[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Mount Union 5-2-2005 by Ord. No. 1070. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and cited as the "Borough of Mount Union Dog and Other Animal Law."
For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms shall be construed to have the following meanings, except where the context clearly indicates otherwise:
- ANIMAL OWNER
- Any person owning, keeping, feeding, harboring, or having custody of any animal, other than cats and dogs, or any person who allows any such other animals to remain on or around his or her property.
- A felis libyca domestica, kept as a pet and/or for rodent control.
- CAT OWNER
- Any person owning, keeping, feeding, harboring, or having custody of a cat, or any person who allows a cat to reside or remain on or around his or her property.
- CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- Any person employed or elected by any municipality whose duty is to issue citations and/or to enforce the local municipal codes and ordinances.
- DOG OWNER
- Any person having a right of property in any dog or other animal or having custody of any dog, or any person who harbors or permits a dog or other animal to remain on or around his or her property.
- HABITUAL CRIES
- Sustained or continuous crying or howling.
- Any person who shall possess, maintain, house, or harbor any cat, dog, or other animal or otherwise have custody of any cat, dog, or other animal, whether or not the owner of such dog, cat, or animal, whether for compensation or otherwise.
- Includes individuals, corporations, partnerships, or any other entity.
- POLICE OFFICER
- Any person employed or elected by this commonwealth or by any municipality whose duty is to preserve peace or to make arrests and/or to enforce the law. This term includes state constabulary and dog, game, fish, and forest wardens.
- 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 such animals.
- The practice of inoculations with a vaccine to afford protection from rabies, as required by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
- A. Any or all of the following, excepting police dogs, squad dogs or guard dogs acting under the 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 other domestic animals.
- (2) Any dog that bites, inflicts injury, assaults (which assault 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 attacks 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).
- 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, 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.
It shall be the duty of the owner, custodian or keeper of any dog, and the duty of the parent or guardian of any minor owner of any dog, to keep the dog securely tied or penned in a yard or enclosure in such a manner that the dog cannot break lose and run at large over the streets, alleys or public grounds in the Borough or upon the property of anyone other than the owner, custodian or keeper of such dog.
It shall be the duty of the owner, custodian or keeper of any dog while traveling on the streets, alleys or public grounds in the Borough to have the dog on a leash not greater than six feet in length at all times and to prevent the dog from entering upon the property of any person or persons in the Borough without the property owner's consent.
It shall be the duty of the police to seize and detain every dog which is found running at large upon the public streets, highways, parks or other public property in the Borough or upon private property without the consent of an occupant thereof when unaccompanied by its owner or custodian. A police officer or Code Enforcement Officer in immediate pursuit of any such dog is authorized and empowered to go upon any private property in order to seize and detain such dog. All dogs or other animals detained hereunder shall be housed at a facility recommended by the State Dog Officer or at a Borough-designated local kennel at the expense of the owner.
It shall be unlawful for any person to harbor, care for or shelter, control, or maintain any breed of dog or dogs or other animals in such a manner so as to disturb or duly annoy any reasonable person of normal sensitivity through the animal's noise, smell, mischief, or other harmful propensities. All animal pens or other areas in which the animals are kept shall be maintained in a sanitary condition, free of offensive, obnoxious, or foul odors.
In the event a dog or other animal bites any person, the owner or custodian of the dog or other animal shall:
Immediately notify the Borough police of the incident and complete an animal bite report in such form as the Borough police shall prescribe.
Quarantine the animal for a period of 10 days at such location and under such conditions as are imposed or required by the police.
If the animal dies or at the expiration of 10 days following the date of the biting incident, whichever is sooner, have the animal examined by a veterinarian and file with the police a certification of examination, in such form as the police shall prescribe, completed and signed by the veterinarian. If the animal dies, the certificate of examination shall be filed within 24 hours of death, otherwise, not more than 14 days following the bite incident.
All costs of the quarantine and veterinarian examination shall be borne by the owner or custodian of the dog or animal.
The police shall have the right and duty to seize any animal that bites a human if the police officer determines such seizure is necessary to ensure that the animal shall be quarantined. If any owner or custodian shall refuse any order of the police to quarantine the animal and have it examined by a veterinarian, the police shall take such action necessary to comply with Subsection A(2) and (3) hereof, and the owner or custodian of the animal shall be liable to the Borough for all costs thereof which may collect as an additional penalty for violation of this section.
All dogs or other animals detained hereunder shall be housed at a facility recommended by the State Dog Officer or at a Borough-designated local kennel at the expense of the owner.
Any person owning a vicious dog must register the dog with the Borough and pay a fee of $50 per year or $250 for the life of the dog for such registration. Upon licensing a vicious dog, the owner shall display, in a conspicuous manner, a sign on his or her premises warning that there is a vicious dog on the premises. The sign shall be visible and legible from the sidewalk and street.
The owner of the 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 sides or be imbedded in the ground no less than two feet.
Any dog which is a vicious dog, pursuant to Subsection A(2) in the definition of "vicious dog" in this chapter, and not registered with the Borough as a vicious dog shall be immediately seized and detained. Upon such seizure, the police officer or Code Enforcement Officer shall, by direct personal notice and by first-class mail and posted upon the owner's premises, notify the owner of such seizure and detention and the requirements to register the dog within 10 days of the date of the seizure. Should the owner fail to register the dog with the Borough Manager as a vicious dog within such ten-day period, the police officer or the Code Enforcement Officer shall bring charges with the local Magisterial District Judge to have said dog be deemed a dangerous dog in accordance with this chapter. The dog shall continue to be detained by the Borough until such time as the dog is registered in accordance with this chapter. Owners of dogs detained under this section shall be fined $10 per day for each day that said dog is detained. Should the police deem any dog to be a vicious dog in accordance with Subsection A(1) or (3) in the definition of "vicious dog," the Borough shall, by written notice sent by the Borough Manager via United States mail, postage prepaid and certified to the owner, notify the owner of the requirements to register that dog as a vicious dog with the Borough. Should the owner fail to so register said dog as a vicious dog with the Borough within 10 days of the date of such notice, the dog may be detained by the Borough, which must follow the same procedures set forth for detaining a dog if the dog is a vicious dog in accordance with Subsection A(2) in the definition of "vicious dog" in this chapter.
The owner of a dog known to be a vicious dog by prior registration with the Borough or a dog deemed dangerous under state law found not to be complying with this chapter shall be guilty of a summary offense and shall be fined not less than $25 and not more than $300, together with the costs of prosecution, and not more than $300, and the costs of prosecution, for the second offense.
Vaccination. Any cat owner shall comply with and be current with all rabies vaccination requirements of the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with regards to cats.
Limit on the number of cats. No cat owner or keeper shall keep, maintain, or harbor more than four cats for more than 90 days in a residential housing unit or on its premises.
Keeping of cats; nuisances. It shall be unlawful for any cat owner or cat keeper to have any cat that becomes a nuisance within the Borough. In this regard, it shall be unlawful for:
Any person knowingly to keep or harbor any cat which habitually cries or howls.
Any person to allow a cat to habitually roam unwelcome onto someone else's property.
Any person knowingly to keep or harbor any cat that is vicious.
Any person knowingly to permit any cat to scratch, dig, or defecate upon any lawn, tree, shrub, plant, flowerbed, garden, children's sandbox, or any other public or private property other than the property of the owner or person in charge or control of such animal.
Any person knowingly to own, keep, harbor, care for, shelter, control, or maintain any cat in such a manner so as to disturb or duly annoy any reasonable person of normal sensitivity through the cat's noise, smell, mischief, or other harmful propensities.
No owner, custodian, or keeper of any dog, cat, or other animal shall allow or permit any such dog, cat, or other animal to deposit excrement upon the streets, alleys, or public or private grounds in the Borough unless such owner, custodian or keeper immediately removes the excrement and disposes of it in a sanitary manner.
No parent, guardian, adult, or other person shall permit a person under the age of 18 years to own, keep, harbor, maintain, or control dogs, cats, and other animals so as to violate the provisions of this chapter as delineated in the terms specified above.
Whoever violates any provision of this chapter as delineated above shall be guilty of a summary offense and shall, upon conviction thereof by summary proceedings, be fined not less than $25 nor more than $300, together with the costs of prosecution. For any violation of § 110-6, Quarantine of animals, the maximum fine for the second and all succeeding offenses may be imposed for the first or any subsequent offense, together with the cost of quarantine and veterinarian examination. Each day's continuance of the offense shall, following notice thereof as provided in this chapter, constitute a new violation. Upon default of payment of the fine imposed and the costs, the defendant may be imprisoned for not more than 30 days.
Warning notice for first violation. Upon the first offense for violation of any provisions of this chapter, the owner or keeper of the dog, cat, or other animal shall be given warning notices by the police officer or by the Code Enforcement Officer by direct personal notice and by first-class mail and posted upon the owner's or keeper's premises. Said notice shall be a condition precedent to any enforcement proceedings hereunder to show that at least one warning notice was issued to the owner or keeper.
Prosecution of second violation. The Borough office shall keep a record of all such notices as set forth under the foregoing section, and upon receiving a second complaint or information against the same owner, and if, upon investigation, the second complaint or information is found to be true, the Borough shall prosecute the owner under the terms of this section.
In addition to any other remedies provided in this chapter, any violation of the provisions of this chapter shall constitute a nuisance and may be abated by the Borough by seeking appropriate equitable relief from a court of competent jurisdiction.