Borough of Hamburg, PA
Berks County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 804-14, 6/23/2014]
This part shall be known as the "Borough of Hamburg Animal Control Ordinance."
[Ord. 804-14, 6/23/2014]
As used in this part, the following words shall have the following meanings:
ANIMAL(S)
Construed in a broad sense, all mammals, birds, fowl and reptiles normally or ordinarily domesticated (including household pets, such as dogs and cats) or raised in this area or climate as livestock or for work or for breeding purposes. Such term shall not include fish.
AT LARGE
Being upon any public highway, street, park or any other public land, or upon property of another person other than the owner, and not being accompanied by and under the direct control (via a leash not longer than six feet) of the owner or any other person having custody of such animal.
DANGEROUS DOG
Any or all of the following:
A. 
Any dog which bites, inflicts injury, assaults (which assaults 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;
B. 
Any dog which is deemed a dangerous dog under and pursuant to the Pennsylvania State Dog Law, as amended.
OWNER
Every person, proprietor, corporation, partnership or association that actually owns an animal, or who has an animal in his or its care or permits an animal to remain on or about any premises occupied by him or it. The parent or guardian of any minor claiming ownership of any animal shall also be deemed the owner of such animal.
WILD/EXOTIC ANIMAL
A wild, dangerous, or undomesticated animal or venomous reptile which is not of a species customarily used as an ordinary house pet or livestock and which would ordinarily be confined to a zoo or which would ordinarily be found in the wilderness of this or any other country or which otherwise causes a reasonable person to be fearful of bodily harm or property damage, irrespective of its actual or asserted state of tameness or domestication. This definition includes animals bred or raised in captivity and hybrids of wild/exotic animals, but not fish.
[Ord. 804-14, 6/23/2014]
The provisions of this part shall be enforced by the Borough of Hamburg Police Department.
[Ord. 804-14, 6/23/2014]
1. 
It shall be unlawful for any person(s), corporation, partnership or other entity whatsoever, to harbor, care for, shelter or maintain any animal in such a manner as to disturb or unduly annoy the public through the animal's noise, barking, smell, mischief or other harmful propensities. All animal pens or other areas in which animals are kept shall be maintained in a sanitary condition free of offensive, obnoxious or foul odors. All feces shall be removed on a daily basis.
2. 
It shall be unlawful to own, possess, harbor, control or keep any animal which makes noise repeatedly for a period of 15 minutes during the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. or repeatedly for a period of five minutes during the hours of 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. regardless of whether the animal is physically situated in or upon private property. Said noise shall constitute a nuisance, provided that at the time the animal is making such noise, no person is trespassing or threatening to trespass upon private property in or upon which the animal is legitimately situated, nor is there any other legitimate cause which justifiably provoked the animal.
3. 
No owner, custodian or keeper of any animal shall allow or permit any such animal to deposit excrement (defecate) upon any property not owned or leased by the owner, custodian or keeper of such animal, without immediately picking up such excrement.
4. 
No person shall own, keep or harbor within the Borough any dog that is six months old or older, unless such dog is licensed by the Berks County Treasurer and unless such dog wears a collar and license tag. This provision is not intended to apply to dogs whose owners are not residents of the Borough and are temporarily in the Borough for visiting purposes.
[Ord. 804-14, 6/23/2014]
All animals, to include outside cats, in the Borough of Hamburg shall be vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian in accordance with the requirements set forth in the Pennsylvania Rabies Prevention and Control in Domestic animals and Wildlife Act, as amended.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 3 P.S. § 455.1 et seq.
[Ord. 804-14, 6/23/2014]
1. 
The dog owner or custodian shall display, in a conspicuous manner, a sign on his premises warning if there is a dangerous dog on the premises. The sign shall be visible and legible from the sidewalk and street and shall comply with all other applicable laws, including but not limited to the Borough of Hamburg Sign Ordinance.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See § 27-510, Sign Regulations.
2. 
The owner or person having custody of a dangerous dog shall confine such dangerous dog by one of the following methods if outside:
A. 
A pen or structure with sides and a secure top. Pens must have bottoms secured to the sides or the sides must be imbedded in the ground no less than two feet. Use of this option is subject to all other applicable laws.
B. 
A fence at least six feet high above the ground and imbedded in the ground no less than two feet. This fence must prevent any possibility of escape and must have signs conspicuously placed around the entire perimeter of the fence. The use of this option is subject to all other applicable laws.
3. 
The owner or person having custody of a dangerous dog shall not permit such dog to go beyond confined bounds of the owner's premises unless it is securely leashed and muzzled. This leash shall be no more than four feet in length.
4. 
The Borough of Hamburg Police Department may turn a dangerous dog over to an approved animal shelter until the dangerous dog is registered and the owner complies with other applicable provisions of this section of this part. All animal shelter fees for seized and detained dangerous dogs shall be paid by the owner.
5. 
Upon a determination by the Borough of Hamburg Police officer that a dog is dangerous, the Borough of Hamburg Police officer may, at his discretion, detain or kill the dangerous dog.
6. 
No dog may be declared a dangerous 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 or abusing or assaulting the dog, or committing or attempting to commit a crime. No dog may be declared a dangerous dog for taking any action to defend or protect a human being within the immediate vicinity of the dog from an attack or assault.
[Ord. 804-14, 6/23/2014]
In order to promote the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the Borough of Hamburg and to reduce the nuisances of noise and odor created by large numbers of animals that affect the quiet enjoyment of one's home and property, a premises (regardless of number of owners) shall be restricted to housing five animals on any premises. Therefore, except for species of fish, it shall be unlawful and it shall be deemed a public nuisance to keep more than five animals that are six months of age or older on any premises, regardless of the number of owners; provided, however, that this section shall not apply to any premises for which a kennel license has been obtained pursuant to the Pennsylvania State Dog Law (3 P.S. § 459-101 et seq.), as the same may from time to time be supplemented or amended, nor shall this section apply if a permit has been issued and is in effect pursuant to § 2-308 of this part.
[Ord. 804-14, 6/23/2014]
1. 
Those residents who wish to maintain more than five animals on a premises may file an application for a permit with the Borough Council Property Committee requesting permission to do so. The purpose of the application process will be for the Borough Council Property Committee to determine that the health, safety and welfare of the Borough's residents will not be negatively impacted by the additional animals. Attached to all applications shall be a registered veterinarian's health certificate for all animals on the premises, including but not limited to those covered by the permit. The application shall be verified by affidavit and state that it is subject to the penalties of 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 4904 related to unsworn falsification to authorities, and shall set forth the following:
A. 
The type and number of animals.
B. 
The purpose of keeping such animals.
C. 
The period for which the permit is requested.
D. 
A description of the quarters in which the animals will be kept, including plans and specifications thereof, where appropriate, and the facilities for sanitation and disposal of animal wastes.
E. 
The circumstances, if any, under which the animals will be removed from their quarters.
F. 
Biographical information about the applicant and any other person to be placed in charge of the animals, with particular emphasis on the knowledge of such persons about the animals in question and the experience of such persons in handling the animals in question and earlier charges and/or citations for violation of statutes and/or ordinances governing animals, and/or health and/or safety.
G. 
Such additional information as the Borough Council Property Committee may require.
2. 
In addition to such verified information, the Borough Council Property Committee shall consider all other relevant conditions, and shall independently investigate the likelihood of a public nuisance being created by the additional animals and require the applicant to submit additional information in writing, verified by affidavit and pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 4904 related to unsworn falsification to authorities, concerning but not limited to the following:
A. 
The odor emanating or likely to emanate from the premises to persons and places off the premises.
B. 
The noise emanating or likely to emanate from the premises to persons and places off the premises.
C. 
The attitudes of the applicant's neighbors to the proposed permit.
D. 
The security with which the animals will be restrained.
3. 
All such permits for the keeping of more than five animals must be renewed annually upon resubmittal of the required application.
[Ord. 804-14, 6/23/2014]
No person shall own, harbor, maintain or control a wild/exotic animal or hybrids of wild/exotic animals within the Borough of Hamburg.
[Ord. 804-14, 6/23/2014]
1. 
It shall be unlawful for the owner or person having custody of any animal or the parent or guardian of any minor owning or having custody of any animal to allow the animal to go beyond the boundaries of their premises or to run at large over the streets or public grounds or upon the property of anyone other than the owner or person having custody of such animal. It shall also be unlawful for the owner or person having custody of such animal to permit such animal to pose a danger to pedestrians using adjacent sidewalks and streets.
2. 
It shall be the duty of the owner, custodian or keeper of any dog traveling on the streets or public grounds to have the dog on a leash, not longer than six feet in length, at all times.
[Ord. 804-14, 6/23/2014]
It shall be the duty of any police officer of the Borough of Hamburg Police Department to detain any animal running at large, and, to contact an approved animal shelter, as provided in § 2-317, where it shall be detained and impounded in a humane manner.
[Ord. 804-14, 6/23/2014]
If the owner of a detained animal can be identified by license tag or other means, the owner shall be given immediate notice, either in person or by phone or by both regular and certified mail, of the detention and impoundment by the keeper of the shelter to which the animal was delivered.
[Ord. 804-14, 6/23/2014]
The owner of an animal which has been detained and impounded may reclaim his animal. The expenses and costs incurred by the shelter keeper due to impoundment and maintenance of the animal shall be paid by the owner to the shelter keeper in a manner determined by the shelter keeper. In no event shall any animal required to be licensed by law be released from detention and impoundment until it has been licensed. Payment of the seizure fee, expenses and costs shall not bar prosecution of the owner for any violation of law.
[Ord. 804-14, 6/23/2014]
Notwithstanding § 2-311, if an animal is found at large and its owner can be identified and located, the animal need not be detained and impounded but may, instead, be taken to and turned over to the owner. In such case, the police officer who seized the animal shall complete a registry of such event to be maintained in official bureau records. The owner, whose animal is seized without detention and impoundment, shall be subject to pay the seizure fee in the manner as set forth in § 2-313, except that if circumstances warrant, payment of the seizure fee may be delayed for a period of 15 days. Use of the procedure set forth in this section shall not bar a prosecution for any violation of law.
[Ord. 804-14, 6/23/2014]
It shall be the duty of the keeper of an approved animal shelter to keep detained and impounded animals for a period of at least 10 days. If, after 10 days have elapsed from the giving or posting of notice as required in § 2-312, a detained and impounded animal has not been claimed, the keeper of an approved shelter may either destroy the animal in a humane manner, sell the animal provided that no animal shall be sold for vivisection, or put the animal up for adoption. The proceeds derived from the sale of an animal, after deduction of the seizure fee and the reasonable expenses and costs incurred because of its detention, shall be paid to the Berks County Treasurer as required by the Pennsylvania State Dog Law.[1] If requested, the Borough shall pay an impoundment fee established from time to time for unclaimed and subsequently destroyed animals.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 3 P.S. § 459-101 et seq.
[Ord. 804-14, 6/23/2014]
In the event that an animal bites any person or other animal:
A. 
The owner or custodian of the animal shall:
(1) 
Immediately notify the Borough of Hamburg Police Department of the incident and complete an animal bite report on such form as the Police Department shall prescribe;
(2) 
Quarantine the animal for a period of 10 days to observe for signs of rabies at such location and under such conditions as are imposed or required by the Borough of Hamburg Police Department;
(3) 
At the expiration of 10 days following the day of the biting incident, have the animal examined by a veterinarian at the owner's expense. A certificate of examination shall be filed with the Borough of Hamburg Police Department on such form as prescribed by the Borough of Hamburg Chief of Police. The certificate of examination shall be completed and signed by the veterinarian and shall be filed not more than 14 days following the bite incident; and
(4) 
If the animal dies within the ten-day quarantine period, the animal's head shall be removed by a veterinarian and tested for rabies by the appropriate state laboratory or a laboratory designated by the Commonwealth for that purpose; and
(5) 
All costs, including laboratory preparation, laboratory examination, quarantine and veterinary examination of the animal shall be borne by the owner or custodian of the animal.
B. 
The Borough of Hamburg Police Department shall have the right and duty to seize any animal that bites a human or animal if he determines such seizure is necessary to ensure that the animal shall be quarantined. If any owner or custodian shall refuse any order of the Borough of Hamburg Police Department to quarantine the animal and to have it examined by a veterinarian, the Borough of Hamburg Police Department shall take the 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 be collected as an additional penalty for violation of this section.
C. 
The owner of any animal placed under quarantine shall not sell, exchange, lease, lend, give away, allow to stray, remove or allow to be removed, such animal until the quarantine has been revoked.
D. 
Any animal under quarantine shall be muzzled while outside the confines or structure specified by the Borough of Hamburg Police Department for the quarantine.
E. 
If a biting incident occurs that involves an unclaimed or stray animal, the owner of which cannot be identified, the Borough of Hamburg Police Department shall attempt to capture the animal or destroy it, if necessary. The same procedures as outlined in this section concerning quarantine and veterinary examination of the offending animal shall be followed with the costs borne by the Borough.
[Ord. 804-14, 6/23/2014]
Animals seized may be impounded only at the Berks County Animal Rescue League or a comparable organization established for the protection and care of animals.
[Ord. 804-14, 6/23/2014]
1. 
Except as provided below in Subsection 2, any person who violates any provision of this part shall, for every such violation, upon conviction thereof before a District Justice, be subject to a fine or penalty payable to the Borough of not less than $50 or more than $600 plus costs, and in default of payment thereof shall be subject to imprisonment of not more than 30 days.
2. 
The owner of a dangerous dog who fails to comply with the provisions of this part shall, upon conviction thereof before a District Justice, be subject to a fine or penalty of not less than $500 or more than $1,000 plus costs for the first offense and not less than $500 or more than $1,500 plus costs for a second or subsequent offenses, and in default of payment thereof shall be subject of imprisonment for not more than 30 days.