eric Zwerling got a call this week from a man was living next to a fitness center, complaining he repeatedly heard the loud thud heavy free weights and medicine balls hit the floor.

The man was recovering from having a pace maker in his chest and wondering of the impact of the noise from the gym.

“I’ve received thousands of calls,” said Zwerling, ...

The ESCNJ Raises $12,000 From 6th Annual 'Autism Awareness' Fundraiser

May 18, 2018

For the 6th straight year,The Educational Services Commission of New Jersey's (ESCNJ) Annual Autism Awareness Swim & Play fundraiser on behalf of Autism New Jersey was a great success.

Total funds raised were approximately $12,000, as a result of pledges for laps completed, T-shirt sales, and families participating in arts and crafts activities.

The event received  additional ...

Relay For Life Top Fundraiser Brianna Cagan – Event Set For June 2

When Brianna Cagan’s dad was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, she and her family wanted to do something meaningful to fund cancer research. Brianna, her mom Sue Kelly, and their friends started a started a Relay For Life team called “Pearly Girls.” Seven years later, the high school freshman is the American Cancer Society’s top individual fundraiser for the Berkeley ...

Yoga at the Library

Find solutions with yoga. Classes now forming at the South Brunswick Public Library, 110 Kingston Lane in Monmouth Jct. Classes are offered throughout the year. The next two sessions begin May 17 and again June 28.

So many benefits are possible from just one hour a week of simple, gentle yoga movements and meditation. For $12 a week, you can change your mind and your body.

According to the ...