Township of Marple, PA
Delaware County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 7-12-1971 as Ch. 40 of the 1971 Code]

§ 95-21 Compliance with state legislation.

It shall be the duty of every owner or keeper of every dog within the Township of Marple to at all times comply with all of the requirements of any existing legislation of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania regulating the licensing and running of dogs.

§ 95-22 No pets allowed.

[Added 3-9-1998 by Ord. No. 98-7]
All pets are prohibited from being in the Veterans Memorial Park.

§ 95-23 Running at large.

[Amended 7-10-1989 by Ord. No. 89-19]
It shall be unlawful for the owner, keeper or handler of any dog or cat, at any time whatsoever, to permit such dog or cat to run at large or to cause any damage to any buildings, lawns, shrubbery or any other real or personal property or to cause any annoyance to persons in the Township of Marple. Failure of any such owner, keeper or handler properly to curb and restrain his said dog or cat shall subject him to the penalties provided by this article.

§ 95-24 Restraint required; unleashing of dogs in Kent Park during certain hours.

A. 
It shall be the duty of any owner or keeper of every dog within the Township of Marple at all times to keep such dog either on a leash or such other device as to keep the dog under the reasonable control of the person then handling such dog, in an enclosure from which it cannot escape or firmly secured by means of a collar and chain or other device so that it cannot stray beyond the premises on which it is secured.
B. 
Dogs are allowed to be unleashed in Kent Park from sunrise to 9:00 a.m. and from 4:00 p.m. to sunset.
[Added 10-8-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-13]

§ 95-25 Defecation on public or private property.

[Added 2-10-1986 by Ord. No. 86-5]
It shall be unlawful for a dog owner to allow his dog to defecate on public or private property. If said dog does defecate on public or private property, the owner must clean up the defecation immediately. It shall also be deemed unlawful for a dog owner to allow dog defecation to accumulate on his property to the point that it becomes a health hazard and/or public nuisance.

§ 95-26 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
OWNER
When applied to the proprietorship of a dog, includes every person having a right to proprietorship in such dog and every person who keeps or harbors such dog or has it in his care, and every person who permits such dog to remain on or about any premises occupied by him, and also any person who entices away the dog of another and keeps such dog in his possession.

§ 95-27 Disturbance of the peace.

[Added 9-8-1975 by Ord. No. 75-8[1]]
It shall be unlawful to own, harbor or keep in custody any dog which disturbs the peace by barking, howling or making other loud noises to the annoyance and discomfort of any person in the Township of Marple. Continuous barking, howling or the making of other loud noises by such dog for more than any one hour or continuous barking for periods of less than one hour but more than 1/2 hour, which periods occur on two or more consecutive days, shall be deemed to disturb the peace and to cause the annoyance and discomfort of persons in the Township of Marple.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance repealed former § 40-5, Violations and penalties, amended 6-14-1971 by Ord. No. 71-12.

§ 95-28 Warnings.

[Added 9-8-1975 by Ord. No. 75-8[1]]
A. 
Any person may request the Township Police Department to warn any person who shall own, harbor or keep in custody any dog which disturbs the peace by barking, howling or making other loud noise to the annoyance and discomfort of persons in the Township of Marple.
B. 
A warning by the police shall consist of delivery of a copy of this article at the residence in the Township of Marple of any such owner, keeper or custodian. In the absence of any such warning made by said police, the complaining person may request the Secretary of the Township to provide such warning.
C. 
Any such request shall be in writing and shall identify and specify the residence of the owner, keeper or custodian of the dog or other animal and shall identify and specify the residence of the person making the request. Upon receipt of such request, the Secretary shall mail a copy of this article to the person identified as the owner, keeper or custodian of the dog or other animal.
D. 
A violation of this article shall be deemed to have occurred upon a second or subsequent violation of the above after the date of delivery of the warning.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance repealed former § 40-6, Inconsistent ordinances repealed.

§ 95-29 Injury to humans.

[Added 9-8-1975 by Ord. No. 75-8]
It shall be unlawful for the owner of any dog to negligently permit said dog to injure any human being by biting, jumping on, knocking down or attacking said human being.

§ 95-30 Number of animals on premises.

[Added 9-8-1975 by Ord. No. 75-8]
It shall be unlawful to keep more than four dogs, six months of age or older, on any premises, regardless of the number of owners; provided, however, that this section shall not apply to any premises for which a kennel license has been obtained pursuant to the Dog Law of 1965 (see now 3 P.S. § 459-101 et seq.).

§ 95-31 Vicious dogs.

[Added 9-14-1987 by Ord. No. 87-17]
A. 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated, unless the context indicates another or different meaning or intent:
DOG OFFICER
The Animal Warden, Code Enforcement Officer, any police officer or any other person authorized to enforce the ordinances of the Township.
ENCLOSURE
A fence or structure that is at least eight feet in height, forming or causing an enclosure suitable to prevent the entry of young children and suitable for confining a vicious dog, in conjunction with other measures which may be taken by the owner or keeper such as tethering of the dog. Enclosures shall be securely enclosed, locked, designed with secure sides, top and bottom and designed to prevent the animal from escaping therefrom.
IMPOUNDED
Taken into custody of a private veterinarian.
(1) 
Any dog that when unprovoked inflicts bites on or attacks a human being or other animal, either on public or private property, or in a vicious or terrorizing manner approaches any person in an apparent attitude of attack upon the streets, sidewalks, public grounds or public places in the Township;
(2) 
Pit bull terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier or any mixed breed of dog containing Staffordshire bull terrier or American Staffordshire terrier or any other dog with a known propensity, tendency or disposition to make an unprovoked attack, to cause injury or to otherwise endanger the safety of human beings or domestic animals;
(3) 
Any dog which attacks a human being or domestic animal without provocation; or
(4) 
Any dog owned or harbored primarily or in part for the purpose of dog fighting, or any dog trained for dog fighting.
B. 
License required. All vicious dogs shall be licensed by the Township through the Code Enforcement Officer. The term of the license shall be January 1 to December 31 of every year. To license a vicious dog, the following requirements must be met:
(1) 
The owner shall present to the Township proof that the owner or keeper has procured a liability insurance policy in the amount of at least $100,000, covering any damage or injury which may be caused by such dog during the twelve-month period for which licensing is sought, which policy shall contain a provision requiring the Township to be named as an additional insured for the sole purpose of notification of the Township by the insurance company of any cancellation, termination or expiration of such policy.
(2) 
The owner or keeper shall have the license number assigned to such dog tattooed upon the upper inner lip of the dog by a licensed veterinarian. For the purpose of this subsection, "tattoo" means any permanent numbering of a vicious dog by means of indelible or permanent ink with the number designated by the licensing authority or any other permanent, acceptable method of tattooing.
(3) 
The owner or keeper shall display a sign on his or her premises warning that there is a vicious dog on the premises. Such sign shall be visible and capable of being read from the public highway, and all entrances to and exits from the premises where a vicious dog is confined must have a warning sign the size and type of which must be approved by the Township.
(4) 
The owner or keeper shall sign a statement attesting that:
(a) 
The owner or keeper shall maintain and not voluntarily cancel the liability insurance required by this subsection during the twelve-month period for which licensing is sought, unless the owner or keeper ceases to own or keep the vicious dog prior to expiration of such license.
(b) 
The owner or keeper shall, on or prior to the effective date of the license for which application is being made, have an eight-foot fenced enclosure for the vicious dog on the property where such dog will be kept or maintained.
(c) 
The owner or keeper shall notify the Township immediately upon discovery if a vicious dog is on the loose, is unconfined, has attacked another animal or human, has died or has been sold or given away. If the dog has been sold or given away, the owner or keeper shall also provide the licensing authority with the name, address and telephone number of the new owner of the dog.
(5) 
The owner shall annually post a bond of $2,000 with the Township to ensure payment of any expenses incurred by the Township for the impoundment, veterinary care or any other costs associated with the vicious animal.
(6) 
The dog officer is hereby authorized to make whatever inquiry is deemed necessary to ensure compliance with this subsection and to seize and impound any vicious dog whose owner or keeper fails to comply with this subsection.
(7) 
Applications for a vicious dog license shall provide for the following information:
(a) 
The name of the applicant.
(b) 
The name of the owner.
(c) 
The address where the vicious dog(s) will reside.
(d) 
The number of vicious dogs to be kept or housed on the premises.
(e) 
The exact location on the property where the vicious dog(s) will be kept.
(f) 
The methods to be used to secure or restrain vicious dog(s) on the premises.
(g) 
The name of the person who will be responsible for the care and confinement of the vicious dog(s).
(h) 
Any other information requested by the Township regarding the vicious dog(s).
(8) 
All applications shall be accompanied by an application fee as set from time to time by resolution of the Board of Commissioners, which is nonrefundable. The fee includes the cost of processing the application and any inspection prior to licensing.
(9) 
Vicious dog licenses shall be issued by the Township after appropriate fees have been paid and if the applicant has complied fully with all the applicable codes, statutes and regulations, including the Township's Zoning Code (concerning height of fence) and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's regulations.
(10) 
Vicious dog licenses fees are as follows:
(a) 
One vicious dog: $as set from time to time by resolution of the Board of Commissioners.
(b) 
Two vicious dogs: as set from time to time by resolution of the Board of Commissioners.
(c) 
Three vicious dogs: as set from time to time by resolution of the Board of Commissioners.
(d) 
Four vicious dogs: as set from time to time by resolution of the Board of Commissioners.
C. 
Dogs to be enclosed. All vicious dogs shall be confined in an enclosure. No owner or keeper of a vicious dog shall maintain such dog upon any premises which do not have a locked enclosure. No owner or keeper shall allow any vicious dog to be outside of the dwelling of the owner or keeper or outside of the enclosure provided for such dog, unless it is necessary for the owner or keeper to obtain veterinary care for the dog or to sell or give away the dog or to comply with commands or directions of the dog officer with respect to the dog or to comply with the provisions of this section. In any of such events, the dog shall be securely muzzled and restrained with a chain having a minimum tensile strength of 300 pounds and a length of not more than three feet, and such dog shall be under the direct control and supervision of the owner or keeper thereof.
D. 
Harboring for unlawful purpose. No person shall own or harbor any dog for the purpose of dog fighting or train, torment, badger, bait or use any dog for the purpose of causing or encouraging such dog to commit unprovoked attacks upon human beings or domestic animals.
E. 
Seizure. If a dog officer has probable cause to believe that a vicious dog is being harbored or cared for in violation of Subsection D hereof, the dog officer may order the seizure and impoundment of the dog pending trial.
F. 
Actions for damages; destruction of dogs. If any vicious dog kills or wounds, or assists in killing or wounding, any domestic animal belonging to or in the possession of any person, or attacks, assaults, bites or otherwise injures or assists in attacking, assaulting, biting or otherwise injuring any person while out of or within the enclosure of the owner or keeper of such dog or while otherwise on or off the property of the owner or keeper, whether or not such dog was on a leash or securely muzzled and whether or not such dog escaped without fault of the owner or keeper, such owner or keeper shall be liable to the person aggrieved, as aforesaid, for all damage sustained, to be recovered in a civil action, with costs of suit. It is rebuttably presumed, as a matter of law, that the owning, keeping or harboring of a vicious dog in violation of this section is a nuisance. It shall not be necessary, in order to sustain any such action, to prove that the owner or keeper of the dog knew that such dog possessed the propensity to cause such damage or that the dog had a vicious nature. Upon such an attack or assault, the dog officer may confiscate and destroy such dog if the conduct of such dog or its owner or keeper constituted a violation of any of the provisions of this section, punishable by the confiscation and destruction of the animal.
G. 
Impounding of dogs prior to destruction.
(1) 
Any dog which has been ordered destroyed by the dog officer shall, if controllable, be impounded for a period of five days before being destroyed, during which time the owner or keeper of such dog may take whatever legal action he or she shall choose to challenge the order of the dog officer. If no order from any court of law is issued to delay the destruction of the dog within the five-day period, the dog shall be destroyed.
(2) 
No period of impoundment is required for the destruction of any dog that is not safely controllable and manageable.

§ 95-32 Violations and penalties.

[Added 9-8-1975 by Ord. No. 75-8; amended 12-14-1981 by Ord. No. 81-22; 6-12-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-10]
Any person who shall violate a provision of this article or shall fail to comply with any of the requirements thereof shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a maximum fine of $600, plus costs of prosecution, and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, imprisonment for a term not exceeding 30 days. Each day's failure to comply with any such provision shall constitute a separate violation.