[HISTORY: Adopted by the Special Town Meeting of the Town of Harwich 5-5-2009 by Art. 1. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The following words and phrases shall have the following meanings:
- The delivery of a cat or dog to any person 18 years of age or older for the purpose of harboring as a pet.
- COMMERCIAL KENNEL
- A kennel maintained as a business established for or to include the boarding or grooming of dogs.
- A. Any dog which, according to the records of the Animal Control Officer or other appropriate authority, has inflicted severe injury on a human being without provocation on public or private property; or
- B. Any dog which, according to the records of the Animal Control Officer or other appropriate authority, has killed a domestic animal without provocation while off the owner's or keeper's property.
- DOG FUND
- The fees, fines, and reimbursements collected in connection with the licensing of dogs and the enforcement of these rules and regulations.
- DOG OFFICER or ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER
- Any officer appointed by the Board of Selectmen to enforce the laws relating to dogs.
- Any person, corporation or society, other than the owner, harboring or having in his possession any dog.
- LICENSE PERIOD
- The time between January 1 and December 31, both dates inclusive.
- LIVESTOCK or FOWLS
- Animals or fowls kept or propagated by the owner for food or as a means of livelihood; also deer, elk, cottontail rabbits and northern hares, pheasants, quail, partridge, and those birds and quadrupeds determined by the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and environmental law enforcement to be wild and kept by or under a permit from said Department in proper houses or suitably enclosed yards. Such term shall not include dogs, cats and other pets.
- MULTIPLE PET HOUSEHOLD
- More than three dogs over the age of six months of age at a single private residence.
- RESEARCH INSTITUTION
- Any institution operated by the United States or by the commonwealth or a political subdivision thereof or any school or college of medicine, public health, dentistry, pharmacy, veterinary medicine or agriculture, medical diagnostic laboratory or biological laboratory, hospital or other educational or scientific establishment within the commonwealth above the rank of secondary school which, in connection with any of its activities, investigates or gives instructions concerning the structure or functions of living organisms or the causes, prevention, control or cure of diseases or abnormal conditions of human beings or animals.
- An animal control facility or any other facility which is operated by any organization or individual for the purpose of protecting animals from cruelty, neglect, or abuse.
Licenses and tags. A person residing in the Town of Harwich who, at the beginning of a license period, is or who, during a license period, becomes the owner or keeper of a dog six months old or older shall cause the dog to be licensed within 30 days. The Clerk of the Town shall issue dog licenses and tags on a form prescribed and furnished by the Town. Subject to the approval of the Board of Selectmen, the Town may permit licensing to be conducted through the mail.
On the license form the Clerk shall record the name, address, and phone number of the owner or keeper of the dog, as well as the name and description of the dog and the license number. Each tag shall include the license number, the name of the Town and the year of issue.
The owner or keeper of the dog shall cause the dog to wear around its neck or body a collar or harness to which the license tag shall be securely attached. In the event that any tag becomes lost, defaced, or destroyed, substitute tags shall be obtained by the owner or keeper from the Town Clerk at the cost of $5.
The Town Clerk shall not issue a license for any dog unless the owner or keeper provides the Clerk with a veterinarian's certificate verifying that the dog is currently vaccinated against rabies.
The fee for each dog license shall be determined annually by a committee of the Town Administrator, the Town Clerk, and the Animal Control Officer and approved by the Board of Selectmen. No fee shall be charged for a dog specially trained to lead the blind or serve a blind or deaf person upon presentation to the Town Clerk of a certificate of such training.
The Clerk may collect a late fee of $25 for every dog license issued after the thirty-day period.
License fees shall not be refunded because of the subsequent death, loss, transfer of ownership, spaying or neutering, or removal from Town of the dog.
Violations and penalties. Whoever, as owner or keeper of a dog, fails to license such dog within 30 days after a license period begins shall be subject to a fine of $25.
The owner or keeper of a dog or cat which has reached the age of six months shall cause such dog or cat to be kept currently vaccinated against rabies. Such vaccinations can only be given by a licensed veterinarian. Upon vaccination, the veterinarian shall provide a tag which the owner or keeper shall secure to the collar or harness of the dog or cat. The tag shall show the year the vaccination was given, a rabies tag number, and the name of the veterinary clinic or hospital. The veterinarian shall prepare three copies of a rabies certificate, which shall specify the name and address of the owner or keeper of the dog or cat, the name and description of the dog or cat, the rabies tag number, and the expiration date of the vaccine. The veterinarian shall present one copy of the certificate to the owner or keeper of the dog or cat and one copy to the Town Clerk and shall keep one copy for his/her files.
Unvaccinated dogs or cats acquired or brought into the Town of Harwich shall be vaccinated within 30 days or upon reaching the age of six months, whichever comes first.
Whoever as owner or keeper fails to vaccinate a dog or cat six months old or older shall be subject to a fine of $50.
It shall be the duty of the Animal Control Officer or any police officer to apprehend any dog found running at large and to impound such dog in a holding facility designated by the Town of Harwich for holding such dogs. The Animal Control Officer shall keep a record of each dog impounded which shall contain the breed, description and sex of the dog, where the dog was apprehended and whether the dog was wearing a collar and whether or not the dog was licensed. If licensed, the license number and the name and address of the owner or keeper are to be included.
No person owning or keeping a dog shall allow or permit said dog to annoy another person's reasonable right to peace and/or privacy by making loud and/or continuous noise where such noise is plainly audible at 150 feet from the building, structure, vehicle or premises in which or from which such noise is produced and/or such noise is continuous in excess of 10 minutes regardless of the time of day or night. The fact that such noise is plainly audible at said distance and/or continuous in excess of 10 minutes shall constitute prima facie evidence of a violation of this bylaw.
Whoever as owner or keeper of a dog violates the provisions of this section shall be subject to a fine of $50.
[Amended 5-5-2009 STM by Art. 3]
A kennel maintained as a business for the boarding and/or grooming of dogs shall obtain a commercial kennel license. The fee for each commercial kennel license shall be determined annually by a committee of the Town Administrator, the Town Clerk, and the Animal Control Officer and approved by the Board of Selectmen. Each kennel shall be available for inspection during normal business hours by the Animal Control Officer, a police officer, or the Board of Health.
Any owner or keeper of more than three dogs but fewer than seven dogs shall obtain a kennel license for a multiple pet household upon written application and payment of the current license fee for each dog. The owner or keeper shall present to the Town Clerk verification that all dogs six months or older have been immunized against rabies. A veterinary hospital within the Town of Harwich shall not be considered a kennel unless it contains an area for grooming and/or boarding, in which case it shall obtain a commercial kennel license.
The Clerk shall issue without a charge a kennel license to any domestic charitable corporation incorporated exclusively for the purpose of protecting animals from cruelty, neglect, or abuse.
Whoever as the owner or keeper fails to obtain an appropriate kennel license shall be subject to a fine of $100.
No dog or horse shall be allowed in any cemetery within the Town of Harwich, whether it is accompanied by the owner or keeper, on or off leash, or while running at large.
Whoever as the owner or keeper of a dog or horse knowingly or unknowingly allows a dog or horse to be in a cemetery shall be subject to a fine of $50.
Any veterinarian who renders emergency care or treatment to or disposes of a dog or a cat that has been injured on any way within the Town of Harwich shall receive payment from the owner or keeper of such dog or cat, if known, or if not known from the Town of Harwich in the amount of $20 for such care, treatment or disposal. Treatment shall be for the purpose of maintaining life, stabilizing, or alleviating suffering until the owner or keeper of such dog or cat is identified or for any period of 24 hours, whichever is sooner. Any veterinarian who renders such emergency care or treatment to or disposes of such dog or cat shall notify the Animal Control Officer, and upon notification the Animal Control Officer shall assume control of such dog or cat.
The Board of Health of the Town of Harwich shall furnish free of charge upon application of any resident thereof who has been or may have been exposed to rabies anti-rabid vaccine and treatment in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Department of Public Health and accepted medical practice. Such person shall have the right to select his/her own physician who shall be paid by the Town of Harwich at a rate established by the Board of Health.
Any person or persons found guilty of a violation of any provisions of MGL c. 272, § 77, 80A, 94 or 95 shall forfeit the right to own or keep any animal within the Town of Harwich and must immediately, upon conviction, surrender all animals in his/her possession.
Whoever upon conviction of violating MGL c. 272, § 77, 80A, 94 or 95 fails to surrender his/her animals shall be subject to a fine of $100. Each day shall constitute a separate violation.
Whoever suffers loss by the worrying, killing or maiming of livestock or fowl by dogs shall inform the Animal Control Officer, who shall forthwith proceed to the scene to view the damage and determine if the damage was done, in fact, by dogs and, if so, appraise the amount of the damage if it does not exceed $50. If in the opinion of the Animal Control Officer the damage exceeds $50, the damage shall be appraised on oath by three persons, one of whom shall be the Animal Control Officer, one of whom shall be appointed by the person alleged to have suffered the damage, and the third to be appointed by the other two.
Said appraisers shall consider and include in such damages the number and kind of animals damaged, the extent of the damage and the appropriate weight of the damaged animals. The appraisers will also note in their report whether or not any animals were sent for veterinary treatment in an effort to save them and the number and kind of such animals. Such report will be filed in the office of the Town Clerk within 10 days of said appraisal. The Clerk shall submit said appraisal reports to the Board of Selectmen for payment. The Board of Selectmen may require the appraisers to provide additional information that it may deem appropriate in accordance with the reports of the appraisers.
No owner of livestock or fowl shall be reimbursed for damages inflicted by his/her own dog or dogs, nor shall he/she be reimbursed if the owner or keeper of the dog inflicting the damage is known to him/her or to the Animal Control Officer. No reimbursement shall be made in the case of damage to deer, elk, cottontail rabbits, northern hares, pheasants, quail, partridge and other livestock or fowl determined by the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife to be wild. No reimbursement shall be made for damages unless the livestock or fowl are kept in proper housing or enclosed areas. No reimbursement shall be made for damage done by a dog to dogs, cats and other pets. Awards for damages in no case shall exceed the fair cash market value of such livestock or fowl.
Liability of owner.
The owner or keeper of a dog which has done damage to livestock or fowl shall be liable for such damage, and the Selectmen may order the owner or keeper of said dog to pay such damages after an investigation by the Animal Control Officer of the facts of the matter and an appraisal by the Animal Control Officer, one person chosen by the person sustaining the damage, and a third person chosen by the other two. The appraisers will submit a report to the Selectmen stating the type of damage, the number and kind of animals damaged and whether any animals required medical treatment by a veterinarian to save them.
In the event that the owner or keeper of such dog known to have done damage to livestock or fowl refuses to pay upon the order of the Selectmen, the Selectmen shall enter or cause to be entered a complaint in the District Court for the enforcement of the order.
All dogs owned or kept within the Town of Harwich shall at all times be kept securely restrained by means of a suitable leash, rope or chain which effectively confines the dog to the property owned, occupied or controlled by the dog's owner or keeper; provided, however, that a dog in the presence of its owner or keeper or responsible person having charge thereof and under the control of said person need not be restrained by means of a rope, leash or chain or confined to the property of such person so long as such control is effective in preventing the dog from damaging property or harassing persons.
Whoever as owner or keeper fails to restrain his/her dog shall be subject to a fine of $50.