Town of Nantucket, MA
Nantucket County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Annual Town Meeting of the Town of Nantucket 4-14-1997 by Art. 68, approved 8-5-1997;[1] renumbered as Ch. 55 4-15-2003 ATM by Art. 26, approved 8-27-2003. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
[1]
Editor's Note: This article also repealed former Ch. 69, Dogs, which consisted of Art. I, adopted 9-22-1972 STM by Art. 5, approved 10-3-1972; and Art. II, adopted 4-3-1979 ATM by Art. 84, approved 8-18-1979.

§ 55-1 Authority.

This chapter is adopted pursuant to the authority granted the Town by MGL c. 140, § 147A.

§ 55-2 Purpose.

[Amended 4-15-2003 ATM by Art. 61, approved 7-22-2003]
The Town agrees that the reasonable regulation of dogs under this chapter enhances the quality of life and preserves the peace, quiet and public safety of the inhabitants of the Town.

§ 55-3 Enforcement.

The provisions of this chapter shall be administered and enforced by the Animal Control Officer and/or the Police Department; 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 or other animals.

§ 55-4 Regulations.

A. 
Annual license required.
(1) 
Any person who becomes the owner or keeper of a dog six months old or older which is not duly licensed by the Town shall cause it to be registered, numbered, described and licensed. Each such licensed dog shall wear a tag at all times containing the information required by Massachusetts General Law.
(2) 
The schedule of fees for dog licenses and regulations shall be as adopted by the Board of Selectmen after a public hearing.
[Amended 4-15-2003 ATM, by Art. 61, approved 7-22-2003]
(3) 
The license period is from April 1 to March 31. Licenses are renewable as of February 1.
(4) 
No license fee shall be charged for a dog owned by a person aged 70 years or older who licenses their dog by April 30.
[Added 4-2-2016 ATM by Art. 71, approved 7-12-2016]
B. 
Rabies vaccination.
(1) 
The owner or keeper of any dog or cat six months old 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. Such owner or keeper shall procure a veterinarian's certification, stating that such dog or cat has been so vaccinated and setting forth the date of such vaccination, an expiration date of immunity and a metal rabies tag. For a dog, a rabies tag shall be worn in the same manner as a dog license. Cats shall not be required to wear the rabies tag.
[Amended 4-15-2003 ATM by Art. 61, approved 7-22-2003]
(2) 
If a dog without a rabies vaccination tag is picked up by the Animal Control Officer or a police officer, it may remain in the custody of the Town until current proof of rabies vaccination is produced for the animal.
C. 
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.
D. 
Leash law. No person within the confines of the Town shall at any time permit a dog owned or kept by such keeper to run at large beyond the confines of the property of the owner or keeper unless the dog is held firmly on a leash.
E. 
Impounding. A police officer or Animal Control Officer may impound any dog found in violation of this chapter and hold same, subject to the provisions of all governing statutes.
F. 
Nuisances.
[Amended 4-15-2003 ATM by Art. 61, approved 7-22-2003; 4-2-2016 ATM by Art. 70, approved 7-12-2016]
(1) 
No person shall keep within the limits of the Town of Nantucket any dog or pet which by barking, biting, howling, whining or in any manner disturbs the peace and quiet of any person. No person shall own or keep in the Town of Nantucket any bird or fowl, which by screeching or crowing or by any other manner disturbs the peace and quiet of any person(s).
(2) 
No person shall own or keep any animal that is found to run at large beyond the confines of the property of the owner or keeper, or does commit any nuisance, disturbs the peace and quiet of any neighborhood, or endangers the safety of any person(s).
(3) 
The owner of any dog or pet which endangers the safety of any person or other animal by biting or causing property damage shall be subject to immediate violations, penalties or quarantine. Subsequent offenses shall result in their removal from the Town of Nantucket, or shall be euthanized if deemed to be dangerous.
(4) 
Any dog or pet found to run at large beyond the confines of the property of the owner, tenant, lessee or keeper after a third offense of Chapter 55, § 55-4D, shall also be subject to nuisance violation penalties thereafter.
G. 
Hunting dogs. No person or persons shall hunt game with more than six dogs. Each dog over six shall constitute a separate violation of this subsection. The Board of Selectmen, upon application, may exempt sporting events from the provisions of this subsection.
H. 
Animal neglect. Any person owning, keeping or otherwise responsible for a companion animal, pet or farm animal or livestock who confines said animal in a parked vehicle or trailer where the vehicle confinement endangers the health or safety of the animal and/or if medical aid is requested by the Animal Control Officer or any police officer of the Town and the owner does not seek medical aid for animal shall be subject to a fine of $50, second offense fine of $100.
[Added 4-2-2016 ATM by Art. 70, approved 7-12-2016]
I. 
Dogs or pets released from the animal shelter. Any person owning, keeping or otherwise responsible for an animal that is brought into the animal shelter and that animal is released back, the owner or keeper is responsible for making sure animal control gets a copy of the current rabies certificate. If animal control does not receive a certificate from the dog or pet owner within five business days after dog or pet is released, the owner or keeper may receive a fine of $50 per week until a rabies certificate is submitted to animal control.
[Added 4-2-2016 ATM by Art. 70, approved 7-12-2016]
J. 
Town permit for animal. Any owner or keeper of farm animals who does not obtain a Town permit shall be subject to a fine of $25 per day until the permit is purchased.
[Added 4-2-2016 ATM by Art. 70, approved 7-12-2016]

§ 55-5 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Fine. Any violation of this chapter shall be subject to a fine of $50. This chapter may be enforced by a police officer or Animal Control Officer utilizing the noncriminal disposition contained in Chapter 1 of this Code.
[Amended 4-15-2003 ATM by Art. 61, approved 7-22-2003]
B. 
Other remedies. Any violation of this chapter may be further remedied by the Board of Selectmen, after a hearing, by issuing orders concerning the restraint, muzzling or disposal of dogs as may be deemed necessary and as authorized by Massachusetts General Laws relating to dogs, here fully incorporated by reference as applicable to the regulations of this chapter.