[HISTORY: Adopted by the New Canaan Board of Selectmen 7-11-1957; effective 9-15-1957 (Ch. 6 of the 1965 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
No person shall keep or maintain horses, cattle, swine, goats, fowl, pigeons, nor any other animals or fowl, in such a manner as may, in the opinion of the Director of Health, constitute a threat to public health.
No person shall keep in the Town any roosters in such location that the crowing thereof shall be annoying to any person occupying premises in the vicinity. Upon complaint of any person so annoyed, the Director of Health shall have authority to order the owner of such roosters to remove the same so that such annoyance shall cease.
It shall be unlawful for any person to keep any dog or other animal which habitually makes such noise at night as to disturb persons residing in the neighborhood thereof.
[Amended 4-20-2010; effective 5-7-2010]
All fowl or poultry kept within the limits of the Town must be penned and not allowed to run at large or onto premises other than those belonging to or occupied by the party owning or keeping such fowl or poultry.
No owner, keeper or custodian of any horse, pony, ass, mule, cattle, sheep, goat, swine, fowl or poultry, or other livestock animal, excluding dogs (which are covered by state statute) and cats, shall abandon such animal or allow such animal to roam at large upon the land of another and not under the control of the owner, keeper or custodian, or allow such animal to roam at large on any public highway, private way or common drive not attended or under the control of such owner, keeper or custodian.
Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be fined no less than $75 per animal or occurrence and no more than $250 per animal or occurrence for each subsequent offense.
No animal named in § 108-1 of this code shall be housed or maintained on marshy ground nor on land subject to overflow nor within 300 feet of any public meetinghouse or any inhabited house other than that of the owner or keeper of such animals, without the written approval of the Director of Health.
If any person makes complaint to the Chief of Police that any animal owned or harbored in the Town is a nuisance or is damaging or has damaged private or public property, or has attacked any person, the Chief of Police shall investigate such complaint, and if the facts sustain such complaint, it shall be unlawful for the owner, keeper or parent or guardian of a minor owner or keeper of such animal, after proper warning by the Chief of Police, to fail to restrain or control such animal.
The carcass of any dead animal not killed for food shall be removed and disposed of within 24 hours after death by the owner thereof or if the owner cannot be found then by the Board of Selectmen or their agent by burial, incineration or other method approved by the Director of Health.
[Added 3-12-2003, effective 3-28-2003; amended 4-16-2003, effective 5-2-2003]
Leashing and conduct in public places. Except in a dog run established by the Town, no person shall bring any dog into any public park, public playground, public school grounds, public parking lot, public street or sidewalk unless the dog is on a leash or lead that is no more than 25 feet in length and under the control of its owner or keeper at all times. No person shall allow any dog to dig up, mutilate, deface or destroy any such Town-owned properties.
[Added 6-11-2003, effective 6-27-2003]
Leashing in the Business District. Notwithstanding the leash length provisions of Subsection A, no person shall bring any dog into any public parking lot, public street or sidewalk within the New Canaan Business District unless the dog is on a leash or lead that is no more than eight feet in length and under the control of its owner or keeper at all times. The New Canaan Business District is defined as that area of Town that is bounded by Grove Street (west); Pine, Cherry and Vitti Streets (south); Summer Street (east); and Cherry, Locust, Main, Park and Elm Streets (north).
Cleaning up after dogs. The owners and/or keepers or any person having custody or control of any dog on any public street, public sidewalk, or public parking lot, or within any public park, public playground, or public school grounds shall promptly remove all feces left by the dog on such public areas and dispose of such feces in a sanitary manner.
Dogs not allowed in public buildings. No person shall bring any dog into any Town-owned building, with the exception of Town-approved activities which invite the presence of animals.
Enforcement and penalty. The provisions of this section may be enforced by infractions issued by any police officer or Animal Control Officer. Any person violating this section shall be fined $90 for each offense or the maximum amount allowed for infractions as set forth by the State of Connecticut Superior Court infractions schedules.
Exceptions. The provisions of this section shall not apply to police dogs, or to a guide dog accompanying a blind person or to a service dog accompanying a disabled person.
[Added 3-12-2003, effective 3-28-2003]
Definitions. As used in this ordinance, the following words and terms shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates that a different meaning is intended:
- ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER
- Any person employed or appointed by the Town of New Canaan who is authorized to investigate and enforce violations relating to animal control or cruelty under the provisions of this ordinance or state laws.
- AT LARGE
- A dog that is not secured within an enclosure, dog cage, vehicle or building, or is not under the direct control of a person.
- DIRECT CONTROL
- Immediate, continuous physical control of a dog such as by means of a leash, cord, or chain of such strength to restrain the dog and controlled by a person capable of restraining the dog.
- A structure or fence constructed of heavy-gauge steel or other suitable material, with secure sides, top, and bottom, at least six feet in height and at least five feet by 10 feet, suitable to prevent the entry of children and suitable to confine a dog and to prevent the dog from escaping.
- The taking or picking up and confining of a dog by any police officer or Animal Control Officer.
- Any person or other legal entity, other than the dog owner, harboring or having responsibility, possession or control of the dog.
- A device, as of straps or metal, that can be safely and securely fastened over the mouth of a dog to prevent the dog from biting any person or other animal.
- Any person or other legal entity owning a dog or, in the case of a person under the age of 18, the person's parent or legal guardian.
Vicious dogs a nuisance. Any dog which has been declared vicious by the Animal Control Officer or by the Chief of Police shall be deemed a nuisance and shall be regulated and controlled in accord with this ordinance. This ordinance shall apply to any dog that enters the territorial jurisdiction of the Town of New Canaan, regardless of the residence of the dog or its owner or keeper.
Determination of viciousness.
If the Animal Control Officer has reasonable cause to believe that a dog is vicious, the Animal Control Officer shall conduct an investigation into the conduct and propensities of the dog. The Animal Control Officer may consider, without limitation: provocation; the severity of attack or injury to a person, domestic animal or pet; previous aggressive history of the dog; observable behavior of the dog; the site and circumstances of the incident; and statements from interested parties.
The Animal Control Officer may declare a dog to be vicious if any one of the following criteria is met:
Any dog which has severely injured or killed a domestic animal or pet while off its owner's or keeper's property;
Any dog which bites, inflicts injury, assaults or otherwise attacks a human being, another dog or domestic animal without provocation on any public or private property;
Any dog which has been used primarily or in part for the purpose of dog fighting, or any dog trained for dog fighting.
The Animal Control Officer shall not declare a dog to be vicious if any of the following criteria is met:
If any injury or damage is sustained by a person who, at the time such injury or damage was sustained, was committing a willful trespass or other tort upon premises occupied by the owner or keeper of the dog, or such person was teasing, tormenting, abusing or assaulting the dog or was committing or attempting to commit a crime;
If any injury or damage was sustained by a domestic animal which, at the time such injury or damage was sustained, was teasing, tormenting, assaulting or invading the premises occupied by the owner or keeper of the dog;
If the dog was protecting or defending the premises occupied by the owner or keeper of the dog, or was protecting or defending a human being within the immediate vicinity of the dog from an attack or assault.
Regulation and control of vicious dogs. If the Animal Control Officer determines a dog to be vicious, the Animal Control Officer may issue any of the following orders for the disposition of the dog or for the controlled retention of the dog and the protection of the public:
Where a dog's history includes a bite upon a human, that the dog be destroyed in an expeditious and humane manner, provided that no destruction shall take place until after the appeal period expires, unless the owner consents. In no case will a dog be destroyed without prior notification to the owner. The owner or keeper of the dog shall pay all costs and expenses necessitated by the seizure of the dog, including such expenses as may be required for the destruction of the dog;
That the owner or keeper shall remove the dog permanently from the owner's or keeper's premises and from any other location within the Town of New Canaan in a specified time frame as directed by the Animal Control Officer;
That the vicious dog be licensed and registered according to the laws of the Town of New Canaan and the State of Connecticut;
That the owner or keeper shall present to the Animal Control Officer proof that the owner or keeper has procured liability insurance in the amount of at least $50,000 covering any damage or injury which may be caused by such vicious dog, and produce for the Animal Control Officer a copy of the policy declaration document identifying the insurance policy and its terms. The insurance policy must provide that notice of any cancellation, termination or expiration of the liability insurance policy must be sent to the Animal Control Officer. The owner or keeper shall maintain and not voluntarily cancel the liability insurance unless the owner or keeper shall cease to own or keep the vicious dog. Cancellation of the insurance policy for failure to pay the insurance premium shall be considered a voluntary cancellation, and a violation of this subsection;
That the owner or keeper shall, at his/her own expense, have the licensing number assigned to such vicious dog tattooed or electronically chipped upon such vicious dog by a licensed veterinarian, in a location and manner acceptable to the Animal Control Officer. The number shall be noted in the Animal Control Officer's file for such vicious dog, if it is different from the licensing number when the vicious dog is registered in subsequent years;
That the owner or keeper shall display a sign on his/her property warning that there is a vicious dog on the premises. Said sign shall be visible and capable of being read from the street, road or highway, whether public or private, which abuts said premises;
That the owner or keeper of a vicious dog shall provide a certificate to the Animal Control Officer from a licensed veterinarian that the dog has been spayed or neutered, and that the owner or keeper of said vicious dog shall be responsible for the cost of the spaying or neutering;
That the owner or keeper shall have an enclosure for the vicious dog on the property where the vicious dog is primarily kept or maintained. All vicious dogs shall be confined in an enclosure. It shall be unlawful for any owner or keeper to maintain a vicious dog upon any premises which does not have an enclosure;
That the owner or keeper of a vicious dog shall not permit the dog to be outside the enclosure unless the dog is safely secured within a dog cage, vehicle or building, or unless the dog is securely muzzled and restrained with a chain, leash or lead with a minimum tensile strength of 300 pounds, not exceeding three feet in length, under the direct control of a person capable of restraining the dog. The muzzle shall be made in such a manner that will not cause injury to the dog or interfere with its vision or respiration but shall prevent it from biting a person or another animal;
That the owner or keeper of a vicious dog shall notify the Animal Control Officer or the Police Department immediately if a vicious dog is at large, or on the loose, or has attacked a human being or another animal, or has been sold or given away, in which case the owner or keeper shall provide the Animal Control Officer with the name, address, and telephone number of the new owner or keeper of the vicious dog;
That the owner or keeper comply with such other conditions and requirements that the Animal Control Officer determines to be reasonable for the restraint of the dog or the protection of the public.
Decision and notice.
If the Animal Control Officer determines a dog to be vicious, the Animal Control Officer shall notify the dog owner or keeper of any orders or special conditions for the regulation and control of the dog. Initial notification may be provided verbally. Within five days after declaring a dog vicious, the Animal Control Officer shall notify the dog owner or keeper, in writing, of the determination and of any orders of the Animal Control Officer regarding disposition of the dog, or the special restrictions and conditions for keeping the dog. Such written notice shall be given either by certified mail, or by personal delivery through the Animal Control Officer or his/her delegate.
The Animal Control Officer may immediately impound the dog until the orders, special restrictions or conditions are satisfied. The dog owner or keeper shall pay all costs of impoundment. In the event the owner or keeper of the dog refuses to surrender the dog for impoundment, the Animal Control Officer or a police officer may obtain a search warrant and seize the dog upon execution of the warrant.
This ordinance shall not limit or exclude any enforcement powers or authority that the Animal Control Officer has under the Connecticut General Statutes. If any orders of the Animal Control Officer are issued and based upon a finding that the dog has bitten a human being, then any appeal of such orders shall be taken pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes Section 22-358, as the same may be amended from time to time.
If any orders of the Animal Control Officer are issued and based upon a finding of viciousness not involving a bite upon a human being, then the determination and orders of the Animal Control Officer may be appealed to the Chief of Police (or Acting Chief in the Chief's absence) by the owner or keeper of the dog within 15 days of receiving written notice of the determination and orders. The determination and orders of the Animal Control Officer shall remain in effect pending the appeal. The Chief of Police shall convene a hearing for the purpose of determining, de novo, whether the dog in question should be declared vicious. The Chief of Police shall notify the owner or keeper of the dog that a hearing will be held, at which time the owner or keeper may have the opportunity to present evidence as to why the dog should not be declared vicious. The hearing shall be held promptly, within no fewer than five nor more than 10 days after service of notice upon the owner or keeper of the dog. The Chief of Police shall conduct the hearing in the order and form and with such methods of proof as the Chief deems fair and appropriate. The rules regarding the admissibility of evidence shall not be strictly applied, but all testimony shall be given under oath or affirmation. The hearing shall be open to the public. The Chief of Police shall consider the factors set forth above in Subsection C, Determination of viciousness. If the Chief of Police determines the dog to be vicious, the Chief of Police may issue any of the orders, special restrictions or conditions allowed above in Subsection D, Regulation and control of vicious dogs.
Within five days after declaring a dog vicious, the Chief of Police shall notify the dog owner or keeper, in writing, of the determination and of any orders regarding disposition of the dog, or the special restrictions and conditions for keeping the dog. Such written notice shall be given either by certified mail, or by personal delivery through the Chief of Police or his/her delegate.
Violations and penalties. Any person violating any order of the Animal Control Officer or Chief of Police relating to any vicious dog shall be fined $90 for each offense, or the maximum amount allowed for infractions as set forth by the State of Connecticut Superior Court infractions schedules, and, in addition, the Animal Control Officer may immediately impound the vicious dog. The impounded vicious dog shall not be released until the dog owner or keeper complies with all orders of the Animal Control Officer or Chief of Police. The dog owner or keeper shall pay all costs of impoundment. The penalties set forth herein shall not be in lieu of or limit the authority of the Animal Control Officer to take other action authorized by the Connecticut General Statutes.
Exceptions. The provisions of this ordinance shall not apply to dogs utilized by law enforcement officers in the performance of their duties.
Severability. The provisions of this ordinance are declared to be severable. If any portion, section, sentence, clause, or phrase of the ordinance shall for any reason be held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions, sections, sentences, clauses, and phrases, but they shall remain in effect, it being the legislative intent that this ordinance shall remain in effect notwithstanding the invalidity of any part.
[Added 5-20-2009, effective 6-12-2009]
No person shall feed or provide food for migratory or domestic waterfowl such as ducks, geese, swans, etc., on any public land or waters within the Town of New Canaan.
The provisions of this section may be enforced by infractions issued by any police officer or Animal Control Officer. Any person violating this section may be fined, for each offense, $90 or the maximum amount allowed for infractions on the State of Connecticut Superior Court infractions schedules.