[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Abington 6-6-2016 ATM by Art. 9. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: This Article also superseded former Ch. 11, Animals, adopted 4-3-2006 ATM by Art. 8.
No person shall pasture or cause to be pastured any cattle or other animals upon or within the limits of any street or way of the Town, either with or without a keeper.
An owner or keeper of a dog shall not cause or permit such a dog to run at large in any street or public place or upon the premises of anyone other than the owner or keeper, unless the owner or occupant of such premises grants permission. While in any public place or street, dogs shall be under restraint by owner or keeper. A dog is under restraint within the meaning of this Bylaw if it is controlled by a leash or confined within a vehicle driven or parked on a street. Notwithstanding the preceding, an owner or keeper shall be prohibited from bringing a dog, even under restraint, to/into the following events/venues:
Any concert or other public event organized and/or administered by the Abington Summer Concerts Committee;
The Island Grove swimming and recreation area, which shall be designated from time to time by the Board of Selectmen. Until or unless otherwise designated, the Island Grove swimming and recreation area shall be bounded by Memorial Bridge at the west, Park Avenue at the east, and the main walking path at the north, and shall include the swimming pool and recreation area.
On the grounds of the Millennium Memorial Complex.
Subsection A shall not be construed to limit or prohibit the use of hunting dogs during the hunting season, or the training of hunting dogs, or during field trials for hunting dogs.
Subsection A shall not be applicable to dogs when utilized by law enforcement and public safety officials or in search and rescue efforts, or as a service animal, as that term is defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, 42 U.S. Code § 12101 et seq., and any regulations promulgated thereunder.
Dogs running at large will be impounded. If the owner is known, notice shall be given within three days to such owner. If the owner is unknown, or the dog remains unclaimed for more than seven days, disposition of the dog shall be as provided under Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 140, Section 151A. The owner or keeper of any dog so impounded may reclaim such dog upon payment of the dog license fee if it is then unpaid, and upon payment of any outstanding fines, maintenance and administrative charges as may be established by the Animal Control Officer.
Every owner or keeper of a dog who is six months old or over shall license it with the Town Clerk on or before January 1 of each year. Every owner or keeper of a dog which becomes six months old subsequent to January 1 of any year shall license it with the Town Clerk when it becomes six months old. The owner or keeper of every dog which is so licensed shall cause it to wear at all times a license tag issued for the purpose by the Town Clerk. An annual dog license shall be valid from January 1 to December 31.
If the Animal Control Officer determines that a dog in its oestrus cycle (in heat) is attracting other dogs and such attraction is causing damage or disturbance to any neighborhood, the Dog Officer shall order in writing that the owner or keeper of such dog restrain the dog for the duration of its oestrus cycle. If the Dog Officer determines that such owner or keeper is not complying with such order, the Dog Officer shall impound said dog for the duration of its oestrus cycle and the owner shall pay the current boarding fee for each day the dog is held in the pound as may be established by the Animal Control Officer.
No person may maintain a kennel, as defined in M.G.L. c. 140, § 136A, without a kennel license.
A kennel license may be obtained upon submission of a written application to the Town Clerk with the prior approval from the Animal Control Officer and the Zoning Board of Appeals, if required under the Town's Zoning Bylaws, and upon payment of the applicable fee.
The kennel license application shall be on a prescribed form and shall specify the name of the owner, the name of the kennel, the name of the keeper, and the location of such kennel. Such license shall specify the maximum number of dogs to be kept on the premises at any one time. Prior to approving any application, the Animal Control Officer shall conduct an inspection of the premises and shall deliver notice of said kennel application by first class mail to all owners of property situated within 300 feet of the boundaries of the proposed kennel property, in accordance with a certified abutters list issued for said purpose by the Board of Assessors. All costs of said notice shall be paid by the applicant, and said notice shall inform the abutters of their right to submit written comments about the proposed kennel within 10 days of its mailing. No kennel license shall be approved unless the operation of a kennel in the particular location complies with all applicable laws, including but not limited to the Town's Zoning Bylaws. The approval of the license may include sufficient conditions, at the discretion of the Animal Control Officer, to prevent any nuisance to neighboring properties. Any party thereafter objecting to the decision of the Animal Control Officer may appeal said decision to the Board of Selectmen for independent review.
An annual kennel license shall be valid from January 1 through December 31.
The owner or keeper of such kennel shall renew the license prior to the commencement of each succeeding license period.
While at large, each dog in a kennel shall wear a collar or harness to which shall be securely attached a tag upon which shall appear the number of the kennel license and the year of issuance and the name of the Town.
The Chief of Police or Animal Control Officer may at any time inspect or cause to be inspected any kennel, and if in their judgment the kennel is not being maintained in a sanitary and humane manner, or if records are not properly kept as required by law, shall by order revoke or suspend said kennel license.
In the case of revocation of said licenses, the Board of Selectmen may reinstate such license and impose conditions and regulations upon the operation of said kennel only after holding a public hearing, with notice of said hearing going to abutters at least 10 days prior to the date of said hearing, such notice to be provided as set forth in § 11-6C of this Bylaw.
All kennels shall be limited to the number of dogs that the kennel license states are to be maintained on said premises.
The owner or custodian of every dog or animal shall be responsible for any fecal matter deposited by the animal(s) on public walks, streets, recreation areas or private property of another.
The owner or custodian of an animal when appearing with the animal on any public walk, street, recreation area, or private property shall possess the means of removal of any fecal matter left by such animal.
For purposes of this regulation, the means of removal shall include any tool, implement, or other device carried for the purpose of picking up and containing such fecal matter. Disposal shall be accomplished by transporting such fecal matter to a place suitable and regularly reserved for the disposal of human fecal matter, specifically reserved for disposal of animal fecal matter or otherwise designated as appropriate by the Board of Health.
Fees for individual dog licenses and kennel licenses shall be established annually by the Town Clerk in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 40, section 22F.
This Bylaw may be enforced by the Animal Control Officer or any Town of Abington police officer. In addition to the remedies set forth herein and in GL c. 140, §§ 136A to 174E, inclusive, or any other applicable provision of law, whoever violates any provision of this Bylaw may be penalized by a noncriminal disposition process as provided in G.L. c. 40, § 21D and the Town's non-criminal disposition Bylaw. If non-criminal disposition is elected, then any person who violates any provision of this Bylaw shall be subject to the following penalties:
Each day or portion thereof shall constitute a separate offense. If more than one, each condition violated shall constitute a separate offense.