City of Waltham, MA
Middlesex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[1]
State law reference—Animals generally, MGL c. 128A through c. 131.
[1]
Editor's Note: Ordinance No. 25945, adopted May 27, 1986, amended Ch. 3 by deleting former §§ 3-16-3—20, comprising Art. II, and enacting new provisions in lieu thereof to read as set out in §§ 3-16—3-21. The deleted provisions pertained to dogs and derived from Gen. Ords. 1962, §§ 5A-1—5A-6; Ord. No. 23457, adopted June 25, 1973; Ord. No. 23657, adopted June 10, 1974; Ord. No. 24055, adopted June 28, 1976; and Ord. No. 25401A, adopted Dec. 27, 1983.
State law reference—Power of city to regulate dogs, MGL c. 140, § 173.
[Ord. No. 25945, 5-27-1986]
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
EXCESSIVE BARKING OR HOWLING
Unprovoked noise of a dog, of such duration and frequency as to create a situation preventing the normal use or enjoyment of one's property.
HEARING AUTHORITY
The Chief of Police or his designee shall act as the hearing authority.
[Added 2-22-2016 by Ord. No. 33347A]
NUISANCE DOG
A dog that i) by excessive barking or other disturbance, is a source of annoyance to a sick person residing in the vicinity; or ii) by excessive barking, causing damage or other interference, a reasonable person would find such behavior disruptive to one's quiet and peaceful enjoyment; or iii) has threatened or attacked livestock, a domestic animal or a person, but such threat or attack was not a grossly disproportionate reaction under all the circumstances.
[Added 2-22-2016 by Ord. No. 33347A]
UNCONFINED
Not securely confined indoors, or in a securely enclosed and locked pen or dog run area upon the premises of the owner or harborer.
UNPROVOKED ATTACK
An attack upon human beings or domestic animals caused by something other than a trespass or other tort, or the leasing, tormenting or abusing of a dog.
VICIOUS DOG
Any dog with a known propensity, tendency or disposition to:
(1) 
Make unprovoked attacks,
(2) 
Cause injury to persons, or
(3) 
Otherwise endanger the safety of human beings or domestic animals.
[Ord. No. 25945, 5-27-1986]
No dog shall be permitted in any street or public place within the city unless it is effectively restrained by a chain or leash not exceeding 10 feet in length.
[Ord. No. 25945, 5-27-1986]
(a) 
No person owning, harboring, keeping, or in charge of any dog shall cause, suffer, or allow such dog to disturb the peace and tranquility by excessive barking or howling. The dog officer or his designee shall order that the dog be restrained or muzzled, whichever in the judgment of the dog officer may be required, or both; provided, however, that the owner or keeper of any dog that has been ordered to be restrained or muzzled under the provisions of this chapter may request, in writing, that the dog officer or his designee vacate such order. If such order is not vacated, the owner or keeper of such dog may bring a petition in the district court, praying that the order of restraint be reviewed by the court, as provided under MGL c. 140, § 157.
(b) 
No person owning, harboring, keeping, or in charge of any dog shall cause, suffer, or allow such dog to soil, defile, or deposit excreta on any common thoroughfare, sidewalk, passageway, bypath, play area, park or any public place where people congregate or walk, or upon any private property without the permission of the owner of said property; provided, however, that the provisions of this subsection shall not apply to any person who shall immediately remove all feces deposited by such dog in a sanitary manner.
(c) 
No person shall own or harbor any dog for the purpose of dog fighting and no person shall train, torment, badger, bait, or use any dog for the purpose of dog fighting or for the purpose of causing or encouraging said dog to make unprovoked attacks upon human beings or domestic animals. The dog officer shall file a report of any violation of this subsection with the Chief of Police of the city as soon as possible after such violation and such report shall contain a complete description of the relevant details of such violation.
(d) 
No person shall suffer or permit a vicious dog to be unconfined. The dog officer shall file a report of any violation of this subsection with the Chief of Police of the city as soon as possible after such violation and such report shall contain a complete description of the relevant details of such violation.
(e) 
Whenever the dog officer or his designee receives written verification from the police department that, any person owning, harboring, keeping, or in charge of any dog violates any provision of Subsection (b), (e) or (d) of this section or determines, without such verification, any person owning, harboring, keeping or in charge of any dog violates any provision of subsection (a), (b), (c) or (d) of this section, he shall issue a citation to the owner or keeper of such dog, which citation shall require the payment of a fine as provided in Section 3-21(a).
(f) 
Upon receiving a report of a violation of subsection (c) or (d) of this section from the dog officer or his designee, the Chief of Police shall investigate or cause to be investigated such violation in accordance with the provisions of Section 157, Chapter 140 of the General Laws.
[Added 2-22-2016 by Ord. No. 33347A]
(a) 
Any person may file a complaint in writing to the hearing authority that a dog owned or kept in the City or town is a nuisance dog.
(b) 
The hearing authority shall investigate or cause the investigation of the complaint, including an examination under oath of the complainant at a public hearing in the municipality to determine whether the dog is a nuisance dog.
(c) 
Based on credible evidence and testimony presented at the public hearing, the hearing authority shall either dismiss the complaint or deem the dog a nuisance dog.
(d) 
If the hearing authority deems a dog a nuisance dog, the hearing authority may further order that the owner or keeper of the dog take remedial action to ameliorate the cause of the nuisance behavior, including but not limited to requiring that the dog be kept in a secured area, entirely surrounded by walls and/or fencing sufficient to prevent the dog from escaping and/or any children from accessing the secured area. If so ordered, such nuisance dog shall not be allowed outside the secured area unless leashed. Any person who allows or causes such nuisance dog to be outside of the secured area while unleashed shall be subject to fine as established in Section 1-13.
[Ord. No. 25945, 5-27-1986]
Whenever the dog officer or his designee determines that a dog in her oestrus cycle is attracting other dogs to the area even when such dog is confined to the property of the owner or keeper, and further determines that such condition is causing a disturbance or danger to neighboring property or to the public area, he may impound the dog for the duration of the oestrus cycle, releasing it thereafter to the owner or keeper upon payment of the pound fees; or the dog officer or his designee may require the owner or keeper to place and keep such dog, while in such cycle, in a kennel or to remove it from the area so that the nuisance is abated.
[Ord. No. 25945, 5-27-1986]
(a) 
Generally. It shall be the duty of any dog officer or his designee to apprehend any dog found running at large in any street or public place within the city and to impound such dog in the place provided therefor.
(b) 
Record; notification of owner. The dog officer or his designee, upon impounding such dog, shall make a complete record including the date and location of apprehension of each such dog; the place of confinement; the breed, color, and sex; whether or not such dog is licensed. If said dog is licensed, the dog officer shall enter the name and address of the owner or keeper of such dog and the number of the license tag. The owner or keeper, if known, shall be notified as soon as possible that the dog has been impounded.
(c) 
Reclaiming dog; license fee and other costs. The owner or keeper of any dog so impounded may reclaim such dog upon payment of the license fee, if unpaid, and all other associated costs as applicable.
(d) 
Dogs adopted or destroyed. If the dog is adopted, the name and address of the new owner must be recorded; and, if destroyed, the method and date of a destruction, and the name of the person who destroyed the dog must be recorded.
[Ord. No. 25945, 5-27-1986; Ord. No. 27520, 4-26-1993].
(a) 
Schedule of fines. Whoever violates any of the provisions of this article or any order of the dog officer or his designee issued pursuant to this article shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of MGL c. 140, § 145B (Vaccination against rabies, dogs and cats) and MGL c. 140, § 173A (complaints, dog control law) and shall be subject to a fine as set forth below:
(1) 
Twenty-five-dollar fine.
a. 
Unlicensed dog.
b. 
Unleashed dog, first offense.
c. 
Excessive barking and/or howling dog, first offense.
d. 
Depositing excreta dog, first offense.
(2) 
Fifty-dollar fine.
a. 
Unleashed dog, second and subsequent offenses.
b. 
Excessive barking and/or howling dog, second and subsequent offenses.
c. 
Depositing excreta, second and subsequent offenses.
d. 
Vicious dog, unconfined. Such fine shall be in addition to the investigation provided for MGL c. 140, § 157.
e. 
Training dog to fight or make unprovoked attack upon persons or animals. Such fine shall be in addition to the investigation provided for in MGL c. 140, § 157.
(3) 
Fifty-dollar fine.
a. 
Dogs and cats, no rabies vaccination.
(b) 
Schedule of fees.
(1) 
Pound fee, $5 per day for the care and custody of each dog.
(2) 
Pickup fee, $10 per pickup of each dog.
(3) 
No dog or cat shall be released from the custody of the pound without a current rabies vaccination. If any dog or cat being claimed by its owner is not vaccinated, an additional fee of $30 will be assessed to cover the cost of the rabies vaccination prior to the dog or cat being released.
(4) 
Quarantine of dogs and cats will be $10 per day for the required 10 days, a total of $100, paid in full when the animal is brought to the pound.
(5) 
Adoption.
a. 
Dogs: $20 and a spay/neuter (refundable) deposit of $20.
b. 
Cats: $20 and a spay/neuter (refundable) deposit of $20.
(c) 
Failure to pay fine or fee. Failure to pay any fine or fee shall result in legal action as set forth in MGL c. 140, § 173A.
[Ord. No. 28480, 12-8-1997; Ord. No. 31010, 12-22-2008]
(a) 
The owner or keeper of a dog that is over six months old shall cause it to be licensed annually.
(b) 
No license shall be granted for any dog unless the owner thereof provides a veterinarian's certification that such dog has been vaccinated in accordance with the provisions of MGL c. 140, § 145B, or a metal rabies tag bearing an expiration date indicating that such certification is still in effect.
(c) 
The owner or keeper of a licensed dog shall cause it to wear around its neck or body a collar to which shall be securely attached a tag in a form prescribed by the licensing authority and upon which shall appear the license number, the name of the City of Waltham and the year of issue. If any such tag shall be lost, the owner or keeper of such dog shall forthwith secure a substitute tag from the licensing authority.
(d) 
No fee shall be charged for a license for a dog specially trained to lead or serve a blind person, provided that the Division of the Blind certifies that such dog is so trained and is actually in the service of a blind person.
(e) 
Every person or company maintaining four or more dogs shall meet the requirements for a kennel as prescribed by the Zoning Ordinances of the City of Waltham (Sections 3.643 and 3.644) and shall have a kennel license.
(f) 
No license fee or part thereof shall be refunded because of the subsequent death, loss, neutering, spaying or removal from the city or other disposal of the dog, nor shall any license fee be recovered after it has been paid to the licensing authority.
(g) 
License fees shall be as follows:
(1) 
Neutered male dogs and spayed female dogs (Note: A certificate or written statement of a registered veterinarian shall serve as proof that a dog has been neutered or spayed and has thereby been deprived of the power of propagation.): $6.
(2) 
Unneutered male dogs and unspayed female dogs: $10.
(3) 
Substitute duplicate dog tag: $2.
(4) 
Kennel license.
a. 
Four dogs: $25.
b. 
Five to 10 dogs: $50.
c. 
Eleven dogs or more: $100.