Township of Springfield, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
This article is enacted to regulate the maintenance, keeping or possession of animals within the Township of Springfield in order to promote the health, safety and general welfare of its inhabitants. Where the provisions of this article impose greater restrictions than those of any other ordinances, regulation or resolution, the provisions of this article shall be controlling. Where the provisions of any other ordinances, such as Chapter 114, Zoning, or regulation impose greater restrictions than this article, the provisions of such other ordinance or regulation shall be controlling.
The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation and enforcement of this article:
ANIMAL
Includes not only animals so called, but also birds, fish, reptiles and insects.
BOARD
The Board of Commissioners.
MENAGERIE
A collection of animals not listed in § 5-3 of this article kept in cages or enclosures for exhibition by a full-time professional trainer.
PERSON
Any individual, partnership, association, corporation, estate or trust, as well as all officers, agents, servants, employees or others acting for any of the same, and shall be taken as applying in the singular or plural, as the case may require.
PET SHOP
A retail shop primarily in the business of selling animals and maintaining, keeping or possessing any animal for which a permit may be issued by the Board under § 5-4 hereto at any time during the calendar year or any part thereof.
ZOOLOGICAL GARDEN
A collection of animals not listed in § 5-3 of this article maintained in a park or garden by an educational, nonprofit or governmental corporation under the supervision of at least one professional zoologist.
Any person is permitted to maintain, keep or possess within the Township of Springfield any of the following animals, which classifications shall be strictly construed:
A. 
Cage birds (the term includes parakeets, parrots, canaries, finches, love birds, mynah birds and other birds ordinarily kept in cages in households; it excludes wild birds captured or rescued and kept in cages).
B. 
Cats (Felis catus).
C. 
Cows (Bos taurus), beef and dairy; subject to zoning.
D. 
Frogs (Salientia).
E. 
Dogs (Canis familiaris), including prairie but excepting dingoes.
F. 
Goats (Capra hircus), subject to zoning.
G. 
Goldfish and carp (Cyprinidae).
H. 
Guinea pigs (Cavia cobaya).
I. 
Hamsters (Cricetus and Mesocricetus).
J. 
Horses and ponies (Equus caballus), subject to zoning.
K. 
Lizard (Sauria).
L. 
Mice, white (Mus musculus).
M. 
Mink, subject to zoning.
N. 
Poultry (ducks, chickens, swans, geese, turkeys, guinea fowl and pigeons kept for show or racing), subject to zoning.
O. 
Rabbits, restricted to European-type rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), commonly kept as pets or livestock.
P. 
Rats, white (Rattus norvegicus).
Q. 
Salamanders (any tailed amphibian).
R. 
Sheep (Ovis aries), subject to zoning.
S. 
Snakes, nonpoisonous and native to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
T. 
Toads (Salientia).
U. 
Tropical fish, limited to those customarily maintained in a household aquarium except piranhas.
V. 
Turtles (Chelonia).
W. 
Llamas and alpacas (Lama), subject to zoning.
X. 
Ferrets (Mustela furo).
A. 
No person other than a registered veterinarian in the course of his professional duties is permitted to maintain, keep or possess within the Township of Springfield any animal not specifically mentioned in § 5-3 hereof unless application for a permit shall have been made by such person to the Board of Commissioners and a permit shall have been issued therefor. Any person who shall maintain, keep or possess an animal other than listed in § 5-3 hereof shall do so in accordance with all state and federal laws which govern the possession of said animals.
B. 
The application for a permit shall have attached thereto a registered veterinarian's health certificate for each animal to be covered by the permit and shall be certified by an affidavit and shall set forth the following:
(1) 
The type and number of animals to be covered by the permit.
(2) 
The purpose of keeping such animals.
(3) 
The period for which a permit is requested.
(4) 
A description of the quarters in which the animals will be kept, including plans and specifications thereof, where appropriate.
(5) 
Circumstances, if any, under which the animals will be removed from quarters.
(6) 
Biographical information of the applicant and any other person to be placed in charge of the animals, with particular emphasis on the knowledge of such persons about the animals in question and experience of such persons in handling the animals in question.
(7) 
Such additional information as the Board of Commissioners may require.
A. 
The Board of Commissioners shall have the power to review or cause to be reviewed each application for a permit and may either approve or reject such application or require modification of the application. When the Board has approved the application, the Chief of Police shall issue the permit. The permit shall be personal and not transferable and shall be issued for a calendar year or part thereof. The Chief of Police, on advice of the Board, shall also have the power to revoke a permit.
B. 
The Board of Commissioners shall make such rules and regulations as it shall deem necessary to carry out the purpose of this article and, on request of the Chief of Police, to determine whether any person is violating any provisions of this article or the rules and regulations adopted hereunder.
(1) 
All animals and animal quarters shall be kept in clean and sanitary condition, shall be provided with adequate ventilation and shall be constructed and maintained so as to prevent the escape of the animal.
(2) 
The holder of the permit shall use every reasonable precaution to ensure that animals are not teased, abused, mistreated, annoyed, tormented or in any manner made to suffer by any person or by any means.
(3) 
Animals which are enemies by nature, or are temperamentally unsuited, shall not be quartered together or so near each other as to cause animals fear or to be abused, tormented or annoyed.
(4) 
The holder of the permit shall maintain premises so as to eliminate offensive odors or excessive noise.
(5) 
The holder of the permit shall not permit any condition causing disturbance of peace and quiet of his neighbors.
(6) 
Animals must be maintained in quarters so constructed as to prevent their escape. The permit holder assumes full responsibility for recapturing any animal that escapes from his premises. The permit holder shall make adequate provisions and safeguards to protect the public from the animals.
(7) 
Every person shall conform to all present and future laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the United States of America, the ordinances of Springfield Township and the rules and regulations of the Board in any way connected with animals, including specifically anticruelty laws.
The Board of Commissioners may approve a permit for a zoological garden or a menagerie, limiting the latter to no more than one month in any one calendar year, if:
A. 
The Board is satisfied that the applicant and all other persons placed in charge of such animals are experts in their knowledge of the care and handling of such animals.
B. 
The highest standards are applied in safeguarding the public, and no human being lives or resides within 100 feet of the quarters in which the animals will be kept.
C. 
The applicant provides the Board with a certificate of public liability insurance in form and amount satisfactory to the Board issued by a carrier satisfactory to the Board.
Upon completing the application form for a permit, the applicant shall pay $25 for permits issued under § 5-4 and $100 for permits issued under § 5-6 of this chapter.
Any person who violates any provisions of this article or of any rules and regulations made pursuant hereto shall be liable, for each offense, upon conviction before any court of jurisdiction, to a fine of not more than $1,000, together with the costs of prosecution, and each day's failure to comply with any such provision shall constitute a separate violation. In addition, the township may institute any appropriate action or proceeding, whether by legal process or otherwise, to restrain, correct or abate a continuing violation of any provision of this article or of any rules and regulations made pursuant hereto.