Town of Ipswich, MA
Essex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Ipswich as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Penalties — See Ch. 300.
Noncriminal disposition of violations — See Ch. 325.
[Adopted 5-14-2013 ATM, approved by Attorney General 8-30-2013; amended 5-13-2014 ATM, approved by Attorney General 9-4-2014 (Ch. XX of the 1973 Bylaws)]

§ 109-1 Background.

On October 17, 2012, the Special Town Meeting amended Section V in the Protective Zoning Bylaw of the Town of Ipswich by adding footnote "31" to the following accessory use within the Table of Uses: "Keeping, raising and breeding of farm animals, such as poultry, horses, livestock, or other farm animals, or insects for use only by residents of the premises on less than one acre or more." The Zoning Bylaw, as amended, allows households to keep chickens by-right (i.e., without a special permit), subject to certain conditions. One of the conditions is that the household obtain "any certificate or approval from the Town Animal Control Officer or Board of Health as may be required by separate bylaw or regulation."

§ 109-2 Authorization and purpose.

In addition to the provisions of the Zoning Bylaw described in § 109-1 above, and to promote the public, health and general welfare of the residents of Ipswich, this Chapter 109, Article I, separately and independently requires the issuance of a certificate of approval for the keeping of chickens on residential lots less than one acre in area. This Chapter also authorizes and directs the Ipswich Police Department, through its Animal Control Officer, to adopt an application form and rules and regulations governing the keeping of chickens. These rules and regulations shall specify the application process, inspections, and general requirements associated with said use.

§ 109-3 Penalties.

No chickens shall be kept on a residential lot having less than one acre of area and/or in violation of the rules and regulations authorized by and promulgated pursuant to this Chapter 109, Article I. Any person who violates this Chapter 109, Article I, and the rules and regulations promulgated pursuant hereto, including the failure to obtain the required certificate of inspection or comply with its terms and conditions, shall be subject to the penalties described in §§ 109-5 and 109-6 of the Ipswich General Bylaws. Violations may be enforced by the Animal Control Officer or a Police Officer, subject to the provisions of Chapter 300, Penalties, of these General Bylaws. However, the Animal Control Officer or Police Officer have the option of enforcing violations non-criminally pursuant to MGL c. 40, § 21D, rather than by a criminal complaint in District Court.
[Adopted 5-14-2013 ATM, approved by Attorney General 8-30-2013 (Ch. XV, § 5, of the 1973 Bylaws)]

§ 109-4 Leash law.

A person who owns or keeps a dog within the territorial limits of the Town of Ipswich shall not permit nor shall allow such a dog to be at large in the Town other than on the premises demised to its owner or keeper, unless said dog is restrained by being kept on a leash not exceeding six feet in length.

§ 109-5 Licensing.

A. 
Any owners or keepers of dogs six months or older shall license such dogs annually between January 1 and March 31 each year or shall be subject to a late fee of $10 for each month or part thereof said license is issued after March 31. Proof of rabies vaccination shall be provided prior to issuance of a license. The other requirements for licensing dogs shall be in accordance with MGL c. 140, § 137.
B. 
All owners and operators of kennels, as defined by MGL c. 140, § 136A, shall license such kennels annually between January 1 and March 31 or shall be subject to a late fee of $20 for each month or part thereof said license is issued after March 31. Prior to obtaining such a kennel license, the owner or operator of the kennel must provide proof of inspection of said kennel signed by the Animal Control Officer.
C. 
Any violation of this subsection shall be punished by fine of $50 for each offense.

§ 109-6 Dog fouling.

A. 
Duty to dispose. It shall be the duty of every person who owns, possesses, or controls a dog to remove and dispose of any feces left by his/her dog on any sidewalk, street, or other public area. It shall further be the duty of each person who owns, possesses or controls a dog to remove and dispose of any feces left by his/her dog on private property neither owned nor occupied by said person.
B. 
Duty to possess means of removal. No person who owns, possesses or controls a dog shall appear with such dog on any sidewalk, street, park, or other public area without a means of removal of any feces left by such dog. Furthermore, no person who owns, possesses or controls such dog shall appear on any private property neither owned nor occupied by said person without the means of removal of any feces left by such dog. Disposal in Town trash barrels or bins or in the storm drains is prohibited.
C. 
Method of removal and disposal. For the purposes of this section, the means of removal shall be any tool, implement, or other device carried for the purpose of picking up and containing such feces, unexposed to said person or to the general public. Disposal shall be accomplished by transporting such feces to a place suitable and regularly reserved for the disposal of canine feces, or as otherwise designated as appropriate by the agent of the Board of Health.
D. 
The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to a physically handicapped person in custody or control of a dog.
E. 
Penalties for violation. Violations shall be punished by a fine of $10 for the first such offense in any calendar year; a fine of $25 for the second such offense in any calendar year; and a fine of $50 for any third or subsequent offense in any calendar year.
[Amended 5-10-2016 ATM by Art. 23, approved by Attorney General 8-9-2016]
F. 
Enforcement. Violations of this section shall be enforced in accordance with all other applicable laws governing municipal bylaws; however, at the option of the Animal Control Officer or other officer authorized to enforce this bylaw, violations may be enforced non-criminally pursuant to MGL c. 40, § 21D, rather than by a criminal complaint in District Court.
G. 
The Town Clerk shall provide a copy of this section to each dog owner when said owner licenses his/her dog.

§ 109-7 Dogs in heat.

Any person who owns, possesses or controls a female dog in heat shall cause such female dog to be confined in a building or secure enclosure in such manner that such female dog cannot come into contact with another animal except for planned breeding. A violation of this section shall be punishable in the same manner as established in § 109-6 of this Animal Control Bylaw.

§ 109-8 Calls to confine and impounding.

[Amended 5-10-2016 ATM by Art. 23, approved by Attorney General 8-9-2016[1]]
A. 
Upon calls to domesticated animals (except dogs), the Animal Control Officer, or any other officer authorized to enforce this bylaw shall assess a charge of $50 per call.
B. 
A person who owns or keeps a dog within the territorial limits of the Town of Ipswich, whose dog was picked up and impounded at the Town Animal Shelter between the hours of 8 am – 4 pm, will be charged a pick up fee of $10. A person who owns or keeps a dog within the territorial limits of the Town of Ipswich, whose dog was picked up and impounded at the Town Animal Shelter between the hours of 4 pm – 8 am, shall be charged a pick-up fee of $50. If a dog remains impounded beyond 24 hours, a daily impound fee of $40 will be assessed for each additional 24 hour period, or parts thereof.
[1]
Editor's Note: The subsection designations in this bylaw have been modified from the original so as to match the style and organization of the General Bylaws as codified. In addition, any internal cross-references to the prior numbering have been modified accordingly. See § 5-4 of this Code.

§ 109-9 Nuisance and dangerous dogs.

Any person owning, possessing or controlling a dog in the Town of Ipswich shall not allow or permit said dog be a nuisance dog or a dangerous dog, as defined by MGL c. 140, § 136A. The Animal Control Officer or any other officer authorized to enforce this Section may capture and hold any dog running at large in order to protect public safety, pending a hearing and decision by the Board of Selectmen upon such complaint. The Animal Control Officer or any other officer authorized to enforce this Section may also issue an order to remove or temporarily ban any dog that is the subject of a complaint as a dangerous dog from any street, sidewalk, park or any other public area in order to protect public safety, pending a hearing and decision by the Board of Selectmen.

§ 109-10 Complaint, investigation, notification and appeal.

A. 
Any person, including the Animal Control Officer or any other officer authorized to enforce this Section, may make a complaint about a nuisance or dangerous dog in the Town of Ipswich in writing, signed under penalties of perjury and filed with the Town Clerk. Such complaint shall set forth the nature and date of the act complained of, the name and address, if known, of the owner, possessor or controller of the dog, and a description of the dog.
B. 
Upon the filing of any complaint under this Section, the Board of Selectman shall cause the investigation of such complaint and conduct a hearing to determine whether the dog is a nuisance or dangerous dog, and to determine the disposition of the complaint. Such hearings shall be held in accordance with MGL c. 140, § 157.
C. 
If the owner of the dog that is the subject of any such complaint and hearing is dissatisfied with the disposition of the complaint, he/she may bring a petition in the district court within 10 days requesting review of the complaint and disposition pursuant to MGL c. 140, § 157.
D. 
Violations and Penalties. Any owner or keeper of a dog found to be in violation of an order issued by the Board of Selectmen under this section shall result in seizure and impoundment of the dog and fines as described in MGL c. 140, § 157 and § 157A.

§ 109-11 Penalties and enforcement.

A. 
Except as otherwise provided in this article, any violation of this article shall be subject to the following fines:
[Amended 5-10-2016 ATM by Art. 23, approved by Attorney General 8-9-2016]
Violation
Fine
First offense
$10
Second offense
$25
Third offense
$50
B. 
Notwithstanding the provisions of § 109-1 above and of MGL c. 140, § 173A, as amended, the final disposition of each violation of this chapter, with the exception of violations of § 109-6 shall be in accordance with the following schedule. The Animal Control Officer and any deputy, and any Ipswich Police Officer shall have the authority to enforce the provisions of this article; and to further establish annual license fees as follows:
Neutered or spayed dogs
$15
Intact dogs
$20
Personal Kennel:
1 - 4 dogs:
Exempt;
5 - 9 dogs:
$50
10 - 14 dogs:
$75
15 or more dogs:
$100
Commercial Boarding/Training Kennel
$100
Commercial breeding kennel
$100
Veterinary kennel
$100
Domestic charitable corporation kennel
Exempt