[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Braintree 3-19-2013 by Ord. No. 13-006 (former Ch. 6.04 of the Town Bylaws, which derived from prior code Ch. 63). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Animal Control Officer — See Ch. 2.505.
Animal Inspector — See Ch. 2.510.
The purpose of this chapter is to protect the health, safety and welfare of all the inhabitants who frequent and live in the Town. It is further the purpose of this chapter to prevent the needless health hazards caused by dog bites and dog feces upon public and private properties and to comply with Chapter 193 of the Acts of 2012.
Where otherwise not defined by this chapter, the definitions contained within MGL c. 140, § 136A, and Chapter 193 of the Acts of 2012 shall apply. In addition, the following terms shall have the following meanings when used in this chapter:
- Chain or line no longer than six feet long.
- Any person issued a license in accordance with the provisions of MGL c. 140, § 137, for a dog owned or kept within the Town.
- Any individual, partnership, company or corporation, association, trust or similar organization.
- An animal shall be deemed to be under restraint if on the premises of its owner or keeper in a way that it may not leave the premises without its owner or keeper, such as confined by fence, leash, runner or other form of restraint; if outside the premises of the owner or keeper, it is accompanied by a person who shall have the animal under control by holding it firmly on a leash.
No person shall own or harbor a dog in the Town, which dog is not duly licensed as required by MGL c. 140, §§ 137 through 138 inclusive. The fee for said licenses shall be established by the Town Council and posted in the office of the Town Clerk as follows:
Any reference within this chapter to a "kennel" or "kennel license" is meant to refer to a personal kennel as defined under MGL c. 140, § 136A.
The Town of Braintree, operating under its Zoning Ordinances does not allow for the operation of commercial boarding or training kennels or commercial breeder kennels as defined under MGL c. 140, § 136A.
Licenses issued for personal kennels shall be issued in packs of five license tags. Each pack of five licenses shall be priced at $50.
Nothing under this section shall prohibit any owner of more than four dogs from purchasing individual dog licenses as described in § 6.100.030 nor shall it prohibit an owner or keeper of less than four dogs, three months or older, who does not maintain a personal kennel from securing a personal kennel license under this section as outlined in MGL c. 140, § 137A.
[Amended 5-27-2014 by Ord. No. 14-040]
There shall be assessed a fine of $15 for each year missed with respect to any dog that is not licensed within the licensing period, which extends from April 1 through the end of June. This fine shall increase to $25 for each year missed with respect to any dog that is not licensed by the end of August. This fine shall be in addition to the penalties provided in Section 6.100.180.
The owner or keeper of any dog or dogs shall at all times keep such dog or dogs under restraint while in the physical limits of the Town.
An owner shall exercise proper care and control of his animals to prevent them from becoming a public nuisance. Excessive or untimely barking, molesting passersby, chasing vehicles, habitually attacking people or other domestic animals, trespassing upon school grounds, or trespassing upon public or private property, or in such manner as to damage property, shall be deemed a nuisance.
Any dog which bites a person or any domesticated animal which, upon inspection, appears to be affected with a contagious disease, shall be quarantined for not less than 10 days in accordance with MGL c. 129, §§ 21, 22 and 24. If the Animal Inspector requests other confinement, the owner shall surrender the animal for the quarantine period. The second dog bite that takes place is sufficient reason for the Animal Inspector to request other confinement. The owner of any dog or animal so quarantined shall pay any charges associated with the care and custody of the dog or animal quarantined. Whoever is the owner or keeper of a dog found guilty of biting a person shall be punished by a fine in accordance with the penalties of § 6.100.180.
Dogs running at large will be impounded. If the owner is known, notice shall be given within three days to such owner. If the owner is unknown, disposition of a dog shall be as provided under MGL c. 140, § 151A. The owner or keeper of any dog so impounded may reclaim such dog upon payment of the dog license fee, if it is then unpaid, and upon payment of the following maintenance and administrative charges:
In addition to any other statutory authority contained in MGL c. 140, the Animal Control Officer may enter a complaint before the Mayor for the purpose of obtaining an order with respect to the control or disposition of dog found to be uncontrollable or whose owner or keeper is unresponsive to any other penalties contained in this chapter.
No person who owns or harbors a dog within the Town shall allow such dog to defecate on private property, other than that of its owner or keeper, or on a public sidewalk, or on other public areas. If a dog defecates on property other than that of the owner or keeper, the owner of the dog shall be responsible for the immediate removal of the feces.
Every female dog in heat (season) shall be confined in a building or secure enclosure in such a manner that such female dogs cannot come into contact with another animal except for planned breeding.
Any person who no longer owns or harbors a dog in the Town shall notify the Town Clerk immediately.
Disposal of household pets, such as dogs and cats and other domesticated animals that have died, and the ownership of which can be established, is the sole responsibility of the owner and must be disposed of in accordance with the General Laws of the commonwealth.
No person shall feed any wild animals, including without limitation raccoons, homeless dogs or cats, except birds through freestanding bird feeders or bird feeders attached to a private residence, or except as provided herein. The Health Department may issue permits for the establishment of feral cat feeding stations for the feeding of homeless cats on property in areas which are located at least 200 feet from any residence, church, school, business, or other structure for human habitation, as well as 200 feet from any park, playground, parking lot, or other open area used or intended for use by the public, provided that the owner of the property on which the feral cat feeding station is located grants written permission from the Health Department and/or its agents, Braintree police officers, and Braintree Animal Control Officers to enter upon the property for the purpose of inspecting and monitoring such feral cat feeding station.
Note: This section was previously amended ATM 5-15-2001 by Art. 51.
The Animal Control Officer is authorized to seek a complaint against the owner or keeper of a dog or other domesticated animals, or other person who violates any provision of MGL c. 140, by imposing such penalties as prescribed under said MGL c. 140. If not prescribed by MGL c. 140, violations of the provisions of this chapter are as follows:
For each subsequent offense a fine of $100 shall be imposed for each offense so committed in the same calendar year. The Braintree Police Department is also authorized to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
Note: This section was previously amended ATM 5-14-1996 by Arts. 21 and 22 and ATM 5-15-2001 by Art. 51.
No living nondomesticated animals shall be displayed for public entertainment or amusement in circuses, carnivals or similar entities on property owned by the Town of Braintree, or Town-owned property under lease, or on private property. As used in this section, "displayed" shall include, but is not limited to, animal acts, performances, and competition.