[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Mansfield 5-19-2015 ATM by Art. 21. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this bylaw, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The delivery of a dog to any person 18 years of age or older for the purpose of harboring as a pet.
- Every nonhuman species of animal, both domestic and wild.
- A. An appointed officer, reporting to the Chief of Police, authorized to enforce MGL c. 140, §§ 136A to 174E, inclusive.
- B. Any person designated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by the Chief of Police for the Town of Mansfield, or a humane society with the approval of the Chief of Police as an enforcement officer qualified to perform such duties under the laws of the Town of Mansfield or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
- ANIMAL SHELTER
- Any facility operated by a humane society, or municipality or its authorized agent, for the purpose of impounding animals under the authority of this bylaw or state law for care, confinement, return to owner, adoption, or euthanasia.
- ANIMAL WELFARE COMMITTEE
- A permanent committee formed by the Select Board composed of five members and two alternate members appointed for terms of three years each, so arranged that the terms of as nearly equal a number of members as possible expire each year.
- COMMERCIAL ANIMAL ESTABLISHMENT
- Any pet shop, grooming shop, riding school or stable, boarding or breeding kennels, or any establishment selling or harboring animals.
- COMMERCIAL BOARDING OR TRAINING KENNEL
- An establishment used for boarding, holding, overnight stays or training of animals that are not the property of the owner of the establishment, at which such services are rendered in exchange for consideration and in the absence of the owner of any such animal; provided, however, that "commercial boarding or training kennel" shall not include an animal shelter or animal control facility, a pet shop licensed under MGL c. 129, § 39A, a grooming facility operated solely for the purpose of grooming and not for overnight boarding or an individual who temporarily, and not in the normal course of business, boards and cares for animals owned by others.
- COMMERCIAL BREEDER KENNEL
- An establishment, other than a personal kennel, engaged in the business of breeding animals for sale or exchange to wholesalers, brokers or pet shops in return for consideration.
- DANGEROUS DOG
- A dog that either:
- Any animal of the canine species.
- Any dog not under the restraint of a person capable of controlling the dog and/or off the premises of the owner or the keeper.
- DOMESTIC ANIMAL
- Any animal designated as domestic by regulations promulgated by the Department of Fish and Game.
- GROOMING ESTABLISHMENT
- A commercial establishment where animals are bathed, clipped, plucked or otherwise groomed.
- Any person, business, corporation, entity, or society, other than the owner, harboring or having possession of a dog.
- A pack or collection of dogs on a single premises, including a commercial boarding or training kennel, commercial breeder kennel, domestic charitable corporation kennel, personal kennel, or veterinary kennel.
- LICENSING AUTHORITY
- The Town Clerk.
- Any person, partnership, or corporation owning, keeping, or harboring one or more dogs. A dog shall be deemed to be harbored if it is fed or sheltered for seven consecutive days or more.
- PERMIT GRANTING AUTHORITY
- The Select Board.
- PERSONAL KENNEL
- A pack or collection of more than four dogs, three months or older, owned or kept under single ownership, of private personal use; provided, however, that breeding of personally kept dogs may take place for the purpose of improving, exhibiting or showing the breed, use in legal sporting activity or other personal reasons; provided, further, that selling, trading, bartering, or the distribution of such breeding from a personal kennel shall be to other breeders or individuals by private sale only and not to wholesalers, brokers, or pet shops; provided, further, that personal kennels shall not sell, trade, barter or distribute any dogs not bred from their personally owned dogs; provided, further, that dogs temporarily housed at a personal kennel in conjunction with an animal shelter or rescue registered with the Department of Agricultural Resources may be sold, traded, bartered or distributed if the transfer is not made for the purpose of profiting thereby.
- PET SHOP
- Any person, partnership, or corporation, whether operated separately or in connection with another business enterprise (except for a licensed kennel), that buys, sells, or boards any species of animal.
- PUBLIC NUISANCE
- Any dog or dogs that unreasonably annoy humans, endanger the life or health of other animals or persons, or substantially interfere with the rights of citizens, other than their owners, to enjoyment of life or property. The term "public nuisance dog" shall mean and include, but is not limited to, any dog that:
- A. Is repeatedly found at large;
- B. Damages the property of anyone other than its owner;
- C. Molests or intimidates pedestrians or passersby;
- D. Chases vehicles;
- E. Excessively makes disturbing noises, including, but not limited to, continued and repeated howling, barking, whining, or other utterances causing unreasonable annoyance, disturbance, or discomfort to neighbors or others in close proximity to the premises where the dog is kept or harbored (except where the location of the harbored dog is a licensed boarding or breeding kennel);
- F. Causes fouling of the air by odor and thereby creates unreasonable annoyance or discomfort to neighbors or others in close proximity to the premises where the animal is kept or harbored;
- G. Causes unsanitary conditions in enclosures or surroundings where the dog is kept or harbored;
- H. Is offensive or dangerous to the public health, safety, or welfare by virtue of the number and/or types of dogs maintained;
- I. Attacks other domestic animals;
- J. Has been found by the Animal Control Officer/Chief of Police, after notice to its owner, to be a public nuisance dog by virtue of being a menace to the public health, welfare, or safety;
- K. Is a female dog in heat not confined to a building or secure enclosure; or
- L. Has bitten any person.
- RESEARCH INSTITUTION
- Any institution operated by the United States or by the commonwealth or a political subdivision thereof, or any school or college of medicine, public health, dentistry, pharmacy, veterinary medicine or agriculture, medical diagnostic laboratory, biomedical corporation or biological laboratory, hospital or other educational or scientific establishment within the commonwealth above the rank of secondary school, which in connection with any of its activities investigates or provides instruction relative to the structure or functions of living organisms or the causes, prevention, control or cure of diseases or abnormal conditions of human beings or animals.
- Any dog secured by a leash or lead made of suitable material not more than six feet in length under the control of a reasonable person and obedient to that person's commands, or within the real property limits of its owner or keeper. A dog may be taken from its owner's or keeper's premises without being restrained by such a leash, provided the dog is accompanied and restrained by a competent person to whose command the dog is obedient.
- RIDING SCHOOL OR STABLE
- Any place that has available for hire, boarding, and/or riding instruction any horse, pony, donkey, mule, or burro; or any place that regularly buys, sells, or trains the above animals.
- VETERINARY CLINIC AND/OR HOSPITAL
- Any establishment maintained and operated by a Massachusetts licensed veterinarian for routine care, surgery, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases and injuries of animals.
The Animal Welfare Committee shall meet at the call of the Chairperson and do the following:
Recommend to the Select Board rules and regulations concerning the operation of the animal shelter, and standards for the collection, care, custody and disposal of dogs at large and public nuisance dogs.
Review the proposed budget of the Animal Control Officer and operating budget for the animal shelter and make recommendations to the Chief of Police/Animal Control Officer.
Upon written request by the Select Board, review and recommend to the Select Board permit applications, renewal permit applications and applications to transfer ownership of existing permits, and recommend revocation of permits or licenses.
Recommend to the Town necessary changes in the law regarding the control of animals.
Interview all applicants for the Animal Control Officer's position and recommend at least three candidates for the Animal Control Officer's position to the Chief of Police/Select Board.
The Animal Welfare Committee may at any time request the Animal Control Officer to inspect any commercial animal establishment or private animal holding facility.
The Animal Control Officer shall:
Keep complete records of all dogs housed at the animal shelter by including:
Date of impoundment and origin of dog;
Description of type, color, sex, age and disposition; date of adoption, or return to owner, or destroyed;
Name, address, telephone number and driver's license number of all adopters and/or owners reclaiming their dogs;
Dog license number of all dogs housed at the shelter;
Date of veterinary treatment and type of treatment; and
Date of distemper vaccination.
Review all dog licenses for which three or more bylaw violations have been assessed and report findings to the Animal Welfare Committee/Chief of Police on a monthly basis.
Review all dogs that have not been licensed by their owners and report findings to the Animal Welfare Committee/Animal Control Officer on a monthly basis.
Perform inspections on a yearly basis, 60 days prior to the start of the permit period, for all commercial animal establishments prior to renewal of permits and report findings to the Animal Welfare Committee/Chief of Police, licensing authority and permit granting authority.
Perform inspections on a continuous basis for all new commercial animal establishments prior to opening or change of ownership of a commercial animal establishment and report findings to the Animal Welfare Committee/Chief of Police, licensing authority, and the permit granting authority.
Perform inspections on any commercial animal establishment or dog owner/keeper for which a report of cruelty has been reported or at the request of the Animal Welfare Committee/Chief of Police and report findings to the Animal Welfare Committee/Chief of Police.
Any person owning, keeping, harboring, or having custody of any dog over six months of age within the Town of Mansfield must obtain a license as herein provided.
Written application for licenses, which shall include name and address of applicant, description of the animal, the appropriate fee, and rabies certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian or anti-rabies clinic, and proof of spaying/neutering of said dog issued by a licensed veterinarian, shall be made to the licensing authority.
If not revoked, licenses for keeping of dogs shall be for a period of one year.
Application for a license must be made within 30 days after obtaining a dog or when the dog reaches six months of age; this requirement will not apply to a nonresident keeping a dog within the Town of Mansfield for not longer than 60 days.
License fees shall not be required for certified Seeing Eye dogs, hearing dogs, governmental police dogs, or other certified dogs that are trained to assist the physically handicapped.
Upon acceptance of the license application and fee, the licensing authority shall issue a durable tag or identification collar, stamped with an identifying number and the year of issuance. Tags should be designed so that they may be conveniently fastened or riveted to the dog's collar or harness.
Dogs must wear identification tags and collars at all times when off the premises of the owners.
The licensing authority shall maintain a record of the identifying tags issued and shall make this record available to the public at all times.
Effective January 1990, the licensing period shall begin January 1 and shall run until December 31, both dates inclusive. A license application may be made 30 days prior to the start of the licensing period and up to April 30.
Persons who fail to obtain a license as required with the time period specified in this section will be subject to a late fee of $15.
A duplicate license may be obtained upon payment of a replacement fee of $1.
No person may use any license for any dog other than the dog for which it was issued.
No person, partnership, or corporation shall operate a commercial animal establishment or animal shelter without first obtaining a permit in compliance with this section.
The permit granting authority shall promulgate regulations for the issuance of permits and shall include requirements for humane care of all animals and for compliance with the provisions of this bylaw and other applicable laws. The permit granting authority may amend such regulations from time to time as deemed necessary for public health and welfare and for the protection of animals.
A permit shall be issued upon payment of the applicable fee and when a permit applicant has shown that they are willing and able to comply with the regulations promulgated by the permit granting authority, and an inspection of facility has been satisfactorily completed by the Animal Control Officer and signed off by the Animal Welfare Committee/Chief of Police.
Reapplications for a permit shall follow the same procedures as outlined in § 89-4D, and facilities must be reinspected on a yearly basis by the Animal Control Officer.
Effective January 1990, the permit period shall begin January 1 and shall run until December 31, both dates inclusive. A permit application may be made 30 days prior to the start of the permit period and up to April 30.
If there is a change in ownership of a commercial animal establishment, within 30 days the new owner must have the current permit transferred to their name upon payment of a transfer fee of $10 after the Animal Control Officer has inspected the premises.
Annual permits shall be issued upon payment of the applicable fee:
No fee may be required of any veterinary clinic and/or hospital or animal shelter.
Failure to obtain a permit before opening any facility covered in this section shall result in a fine of $100.
Any person who has a change in the category under which a permit was issued shall be subject to reclassification and readjustment of the permit fee.
After an application is filed, the Animal Control Officer shall inspect the facility prior to the permit granting authority issuing the permit. The permit granting authority may revoke any permit of any commercial animal establishment if the applicant refuses or fails to comply with §§ 89-5 and 89-6 of this bylaw, the regulations promulgated by the permit granting authority, or any law governing the protection and keeping of animals.
Any person whose permit or license is revoked shall, within 10 days thereafter, humanely dispose of all animals owned, kept, or harbored. No part of the permit or license fee shall be refunded.
It shall be a condition of the issuance of any permit or license that the Animal Control Officer and police shall be permitted to inspect all animals and the premises where animals are kept at any time and shall, if permission for such inspection is refused, revoke the permit or license of the refusing owner.
If the applicant has withheld or falsified any information on the application, the permit granting authority shall refuse to issue a permit or license or revoke any permit or license already issued.
No person who has been convicted of cruelty to animals shall be issued a permit or license to operate a commercial animal establishment or own/keep any domestic animals in the Town of Mansfield.
Any person having been denied a license or permit may not reapply for a period of 30 days. Each reapplication shall be accompanied by a fee of $10.
All dogs shall be kept under restraint.
No owner/keeper shall fail to exercise proper care and control of their dogs to prevent them from becoming a public nuisance.
Every female dog in heat shall be confined to a building or secure enclosure in such a manner that such female dog cannot come into contact with a male dog except for planned breeding.
A dangerous dog, as determined by the Select Board, shall be restrained/euthanized following the Select Board's determinations per MGL c. 140, § 158.
Unrestrained dogs and nuisance dogs shall be taken by the Animal Control Officer and impounded in an animal shelter and there confined in a humane manner.
If, by a license tag or other means, the owner of an impounded dog can be identified, the Animal Control Officer shall immediately upon impoundment notify the owner by telephone or certified mail.
An owner reclaiming an impounded dog shall pay a fine of $25 for the first offense, plus $10 for each day the dog has been impounded. Subsequent impounds shall be charged $50 for each impoundment, plus $10 for each day the dog has been impounded, and subject to the loss of dog license. If the impounded dog is found to be unlicensed, the owner must obtain a license from the licensing authority prior to reclaiming the impounded dog.
The Town of Mansfield shall take ownership of any impounded dog not reclaimed by its owner within 10 consecutive working days from the date of impoundment.
Impounded dogs shall be kept for not fewer than 30 days after the Town of Mansfield has taken ownership, except in the absence of an active Animal Welfare Committee, the Chief of Police may authorize the destruction of an impounded dog at any time after the ten-day impoundment. Within the 30 days, the Animal Control Officer and/or the Animal Welfare Committee/Chief of Police may place dogs in a suitable home or destroy dogs in a humane manner if found to be vicious, sickly, or not suitable for placement.
No dogs shall be destroyed by the Animal Control Officer without prior approval from the Animal Welfare Committee or the Chief of Police.
No dogs impounded by the Town of Mansfield shall be sold to research institutions from the animal shelter.
In addition to, or in lieu of, impounding a dog found at large, the Animal Control Officer or police officer may issue to the known owner of such dog a notice of bylaw violation. Such notice shall impose upon the owner a penalty of $25 for the first violation or $50 for each subsequent bylaw violations.
The owner of an impounded dog may also be proceeded against for violation of this bylaw.
The Animal Control Officer shall review automatically all licenses issued to dog owners against whom three or more bylaw violations have been assessed.
The Animal Control Officer shall keep complete records of the care, feeding, veterinary treatment and disposition of all dogs impounded at the shelter.
No owner or keeper shall fail to provide their animal with sufficient wholesome and nutritious food, water in sufficient quantities, proper air, shelter space and protection from the weather, veterinary care when needed to prevent suffering and humane care and treatment.
It shall be unlawful for the owner or keeper of any dog, cat or ferret over the age of six months of age to keep or maintain such animal unless the animal has been vaccinated by a licensed veterinarian with anti-rabies vaccine. Said anti-rabies vaccine must be kept current throughout the life of the animal as certified by a licensed veterinarian.
No person shall beat, cruelly ill-treat, torment, overload, or otherwise abuse an animal, or cause, instigate, or permit a dog fight or other combat between animals or between animals and humans.
No owner or keeper of a dog, cat or ferret shall abandon such dog, cat or ferret.
No person shall crop a dog's ears or dock a dog's tail, except when performed by a licensed veterinarian.
The owner or keeper of any dog shall be responsible for the removal of any excreta deposited by their dog(s) on public walks, recreation areas, or private property. Any owner or keeper in violation of this section shall be fined $100.
No unclaimed dog or cat shall be released for adoption without being sterilized or without written agreement from the adopter guaranteeing that such dogs or cats will be sterilized within 30 days for adults and a specified date in the contract for pups or kittens under six months of age. A deposit of not less than $40 for dogs or cats must be paid at the time of adoption for dogs or cats to be sterilized after adoption.
Once the dog or cat has been sterilized, the deposit will be refunded after evidence from a licensed veterinarian of the sterilization procedure being completed.
The civil and criminal provisions of this bylaw shall be enforced by those persons or agencies designated by the Town of Mansfield. It shall be a violation of this bylaw to interfere with an Animal Control Officer or police officer in the performance of their duties.
Unless another penalty is set forth in other sections of this bylaw, any person found violating any provision of this bylaw shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not less than $25 and not more than $100. If a violation continues, each day's violation shall be deemed a separate violation. If any person is found guilty by a court of violating § 89-9, their permit to own, keep, harbor, or have custody of animals shall be deemed automatically revoked and no new permit may be issued.
All other bylaws of the Town of Mansfield that are in conflict with 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.