Town of Randolph, MA
Norfolk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Randolph 5-15-2007 ATM by Art. 9, approved. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fees — See Ch. 300.
Fines — See Ch. 301.
This chapter is adopted pursuant to the authority granted the Town by virtue of MGL c. 140, § 147A.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: MGL c. 140, § 147A, regarding bylaws and ordinances regulating dogs, was repealed in 2012.
A. 
Upon the effective date of this chapter, the Town of Randolph shall assume all responsibility for regulation of dogs within the jurisdiction of the Town and shall be responsible for the costs and expenses relating thereto. All money received from licenses or recovered as fines under this chapter shall be paid into the treasury of the Town and shall not hereafter be paid over by the Town Treasurer to the County of Norfolk.
B. 
Town enforcement. Beginning upon the effective date of this chapter, the Town shall take over and assume responsibility for all dog control functions previously undertaken by the County of Norfolk Dog Control Program within the limits of the Town and shall be responsible for administering all laws, rules and regulations applicable to dogs within the Town.
The provisions of this chapter shall be administered and enforced by the Animal Control Officer; provided, however, that except as otherwise specifically set forth in this chapter for the disposition of funds collected, this chapter shall not change the duties or responsibilities of the Town or of any Town official or employee as described in the Massachusetts General Laws applicable to the regulation of dogs.
A. 
Definitions. As used in this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings:
ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER
Any officer or assistant officer appointed pursuant to this chapter for the enforcement of animal control laws, and who shall be responsible for this chapter.
ATTACK
Conduct by a dog directed at a person or domestic animal consisting of biting or other act reasonably likely to cause injury or harm. This conduct shall include, but not be limited to, conduct by a dog if it is restrained by a leash, fence or other means, and it is clear that only the presence of the leash, fence, or other means of restraint prevents the dog from causing injury or harm to a person or to a domestic animal.
COMMERCIAL KENNEL
A kennel maintained as a business for the boarding of dogs or cats, or for the grooming of dogs or cats.
FANCIER KENNEL
A kennel maintained for a collection of seven (7) or more dogs on a single premises or a kennel maintained for a collection of seven (7) or more cats on a single premises.
(1) 
Hobby Kennel - Canine.
(2) 
Hobby Kennel - Feline.
HOBBY KENNEL
A kennel maintained for a collection of four (4) to six (6) dogs on a single premises or a kennel maintained for a collection of four (4) to six (6) cats on a single premises.
(1) 
Hobby Kennel - Canine.
(2) 
Hobby Kennel - Feline.
KEEPER
Any person, corporation, or society, other than the owner, harboring, or having in his possession a dog or cat.
KENNEL
Any single premises on which are kept a pack or collection of four (4) or more dogs or cats over the age of three (3) months.
KENNEL LICENSE
A license for any type of kennel.
LICENSE PERIOD
The time between January first and the following December 31st, both dates inclusive.
OWNER
Includes corporations, societies, associations, partnerships, individuals and any persons or agencies or political subdivisions provided they show ownership of an animal by possession of a current and valid license or other satisfactory proof of ownership.
VICIOUS DOG
A dog which has been determined to be "vicious" pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
Licenses and tags.
(1) 
The owner or keeper of a dog within the Town shall cause the dog to be initially licensed within thirty (30) days if greater than six (6) months of age, or when it attains the age of six (6) months, and annually thereafter.
(2) 
The Town shall issue dog licenses and license tags. The Town shall state upon each license application the following description of the dog: name, age, sex, reproductive status, breed and color as well as the name, address, and telephone number of the owner, and the license registration number.
(3) 
The schedule fees for such licenses and regulations shall be adopted by the Town Manager after a public hearing.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 300, Fees.
(4) 
Failure to pay the annual review license due by April 1st each year pursuant to this section shall result in a fine in accordance with the fine schedule in addition to the licensing fee required.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 301, Fines.
(5) 
The Town shall not issue a license for any dog unless the owner or keeper provides the Town with a licensed veterinarian's certificate verifying that the dog is currently vaccinated against rabies, as required by § 79-4C below.
(6) 
No fee shall be charged for licensing dogs specifically trained to lead or serve a blind, deaf or other handicapped person so long as such dog is so employed and a certificate of such training is presented to the Town.
(7) 
Tags and licenses shall not be transferable.
(8) 
The fee for a replacement tag shall be determined by the Town Manager after a public hearing.[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 300, Fees.
(9) 
No license shall be issued to any child under the age of eighteen (18). If a dog is owned or kept by a child under the age of eighteen (18), the license shall be issued in the name of the child's parent or legal guardian who shall be deemed the keeper of the animal for purposes of this chapter.
(10) 
A license fee shall not be refunded because of a subsequent death, loss, spaying, neutering, or removal from the Town of said dog. The owner or keeper of a dog shall securely attach the license tag to said dog's collar or harness. If the tag is lost, the owner or keeper shall promptly apply for a replacement tag and shall attach same to the collar or harness of the dog. Failure to comply will result in a fine in accordance with the fine schedule.[4]
[4]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 301, Fines.
C. 
Rabies vaccination.
(1) 
The owner or keeper of any dog or cat six (6) months of age or older shall cause such dog or cat to be vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian using a vaccine approved by the Department of Public Health.
(2) 
Upon request, the keeper/owner shall provide a rabies certificate which states the description of the dog or cat: name, age, sex, reproductive status, breed and color, as well as the name, address, and telephone number of the owner, in addition to the date of vaccination, product used and the duration of immunity.
(3) 
Unvaccinated dogs or cats acquired or brought into the Town shall be vaccinated within thirty (30) days after acquisition or entry into the Town or upon reaching the age of six (6) months, whichever comes later.
(4) 
Any exemption from the requirements of having to produce valid rabies certificate in order to obtain a dog license shall be granted if the owner or keeper presents a signed statement from a veterinarian, indicating that because of infirmity, other physical condition or regimen of therapy, inoculation is thereby deemed inadvisable.
D. 
Kennel license.
(1) 
Any owner or keeper of four (4) or more dogs, or cats, three (3) months or older, or who boards or grooms dogs or cats, shall apply to the Town Clerk's Office for the appropriate kennel license(s), in writing upon forms provided to the applicant by the Town.
(a) 
Each species (feline and canine) are counted individually when applying for a Hobby Kennel or a Fancier Kennel Permit. A single premise containing more than four (4) cats or more than four (4) dogs would need to apply for the appropriate permit(s) for each species.
(b) 
The application must be acted upon by the Town Clerk, or the Town Clerk's designee, within thirty (30) days of its submission and date stamp by the Town Clerk's Office.
(c) 
The Animal Control officer may provide to the Town Clerk or the Town Clerk's designee such conditions or restrictions on the issuance of a kennel license as the Animal Control Officer deems necessary for the public good. This may include, but not limited to, a public hearing with notification of abutters, a maximum number of animals allowed by the license for Fancier and Commercial licenses.
(d) 
All approved applications must conform with all Randolph Zoning laws and Business license requirements of Randolph.[5]
[5]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 200, Zoning.
(2) 
The annual fees for kennel licenses and regulations shall be adopted by the Town Manager after a public hearing.[6]
[6]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 300, Fees.
(3) 
Failure to pay the annual renewal license fee due January 1st, by April 1st, shall result in a fine in accordance with the fine schedule.[7]
[7]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 301, Fines.
(4) 
The Town shall issue, without charge, upon written approval of the Animal Control Officer, a kennel license to any domestic charitable corporation incorporated in the Commonwealth exclusively for the purpose of protecting animals from cruelty, neglect, or abuse.
(5) 
A veterinary hospital shall not be considered a kennel unless it contains an area for the grooming or selling of dogs or cats, or for boarding of dogs or cats for other than medical or surgical purposes in which case it shall apply for a commercial kennel license.
(6) 
If a kennel owner desires to increase the capacity of his kennel during a license period, he shall apply to the Town Clerk for a license modification, and upon approval by the Town Clerk or the Town Clerk's designee, the kennel owner shall pay only the increase in fee between the previous kennel fee and the new assessed kennel fee. Kennel licenses shall not be transferable. The owner or keeper of a kennel shall renew the license annually prior to the commencement of each succeeding license period. Failure to renew a kennel license shall result in a fine in accordance with the fine schedule in addition to the required kennel fee.
E. 
Kennel inspection.
[Amended 3-11-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-002]
(1) 
The Animal Control Officer, or his designee, may at any time inspect or cause to be inspected any kennel. If he/she believes after such inspection that the kennel is not being maintained in a sanitary and humane manner, or if the animals within such kennel constitute a public nuisance, the Animal Control officer may suspend such license and request a license revocation hearing to be held by the Town Manager within thirty (30) days.
(2) 
Upon re-inspection of any kennel with a suspended license, if the Animal Control Officer determines the cause for suspension to be satisfactorily resolved, the Animal Control Officer shall make a report to the Town Manager and may rescind the temporary license suspension and re-instate such license. Any license once revoked may be reapplied for in the event of changed conditions.
(3) 
If any person shall make a verbal complaint, to be followed in writing, to the Animal Control Officer that they are aggrieved, or annoyed to any unreasonable extent, by one (1) or more dogs at the kennel, because of excessive barking or vicious disposition of said dogs or other conditions connected with such kennel constituting a public nuisance, the Animal Control Officer, or his designee, shall investigate such complaint within seven (7) days.
(a) 
This investigation may include but not be limited to inspection of the kennel, imposing restrictions or conditions on such kennel, or requesting a hearing to be held by the Town Manager within thirty (30) days.
(b) 
Within seven (7) days after such public hearing the Town Manager shall make an order either revoking, suspending or modifying such kennel license or otherwise regulating said kennel, or dismissing said petition.
(c) 
Any person maintaining a kennel after the license therefor has been so revoked, or while such license is so suspended, may be punished by a fine in accordance with the fine schedule for each offense.[8]
[8]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 301, Fines.
(d) 
The holder of such license may petition the District Court for relief in accordance with MGL c. 140, § 137C.
F. 
Injured or diseased animals. Whenever the Animal Control Officer determines that any animal has been injured sufficiently to require the services of a veterinarian and has transported such animal to the local veterinarian, a transportation charge in accordance with the fee schedule pursuant to MGL c. 40, § 22F, shall be paid by the owner of the animal to the Town of Randolph.[9] In addition, the owner shall be directly responsible for the charge for the services of the veterinarian.
[9]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 300, Fees.
G. 
Animal pickups. A pickup fee proportional to the size of the animal but in accordance with the fee schedule set by the Town Manager pursuant to MGL c. 40, § 22F shall be paid by the property owner or in the case of a registered animal, by the owner of said animal whenever the Animal Control Officer is required to enter upon private property to pick up the animal, dead or alive.
H. 
Leash law.
(1) 
No person owning or harboring a dog shall suffer or allow it to run at large in any of the streets or public ways or places or upon the premises of anyone other than the owner or keeper unless the owner or occupant of such premises grants permission. No dog shall be permitted in any public place or street within the Town of Randolph unless it is effectively restrained by a chain or leash not exceeding seven (7) feet in length and attended by a person of adequate age and discretion to properly control its actions. Violations of the foregoing shall be penalized in accordance with MGL c. 140, § 173.
(2) 
If any person shall make a verbal complaint, to be followed in writing, to the Animal Control Officer that any dog owned or harbored within his/her jurisdiction is a nuisance by reason of vicious disposition or excessive barking, violation of personal property or other disturbance, the Animal Control Officer shall investigate such complaint, which may include an examination, under oath, of the complainant, and submit a written report to the Town Manager of his/her findings and recommendations, together with the written complaint.
[Amended 3-11-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-002]
(3) 
Upon receipt of such report and examination of the complainant under oath, the Town Manager may make such order concerning the restraint, muzzling or disposal of such dog as may be deemed necessary. The Animal Control Officer, after investigation, may issue an interim order that such dog be restrained or muzzled for a period not to exceed fourteen (14) days to enable the Town Manager to issue his/her order following receipt of the report of the Animal Control Officer. If the Town Manager fails to act during the period of the interim order, upon expiration of the period the interim order automatically is vacated.
[Amended 3-11-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-002]
(4) 
The animal control officer may issue an interim order against any dog for any of the following reasons:
(a) 
For having bitten any person.
(b) 
If found at large.
I. 
Daytime repetitive barking. It shall be unlawful for a dog owner, keeper, or kennel owner to allow a dog, or dogs, within the Town of Randolph to bark in the open, outside of any building, or to bark inside a building in such a manner as to be heard beyond the premises where the dog, or dogs, are quartered, repetitively for more than thirty (30) minutes during the hours between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
J. 
Nighttime repetitive barking. It shall be unlawful for a dog owner, keeper, or kennel owner to allow a dog, or dogs, within the Town of Randolph to bark in the open, outside of any building, or to bark inside a building in such a manner as to be heard beyond the premises where the dog, or dogs, are quartered, repetitively for more than ten (10) minutes during the quiet hours between 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
K. 
The owner of any dog found by the Animal Control Officer or Police Department to be unleashed or unsecured and to have bitten or attacked a person or another domesticated animal shall be subject to the fines set forth in MGL c. 140, § 173A.
[Amended 5-27-2008 ATM by Art. 7]
L. 
The keeper of any dog that has been quarantined for suspicion of rabies and fails to obey such order shall be subject to a fine in accordance with the fine schedule for each offense, each day constituting a separate offense.
M. 
Animal waste removal "pooper scooper." The owner or keeper of a dog shall cause to be removed any defecation made by said dog, at the time made, from any street, public way, public place or property of another. Failure to comply with this section shall result in a fine which shall be subject to a fine in accordance with the fine schedule.[10] In keeping with the above, all persons who are walking said dog shall be required to possess the means of picking up, retrieving and disposing of said waste.
[10]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 301, Fines.
N. 
Fees to treasury. All money received from licenses or recovered as fines pursuant to this chapter shall be paid into the treasury of the Town, and no portion thereof shall be retained, withheld or paid back to any Town official or employee as compensation, nor shall said money be paid over to Norfolk County.
A. 
Fine. Any violation of this chapter, except where otherwise specifically provided herein, shall be punished by a fine in accordance with the fine schedule.[1] This chapter shall be enforced by the Animal Control Officer utilizing the non-criminal tickets and disposition mechanism of MGL c. 40, § 21D.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 301, Fines.
B. 
Other remedies. Any violation of this chapter may be further remedied by the Town Manager, after hearing, issuing orders concerning the restraint, muzzling or disposal of dogs as may be deemed necessary in the same manner as authorized by MGL c. 140, § 157, or any other general law of the Commonwealth regulating dogs, here fully incorporated by reference as applicable to the dog regulations of this chapter.
[Amended 3-11-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-002]
C. 
Leash law complaint. Whenever a complaint is sought in the District Court for violation of the so-called leash law, the procedure set forth in MGL c. 140, § 173A, may be followed.
All licenses, tags and other permission from the Animal Control Officer or other Town office or official related to this Chapter 79 shall be construed as a privilege, conferring no property interest or other right, that may be revoked at any time by written notice. No license granted under this Chapter 79 shall be transferable or assignable.
A. 
Hearing by the Town Manager.
[Amended 3-11-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-002]
(1) 
The Town Manager at the request of the Animal Control Officer or upon the filing of a signed, written complaint with the Town Manager in accordance with MGL c. 140, § 157, shall hold a public hearing to determine whether the dog which is the subject of the request or complaint is "vicious."
(2) 
A dog may be determined by the Town Manager to be "vicious" if any of the following conditions have been demonstrated:
(a) 
The dog has attacked any person or domestic animal or has attempted to attack any person or domestic animal.
(b) 
The dog has a known propensity, tendency or disposition to attack persons or domestic animals.
(c) 
The dog acts in a highly aggressive manner when unprovoked within a fenced yard or enclosure and reasonably appears to the Animal Control Officer to be able to escape the area in which it is confined. Vocalization or barking, without more, shall not satisfy the requirement of this sub-section.
(d) 
The dog, whether leashed or not, has approached any person in an apparent attitude of attack upon the streets, sidewalks, or any public grounds or places.
(e) 
The dog is owned or harbored primarily for the purpose of dog fighting or has been trained for dog fighting or had been trained for the purpose and intent of protecting or promoting illegal activity as determined by the Randolph Police Department, Randolph Animal Control Officer, and/or other local, state, or federal law enforcement agencies.
(3) 
No dog shall be determined to be "vicious" in the following circumstances:
(a) 
At the time of the dog's conduct, the person attacked by the dog was committing criminal trespass or other tort upon premises occupied by the owner, keeper, or harborer of the dog; was teasing, tormenting, abusing, provoking, or assaulting the dog; or was committing or attempting to commit a crime.
(b) 
At the time of the dog's conduct, the domestic animal attacked by the dog was attacking the dog.
(c) 
At the time the dog attacked a domestic animal, the dog was working as a hunting dog, herding dog or predator control dog on the property of or under the control of its owner, harborer, or keeper and the injury was to a species or type of domestic animal appropriate to the work of the dog.
(d) 
At the time of the dog's conduct it was protecting or defending a person within the immediate vicinity of the dog from an attack or assault by another person or animal.
(e) 
At the time of the dog's conduct it was performing duties as a military, correctional or police-owned dog and its conduct was such as is reasonably contemplated by those duties.
(f) 
At the time of the dog's conduct it was reacting to pain or injury, or was protecting itself, its kennel, or its offspring.
B. 
Duties of Town Manager when dog is determined "Vicious."
[Amended 3-11-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-002]
(1) 
When the Town Manager determines that a dog is "vicious" after hearing, the Town Manager shall order the following:
(a) 
Spaying or neutering, if the dog is not already altered; provided, however, that no such order shall issue if a licensed veterinarian certifies in a written statement that the dog is unfit for alteration because of a medical condition.
(b) 
Positive identification of the dog as "vicious." The preferred means of positive identification shall be microchip identification, but a permanent tattoo approved by the Animal Control Officer is acceptable.
(c) 
Behavior evaluation from a Certified Veterinary Behaviorist, as determined by the Animal Control Officer; and
(d) 
Rabies vaccination as required by MGL c. 140, § 145B, if the dog is not current on its annual vaccinations. Vaccination shall be ordered unless a licensed veterinarian certifies in writing that the dog's vaccination is current in accordance with the requirements of law.
(2) 
When the Town Manager determines that additional protection for the public is necessary in addition to the measures set forth in sub-section (1)(a)-(d), above, the Town Manager may order any of the following additional measures:
(a) 
A requirement that when the dog is removed from a secure area, such as indoor or outdoor confinement, the dog must be securely muzzled at all times. The muzzle must be approved by the Animal Control Officer so as not to interfere with normal breathing while at the same time it is effective to prevent the dog from biting.
(b) 
Additional reasonable confinement measures, which may include additional fencing, enclosures or signage.
(c) 
Limitations as to which person or persons are allowed to remove the dog from indoor or outdoor confinement.
(d) 
Other actions which the Town Manager deems appropriate. These additional actions may include destruction of the dog by euthanasia if, based upon the evidence presented at the hearing, the Town Manager finds in writing that the measures set forth in sub-section (1)(a)-(d) and in sub-section (2)(a)-(c), above, are not reasonably likely to prevent future injury to persons or to domestic animals. Such order shall comply with the provisions of MGL c. 140, § 157.
(3) 
All costs involved regarding any orders of the Town Manager with regards to maintaining a vicious dog in the Town of Randolph shall be borne by the owner/keeper or harborer of said dog.
C. 
Compliance. After a dog has been determined to be "vicious," the Animal Control Officer shall maintain all records pertaining to that dog and shall take all steps necessary to ensure that the owner/keeper or harborer complies with all orders of the Town Manager pertaining to that dog.
[Amended 3-11-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-002]
D. 
Confinement.
(1) 
Outdoor confinement. No person shall own, keep or harbor, or allow to be upon any premises occupied by him under his charge or control, any vicious dog unless the dog is confined behind a secure fence. The fence must be approved by the Animal Control Officer. Such dog may not be taken out of the secure enclosure unless the dog is leashed on a leash no longer than four (4) feet in length. The dog must be under control of a responsible person eighteen (18) years of age or older. No such dogs are allowed on or within five hundred (500) feet of any parks, playgrounds, school yards or open space that is owned by the Town or other governmental entity, whether at large or under restraint.
(2) 
Indoor confinement. No vicious dog may be kept on a porch, patio, or in any part of a house or structure that would allow the dog to exit such building of its own volition. In addition, no such dog may be kept in a house or structure where the windows are open or where screen windows or screen doors are the only obstacles preventing the dog from exiting the structure.
E. 
Signs. All owners, keepers, or harborers of vicious dogs shall display in a prominent place on their premises a sign easily readable by the public, using the words "Beware of Dog." In addition, a similar sign is required to be posted by the kennel or pen of such dog. These signs must be easily read by a child and approved by the Animal Control Officer.
F. 
Transfer/relocation.
(1) 
No vicious dog shall be given away, sold or bartered to any person or entity located within the Town of Randolph unless the new owner/keeper or harborer complies with the requirements imposed under this section.
(2) 
Any owner, keeper or harborer of any vicious dog who is changing residence or location within the Town of Randolph must immediately notify the Animal Control Officer. The owner, keeper or harborer of any dog which has been determined to have met criteria similar to those set forth in this section for "vicious" dogs in any other city, town or county who is relocating to the Town of Randolph for more than two (2) days must immediately notify the Animal Control Officer. Any owner, keeper or harborer of any vicious dog who is relocating to another city, town or county shall immediately notify the Animal Control Officer, or person performing similar duties, in that city, town or county that the dog has been determined "vicious" by the Town Manager.
[Amended 3-11-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-002]
G. 
Licensing surcharge. The annual licensing fee for a vicious dog shall keep in accordance with the fee schedule in addition to the regular licensing fee.[1] The surcharge required by this provision shall be enforced by the Animal Control Officer.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 300, Fees.
H. 
Enforcement.
(1) 
If thirty (30) days expire following receipt by the owner/keeper or harborer of written notification that the dog has been determined to be "vicious," an owner/keeper or harborer who is not in compliance with any of the provisions of this section shall be subject to a fine in accordance with the fine schedule.[2] Each day that the owner is not in compliance with any provision shall constitute a separate offense.
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 301, Fines.
(2) 
If any vicious dog is found running at large or is in violation of the provisions of this section, it shall immediately be impounded by the Animal Control Officer. Upon required notice, a hearing shall be held by the Town Manager, following which the Town Manager shall determine what measures are necessary to reasonably protect the public safety, including destruction of the dog by euthanasia.
[Amended 3-11-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-002]
Any dog found running at large shall be impounded by the Animal Control Officer. The impoundment fee shall be borne by the owner/keeper or harborer whether or not such dog is reclaimed. If such dog is not reclaimed within ten (10) days of such impoundment, the animal may be disposed of by adoption or by euthanasia, which determination shall be made by the Animal Control Officer.
All licenses, tags and other permission from the Animal Control Officer or other Town officer or official related to this Chapter 79 shall be construed as a privilege, conferring no property interest or other right that may be revoked at any time by written notice. No license granted under this Chapter 79 shall be transferable or assignable.
This chapter supersedes and replaces Article Seven, Section 21 (ATM 3-18-1974), Section 21A (ATM 3-20-1972), Sections 21B and 21C (STM 2-22-1993) and Section 21C (ATM 6-21-1993). This chapter supersedes and replaces above. (ATM 4-25-2006, Art. 11 - approved 10-17-2006)