Township of Canton, PA
Washington County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 2-101 Definitions.

[Ord. 5-1998, 6/9/1998, § 1]
As used in this Part, the following terms shall have the meaning indicated, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
ANIMALS
Any wild or domesticated animal or fowl, including, inter alia, dogs, cats and other household pets.
OWNER
When applied to the proprietorship of a dog or other animal, or fowl, includes every person having a right of property in such dog or other animal or fowl and every person keeps or harbors such dog or other animal or fowl or has it in his care, and every person who permits such dog or other animal or fowl to remain on or about any premises occupied by him.
RUNNING AT LARGE
Being upon any public highway, street, alley, park or any other public land, or upon property of another person other than the owner, and not being accompanied by or under the control of the owner or any other person having custody of said dog or other animal.

§ 2-102 Animal Control Officer.

[Ord. 5-1998, 6/9/1998, § 2]
An Animal Control Officer, appointed by the Board of Supervisors or hired pursuant to a contract approved by the Board of Supervisors, shall have responsibility of the enforcement of this Part and of the Pennsylvania Dog Law, 3 P.S. § 459-101 et seq., provided, that the Animal Control Officer shall not have the power to make arrests under this Act of Assembly or any other Act of Assembly or Ordinance of Canton Township.

§ 2-103 Running at Large Prohibited.

[Ord. 5-1998, 6/9/1998, § 3]
1. 
On or after the effective date of this Part, it shall be unlawful for any person or persons who are the owners or custodians of any pet to permit any pet owned by him, her or them, or under his, her or their supervision and control to run at large either in the day or at night upon the public streets or highways (including state and county highways) of Canton Township or upon the property of persons other than the owners of such pets.
A. 
Seizing of Dogs. The Animal Control Officer or other person authorized by law may seize any dog found at large in the Township.
B. 
Licensed Dogs. Owners of licensed dogs are to be notified by registered or certified mail, with return receipt, or by personal service or notice by posting the same upon the property of the owner, that the dog is impounded and will be disposed of in five days if not claimed. Five days after the return receipt has been received, or said notice has been provided, and the dog has not been claimed, the dog may be sold or destroyed in accordance with the 1982 Pennsylvania Dog Law, as amended.
C. 
Unlicensed Dogs. Unlicensed dogs that are seized are to be held for 48 hours and if not claimed, may be destroyed in accordance with the 1982 Pennsylvania Dog Law, as amended.
D. 
Threatening or Dangerous Dogs. Dogs that, in the opinion of any police officer or Animal Control Officer, constitutes a threat to public health or welfare may be destroyed by the police or Animal Control Officer.

§ 2-104 Keeping of Animals.

[Ord. 5-1998, 6/9/1998, § 4; as amended by Ord. 2-2002, 5/15/2002, § 1]
1. 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
ANIMAL
Any domestic animal or fowl, any wild animal or any household pet.
DOMESTIC ANIMAL
Any animal normally or ordinarily domesticated or raised in this area and climate as livestock or for work or breeding purposes, or normally or ordinarily kept as a household pet.
HOUSEHOLD PET
Any dog, cat or other domestic animal normally and ordinarily kept in or permitted to be at large in the dwelling of its owner.
LARGE ANIMAL
Any wild or domestic animal of the bovine, equine or sheep family.
PERSON
Any person, firm, partnership, association or corporation.
SMALL ANIMAL
Any wild or domestic animal such as a rabbit, hare, guinea pig, rat, mouse or chinchilla, and any wild or domestic fowl such as a chicken, turkey, goose, duck or pigeon (excepting homing pigeons).
A. 
Any or all of the following except police dogs, squad dogs or guard dogs acting under supervision of a police officer or prison guard:
(1) 
Any dog which is trained to attack or cause injury, or to otherwise endanger the safety of human beings or domestic animals.
(2) 
Any dog which bites, inflicts injury, assaults (which assaults shall include dogs at large approaching any person upon the streets, sidewalks or other public grounds or places in a threatening or terrorizing manner without provocation), or otherwise attacking a human being without provocation.
(3) 
Any dog which is deemed a dangerous dog under and pursuant to 3 P.S. § 459-101 et seq. (the "Dog Law," as amended).
B. 
Notwithstanding the provisions detailed above, no dog may be declared a vicious dog for inflicting injury or damage on any person committing a willful trespass or other tort upon premises occupied by the owner of the dog, or teasing, tormenting or abusing or assaulting the dog, or committing or attempting to commit a crime. No dog may be declared vicious for taking any action to defend or protect a human being within the immediate vicinity of the dog from an attack or assault.
WILD ANIMAL
Any animal, including bird, fowl or reptile not normally or ordinarily domesticated; not normally or ordinarily raised in this area and climate as livestock or for work or breeding purposes; or not being capable of being kept as a household pet.
In this section, the singular shall include the plural, the plural shall include the singular and the masculine shall include the feminine.
2. 
Keeping of Animals Regulated. Only that number of animals, including dogs or other animals, which shall not constitute a nuisance or a risk to the public health or safety shall be kept, maintained or harbored in a residential housing unit or on its grounds. It shall be unlawful for any person to keep any animals, except household pets, except as provided in this section.
A. 
In any area of the Township that is zoned residential, including R-1, R-2 and R-3 areas, it is unlawful for any keeper of animals, except a licensed kennel, to have within the property or inside the living unit more than a total of five domestic animals as defined in this Part.
B. 
Large animals shall be confined in quarters no part of which shall be closer than 100 feet from the exterior limits of any dwelling or of any property line.
C. 
Small animals shall be kept confined in quarters located upon the premises of the owner, and positioned so as not to interfere with the use or enjoyment of the property of others.
D. 
The keeper of every such animal shall confine the same in an enclosure sufficient to prevent such animal from running at large, and such enclosure shall be of a size conducive to good sanitary practices and adequate and sanitary drainage facilities shall be provided.
E. 
Every keeper of any animal(s) shall cause the litter and droppings therefrom to be collected daily in a container or receptacle that when closed shall be rat-proof and fly-tight, and after every such collection shall cause such container or receptacle to be kept closed. At least twice a week, every such keeper shall cause all litter and droppings to be disposed of in such a manner as not to permit the presence of fly larvae.
F. 
Every keeper of any animal(s) shall cause all feed provided therefore to be stored and kept in a rat-proof and fly-tight building, box, container or receptacle.
G. 
It shall be illegal within the Township for any person or person to own, possess, harbor or control any animal which makes any noise continuously and/or incessantly for a period of 10 minutes or makes such noise intermittently for 1/2 hour or more to the disturbance of any person, any time of the day or night regardless of whether the animal is physically situated in or upon private property, said noise being a nuisance; provided, that at the time the animal is making such noise, no person is trespassing or threatening to trespass upon private property in or upon which the animal is situated, nor is there any other legitimate cause which justifiably provoked the animal.
H. 
Penalties. Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this Subsection 2, upon conviction thereof in an action brought before a district justice in the manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 plus costs and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 90 days. Each day that a violation of this Subsection 2 continues or each subsection of this Subsection 2 which shall be found to have been violated shall constitute a separate offense.
3. 
Vicious Dog Provisions.
A. 
Any person owning a vicious dog must register the dog with Canton Township and pay a fee in an amount as established, from time to time, by the Board of Supervisors for such registration. Upon licensing a vicious dog, the owner shall display, in a conspicuous manner, a sign on his premises warning that there is a vicious dog on the premises. The sign shall be visible and legible from the sidewalk and street.
B. 
The owner of a vicious dog shall not permit such dog to go beyond confined bounds of the owner's premises unless the dog is securely leashed and muzzled. Vicious dogs confined outdoors must have a pen or structure with sides and a secure top. Pens must have bottoms secured to the sides or be embedded in the ground no less than two feet.
C. 
Any dog which is a vicious dog pursuant to the terms of this Part, and not registered with Canton Township, as a vicious dog, shall be immediately seized and detained. Upon such seizure, the Animal Control Officer shall, by written notice sent by both certified and First Class mail or posted upon the owner's premises, notify the owner of such seizure and detention and the requirements to register the dog with Canton Township as a vicious dog within such ten-day period, the Canton Township Animal Control Officer shall bring suit with the local District Justice to have said dog be deemed a dangerous dog in accordance with the Dog Law. The dog shall continue to be detained by the Animal Control Officer until such time as the dog is registered as set forth for detaining a dog if the dog is a vicious dog in accordance with this Part.
4. 
Removing of Excrements. No owner, custodian or keeper of any dog shall allow or permit any such dog to deposit excrement upon the streets, alleys or public grounds in Canton Township unless such owner, custodian or keeper immediately removes the excrement and disposes of it in a sanitary manner. Anyone violating this provision may be cited by the Code Enforcement Officer of Canton Township or by the Animal Control Officer of Canton Township and said person may be fined or otherwise penalized as set forth in the penalties section as set forth in § 2-206 of this Part.

§ 2-105 Animal Control Procedures.

[Ord. 5-1998, 6/9/1998, § 5]
1. 
Call to Duty. The Animal Control Officer shall be available for call 24 hours per day and may be called to duty at the discretion of a member of the Board of Supervisors, the Township Secretary or a Township resident whose complaint to the Animal Control Officer clearly defines the situation to be in violation of this Part. The Animal Control Officer is responsible to provide a written record of all animal control contacts using a form approved by Canton Township summarizing monthly animal control complaints.
2. 
Transportation of Animals. If it is determined that the transportation of an animal is necessary, the Animal Control Officer shall transport said animal in his vehicle.
3. 
Seizure of Animals. The Animal Control Officer may seize any animal and cause that animal to be held as required pursuant to the provisions of this Part.
4. 
Injured or Dead Animals. Upon the report of an injured or dead animal in Canton Township the Animal Control Officer will be notified and ordered to report to the scene and assume responsibility for the animal. If it is determined that charges should be placed for incidences of injury, death or mistreatment of an animal, the Animal Control Officer may file a citation. Dead animals located on Township property, where the owner of the animal is unavailable, will normally be removed by the Highway Department after notification by the Animal Control Officer. PennDOT will be notified to remove dead animal from state roadways.
5. 
Dangerous or Vicious Animals. Upon report of a vicious animal, the Animal Control Officer will report to the scene immediately. If the owner of the animal is unavailable or unknown, the Animal Control Officer may utilize a tranquilizer gun or other approved method to subdue the animal and/or take appropriate action to ensure the safety of the people in the surrounding area. A dog determined to be dangerous under § 502A of the Pennsylvania Dog Law, 3 P.S. § 459-502A, shall be restrained or otherwise kept in accordance with Article VI-A of the Pennsylvania Dog Law, 3 P.S. § 459-501A et seq. Dogs may be destroyed only in accordance with the requirements of § 501 of the Pennsylvania Dog Law, 3 P.S. § 459-501, and otherwise, said dogs must be retained and delivered to the State Police or State Dog Warden. While detained, said dog must be treated in a human manner.
6. 
Suspected Rabid Animals. Upon complaints of suspected rabid animals, the Animal Control Officer shall be notified immediately. If the Animal Control Officer determines that the destruction of a suspected rabid animal is deemed necessary, such destruction must be accomplished in the least public manner possible, as humanely as possible, and that the head of the animal is not damaged and is preserved for analysis to confirm rabies.
7. 
Release to SPCA. When any animal is detained by the Animal Control Officer, said animals will be released to the SPCA, if possible, and the Animal Control Officer must inform the SPCA personnel of the specific period of time for which the animal is to be held and to whom the animal is to be released.
8. 
Wild Animals. For complaints involving wild animals and protected animals, the Animal Control Officer shall be notified and respond to the complaint unless the Animal Control Officer determines that a state game official is better suited to respond to the complaint, and the Animal Control Officer notifies such an official of the same.

§ 2-106 Penalties.

[Ord. 5-1998, 6/9/1998, § 6; as amended by Ord. 2-2002, 5/15/2002, § 1]
1. 
On the first two occasions that a dog or other animal is seized the owner of such animal shall pay a fine in the sum of $25 to Canton Township as well as reasonable fees as fixed pursuant to a resolution of the Board of Supervisors of Canton Township for keeping the animal in a kennel or other structure as approved by the Board. For each and every violation of this Part in excess of the two violations, the owner of the animal involved shall, upon conviction thereof in an action brought before a district justice in the manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 plus costs and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 90 days. Each that a violation of this Part continues or each section of this Part which shall be found to have been violated shall constitute a separate offense.
2. 
All penalties or assessments imposed under this Part shall be paid to the Secretary/Treasurer of Canton Township.