[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Verona as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Nuisance Animals
Article II Regulation of Domestic Animals
[Adopted 10-25-2001 by Ord. No. 5-2001 (Ch. III, Part 1, of the 1976 Code of Ordinances)]
As used in this article, the following terms have the meanings indicated, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
- Any live creature, both domestic and wild, except humans. "Animal" includes fowl, fish and reptiles.
- ANIMAL NUISANCE
- Any nuisance arising out of the keeping, maintaining or owning of, or failure to exercise sufficient control of, an animal.
- AT LARGE
- Any animal when it is off the property of its owner and not on a leash or otherwise restrained by or under the immediate control of a person physically capable of restraining the animal.
- The Borough of Verona.
- Any member of the genus and species known as Felis domesticus, male or female.
- Any indoor housing facility wherein cats are kept for the purpose of leasing, buying, selling, boarding, show, breeding, exchange or placement as pets or other similar purpose and is so constructed that the cats cannot stray therefrom.
- Any member of the genus and species known as Canis familiaris.
- DOMESTIC ANIMAL
- Dogs, cats, birds and other animals raised in confinement.
- Any canine whose known ancestry includes a species other than Canis.
- The taking into custody of an animal by any police officer, animal control officer or any authorized representative of the Borough.
- IMPOUNDMENT FACILITY
- Any authorized facility operated for the temporary care, confinement and detention of animals and for the humane killing and other disposition of animals.
- Any premises wherein any person engages in the business of boarding, breeding, buying, letting for hire, training for a fee or selling dogs or cats.
- NONDOMESTIC FELINE
- Any species of the genus Felis other than Felis domesticus.
- NUISANCE ANIMAL
- Any animal that unreasonably annoys humans, endangers the life or health of persons or other animals, or substantially interferes with the rights of citizens, other than its owner, to the enjoyment of life or property. The term "nuisance animal" shall not apply to a guide dog accompanying any blind person or to a dog used to assist any other physically handicapped person. The term "nuisance animal" shall include but not limited to:
- A. Any animal that is running at large.
- B. Any domestic animal in any section of a park or public recreation area unless the dog or cat is controlled by a leash or similar physical restraint.
- C. Any animal that damages, soils, defiles or defecates on any property other than that of its owner. Where the owner immediately removes all the feces deposited by the nuisance animal and disposes of the same in a sanitary manner, that type of nuisance shall be considered abated if the owner carries the same away for disposal in a commode or places the same in a nonleaking container for deposit in a trash or litter receptacle.
- D. Any animal that makes disturbing noises, including but not limited to continued and repeated howling, barking, whining or other utterances, causing unreasonable annoyance, disturbance or discomfort to neighbors or others in close proximity to the premises where the animal is kept or harbored.
- E. Any animal in heat that is not confined so as to prevent attraction or contact with other animals.
- F. Any animal, whether or not on the property of its owner, that without provocation molests, attacks or otherwise interferes with the freedom of movement of persons in a public right-of-way.
- G. Any animal that chases motor vehicles in a public right-of-way.
- H. Any animal that attacks domestic animals.
- I. Any animal that causes unsanitary conditions in enclosures or surroundings where the animal is kept or harbored.
- J. Any animal that is offensive or dangerous to the public health, safety or welfare by virtue of the number of animals maintained at a single residence or the inadequacy of the facilities, but in no event shall a person own more than five animals as set forth in § 99-6 of this article.
- Any person having temporary or permanent custody of, sheltering or having charge of, or harboring, exercising control over or having property rights to any animal covered by this article.
- State and local officers or employees, individuals, corporations, copartnerships and associations. Singular words shall include the plural. Masculine words shall include the feminine and neuter.
- RESTRAINED or UNDER RESTRAINT
- That an animal is secured by a leash or chain, not exceeding six feet in length, lead under the control of a person physically capable of restraining the animal and obedient to that person's commands, or securely enclosed in the real property limits of the owner's premises.
- A condition of good order and cleanliness to minimize the possibility of disease transmission.
- VICIOUS OR DANGEROUS ANIMAL
- Any animal that attacks, bites or physically injures human beings, domestic animals or livestock without adequate provocation, or which, because of temperament or training, has a known propensity to attack, bite or physically injure human beings, domestic animals or livestock. Any wild animal or any animal that without provocation has bitten or attacked a human being or other animal shall be prima facie presumed vicious or dangerous.
- WILD ANIMAL
- Any live monkey, nonhuman primate, raccoon, skunk, fox, leopard, panther, tiger, lion, lynx or any other warm-blooded animal that can normally be found in the wild state. The term "wild animal" does not include domestic dogs (excluding hybrids with wolves, coyotes or jackals), domestic cats (excluding hybrids with ocelots or margays), farm animals, rodents, any hybrid animal that is part wild, and captive-bred species of common cage birds.
An Animal Control Officer shall be appointed by Council from time to time. The Animal Control Officer, in addition to the police officers of the Borough, shall have the power of enforcement of this article, provided that the Animal Control Officer shall not have the power to make arrests under this article.
It shall be unlawful for any person to own a nuisance animal.
Any police officer or animal control officer shall impound any nuisance animal found in the Borough.
Animals are to be impounded in a licensed kennel or impounding facility unless the animal is running at large and accompanied by the owner and not under the control of the owner, in which case the police officer or animal control officer shall only be authorized to issue a citation to the owner for failure to have the animal under restraint and request that the owner take immediate steps to place the animal on a leash under the control of the owner. Failure to comply shall constitute a violation of this article.
Licensed/identified animals. Owners of licensed dogs or identified animals are to be notified by registered or certified mail, with return receipt, that the animal is impounded and will be disposed of in 10 days if not claimed. The owner of any impounded animal may reclaim the animal upon payment of all costs and charges incurred by the Borough for impoundment and maintenance of the animal. No animal shall be provided by the Borough to any person or institution for the purposes of medical research.
Dogs. Ten days after the return receipt has been received, if the impounded dog has not been claimed, the dog may be sold or euthanized in some humane manner. All moneys derived from the sale of such dog, after deducting the expenses of its detention, shall be paid through the Department of Agriculture to the State Treasurer for credit to the Dog Law Restricted Account.
Identified cats and other animals except dogs. Ten days after the return receipt has been received, identified cats and other animals may be adopted or euthanized in some humane manner.
Unlicensed/unidentified animals. Unlicensed/unidentified animals that are impounded are to be held in the impounding facility for five days and, if not claimed, may be euthanized in accordance with this article.
Any person may view such impounded animals during normal business hours.
Any police officer or animal control officer may detain and humanely kill any dog which is found running at large and is deemed, after due consideration by such officer, to constitute a threat to the public health and welfare.
Number of pets permitted in Borough limits. No person shall own, as defined in this article, more than five dogs or cats, or any combination thereof, within Borough limits.
This section shall not affect any person or residence whose number of dogs, cats or any combination thereof exceeds the limit of five prior to the effective date of this section. Upon elimination of dogs or cats by adoption, death or any permanent removal from that person or residence, owners exceeding the limit of five and excepted from this section shall not obtain additional dogs or cats.
This section shall not affect kennels and catteries that have been granted a kennel/cattery permit by the Borough or those kennels registered with the Department of Agriculture.
This section shall not apply to litters of young under 12 weeks of age which have been registered with the Borough.
Dog license. Dogs must be licensed through Allegheny County. Applications are available at the Borough Building.
Cat license. It is unlawful to own a cat that is not licensed in the Borough.
Information. At the time the application for license is made, the owner shall state on a printed form provided for this purpose the owner's name, address and telephone number and the name, breed, color and sex of each cat for which a license is acquired.
Fee. Before a license is issued, fees shall be paid to the Borough Treasurer or his or her authorized agent in the amount of $5 per license.
Litter registration. Owners are required to register with the Borough all litters of kittens born within Borough limits within 10 working days of birth. There shall be no fee to the owner to register the first litter born between January 1 and December 31 of any year. Each household, excluding those holding a current kennel/cattery permit, shall be limited to one litter of kittens each year. This section does not affect those kennels registered with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
Animal identification. No person shall keep, harbor or maintain a cat that roams freely. The owner must identify the cat or cats by adorning each cat with an identification collar or tag that clearly and legibly states the cat owner's name, address and telephone number.
Proof of a cat's current rabies vaccination shall be provided upon request by the Borough.
Nondomestic feline and hybrids. No person or residence shall own, harbor or maintain a nondomestic feline or hybrid within the Borough limits.
This chapter shall not be deemed to prohibit or otherwise declare unlawful any agricultural operations protected from nuisance suits by 3 P.S. § 951 et seq.
The keeping of chickens, ducks, geese or other poultry, cattle, pigs, rabbits, goats or horses or the maintenance of chicken coops, pig pens, dog kennels or stables is hereby prohibited within the Borough of Verona.
Before the animal is released from the impoundment facility the owner shall pay a fee of $15 to the Borough as well as reasonable fees incurred by the Borough by reason of the animal's impoundment.
Any person who violates any provision of this article or makes false representations under this article shall be fined not more than $600 plus costs of prosecution and, in default thereof, imprisonment not to exceed 90 days.
[Adopted 1-29-2008 by Ord. No. 3-2008]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated in this section:
- A dog, cat or other domesticated companion animal (pet).
- ANIMAL CONTROL AUTHORITY
- The Borough of Verona or the person, persons or firm designated by said Borough to enforce this article.
- ANIMAL ESTABLISHMENT
- Any pet shop, grooming shop, animal auction, performing animal exhibition, kennel, or animal shelter, except this term shall not include residences where fewer than three animals are bred less than three times annually for noncommercial purposes, veterinary medical facilities, licensed research facilities, facilities operated by governmental agencies, or licensed animal dealers regulated by the USDA under the provisions of U.S. Public Laws 89544 and 91579.
- ANIMAL SHELTER
- Facility designated or recognized by the Borough of Verona for the purpose of impounding and caring for animals.
- AT LARGE
- An animal shall be deemed to be "at large" when off the property of the owner and not under restraint.
- HUMANE MANNER
- Care of an animal, to include, but not limited to, adequate heat, ventilation and sanitary shelter, wholesome food and water consistent with the normal requirements and feeding habits of the animal's size, species and breed.
- An establishment kept for the purpose of breeding, selling or boarding animals or engaged in training dogs.
- Rendered permanently incapable of reproduction.
- A person having the right of property or custody of an animal or who harbors an animal or knowingly permits an animal to remain on or about any premises occupied by that person.
- Any individual, corporation, partnership, organization or institution commonly recognized by law as a unit.
- PET SHOP
- An establishment engaged in the business of buying or selling, at retail, dogs, cats or other animals for profit-making purposes.
- An animal shall be considered "under restraint" if it is within the real property limits of its owner or secured by a leash or lead under the control of a responsible person.
- VICIOUS ANIMAL
- An animal that constitutes a physical threat to humans or other domestic animals.
No person shall own, keep or harbor any animal over three months of age within the Borough of Verona unless such animal is vaccinated and licensed by Allegheny County. The provisions of this section do not apply to animals owned by a licensed research facility or held in a veterinary medical facility or government operated or licensed animal shelter. A copy of said license application is attached hereto and made a part of this article.
Editor's Note: The dog license application can be accessed on the Internet on the Allegheny County website.
All animals shall be vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian, in accordance with the latest "Compendium of Animal Rabies Vaccines and Recommendations for Immunization" published by the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians.
A certificate of vaccination shall be issued to the owner of each animal vaccinated on a form recommended by the Compendium. Each owner shall also receive a durable vaccination tag indicating the year in which it was issued. Every owner shall be required to provide each animal with a collar to which such vaccination tag must be affixed.
No person shall keep, harbor or maintain an animal over the age of three months unless the owner obtains a license from the Borough of Verona or other authorized agent. The license year shall be from January 1 to December 31 of each year.
Upon payment of the license fee, there shall be issued to the owner a tag for each animal license. The tag shall be changed every year and shall have stamped on it the year for which it was issued. Every owner shall be required to provide each animal with a collar to which such license tag must be affixed. The fees for said licenses shall be as Council may from time to time set by resolution and may provide for different license fees for spayed and/or neutered animals than for those that are not.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this section and convicted of the same shall be liable for a fine of not less that $100 nor more than $1,000 plus actual costs of prosecution incurred for each animal not in accordance with this article.
All animals shall be kept under restraint and shall be securely on a leash at all times when the animal is in public and not in or on the owner's premises.
Every vicious animal, as determined by the Borough of Verona, shall be confined by its owner within a building or secure enclosure and shall be securely muzzled or caged whenever off the premises of its owner.
The owner of every animal shall be responsible for every behavior of such animals under the provisions of this article.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this section and convicted of the same shall be liable for a fine of not less that $100 nor more than $1,000 plus actual costs of prosecution incurred and, in default thereof, be sentenced to the Westmoreland County Jail for a period not exceeding 30 days.
Any animal found running at large shall be impounded by the Borough of Verona in an animal shelter and in a humane manner. Immediately upon impounding an animal, the Borough of Verona shall make every reasonable attempt to notify the owner and inform such owner of the conditions whereby custody of the animal may be regained. Animals not reclaimed by their owners within a period of five full days in which the shelter is open to the public shall become the property of the Borough of Verona.
When an animal is found running at large and its ownership is verified by the Borough of Verona, the authority may exercise the option of serving the owner with a notice of violation in lieu of impounding the animal.
In the event that the Borough of Verona finds animals to be suffering, it shall have the right forthwith to remove or cause to have removed any such animals to a safe place for care at the owner's expense or to euthanize them when necessary to prevent further suffering. Return to the owner may be withheld until the owner shall have made full payment for all expenses so incurred.
Disposal of an animal by any method specified herein does not relieve the owner of liability for violations and any accrued charges.
No person shall interfere with, hinder or molest any agent of the Borough of Verona in the performance of any duty as herein provided. Any person violating this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject to a fine of not less that $100 nor more than $1,000 plus actual costs of prosecution incurred.
Verona Borough recognizes the existence of a statewide dog law known as the Pennsylvania Dog Law and codified in Title 3, Chapter 8 of the Pennsylvania Statutes, 3 P.S. §§ 459-101 through 459-1205. The rights, obligations and remedies contained in this article are in addition to any right, obligation or remedy set forth in the Pennsylvania Dog Law and does not preclude enforcement under each or both.