Ord I-8

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TOPIC :                    ANIMALS            

SUBJECT:                 VICIOUS DOGS AND ANIMALS

KEY WORDS:                    

CODE:                      ORD I-8

AGENCIES:                POLICE, HEALTH DEPTS.

STATUTES:                C. 140, SS. 157, 172, C. 44, S. 53E1/2,
   C. 265, S. 13D,
C. 272, S. 77

DATES:                               

 

Section 1:00 Definitions

For the purpose of this ordinance, the following definitions shall be applicable:

A.     "Animal" means any live, vertebrate creature, domestic or wild.

B.     "Animal-domestic" means any dog, cat, horse, cow, sheep, goat, pig or domestic fowl.

C.     "Animal-wild" means any raccoon, skunk, fox, leopard, panther, tiger, lion, lynx or other similar warm-blooded animal by nature, or poisonous reptile normally found in the wild.

D.     "Animal control center" means any facility operated by or for the City or the authorized agents thereof for the purpose of impounding or caring for animals held under the authority of this ordinance or Massachusetts General Laws.

E.     "Animal control officer" means any person designated by the City to handle and manage issues dealing with domestic or wild animals or any dangerous rabid or potentially rabid animal.

F.     "Animal Exhibition" means any display containing one or more animals which are exposed to public view for entertainment, instruction, advertisement, excluding state and county fairs, livestock shows, rodeos, purebred dog and pedigree cat shows, obedience trials and competitions, field trials, and any other fairs and exhibitions intended to advance agricultural arts and sciences.

G.     "Auction" means any place or facility where animals are regularly bought, sold, or traded, except those facilities otherwise defined in this ordinance. This term does not apply to isolated sales of individual animals by owners.

H.     "Chief of Police" means the Chief of the Lynn Police Department or his designee.

I.     "Circus" means a commercial variety show featuring animal acts for Public entertainment.

J.     "Dealer" means any person who, for compensation or profit, buys for resale any animals, whether alive or dead, for research, experimentation, testing or exhibition (except as an exhibit as herein defined) or for use as pets.

K.     "Commercial animal establishment" means any pet shop, grooming shop, auction, zoological park, circus, performing animal exhibition, or kennel.

L.     "Grooming shop" means a commercial establishment where animals are: bathed, clipped, plucked, or otherwise groomed.

M.     "Kennel" means any premises wherein any person engages in the business of boarding, breeding, buying, letting for hire, training for a fee or selling dogs, or a place where four or more cats or dogs or any combination of four (4) such animals are kept, whether by the owners of the animals or by other persons, with or without compensation.

N.     "Licensing authority" is the City Clerk as provided by the General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

O.     "Owner" means any person, firm, corporation, organization, or department owning, keeping, having an interest in, or having care, custody, or control of, or harboring one (1) or more animals. An animal shall be deemed to be harbored if it is fed or sheltered for three (3) consecutive days or more.

If the owner of the animal is a minor, the parent or guardian of said minor shall be considered the owner.

P.     "Performing animal exhibition" means any spectacle, display, act, exhibit, or event other than circuses, in which performing animals are used.

Q.     "Pet" means any animal kept for pleasure rather than utility.

R.     "Pet shop" means any person, partnership, or corporation, whether operated separately or in connection with any business enterprise except for a licensed kennel, that buys, sells or boards any species of animals.

S.     "Physical restraint" means muzzled and on a leash not to exceed (6) feet and controlled by an adult physically capable of controlling such dog. The muzzle must not cause injury to the dog but must prevent it from biting any person or animal.

T.     "Potentially vicious dog" means any dog that:

1.     When unprovoked, inflicts bite(s) on human or domestic animals on public or private property;

2.     When unprovoked, chases or approaches a person upon the streets, sidewalks, or any public property in an apparent attitude of attack;

3.     Has known propensity, tendency, or disposition to attack unprovoked, causing injury or otherwise threatening the safety of humans or domestic animals.

U.     "Public nuisance" means any animal which:

1.     Molests or attacks passerby or passing vehicles;

2.     Attacks other animals;

3.     Trespasses on school grounds or private property;

4.     Is repeatedly at large five (5) or more times;

5.     Damages private or public property;

6.     Barks, whines, howls, or makes any noise natural to its species inan excessive, continuous, or untimely fashion so as to disturb the peace;

7.     Creates excessive offensive odor.

V.     "Restraint" means any leash, lead or other physical restraint.

W.     "Secure enclosure" means a secure enclosure shall be a minimum of five (5) feet wide, ten (10) feet long, and five (5) feet in height above the grade, and with a horizontal top covering said area, all to be at least nine (9) gauge link fencing with necessary steel supporting posts. To prevent escape of the animal, the floor shall be at least three (3) inches of poured concrete with the bottom edge of said fencing embedded in the concrete or extending at least one (1) foot below grade. The gate must be of the same material as the fencing, fit closely and be securely locked or otherwise deemed secured by the animal control officer. The Owner shall post the secure enclosure with a clearly visible warning symbol to inform children, that there is a dangerous dog on the property. The enclosure must contain and provide protection from the elements for the dog or other animals mentioned before and shall comply with Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 272, section 77 (Cruelty to Animals).

X.     "Serious bodily injury" means bodily injury which involves a substantial risk of death, unconsciousness, extreme physical pain, protracted and obvious disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member or organ.

Y.     "Veterinary hospital or clinic" means any establishment maintained and operated by a licensed veterinarian for surgery, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases or injuries of animals.

Z.     "Vicious dog" means any dog that has:

1.     Without provocation, inflicted substantial bodily harm on a-human being on public or private property;

2.     Killed a domestic animal without provocation while off the owner's property;

3.     Been found to be potentially dangerous, and after the owner has notice that the dog is potentially dangerous, the dog aggressively bites, attacks, or endangers the safety of humans or domestic animals.

 

AA.     "Zoological park" means any facility, other than a pet shop or kennel, displaying or exhibiting one (1) or more species of non-domestic animals operated by any person, partnership, or corporation, or any governmental agency.

 

Section 2:00 Vicious dogs

A.     To consider declaring a dog vicious or potentially vicious, the animal control officer will call a special hearing to consider any evidence collected. The animal control officer shall notify the owner of the dog by certified letter of such hearing. The owner may attend and have an opportunity to be heard. At this hearing the animal control officer will determine whether to declare such dog vicious or potentially vicious. If the dog is declared vicious or potentially vicious the owner shall notify his abutter next door and across the street of such finding by certified mail return receipt requested at the owner's sole expense. If a dog owned by a resident of the City of Lynn has been found to be vicious, the ownership of the dog cannot be transferred. If the owner chooses not to build the dog a secure enclosure or if said dog is found on the property not owned or controlled by its owner or not restrained in the secure area, an order that the dog be euthanized will be issued. No dog shall be declared vicious or potentially vicious if the threat, injury, or damage was sustained by a person committing a crime, or was provoked by a person cruelly abusing the dog.

B.     If the dog is declared vicious or potentially vicious, the owner will have a two (2) week period in which to have a secure enclosure constructed to house the dog when it is in the owner's yard. During such period, the dog will be publicly impounded at an animal shelter or a private veterinary hospital until the secure enclosure is constructed before the dog is released. The effectiveness of the secure enclosure shall be subject to periodic inspections by such officer, as deemed necessary. The fee for said inspection shall be seventy-five dollars ($75.00). If the owner is found violating the secure enclosure requirements, immediate public impoundment of the dog(s) shall be taken by the animal control officer during the time the violation continues to exist. The owner shall bear all costs for such public impoundment. The said fine for such violation shall be fifty dollars ($50.00) per day or part of the day the violation is allowed to exist.

C.     If the owner of a vicious or potentially vicious dog does not have a secure enclosure constructed during the two (2) week period, the dog may be destroyed unless, during the same two week (2) period, the owner files an appeal with the Chief of the Lynn Police Department or his designee. If such an appeal is filed, it will be heard within three (3) weeks of the appeal. The Determination of the Chief of the Lynn Police

Department or his designee shall be final and binding subject to appeal only under the provisions of Chapter 30A of the General Laws.

D.     Any and all costs for the impounding of the dog involved will be borne by the owner unless determined otherwise by the Chief of the Lynn Police Department or his designee or the court of final appeal.

E.     If a vicious or potentially vicious dog bites or attacks a person, the dog shall be impounded and quarantined for the proper length of time for rabies observation.

Confinement of the animal may be accomplished at the owner's home, an animal shelter or at a private veterinary hospital and any charges incurred shall be the responsibility of the owner. In addition an Administrative Fee shall be Twenty-five dollars ($25.00). A summons shall be issued to the owner of such dog. The dog may be destroyed within ninety (90) days unless an appeal is taken by the owner involved to the Chief of Police or his designee within thirty (30) days of the impoundment. Any determination by the Chief of Police or his designee shall be final and binding subject to appeal only under the provisions of Chapter 30A of the General Laws.

F.     Any costs of impoundment will be borne by the owner absent a contrary decision by the Chief of Police or his designee or the courts. This provision shall not apply if the threat, damage or injury was sustained by a person committing a crime, or was provoked by a person cruelly abusing the dog.

G.     Any dog, whether or not it has been declared vicious, which attacks a person and thereby causes death or serious bodily injury will be impounded and quarantined for the proper period of time for rabies observation. A summons shall be issued to the owner of such dog. The dog must be destroyed within ninety (90) days unless an appeal is taken by the owner involved to the Chief of Police within thirty (30) days of the impoundment.

Any determination by the Chief of Police or his designee shall be final and binding subject to appeal only under the provisions of Chapter 30A of the General Laws.

H.     Any costs of impoundment shall be borne by the owner absent a contrary decision by the Chief of the Lynn Police or his designee.

I.     The provisions shall not apply if the threat, damage, or injury was sustained by a person who was committing a crime, or was provoked by a person cruelly abusing the dog.

J.     An owner may transport a vicious dog within city limits for medical or veterinary care provided said animal is properly restrained by being both muzzled and leashed, with a leash not to exceed the length of six (6) feet. A dog which has been declared to be a vicious dog pursuant to this ordinance additionally must wear an orange muzzle which will identify it as a dangerous dog.

K.     Any person under whose name a vicious dog is licensed, and/or the owner of said property where the dog resides or is licensed shall at all times that he or she possesses the dog or the dog remains at said address, maintain in full force and effect, a liability insurance policy of at least one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) for the benefit of the public safety. Such a person shall provide to the City Clerk's Office proof of such liability insurance. Such insurance shall name the City as co-insured solely for the purpose of notice of cancellation of the policy.

L.     The owner of a vicious dog, if said animal is found on property not owned or controlled by its owner, or not restrained in a secure area per paragraph B of this section, shall be subject to a fine of fifty ($50.00) dollars, and said animal shall be forever banned from within the limits of the City of Lynn and the license of such dog cannot be transferred from the City of Lynn to another city or town.

M.     Owners of vicious dogs found within the City of Lynn and not properly licensed shall be subject to a fine of fifty dollars ($50.00), and said animal shall be forever banned from within the limits of the City of Lynn and cannot be transferred from the City of Lynn to another city or town.

N.     In addition to this sections requirement that a vicious dog must be contained in a secure enclosure, the animal control officer may order that the owner place such a vicious dog on a lease within the secure enclosure. Such a leash shall prevent the vicious dog from being located within five feet of any public way open to pedestrian traffic.

O.     Each day or part of a day there exists a violation of any of the provisions of this ordinance shall constitute and be punishable as a separate offense.

P.     Compliance with the requirements of this chapter shall not be a defense to an order of disposal for a vicious dog pursuant to Chapter 140, section 157 of the General Laws.

 

Section 3:00 Control of dogs and other animals

A.     No owner shall fail to exercise proper care and control of his animals to prevent them becoming a public nuisance.

B.     Every female dog in heat shall be confined to a building or enclosure in such a manner that such female dog cannot come in contact with a male dog except for planned breeding.

C.     It shall be unlawful for any owner to keep, harbor or maintain on or off their premises any vicious or potentially vicious dog or domestic animal, unless such dog domestic animal is within the owner's house, in a secure enclosure, or physical restraint or unless such dog or domestic animal is under the control of a law enforcement officer on or about their official duties. Any domestic animal found in violation hereof shall be immediately impounded. A summons shall be issued to the owner of the dog or domestic animal.

D.     It shall be considered unlawful for any person owning, keeping, harboring, or possessing any rabbits, horses, goats, llama, buffaloes, hogs, sheep, cattle, or other animals, chickens, ducks, geese, or any other birds, or poultry, to permit or allow the same to go at large any time within the limits of the City of Lynn, to the damage or annoyance of any of the residents of the City of Lynn. The keeping of wild animals must meet all requirements of Massachusetts General Laws and federal laws.

 

Section 4:00 Dogs on school premises

A.     Notwithstanding any other ordinance, rule or regulation to the contrary, no person either the owner or keeper of a dog or other animal shall allow his dog or other animal to be upon any school grounds, between the hours of eight (8:00) a.m. to four (4:00) p.m. on any day that schools are in session or during any athletic event or contest, regardless of the time of day or whether school in session or not (except for a school team mascot or a so-called seeing-eye or hearing aide dog).

B.     Any owner or keeper of a dog or other animal who fails to comply with the provisions of this section shall be subject to a non-criminal ticket in the amount of fifty ($50.00) dollars. The Police Department and/or the animal control officer may remove the offending dog or other animal to a suitable animal shelter any charges to recover said animal shall be payable by said owner or keeper.

 

Section 5:00 Removal of Dog Waste

A.     The owner of every dog or person(s) who possesses or controls the dog or other animal shall be responsible for the removal of any fecal matter deposited by his animal(s) on public walks, recreation areas, or private property. "Owner" includes person(s) who "possesses or control" the dog.

B.     The owner or person(s) who possesses or controls the dog or other animal when appearing with the dog on any public walk, street, recreation area or private property shall possess the means of removal of any fecal matter left by such dog or other animal.

C.     For the purposes of this ordinance, the means of removal shall include any tool, implement, or other device carried for the purposes of picking up or containing such fecal matter. Disposal shall be accomplished by transporting such fecal matter to a place suitable and regularly reserved for the disposal of human fecal matter specifically reserved for the disposal of dog or other animal fecal matter or otherwise designated as appropriate by the Health Commissioner of the City of Lynn.

D.     Any owner or person(s) who possess or control the dog or other animal who fails to comply with the provisions of this section shall be subject to a non-criminal ticket in the amount of twenty-five ($25.00) dollars for the first offense and fifty ($50.00) dollars for every subsequent offense. The police department, animal control officers) and Health Department may enforce this section.

 

Section 6:00 Impoundment Notice of violation and emergency car

A.     Any domestic animal determined to be a nuisance by a police officer or animalcontrol officer shall be taken by the police or animal control officer and impounded and confined in a humane manner.

B.     Unclaimed domestic animals or nuisance animals must be kept for not less than ten (10) days, after which if not reclaimed, adopted, released for adoption, the impounded domestic or nuisance animals may be humanely euthanized. The City of Lynn shall not be liable for any disposition of such animals in accordance with this ordinance. If not reclaimed, adopted, or released for adoption after a reasonable length of time, as determined by the animal control authorities involved, the domestic or nuisance animals shall be humanely euthanized.

C.     If by a license tag or by other means the owner of the impounded animal can be identified, the animal control officer involved, immediately upon impoundment, or as soon as practical thereafter, shall attempt to notify the owner by telephone or by prepaid certified mail.

D.     An owner claiming an impounded animal shall pay reasonable fees and expenses as the City may from time to time adopt or approve by appropriate administrative ordinance or resolution. It is the intent that all costs, including medical care, for care and impounded animal area to be the responsibility of the owner of the animal.

E.     Minimal emergency medical care means:

1.     Any sick or injured animal found at large within the city may be taken to any veterinarian for minimal emergency care or euthanasia; in which case the veterinarians shall notify the owner immediately or as soon as practical thereafter. In anycase, such owner shall be liable for any expense incurred with respect to such animal.

2.     If the owner of such animal can be identified, the animal control officer shall attempt to notify the owner immediately or as soon as practical thereafter. In any case, such owner shall be liable for any expense incurred with respect to such animal.

3.     If the owner of such animal cannot be identified within twenty-four (24) hours, the animal shall become the property of the impounding authority. If, during the initial twenty-four (24) hour period, it is recommended, in writing, by a veterinarian that the animal is in such pain and has no reasonable hope for recovery, the animal may be humanely euthanized. The City of Lynn shall not be liable for any expense with respect to such animal at any time unless expressly authorized by the City or its agents.

4.     If after minimal emergency care such animal can be safely impounded, the animal control officer may impound such animal subject to disposition with this ordinance.

 

Section 7:00 Animal care

A.     Every owner shall provide his animals with sufficient good and wholesome food and water, proper shelter and protection from the weather, veterinary care when needed to prevent suffering, and provide humane care and treatment.

B.     No person shall beat, cruelly treat, torment, overload, overwork, or otherwise abuse an animal, or cause, instigate or permit any dogfight, cockfight, or bullfight, or any other combat between animals or between animals and humans.

C.     No owner of an animal shall abandon such animal.

D.     Chickens and ducklings younger than eight (8) weeks of age shall not be sold by any person in quantities of less than twenty-five (25).

E.     No person shall give away any live animal, reptile, fish, or bird as a prize for, or as an inducement to enter, any contest, game or other competition, or as an inducement to enter, any place of amusement; or offer any vertebrate as an incentive to enter into any business agreement wherein the offer was for the purpose of attracting trade.

F.     No person shall expose any known poisonous substance, whether mixed with food or not, so that the same shall be liable to be eaten by an animal, provided shall not be unlawful for a person to expose to his own property common rat poison mixed only with vegetables substances.

G.     The animal control officer and/or any police officer may initiate before a district court judge a search warrant for any premises upon a showing of probable cause to believe that a violation of any provision of this section is occurring or has occurred within a reasonable time thereon; and take charge of and impound the animals or fowl involved in such violations. The matter of disposition of any such animal shall be determined by a district court judge.

 

Section 8:00 Keeping wild animals

A.     No person shall keep or permit to be kept on his premises any wild animal or vicious animals for display or for exhibition purposes, whether gratuitously or for a fee. This section shall not be construed to apply to zoological parks, performing wild animal exhibitions or circuses.

B.     No person shall keep or permit to be kept on his premises any wild animals as a pet.

C.     The animal control officer may issue a temporary permit for the keeping of any wild animals native to this area which has been deemed to be homeless and incapable of survival in the wild.

D.     The animal control officer shall have the power to release or order therelease of any wild animal kept under temporary permit which is deemed to be capable ofsurvival in the wild.

 

Section 9:00 Issuance of citations

A.     The animal control officer is hereby authorized to issue a citation to any individual who, in his/her opinion, is in violation of the terms and conditions of this ordinance. Said fines may be contested to the Chief of the Lynn Police Department by filing a protest .within ten (10) days of the date of the citation, with the city clerk. The decision of the Chief of Police shall be final and binding although subject to appeal under the provisions of Chapter 30A of the General Laws. Any animal which receives five (5) or more citation from the animal control officer may be forever banned from within the limits of the City of Lynn and the license of such dog cannot be transferred from the City of Lynn to another city or town.

B.     All dogs or cats six (6) months of age or older shall be immunized against rabies by a licensed veterinarian. The owner must have in his possession a current vaccination certificate subject to the inspection of the animal control officer, or designated agent of the city.

C.     If any dog or cat has bitten any person or is suspected of having bitten any person, or is for any reason suspected of being inflicted with rabies, the animal control officer or the state animal inspector may cause such dog or cat to be confined or isolated for such period of time as he deems necessary. Confinement of the animal may be accomplished at the owner's home, an animal shelter, or at a private veterinary hospitaland any charges incurred shall be the responsibility of the owner. In addition, an Administrative Fee shall be imposed in the amount of Twenty-five dollars ($25.00).

 

Section 10:00 Enforcement

The provisions of this ordinance shall be enforced by the Lynn Police

Department, the animal control officer(s). The Lynn Health Department inspectors are also permitted to enforce section 5.00 of this ordinance. It shall be a violation of this ordinance to interfere with any such person in the performance of their duties, or to take any animal from the person without designated authority.

 

Section 11:00 Transport Fees

A.     Any dog or other animal which is removed by the animal control officer shall result in a Transport Fee of not more than Twenty dollars ($20.00) on the owner of said dog or other animal in addition to any fee or fine imposed by this ordinance or other applicable law. Such a fee shall be paid before the dog or other animal may be released from the custody of the animal control officer.

B.     To the extent permitted by G.L. c. 140, 172, fees collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited into a revolving fund within the Parking Department of the City of Lynn with disbursement at the direction of the Parking Director, pursuant to the provisions of G.L. c. 44, 53El/2, and shall be subject to annual authorization by the City Council with the approval of the Mayor. Such fund shall be utilized as follows: toreimburse for costs associated with the impoundment of animals by the animal control officer. The total amount which may be expended from such fund shall not exceed amounts authorized under the aforesaid Section 53E1/2.

 

Section 12:00 Assault and Battery Upon Enforcing Officials

Any person who commits assault and battery upon any public employee when such person is engaged in the performance of his duties at the time of such assault and battery, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than ninety days nor more than two and one-half years in a house of correction or by a fine of not less than five hundred nor more than five thousand dollars as provided in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter265, 13D.

 

Section 13:00 Violations -- Penalties

A person who violates a provision of this ordinance is guilty of a separate offense for each day or part of a day during which the violation is committed, continued or permitted. Each offense is punishable by a fine not to exceed three hundred dollars ($300.00).

 

Section 14:00 Severabiiity

If any of the provisions of this ordinance or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions of said ordinance nor the application of such other provisions, which can be given effect without the invalid provisions of application thereof, and for this purpose the provisions of this ordinance are severable.

 

Section 15:00 Repeal of inconsistent ordinances

All ordinances or parts of ordinances inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed.

 

Section 16:00 Effective date

This ordinance shall take effect thirty-one (31) days after its final adoption as advertised.

Introduced in Council:

Adopted:

After Signed by Mayor:

Effective (31 days)

July 8, 2008

August 12, 2008

September 12, 2008

 



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