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Rule Proposal


VOLUME 47, ISSUE 3
February 1, 2016

Rule Proposals

Law and Public Safety
Division of Consumer Affairs

Division of Consumer Affairs


Proposed Amendments: N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.1, 12.2, and 12.3

Proposed New Rule: N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.4

Sale of Animals
 
Authorized By: New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, Steve C. Lee, Acting Director.
 
[page=179] Authority: N.J.S.A. 56:8-1 et seq. and 56:8-92 et seq.; and P.L. 2015, c. 7.
 
Calendar Reference: See Summary below for explanation of exception to calendar requirement.
 
Proposal Number: PRN 2016-020.
 
Submit written comments by April 1, 2016, to:
 
   Steve C. Lee
   Acting Director
   New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs
   124 Halsey Street
   PO Box 45027
   Newark, NJ 07101

The agency proposal follows:
 
Summary

The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs (Division) is proposing amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12 and a new rule to implement P.L. 2015, c. 7 (the Act). The Act expands the disclosures that a pet shop must make, including when selling cats and dogs. The Act also prohibits pet shops from purchasing animals bred and raised in facilities that are not licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), that are not in compliance with the requirements concerning the maintenance and care of animals under the New Jersey Department of Health's rules, or that have been cited by the USDA for certain types of violations.

N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.1 is a definitions section. The Division proposes to add the following definitions: "breeder," "broker," "USDA," and "USDA license number." The Division also proposes to amend the existing definition of "consumer" to clarify that it means any natural person purchasing a dog or cat "not for the purpose of resale" from a pet dealer.

N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.2 sets forth the acts, practices, or omissions that are deceptive practices in the conduct of the business of a pet dealer. The Division proposes to amend N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.2(a) to update a phone number. The Division proposes to amend N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.2(b) to add new rules applicable only to pet dealers operating as pet shops. Proposed N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.2(b)1 makes it a deceptive practice in the conduct of a pet shop, when advertising an animal bred by a USDA licensed breeder through print or electronic means, including those posted on the Internet, a website, or the social media account of the pet shop, to fail to continuously display the name, state of residence, and USDA license number of the breeder of an animal in the advertisement, so the information is easily legible to the consumer.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.2(b)2 prohibits pet shops from selling or offering for sale, animals purchased from any breeder or broker who: (i) is not in compliance with the requirements promulgated by the Department of Health concerning the maintenance and care of animals, and the sanitary operation of kennels, pet shops, shelters, and pounds, at the time of the purchase of the animal by the pet shop; (ii) does not have a current USDA license; (iii) does not have a license required for a breeder or broker by the state in which the breeder or broker is located; (iv) has been cited on a USDA inspection report for a direct violation of the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. §§ 2131 et seq.) or its corresponding regulations, during the two-year period prior to the purchase of the animal by the pet shop; (v) has been cited for three or more indirect violations relating to cats and dogs on a USDA inspection report under the Animal Welfare Act or its corresponding regulations, during the two-year period prior to the purchase of the animal by the pet shop; (vi) has been cited on the two most recent USDA inspection reports prior to the purchase of the animal by the pet shop for a no-access violation under the Animal Welfare Act or its regulations; or (vii) has directly or indirectly obtained the animal from a breeder, broker, or another person, firm, corporation, or organization to whom subparagraphs (b)2i through vi applies.

Although the Act prohibits the purchase of a cat or dog from a breeder or broker who has been cited on a USDA inspection report during the two-year period prior to the purchase of the animal for three or more indirect violations of the Federal Animal Welfare Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 2131 et seq., or the corresponding Federal animal welfare regulations at 9 CFR 2.4, 2.40, 2.50 through 2.55, 2.6, 2.75 through 2.80, 2.130 through 2.132, 3.1 through 3.19, or 3.125 through 3.142, the citations to 9 CFR 3.125 through 3.142 explicitly apply to the humane handling, care, treatment, and transportation of warm-blooded animals other than dogs and cats. Because the Act is specifically and purposely limited to the sale of cats and dogs by pet shops in the State, the Division has eliminated the reference to 9 CFR 3.125 through 3.142 in order to avoid confusion at subparagraph (b)2v.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.2(b)3 clarifies that the proposed new rules do not prevent a pet shop from transferring an animal to or from, or purchasing for resale or adoption, or selling, or offering an animal for adoption that has been purchased or otherwise obtained from certain nonprofit animal control facilities, rescue organizations, or shelters. Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.2(b)5 requires pet shops that acquire animals from nonprofit animal control facilities, shelters, or rescue organizations to comply with all of the provisions of the subchapter relating to sale of animals by pet shops.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.2(b)4 makes it a deceptive practice in the conduct of a pet shop to fail to regularly update the information required to be posted on the animals' cages pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.3(a)2 and proposed (b)1.

Existing N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.2(b) is proposed to be recodified as N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.2(c). This subsection, which makes it a deceptive practice for a pet dealer to secure or attempt to secure a waiver of the provisions of N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.2(a), is proposed to be amended to also prohibit a pet shop from securing or attempting to secure a waiver of the provisions of N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.2(b).

The Division proposes to amend N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.3(a)11, the Know Your Rights statement applicable to pet dealers "that are not pet shops," to clarify that if a pet has died within 14 days following a consumer's receipt of an animal, "or within six months after delivery to the consumer due to a congenital or hereditary cause or condition," and the consumer wishes to exercise his or her rights, the consumer must "present a veterinary certificate of unfitness" to the pet dealer within the time frame set forth in the notice.

The Division proposes to add new N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.3(b), which will apply only to pet shops. Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.3(b)1 requires pet shops to have each animal examined by a veterinarian prior to sale, and note the results of the examination on the animal's history and health certificate. Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.3(b)2 requires pet shops to comply with additional labeling requirements on or nearby cages and enclosures. Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.3(b)2i requires that pet shops disclose on or nearby the animal's cage or enclosure the animal's color markings, tag, tattoo, collar number, or microchip information, and proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.3(b)2ii requires disclosure of the animal's age or approximate age. Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.3(b)2iii requires that pet shops also provide the name and address of the attending licensed New Jersey veterinarian and the date of initial examination. Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.3(b)2iv and v require pet shops to identify the breeder and the broker (if different from the breeder) of the animal on the cage or enclosure.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.3(b)2vi requires pet shops that have acquired animals from shelters, rescue organizations, or animal control facilities, where the breeder or broker are unknown, to clearly disclose that the animal has been acquired from a shelter, rescue organization, or animal control facility, as appropriate, on the cage or enclosure.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.3(b)2vii requires that each pet shop post a "Know Your Rights" statement, describing the pet shop's responsibility for making the USDA inspection reports for the breeders and brokers that sold the animals to the pet shop available for consumer inspection. The notice also provides consumers with information on how to contact the Division, and informs consumers that the USDA inspection reports may be found on the USDA website.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.3(b)2viii provides that the information required by subparagraphs (b)2i through vi must appear either on the animal's cage or enclosure, or at an information center no farther than six cages away from the cage or enclosure where the animal is located. If a pet shop elects to display the required information at an information center, the shop must assign a number to each animal and [page=180] provide the information required by subparagraphs (b)2i through vi on numbered cards or sheets that correspond to the number assigned to each animal. The information must be printed in at least 12 point type. Proposed subparagraph (b)2ix permits the use of electronic scanners to provide the information required by subparagraphs (b)2i through vi, so long as the pet shop also provides the material in printed form as required by subparagraph (b)2viii. The Know Your Rights statement required by subparagraph (b)2vii must be posted in a conspicuous location in the pet shop.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.3(b)3 requires each pet shop to post in a conspicuous location on or near the cage or enclosure of each animal being offered for sale by the pet shop, the USDA inspection reports for the breeder and broker for the two years prior to the first day that the animal is offered for sale by the pet shop. If, due to space constraints, the reports cannot be posted on or near the cage or enclosure, a pet shop must place a sign on or near the cage or enclosure notifying consumers that they may request the inspection reports from the pet shop. The inspection reports must be available for immediate inspection on the pet shop premises.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.3(b)4 requires the owner or operator of a pet shop to regularly update all information required under N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.3(b), making changes as necessary to all signage to ensure that the public has access to correct information at all times.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.3(b)5 requires a pet shop to quarantine any sick animal away from the general animal population until a veterinarian determines that the animal is free from contagion or infection. Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.3(b)6 allows pet shops to inoculate and vaccinate animals prior to purchase on the order of a New Jersey licensed veterinarian. Pet shops may not represent either directly or indirectly that they are qualified to diagnose, render a prognosis, treat, administer, prescribe, operate on, manipulate, or apply any apparatus or appliance for disease, pain, deformity, defect, injury, wound, or physical conditions of animals after purchase for the prevention of, or to test for, the presence of disease. Additionally, pet shops may not give inoculations or vaccinations after purchase, or diagnose, prescribe, or dispense medication or prescribe a diet or dietary supplements as treatment for any disease, pain, deformity, defect, injury, wound, or physical condition.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.3(b)7 requires a pet shop to have an animal reexamined by a licensed New Jersey veterinarian if the last examination took place more than 14 days prior to purchase. The examination must take place within 72 hours of delivery of the animal to the consumer unless the consumer waives his or her right to a reexamination in writing. Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.3(b)7 also sets forth the Know Your Rights and Waiver of Examination Right forms to be used by pet shops.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.3(b)8 sets forth the time frames under which a consumer who purchases an animal that is unfit for sale must obtain a certification of unfitness from a veterinarian in order to be eligible for relief. Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.3(b)8 also sets forth the remedies from which a consumer may elect.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.3(b)9 sets forth the form of the notice that a pet shop must provide to a consumer prior to the delivery of an animal. In addition to a description of the respective rights and responsibilities of the pet shop and the consumer, and a description of the consumer's recourse in the event of the illness or death of the animal, the notice must contain certain identifying information about the breeder and broker of the animal. The pet shop owner or operator must also attest that when the pet shop purchased the animal, the breeder and broker were in compliance with the State Department of Health requirements concerning the maintenance and care of animals and the sanitary operation of kennels, pet shops, shelters, and pounds. Additionally, the notice must provide the name and address of the local health authority with jurisdiction over the pet shop.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.3(b)10 requires a pet shop to accept receipt of a veterinary certification of unfitness and an itemized bill of all veterinary fees incurred prior to the consumer's receipt of the veterinary certification of unfitness that has been delivered within 14 days following the consumer's receipt of the certification from the issuing veterinarian. Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.3(b)10 also sets forth the information that must be contained in the certification of unfitness and itemized bill.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.3(b)11 provides that it is the consumer's responsibility to obtain the veterinary certification of unfitness within the time frames set forth in N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.3(b)8, unless the consumer did not receive the notice required by N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.3(b)9.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.3(b)12 provides that when a consumer presents a veterinary certification of unfitness, the pet shop must confirm the consumer's election in writing. Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.3(b)12 also sets forth the form of written confirmation of election that the pet shop must use.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.3(b)13 requires a pet shop to comply with the consumer's election within 10 days of receipt of the veterinary certification of unfitness. Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.3(b)13 also sets forth the procedure to be followed if the pet shop wishes to contest the consumer's election.

The Division proposes to amend and recodify N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.3(a)12 and 13 as subsections (c) and (d), clarifying that subsections apply to pet dealers and pet shops. Recodified subsection (c) is further proposed for amendment to include reference to proposed new paragraph (b)4, in addition to existing paragraph (a)11.

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.4 is a violations and penalties section. Proposed subsection (a) provides that any pet shop that violates subsection c. of section 4 of P.L. 1999, c. 336 ( N.J.S.A. 56:8-95) or section 3 of P.L. 2015, c. 7 ( N.J.S.A. 56:8-95.1) and any pet shop owner or operator that fails to provide information or provides false information pursuant to the requirements of subsection f. of section 4 of P.L. 1999, c. 336 ( N.J.S.A. 56:8-95), is subject to a fine of $ 500.00 for each violation, to be collected by the Division in a civil action by a summary proceeding under the Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999, P.L. 1999, c. 274 ( N.J.S.A. 2A:58-10 et seq.).

Proposed new N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.4(b) provides that a violation of any other provision of the subchapter is deemed a violation of the Consumer Fraud Act and may subject the violator to the assessment of penalties pursuant to N.J.S.A. 56:8-1 et seq.

The Division has determined that the comment period for this notice of proposal shall be 60 days. Therefore, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 1:30-3.3(a)5, this notice is excepted from the rulemaking calendar requirement.
 
Social Impact

The Division believes that the proposed amendments and new rule will have a positive social impact on consumers who purchase animals from pet shops, and will help to stop the sale of "puppy mill" and "kitten mill" animals by New Jersey pet shops.

The proposed amendments and new rule require pet shops to provide consumers with additional information about the animals being sold, thereby promoting transparency. The proposed requirement to require that USDA reports be available for immediate consumer inspection at the pet shop makes it easier for consumers to learn about the environment into which the animals offered for sale were born and raised. Requiring pet shops to purchase animals from USDA licensed breeders and brokers with no or very few code violations helps to ensure that the animals being offered for sale were born and raised in a healthy environment rather than in a "puppy mill" or "kitten mill."

Permitting pet shops to transfer animals to and from the pet shops to animal shelters, rescue groups, and animal control facilities may facilitate the sale or adoption of abandoned animals and animals the pet shops have been unable to sell.

The inclusion of breeder and broker information on the "Know Your Rights - A Statement of New Jersey Law Governing the Sale of Dogs and Cats" notice, and the attestation by the pet shop that, at the time the pet shop purchased the animal, the breeder and broker were in compliance with State Department of Health requirements concerning the maintenance and care of animals and the sanitary operation of kennels, pet shops, shelters, and pounds, help to provide consumers with assurances that the animals they purchase have been raised in healthy environments. Additionally, by including contact information for the breeder, broker, the Division, and the local health authority in the "Know Your Rights" notice, consumers will be able to easily contact them.
 
[page=181] Economic Impact

The Division believes that the proposed amendments and new rule may have an economic impact on the price of animals being offered for sale in pet shops to consumers. Prior to the enactment of P.L. 2015, c. 7, pet shops were free to purchase animals for resale from any source. Some pet shops may have purchased pets from small breeders, or "hobby breeders" that are too small to be licensed by the USDA. Additionally, some pet shops may have purchased animals from large commercial breeders operating "puppy mills" or "kitten mills." Because P.L. 2015, c. 7 requires that all breeders and brokers be USDA licensed, with few or no violations (depending on the type of violation), and licensed in the state in which the business is located if that state requires licensing, some sources of inventory may no longer be available to pet shops. This may result in pet shops paying more for their inventory, which in turn, may cause them to raise their retail prices.

Additionally, because all breeders must be licensed by the USDA in order to sell to pet stores, small, unlicensed breeders may experience a decrease in revenue because they will be unable to sell their litters to pet shops.
 
Federal Standards Statement

A Federal standards analysis is not required because the proposed amendments and new rule are being promulgated under the authority of New Jersey law, P.L. 1999, c. 336 as amended by P.L. 2015, c. 7. Most retail pet shops are not Federally regulated, with limited exceptions set forth at 9 CFR 1.1 and 2.1(a)(3).

However, to the extent that P.L. 2015, c. 7 and proposed N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.2(b)2 require pet dealers selling cats or dogs to pet shops to comply with the Federal Animal Welfare Act, and its corresponding regulations, the proposed amendments and new rule make reference to, and are consistent with, the Federal standards set forth at 7 U.S.C. §§ 2131 et seq., and the corresponding Federal animal welfare regulations at 9 CFR Chapter 1, Subchapter A, with one exception. The proposed rules intentionally eliminate the reference to 9 CFR 3.125 through 3.142 in order to avoid confusion since these Federal regulations apply explicitly to the care and treatment of warm blooded animals other than dogs and cats.
 
Jobs Impact

The Division does not anticipate that the proposed amendments and new rule will increase or decrease jobs in the State.
 
Agriculture Industry Impact

The proposed amendments and new rule will have no impact on the agriculture industry in the State.
 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

If pet shops are considered "small businesses" within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, N.J.S.A. 52:14B-16 et seq., then the following analysis applies.

The proposed amendments and new rule will not impose any reporting requirements on pet shops. However, the proposed amendments and new rule will impose recordkeeping requirements on pet shops. Pet shops will be required to maintain copies of all "Know Your Rights - A Statement of the New Jersey Law Governing the Sale of Dogs and Cats" notices signed by pet shops and consumers for at least one year from the date the notices are signed.

Additionally, the proposed amendments and new rule will impose compliance requirements on pet shops relating to the purchase or transfer of animals by the pet shop, the advertising of animals, cage signage, the posting of USDA inspection reports, and the content of the "Know Your Rights" forms that must be provided to consumers prior to the delivery of an animal. These requirements are discussed in the Summary above.

No additional professional services will be needed to comply with the proposed amendments and new rule. The economic impact of compliance with the proposed amendments and new rule is discussed in the Economic Impact statement above. The Division believes that the proposed amendments and new rule should be uniformly applied to all pet shops in order to protect consumers. Therefore, no differing compliance requirements for any pet shops are provided based on the size of the business.
 
Housing Affordability Impact Analysis

The proposed amendments and new rule will have an insignificant impact on the affordability of housing in New Jersey and there is an extreme unlikelihood that the proposed amendments and new rule would evoke a change in the average costs associated with housing because the proposed amendments and new rule relate to the sale of dogs and cats by pet shops.
 
Smart Growth Development Impact Analysis

The proposed amendments and new rule will have an insignificant impact on smart growth and there is an extreme unlikelihood that the rules would evoke a change in housing production in Planning Areas 1 or 2, or within designated centers, under the State Development and Redevelopment Plan in New Jersey because the proposed amendments and new rule relate to the sale of dogs and cats by pet shops.
 
Full text of the proposal follows (additions indicated in boldface thus; deletions indicated in brackets [thus]):
 
SUBCHAPTER 12.     SALE OF ANIMALS
 
13:45A-12.1   Definitions
 
The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
 
. . .
 
"Breeder" means any person, firm, corporation, or organization in the business of breeding cats or dogs.
 
"Broker" means any person, firm, corporation, or organization who sells a cat or dog to a pet dealer, whether or not the broker is also the breeder of the cat or dog.
 
"Consumer" means any natural person purchasing a dog or cat not for the purposes of resale from a pet dealer.
 
. . .
 
"USDA" means the United States Department of Agriculture.
 
"USDA license number" means the license number issued to a breeder or broker by the United States Department of Agriculture pursuant to the Federal Animal Welfare Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 2131 et seq., or any rules or regulations adopted pursuant thereto.
 
13:45A-12.2   General provisions
 
(a) Without limiting the prosecution of any other practices [which] that may be unlawful under N.J.S.A. 56:8-1 et seq., the following acts, practices, or omissions shall be deceptive practices in the conduct of the business of a pet dealer:
 
1.-8. (No change.)
 
9. To fail to display conspicuously on the business premises a sign not smaller than 22 inches by 18 inches, which clearly states to the public in letters no less than one inch high the following:
 
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
 
The sale of dogs and cats is subject to a regulation of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. Read your animal history and health certificate, the Statement of New Jersey Law Governing the Sale of Dogs and Cats and your Contract. In the event of a complaint you may contact: Division of Consumer Affairs, Post Office Box 45025, 124 Halsey Street, Newark, New Jersey 07101. [(201)] (973) 504-6200.
 
(b) Without limiting the prosecution of any other practices that may be unlawful under N.J.S.A. 56:8-1 et seq., the following acts, practices, or omissions shall be deceptive practices in the conduct of the business of a pet shop:
 
1. When advertising for sale an animal bred by a USDA licensed breeder through print or electronic means, including those posted on the Internet, a website, or a social media account of the pet shop, to fail to continuously display the name, state of residence, and USDA license number of the breeder of the animal in the advertisement, so that this information is easily legible to the consumer.
 
2. To sell or offer for sale, or purchase for resale whether or not actually offered for sale by the pet shop, any animal purchased from any breeder or broker who:
 
[page=182] i. Is not in compliance with the requirements concerning the maintenance and care of animals and the sanitary operation of kennels, pet shops, shelters, and pounds established in rules adopted pursuant to section 14 of P.L. 1941, c. 151 ( N.J.S.A. 4:19-15.14) at the time of purchase of the animal by the pet shop;
 
ii. Is not in possession of a current license issued by the USDA pursuant to 9 CFR Part 2;
 
iii. Is not in possession of all other licenses required for a breeder or broker by the state in which the breeder or broker is located;
 
iv. Has been cited on a USDA inspection report for a direct violation of the Federal Animal Welfare Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 2131 et seq., or the corresponding Federal animal welfare regulations at 9 CFR Chapter 1, Subchapter A, during the two-year period prior to the purchase of the animal by the pet shop;
 
v. Has been cited on a USDA inspection report during the two-year period prior to the purchase of the animal by the pet shop for three or more indirect violations relating to cats or dogs of the Federal Animal Welfare Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 2131 et seq., or the corresponding Federal animal welfare regulations at 9 CFR 2.4, 2.40, 2.50 through 2.55, 2.60, 2.75 through 2.80, 2.130 through 2.132, or 3.1 through 3.19;
 
vi. Is cited on the two most recent USDA inspection reports prior to the purchase of the animal by the pet shop for no-access violations pursuant to enforcement of the Federal Animal Welfare Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 2131 et seq., or the corresponding Federal animal welfare regulations at 9 CFR Chapter 1, Subchapter A; or
 
vii. Has directly or indirectly obtained the animal from a breeder, broker, or other person, firm, corporation, or organization to whom (b)2i through vi above applies.
 
3. Nothing in (b)2 above shall prohibit a pet shop from transferring an animal to or from, or purchasing for resale or adoption, or selling, or offering for adoption, an animal purchased or otherwise obtained from:
 
i. A publicly operated animal control facility;
 
ii. An animal rescue organization or pound as defined in section 1 of P.L. 1941, c. 151 ( N.J.S.A. 4:19-15.1); or
 
iii. A shelter as defined in section 1 of P.L. 1941, c. 151 ( N.J.S.A. 4:19-15.1) whose primary mission and practice is the placement of abandoned, unwanted, neglected, or abused animals and that is also a tax exempt organization under section 501(c) 3 of the Federal Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. § 501), or any subsequent corresponding sections of the Federal Internal Revenue Code, as from time to time amended.
 
4. Failure to regularly update the information required to be posted pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.3(a)2 and (b)1.
 
5. A pet shop that acquires an animal from a publicly operated animal control facility, an animal rescue organization or pound, or a shelter, for the purpose of selling such animal, shall comply with all of the provisions of this subchapter.
 
[(b)] (c) It shall be a deceptive practice within the meaning of this section for a pet dealer or pet shop to secure or attempt to secure a waiver of any of the provisions contained in (a) or (b) above.
 
13:45A-12.3   Required practices related to the health of animals and fitness for sale and purchase
 
(a) Without limiting the prosecution of any other practices that may be unlawful under N.J.S.A. 56:8-1 et seq., it shall be a deceptive practice for a pet dealer to sell animals within the State of New Jersey without complying with the following minimum standards relating to the health of animals and fitness for sale and purchase:
 
1.-8. (No change.)
 
9. When a consumer presents a veterinary certification of unfitness to the pet dealer, the pet dealer shall confirm the consumer's election in writing. The election shall be in the following form and a copy shall be given to the consumer upon signing:
 
UNFITNESS OF ANIMAL - ELECTION OF OPTION
 
I understand that, upon delivery of my veterinarian's certification of unfitness, I have the right to elect one of the following options. I am aware of those options and I understand each of them. I have chosen the following option:
 
[] 1. Return of my animal and receipt of a refund of the purchase price, including sales tax for the animal, plus reimbursement of the veterinary fees incurred prior to the date I received my veterinarian's certification of unfitness. The reimbursement for veterinarian's fees shall not exceed two times the purchase price including sales tax of my animal.
 
[] 2. Retention of my animal and reimbursement for the veterinary fees incurred prior to the date I received my veterinarian's certification of unfitness, plus the future cost to be incurred in curing or attempting to cure my animal. The total reimbursement for veterinarian's fees shall not exceed two times the purchase price including sales tax of my animal.
 
[] 3. Return of my animal and receipt of an animal of my choice of equivalent value in exchange plus reimbursement of veterinary fees incurred prior to the date I received my veterinarian's certification of unfitness. The reimbursement for veterinarian's fees shall not exceed two times the purchase price including sales tax of my animal.
 
[] 4. DEATH OF ANIMAL ONLY. (check one) [] Receipt of a full refund of the purchase price, including sales tax for the animal[,] or [in exchange] - Exchange an animal of my choice of equivalent value plus reimbursement of the veterinary fees incurred prior to the death of the animal. The reimbursement for veterinarian's fees shall not exceed two times the purchase price including the sales tax of the animal.

________________________

_______________________

Consumer's Name (Print)

Consumer's Signature

_______________________

Date

________________________

_______________________

Pet Dealer's or Agent's Name

Pet Dealer's or Agent's Signature

(Indicate Title or Position) (Print)

_______________________

Date


 
10. (No change.)
 
11. A pet dealer other than a pet shop shall [give the following] provide a written notice to a consumer prior to the delivery of the animal. Such notice, signed by both the pet dealer and the consumer, shall be embodied in a separate document and shall state the following in 10 point boldface type:
 
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS--A STATEMENT OF
 
NEW JERSEY LAW GOVERNING THE
 
SALE OF DOGS AND CATS
 
. . .
 
Veterinary fees limited to two times the purchase price of the animal, including sales tax, which were related to the condition rendering the animal unfit for sale, must be paid by the dealer in the event that you choose to keep the animal. If you choose to return the animal, veterinary fees incurred prior to receipt of the veterinary certification, limited to two times the [purchaser] purchase price of the animal, including sales tax, which were related to the condition rendering the animal unfit for sale, must be paid by the dealer.
 
Further, in the event of your animal's death within this 14-day period, or within six months after delivery to the consumer due to a congenital or hereditary cause or condition, except when death occurs by accident or as a result of injuries sustained after delivery, and upon presentation of a veterinary certificate of unfitness, you may choose to receive either a full refund of the purchase price, plus sales tax, or an animal of equivalent value. In addition, veterinary fees, limited to two times the purchase price, including sales tax must be paid by the pet dealer.
 
. . .
 
(b) A pet shop shall comply with the following requirements:
 
1. A pet shop shall have each animal examined by a veterinarian licensed to practice in the State of New Jersey prior to the sale of the [page=183] animal. 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 each animal's history and health certificate as required by N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.2(a)1vii.
 
2. A pet shop shall provide the following information as to each animal that it offers for sale:
 
i. Color markings and other identifier information of each animal, including any tag, tattoo, collar number, or microchip information;
 
ii. Actual age, or approximate age as established by a veterinarian, of each animal;
 
iii. Name and address of the attending licensed New Jersey veterinarian and the date of initial examination;
 
iv. First name and last name of the breeder of the animal, the full street address of where the breeder is doing business, the telephone number of the breeder, an email address, if available, by which to contact the breeder, and the breeder's USDA license number, and if the breeder is required to be licensed in the state in which the breeder is located, the breeder's state license number;
 
v. If the broker of the animal is different from the breeder, the first and last name of the broker, the full street address of where the broker is doing business, the telephone number of the broker, an email address, if available, by which to contact the broker, and the USDA license number of the broker, and if the broker is required to be licensed in the state in which the broker is located, the broker's state license number;
 
vi. If a pet shop acquires an animal from a publicly operated animal control facility, an animal rescue organization or pound, or a shelter, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:45A-12.2(b)3, and is unable to identify the breeder or broker of the animal, the pet shop shall not be required to provide information identifying the breeder or broker of the animal on the label; provided, however, the label shall clearly disclose that the animal has been acquired from a publicly operated animal control facility, animal rescue organization or pound, or shelter, as applicable; and
 
vii. The statement - "Know Your Rights:" in boldface type and no less than 12 point type, followed by the statement in no less than 10 point type, "State law requires that every pet shop offering cats or dogs for sale post in a conspicuous location on or near each cat's or dog's cage or enclosure the USDA inspection reports for the breeder and broker of each cat or dog for the two years prior to the first day that the cat or dog is offered for sale. If you do not see a required inspection report, please request the report from the pet shop. If you have any concerns, please contact the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, 124 Halsey Street, Newark, NJ 07102, (973) 504-6200. You may also view these and other USDA inspection reports for the breeder and broker of each cat or dog on this USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) website. You are entitled to receive additional information from APHIS about the breeder's or broker's history through the federal Freedom of Information Act."
 
viii. The information required in (b)2i through vi above shall appear on the animal's cage or enclosure, or at an information center no farther than six cages away from where the animal is located. If a pet shop elects to display the required information at an information center, the pet shop shall assign a number to each animal for sale and provide the information required by (b)2i through vi above on numbered cards or sheets that correspond to the number assigned to each animal. The information appearing on the cards or sheets shall be printed in no less than 12 point type. The "Know Your Rights" statement required in (b)2vii above shall appear in a conspicuous location in the pet shop.
 
ix. The use of electronic devices to provide the information required by (b)2i through vi above shall be permitted, so long as the pet shop also provides the information in printed form as required by (b)2viii above.
 
3. Each pet shop offering animals for sale shall post, in a conspicuous location on or near the cage or enclosure for each animal in the cage or enclosure, the USDA inspection reports for the breeder and the broker of the animal for the two years prior to the first day that the animal is offered for sale by the pet shop. If, due to space constraints, the pet shop is unable to post the inspection reports on or near the cage or enclosure, the pet shop shall place a sign on or near the cage or enclosure notifying consumers that they may request the inspection reports from the pet shop. All USDA inspection reports for the breeder and broker of the animal for the two years prior to the first day that the animal is offered for sale by the pet shop shall be available for immediate inspection on the pet shop premises.
 
4. The owner or operator of a pet shop shall regularly update the information required to be posted pursuant to this subsection and make changes as necessary to all signage required by this subsection, so that the public has access to the correct information at all times.
 
5. A pet shop shall be required to quarantine any animal diagnosed as suffering from a contagious or infectious disease, illness, or condition until such time as a licensed New Jersey veterinarian determines that such animal is free from contagion or infection. All animals requiring quarantining shall be placed in a quarantine area separated from the general animal population.
 
6. A pet shop shall be permitted to inoculate and vaccinate animals prior to purchase only on the order of a veterinarian licensed to practice in the State of New Jersey. A pet shop owner, however, shall be prohibited from representing, directly or indirectly, that he or she is qualified to engage in or is engaging in, directly or indirectly, the following activities: diagnosing, prognosing, treating, administering, prescribing, operating on, manipulating, or applying any apparatus or appliance for disease, pain, deformity, defect, injury, wound, or physical condition of animals after purchase for the prevention of, or to test for, the presence of any disease in such animals. 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.
 
7. A pet shop shall have any animal that has been examined more than 14 days prior to purchase reexamined by a licensed New Jersey veterinarian for the purpose of disclosing its condition at the time of purchase. Such examination shall take place within 72 hours of delivery of the animal to the consumer unless the consumer waives this right to reexamination in writing. The written waiver shall be in the following form and a copy shall be given to the consumer prior to the signing of any contract or agreement to purchase the animal:
 
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
 
To ensure that healthy animals are sold in this State, New Jersey law requires that a dog or cat be examined by a licensed New Jersey veterinarian prior to its sale by a pet shop and within 72 hours of the delivery of the dog or cat to a consumer who has purchased the animal where the initial examination took place more than 14 days prior to the date of purchase. A pet shop need not have the animal reexamined if you, the consumer, decide that you do not want such a reexamination performed.
 
If you do not want a reexamination performed, please indicate your decision below.
 
WAIVER OF REEXAMINATION RIGHT
 
I understand that I have the right to have my animal reexamined within 72 hours of its delivery to me. I do not want to have such a reexamination performed.

________________________

_______________________

Consumer's Name (Print)

Consumer's Signature

_______________________

Date

________________________

_______________________

Pet Shop's or Agent's Name

Pet Shop's or Agent's

(Indicate Title or Position)

Signature

(Print)

_______________________

Date


 
[page=184] 8. If at any time within 14 days following the sale and delivery of an animal to a consumer, a licensed veterinarian certifies such animal to be unfit for purchase due to a non-congenital cause or condition or within six months certifies an animal to be unfit for purchase due to a congenital or hereditary cause or condition, a consumer shall have the right to elect one of the following options:
 
i. The right to return the animal and receive a refund of the purchase price, including sales tax, plus reimbursement of the veterinary fees incurred prior to the consumer's receipt of the veterinary certification. The pet shop's liability for veterinary fees under this option shall not exceed two times the purchase price, including sales tax, of the animal;
 
ii. The right to retain the animal and to receive reimbursement for veterinary fees incurred prior to the consumer's receipt of the veterinary certification, plus the future cost of veterinary fees to be incurred in curing or attempting to cure the animal. The pet shop's liability under this option shall not exceed two times the purchase price, including sales tax of the animal;
 
iii. 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 incurred prior to the consumer's receipt of the veterinary certification. The pet shop's liability for veterinary fees under this option shall not exceed two times the purchase price, including sales tax, of the animal; or
 
iv. In the event of the animal's death within 14 days of its delivery to the consumer due to a non-congenital cause or condition, or within six months after delivery to the consumer due to a congenital or hereditary cause or condition, except where death occurs by accident or injury sustained during either period, the right to receive a full refund of the purchase price plus sales tax for the animal, or, in exchange, an animal of the consumer's choice of equivalent value, plus reimbursement of veterinary fees incurred prior to the death of the animal. The pet shop's liability for veterinary fees under this option shall not exceed two times the purchase price, including sales tax of the animal.
 
9. A pet shop shall provide a written notice to a consumer prior to delivery of the animal. Such notice shall be signed by both the pet shop and the consumer, shall be embodied in a separate document, and shall state the following in 10 point boldface type:
 
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS--A STATEMENT OF
 
NEW JERSEY LAW GOVERNING THE
 
SALE OF DOGS AND CATS
 
The sale of dogs and cats is subject to a regulation of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. In the event that a licensed veterinarian certifies your animal to be unfit for purchase within 14 days following receipt of your animal or within six months in the case of a congenital or hereditary cause or condition, you may:
 
i. Return your animal and receive a refund of the purchase price including sales tax; or
 
ii. Keep your animal and attempt to cure it; or
 
iii. Return your animal and receive an animal of your choice of equivalent value.
 
Veterinary fees limited to two times the purchase price of the animal, including sales tax, which were related to the condition rendering the animal unfit for sale, must be paid by the pet shop in the event that you choose to keep the animal. If you choose to return the animal, veterinary fees incurred prior to receipt of the veterinary certification, limited to two times the purchaser price of the animal, including sales tax, which were related to the condition rendering the animal unfit for sale, must be paid by the pet shop.
 
Further, in the event of your animal's death within this 14-day period, or within six months after delivery to the consumer due to a congenital or hereditary cause or condition, except when death occurs by accident or as a result of injuries sustained after delivery during either period, and upon presentation of a veterinary certificate of unfitness, you may choose to receive either a full refund of the purchase price, plus sales tax, or an animal of equivalent value. In addition, veterinary fees, limited to two times the purchase price, including sales tax must be paid by the pet shop.
 
In order to exercise these rights, you must present to the pet shop a written veterinary certification that the animal is unfit for purchase and an itemized bill of all veterinary fees incurred prior to your receipt of the certification. Both of these items must be presented no later than 14 days after you have received the certification of unfitness. In the event that the pet shop wishes to contest the certification or the bill, it may request a hearing at the Division of Consumer Affairs. If the pet shop does not contest the matter, it must make the refund or reimbursement no later than 10 days after receiving the veterinary certification. Although your dog or cat is required to be examined by a licensed veterinarian prior to sale, symptoms of certain conditions may not appear until after the sale. If your dog or cat appears ill, you should have it examined by a licensed veterinarian of your choice at the earliest possible time.
 
If the pet shop has promised to register your animal or to provide the necessary papers and fails to do so within 120 days following the date of sale, you are entitled to return the animal and receive a full refund of the purchase price plus sales tax or to keep the animal and receive a refund of 75 percent of the purchase price plus sales tax. In the event you elect to keep the animal and the pet shop provides the 75 percent refund, the pet shop is no longer obligated to register the animal or to provide the necessary papers to do so.
 
The following information relates to the breeder who has bred your animal:
   Name: ___________________________________
   Full street address: ________________________
   Email address: ____________________________
   USDA license number: _____________________
   State in which breeder is located _____________
 
State license number (if required by state in which the breeder is located):_____________________________________
 
If the broker that sold your animal to the pet shop is different from the breeder, the following information relates to the broker that sold your animal to the pet shop:
   Name: ___________________________________
   Full street address: ________________________
   Email address: ____________________________
   USDA license number: _____________________
   State in which breeder is located _____________
 
State license number (if required by state in which the broker is located):_____________________________________
 
By signing below, the owner or operator of the pet shop attests that, as of ________________, the date of purchase of the animal by the pet shop, the breeder and the broker of the animal were in compliance with the requirements concerning the maintenance and care of animals and the sanitary operation of kennels, pet shops, shelters, and pounds established in rules and regulations adopted pursuant to section 14 of P.L.1941, c.151 (C.4:19-15.14), as required pursuant to section 3 of P.L. 2015, c.7 (C.56:8-95.1).
 
You may report any violation of your rights under this notice to the Division of Consumer Affairs, Post Office Box 45025, 124 Halsey Street, Newark, New Jersey, 07101. (973) 504-6200.
 
This pet shop who sold you this animal is also under the jurisdiction of the following local health authority:
 
Name of health authority: ___________________________________
 
Address of health authority: _________________________________
 
10. The pet shop shall accept receipt of a veterinary certification of unfitness and an itemized bill of all veterinary fees incurred prior to the consumer's receipt of the veterinary certification of unfitness that have been delivered by the consumer within 14 days following the consumer's receipt of the veterinary certification of unfitness from the issuing veterinarian. The certification of unfitness shall contain the following information:
 
i. The name of the owner;
 
ii. The date or dates of examination;
 
iii. The breed, color, sex, and age of the animal;
 
iv. A statement of the veterinarian's findings;
 
[page=185] v. A statement that the veterinarian certifies the animal to be unfit for purchase;
 
vi. An itemized statement of veterinary fees incurred as of the date of the certification;
 
vii. Where the animal is curable, the estimated fee to cure the animal;
 
viii. Where the animal has died, a statement setting forth the probable cause of death; and
 
ix. The name and address of the certifying veterinarian and the date of the certification.
 
11. It shall be the responsibility of the consumer to obtain the veterinary certification of unfitness within the required amount of time provided by (b)8 above, unless the pet shop fails to provide the notice required by (b)9 above. If the pet shop fails to provide the notice required by (b)9 above, the consumer shall be entitled to the recourse provided for in (b)8 above.
 
12. When a consumer presents a veterinary certification of unfitness to the pet shop, the pet shop shall confirm the consumer's election in writing. The election shall be in the following form and a copy shall be given to the consumer upon signing:
 
UNFITNESS OF ANIMAL - ELECTION OF OPTION
 
I understand that, upon delivery of my veterinarian's certification of unfitness, I have the right to elect one of the following options. I am aware of those options and I understand each of them. I have chosen the following option:
 
[] 1. Return of my animal and receipt of a refund of the purchase price, including sales tax for the animal, plus reimbursement of the veterinary fees incurred prior to the date I received my veterinarian's certification of unfitness. The reimbursement for veterinarian's fees shall not exceed two times the purchase price including sales tax of my animal.
 
[] 2. Retention of my animal and reimbursement for the veterinary fees incurred prior to the date I received my veterinarian's certification of unfitness, plus the future cost to be incurred in curing or attempting to cure my animal. The total reimbursement for veterinarian's fees shall not exceed two times the purchase price including sales tax of my animal.
 
[] 3. Return of my animal and receipt of an animal of my choice of equivalent value in exchange plus reimbursement of veterinary fees incurred prior to the date I received my veterinarian's certification of unfitness. The reimbursement for veterinarian's fees shall not exceed two times the purchase price including sales tax of my animal.
 
[] 4. DEATH OF ANIMAL ONLY. (check one) [] Receipt of a full refund of the purchase price, including sales tax for the animal; or - Exchange an animal of my choice of equivalent value plus reimbursement of the veterinary fees incurred prior to the death of the animal. The reimbursement for veterinarian's fees shall not exceed two times the purchase price including the sales tax of the animal.

________________________

_______________________

Consumer's Name (Print)

Consumer's Signature

_______________________

Date

________________________

_______________________

Pet Shop's or Agent's Name

Pet Shop's or Agent's Signature

(Indicate Title or Position)

(Print)

_______________________

Date


 
13. A pet shop shall comply with the consumer's election as required by (b)10i through iv above not later than 10 days following receipt of a veterinary certification. In the event that a pet shop wishes to contest a consumer's election, he or she shall notify the consumer and the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs in writing within five days following the receipt of the veterinarian's certification, and he or she may require the consumer to produce the animal for examination by a veterinarian of the pet shop's choice at a mutually convenient time and place. The Director shall, upon receipt of such notice, provide a hearing pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act, N.J.S.A. 52:14B-1 et seq., and 52:14F-1 et seq., and the Uniform Administrative Procedure Rules, N.J.A.C. 1:1, to determine why the option elected by the consumer should not be allowed.
 
[12.] (c) A pet dealer or pet shop, as appropriate, shall maintain copies of all notices required pursuant to (a)11 and (b)4 above, signed by both the pet dealer or pet shop, and the consumer, for at least one year from the date the notice was signed, and shall ensure that such notices are readily available for inspection, upon request, by an authorized representative of the Division of Consumer Affairs.
 
[13.] (d) It shall be a deceptive practice within the meaning of this section for a pet dealer or pet shop to secure or attempt to secure a waiver of any of the provisions of this section except as specifically authorized under (a)5 above.
 
13:45A-12.4      Violations and penalties
 
(a) Any person who violates subsection c of section 4 of P.L. 1999, c. 336 ( N.J.S.A. 56:8-95) or section 3 of P.L. 2015, c. 7 ( N.J.S.A. 56:8-95.1); and any pet shop owner or operator that fails to provide information or provides false information pursuant to the requirements of subsection f of section 4 of P.L. 1999, c. 336 ( N.J.S.A. 56:8-95), shall be subject to a fine of $ 500.00 for each violation, to be collected by the Division in a civil action by a summary proceeding under the Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999, P.L. 1999, c. 274 ( N.J.S.A. 2A:58-10 et seq.).
 
(b) A violation of any other provision of this subchapter shall be deemed a violation of the Consumer Fraud Act and may subject the person to the assessment of penalties pursuant to N.J.S.A. 56:8-1 et seq.


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Last Modified: 2/2/2016 11:01 AM