[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Cumberland 10-26-2009. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to require that all animals in the Town of Cumberland be kept under control of their owner/keeper at all times so they will not injure persons or other animals, damage property, or create a public health threat or nuisance. "Under control," as defined below, means that the animal's proper and safe activity is directed by the owner/keeper. Control is achieved by proper use of a leash or voice control.
This chapter is enacted pursuant to the authority in 30-A M.R.S.A. §§ 2101 and 3001, and the purpose of this chapter is to provide regulations in addition to those contained in Title 7 of the Maine Revised Statutes Annotated with respect to controlling companion animals throughout the Town of Cumberland in the interest of the health, safety and general welfare of its residents.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
- Every living, sentient creature not a human being.[Amended 6-4-2018]
- AT LARGE/STRAY
- Off the premises of the owner and not under the control of any person whose personal presence and attention would reasonably control the conduct of the companion animal. "Premises" includes residences, including land and buildings, and motor vehicles belonging to the owner or keeper of the companion animal.
- COMPANION ANIMAL
- A cat or a dog.
- A member of the genus and species known as "canis familiaris"
and/or a member of the genus and species known as "canis familiaris"
or any canine, regardless of generation, resulting from the interbreeding
of a member of canis familiaris with a wolf hybrid.[Amended 6-4-2018]
- A person in possession or control of a dog or other animal.
A person becomes the keeper of a stray domesticated animal, other
than dog or livestock, if the person feeds that animal for at least
10 consecutive days. If a companion animal is in violation of the
restrictions of this chapter, the owner of the companion animal and
the keeper are jointly and severally liable for the violation.[Amended 6-4-2018]
- A handheld device which can be used to restrain a companion animal if the companion animal fails to respond to voice commands. In cases where a leash is required by law or ordinance or by order of a law enforcement officer, the owner or responsible party will be required to use a leash of 15 feet or less.
- LICENSED DOG
- A dog whose owner or keeper has presented to Town officials
evidence that the dog has been vaccinated against rabies and has paid
the annual registration fee for the dog, in compliance with Title
7, Chapter 721, § 3921, of the Maine Revised Statutes Annotated.[Amended 6-4-2018]
- VOICE CONTROL
- The dog returns immediately to and remains by the side of
the owner/keeper in response to the owner/keeper's verbal command,
whistle or hand signal. If a dog approaches or remains within 10 feet
of any other person other than the owner/keeper, that dog is not under
voice control and shall be deemed to be "at large," unless such person
(or in the case of a minor child, an adult present with the child)
has communicated to the owner/keeper by a spoken word or gesture that
such person consents to the presence of the dog.[Amended 7-14-2014; 6-4-2018]
Editor’s Note: The former definition of “dangerous dog,” which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 6-4-2018.
Editor's Note: The former definition of "nuisance companion animal," which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 6-4-2018.
Editor's Note: The former definition of "responsible party," which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 6-4-2018.
[Amended 7-14-2014; 6-4-2018]
It is unlawful for any dog, licensed or unlicensed, to be at large, except when used for hunting. The owner/keeper of any dog found at large shall be subject to the civil penalties provided in Title 7, Chapter 719, of the Maine Revised Statutes Annotated. Dogs on public property are also subject to the regulations set forth in this Code.
Dogs shall be considered at large when on Town-owned public property such as cemeteries, Prince Memorial Library, and the Cumberland Historical Society unless controlled by a leash of not more than 15 feet in length. Dogs are permitted on all Town-owned open space located more than 100 feet from a residential property, provided that the dogs are under owner/keeper control, except as otherwise designated below:
All companion animals found at large/stray in violation to Title 7, Chapters 719 and 720, of the Maine Revised Statutes Annotated may be impounded at the animal shelter or returned to the owner, at the discretion of the Animal Control Officer.
An owner is entitled to resume possession of any impounded animal provided that all provisions of this chapter have been met and that all impoundment fees due under the provisions of this chapter have been paid. Any animal not claimed after the owner has been notified may be classified as an abandoned animal, and the animal's owner may be subjected to all civil penalties authorized by Title 7 of the Maine Revised Statutes Annotated.
An owner may reclaim an impounded companion animal at the animal shelter by paying to the Town of Cumberland a fee established by order of the Town Council for each companion animal, plus the boarding fee established by the shelter. The shelter will collect the Town's impound fee.
Except as provided in Subsections B and C below, no owner/keeper shall permit or allow any companion animal to bark, howl or make other sounds common to its species if such sounds recur in steady, rapid succession for 20 minutes or more or recur intermittently for one hour or more.
Subsection A shall not apply if any companion animal has legitimate cause for provocation.
It shall be unlawful for any person who owns, possesses, controls, or keeps a dog to fail to promptly remove and properly dispose of any feces left by his/her dog on any sidewalk, street, beach, or public owned property or private property (other than the property of the owner of the dog or of a person who has consented to the presence of the dog on his/her property).This provision shall not apply to any working police dog while on duty or a disabled person who, by reason of his/her disability, is unable to remove and properly dispose of the feces.
An owner/keeper shall have a leash, as defined above, in his/her possession for each dog which is off leash at all times except when the dog or dogs are on the premises of the owner/keeper or other private property if permitted to be there. A leash shall not include an electronic control collar or other device.
It shall be unlawful for any person to be on the premises of any Town-owned property while keeping, walking, exercising, controlling or to otherwise be in custody of more than three dogs.
When proper notice has been provided, dogs shall be prohibited on the Tuttle Road side of Twin Brook. Proper notice shall consist of conspicuously placed signs at the entrances of Twin Brook and shall also consist of notice, posted at least 24 hours prior to the event, on the Town's website.
[Amended 9-10-2012; 7-14-2014]
Any persons who violate § 17-3, Dogs at large, § 17-7, Animal noise, Subsection A, § 17-8, Sanitation, § 17-9, Leash required, § 17-10, No more than three dogs, and § 17-11, Dogs prohibited during certain events, shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $50 and not more than $250 for the first violation and not less than $100 nor more than $500 for each subsequent offense.
All civil penalties collected pursuant to this chapter shall be recovered for the use of the Town of Cumberland and deposited in the separate account required by Title 7 of the Maine Revised Statutes Annotated.
The fine for failure to obtain a dog license shall be $100.
A person, not previously convicted of or having paid a waiver fee for a violation under this chapter, may elect to pay a waiver fee of the minimum penalty of $50 specified above in lieu of appearing in court to answer the citation. Such payment must be received by the office of the Town Clerk within seven business days from the date the citation was issued. Upon receipt of such payment by the Town Clerk, the Animal Control Officer or Police Officer shall cause the citation to be dismissed. A person, having been previously convicted of or having paid a waiver fee for a single violation of this chapter, may elect to pay a penalty of $100 in lieu of appearing in court to answer the citation. If a person elects to pay the minimum penalties above in lieu of appearing in court to answer the citation, and if the person is cited for a third or subsequent violation, the civil penalty for the subsequent violation shall not be less than $100 nor more than $500 and must be referred to court.