[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of West Lampeter 12-21-2009 by Ord. No. 214. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: This chapter also repealed former Ch. 94, Animals, consisting of Art. I, Running at Large, adopted 3-7-1964 by Ord. No. 17, as amended.
This chapter shall be known as the "West Lampeter Township Animal Control Ordinance."
As used in this chapter, the following words shall have the following meanings:
- ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER
- The person or persons who may be appointed by West Lampeter Township, as provided in § 94-13, who shall have the duty of enforcing the provisions of this chapter and the provisions of the Pennsylvania Dog Law.
- Shall include all mammals, birds, fowl and reptiles normally or ordinarily domesticated (including household pets such as dogs and cats) or raised in this area or climate as livestock or for work or for breeding purposes. Such term shall not include fish.
- AT LARGE
- Being upon any public highway, street, park or any other public land, or upon property of another person other than the owner, and not being accompanied by and under the control of the owner or any other persons having custody of such animal.
- DANGEROUS DOG
- Any or all of the following:
- A. Any dog which bites, inflicts injury, assaults (which assaults shall include dogs at large approaching any person upon the streets, sidewalks or other public grounds or places in a threatening or terrorizing manner without provocation), or otherwise attacks a human being or other animal without provocation;
- B. Any dog which is deemed a dangerous dog under and pursuant to the Pennsylvania Dog Law.
- Shall include every person, proprietor, corporation, partnership or association that actually owns an animal, or who has an animal in his or its care or permits an animal to remain on or about any premises occupied by him or it. The parent or guardian of any minor claiming ownership of any animal shall also be deemed the owner of such animal.
It shall be unlawful for any person(s), corporation, partnership or other entity whatsoever, to harbor, care for, shelter or maintain any animal in such a manner as to disturb or unduly annoy the public through the animal's noise, barking, smell, mischief or other harmful propensities. All animal pens or other areas in which animals are kept shall be maintained in a sanitary condition free of offensive, obnoxious or foul odors.
No owner, custodian or keeper of any animal shall allow or permit any such animal to deposit excrement (defecate) upon any property not owned or leased by the owner, custodian or keeper of such animal, without immediately picking up such excrement. This provision shall not apply to horses being used for transportation in the public streets or alleys or other public property within the Township.
All dogs and cats, including outside cats, in West Lampeter Township shall be vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian in accordance with the requirements set forth in the state rabies law.
Editor's Note: See 3 P.S. § 455.1 et seq.
Any person who owns or who has custody of a dangerous dog shall register the dog with the West Lampeter Township Police Department on a form provided by the Police Department. Upon registering a dangerous dog the owner or custodian shall display, in a conspicuous manner, a sign on his premises warning that there is a dangerous dog on the premises. The sign shall be visible and legible from the sidewalk and street and shall comply with all other applicable laws, including but not limited to the West Lampeter Township Sign Ordinance.
The owner or person having custody of a dangerous dog shall confine such dog by one of the following methods, if outside, which shall be inspected and approved by the Animal Control Officer:
A pen or structure with sides and a secure top. Pens must have bottoms secured to the sides or the sides must be imbedded in the ground no less than two feet. Use of this option is subject to all other applicable laws.
A fence at least six feet high above the ground and imbedded in the ground no less than two feet. This fence must prevent any possibility of the dog's escape and must have signs conspicuously placed around the entire perimeter of the fence. The use of this option is subject to all other applicable laws.
The owner or person having custody of a dangerous dog shall not permit such dog to go beyond confined bounds of the owner's premises unless the dog is securely leashed and muzzled. This leash shall be no more than four feet in length. Dangerous dogs shall have a tag on their collar that will be issued to the owner at the time of registration. No dangerous dog shall be permitted to go beyond the confined bounds of the owner's premises or the premises of the person having custody without wearing this tag.
Any owner of a dangerous dog that transfers ownership of such dog shall notify the West Lampeter Township Police of the transfer and the new location of the dog. The West Lampeter Township Police may then notify the responsible municipality. If the new owner resides in West Lampeter Township, he/she shall register the dangerous dog with the West Lampeter Township Police. The designation of dangerous dog shall transfer with ownership of such animal.
Any dog which is a dangerous dog and not registered with the West Lampeter Township Police as a dangerous dog may be immediately seized and detained as provided in § 94-7 by the Animal Control Officer or the West Lampeter Township Police who shall turn the dangerous dog over to an approved animal shelter until the dangerous dog is registered and the owner complies with other applicable provisions of this section § 94-5 of this chapter. Upon such seizure, the Animal Control Officer shall, by written notice sent by both regular and certified mail and by personal notification, if possible, notify the owner of such seizure and detention and the requirements to register the dog within 10 days of the date of seizure. The dog shall continue to be detained until such time as the dog is registered in accordance with this chapter. Should the owner fail to register the dog with the West Lampeter Township Police as a dangerous dog within such ten-day period, the owner may be prosecuted before the local District Justice to have said dog be deemed a dangerous dog in accordance with the Dog Law. All animal shelter fees for seized and detained dangerous dogs shall be paid by the owner.
The Animal Control Officer may, by written notice sent by both regular and certified mail to the owner of any dog determined to be dangerous by the Animal Control Officer, notify the owner of the requirements to register that dog as a dangerous dog with the West Lampeter Township Police within 10 days of such notice. The dog may be detained by the Animal Control Officer until such time that the dog has been registered.
No dog may be declared a dangerous dog for inflicting injury or damage on any person committing a willful trespass or other tort upon premises occupied by the owner of the dog, or teasing, tormenting or abusing or assaulting the dog, or committing or attempting to commit a crime. No dog may be declared dangerous for taking any action to defend or protect a human being within the immediate vicinity of the dog from an attack or assault.
It shall be unlawful for the owner or person having custody of any animal or the parent or guardian of any minor owning or having custody of any animal to allow the animal to go beyond the boundaries of their premises or to run at large over the streets or public grounds or upon the property of anyone other than the owner or person having custody of such animal. It shall also be unlawful for the owner or person having custody of such animal to permit such animal to pose a danger to pedestrians using adjacent sidewalks and streets.
It shall be the duty of the owner, custodian or keeper of any dog traveling on the streets or public grounds to have the animal on a leash at all times.
It shall be the duty of the Animal Control Officer or any police officer of West Lampeter Township to seize any animal running at large and to convey it to an approved animal shelter, as provided in § 94-15, where it shall be detained and impounded in a humane manner.
Upon seizure, the Animal Control Officer or police officer of the Township shall complete a seizure form approved by the Chief of Police. Upon detention and impoundment, the keeper of the approved shelter to which the animal is delivered shall make a complete registry entering the breed, color, and sex of the animal, and indicate whether the animal is licensed. The registry shall be made upon a form approved by the Chief of Police. If the animal is licensed, the keeper of the approved shelter used shall communicate with the Treasurer of Lancaster County and obtain and enter upon the registry the name and address of the owner and the number of the license tag.
If the owner of a detained animal can be identified by license tag or other means, the owner shall be given immediate notice, either in person or by phone or by both regular and certified mail, of the detention and impoundment by the keeper of the shelter to which the animal was delivered. If the owner is unknown, written notice of the impoundment shall be posted at the shelter and at the West Lampeter Township Police Department for a period of 10 days from the day of seizure, describing the animal, the place and time of seizure, and the location of impoundment.
The owner of an animal which has been detained and impounded may reclaim his animal upon payment of a seizure fee as established from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors and upon payment of all other reasonable expenses and costs incurred by the keeper of the animal shelter by reason of the detention, impoundment and maintenance of the animal, provided that such expenses and costs shall not exceed a per-day maximum as established from time to time by resolution of the Board. The owner shall pay the seizure fee to the Township. In addition, the expenses and costs incurred by the shelter keeper due to impoundment and maintenance of the animal may be paid by the owner to the shelter keeper in a manner determined by the shelter keeper. All such fees and costs paid by an owner shall be entered on the redemption portion of a form approved by the Chief of Police. In no event shall any animal required to be licensed by law be released from detention and impoundment until it has been licensed. Payment of the seizure fee, expenses and costs shall not bar prosecution of the owner for any violation of law.
Notwithstanding § 94-7, if an animal is found at large and its owner can be identified and located, the animal need not be detained and impounded but may, instead, be taken to and turned over to the owner. In such case, the Animal Control Officer or police officer who seized the animal shall complete a registry as required in § 94-7. The owner, whose animal is seized without detention and impoundment, shall be subject to pay the seizure fee in the manner as set forth in § 94-10 except that if circumstances warrant, payment of the seizure fee may be delayed for a period of 15 days. Use of the procedure set forth in this section shall not bar a prosecution for any violation of law.
It shall be the duty of the keeper of an approved animal shelter to keep detained and impounded animals for a period of at least 10 days. If, after 10 days have elapsed from the giving or posting of notice as required in § 94-8, a detained and impounded animal has not been claimed, the keeper of an approved shelter may either destroy the animal in a humane way or sell the animal, provided that no animal shall be sold for vivisection, or put the animal up for adoption. The proceeds derived from the sale of an animal, after deduction of the seizure fee and reasonable expenses and costs incurred because of its detention, shall be paid to the County Treasurer as required by the Dog Law. The Township shall pay an impoundment fee established from time to time by unclaimed and subsequently destroyed.
In the event an animal bites any person or other animal:
The owner or custodian of the animal shall:
Immediately notify the West Lampeter Township Police of the incident and complete an animal bite report on such form as the Animal Control Officer or police officer shall prescribe;
Quarantine the animal for a period of 10 days to observe for signs of rabies at such location and under such conditions as are imposed or required by the Animal Control Officer;
At the expiration of 10 days following the day of the biting incident, have the animal examined by a veterinarian. A certificate of examination shall be filed with the Animal Control Officer on such form as the Animal Control Officer shall prescribe, completed and signed by the veterinarian. The certificate of examination shall be filed not more than 14 days following the bite incident; and
If the animal dies within the ten-day quarantine period, the animal's head shall be removed by a veterinarian and tested for rabies by the appropriate state laboratory or a laboratory designated by the commonwealth for that purpose; and
All costs, including laboratory preparation, laboratory examination, quarantine and veterinary examination of the animal shall be borne by the owner or custodian of the animal.
The Animal Control Officer shall have the right and duty to seize any animal that bites a human or animal if he determines such seizure is necessary to insure that the animal shall be quarantined. If any owner or custodian shall refuse any order of the Animal Control Officer to quarantine the animal and to have it examined by a veterinarian, the Animal Control Officer shall take the action necessary to comply with Subsection A(2) and (3) hereof and the owner or custodian of the animal shall be liable to the Township for all costs thereof which may be collected as an additional penalty for violation of this section.
The owner of any animal placed under quarantine shall not sell, exchange, lease, lend, give away, allow to stray, remove or allow to be removed, such animal until the quarantine has been revoked.
Any animal under quarantine shall be muzzled while outside the confines or structure specified by the Animal Control Officer for the quarantine.
If a biting incident occurs that involves an unclaimed or stray animal, the owner of which cannot be identified, the Animal Control Officer shall attempt to capture the animal or destroy it if necessary. The same procedures as outlined in this section concerning quarantine and veterinary examination of the offending animal shall be followed with the costs borne by the Township.
The Board may, by resolution, appoint an Animal Control Officer(s) who shall have the duty of enforcing the provisions of this chapter and the Dog Law. The term of the appointment shall be indefinite and subject to termination by the Board on 10 days' written notice. The Animal Control Officer(s) in the performance of the duties under the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to control by the Chief of Police of West Lampeter Township. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed so as to limit any police officer of West Lampeter Township in enforcing any of the provisions of this chapter or the Dog Law.
Compensation of the Animal Control Officer shall be established by resolution of the Board appointing a person or persons to that position and by resolution from time to time thereafter.
Animals seized may be impounded only at shelters approved by resolution of the Board. An approved shelter shall comply with all requirements of the Dog Shelter Rules as set forth in 7 Pa. Code § 23 et seq. The keeper of the approved shelter shall fill out disposition information upon a form approved by the Chief of Police and submit it to the Police Department on a timely basis indicating the final disposition of each animal seized with the Township and turned over to such keeper for detention and impoundment.
Except as provided below, any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall, for every such violation, upon conviction thereof before a District Justice, be subject to a fine or penalty payable to the Township of not less than $50 nor more than $600 plus costs, and in default of payment thereof shall be subject to imprisonment of not more than 30 days.
The owner of a dangerous dog who fails to comply with the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof before a District Justice, be subject to a fine or penalty of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 plus costs for the first offense and not less than $500 nor more than $1,500 plus costs for a second or subsequent offenses, and in default of payment thereof shall be subject to imprisonment for not more than 30 days.