Town of Abington, MA
Plymouth County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Abington 4-3-2006 ATM by Art. 8.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
[1]
Editor's Note: This Article also superseded former Ch. 11, Animals, comprised of Art. I, Pasturing of Certain Animals, derived from Ch. 9, Sec. 2, of the 1992 Town of Abington Bylaws; and Art. II, Dogs, derived from Ch. 10 of the 1992 Town of Abington Bylaws, as amended.

§ 11-1 Pasturing within streets or ways prohibited.

No person shall pasture or cause to be pastured any cattle or other animals upon or within the limits of any street or way of the Town, either with or without a keeper.

§ 11-2 Running at large prohibited; exception for hunting purposes.

A. 
An owner or keeper of a dog shall not cause or permit such a dog to run at large in any street or public place or upon the premises of anyone other than the owner or keeper, unless the owner or occupant of such premises grants permission. While in any public place or street, dogs shall be under restraint by owner or keeper. A dog is under restraint within the meaning of this Bylaw if it is controlled by a leash or at "heel" beside a competent person and obedient to that person's commands, or confined within a vehicle driven or parked on a street.
B. 
However, this section shall not be construed to limit or prohibit the use of hunting dogs during the hunting season, or the training of hunting dogs, or during field trials for hunting dogs.

§ 11-3 Impoundment; maintenance and administrative charges.

Dogs running at large will be impounded. If the owner is known, notice shall be given within three days to such owner. If the owner is unknown, disposition of a dog shall be as provided under Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 140, Section 151A. The owner or keeper of any dog so impounded may reclaim such dog upon payment of the dog license fee if it is then unpaid, and upon payment of any outstanding fines, maintenance and administrative charges.

§ 11-4 Registration required; dogs disturbing the peace; license period.

Every owner or keeper of a dog who is three months old or over shall register it with the Town Clerk on or before January 1 of each year. Every owner or keeper of a dog which becomes three months old subsequent to January 1 of any year shall register it with the Town Clerk when it becomes three months old. The owner or keeper of every dog which is so registered shall cause it to wear at all times a license tag issued for the purpose by the Town Clerk. No person shall own or keep in the Town any dog which by biting, barking or howling, or in any other manner disturbs the peace and quiet of any neighborhood or endangers the safety of any persons. An annual dog license shall be valid from January 1 to December 31.

§ 11-5 Confinement of dogs during heat.

If the Dog Officer determines that a dog in its oestrus cycle (in heat) is attracting other dogs and such attraction is causing damage or disturbance to any neighborhood, the Dog Officer shall order in writing that the owner or keeper of such dog restrain the dog for the duration of its oestrus cycle. If the Dog Officer determines that such owner or keeper is not complying with such order, the Dog Officer shall impound said dog for the duration of its oestrus cycle and the owner shall pay the current boarding fee as allowed under Chapter 140 Section 151A for each day the dog is held in the pound.

§ 11-6 Violations and penalties; fees.

Whoever violates the foregoing provisions of this chapter shall be liable to a fine of not more than $50, in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 140, Section 173A. A schedule of all current fines and fees shall be established pursuant to MGL c. 40 § 22F and shall be held on file with the Town Clerk.

§ 11-7 Kennels.

A. 
Any person maintaining a kennel shall have a kennel license.
B. 
Any owner or keeper of four or more dogs, three months of age or over, shall obtain a kennel license upon submission of a written application to the Town Clerk with the prior approval from the Animal Control Department and the Zoning Board of Appeals. The kennel license shall be on a prescribed form and shall specify the name of the owner, the name of the kennel, the name of the keeper, and the location of such kennel. Such license shall specify the maximum number of dogs to be kept on the premises at any one time. Prior to approving any application, the Animal Control Department shall deliver notice of said kennel application by first class mail to all owners of property situated within 300 feet of the boundaries of the proposed kennel property, in accordance with a certified abutters list issued for said purpose by the Board of Assessors. All costs of said notice shall be paid by the applicant, and said notice shall inform the abutters of their right to submit written comments about the proposed kennel within 10 days of its mailing. A kennel application shall be approved if said application complies with all state and local laws, and sufficient conditions are imposed at the discretion of the Animal Control Department to prevent any nuisance to neighboring properties. Any party thereafter objecting to the decision of the Animal Control Department may appeal said decision to the Board of Selectmen for independent review.
C. 
The fees for each classification of kennel license shall be established pursuant to MGL c. 40 § 22F and held on file with the Town Clerk.
D. 
License period includes January 1 to December 31, both dates inclusive.
E. 
A kennel license shall be required in addition to any other license required for any dog which may be kept in such kennel for any portion of the period for which the license is issued. The owner or keeper of such kennel shall renew the license prior to the commencement of each succeeding license period.
F. 
While at large, each dog in a kennel shall wear a collar or harness to which shall be securely attached a tag upon which shall appear the number of the kennel license and the year of issuance and the name of the Town.
G. 
A veterinary hospital shall not be considered a kennel unless it contains an area for the grooming or selling of dogs, or for the boarding of dogs other then medical or surgical purposes, in which case it shall apply in writing to the Town Clerk, submitting proof of prior approval from the Zoning Board and the Animal Control Department for the required kennel license.
H. 
The Chief of Police or Animal Control Officers of the Town shall at any time inspect or cause to be inspected any kennel, and if in their judgment the kennel is not being maintained in a sanitary and humane manner, or if records are not properly kept as required by law, shall by order revoke or suspend said kennel license.
I. 
In the case of suspension of said licenses, the Board of Selectmen may reinstate such license and impose conditions and regulations upon the operation of said kennel after holding a public hearing. Notice of said public hearing shall be mailed at least seven days prior to the hearing by first class mail to all owners of property situated within 100 feet of the boundaries of the kennel property.
J. 
All kennels shall be limited to the number of dogs that the kennel license states are to be maintained on said premises.
K. 
In addition to all other sums due and owing for any license fee hereunder, a person who applies for a license hereunder shall be obligated to pay all prior amounts of license fees determined to be due and owing by the Town Clerk.
L. 
Violations of this Bylaw shall incur the following fines;
(1) 
For each dog over said license per day: $25.
(2) 
For running a kennel without a license: $50.

§ 11-8 Animal waste.

A. 
The owner or custodian of every dog or animal shall be responsible for any fecal matter deposited by the animal(s) on public walks, streets, recreation areas or private property of another.
B. 
The owner or custodian of an animal when appearing with the animal on any public walk, street, recreation area, or private property shall possess the means of removal of any fecal matter left by such animal.
C. 
For purposes of this regulation, the means of removal shall include any tool, implement, or other device carried for the purpose of picking up and containing such fecal matter. Disposal shall be accomplished by transporting such fecal matter to a place suitable and regularly reserved for the disposal of human fecal matter, specifically reserved for disposal of animal fecal matter or otherwise designated as appropriate by the Board of Health.
D. 
Any owner or person in control of any animal who fails to comply with Subsection A, B, or C of this section shall be punished by a fine of $25 for each violation.