[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of South Berwick 8-2-1978. Amendments noted where applicable.]
For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section:
- AT LARGE
- Off the premises of the owner, unless controlled by a leash, cord, chain or unless within a vehicle or under restraint in an open vehicle being driven or parked on the street.
- Any person, firm, organization, association or corporation owning, keeping or harboring a dog.
The licensing provisions of this chapter shall not apply to any dog belonging to a nonresident visiting within the Town without the intention of becoming a resident, but the owner of such dog shall comply with the remaining provisions of this chapter.
No person shall interfere with, hinder or molest any dog control officer in the performance of his duty or seek to release any dog in the custody of a dog control authority, except as provided in this chapter.
It shall be the duty of a dog control officer to keep or cause to be kept an accurate and detailed record of the licensing, impoundment and disposition of all dogs coming into his custody and maintain a record of complaints against the dog and/or owner.
No dog shall be kept within the limits of the Town unless such dog shall have been licensed by its owner in accordance with the statutes of the state.
Unlicensed dogs, wherever found or dogs found running at large shall be taken and impounded by a dog control officer in a shelter designated by the Town as the Town Animal Shelter and there confined for a period of not less than eight days.
Any dog impounded in accordance with this chapter may be reclaimed upon payment of the following charges:
An impoundment fee of $25 shall be charged for each dog, except that, upon the second impoundment of the same dog, the fee shall be $50, and upon the third and all subsequent impoundments of the same dog, the fee shall be $75. In addition to such fee, a further fee for board shall be paid at the rate of $20 per dog per day of impoundment. All impoundment fees collected shall be turned over to the Town Treasurer.
If there have been no previous offenses within the preceding period of 12 months, it would then be treated as a first offense.
A dog owner may regain possession of his impounded dog upon compliance with § 69-5 and upon payment of the impoundment and boarding fees set forth in § 69-7. Any dog under the provisions of this chapter and not reclaimed by the owner within the ten-day period shall be considered to be abandoned by the owner and the property of the Town Animal Shelter and may, after consultation with the Humane Society or the Animal Refuge League, be humanely destroyed or given to the Humane Society or the Animal Refuge League or any person deemed to be responsible and a suitable owner who will agree to comply with the provisions of this chapter.
Where the ownership of an impounded dog is known or can be reasonably ascertained by a dog control officer, such officer shall, if possible, notify the owner within three days of such impoundment, but failure to give such notice shall in no way impose any liability upon the Town for the destruction or transfer to another of any dog so impounded and not reclaimed within the required period.
Whenever any dog bites a person, the owner of such dog shall immediately notify the dog control officer, who shall order the dog held on the owner's premises or shall have it impounded for a period of two weeks. The dog shall be examined immediately after it has bitten anyone and again at the end of the two-week period. If at the end of the two weeks a veterinarian is convinced that the dog is then free from rabies, the dog shall then be released from quarantine or from the pound, as the case may be. If the dog dies within the period, its head shall be sent to the State Department of Health for examination for rabies.
No person owning any dog shall suffer or permit such dog to disturb the peace and quiet of the neighborhood by continuous barking, by making other loud or unusual noises or by running through or across cultivated gardens or fields.
Nonlicensed dogs and dogs running at large shall be subject to the fines as contained in 7 M.R.S.A. §§ 3911 through 3924.
Hindering officer. Any person in violation of § 69-3 above who attempts to hinder a dog control officer shall be subject to the penalties under 17-A M.R.S.A. § 751.
This chapter shall not replace, annul or in any way impair or remove the necessity for compliance with any other rule, regulation, bylaw, permit or provision of law. Where this chapter imposes a greater restriction upon the control of animals, the provisions of this chapter shall control.