Town of Webster, MA
Worcester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 5-8-1988 ATM, Art. 98, as Sec. 160.1 of the General Bylaws]

§ 313-1 Leash required.

No person shall permit a dog owned or kept by him beyond the confines of the property of the owner or keeper unless the dog is held firmly on a leash. The length of a leash shall not exceed six feet when off the property of the owner or keeper. An owner or keeper may use a leash of a greater length to restrain a dog on the property of an owner or keeper, provided the dog is securely confined to the premises of the owner or keeper. This does not apply to working dogs.

§ 313-2 Disturbing the peace; dog waste.

[Amended 5-12-2008 ATM, Art. 11]
A. 
No person shall own or keep with the Town any dog which by biting, barking, howling or in any other manner disturbs the peace and quiet of any neighborhood or endangers the safety of any person or domesticated or farm animal.
B. 
No person owning or having the care, custody or control of any dog shall permit such dog to deposit fecal matter, soil, defile or commit any nuisance upon any sidewalk, street, thoroughfare, beach or wetland, in or upon any public property, or in or upon the property of persons other than the owner or persons having the care, custody or control of such dog, unless said person picks up such waste and disposes of it in a sanitary manner. This section shall not apply to physically handicapped persons in sole custody or control of said dog. Violations for this section may be enforced by the Animal Control Officers, Webster Health Department or the Webster Police Department.

§ 313-3 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 6-29-1989 ATM, Art. 20]
The animal control officer is hereby authorized to seek a complaint against the owner or keeper of a dog who is found to have violated the provisions of §§ 313-1 and 313-2 of this bylaw for which the penalties in Chapter 85, Enforcement; Noncriminal Disposition, of the Code of the Town of Webster shall be imposed.

§ 313-4 Muzzling or restraint.

A. 
In addition to the foregoing penalties, the animal control officer is authorized and empowered to muzzle, restrain or order the owner or keeper of a dog to muzzle or retrain a dog pending a hearing before the Board of Selectmen as herein provided when the animal control officer finds that a dog has:
(1) 
Bitten or threatened any person domesticated or farm animal.
(2) 
Chased any vehicle upon any way open to public travel in the Town.
(3) 
The owner had violated the provisions of §§ 313-1 and/or 313-2 for more than three times in any calendar year.
B. 
The owner or keeper of any dog that has been ordered to be restrained or muzzled under the provision of this Chapter may request the animal control officer, in writing, to vacate such order. If such order is not vacated, the owner or keeper of such dog may bring a petition in the district court within the judicial District of Worcester County praying that the order or restraint may be reviewed by the Court as provided in MGL c. 140, § 157, as amended.

§ 313-5 Order for uncontrollable dogs or unresponsive owners.

In addition to any other statutory authority contained in MGL c. 140, the animal control officer may, with the approval of the Board of Selectmen, enter a complaint before the Board of Selectmen for the purpose of obtaining an order with respect to the control or disposition of a dog found to be uncontrollable or whose owner or keeper is unresponsive to any other penalties contained in this bylaw.

§ 313-6 Additional violations and penalties.

[Amended 6-29-1989 ATM, Art. 20]
In addition to the requirement that a dog shall be duly licensed as required by law, the owner of a dog which is not licensed on or before April 30th in any year shall be subject to a fine as set in Chapter 85, Enforcement; Noncriminal Disposition, of the Code of the Town of Webster in addition to the license fee upon the complaint of the animal control officer. The owner of any unspayed and unleashed female dog found by the animal control officer roaming at large in season (heat) off the premises of the owner or keeper shall be subject to a fine as set in Chapter 85, Enforcement; Noncriminal Disposition, of the Code of the Town of Webster and shall be deemed to only the one penalty.

§ 313-7 Impoundment costs.

A. 
The owner or custodian of any animal(s) impounded in a Town owned or designated animal impound facility shall be liable to pay for the cost of impoundment at a minimum rate of five dollars ($5) per day, plus the cost of food and care. These charges may be increased by the Board of Selectmen but in no event shall the total facility charges be greater than 10 calendar days, per incident, of charges for Webster residents.
B. 
A special rate may be set up by the Board of Selectmen for animals impounded whose owners or custodians are not residents of the Town of Webster.
C. 
Additional rates or charges for animal control services may be imposed by the Board of Selectmen and/or Town Administrator.