Borough of Northampton, PA
Northampton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Northampton as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Health and sanitation — See Ch. 135.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 180.
Zoning — See Ch. 250.
[Adopted 2-9-1978 by Ord. No. 916 (Ch. 2, Part 1, of the 1993 Code of Ordinances)]
[Amended 7-15-1993 by Ord. No. 1048; 4-25-1996 by Ord. No. 1071]
It shall be unlawful to keep any pigs, chickens, sheep, cows, horses, donkeys, pot-bellied pigs, rats, mice, ducks, geese, ostriches, pigeons (other than homing pigeons and racing pigeons), ferrets, ocelots, monkeys, chinchillas, poisonous and nonpoisonous snakes, scorpions, poisonous and nonpoisonous frogs, skunks or wild animals of any kind on any properties. It shall be unlawful to keep any animal in a manner which causes foul, nauseous or other animal-type odors to permeate beyond the property boundary. Said determination of the violation to be within the discretion of the Health Officer. It shall be unlawful to keep more than six cats or dogs or any combination thereof on a property within a residential district as defined by Chapter 250, Zoning, or in any house. The Board of Health of Northampton shall have the authority to prohibit the keeping of other animals which it determines are detrimental to the public and/or safety of the residents of the Borough. Nothing in this article shall prohibit the keeping of more than six dogs or cats in any business regularly engaged in the retail sale of animals; provided, that all appropriate local, State and/or county licenses are held. Nothing in this article shall prohibit the keeping of any animal otherwise prohibited under this article for commercial purposes in the Conservation Zoning District; provided, that the said use is otherwise lawful and appropriately licensed, and that the animals are not permitted to run at large. Nothing in this article shall prohibit anyone who owns and maintains homing pigeons and racing pigeons prior to the effective date of this article, said resident shall be allowed to keep said animals until such time as they pass away; provided, that said animals are registered with the Animal Control Officer within 90 days of the effective date of this article.
[Amended 4-25-1996 by Ord. No. 1071]
A. 
Defecation by animals. No person owning, harboring, keeping, or in charge of any animal shall cause, suffer or allow such animal to soil, defile, defecate on or commit any nuisance on any common thoroughfare, sidewalk, passageway, bypath, play area, park or any place where people congregate or walk, or upon any public property whatsoever, or upon any private property without the permission of the owner of said property. The restriction in this section shall not apply to that portion of the street lying between the curblines, which shall be used to curb such animals under the following conditions:
(1) 
The person who so curbs such animal shall immediately remove all feces deposited by such animal by any sanitary method approved by the Board of Health.
(2) 
The feces removed from the aforementioned designated area shall be disposed of by the person owning, harboring, keeping or in charge of any animal curbed in accordance with the provisions of this article, in a sanitary manner approved by the Board of Health.
B. 
Control of animals. It shall be unlawful for the owner or keeper of any animal to fail to keep at all times such animal either: confined within the premises of the owner; or firmly secured by means of a collar and chain or other device so that it cannot stray beyond the premises on which it is secured; or under the reasonable control of some person, or when engaged in lawful hunting or field training, accompanied by an owner or handler.
C. 
Noise violations by animals. No person owning, harboring, keeping or in charge of any animal shall cause, suffer, or allow such animals to make noise to the extent that it becomes a nuisance to other persons. Such noise shall be considered a nuisance when the residents of two or more separate households file complaints. However, any official authorized to enforce this article may, in the absence of two separate complaints, deem the noise created by any animal to be a nuisance if the noise is in his presence and he considers it to be a substantial infringement upon the rights to peace of residents of the neighborhood.
D. 
Feeding of animals which run at large. It shall be unlawful for any person to feed any cat, dog, duck, goose, pigeon or other animal which runs at large or congregates in the Borough, unless the animals are in a designated feral cat area managed by the Northampton Borough Animal Shelter or the resident(s) has/have been expressly instructed by the Animal Control Officer to feed said animal and take said animal to the shelter.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original Subsection 5, Registration and licensing of cats, and Subsection 6, regarding designated feral cat areas, which followed this subsection, were repealed at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
It shall be unlawful for any property owner to permit the accumulation of any animal waste on any residential property within the Borough.
In the event that any person sustains a bite by any animal, such person or his agent, or in the case of a juvenile, the person having legal custody, shall as soon as it is practical, report the bite to the Borough Police Department. The Chief of Police or police officers designated by him shall investigate the complaint and make contact with the owner of the offending animal. The owner of the offending animal shall be required to confine the animal for a period of 10 days. Such confinement shall be in a manner which guarantees that the animal in question has no contact with any other animals during the confinement period. If the owner of the animal agrees to adequately confine the animal, he shall indicate his intention to comply on an Animal Confinement Agreement Form supplied by the Police Department. If the owner refuses or fails to confine the animal or if the confinement measures taken by the owner are insufficient to guarantee separation of the animal from other animals, the Police Department shall seize the animal and confine it for the ten-day period. Cost of such confinement shall be borne by the owner of the animal. At the expiration of the ten-day confinement period, the animal in question shall be examined by a licensed veterinarian to guarantee that the animal is free of rabies. A copy of the veterinarian's findings shall be forwarded to the Borough Police Department. The cost of this examination shall also be borne by the owner of the animal in question.
Any person who owns, harbors, keeps or is in charge of any animal shall be responsible at all times for the actions of that animal. Such person shall be liable for any injury or death wrongfully caused by such animal to any person or any other animal and for the property damage sustained by any person as a result of the actions of such animal.
The Animal Control Officer or other persons authorized by the Chief of Police or Borough Manager shall have the authority to enter any premises within the Borough and seize any animal which is sick or injured and is not being properly cared for or where any animal is in any way being maltreated to the extent that the animal's health is threatened. Such animal shall be provided with adequate shelter and shall be given whatever professional care is needed to restore it to health. In the event that a licensed veterinarian determines that the animal is suffering and is beyond recovery, steps shall be taken to dispose of the animal. The cost of this care or disposal shall be borne by the owner of the animal. The owner of any animal seized under this section shall have the right to have the animal returned at such time that adequate steps have been taken to guarantee the proper care for the animal and provided that there is no history of animal abuse by the individual. The owner of a seized animal shall initiate the return of the animal by filing with the Police Department a Request of Seized Animal Form. Such form shall detail the steps taken by the owner to guarantee the future safety of the animal. This form shall be reviewed by the Animal Control Officer, who shall determine whether the animal shall be returned. In the event that the owner does not wish the return of the animal or where there is a history of animal abuse or where the owner refuses to take reasonable steps to guarantee the future safety of the animal, the Animal Control Officer shall take appropriate steps to place the animal.
The provisions of this article shall be enforced by the Police Department, Health Officer, Code Enforcement Officer, or any official so designated by the Borough Manager.
[Amended 7-15-1993 by Ord. No. 1048]
Any person who shall violate any provision of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding $600 and costs and, in default of payment thereof, shall be subject to imprisonment for a term not to exceed 30 days. Each day that a violation of this article continues shall constitute a separate offense.
[Adopted 11-9-1995 by Ord. No. 1069 (Ch. 2, Part 2, of the 1993 Code of Ordinances)]
This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Waterfowl Ordinance."
Relating to prohibiting the feeding of migratory waterfowl or creating any condition causing a congestion of said waterfowl which results in an accumulation of waterfowl droppings or damage to plants or property or which results in a threat or nuisance to the public health, safety or welfare, reading in words and figures as follows.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
MIGRATORY WATERFOWL
Shall include those species of birds not otherwise defined as a domesticated animal in this article, commonly known as swans, geese, brants, river and sea ducks and any other waterfowl falling under the jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania Game Commission or otherwise defined by the laws of this commonwealth as wild birds, game birds or waterfowl.
It shall be unlawful for any person either to:
A. 
Feed any migratory waterfowl, wild bird or game bird.
B. 
Create any condition, or allow any condition to exist, which results in a congregation or congestion of the foregoing birds which:
(1) 
Results in an accumulation of feces or droppings.
(2) 
Results in damage to flora, fauna, on private or public property.
(3) 
Results in a threat or nuisance to the public health, safety or welfare.
(4) 
Results in a threat to the health, safety or welfare of said migratory waterfowl.
A. 
Health Officer's duty to abate a waterfowl nuisance. Whenever the Health Officer becomes aware that migratory waterfowl are being fed in violation of this article, or that a congregation or congestion of said migratory waterfowl, as prohibited by this article exists, he shall:
(1) 
After notifying and consulting with the appropriate Pennsylvania Game Commission official, declare that a nuisance exists.
(2) 
Shall give notice of the nuisance to the owner or occupant of the premises upon which the nuisance exists or the feeding is occurring. Notice shall be deemed sufficient if it shall have been served either personally, or by posting such notice upon the property in question or by mailing such notice through the United States mail; mailed notice to be deemed served upon proof that such notice was deposited in the United States mail, first-class postage prepaid and addressed, in the case of an individual, to his business address, residence address or such address as the records of the assessor shall reveal to be his address for tax purposes; or, in the case of a corporation, to the registered office or agent of such corporation as the records of the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania shall reveal. If the owner of the property is the commonwealth, service shall be upon the Pennsylvania Game Commission. If the owner of the property is the county, service shall be upon the county executive. If the owner of the property is the Borough of Northampton, service shall be upon Borough Council. Such notice shall order the nuisance to be immediately abated and/or that such feeding shall immediately stop.
B. 
Health Officer's power to remove a congregation.
(1) 
The Health Officer shall have all powers necessary, upon application by a citizen, or at his own discretion, to disperse or remove any congregation or congestion of migratory waterfowl by any lawful means.
(2) 
Before taking any steps to remove or disperse any congestion or congregation of migratory waterfowl, the officer shall meet and confer with the appropriate Commission official, and with the advice and consent of that official, determine the appropriate method and means of removing or dispersing the migratory waterfowl considering first the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the Borough of Northampton, and, second, the health, safety and welfare of the migratory waterfowl.
(3) 
Whenever the officer, after consultation with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, determines that waterfowl shall be dispersed by scare tactics or noise tactics, he may delegate implementation of the plan developed by his consultations to any responsible citizen or citizens in the affected neighborhood. This subsection shall not be construed to authorize any private citizen to discharge any firearm or to use any device which launches a projectile of any type.
(4) 
The Health Officer shall apply for and secure all permits necessary by law prior to taking any action.
C. 
Avian nuisances. Whenever the Health Officer becomes aware that birds, not otherwise protected, regulated or controlled by federal or state law, rule or regulation, are congregating or flocking together in such numbers as to cause a health hazard or are interfering with the peace, quiet, comfort or repose of the inhabitants of the Borough of Northampton, he may take whatever steps are necessary to remove or disperse the congregation or flock.
D. 
Health Officer may delegate certain powers.
(1) 
In order to remove or disperse congregations or flocks of birds constituting a nuisance as defined by this article, the Health Officer may delegate the implementation of his dispersal plan to any responsible citizen or citizens in the affected neighborhood by permit, specifying the name of the permittee, date of issuance, date of expiration and details of the plan to be delegated.
(2) 
This article shall not be construed to empower the Health Officer to authorize any private citizen to discharge any firearm or to use any device which launches a projectile of any type.
Any person violating or failing to comply with any of the provisions of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be punishable by a fine of not more than $500 or by imprisonment for a term not to exceed 90 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court. The continuation of such violation for each successive day shall constitute a separate offense, and the person or persons allowing or permitting the continuation of the violation may be punished as provided above for each separate offense.