[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of Latrobe as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Keeping of Animals
[Adopted 7-13-1981 by Ord. No. 1981-2 (Ch. III, Part 1, of the 1981 Code)]
[Amended 3-10-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-5]
The following words and terms, as used in this article, shall have the meanings hereby respectively ascribed thereto, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
- Any domestic animal or fowl, any wild animal or any household pet.
- BOARDING KENNEL
- Any establishment, structure or pen available to the general
public where dogs, cats or other similarly domesticated animals are
housed for compensation by the day, week or a specified or unspecified
period of time. This definition shall not include commercial establishments
where domesticated animals are held for sale, i.e., a pet store or
breeder, or veterinarian offices which hold certain animals for a
period of time for bona fide and legitimate medical issues of the
animal.[Added 8-8-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-8]
- A member of the species felis catus.[Added 8-8-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-8]
- A domesticated fowl that is a member of the species gallus
gallus domesticus.[Added 8-8-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-8]
- DOMESTIC ANIMAL
- Any animal as hereinafter defined as a household pet, a large animal or a small animal.
- FERAL CAT
- A cat that lives permanently outside of a domestic home and
is not owned or cared for as a typical companion animal or pet, as
a result of having been feral (living in the wild but descended from
domestic cats), abandoned by an owner, or rendered homeless, wild
or stray by any other means.[Added 8-8-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-8]
- HOUSEHOLD PET
- Any dog, cat or other domestic animal normally and ordinarily kept in or permitted to be at large in the dwelling of its owner.
- LARGE ANIMAL
- Any domestic animal of the bovine, equine, sheep or hog family.
- The keeping or harboring of any dog or other domestic animal or fowl which, by frequent and persistent howling or barking or other noise, shall annoy or disturb the neighborhood or a number of persons.
- Any person, firm, partnership, association or corporation.
- SMALL ANIMAL
- Any domestic animal such as a rabbit, hare, guinea pig, rat,
mouse or chinchilla, and any domestic fowl including turkey, goose,
duck or pigeon (except homing pigeons), excepting chickens.[Amended 8-8-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-8]
- WILD ANIMAL
- Any animal, bird, fowl or reptile not normally or ordinarily domesticated, not normally or ordinarily raised in this area and climate as livestock or for work or breeding purposes, or not normally or ordinarily kept as a household pet.
In this article, the singular shall include the plural, the plural shall include the singular and the masculine shall include the feminine.
It shall be unlawful for any person to keep any wild animal at any place within Latrobe, except where the same shall be permitted under Chapter 166, Zoning, in a park, zoological garden or similar establishment for exhibit to the public or to any portion thereof.
[Amended 4-23-1996 by Ord. No. 1996-5]
It shall be unlawful for any person to keep any domestic animals, except household pets, except as provided in this section.
Large animals shall be confined in quarters no part of which shall be closer than 100 feet to the exterior limits of any dwelling or of any property line.
Small animals shall be kept confined in quarters no part of which shall be closer than 25 feet to the exterior limits of any dwelling or of any property line.
The keeper of every such domestic animal shall confine the same to the owner's property by leash, enclosure or other confinement sufficient to prevent the domestic animal from straying uncontrolled onto any publicly owned property or onto the property owned, controlled or leased by others. Such enclosure shall be of a size conducive to good sanitation practices, and adequate and sanitary drainage facilities shall be provided.
Every keeper of a domestic animal shall cause the litter and droppings therefrom to be collected daily in a container or receptacle of such type that, when closed, it shall be ratproof and flytight and after every such collection shall cause such container or receptacle to be kept closed. At least twice a week, every such keeper shall cause all litter and droppings so collected to be disposed of in such a manner as not to permit the presence of fly larvae.
Every keeper of a domestic animal shall cause all feed provided therefor to be stored and kept in a ratproof and flytight building, box, container or receptacle.
If any such domestic animal shall be kept in a dwelling occupied by any person, such person shall be required to follow such procedures and practices, as to the number of such pets to be kept there and as to sanitation, to ensure that no public nuisance shall be created or maintained and no threat to the health of persons living elsewhere than in such dwelling shall be created.
It is prohibited to operate any boarding kennel in any residential district or within 200 feet of any residential district. It is prohibited to operate any boarding kennel in any district if the same constitutes a public nuisance.
[Added 8-8-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-8]
Chickens shall be permitted to be kept on residential lots for noncommercial purposes under the following standards:
[Added 8-8-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-8]
Chickens are permitted to be kept on lots that are at least 5,000 square feet in area. The following density schedule shall apply: a maximum of two chickens are permitted in lots of 5,000 to 6,999 square feet; a maximum of four chickens are permitted in lots of 7,000 to 10,999 square feet; a maximum of six chickens are permitted in lots of 11,000 to 20,999 square feet; and a maximum of eight chickens are permitted in lots of 21,000 square feet or greater.
Chickens shall be kept at all times in a fully enclosed space (i.e., a fully screened in area, including runs), which must include a chicken coop (a structure for housing chickens made of wood or other similar materials that provides shelter from the elements), whether stationary or mobile, that completely contains the chicken. The enclosure shall not be more than six feet in height. Any chicken outside of the enclosure shall constitute a nuisance per se.
Enclosures, coops, and outside runs shall be cleaned of hen droppings, uneaten feed, feathers and other waste on a regular basis and as necessary to ensure they do not become a health issue, odor or other nuisance.
Chicken coops shall be of sufficient size to enable the animal to comfortably stand, turn around and lay down and shall be ventilated to avoid respiratory disease and infections, control ambient temperature, prevent accumulation of toxic gases, and prevent predation.
Chicken enclosures shall not be kept in any front or side yards and shall only be permitted in the backyard of a property.
Chicken enclosures shall be set back a minimum of 20 feet from all property lines and 40 feet from any dwelling.
Only one enclosure is permitted on any property, regardless of whether the resident possesses one parcel or multiple abutting parcels.
The keeping of chickens is only permitted as a noncommercial use incidental to a residential property. It is prohibited for any chicken, eggs, chicken manure or any chicken by-product to be used, transferred or transported for any commercial purpose.
The keeping of any roosters and/or male chickens is prohibited and shall constitute a nuisance per se.
It shall be prohibited to slaughter and/or purposefully kill any chicken, for any purpose. Excluded from this prohibition is the killing of a chicken for medical reasons by a licensed veterinarian and/or the off-site slaughtering by a professional.
The disposal of dead animals shall be in accordance with the Domestic Animal Law, 3 P.S. § 2352. Dead animals shall be disposed of within 48 hours after death.
The keeping of chickens must comply with the Pennsylvania Nutrient Management Regulations, 25 Pa. Code § 8301 et seq, as required by the Department of Environmental Protection.
All animal wastes shall be properly stored and disposed of, so as not to be objectionable, due to odor, pests or otherwise, at the site's property line.
The keeper of such chickens shall show that adequate provisions are being implemented to collect, store and dispose of the manure and other litter associated with the keeping of the chickens. The containers to be used in the process shall be kept covered and shall be cleaned on a regular basis to avoid the potential for detectable odors.
All keeping of chickens must comply with minimum standards of animal care as required by Pennsylvania law, 18 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 5511-5511.3, regarding animal cruelty.
All feed, water, and other items associated with the keeping of chickens shall be protected in a way that prevents infestation by insects, rats, mice, or other rodents or vectors.
Persons housing chickens are required to comply with all applicable local, state, and federal laws, rules, and/or regulations regarding the keeping of chickens.
An order from the Code Enforcement Officer to cure any defect shall be fully complied with within 48 hours of receipt of said order.
[Amended 4-23-1996 by Ord. No. 1996-5]
The owner of any dog within Latrobe shall be totally responsible at all times when the dog is beyond the premises of the owner of the dog to have the dog on a leash or by other means under the control of the owner. The owner of any dog within Latrobe shall prevent at all times the dog from defecating on publicly owned property or private property owned by others and shall be responsible if any such defecation should occur to remove the dregs immediately from the publicly or privately owned property.
Each defecation or each straying of a dog onto public property or private property owned by others (without the immediate removal of dregs) which is a violation of any section of this article shall be consideration to be a separate offense.
[Added 3-10-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-5]
Any person who creates, continues, causes, maintains or permits to exist any nuisance in the nature of a barking or howling dog or frequent noise emitted from any other domestic animal or fowl within the limits of the City of Latrobe shall, after investigation by the Latrobe Police Department, and if established by reasonable evidence that the complaint is valid, be issued a written warning to remove or abate the nuisance within 10 days of the date of the warning.
If the person fails, neglects or refuses to abate the nuisance within the time limit, said person shall, after investigation by the Latrobe Police Department, and if established by reasonable evidence that the complaint is valid, be issued a citation for violation of this section, and a hearing shall be scheduled before the local District Justice.
If after said hearing the nuisance is not abated or removed, then and in that event a subsequent citation shall be issued by the Latrobe Police Department and, further, the City of Latrobe shall have the authority, either personally or by its agents, designees or employees, to remove or abate the nuisance and, in so doing, shall have authority to enter upon the property of the person in default.
Thereafter, the City shall collect the cost and expense of the abatement or removal of the nuisance from the person who created, continued, caused or maintained the nuisance and/or permitted it to exist, that person having failed, neglected or refused to remove or abate the nuisance, with an additional amount of 10% in the manner provided for the collection of municipal claims or by any other remedy available by action at law or in equity. The cost and expense of abatement may be in addition to any penalty imposed hereunder.
[Added 8-8-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-8]
It is prohibited for any person, firm, corporation or association to feed within the City of Latrobe any feral cat. This section shall not apply to persons who bring a feral cat into their dwelling with the intention of owning it.
[Added 8-8-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-8]
It shall be unlawful to keep any bees in the City except as provided herein.
As used in this section, all terms shall be defined in the manner set forth in Section 2102 of the Pennsylvania Bee Law, 3 Pa.C.S.A. § 2102, as amended, unless a different definition is stated below or a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
- AFRICANIZED HONEYBEE
- Hybrids of the African honeybee with various European honeybees that are aggressive compared to the European subspecies.
- Any place where one or more colonies or nuclei of bees are kept.
- Any stage of the common hive or honeybee (Apis mellifera) or other species of the genus Apis.
- BEE DISEASE
- Any American or European foul brood, sac brood, bee paralysis or other disease or abnormal condition of eggs, larval, pupal or adult stages of the honeybee.
- An owner of any apiary or a person who has charge of any apiary or one or more colonies of bees in the City.
- BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES
- The policies, procedures, and methods contained in the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's Compliance Agreement for Beekeepers.
- An aggregate of bees consisting principally of workers but having, when perfect, one queen and at times many drones.
- The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
- FLYWAY BARRIER
- A barrier composed of dense vegetation or man-made materials which direct the bees quickly into the sky and/or in a certain direction.
- Any frame hive, box hive, box, barrel, log, gum or other receptacle or container, natural or artificial, or any part thereof, which may be used or employed by a beekeeper as a domicile for bees which are expected to establish a permanent nest.
Registration, certification, and permits.
No beekeeper may own or maintain an apiary without first registering all apiaries with the Department as required by the Pennsylvania Bee Law, 3 Pa.C.S.A. § 2101 et seq., as amended.
No beekeeper may own or maintain an apiary without first executing the Department's Compliance Agreement for Beekeepers. A beekeeper owning or maintaining an apiary in the City shall promptly notify the City Code Enforcement Officer without unnecessary delay, and in no event longer than 48 hours, if the Department revokes said beekeeper's best management certification.
No beekeeper may own or maintain an apiary without first obtaining a permit from the Code Enforcement Officer. An application for a permit shall be made in writing and upon such form or in such format as established by the City and shall be accompanied by the prescribed permit fee in the amount established from time to time by resolution of City Council. The application shall be accompanied by a lot plan that includes the size of the lot, the location and number of hives, the location of each water source, the distance of the hives from the property lines, and, if required, the location of any flyway barriers. If any item of information in the application changes while a person holds a permit (e.g., the location or number of hives changes), that permit holder shall file an application for a new permit within 10 business days of the change and may continue to keep bees until a new permit is granted. If the permit holder does not file an application for a new permit within 10 business days of the change, the permit shall be automatically terminated and the keeping of bees on the parcel shall not be permitted until a new permit has been granted. Permit holders must submit to the Code Enforcement Officer, within 10 business days of receipt, a copy of their annual Department of Agriculture apiary inspection record. Should a permit holder fail to produce the annual record, as issued by the Department, within five business days of demand from the Code Endorsement Officer, the permit shall be terminated. The issuance of a permit shall not obviate the necessity for compliance with all other City ordinances.
Permits shall not be required for persons possessing a hive and/or apiary on their property for a period of less than 21 days for the purpose of splitting and/or transporting hives and/or bees. Persons possessing such hives and/or apiaries must otherwise comply with all other provisions of this § 58-7.
If a permit applicant desires to own or maintain an apiary on property that the applicant does not own, the applicant must obtain written permission from the property owner or landlord explicitly indicating that the applicant has permission to own or maintain an apiary on the subject property. Such written permission shall be supplied to the City as part of the annual beekeeping permit application.
Maximum number of colonies. For property with a minimum of 5,000 square feet of lot area, a beekeeper is permitted to keep two hives. For every additional 5,000 square feet of lot area, the beekeeper is permitted two additional hives, for a maximum of six hives.
Hive type. No beekeeper shall keep or maintain bees in any hive other than a modern movable frame hive which permits thorough examination of every comb to determine the presence of bee disease.
Location of hives. Location of hives must comply with the following criteria:
Hives shall not be located within 10 feet of any side or rear property line;
Hives shall not be located within a front yard;
Hives shall not be located within 50 feet of a permanently kenneled animal;
Hives shall not be located within 50 feet of a swimming pool, unless the beekeeper constructs a flyway barrier directing the bees away from the pool and provides a source of fresh water on the beekeeper's property; and
Apiaries may be located in any zoning district.
Hive orientation. Hive entrances shall face away from the nearest neighboring property and in such a direction that bees fly across the beekeeper's property at sufficient distance to gain a height of at least six feet at the property line. The use of flyway barriers may be employed to redirect the bees' flight pathway and establish bee flight pathways above six feet. Should the flight path not be able to be obtained as described above, then a "flyway barrier" shall be placed at least six feet in height, shall be placed along the side of the hive(s), and shall extend at least two feet on either side of the hive(s). A "flyway barrier" shall consist of a solid fence, dense vegetation, dense hedge, or combination thereof. No flyway barrier is required for hives that are located on porches, roofs or balconies at least 10 feet above grade, except where such porch, roof, or balcony is located less than five feet from a property line.
Water. All beekeepers in the City shall ensure that a convenient source of fresh water is available to the bees on the property where the hive(s) is (are) located from April 1 through November 1 of each year and is located closer to the apiary than any other water source. Excepted from this provision are beekeepers whose property abuts a consenting neighboring property owner whose property provides a fresh source of water or abuts a natural watercourse (a natural channel conveying water, such as a stream) that consistently flows or holds fresh water from April 1 through November 1 each year, and is located closer to the apiary than any other source of water not on the beekeeper's property.
Best management practices. All beekeepers owning or maintaining an apiary in the City shall at minimum practice those best management practices as set forth by the Department.
Maintenance. All beekeepers shall ensure that no bee comb or other materials are left upon the ground of the apiary site. Upon removal from the apiary, all such materials shall promptly be disposed of in a sealed container or placed within a building or other beeproof enclosure.
Nuisance. It shall be unlawful for any beekeeper to keep any hive in such a manner as to cause an unhealthy condition, interfere with the normal use and enjoyment of human or animal life, or interfere with the normal use and enjoyment of the properties surrounding the property on which the bees are kept. The City, with or without the guidance of an apiary inspector, may seize and/or destroy the hives or bee receptacles that are identified as a public nuisance pursuant to this section without remuneration to the beekeeper, if the beekeeper does not correct the public nuisance within 48 hours of being issued a demand to cure the public nuisance by the Code Enforcement Officer, and the condition caused by the bees creates a significant danger to public health and safety. The Code Enforcement Officer may immediately seize and/or destroy the hives without issuing a demand to cure where the public nuisance creates a significant danger to public health and safety and is causing damage or injury to persons or property. By way of example and not of limitation, the following activities are hereby declared to be a public nuisance and are, therefore, unlawful:
Multiple bees stinging, attacking or otherwise molesting others (including domestic animals), occurring off of the beekeeper's property, caused by bees originating from a beekeeper's apiary(ies) and not as a result of provocation by a person or domestic animal;
The use of apiaries or receptacles for bees that does not comply with Subsection E of this section;
Hive placement and related bee movement such that the bees, without provocation, interfere with the freedom of movement of persons in a public right-of-way, or the location of bees poses a threat to the general safety, health, and welfare of the general public; and
The keeping of overcrowded, bee-diseased or abandoned hives.
Prohibitions. Africanized honeybees may not be kept on any property in the City.
Sale of honey. The sale of honey must comply with state and federal laws and regulations.
[Amended 4-23-1996 by Ord. No. 1996-5]
Any person violating any provision of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $600 and costs of prosecution and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, to imprisonment for not more than 30 days, provided that each violation of any provision of this article and each day the same continues shall be deemed a separate offense.
Any violation of this article that would also violate any state law shall be prosecuted under that state law and not under this article.