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Town of Plainville, MA
Norfolk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Plainville 6-6-2011 ATM by Art. 26. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Enforcement — See Ch. 277.
[Amended 6-1-2015 ATM by Art. 56]
The Animal Control Officer shall be appointed annually and shall attend to all complaints or other matters pertaining to dogs in the Town of Plainville in accordance with MGL c. 140.
In this bylaw the following terms, unless a contrary meaning is required by the context or is specifically prescribed, shall have the following meanings:
ADOPTION
The delivery of a cat, dog or other animal to any person 18 years of age or older for the purpose of harboring the animal as a pet.
ANIMAL
Every nonhuman species of animal, both domestic and wild, living or deceased.
ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER
Any officer appointed by the Board of Selectmen to enforce this bylaw.
[Amended 6-1-2015 ATM by Art. 56]
ANIMAL SHELTER
Any facility or kennel operated by a humane society, the Town or its authorized agents for the purpose of impounding animals under the authority of this bylaw or state law for care, confinement, return to owner, adoption or euthanasia.
AT LARGE
Any dog shall be deemed to be "at large" when it is off the premises of its owner or keeper and not under the direct care and control of a person demonstrating the ability to properly care and control the dog.
CARE AND CONTROL
A dog shall be considered in "care and control" while it is on the premises of its owner or keeper; or if the dog is on the premises of another person, with knowledge and permission of such other person; or if the dog is on any way, public or private, to which the public has access, secured by a leash or under direct control of a responsible person and obedient to that person's command. Such leash shall be suitable to prevent the dog from being at large or to prevent the dog from becoming a public nuisance.
COMMERCIAL KENNEL
A kennel maintained as a business established for, or to include, the boarding or grooming of dogs.
KEEPER
Any person, corporation or society, other than the owner, harboring or having in his possession any dog.
LICENSE PERIOD
The time between January 1 of any year to December 31 of the same year, both dates inclusive.
LIVESTOCK or FOWL
Animals or fowl kept or propagated by the owner for food or as means of livelihood; also, deer, elk, cottontail rabbits, northern hares, pheasants, quail, partridge and other birds, and quadrupeds determined by the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Environmental Law Enforcement to be wild and kept by or under a permit from said Department(s) in proper housing and/or suitably enclosed yards. Such definition shall not include dogs or cats.
OWNER
Any person, partnership or corporation in whom is vested the ownership, dominion or title of one or more animals.
PERSONAL KENNEL
More than four dogs over the age of six months of age on a single private premises.
[Amended 6-1-2015 ATM by Art. 56]
PUBLIC NUISANCE/DANGEROUS DOG
Any dog that unreasonably annoys humans, endangers the life or health of other animals or person(s), or substantially interferes with the rights of citizens, other than its owner(s), to enjoyment of life or property. The term "public nuisance/dangerous dog" shall mean and include, but is not limited to, any dog that:
A. 
Is found at large;
B. 
Damages the property of anyone other than its owner or keeper;
C. 
Molests or intimidates pedestrians or passersby;
D. 
Excessively makes disturbing noises, including but not limited to continued and repeated howling, barking, whining or other utterances causing unreasonable annoyance, disturbances or discomfort to neighbors or others in close proximity to the premises where the dog is kept or harbored;
E. 
Has bitten or attacked any person;
F. 
Has bitten or attacked other domestic animals;
G. 
Is found at large in a schoolyard, public or private recreation area, store or shopping area; except for those dogs certified to assist the visually or hearing impaired, which shall be deemed to be exempt from this provision;
H. 
Has been found by the Board of Selectmen, after notice to its owner or keeper and a public hearing, to be a public nuisance/dangerous dog by virtue of being a menace to public health, safety or welfare.
VICIOUS DOG
Any dog that attacks, bites or injures humans or domesticated animals without provocation; or which, because of temperament, conditioning or training, has a known propensity to attack, bite or injure humans or domestic animals.
A. 
A person residing in the Town of Plainville who at the beginning of the license period is, or who during a license period becomes, the owner or keeper of a dog six months old or over shall cause the dog to be licensed within 30 days. The Town Clerk shall issue dog licenses and tags on a form prescribed and furnished by the Town. Subject to the authorization of the Board of Selectmen, the Town may permit the licensing to be conducted through the mail.
B. 
On the license form, the Clerk shall record the name, address and phone number of the owner or keeper of the dog, and the name, breed, color and description of the dog. Each tag issued will be valid for the specific animal described on the form and is not transferable. The tag will include the license number, the phrase "Town of Plainville" and the year of issue.
[Amended 6-1-2015 ATM by Art. 56]
C. 
The owner or keeper of a dog shall cause each dog, when off the premises of such owner or keeper, to wear around its neck or body a collar or harness to which he shall securely attach the license tag. In the event of loss of tag, a substitute tag will be issued by the Clerk for a fee of $3.
D. 
The Town Clerk shall not issue a license for any dog unless the owner or keeper provides the Clerk with a veterinarian's certificate verifying that the dog is currently vaccinated against rabies.
E. 
The fee for each dog license may be periodically adjusted upon a majority vote of the Board of Selectmen prior to October 1 of any year. In exchange for the duties performed by the Town Clerk in the course of issuing such dog licenses, he/she will be allowed to retain in addition to his/her appropriated salary, $1.50 from the license fee received for each license so issued. The fee for each dog license shall be initially set as follows:
[Amended 6-1-2015 ATM by Art. 56]
Type
Fee
Unneutered male dog
$30
Unspayed female dog
$30
Neutered male dog
$10*
Spayed female dog
$10*
NOTES:
*A certificate from a veterinarian stating that the dog has been rendered incapable of procreation must be presented to the Clerk for each dog so licensed.
No fee shall be charged for a license for a dog owned by a person aged 70 years or over, as allowed by MGL c. 140, § 139(c). No license fee or portion thereof shall be refunded because of the subsequent death, loss, spaying or removal from the Town, or other disposal of the dog, nor shall a license fee or portion thereof paid by mistake be paid or recovered after it has been paid to the Town.
F. 
Upon presentation to the Clerk of a certificate of training, no fee shall be charged for a dog specially trained to lead or serve an individual with a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.[1]
[Amended 6-1-2015 ATM by Art. 56]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.
G. 
Any owner or keeper of a dog who moves into the Town of Plainville and has a valid current dog license from another municipality in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts may obtain a dog license upon the forfeiture of the old license and a fee of $1.
H. 
The provisions of this section shall not apply to any pet shop licensed by the commonwealth under the authority of MGL c. 129, § 39A.
I. 
Whoever violates the provisions of this bylaw section (§ 216-3), or fails to license their dog on or before the first Saturday in April, shall be subject to a fine of $50, which may be enforced via the noncriminal disposition provisions set forth in Chapter 277, Article II, of the Code of the Town of Plainville. The enforcing person(s) shall be the Animal Control Officer.
[Amended 6-1-2015 ATM by Art. 56]
A. 
The owner or keeper of a dog or cat six months of age or older shall cause the dog or cat to be properly vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian. Upon vaccination, the veterinarian shall issue a tag, which the owner shall secure to a collar as is required under MGL c. 140, § 145B. The tag shall show the year the vaccination was given, a rabies tag number, and the name of the veterinary clinic or hospital.
B. 
Owners of unvaccinated dogs or cats brought into the Town of Plainville shall be punished by a fine of $50, to be enforced via the noncriminal disposition provisions set forth in Chapter 277, Article II, of the Code of the Town of Plainville, which fine shall be paid to the Town of Plainville. The enforcing person(s) shall be the Animal Control Officer.
[Amended 6-1-2015 ATM by Art. 56]
Any owner or keeper of a dog shall not allow or permit said dog to run at large or become a public nuisance in the Town of Plainville.
[Amended 6-1-2015 ATM by Art. 56]
It shall be the duty of the Animal Control Officer or any other person appointed by the Board of Selectmen to apprehend any dog that is found running at large or any dog that is a public nuisance, and impound such animal at an authorized animal shelter; such animal to be held, adopted or euthanized as described in MGL c. 140, § 151A. The Officer that so impounds any animal shall keep a record of each animal so impounded, which shall contain the following information: breed, color and sex of animal, distinctive markings or characteristics of the animal, the name and address of the owner, if known, along with the license number, the final disposition of the animal, the name, address, phone number of any person adopting such dog, and if destroyed, method and name of technician who administered euthanasia. Such records shall be kept by the Animal Control Officer for a period of 12 months from date of impoundment. A copy shall be forwarded to the Town Clerk upon disposition of the animal, and such Clerk shall retain copies as provided by law.
A. 
The Animal Control Officer, any police officer of the Town of Plainville or any other person so appointed by the Board of Selectmen may enforce this bylaw via the noncriminal disposition provisions set forth in Chapter 277, Article II, of the Code of the Town of Plainville and impose a fine upon the owner or keeper of a dog so found to be at large or any dog so found to be a public nuisance; such fines to be $25 for the first offense, $50 for the second offense, $60 for the third offense and $100 for subsequent offenses. Fines shall be paid to the Town of Plainville before redemption of the dog, if impounded, or within 21 days of issuance of the imposed fine when impoundment has not occurred.
[Amended 6-1-2015 ATM by Art. 56]
B. 
After the issuance of three fines on any one or more dogs of the same owner or keeper, the person or persons offended by such dog may make a complaint in writing to the Board of Selectmen. The Board of Selectmen shall investigate or cause to be investigated such complaint, and may, after a public hearing, make any order as it deems necessary, including the removal, restraint or euthanasia (destruction) of such animal, as described in MGL c. 140, § 151A.
An owner or keeper of any dog so impounded for violation of this bylaw shall, in addition to any applicable fees and penalties, pay to the Town of Plainville a boarding charge of not less than $10 per day while such dog is impounded, nor more than the actual cost to the Town of Plainville for the boarding and care of such animal in any commercial kennel or animal hospital.
The owner or keeper of a dog so impounded may claim the dog as provided by law, upon the occurrence of the following:
A. 
The owner or keeper presents a valid dog license and certificate of rabies vaccination;
B. 
The owner or keeper pays all fines, boarding and other fees;
C. 
The owner or keeper gives his/her name, address and date of birth;
D. 
If the dog does not have a current rabies vaccination, the owner or keeper must present a receipt from a licensed veterinarian showing prepayment of a rabies vaccination.
E. 
If the dog is unlicensed, the owner must license the dog with either the Town Clerk or the Animal Control Officer prior to redemption.
[Amended 6-6-2011 ATM by Art. 32]
A. 
A kennel maintained as a business for the boarding or grooming of dogs shall obtain a commercial kennel license upon written application to the Town Clerk.
[Amended 6-1-2015 ATM by Art. 56]
Commercial Kennel License Fee Schedule
Fee
Up to 5 dogs
$25
5 to 10 dogs
$50
More than 10 dogs
$100
B. 
Each kennel shall be available for inspection by the Animal Control Officer, a police officer or the Plainville Board of Health at any time, to ascertain compliance with all state and local laws and bylaws.
[Amended 6-1-2015 ATM by Art. 56]
C. 
The Town Clerk shall issue a kennel license without charge to any charitable corporation incorporated exclusively for the purpose of protecting animals from cruelty, neglect or abuse and for the relief of suffering animals.
D. 
A veterinary clinic within the Town of Plainville shall not be considered a commercial kennel, unless it contains an area for grooming or selling of dogs or for boarding of dogs for other than medical purpose.
E. 
Any person or corporation maintaining a kennel for 30 days without the proper license shall be in violation of this provision.
F. 
Whoever violates any provision of this section (§ 216-10) shall be punished by a fine of $50, payable to the Town of Plainville, which may be enforced via the noncriminal disposition provisions set forth in Chapter 277, Article II, of the Code of the Town of Plainville. The enforcing person(s) shall be the Animal Control Officer, a police officer or the Plainville Board of Health.
G. 
Receipt of a commercial kennel license does not void any applicable provisions of the Plainville Zoning Bylaws.
[Added 6-1-2015 ATM by Art. 56]
[Amended 6-1-2015 ATM by Art. 56]
A. 
Any owner or keeper of five or more dogs six months of age or older who does not qualify as a commercial kennel shall acquire from the Town Clerk a personal kennel license. The owner or keeper must present to the Clerk that all such dogs have been currently immunized against rabies and are currently licensed. The cost of the multiple pet permit, which is in addition to the licensing fees, shall be $25.
B. 
The fine for violation of the provisions of this section (§ 216-11) shall be $50, payable to the Town of Plainville, which may be enforced via the noncriminal disposition provisions set forth in Chapter 277, Article II, of the Code of the Town of Plainville. The enforcing person(s) shall be the Animal Control Officer. Receipt of a personal kennel license does not void any applicable provisions of the Plainville Zoning Bylaws.
The provisions of MGL c. 140, §§ 157 and 158, shall be applicable to vicious or barking dogs, as if said sections were fully set forth herein, with the exception that references to a "chief of police of a City" and "County commissioners" are deleted therefrom.
The Town Treasurer shall keep a separate account of all monies received and expended by him/her relating to the provisions of this bylaw. All monies received relating to this bylaw, including monies for the licensing of dogs (less that portion to be retained by the Town Clerk) and fees relating to fines and/or impoundment, shall be deposited into a revolving account established pursuant to the provisions of MGL c. 44, § 53E1/2; providing, however, that these monies may be used for the purchase of forms, tags, materials, boarding fees, veterinary fees and other eligible costs relating to the implementation of this bylaw and for certain reimbursements provided for within this bylaw.
A. 
Any veterinarian who renders emergency care or treatment to or disposes of any dog or cat injured on any public way in the Town of Plainville shall receive payment of reasonable costs from the owner of such dog or cat, if known, or if not known shall receive the sum of $20 from the Town of Plainville for such care, treatment and/or disposal.
B. 
Care, treatment and/or disposal shall be for the purpose of maintaining life, stabilizing the animal or alleviating pain or suffering until the owner of such dog or cat is identified or for a period of 24 hours, whichever is sooner.
C. 
Any veterinarian who renders such emergency care or treatment to or euthanizes or disposes of such dog or cat shall notify the Animal Control Officer in Plainville, and upon notification, the Animal Control Officer shall assume control of such dog or cat.
[Amended 6-1-2015 ATM by Art. 56]
A. 
Whoever suffers a loss by the worrying, maiming or killing of livestock or fowl by dogs that are in violation of the provisions of this bylaw shall inform the Animal Control Officer (or in his/her absence, a police officer), forthwith, who shall as soon as reasonably possible proceed to the scene to view the damage and to determine if the damage was done in fact by dogs, and if so, authorize the Town Treasurer to make reimbursement to the owner of such livestock or fowl when the total amount of damage does not exceed $200. If in the opinion of the Animal Control Officer the total damage exceeds $200, the damage shall be appraised on oath by three persons, one of whom shall be the Animal Control Officer, one shall be appointed by the person alleged to be damaged and the third appointed by the other two.
[Amended 6-1-2015 ATM by Art. 56]
B. 
The said appraisers shall consider and include in such damages the number and kind of animals damaged, the extent of the damage and the approximate weight of the killed animals. The appraisers will also note in their report whether or not any animals were sent for veterinarian treatment in an effort to save them, the number and kind of such animals. Such report will be filed in the office of the Town Clerk within 10 days of said appraisal, who shall submit said appraisal report to the Board of Selectmen for payment. The Board of Selectmen may require the appraisers to provide additional information that it deems appropriate in accordance with the report of the appraisers.
C. 
No owner of livestock or fowl shall be reimbursed for damages inflicted by his own dog or dogs, nor shall he be reimbursed if he was the owner or keeper of an unlicensed dog six months of age or older, nor shall he be reimbursed for damages if the owner or keeper of the dog inflicting the damage is known to him or to the Animal Control Officer. No reimbursement shall be made in the case of damage to deer, elk, cottontail rabbits, northern hares, pheasants, quail, partridge and other livestock or fowl determined by the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Environmental Law Enforcement to be wild. No reimbursement will be made for damage done by a dog to dogs, cats and other pets. Awards for damages in no case shall exceed the fair cash market value of such livestock or fowl, to an aggregate maximum reimbursement of $1,000.
[Amended 6-1-2015 ATM by Art. 56]
D. 
The owner or keeper of a dog which has done damage to livestock or fowl shall be liable for such damage, including medical costs, and the Selectmen may order the owner or keeper to pay such damages after an investigation by the Animal Control Officer of the facts of the matter and an appraisal of the damages as provided above. The appraiser(s) will submit a report to the Selectmen stating the type of damage, the number and kind of animals damaged and whether any animals required medical treatment by a veterinarian to save them.
[Amended 6-1-2015 ATM by Art. 56]
E. 
In the event that the owner or keeper of such dog known to have done damage to livestock or fowl refuses to pay upon the order of the Selectmen, the Selectmen shall enter or cause to be entered a complaint in the District Court for the enforcement of the order.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection F, regarding the maiming or killing of livestock or fowl by dogs that have been previously ordered restrained , which immediately followed, was repealed 6-1-2015 ATM by Art. 56.
[Amended 6-1-2015 ATM by Art. 56]
The Town of Plainville shall follow MGL c. 140, § 153. The Board of Selectmen, subject to Town Meeting approval, shall set the compensation and expense of such Animal Control Officer appointed to enforce the state and local laws and bylaws pertaining to animals.
If a dog which the Selectmen or, upon review, the District Court shall have ordered to be restrained shall wound any person or shall worry, wound or kill any livestock or fowl, the owner or keeper of such dog shall be liable in tort to the person injured therein in treble the amount of damages sustained by him as required under MGL c. 140, § 159.
All other bylaws of the Town of Plainville that are in conflict with the provisions of this bylaw are hereby repealed to the extent of such conflict.
If any part of this bylaw shall be held invalid, such part shall be deemed severable, and the invalidity thereof shall not affect the remaining parts of this bylaw.