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Town of Medfield, MA
Norfolk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Medfield as indicated in Article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted ATM 4-26-1999 (Art. IV, Sec. 30, of the 1926 Bylaws)]
An owner or keeper of a dog shall remove the dog's feces when the dog defecates on public property or private property of others.
Fines for violations of this Bylaw within each calendar year shall be $25 for the first offense, $50 for the second offense, and $100 for the third and subsequent offenses.
[Adopted ATM 4-30-1991; amended ATM 4-30-2007 (Art. VII of the 1926 Bylaws)]
A. 
Every dog over the age of six months owned or kept within the Town must be licensed annually by the owner or keeper prior to April 1 for the 12-month period beginning April 1. Any person who fails to license his or her dog prior to April 1 shall pay a late fee of $25 in addition to the license fee. The fine for owning or keeping an unlicensed dog shall be $100 for each year that the dog is unlicensed.
[Amended 4-28-2014 ATM by Art. 32]
B. 
The failure of the Town Clerk to send an individual notice or reminder, or of an owner or keeper to receive the same, shall not relieve the owner or keeper of his or her obligations under this Bylaw.
A. 
The Board of Selectmen shall appoint an Animal Control Officer. It shall be the duty of the Animal Control Officer to cause dogs to be impounded for any of the following causes:
(1) 
If found without a license when a license is required by law;
(2) 
If found at large;
(3) 
For having bitten or injured or physically molested any person;
(4) 
For having bitten or injured any domestic animal;
(5) 
For chasing any vehicle (including bicycles) on a public way or way open to public traffic in the Town;
(6) 
For repeatedly causing a nuisance such as, but not limited to, barking, littering, or defecating on sidewalks.
B. 
The owner or keeper may obtain the release of an impounded dog as follows:
(1) 
In the case of a violation of Subsection A(1), upon obtaining a license as required by law and payment of a late filing fee;
(2) 
In the case of a violation of Subsection A(2) through (6), inclusive, upon agreement of the owner or keeper to undertake such restriction or control of the dog as the Animal Control Officer shall require;
(3) 
In addition to compliance with Subsection B(1) and (2), all late fees and fines, if any, must be paid before the dog is released.
C. 
Not later than one day after the impounding of any dog, the owner or keeper shall be notified, or if the owner or keeper of the dog is unknown, or, after reasonable efforts, is not contacted, written notice shall then be posted for 10 consecutive days on a K-9 bulletin board on the outside of the Town Hall, describing the dog, date, place and time of taking.
D. 
Dogs impounded and unclaimed by the owner or keeper after such a 10-day period may be sold to or given to new owners (with the exception of selling for profit or selling for research), turned over to any existing humane society within the Town, or mercifully put to death by a veterinarian.
Any persons owning or harboring a dog shall not suffer or allow it to run at large in any of the streets or public ways, or places in the Town of Medfield, or upon the premises of anyone other than the owner or keeper, unless the owner or occupant of such premises grants permission. No dog shall be permitted in any public place or street within the Town of Medfield unless it is effectively restrained by a chain or leash or is attended by a person able to properly control its actions.
[Added 4-30-2018 ATM by Art. 38[1]]
The owner, keeper, or person otherwise in control of a dog shall not cause or permit a dog:
A. 
To be unrestrained as required by § 100-5.
B. 
To be unlicensed when a license is required by law.
C. 
To be without current license and rabies vaccination tags when off the owner's property.
D. 
To bite, physically injure, assault or threaten any person, without legally recognized justification or provocation.
E. 
To bite or physically injure any domestic animal, without legally recognized justification or provocation.
F. 
To chase any motorist, bicyclist, or pedestrian on any public way, street, or sidewalk or in any public place.
G. 
To be off the property where the dog resides, if subject to a confinement order.
H. 
To be off the property where the dog resides, unmuzzled, if subject to a muzzle order.
I. 
To disturb the peace and quiet enjoyment of any residential neighborhood by continuous or repeated barking, yelping, howling, or whining, without legal justification.
[1]
Editor's Note: This article also repealed former § 100-6, Violations and penalties. See now § 100-8.
[Added 4-30-2018 ATM by Art. 38[1]]
A. 
The Board of Selectmen may order a dog confined to the premises where it resides or to other premises or to be muzzled when off said premises if the Board finds, after a public hearing, that the dog has:
(1) 
Bitten, physically injured or assaulted any person without legally recognized justification or provocation.
(2) 
Bitten or physically injured any domestic animal without legally recognized justification or provocation.
(3) 
Chased any motorist, bicyclist or pedestrian on any public way, street, or sidewalk or any public place on at least two occasions.
B. 
Said order may be in addition to or in lieu of any fine authorized by § 100-8. Nothing in this section shall preclude the Board of Selectmen from utilizing the procedure contained in MGL c. 140, § 57, as amended by Chapter 193 of the Legislative Acts of 2012, to determine that a dog is a nuisance dog or a dangerous dog and from employing one or another of the remedies specified in that statute.
[1]
Editor's Note: This article also redesignated former § 100-7 as § 100-10.
[Added 4-30-2018 ATM by Art. 38[1]]
A. 
The owner, keeper and/or person otherwise in control of a dog shall be subject to a fine for each violation of any section of this Article as follows:
(1) 
First offense: $50.
(2) 
Second offense: $100.
(3) 
Third offense: $150.
(4) 
Fourth offense: $200.
B. 
In the case of a continuing offense, each day shall constitute a separate violation.
C. 
The Medfield Police Chief and his or her designee, including the Animal Control Officer, and any Medfield police officer shall have authority to enforce the provisions of this Article.
[1]
Editor's Note: This article also redesignated former § 100-8 as § 100-11.
[Added 4-30-2018 ATM by Art. 38]
The provisions of this Article are intended to be in addition to and not in lieu of those contained in MGL c. 140, § 136A et seq., as amended by Chapter 193 of Legislative Acts of 2012; nothing contained in this Article shall deprive the Town from employing the remedies provided in those sections, including but not limited to disposition of a dog found to be a dangerous dog or nuisance dog, as provided in MGL c. 140, § 157, as amended. To the maximum extent possible, the provisions of this Article shall be deemed to be consistent with and/or supplementing those contained in MGL c. 140, as provided in MGL c. 140, §§ 173 and 173A, as amended, and by renumbering the two existing subsequent sections, § 100-7, Definitions, and § 100-8, License fees, as §§ 100-10 and 100-11, respectively, and to authorize the Town Clerk to renumber, re-letter, and/or take any other action necessary to reformat this new Bylaw to fit within the Code of the Town of Medfield.
As used in this Bylaw, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AT LARGE
A dog which is unaccompanied by a person able to properly control its actions or unrestrained by a leash or chain.
License fees shall be as follows:
A. 
Unspayed female and male: $20.
B. 
Spayed female and male: $10.
C. 
Kennels.
(1) 
Up to four dogs: $25.
(2) 
Up to 10 dogs: $50.
(3) 
Over 10 dogs: $100.