[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Scranton 9-26-1979 as Ch. 6 of the 1979 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I General Provisions
Article II Dogs
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- AT LARGE
- When not upon the enclosure or under and in the actual control of the owner.
The Director of the Department of Public Safety is hereby authorized to provide and establish a pound at such place within the City as he may deem best, wherein all animals at large or without a license as required may be impounded. The Director may employ a person to serve as poundmaster in each year, to take charge of such pound, and to apprehend or impound all animals subject to impounding as provided in this chapter.
No person, whether as owner or harborer, shall cause or permit any horse, mare, gelding, mule, ox, cow, bull, goat, sheep, hog or cat to run at large upon the streets, avenues, courts, public grounds or unenclosed land within the City.
Any such animal running at large shall be considered a public and common nuisance, and it shall be the duty of any police officer to seize and take to the City pound every animal so found running at large. If, after four days' public notice, no person shall come forward to claim the same and pay the fine and all costs and charges attending the keeping and seizing of such animal, it shall be sold at public sale by the City poundmaster, and the proceeds from such sale shall be paid to the City Treasurer for the use of the City.
The Director of the Office of Public Health is hereby authorized to designate a period, not exceeding six months in any one year, as a quarantine during which period the following regulations shall apply to dogs and cats:
Any police officer in the City, under orders of the Director of the Department of Public Safety, cooperating with the Office of Public Health, is hereby authorized and empowered, within the quarantine period as designated by the Director of the Office of Public Health, to shoot or otherwise kill any such dog or cat found running at large in the City.
No person shall sell, offer for sale, barter or display live baby chicks, ducklings or other fowl which have been dyed, colored or otherwise treated so as to impart to them an artificial color.
No person shall sell, offer for sale, barter or display live baby chicks, ducklings or other fowl in any quantity less than six.
The Director of the Office of Public Health is authorized to notify all persons who shall keep or maintain chickens, ducks, geese, guinea fowl, turkeys, pigeons or other domestic fowl within the limits of the City which are confined or nesting in a space within 15 feet from any dwelling to remove the same within 48 hours after receipt of notice. However, the Director, before issuing such notice, may require the filing of a written complaint in such form as he may prescribe signed by the owner or occupant of the dwelling affected.
No person shall, within the City, keep any cow or bull unless such person shall first have obtained a written permit for the keeping of the same from the Director of the Office of Public Health.
The Director is hereby authorized to issue permits for the keeping of cows or bulls within the City when, in his opinion, it will not be injurious or dangerous to the health of the neighborhood in which it is proposed to keep such animals, and to withhold such permits and to revoke any permit previously granted when, in his opinion, the keeping of such animals in the place proposed or in any place where such animals have been previously kept would be injurious or dangerous to the health of the neighborhood.
No person shall remove dead animals or convey the same through any of the streets, courts, lanes or alleys of the City, except in covered vehicles, which shall be constructed in such manner as to prevent a nuisance.
[Added by Ord. No. 49-1980]
Definitions. The following terms, whenever used in this section, shall have the meanings indicated in this subsection, except where the context indicates a different meaning:
- AT LARGE
- Any dog or other animal when it is off the property of its owner and not restrained by a competent person.
- Any member of the canine genus.
- To put to death in a humane manner.
- To apprehend, catch, trap, net, or, if necessary, to kill any animal by the local Police Department or authorized local agency.
- Any person or group of persons, firms or corporations owning, keeping or harboring a dog or dogs or other animals.
- Any natural person, partnership, corporation or association.
- Occurs when a dog or other animal is controlled by a leash or chain, not exceeding six feet in length, and where such chain or leash shall prevent such dog or other animal from terrorizing or attacking persons using sidewalks, etc.
Running at large. It shall be the duty of every police officer or authorized agency to seize and detain any dog or dogs which are running at large, either upon the public streets or highways of the City of Scranton, or upon the property of other than the owner of such dogs and not restrained by the owner or keeper.
Harboring a nuisance. It shall be unlawful for any person to keep any dog or dogs, cats or other animals which, by frequent howling, barking, baying, yelping or screeching, shall disturb the peace of the neighborhood or constitute a health hazard to the citizens of the City of Scranton.
Notice of apprehension. Whenever a dog or other animal has been apprehended in accordance with Subsections B and C herein, the police or other authorized agency shall notify the owner or owners of such dog or other animal of said apprehension, notifying said owner or owners that they have violated the provisions of this section, and issue a warning for the first offense; after the first offense warning, said police officer may issue a citation to such person, charging the violation of the summary offense as an alternative to filing an ordinance complaint.
Removal of wastes. It shall be the duty of each dog owner to remove any feces left by his or her dog or any other animal on any sidewalk, gutter, street, public yards, private yards or other public area. For purposes of Subsection E, a citation may be issued by sanitation officers and by police officers to such animal owner charging them with a summary offense and fined as outlined in Subsection G. The provisions of this subsection do not apply to a guide dog accompanied by a blind person.
Plea of defendant. The defendant shall, within 10 days of issuance of a citation, either (1) plead not guilty by appearing before the District Magistrate of the City of Scranton, entering his plea and posting such security for his appearance at trial as the issuing authority shall require, or (2) notify the District Magistrate of the City of Scranton, in writing, of his plea, and forward a sum equal to the fine and costs specified in the citation, or (3) plead guilty, by forwarding to the District Magistrate of the City of Scranton, an amount equal to the fine and costs when specified in the citation; or a notice that failure to respond to citation as herein provided in the time specified shall result in the issuance of a warrant for the arrest of the defendant.
Fine and penalties. An owner of a dog violating any provision of this section shall pay a fine of not more than $100 or, in default of payment thereof, shall undergo imprisonment for a period not exceeding 24 hours.
No person being the owner or custodian of a dog shall allow the same to run at large within the limits of the City.
Any person keeping, harboring or maintaining a vicious dog which shall have bitten or attempted to bite any human being shall be held liable and responsible for all damages therefrom. Upon complaint being made, after investigation by the Superintendent of Police, such dog may be killed upon sight wherever it may be found, dwelling houses excepted.
Any dog which may have been or is bitten by any rabid dog or other rabid animal shall forthwith be killed and disposed of so as to prevent any nuisance therefrom. It shall be the duty of police officers to enforce the provisions of this section.
Upon conviction for any violation of this chapter, 1/2 of any fine imposed shall be paid to the City Treasurer for the creation of a fund for the treatment for the prevention of hydrophobia. It shall be the duty of the City Treasurer to make monthly reports to the City Controller of the moneys so received. The fund shall be immediately available and is hereby appropriated to assist in defraying the expenses for treatment and prevention of hydrophobia of any person who may be bitten by any dog within the limits of the City.
Any dog bearing a proper license tag so seized and detained for running at large shall be properly kept and fed. Notice, either personal or by registered mail, shall be given to the person in whose name the license was procured, or his agent, to claim such dog within five days from receipt of such notice. The owner of the dog so detained shall pay $2 for each day the dog is so detained to cover the reasonable expenses of such detention, under the provisions of this article, before the dog is returned.
Any dog seized and detained for running at large which does not bear a proper license tag shall be kept and fed for three days, and the owner of the dog, who shall identify himself, shall pay $2 for each day the dog is detained to cover the reasonable expenses of such detention before the dog is returned.
If, after 10 days from receipt of notice in the case of licensed dogs and five days after seizure in the case of unlicensed dogs, such dog has not been claimed or redeemed, the designated officer shall dispose of such dog by sale or destruction by some humane manner.
Sale or destruction of a dog under § 169-16 shall not relieve the owner of such dog from liability for expenses incurred by reason of the dog's detention, and the City shall levy against such owner and collect by whatever means are necessary at the rate prescribed in §§ 169-14 and 169-15 for each day of detention, which shall be paid to the City Treasurer.
No person shall have, keep, maintain or harbor any dog within the limits of the City without first having obtained a license from the City Treasurer.
[Amended by Ord. No. 177-1994]
Any person who keeps or maintains a kennel may, in lieu of the license for each dog, obtain a kennel license. Such license shall be issued by the Director of the Department of Community Development, in such form as he shall adopt, and shall entitle the holder to keep any number of dogs over six months in age until the first day of May next succeeding. The fee to be paid for such annual license shall be $30 for a kennel of 10 dogs or fewer, and $60 for a kennel of more than 10 dogs.
No dog kept in a kennel shall be permitted to stray or to be taken from the kennel, except by leash or in a crate. In case such dog shall stray or be taken from the kennel in any other way, such dog shall be subject to the license under the terms of this article.
[Amended by Ord. Nos. 69-1984; 177-1994]
The Department of Licensing, Inspections and Permits shall issue to such persons as may apply a license to have, keep, possess, maintain and harbor dogs within the City limits. Dog license fees shall increase to $35 for each dog, and senior citizens (65+) fees shall be $20 for each dog. Such license shall continue in force from January 1 through December 31 of that year. No one license shall permit the keeping or maintaining of more than one such animal. Each license shall contain the name and residence of the owner, breed, sex, age, marks and other points of identification of the animal for which such license is issued. Each licensed animal shall have and continuously wear around its neck a collar with a metal tag or plate, which shall be furnished to the applicant by the Department of Licensing, Inspections and Permits.
[Amended 12-18-2014 by Ord. No. 67-2014]
Editor's Note: This ordinance provided that it take effect 1-1-2015.
Persons who are legally blind and require the services of a Seeing-Eye dog shall be exempt from payment of the annual license fee.
Prior to the issuance of the annual license, all persons shall be required to provide proof that the licensed animal has been properly inoculated as required by law and, in particular, proof of inoculation for rabies. Such proofs of inoculation shall be in a form subject to the approval of the Department of Community Development.
Each licensed dog shall have, and continuously wear around its neck, a collar with a metal tag or plate, having thereon the number of the license granted for such animal, which metal tag or plate shall be furnished to the applicant by the Department of Community Development.
The City Treasurer shall keep a full and complete record of every dog license issued, showing the name and residence of the person to whom such license was issued, the description and kind, together with all marks of identification, of the animal for which such license is issued and the City license number.
No person, except the owner, shall remove from the neck of any dog the metal tag or plate specified in this article.
Any person may make complaint at the police station of other persons keeping or maintaining any unlicensed dogs. It shall be the duty of the police officer in charge to immediately investigate the same and, if the complaint is found correct, to apprehend and impound such dog or cause the same to be done.
All dogs liable to impounding under this article shall, upon apprehension, be delivered to the poundmaster or City pound as soon as possible.
Any person who keeps, maintains or possesses any unlicensed dog shall be deemed the owner thereof and subject to a penalty. Any dog found without the metal tag or plate attached to its collar as required in this article shall be deemed prima-facie unlicensed.