A Cats-Only Ordinance

Dateline: Oaklyn, New Jersey

Yes, you read that right. Suffering dogs be damned, cats are the only animal in this ban.

There were a number of ordinances aimed solely at ending dog sales, mostly in the 1952-2004 period in Florida, such as North Bay Village, Opa-L0cka and Lauderdale Lakes.

But as late as December 2015, Oaklyn, New Jersey passed a ban that reads as follows:

§ 55-10 Restrictions on sale of animals. 

A. A pet shop may offer for sale only those cats that the pet shop has obtained from or displays in cooperation with:

(1) An animal care facility; or
(2) An animal rescue organization.

B. A pet shop shall not offer for sale a cat that is younger than eight weeks old.

Municipal code

At first we thought this was an error of omission, but the definition block does not contain a definition for dogs and the cat sales provision is repeated.

What on Earth could the Alder People or the “Chosen Freeholders” be thinking?

It could be they just lifted the ban language from Winslow, NJ. Their ban passed a month later, but the ordinance may have been floating around. Winslow has separate codes for dogs and cats and therefore they have written the prohibition in 2 places, Chapter 127 Cats:

Part II: General Legislation
Chapter 127 Cats
Article II Sales of Cats


§ 127-13 Restrictions on sales of certain cats.

A. A pet shop may offer for sale only those cats that the pet shop has obtained from or displays in cooperation with:

(1) An animal care facility; or
(2) An animal rescue organization.


B. A pet shop shall not offer for sale a cat that is younger than eight (8) weeks old.

Added 3-22-16 by Ord. No. O-2016-008

Municipal code

And Chapter 126 Dogs:

Part II: General Legislation
Chapter 126 Dogs
Article III Kennels, Pet Shops, Shelters and Pounds

§ 126-28 Restrictions on sales of certain animals.

B. Restrictions on the sale of animals.

(1) A pet shop may offer for sale only those dogs that the pet shop has obtained from or displays in cooperation with:

(a) An animal care facility; or
(b) An animal rescue organization.

(2) A pet shop shall not offer for sale a dog that is younger than eight (8) weeks old.

Municipal code

Several other New Jersey boroughs have seperate ordinances for dogs and cats, including: Audubon Park and Mount Ephraim (dogs, cats).

We still count Oaklyn’s cats only sales prohibition as a ban, but it sure is a funny one.

Then again, any ban that does not include dogs, cats rabbits, ferrets, pot-bellied pigs, guinea pigs, long-lived birds, large reptiles, certain turtles and certain chicks is incomplete in our view.

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