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Township of Whitemarsh, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Whitemarsh as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Parks and recreation areas — See Ch. 80.
[Adopted 2-15-1979 by Ord. No. 362]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ANIMAL
Any and all types of animals, both domesticated and wild, male and female, singular and plural, provided that nothing herein shall apply to dogs, cats, fish or other animals commonly considered domestic pets if they are principally sheltered and kept inside a human dwelling unit.
AT LARGE
Any place which is off the premises owned or occupied by the owner or custodian of the animal or fowl and which is not under the immediate control of the owner or custodian.
CAT
Felis catus, or any domesticated member of the genus Felis.
[Added 5-8-2008 by Ord. No. 848]
DOG
Any canine (Canis familiaris), whether a domestic breed or otherwise, which is in whole or in part a recognized breed of dog, whether kept for breeding, as a pet, for show or for any other purpose, whether legal or illegal. For purposes of this article, this term shall also include wolves, coyotes or other wild animals classified in the canine family by federal or state governments or their agencies.
[Added 5-8-2008 by Ord. No. 848]
FOWL
Any and all fowl, domesticated and wild, male and female, singular and plural, provided that nothing herein shall apply to birds kept principally as pets and principally fed and sheltered inside a human dwelling unit.
HEALTH OFFICER
The person so designated by the Township Board of Supervisors, or its authorized agents.
KEEPER
Any person, firm or corporation owning, having in his custody, using or maintaining any animal or fowl.
LARGE ANIMAL
Any and all types of farm and pasture animals, both domesticated and wild, male and female, singular and plural, but excluding dogs, cats, fish or other animals commonly considered domestic pets if they are principally sheltered and kept inside a human dwelling unit.
[Added 5-8-2008 by Ord. No. 848]
[Added 5-8-2008 by Ord. No. 848]
A. 
The barking, howling, baying or making of noise by dogs or large animals, which noise interferes with or deprives any person of the peace, quiet, rest, sleep or legitimate enjoyment of his or her property within the Township, and which barking, howling, baying or making of noise has no reasonable or legitimate purpose; or
B. 
The accumulation of dog feces upon private property; or
C. 
The failure to control any obnoxious or foul odor caused by large animals, which odor interferes with or deprives any person of the peace, quiet, rest, sleep or legitimate enjoyment of his or her property within the Township; or
D. 
The killing or attacking by a dog or cat of another domestic animal without provocation while at large.
OWNER
When applied to the proprietorship of a dog, a cat or a large animal, means every person having a right of property in any dog or cat or large animal, and every person who keeps or harbors any dog or cat or large animal, or has it in his or her care, and every person who permits any dog or cat or large animal to remain on or about any premises occupied by him or her.
[Added 5-8-2008 by Ord. No. 848]
PERSON
Any individual, firm or corporation.
RATPROOF
A state of being constructed so as to effectively prevent entry of rats.
SANITARY
Any condition of good order and cleanliness which precludes the probability of disease transmission.
[Amended 7-29-1982 by Ord. No. 436]
No keeper shall maintain said animals or fowl in such a manner as to create any obnoxious or foul odor therefrom, except to the minimum practical extent inherent in the nature of said animal or fowl, or permit or continue to keep said animals or fowl that make unreasonable noise by barking, crowing or otherwise.
A. 
Any keeper having animals or fowl on a tract of less than 10 acres shall meet the following standards:
(1) 
Animals and fowl shall be provided with a shelter having a roof and at least three enclosed sides and shall be contained within a fenced area with a minimum area of:
(a) 
Seventy-five square feet of shelter area for each horse, pony, mule, donkey, cow or other animal of similar size.
(b) 
Twelve square feet of shelter area for each dog, cat or other animal of similar size.
(c) 
Three square feet of shelter area for each fowl.
(2) 
The minimum fenced area outside the shelter for each animal shall be:
(a) 
Three thousand square feet for each horse, pony, mule, donkey, cow or other animal of similar size.
(b) 
Three hundred square feet for each dog, cat or other animal or similar size.
(c) 
Ten square feet for each fowl.
(3) 
Maximum ratios of fence and shelter area to total lot areas shall be:
(a) 
The total fenced and shelter area shall not cover more than 10% of the total lot area for the keeping of horses, ponies, mules, donkeys, cows or any animals other than those specified in Subsection A(3)(b) and (c) below.
(b) 
The total fenced and shelter area shall not cover more than 3% of the total lot area for dogs, cats or other animals of similar size.
(c) 
The total fenced area and shelter area shall not cover more than 0.5% of the total lot area for fowl.
(d) 
In any event, regardless of the number or type of animals being kept, the maximum fenced and shelter area shall be 10% of the total lot area.
(4) 
The boundaries of the fenced and shelter area shall be at least 15 feet from any property line and 50 feet from any Township ultimate right-of-way line.
B. 
Every keeper shall provide a shelter and area of a size sufficient for good sanitation practices and shall provide adequate and sanitary drainage therefor.
C. 
Every keeper shall cause the litter and excrement to be collected daily in a container or receptacle of such a type that when closed it is ratproof and flytight and, after each such collection, shall cause such container or receptacle to be kept closed. At least twice a week, each keeper shall cause all litter and excrement so collected to be disposed of in such way as not to permit the presence of fly larvae.
D. 
Every keeper shall cause all feed provided for the animals or fowl to be stored and kept in a ratproof and flytight building, box, container or receptacle.
E. 
The premises shall be subject to inspection by the Health Officer or any of his representatives at any reasonable hour of the day.
[Amended 5-8-2008 by Ord. No. 848]
No keeper shall permit the animals or fowl to be at large upon the streets, other public lands or lands of other persons in the Township. Such action is declared to be a nuisance and dangerous to the public health and safety.
It shall be the duty of every police officer or any other authorized person to seize and impound any dog which does not bear a proper license tag and which is found running at large. If the owner of a dog so seized cannot be located, the dog may be given to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or any similar agency for disposition as such agency shall determine.
Any person finding any animal or fowl upon his property to his injury or annoyance may take up same and remove it to any private or other animal shelter that will take possession of it. If no such shelter is available, he may hold the animal or fowl in his own possession, and as soon as possible notify a Township police officer of his custody, giving a description of the animal or fowl and the name of the owner, if known.
A. 
Except as to unlicensed dogs, if an officer has, or with reasonable dispatch can obtain, the name of the owner or custodian of the animal, he will return it to the residence address. He may then secure or cause to be secured and serve or cause to be served a complaint on the owner or custodian for violation of this article.
B. 
Any officer or designated person picking up an animal or fowl who, after reasonable diligence, is unable to find who its keeper is may take it to the nearest animal hospital or shelter and leave it; neither the Township nor any of the Township's agents or employees shall have any further responsibility to the keeper of such animal or fowl regarding such animal or fowl.
C. 
Any police officer or other person designated by the Township for such purposes is authorized to capture and impound any animal or fowl found at large, impounding to be in accordance with the procedure authorized by this article. In the event that capture cannot be effected promptly, such officer or person is authorized to destroy the animal or fowl.
A. 
Any animal or fowl not redeemed within 24 hours will be disposed of in such manner as previously agreed upon between the Township and the owner of the animal shelter or hospital. The owner of the hospital or shelter is made an agent of the Township for this purpose, and his actions in this regard are declared to be for a governmental purpose.
B. 
Should any officer or designated person, upon call or upon his own initiative, pick up a large animal such as a horse, cow or mule, or any other animal not acceptable by any animal hospital or shelter, he is authorized to convey the animal to a farm having a working agreement with the Township to handle such cases. The disposition of the animal in this case shall be handled in the same manner as though it were in an animal hospital or shelter.
[Amended 5-8-2008 by Ord. No. 848]
For the purpose of protecting the health and welfare, and the protection, to the extent possible, of persons from rabies, not only from dogs but from cats, the vaccination against rabies required by the Dog Law of 1965, P.L. 1124, Act No. 437 (3 P.S. § 459-101 et seq.), shall apply to cats. The keeper of any dog or cat six months old or over in the Township shall cause such dog or cat to be treated for preventive vaccination against rabies by a person qualified to practice veterinary medicine in Pennsylvania. It shall be unlawful for an owner or keeper of any cat or cats to permit such cat or cats to run at large unaccompanied by the owner or keeper without identification on said cat or cats demonstrating vaccination against rabies. The following means of identification demonstrating vaccination shall be acceptable: collar and tag, a microchip inserted under the skin, a tattoo on the inside of the ear or thigh, an ear tip or an ear notch. A dog or cat shall be deemed to be at large if off the premises of the owner and not on a leash.
The Township Secretary is empowered to enter into the necessary arrangements with animal hospitals, shelters and farms to carry out the terms of this article.
[Added 5-8-2008 by Ord. No. 848]
A. 
Nuisance prohibited. It shall be unlawful and a violation of this article for an owner or keeper to cause or permit a dog or dogs to bark, howl, bay or otherwise make any noise or disturbance which results in a nuisance as defined in this article. A nuisance shall be presumed by proof of the continual barking or making of such noise for two periods, each of which is in excess of 15 minutes, and both of which periods occur within 24 hours of each other. In the event an owner or keeper has more than one dog on his or her property or under his or her control, it shall not be necessary in order to prove a violation of this article that a specific dog created the nuisance. Rather, it shall be sufficient to prove that the barking, howling, baying or other noise which created the nuisance as defined in this article emanated from a dog in the care or control of the owner or keeper.
B. 
Defecation.
(1) 
An owner or a keeper shall immediately remove and dispose of, in a sanitary manner, all feces deposited by any dog on private or public property not under the control of the owner or keeper of such dog. "Disposal" in a sanitary manner shall mean removal of the feces from the premises in a suitable container for disposal into either a sanitary sewer system (whether public or private) or a waste collection container. It is hereby declared unlawful to dispose of feces in any storm sewer system.
(2) 
It is unlawful for any owner or keeper of any dog to allow feces to accumulate on private property owned or controlled by the owner or keeper, to a level which is detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of persons or property, as determined by the Whitemarsh Township Director of Building and Codes or the police officer conducting the investigation of the property.
(3) 
The owner of any property where dog feces has been allowed to accumulate to a level which is detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of persons or property, as determined by the Whitemarsh Township Director of Building and Codes or the police officer conducting the investigation of the property, shall be ordered to remove and dispose of the accumulation of feces in a sanitary manner within a period of 72 hours.
(4) 
Notice.
(a) 
Prior to the issuance of a citation for a violation of this article, it shall be necessary to serve written notice upon the owner or keeper by one of the following methods:
[1] 
By mailing a copy of the written notice to the owner or keeper by any form of delivery requiring a receipt signed by the owner or keeper or an agent of the owner or keeper;
[2] 
By personal delivery of the written notice to the owner or keeper;
[3] 
By handing a copy of the written notice at the residence of the owner or keeper to an adult member of the household; or
[4] 
By affixing a copy of the written notice to the door at the entrance to the premises in violation of this article.
(b) 
The written notice shall set forth the address of the property on which the violation has occurred; the name and address of the owner of the property; the name and address (if known) of the keeper, if applicable; the nature and extent of the violation or offense; the period or periods of time during which the nuisance has occurred; the identity of the person giving notice; the date and time of the sending or posting of the notice; and a statement to the effect that a citation may be issued or a private complaint filed if the nuisance is not abated within 72 hours of the time of receipt or posting of notice.
(c) 
Any notice given pursuant to this section shall be valid for a period of six months; within six months of any such notice, no additional notice shall be required prior to the issuance of a citation or the filing of a private complaint.
C. 
Dogs at large.
(1) 
It shall be unlawful for an owner or keeper of any dog or dogs, whether licensed in accordance with the rules and regulations of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania (hereafter "licensed"), or unlicensed, to permit such dog or dogs to run at large unaccompanied by the owner or keeper. When not on the premises of the owner or keeper, a dog must be leashed at all times when on foot. The leash shall be of sturdy material, not more than eight feet in length; provided, however, that such leash may extend more than eight feet, provided that the owner or keeper remains in control of such dog or dogs.
(2) 
It shall be unlawful for any owner or keeper of any dog or dogs, whether licensed or unlicensed, to permit such dog or dogs to run at large unaccompanied by the owner or keeper. A dog shall be deemed to be at large if off the premises of the owner or keeper and not confined by a leash.
(3) 
It shall be the duty of the Township police or other authorized persons to seize and detain any dog or dogs, whether they are licensed or unlicensed, which are found running at large. The police or such authorized persons are hereby authorized to seize and detain any dog or dogs which have been found running at large when such police or authorized persons are in the immediate pursuit of any such dog or dogs.
[Added 5-8-2008 by Ord. No. 848]
A. 
No cat shall be permitted to cause a nuisance.
B. 
It shall be unlawful for any owner or keeper of any cat or cats to permit such cat or cats to run at large unaccompanied by the owner or keeper. A cat shall be deemed to be at large if off the premises of the owner or keeper and not under restraint.
In addition to other requirements of Article I of this article, any owner or keeper of large animals shall meet the following standards:
A. 
All large animals and quarters for large animals shall be kept in a clean and sanitary condition.
B. 
The owner or keeper shall maintain an adequate water supply for the purpose of keeping the large animal quarters clean and sanitary and for the purpose of providing adequate water for consumption by large animals.
C. 
The owner or keeper shall provide proper and adequate feed for large animals.
D. 
The owner or keeper shall use every reasonable precaution to ensure that large animals are not teased, abused, mistreated, annoyed, tormented or in any manner made to suffer by any person or by any means.
E. 
The owner or keeper shall not permit any condition causing disturbance of the peace and quiet of his neighbors.
F. 
Large animals shall be maintained in quarters so constructed as to prevent their escape. The owner or keeper shall make adequate provisions and safeguards to protect the public from large animals.
G. 
The boundaries of the fenced and shelter area for large animals shall be a reasonable distance from any residential property.
H. 
Every owner and keeper shall conform to all present and future laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the United States of America, and the ordinances of the Township, in any way regulating animals, including, without limitation, laws specifically prohibiting cruelty against animals.
[Amended 3-18-1982 by Ord. No. 425; 12-8-1988 by Ord. No. 565; 5-8-2008 by Ord. No. 848]
A. 
Any person or persons, corporation, partnership or other entity whatsoever violating any of the provisions of this article shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine not to exceed the maximum fine of $1,000, plus costs of prosecution, and, in default of payment of such costs and prosecution, imprisonment for a term not exceeding 30 days; provided, however, that if the District Justice determines that the defendant is without the financial means to pay the fines and costs immediately or in a single remittance, such defendant shall be permitted to pay the fines or costs in installments and over such periods of time as the District Justice deems to be just.
B. 
It shall be the duty of the Police Department and the Code Enforcement Officer of the Township of Whitemarsh to enforce the provisions of this article.
C. 
A violation of this article shall be cause for summons and complaint to be issued forthwith; provided, however, that in lieu of a summons and complaint, enforcement personnel may issue a notice, in writing, which may be served personally or by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address of the person or persons in charge of or in control of the construction or loading activities. The notice shall state the nature of the violation and a specific time period for the correction and abatement of the violation. Failure to comply with the notice so issued shall constitute a violation of this article. For purposes of the foregoing notice, the address of the person or persons in charge of or in control of the construction or loading activities specified in any permit issued for such activities shall be presumed to be the correct mailing address for such person or persons.
D. 
Any activity specified as a nuisance pursuant to this article may be subject to abatement summarily by a restraining order or injunction issued by a court of competent jurisdiction or in any other manner available for the abatement of public nuisances.
E. 
Any remedy available pursuant to this article shall be considered separate and not exclusive of any other remedy available hereunder.
F. 
Nothing in this article shall be construed to impair any cause of action or legal remedy therefor of any person for injury or damage arising from any violation of this article.
[Adopted 5-18-1950 by Ord. No. 18]
Pigsties or piggeries shall not be built or maintained within the Township of Whitemarsh unless and until the following requirements are complied with:
A. 
Pigsties or piggeries shall not be built or maintained on marshy ground or land subject to overflow, nor within 200 feet of any stream or other source of water supply, nor within 300 feet of an inhabited house or public meetinghouse of an adjoining property.
B. 
When garbage is fed to pigs, provisions shall be made in that all unconsumed garbage shall be removed daily and disposed of by burial or incineration.
C. 
No organic material furnishing food for flies shall be allowed to accumulate on the premises. All garbage shall be handled and fed upon a platform of concrete or other impervious material. Unslaked lime, hypochloride of lime, borax or mineral oil shall be used daily in sufficient quantities to prevent offensive odors and the breeding of flies.
D. 
Each pigsty or piggery shall have an adequate water supply for the purpose of keeping the place clean and sanitary.
E. 
All floors of pigsties or piggeries, in addition to being constructed of concrete or other impervious materials, shall have adequate provision for drainage to a cesspool approved by the Secretary of the Township or to a sewer or treatment works approved by the Department of Health[1] of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 95, Sewers.
Failure to comply with any of the above requirements shall be considered a nuisance and shall be punishable by a fine as hereinafter provided and/or shall be abated by proceedings in courts of equity as provided by the Act of Assembly in such case made and provided.
The provisions of this article shall be considered as supplements to rules and regulations established by the Department of Welfare of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.[1] Should there be a conflict, it is intended herein that the rules and regulations of the Department of Welfare shall take precedence.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 71 P.S. § 1466 et seq.
[Amended 3-18-1982 by Ord. No. 425]
The enforcement officer of the terms of this article shall be the Township Manager until such time as a Board of Health is appointed. Said Township Manager shall be authorized to employ, with the consent of the Supervisors, such individual or individuals as may be necessary to inspect and enforce the provisions of this article.
The Board of Supervisors shall be charged with interpretation of the minimum requirements of this article in all cases not specifically set down in this article.
[Amended 3-18-1982 by Ord. No. 425; 12-8-1988 by Ord. No. 565]
Any person or persons, corporation, partnership or other entity whatsoever violating any of the provisions of this article shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine not to exceed the maximum fine of $1,000, plus costs of prosecution, and, in default of payment of such costs and prosecution, imprisonment for a term not exceeding 30 days; provided, however, that if the District Justice determines that the defendant is without the financial means to pay the fines and costs immediately or in a single remittance, such defendant shall be permitted to pay the fines or costs in installments and over such periods of time as the District Justice deems to be just.