Town of Barre, MA
Worcester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Barre 6-13-1994 ATM, Art. 41; amended in its entirety 6-9-2003 ATM, Art. 36. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Animals — See Ch. 401.

§ 11-1 Definitions.

As used in this bylaw, unless the context otherwise indicates:
ANIMALS
All animals of any species, both male and female including but not limited to dogs and cats.
KEEPER
Any person, corporation or society, other than the owner, harboring or having in his possession any dog, or any other animal.
OWNER
Any person or persons, firm, association or corporation owning, keeping or harboring a dog, or any other animal, as herein defined.
RUN AT LARGE
Free of restraint and permitted to wander on private or public ways at will.

§ 11-2 Running at large prohibited; exception for sporting events.

No owner or keeper of a dog shall permit such dog, whether licensed or unlicensed, to run at large within the Town of Barre, except that a dog may, for the purpose of sporting events such as hunting, field trials or training purposes, be exempt from the restraining order during such period of time as the dog is actually engaged in the event or sport.

§ 11-3 Leashing required; length of leash.

Dogs may be taken from the owner's premises, provided that such dogs are on a leash or under the control of the owner or keeper. Said leash shall not be more than 15 feet long.

§ 11-3.a Removal of nuisances.

The owner or keeper of dogs shall immediately remove any defecation from any street, public place and property of another.

§ 11-4 Impoundment of unrestrained dogs.

It shall be the duty of the Animal Control Officer to apprehend any dog found unrestrained and running at large and to impound such dog or other animal in a suitable place or to order the owner or keeper thereof to restrain said dog or other animal.

§ 11-5 Notice to owner of impounded animal; reclamation fee.

A. 
If such dog or other animal so impounded has upon it the name and address of the owner thereof, or if the name of said owner is otherwise known, then the Animal Control Officer shall immediately notify the owner, and if the owner is not known, then no notice shall be necessary.
B. 
The owner of any dog or other animal so impounded may reclaim such dog or other animal upon the payment of the impoundment fee as set by the Board of Selectmen and in accordance with Chapter 46, Article III in the Town of Barre Code. Such payment shall include day in and day out and any part thereof that the dog or other animal is held thereafter. However, if the dog is not licensed or is not up to date on its rabies vaccination, these violations must be brought into compliance before the dog is released to any person. Any and all violations shall be paid by the owner or keeper before the dog is returned.
[Amended 6-18-2013 ATM, Art. 25]

§ 11-6 Disposition of funds.

[Amended 6-18-2013 ATM, Art. 25]
The sums collected pursuant to the provisions of this bylaw shall be accounted for and paid to the Town Treasurer.

§ 11-7 Disposition of unclaimed animals.

[Amended 6-18-2013 ATM, Art. 25]
Any dog or other animal which has been impounded and has not been redeemed by the owner within seven days shall be disposed of as provided by MGL c. 140, § 151A, and any amendments thereto.

§ 11-8 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 6-18-2013 ATM, Art. 25]
Any owner or keeper found in violation of any of the provisions of the bylaw shall be subject to the fines and fees as established by the Board of Selectmen and in accordance with Chapter 46, Article III of the Barre Code. Further, if the owner or keeper of a dog or other animal is a minor, the parent or guardian of such minor shall be held liable for any violation of this bylaw. Owners of dogs or other animals who receive five or more notices of violation of this bylaw shall be subject to a hearing before the Board of Selectmen.

§ 11-9 Enforcement.

[Amended 6-12-2006 ATM, Art. 32]
The Animal Control Officer or officers duly appointed shall enforce the provisions of this bylaw relating to dogs, cats or other animals and shall attend to all complaints or other matters pertaining to dogs, cats or other animals in the Town of Barre.

§ 11-10 Alternative enforcement procedure.

[Amended 6-12-2006 ATM, Art. 32]
A. 
Notwithstanding any provisions of the general laws to the contrary, any Animal Control Officer who takes cognizance of a violation of:
(1) 
This bylaw
(2) 
Failure to license dogs (pursuant to MGL c. 140, § 137, and amendments thereof) failure to acquire kennel license (pursuant to MGL c. 140, § 137-A, and amendments thereof)
(3) 
Failure to vaccinate dogs, cats or other animals that are required to be vaccinated against rabies (pursuant to MGL, c. 140, § 145-B, and amendments thereof) may issue or mail a notice of complaint of violation of the above-mentioned procedure to the owner or keeper. If the owner or keeper of such dog or dogs is a minor, the parent or guardian of such minor shall be held liable for any violation of the bylaw.
B. 
Any owner or keeper of a dog or dogs, a cat or cats found in violation of the above-mentioned procedure shall be subject to fines as established by the Board of Selectmen and in accordance with Chapter 46, Article III of the Barre Code. If the owner or keeper of a dog or dogs or cat or cats is a minor, the parent or guardian of such minor shall be held liable for any violation of the bylaw.
[Amended 6-18-2013 ATM, Art. 25]
C. 
The procedure set forth above shall also include the provisions of Paragraphs 2-4 of MGL, c. 140, § 173-A, as amended.

§ 11-11 "Kennel" defined and kennel licenses.

The definition of "kennel" shall be as per MGL c. 140, § 136A and amendments thereof.
All kennel locations and any change in kennel locations are subject to approval by the Zoning Enforcement Officer and licensed by the Town Clerk in accordance with the Clerk's requirements.

§ 11-12 Wildlife control.

A. 
Whenever there is a call for a problem involving wildlife, the Animal Control Officer will respond and make an evaluation of the situation and make a determination as to whether or not there is, in his/her opinion, a threat to health or public safety.
B. 
If it appears there may be a threat to public health or to the safety of a person or persons, at the time, then the Animal Control Officer shall exercise his authority and attempt to resolve the problem.
C. 
If there is no apparent, immediate health or safety problem, then it shall be the responsibility of the homeowner, landlord, or other person in control of the property to remove the problem animal or to seek out a private individual(s) who works in this area, to assist them, at their own personal expense.
D. 
If the problem involves the capture and disposal of a wild animal, there will be a charge to the homeowner, landlord, or person in control of the property. This fee will be established by the Board of Selectmen and in accordance with Chapter 46, Article III of the Barre Code.
[Amended 6-18-2013 ATM, Art. 25]

§ 11-13 Dangerous and potentially dangerous dogs.

Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
COMPANION ANIMAL OR PET
Any dog or cat, and also any other domesticated animal normally maintained in or near the household of the owner or person who cares for such other domesticated animal. "Pet" or "companion animal" shall not include a "farm animal" as defined in this section.
(1)
Any dog which, unprovoked, in an aggressive manner, inflicts severe injury upon or kills a human being.
(2)
Any dog previously determined to be and currently listed as a potentially dangerous dog which, after its owner or keeper has been notified of this determination, continues the behavior that caused it to be listed as a potentially dangerous dog, or is found to be in violation of orders placed upon it in a previous hearing.
(3)
Any dog that has been used for the purpose of dog fighting or is a dog trained for dogfighting.
FARM ANIMAL
Any poultry, ungulate, species of cattle, sheep, swine, goats, llamas, equine, or other fur-bearing animal which are raised for commercial or subsistence purposes.
OWNER
Any person possessing, harboring, keeping, having an interest in, or having control or custody of a dog. If the animal is owned by a person under the age of 18, that person's custodial parents or legal guardian shall be responsible for complying with all requirements of this bylaw.
(1)
Any dog which, unprovoked, chases or approaches a person in a menacing fashion or apparent attitude of attack upon the streets, sidewalks or any public or private property.
(2)
Any dog with a known propensity, tendency or disposition to attack unprovoked, to cause injury, or to otherwise threaten the safety of human beings or domestic animals.
(3)
Any dog which, unprovoked, on two separate occasions within the prior thirty-six-month period, engages in any behavior that requires a defensive action by any person to prevent bodily injury when the person and the dog are off of the property of the owner of the dog.
(4)
Any dog which, unprovoked, on two separate occasions within the prior thirty-six-month period has killed, seriously bitten, inflicted injury, or otherwise caused injury attacking a domestic animal off the property of the owner of the dog.
(5)
Any dog which, unprovoked, bites a person causing a less than severe injury.
SEVERE INJURY
Any physical injury that results in broken bones or disfiguring lacerations requiring multiple sutures or corrective or cosmetic surgery.
Exemptions:
No dog may be declared dangerous if the threat, injury or damage was sustained by a person who, at the time, was committing a willful trespass or other tort upon the premises occupied by the owner or keeper of the dog, or was teasing, tormenting, abusing, or assaulting the dog, or has in the past been observed or reported to have teased, tormented, abused or assaulted the dog, or was committing or attempting to commit a crime.
The provisions of this section shall not apply to dogs owned by law enforcement agencies or law enforcement officers in the performance of police work.
Procedure for determining a "potentially dangerous or dangerous" dog.
Based upon receipt of a written complaint by a citizen requesting a determination that a dog is potentially dangerous or dangerous, or on the initiative of an Animal Control Officer based on information received by such Officer, the Board of Selectmen may make an investigation and determination that a dog is potentially dangerous or dangerous. The investigation and determination shall be in accordance with the provisions of this ordinance and shall be consistent with the procedures delineated in MGL c.140, § 157.
When a dog is determined to be potentially dangerous or dangerous, the Board of Selectmen may order any or all of the following:
(a)
Spaying or neutering within 30 days.
(b)
Microchip identification, tattooing or other means of permanent identification.
(c)
Behavior training.
(d)
Any other order concerning the keeping, restraint, removal from the Town, humane euthanasia, or disposal of such dog, as may be deemed necessary, in accordance with MGL c. 140, § 157.
Such orders may include:
Requirements at home for dogs that have been determined to be potentially dangerous or dangerous: While on the owner's or keeper's property, a dog that has been determined to be potentially dangerous or dangerous may be ordered securely confined indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked pen or structure of a type meeting standards established by the Animal Control Officer, suitable to prevent the entry of young children and designed to prevent the dog from escaping. Such pen or structure must have a minimum dimension of 12 feet by 12 feet by six feet high, with a solid floor to prevent the dog from digging out and a top to prevent the dog from climbing out. If the pen has no solid floor secured to the sides, the sides must be embedded into the ground no less than two feet to prevent digging out. The enclosure must provide the dog with adequate shelter from the elements of nature. The owner shall conspicuously display a sign with a symbol warning children who cannot read of the presence of a dangerous dog.
Requirements outside of the home for dogs that have been determined to be potentially dangerous or dangerous:
While off of the owner's or keeper's premises, a dog that has been determined to be potentially dangerous or dangerous must be restrained by a lead approved by the Animal Control Officer not exceeding six feet in length and must be under the direct control of a responsible, able-bodied adult. No dog designated as a potentially dangerous or dangerous dog shall be permitted at public festivals, carnivals, parades or similar events. The dog may be required while at large to wear a muzzle designed to prevent the dog from biting. The muzzle must prevent injury to the dog and must not interfere with the dog's vision or respiration.
The owner or keeper of a dog that has been determined to be potentially dangerous or dangerous must immediately notify the Animal Control Officer if the dog (a) is loose or unconfined; (b) bites a person or attacks another animal; (c) is sold, given away or dies; (d) has been moved to another address, and the location of the new address.
Penalties.
If said animal is found on property not owned or controlled its owner or keeper, or is found to be not restrained in a secure area, or is found to be in violation of any order issued by the Board of Selectmen, said dog may be subject to further restriction, including an order of removal from the Town of Barre or humane euthanasia.
Each day there exists a violation of any of the provisions of this ordinance shall constitute and be punishable as a separate offense.
A dog that has been determined to be potentially dangerous or dangerous shall not be considered legally licensed, pursuant to MGL c.140 §§ 137; 147 unless the owner is in full compliance with this ordinance.

§ 11-14 Fees and penalties.

A. 
All licensing fees and fines and penalties shall be established by the Board of Selectmen and in accordance with Chapter 46, Article III of the Barre Code.
[Amended 6-9-2008 ATM, Art. 23; 6-18-2013 ATM, Art. 25]
B. 
All fees collected by the Town Clerk will be deposited into the Town Treasury in accordance with MGL c. 140, § 147 and amendments thereof.
C. 
Anyone renewing a dog license after the deadline date of June 1 must pay a late licensing penalty as indicated above in addition to the cost of the dog license.