Borough of Norristown, PA
Montgomery County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Norristown as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Health and sanitation — See Ch. 184.
Noise — See Ch. 215.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 239.
Rodent control — See Ch. 247.
[Adopted 4-6-1982 as Ch. 97, Art. I, of the 1981 Code]

§ 103-1 Animal Control Officer.

[Amended 4-5-1983 by Ord. No. 83-3]
A. 
The position of Animal Control Officer for the Borough of Norristown is hereby created. The Borough Council shall appoint some suitable person as Animal Control Officer. The compensation to be paid him and provision for expenses shall be provided by the Health Department.
B. 
The Animal Control Officer shall be part of the Health Department and shall be accountable to the Health Officer and his superiors.

§ 103-2 Dog control by dog owners or caretakers.

[Amended 4-5-1983 by Ord. No. 83-3; 9-1-1992 by Ord. No. 92-19; 6-4-2002 by Ord. No. 02-07]
A. 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CARETAKER
The person who accepts custody and control of a dog from the dog's owner on a permanent or temporary basis or takes custody and control of the dog running at large or an abandoned dog with no known owner.
OWNER
The person who takes title to such dog formally or informally through purchase, gift or taking into possession such animal when the dog is running at large or abandoned with no known owner.
B. 
Owners and caretaker's responsibility.
(1) 
It shall be unlawful for the owner or caretaker of any dog or dogs, licensed or unlicensed, to permit such dog(s) to run at large unaccompanied by the owner or caretaker in the Borough of Norristown. The owner or caretaker of such dog(s) shall be permitted to walk and accompany such dog(s) only if the owner or caretaker is firmly in control of such dog(s) with a leash of six feet or less.
(2) 
If a dog(s) is kept in a yard or open area on the premises of the home of the owner or caretaker of such dog(s), the dog(s) must be on a secure leash and within an enclosed fenced area which will safely keep the dog(s) from contacting or menacing the public. Any fence used for this purpose shall be at least four feet high.
(3) 
The failure to keep any dog(s) on a leash, as described in this section, or failure to keep any dog(s) leashed and contained within a fence, as described in this section, shall subject the owner or caretaker of such dog(s) to the fines and penalties provided herein.

§ 103-3 Audible disturbance.

[Amended 4-5-1983 by Ord. No. 83-3]
It shall be unlawful and is hereby declared to be a public nuisance in the borough for any person to keep, maintain or allow to be kept or maintained upon premises under the control of such person any animal or fowl which, on two or more dates reported to a borough official or representative, creates or causes an audible noise or sound which is audible off the premises to such an extent that the sleep, rest, quiet and repose of any resident or residents of the community is disturbed or interrupted.

§ 103-4 Sanitary maintenance.

It shall be the responsibility of dog owners to keep their dogs from scratching, digging, defecating or urinating upon any lawns, trees, shrubs, plants, buildings or any other public or private property, excluding the property of the owner. The owner of any dog, in the event that such dog defecates on any property other than that of the owner, shall immediately remove and dispose of all feces so deposited in a sanitary manner. Also, it is the responsibility of the owners of all animals to properly clean and otherwise maintain their pounds, kennels, yards and other areas in which such animals are kept to prevent the creation of any nuisance, health hazard or odor.

§ 103-5 Incurred expenses.

[Amended 4-5-1983 by Ord. No. 83-3]
Any expenses incurred by the Animal Control Officer in seizing or detaining dogs, set forth in accordance with this article by the Borough Council, which are not paid by the owner or owners upon claiming such dogs shall be paid by the Borough of Norristown to such Animal Control Officer if incurred by him or, if not incurred by him, then to such person to whom the same may be due and owing. Such costs or expenses are declared to be the obligation of the owner or the one who harbored or kept the dog and may be collected from him by the Borough of Norristown by any proper legal proceeding available.

§ 103-6 Interference in the line of duty.

[Amended 4-5-1983 by Ord. No. 83-3]
It shall be unlawful for any person to interfere with the Animal Control Officer while engaging in the proper performance of his duties.

§ 103-7 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 9-1-1992 by Ord. No. 92-19]
Unless otherwise provided by commonwealth law, any owner, person, firm, association or corporation who shall violate or refuse to comply with any provision of this Article shall, upon conviction in a summary proceeding before any District Justice of the Borough of Norristown, be sentenced to pay a fine to the Borough of Norristown of not less than $30 and not more than $300, and costs of prosecution, or to undergo imprisonment not exceeding 30 days, or both.

§ 103-8 Intent.

It is the intent that this article shall be supplemental to any laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania hereinbefore or hereinafter adopted covering dogs within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and specifically in the Borough of Norristown.

§ 103-9 Vicious dogs.

[Added 9-2-1997 by Ord. No. 97-10]
A. 
Vicious dogs referred to in this article shall mean any dog which:
(1) 
Is observed or trained to attack, cause injury, endanger, assault, threaten or terrorize any human being;
(2) 
My dog which is observed or trained to attack, injure, endanger, terrorize or fight any domestic animal; and
(3) 
Any dog which is deemed a dangerous dog under and pursuant to 3 P.S. § 459-102 and 3 P.S. § 459-502-A, etc., the Dog Law.
B. 
Protected activity.
(1) 
No Police dog, squad dog or guard dog acting under the supervision of a police officer or prison guard shall be deemed a vicious dog.
(2) 
A dog may not be declared a vicious dog for inflicting injury or damage on any person committing a willful trespass or other tort upon the premises occupied by the owner of said dog.
C. 
Vicious dog provisions. My person owning a vicious dog must register the dog with the Borough of Norristown Animal Control Officer and pay an annual fee of $50 for the registration and licensing of said dog. Upon licensing the vicious dog, the owner of said dog shall:
(1) 
Display in a conspicuous manner a sign on the building where the vicious dog is kept notice that a vicious dog is housed on premises. The sign is to be obtained from the Animal Control Officer. No other sign is acceptable. The cost of the sign is to be the owner's responsibility.
(2) 
Not permit such dog to go beyond the premises where the dog is kept and housed unless the dog is securely leashed and muzzled. Vicious dogs confined to the outdoors must have a pen or structure with sides, a top and bottom secured so that the vicious dog cannot escape and become a menace to the public.
D. 
Unregistered vicious dogs. Any vicious dogs, as defined by this article, not registered with the Norristown Police Office shall be seized and detained by the Norristown Animal Control Officer or any Norristown police officer. Upon such seizure, the Animal Control Officer shall take the dog to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Shelter for disposition pursuant to this article.
E. 
Notice to dog owner. If a vicious dog is seized by the Animal Control Officer and delivered to the SPCA, herein notice shall by sent certified mail, first class mail, and posted upon the owner's premises, notifying the owner of the dog of such seizure and detention. The notice shall specify that the owner must register and reclaim the dog with the Borough of Norristown Animal Control Officer within 10 days of the notice of seizure pursuant to the terms of this article.
F. 
Costs. Any costs incurred in the seizing and detaining of a vicious dog shall be paid by the vicious dog's owner. Such costs shall include all expenses incurred by the borough for maintenance of the vicious dog immediately upon seizure through the discharge of the dog to the owner or the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Shelter.
G. 
Disposition of unclaimed dogs. After notice has been provided as in Subsection E above, should the dog owner fail to register and reclaim the dog with the Animal Control Officer of the Borough of Norristown and the SPCA, the SPCA shall be directed to relocate and/or process the dog pursuant to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Dog Law, 3 P.S. § 459-101, etc.
H. 
Penalty and costs. Any owner, person, firm, association or corporation which should violate or refuse to comply with any terms, restrictions of § 103-9 of Chapter 103 of the Code of Ordinances of the Borough of Norristown shall be issued a citation by the Animal Control Officer for violating this section and, upon conviction thereof in summary proceedings before any District Justice of the Borough of Norristown, a sentence to pay a fine not to exceed $500, pay the cost of prosecution and pay any costs incurred by the Animal Control Officer and/or the Borough of Norristown for the seizing and detaining of vicious dogs as provided for in this article.