City of Harrisburg, PA
Dauphin County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Harrisburg by Ord. No. 11-1992. Amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 3-505.1 Rabies vaccination.

A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to own or harbor a dog or cat over the age of three months which has not received a valid rabies vaccination.
B. 
All vaccinations against rabies must be made with an approved rabies vaccine in accordance with the recommendations of the vaccine manufacturer. The name of the vaccine manufacturer, the date of administration and the rabies tag number must appear on a certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian or issued by an approved governmental agency. Animals on whose behalf no such certificate has been issued shall either be immediately removed from the area or be vaccinated by a licensed veterinarian.
C. 
The owner of the dog or cat bears complete responsibility for the cost of the vaccination.
D. 
Proof of a current rabies vaccination for any dog or cat must be provided to any authorized agent or employee of the City upon request.

§ 3-505.2 Nuisances.

A. 
No person shall keep or harbor any dog, cat or other animal in the City so as to create offensive odors, excessive noise or unsanitary conditions which are a menace to the health, comfort or safety of the public or otherwise permit the commission or existence of a nuisance as defined herein.
B. 
The action of any dog, cat or other animal which, by frequent and habitual barking, howling, screeching, yelping or baying, or in any way or manner, disturbs the quiet of any person or the community, or disturbs or endangers the comfort, repose or health of persons, is hereby declared to constitute a nuisance. No owner or person having custody of such animal shall harbor or permit it to commit or continue such a nuisance.
C. 
The action of any dog, cat or other animal which scratches, digs, or defecates upon any lawn, tree, shrub, plant, building, or any other public or private property, other than that of the owner or the person in charge or control of such animal, is hereby declared to be a nuisance.
D. 
No person being the owner or in charge or control of any dog, cat or other animal shall permit such animal to commit a nuisance on any school grounds, City park or other public property, or upon any private property other than that of the owner or person in charge or control of such dog, cat or other animal, without the permission of the owner of such property. Where the owner or person in charge or control of such animal immediately removes all feces deposited by such animal and disposes of the same in a sanitary manner, such type of nuisance shall be considered abated.
E. 
Persons with physical handicaps or defective eyesight or hearing, while relying upon a dog specifically trained for these purposes, shall be exempt from compliance with this section.
F. 
Any female dog or cat in season shall be kept properly confined.
G. 
The action of any dog, cat or other animal which interferes with passersby or passing vehicles, attacks or molests other persons or animals, or is repeatedly unrestrained or at large is hereby declared to be a nuisance.
[Added 9-28-2004 by Ord. No. 33-2004]

§ 3-505.3 Complaint procedure.

A. 
When two or more persons of different households make a complaint against a person owning, keeping or having in his or her possession any animal whatsoever, charging said animal with a nuisance against any person or neighborhood as described in § 3-505.2, the Bureau of Police, through the Chief of Police, shall inquire as to whether any similar complaint has been previously made against the same owner, keeper or possessor of the animal. If no such complaint has been made within the immediately preceding 60 days, the Chief of Police shall cause notice to be served on the person owning, keeping or possessing such offending animal, either in person or via the United States Postal Service, informing him or her that said complaint has been made and warning said person that if said animal is not forthwith prevented from making further disturbance or if the nuisance complained of is not otherwise abated, said person owning, keeping or possessing said animal will, upon a second complaint, be considered in violation of this chapter.
B. 
Whoever owns, keeps or has in his or her possession an animal of any kind whatsoever which in any manner creates a nuisance described in this subtitle shall, upon the second complaint of at least two persons of different households, be deemed in violation of this chapter and subject to the procedure described in this section.
[Amended 4-9-2013 by Ord. No. 3-2013]
C. 
Upon conviction of a violation hereunder, the offender shall:
(1) 
Be guilty of a summary offense and, in the discretion of the magisterial district judge with appropriate jurisdiction, be subject to a fine as described in this chapter;
(2) 
Permanently remove the offending animal from the neighborhood;
(3) 
Be required to deliver up the offending animal to be killed in the most humane manner possible; or
(4) 
In the discretion of the magisterial district judge, be subject to a fine and also be required to permanently remove the animal from said neighborhood or deliver up said animal to be killed in the most humane manner possible.
D. 
If the violator is required to deliver up said animal to be removed or killed and he or she refuses or fails to do so, then it shall be the duty of any police officer, or any duly empowered agent on behalf of the City, who sees such animal wherever it may be found in the City to cause the same to be removed permanently from said neighborhood or cause it to be euthanized in the most humane manner possible.
E. 
Except as provided in this section, no person shall be convicted under § 3-505.2B except upon the evidence of one or more witnesses, each of a household other than that of the person swearing out the complaint, in addition to the person so swearing the complaint, unless it is shown that the animal has, on at least one prior occasion, bitten a human being.

§ 3-505.4 Animal bites. [1]

[Added 9-28-2004 by Ord. No. 33-2004]
Whoever owns, keeps or has in his or her possession any animal of any kind whatsoever which bites any person within the corporate boundaries of the City shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a summary offense and shall be subject to a fine as described in this chapter, or shall permanently remove the offending animal from said neighborhood, or shall be required to deliver up the offending animal to be killed in the most humane manner possible, or shall be subject to both a fine and the requirement to permanently remove the offending animal from said neighborhood or to deliver up the offending animal to be killed in the most humane manner possible. If such person is required to deliver up said animal to be removed or euthanized as aforesaid and he or she refuses to do so, then it shall be the duty of any police officer, or any duly empowered agent of the City, who sees such animal whenever it may be found in the City to cause it to be removed from said neighborhood or cause it to be euthanized in the most humane manner possible.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 3-505.4, Animal bites, was repealed 10-22-1996 by Ord. No. 16-1996, which ordinance also enacted Ch. 3-513, Dangerous Animals. See also Ch. 6-327, Animal Bites.

§ 3-505.5 Shelters.

[Amended 5-14-2013 by Ord. No. 7-2013]
A. 
Dogs and cats shall be provided access to shelter which protects them against inclement weather, is water resistant and keeps them dry, provides shade from direct sunlight, and allows them to preserve a normal body temperature.
B. 
No animal may be housed on a temporary or permanent basis in any shelter constructed of metal unless adequately insulated from inclement weather.

§ 3-505.6 Tethering of dogs outdoors.

[Added 5-14-2013 by Ord. No. 7-2013[1]]
It shall be unlawful for any person to tether, fasten, chain, tie, restrain or cause an unattended dog to be fastened, chained, tied or restrained to houses, trees, fences, garages, stakes or other stationary or highly immobile objects by means of a rope, chain, strap or other physical restraint for the purpose of confinement, except in circumstances where all of the following requirements are satisfied:
A. 
The tethering is not for a longer period of time than reasonably necessary for the dog's owner or custodian to complete a temporary task that requires the dog to be physically restrained.
B. 
The tether is attached to the dog by a non-choke-type collar and attached to the stationary object by swivel anchors, latches, or similar devices in a manner which prevents the tether from becoming entangled around any object so as to limit the dog's freedom within the tethered area or to prevent the dog, or any of its appendages, from becoming entangled by the tether.
C. 
The tether must be of a type commonly used for the size of the dog involved, and if the tether is a chain, it may not be thicker than 1/8 inch.
D. 
The dog has easy access to potable drinking water, edible food and adequate shade and/or shelter within the tethered area.
E. 
The dog is periodically monitored while tethered for the aforementioned reasonable period of time.
F. 
The dog is not tethered outdoors in violation of § 3-505.7.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided for the renumbering of former §§ 3-505.6 through 3-505.8 as §§ 3-505.8 through 3-505.10, respectively.

§ 3-505.7 Restrictions on leaving dogs outdoors.

[Added 5-14-2013 by Ord. No. 7-2013]
It shall be unlawful for any person to leave any dog outside and unattended during any period in which a severe weather warning has been issued for Dauphin County by the National Weather Service for a continuous period of time greater than 1/2 hour if the temperature during such period remains entirely either below 32° F. or above 90° F. "Outside," for purposes of this section, shall mean any unattended dog that is outside subject to the weather and elements, which expressly includes, but is not limited to, a dog in a securely fenced-in yard, a dog in a carrier, or a dog tethered or tied-out. The dog shall be considered "outside" regardless of access to an outdoor doghouse or similar structure, unless such structure is a properly functioning climate-controlled and weather-resistant structure.

§ 3-505.8 Number of dogs and cats permitted in City limits. [1]

No person shall be permitted to own, harbor or maintain more than five dogs or cats or any combination thereof within the City limits in one residence or building. This section shall not affect any person or residence whose number of dogs, cats or any combination thereof exceeds the limit of five prior to the effective date of this section, except that, upon elimination of dogs or cats by adoption, death or any permanent removal, the limit of five animals may not be exceeded. This section shall not affect kennels or catteries that have been granted a kennel/cattery permit by the Animal Control Section, nor shall it affect kennels registered with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
[1]
Editor's Note: See also § 3-509.2, Number of pets in addition to dogs and cats permitted in City limits.

§ 3-505.9 Dogs and cats at large prohibited; restraint.

A. 
No person, whether as owner or person in possession, shall permit a dog, cat or other animal to run at large upon the public streets, sidewalks or other public places or upon the property of another. A dog, cat or other animal shall be restrained by the use of a leash or a chain not exceeding eight feet in length at all times when upon public places, streets and parks.
[Amended 9-28-2004 by Ord. No. 33-2004]
B. 
No owner shall fail to exercise proper care and control of his or her animals to prevent them from becoming a public nuisance.
C. 
Every female dog or cat in heat shall be confined in a building or secure enclosure in such a manner that such female dog or cat cannot come into contact with a male dog or cat, as applicable, except for a planned breeding.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection (d), which immediately followed this subsection and dealt with vicious or dangerous animals, was repealed 4-9-2013 by Ord. No. 3-2013. See now Ch. 3-513, Dangerous Animals.

§ 3-505.10 Impounding and euthanizing.

A. 
Every police officer or other authorized agent shall impound every animal at large.
B. 
Every police officer or other authorized agent empowered to enforce or administer the provisions of this subtitle shall be permitted to euthanize any animal at large in the most humane manner possible if, in the discretion of said officer or agent, such animal is a menace, constitutes an immediate threat to public health or safety or property, or is suffering unreasonably from injury or disease and is unlikely to survive the effects of the same.
C. 
If the animal must be impounded or euthanized, the owner shall, in addition to any other fines or penalties, reimburse all reasonable costs incurred by the City for said impoundment or euthanization. Failure to pay such fee to the City within 15 days of such impoundment or euthanization shall constitute a violation of this chapter.
[Added 9-28-2004 by Ord. No. 33-2004]

§ 3-505.11 Enforcement.

[Added 5-14-2013 by Ord. No. 7-2013]
A. 
In addition to the Animal Control Officer and any other law enforcement personnel appointed by the Chief of Police according to § 3-501.3 of this subtitle, the Chief of Police, with approval of the Mayor, may authorize an agent of the Humane Society or of any society for the prevention of cruelty to animals to enforce this chapter, to the extent that violations of this chapter constitute cruelty to animals, as defined in the Pennsylvania Animal Cruelty Law, 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 551(c).
B. 
Any officer duly authorized by the Chief of Police to enforce this chapter may, in addition to imposing other penalties permitted in this chapter, enter the premises of any owner and temporarily remove a dog if such officer determines that the dog is being held or tethered in violation § 3-505.5, 3-505.6, or 3-505.7 of this chapter. Prior to removing any dog under this section, such officer must give notice to the owner, either in writing or by posting such notice upon the premises, of the nature of the violation of this chapter, and such notice must contain an order to bring the violation into compliance within 24 hours of receipt of such notice.
C. 
Any owner of a dog removed under this section may regain possession of the dog upon an adequate showing to the confiscating party that his or her sheltering or tethering situation has been brought into compliance.

§ 3-505.12 Penalty.

A. 
An owner or keeper or possessor whose dog, wolf, wolf hybrid or domestic or nondomestic cat or other animal is found to have violated any of the provisions of this chapter shall, in addition to the possible removal or euthanization of the animal, be fined $350, plus costs, if it is a first offense. The penalty shall be $1,000 plus costs for each subsequent offense and, in default thereof, imprisonment not exceeding 72 hours. This is in addition to any state or federal fines or penalties or terms of imprisonment. Any victim, or owner of a victim in the case of an animal victim, may also recover reasonable medical expenses if the owner of the offending animal knew or should have known of the animal's dangerous or vicious propensities and the offending animal was not defending itself from an annoying, harassing or provoking act or assisting a City, state or federal employee in the performance of an official duty.
[Amended 9-28-2004 by Ord. No. 33-2004[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed original Subsection (c) of this section.
B. 
Any person violating § 3-505.9 or making false representation under this chapter shall be fined $350, plus costs, if it is a first offense. The penalty shall be $600 for each subsequent offense and, in default thereof, imprisonment not exceeding 72 hours.
[Amended 5-14-2013 by Ord. No. 7-2013[2]]
[2]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided for the renumbering of this section, formerly § 3-505.99, as § 3-505.12.
C. 
Anyone convicted under § 3-505.9 twice within any twelve-month period shall forfeit the right to own, possess or have under his or her control any domestic animal for a period of two years beginning from the date of the second conviction. Anyone found in violation herein shall be subject to a fine of $1,000 plus costs and, in default thereof, imprisonment not exceeding 30 days.
[Added 10-22-1996 by Ord. No. 16-1996; amended 5-14-2013 by Ord. No. 7-2013]