The Rutherford Health Department and Police Department reminds residents that under Borough Ordinance all dogs and cats harbored in the Borough of Rutherford are required to be licensed through the Police Department Records Bureau. Dogs are licensed on a calendar year beginning at 7 months of age with renewals taking place in January and cat licenses are valid for the length of time the rabies vaccination for the cat is valid.
Licensing of dogs and cats has many benefits for the pet owner as well as for the citizens of the community, including the following benefits:
Licensed dogs and cats insures that they are vaccinated against rabies and are generally considered protected from the deadly rabies virus.
Licensed dogs and cats that wander off the owner’s property or get lost can be traced and quickly returned to its owner by police or animal control officers.
When a person is bitten by a licensed dog or cat, the owner is usually found and the dog or cat is placed under 10 day confinement and observation that will prevent the bite victim from needing to begin rabies post exposure treatment.
While dogs and cats are required to be licensed, the $7.00 fee is far less than the fines and penalties for having an unlicensed dog or cat.
Fees from dog and cat licensing help support rabies control activities in the community, such as the free annual rabies vaccination clinic held in the spring.
While dog licensing is required throughout the state, cat licensing is regulated by each municipality. Currently in New Jersey, cats are the leading domestic rabid animal for rabies, accounting for 90% of the domestic animals cases (447). During the same time period, only 8 dogs in New Jersey have tested positive for rabies, highlighting the effectiveness of dog licensing, which insures that dogs are vaccinated against rabies in order to obtain a dog license.
In addition, unvaccinated dogs and cats that have an encounter with a suspected rabid animal (bat, raccoon, skunk, fox, groundhog) can be subject to euthanasia or ordered placed in strict quarantine with no human or animal contact, for 4 months in a kennel, or cage in a veterinary hospital, animal control facility, commercial boarding establishment, or an escape proof pen at the owner’s home.
Protect your dog, cat, and your family from the deadly rabies vaccine! Obtain a dog and cat license from the police department records bureau weekdays between 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM. Additional information on dog and cat licensing can be obtained by calling the police department records bureau at 201-460- 3045.