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City of Gardner, MA
Worcester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 2-7-1972 by Ord. No. 497]
As used in this article, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
DOG
All animals of canine species, both male and female.
KEEPER
Any person, corporation or society, other than the owner, harboring or having in his or its possession any dog.
OWNER
Any person or persons, firm, association or corporation owning, keeping or harboring a dog as herein defined.
RUN AT LARGE
Free of restraint and permitted to wander on private or public ways at will.
A. 
No owner or keeper of any dog shall permit such dog, whether licensed or unlicensed, to run at large within the City of Gardner, except that a dog may, for the purpose of sporting events such as hunting, field trials or training purposes, be exempt from the restraining order during such period of time as the dog is actually engaged in the event or sport. Dogs may be taken from the owner's premises, provided that such dogs are on a leash and under the control of the owner or keeper.
B. 
No person shall own or keep within the City of Gardner any dog which is a nuisance by reason of vicious disposition, excessive barking, or other cause of disturbance.
[Added 12-17-1990 by Ord. No. 1063]
C. 
No owner of any dog shall fail to provide such dog with a sufficient quantity of wholesome, nutritious food and potable water; adequate shelter from inclement weather; a humane means of exercise; and the necessary veterinary care upon sickness, disease or injury.
[Added 12-17-1990 by Ord. No. 1063]
D. 
No person shall torture, torment, deprive of necessary sustenance, or cruelly beat, mutilate or kill any dog.
[Added 12-17-1990 by Ord. No. 1063]
E. 
The owner, keeper or any person in control of a dog shall be responsible for the prompt removal and proper disposal of any feces deposited by such dog upon any public ways, such as streets, roads, avenues, lanes, circles, highways, paths, sidewalks, trails, etc., or upon any public land within 10 feet of such public ways, or upon any public land designated as parks, playgrounds, cemeteries, school yards, or golf courses, or upon the grounds of any other municipal or government building, all within the boundaries of the City of Gardner.
[Added 7-6-1998 by Ord. No. 1276]
F. 
No animals shall be allowed in any City cemetery or playground, except in designated areas of Pulaski Park.
[Added 6-5-2006 by Ord. No. 1429; amended 4-1-2019 by Ord. No. 1620]
It shall be the duty of the Dog Officer to apprehend any dog found unrestrained and running at large and to impound such dog in a suitable place or to order the owner or keeper thereof to restrain said dog.
A. 
If such dog so impounded has upon it the name and address of the owner thereof, or if the name of said owner is otherwise known, then the Dog Officer shall immediately notify the owner, and if the owner is not known, then no notice shall be necessary. The owner of any dog so impounded may reclaim such dog upon the payment of the sum of $25 for the first and second such reclaiming, or the sum of $50 for the third and subsequent such reclaiming, and in all cases a fee of $15 per day for boarding for each day of impoundment; provided, however, that if the dog is not licensed, before release to any person, a license as required by the City of Gardner shall be secured.
[Amended 4-19-1977 by Ord. No. 635; 11-18-2013 by Ord. No. 1563]
B. 
The sums collected pursuant to the provisions of this article shall be accounted for and paid to the City Treasurer; however, under the provisions of the state law, the Dog Officer shall be entitled to all fees paid to him for the care of impounded dogs by the owners thereof.
[Amended 12-17-1990 by Ord. No. 1063]
A. 
Any dog which is impounded and is not redeemed by the owner within the ten-day period of confinement shall be made available for adoption in accordance with procedures established by the Board of Health and the National Animal Control Association.
B. 
Any unclaimed dog which is in the custody of the Board of Health shall be disposed of in accordance with MGL c. 140, § 151A, when each of the following criteria has been met:
(1) 
The dog was detained for a period of 10 to 14 days.
(2) 
The description of the dog was published in a local paper at least three days before the scheduled date of destruction.
(3) 
The dog was made available for adoption in accordance with Subsection A.
[Amended 12-17-1990 by Ord. No. 1063]
A. 
Criminal penalties. Any person who violates any provision of this article shall be subject to a fine of not less than $25 and not more than $300. Each day or portion thereof during which a violation occurs or continues shall constitute a separate offense, and each portion of this article that is violated shall constitute a separate offense.
[Amended 11-18-2013 by Ord. No. 1563]
B. 
Noncriminal penalties. As an alternative to criminal prosecution in a special case, the Board of Health may elect to utilize the noncriminal disposition procedure set forth in MGL c. 40, § 21D. For the purpose of this provision, the penalty to apply in the event of a violation shall be as follows: $25 for the first offense, $50 for the second offense, $100 for the third offense, $200 for the fourth offense, and $300 for fifth and each subsequent offense. Each day on which a violation exists shall be deemed a separate offense.
The Dog Officer or officers duly appointed shall enforce the provisions of this article relating to dogs and shall attend to all complaints or other matters pertaining to dogs in the City of Gardner.
A. 
The Mayor shall appoint all Dog Officers for the City of Gardner and may remove such Dog Officers for failure to comply with this article or for cause. The Chief of Police shall assign and supervise the duties of all Dog Officers for the City of Gardner.
[Added 12-17-1990 by Ord. No. 1063; amended 3-7-2001 by Ord. No. 1343]
B. 
Complaints about any dog owned or harbored within the City of Gardner may be filed either in person or over the phone with the Police Department. The Chief of Police shall investigate or cause to be investigated each such complaint and shall cause a written notice or order to be served upon any person or owner found to be in violation of any section of this article. The Chief of Police shall have the authority to enforce this article through the use of violation notices, administrative orders, hearings, or civil and criminal court actions.
[Added 12-17-1990 by Ord. No. 1063; amended 3-7-2001 by Ord. No. 1343]
[Amended 12-17-1990 by Ord. No. 1063]
This article shall take effect upon its passage. This article is enacted under MGL c. 140, § 147A, the provisions of which were accepted by the Gardner City Council on February 3, 1986.
[Added 3-16-1981 by Ord. No. 749; amended 2-6-1989 by Ord. No. 998; 2-5-1990 by Ord. No. 1032; 2-2-2004 by Ord. No. 1397]
Notwithstanding any provisions of MGL c. 140, § 139, to the contrary, the fee for every dog license issued by the City, except as provided by General Laws, shall be $15 for male and female dogs, unless a certificate of a registered veterinarian who performed the operation that said male or female dog has been neutered and has thereby been deprived of the power of propagation has been shown to the City Clerk, in which case the fee shall be $11. No fee shall be charged for a license for a dog specially trained to lead or serve a blind person, provided that the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind certifies that such dog is so trained and actually in the service of a blind person. No fee shall be charged for a license for a dog professionally trained in the hearing dog business to serve a deaf person, provided that the Director of the Office of Deafness certifies that such dog is so trained and actually in the service of the deaf person. The fee for each license for a kennel shall be $35 if not more than four dogs are kept in said kennel, $55 if more than four but not more than 10 dogs are kept therein, and $80 if more than 10 dogs are kept therein.
[Added 4-6-1981 by Ord. No. 750]
Alternative procedure under MGL c. 140, § 173A:
A. 
Notwithstanding any provisions of the General Laws to the contrary, any Dog Officer who takes cognizance of a violation of the following may issue or mail a notice of complaint of violation of this article to the owner or keeper of such dog or dogs, and if the owner or keeper of such dog or dogs is a minor, the parent or guardian of such minor shall be liable for any violation of this article:
(1) 
Chapter 312, Article I, of the City Code as it pertains to dogs running at large.
(2) 
Failure to license dogs pursuant to MGL c. 140, § 137.
(3) 
Failure to acquire a kennel license pursuant to MGL c. 140, § 137A.
(4) 
Failure to vaccinate against rabies pursuant to MGL c. 140, § 145B.
B. 
Any owner or keeper found in violation of the above-mentioned provisions shall be subject to a fine of $25 for the first offense, $50 for the second offense, $100 for the third offense, $200 for the fourth offense, and $300 for the fifth and each subsequent offense.
[Amended 11-18-2013 by Ord. No. 1563]
C. 
The procedure set forth above shall also include the provisions of Paragraphs 2 through 4 of MGL c. 140, § 173A, as amended.