Town of Wakefield, MA
Middlesex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Annual Town Meeting of the Town of Wakefield 6-1-1992 by Art. 37 as Ch. XV of the 1992 Bylaws. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Animals — See Ch. 409.
No person owning or keeping a dog in the Town of Wakefield shall permit such dog to be at large in the Town of Wakefield elsewhere than on the premises of the owner or keeper. A dog which is not upon the premises of the owner or keeper shall be restrained by a chain or leash.
Any dog found to be at large in violation of this chapter shall be caught and humanely confined in an animal shelter by the Canine Control Officer or other officers, who shall immediately notify the licensed owner or keeper of said dog of the impoundment of the animal. The owner or keeper shall have a period of 10 days within which to recover the dog. Dogs not claimed by the owner or keeper within 10 days may be humanely euthanized or caused to be euthanized by the Canine Control Officer or by an agency delegated by him to exercise that authority, unless such dog has been sold in the manner prescribed by law. Return of the dog to the licensed owner or keeper shall be dependent upon admission of ownership or keeping of the dog and the assumption of responsibility by the licensed owner or keeper.
The Canine Control Officer shall issue a warning or enter and prosecute a complaint against the owner or keeper of any dog taken into his custody under § 104-2 above.
In any prosecution hereunder, the presence of such dog at large upon premises other than the premises of the owner or keeper of such dog shall be prima facie evidence that the knowledge and permission of the owner of such other premises was not had.
An owner or keeper reclaiming a dog confined under this chapter shall pay an administration fee of $15. In addition thereto, the sum of $5 boarding charge per day for each day of confinement, or any part of a day, shall be paid for the care of such dog, and the total maximum payment for the care of such dog shall not exceed $65.
Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine of $25 for the first offense, $40 for the second offense and $50 for each succeeding offense. If any violation shall be continuing, each day's violation shall be deemed a separate violation. Complaints will be sought in the District Court in accordance with MGL c. 140, § 173A.
Every female dog in heat shall be confined in a building or secure enclosure in such manner that such female dog cannot come into contact with another animal except for planned breeding.
Any dog or other animal that bites a person shall be quarantined for 10 days when ordered by the Canine Control Officer. During quarantine, the animal so quarantined shall be securely confined and kept from contact with any other animal. At the discretion of the Canine Control Officer, the quarantine may be on the premises of the owner. If the Canine Control Officer requires other confinement, the owner shall surrender the animal for the quarantine period to an animal shelter or shall, at his own expense, place it in a veterinary hospital.
No police officer or other person shall kill or cause to be killed any animal suspected of being rabid, except after the animal has been placed in quarantine and the diagnosis of rabies made by a licensed veterinarian. If a veterinarian diagnoses rabies in an animal in quarantine, then the animal shall be humanely killed and the head of such animal sent to a laboratory for pathological examination and confirmation of diagnosis.
Any Canine Control Officer or Humane Officer shall have police powers in the enforcement of this chapter, and no person shall interfere with, hinder, molest or abuse any Canine Control Officer or Humane Officer in the exercise of such powers.
Every owner issued a license in accordance with the provisions of MGL c. 140, § 137 for any dog owned or kept within the Town will also receive an identification tag from the Town Clerk's office. The identification tag shall be a durable tag stamped with an identifying number and of a particular color to signify the specific year of issuance. Tags will be so designed that they may be conveniently fastened to the dog's collar or harness. Dogs must wear identification tags at all times when the animal is off the premises of the owner. The Canine Control Officer shall maintain a record of the identifying numbers and shall make this record available to the public.
No owner shall fail to exercise proper care and control of his animals to prevent them from becoming a public nuisance. Excessive or untimely barking, molesting passersby, chasing vehicles, habitually attacking people or other domestic animals, trespassing upon school grounds or trespassing upon private property in such manner as to damage property shall be deemed a nuisance.
[Amended 4-3-2006 ATM by Art. 23; 11-6-2017 RTM by Art. 6]
All dogs within the Town must be licensed on or before January 1 of each license period in accordance with the requirements of MGL c. 140, § 137, as the same may from time to time be amended. The license period shall be from January 1 to the following December 31. Any owner or keeper of a dog who shall fail to comply with the provisions of this section by April 1 in any year shall be subject to a late fee. The fees for the licensing of dogs shall be as follows:
A. 
Unneutered and unspayed dogs: $20 each;
B. 
Neutered male and spayed female dogs: $10 each;
C. 
Kennels: $100 per kennel; and
D. 
Late fee: $20 per dog.
[Added 5-6-1993 ATM by Art. 22]
A. 
It is unlawful for the owner or person having custody of any animal to permit, either willfully or through failure to exercise due care or control of such animal, any animal to excrete any solid waste upon any public sidewalk, public street or public park immediately abutting any body of water in the Town.
B. 
Provided, further, that no violation of this section shall occur if the owner or person having custody of the offending animal promptly and voluntarily removes the animal waste.
If any part of this chapter shall be held invalid, such part shall be deemed severable, and the invalidity thereof shall not affect the remaining parts of this chapter. No provision or interpretation of a provision of this chapter is intended to be either in conflict with, or an attempt to change, any statutory provision in MGL c. 140 pertaining to dogs.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ANIMAL SHELTER
Any premises designated by the Board of Selectmen for the purpose of impounding and caring for animals held under authority of this chapter.
CANINE CONTROL OFFICER
Any person or persons appointed by the Board of Selectmen as the dog officer or officers under the provisions of MGL c. 140, §§ 151 and 151A to carry out the provisions of this chapter. In the absence of the Canine Control Officer, the Board of Selectmen shall appoint a deputy who shall perform the duties of the Canine Control Officer(s).
HUMANE OFFICER
Any person designated by the Humane Society as a law enforcement officer and who qualifies to perform such duties under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
HUMANE SOCIETY
Any organization for the prevention of cruelty to animals incorporated under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
OWNER or KEEPER
Any person, having reached the age of majority (18 years of age), who owns, keeps or harbors dogs.
PERSON
An individual, partnership, company or corporation.
VETERINARY HOSPITAL
An establishment maintained and operated by a licensed veterinarian for the boarding of animals or the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and injuries of animals.
A. 
The Canine Control Officer shall also be authorized to act under the provisions of MGL c. 131, § 4 and regulations promulgated thereunder for the removal of wildlife from private property.
B. 
For services of the Canine Control Officer in the removal of wildlife from private property, the following charges are authorized:
(1) 
Trap deposit: $25.
(2) 
Trap setting: no fee.
(3) 
Trap rental: $3 per day.
(4) 
Small animal removal: $12 per animal.
(5) 
Large animal removal: $30 per animal.
(6) 
Skunk removal: $40 per animal.
C. 
Trap deposit as above set forth shall be forfeited upon the loss, theft or damage of such trap while on the land of the property owner.