[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Burgettstown as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Keeping of Animals
Article II Control of Animals
[Adopted 1-20-1976 by Ord. No. 9 (Ch. III of the 1976 Code of Ordinances)]
The following words and terms, as used in this article, shall have the meanings hereby respectively ascribed thereto, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
- Any domestic animal or fowl, any wild animal or any household pet.
- DOMESTIC ANIMAL
- Any animal as hereinafter defined as a household pet, a large animal or a small animal.
- HOUSEHOLD PET
- Any dog, cat, or other domestic animal normally and ordinarily kept in or permitted to be at large on the premises of its owner.
- LARGE ANIMAL
- Any domestic animal of the bovine, equine, sheep or hog family.
- Any person, firm, partnership, association or corporation.
- SMALL ANIMAL
- Any domestic animal such as a rabbit, hare, guinea pig, rat, mouse or chinchilla; and any domestic fowl such as a chicken, turkey, goose, duck or pigeon (except homing pigeons).
- WILD ANIMAL
- Any animal, bird, fowl or reptile not normally or ordinarily domesticated; not normally or ordinarily raised in this area and climate as livestock or for work or breeding purposes; or not normally or ordinarily kept as a household pet.
In this article, the singular shall include the plural, the plural shall include the singular, and the masculine shall include the feminine.
It shall be unlawful for any person to keep any wild animal at any place within the Borough, except where the same shall be permitted under Chapter 500, Zoning, in a park, zoological garden or similar establishment for exhibit to the public or to any portion thereof.
It shall be unlawful for any person to keep any domestic animals, except household pets, except as provided in this section.
Large animals shall be confined in quarters no part of which shall be closer than 100 feet from the exterior limits of any dwelling or of any property line.
Small animals shall be kept confined in quarters no part of which shall be closer than 25 feet from the exterior limits of any dwelling or of any property line.
The keeper of every such domestic animal shall confine the same in an enclosure sufficient to prevent such animal from running at large, and such enclosure shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition at all times. Such enclosure shall be of a size conducive to good sanitation practices, and adequate and sanitary drainage facilities shall be provided.
Every keeper of a domestic animal shall cause the litter and droppings therefrom to be collected daily in a container or receptacle of such type that, when closed, it shall be ratproof and flytight and after every such collection shall cause such container or receptacle to be kept closed. At least twice a week, every such keeper shall cause all litter and droppings so collected to be disposed of in such manner as not to permit the presence of fly larvae.
Every keeper of a domestic animal shall cause all feed provided therefor to be stored and kept in a ratproof and flytight building, box, container or receptacle.
It shall be unlawful for any person to keep any household pet, except as provided in this section.
If any such pet shall be kept in a dwelling owned or occupied by its owner, such owner shall be required to follow such procedures and practices, as to the number of such pets to be kept there, and as to sanitation, to insure that no public nuisance shall be created or maintained and no threat to the health of persons living elsewhere than in such dwelling shall be created.
Any person who violates or permits a violation of this article shall, upon being found liable therefor, pay a fine of not more than $600, plus court costs and reasonable attorneys' fees incurred by the Borough in the enforcement proceedings. If the penalty is not paid, the Borough shall initiate a civil action for collection in accordance with the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure. Each day a violation exists shall constitute a separate offense, and each section of this article that is violated shall also constitute a separate offense. In addition to or in lieu of enforcement under this section, the Borough may enforce this article in equity in the Court of Common Pleas of Washington County.
Any violation of this article that would violate any state law shall be prosecuted under that state law and not under this article.
[Adopted 10-1-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-5]
As used in this article, the following terms have the meanings indicated, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
- Wild, exotic or domesticated animals of all species, including dogs, cats and other household pets.
- DOMESTIC ANIMAL
- Any animal normally or ordinarily domesticated or raised in this area and climate as livestock or for work or breeding purposes, or normally or ordinarily kept as a household pet.
- EXOTIC ANIMAL
- Any animal that is not normally domesticated in the United States or is wild by nature. Exotic animals include but are not limited to any of the following orders and families, whether bred in the wild or captivity, and also any of their hybrids with domestic species. The animals listed in parentheses are intended to act as examples and are not to be construed as an exhaustive list or limit the generality of each group of animals, unless otherwise specified.
- A. Nonhuman primates and prosimians (monkeys, chimpanzees, baboons).
- B. Felidae (lions, tigers, bobcats, lynx, cougars, leopards, jaguars, not domesticated cats).
- C. Canidae (wolves, coyotes, foxes, jackals, not domesticated dogs).
- D. Ursidae (all bears).
- E. Reptilia (all venomous snakes, all constricting snakes).
- F. Crocodilia (alligators, crocodiles).
- G. Proboscidea (elephants).
- H. Hyaenidae (hyenas).
- I. Artiodactyla (hippopotamuses, giraffes, camels, not cattle or swine or sheep or goats).
- J. Procyonidae (raccoons, coatis).
- K. Marsupialia (kangaroos, opossums).
- L. Perissodactyla (rhinoceroses, tapirs, not horses or donkeys or mules).
- M. Edentata (anteaters, sloths, armadillos).
- N. Viverridae (mongooses, civets, and genets).
- When applied to the proprietorship of a dog or other animal, includes every person having a right of property in such dog or other animal and every person who keeps or harbors such dog or other animal or has it in his care, and every person who permits such dog or other animal to remain on or about any premises occupied by him.
- PUBLIC NUISANCE
- Any animal or animals that:
- A. Physically attack or molest passersby or passing vehicles;
- B. Attack or threaten other animals;
- C. Damage public or private property;
- D. Bark, whine, howl, or make other sounds common to its species in an annoying, excessive or continuous manner;
- E. Are repeatedly at large or unrestrained; or
- F. Any amount of animals, whether one or more in number, which constitute a nuisance due to odor or the actual number of animals on or within the owner's property that is deemed to be offensive in nature.
- RUNNING AT LARGE
- Being upon any public highway, street, alley, park, or any other public land, or upon property of another person other than the owner, and not being accompanied by or under the control of the owner or any other person having custody of said dog or other animal.
Any animal which scratches, digs or defecates upon any lawn, tree, shrub, plant, building or any other public or private property, other than the property of the owner or person in charge or control of such animal, is hereby declared to be a nuisance.
No person having possession, custody or control of any animals shall knowingly or negligently permit any dog or other animal to commit any nuisance upon any gutter, street, driveway, curb or sidewalk in the Borough, or upon the floors or stairways of any building or place frequented by the public or used in common by the tenants, or upon the outside walls, walkways, driveways, curbs or stairways of any building abutting on a public street or park, or upon the grounds of any public park or public area, or upon any private property other than the property of the owner of such animal.
Any person having possession, custody or control of any dog or other animal which commits a nuisance in any area other than the private property of the owner of such dog or other animal, as prohibited in Subsection B of this section, shall be required to immediately remove the said feces from such surface and carry the feces in a nonleaking container.
Vicious or dangerous dogs shall be regulated in accordance with Article V-A of the Dog Law, 3 P.S. § 459-502-A et seq.
Nuisance defined with respect to dogs. A dog owner shall be presumed to have created or maintained a nuisance if he, she or it shall:
Permit the dog to cause annoyance or discomfort to or to disturb the peace of the citizens, residents or other persons lawfully in the Borough by barking, yelping, howling or causing any other unseemly noise.
Permit the dog to make any loud or harsh noise or disturbance with such frequency as to interfere with or disturb the peace, quiet, rest, sleep or repose of any person within the Borough.
Presumptions of disturbance of the peace; annoyance. It shall not be necessary to establish that any occurrence has lasted for any specific period of time in order to find a violation of this article. However, continuous barking, yelping, howling or the making of any loud or harsh noise by a dog for more than 1/2 hour on any one occasion shall give rise to the presumption that such dog has disturbed the peace and has caused the annoyance and discomfort of persons in the Borough.
Permission. At the trial or hearing on any charge of violation of this article, if it shall be determined that a dog has disturbed the peace, quiet, rest, sleep or repose of any person within the Borough or has caused the annoyance or discomfort of such persons by barking, yelping, howling or causing any other unseemly noise as hereinbefore set forth, it shall be conclusively presumed that the dog owner has permitted the occurrence to have happened.
Notice required. Prior to the issuance of a citation or the filing of a private criminal action for a violation of this article, it shall be necessary to serve written notice upon the dog owner in one of the following ways:
By mailing a copy of the notice to the dog owner by any form of mail requiring a receipt signed by the dog owner or agent thereof;
By personal delivery of the notice to the property at which the dog is located;
By handing a copy of the notice at the residence of the dog to an adult member of the family in possession of the premises, but if no adult member of the family is found, then to an adult person present in the premises; or
By fixing a copy of the notice to the front door at the entrance of the premises of the violation.
Content of notice. Notice shall set forth the name and address of the dog owner, if known; the nature and extent of the violation or offense; the period or periods of time over which the nuisance has occurred; the identity of the official giving notice; the date and time of sending or posting of notice; the name and address of the occupant of the premises if believed to be other than that of the dog owners; and a statement to the effect that a citation may be issued or a private complaint filed if the nuisance is not abated within 24 hours of the time of receipt or posting of notice.
Duration of notice. Any notice given pursuant to this section shall be valid for a period of six months; within six months, no additional notice need be given prior to the issuance of a citation or the filing of any private complaint pertaining to any further violations that occur during the pendency of said notice.
Keeping of exotic animals prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any person to own, possess, keep, harbor, bring, or have in one's possession an exotic animal within the Borough of Burgettstown. It shall be unlawful for the owner, possessor, or any other person in control of a lot, tract, or parcel of land within the Borough of Burgettstown or any residence or business premises situated thereon to knowingly permit any other person to be in possession of an exotic animal or exotic animals upon the premises.
Appointment. An Animal Control Officer may be appointed by the Council or hired pursuant to a contract approved by the Council to serve at the pleasure of the Council or for the term of said contract, or the provisions of this article may be enforced by the Code Enforcement Officer and/or the Burgettstown Borough Police Department, or such other law enforcement agency having proper jurisdiction. Additionally, such Animal Control Officer, along with the Burgettstown Borough Police Department or such other law enforcement agency, only shall have concurrent responsibility for the enforcement of this article and of the Pennsylvania Dog Law, 3 P.S. § 459-101 et seq., provided that the Animal Control Officer and/or the Code Enforcement Officer shall not have the power to make arrests under this Act of Assembly or any other Act of Assembly or ordinance of the Burgettstown Borough. The Burgettstown Borough Code Enforcement Officer shall exercise the same rights, duties and procedures as given to the Animal Control Officer under this article.
Animal control procedures; call to duty. The Animal Control Officer shall be available for call 24 hours per day and may be called to duty at the discretion of the Chief of Police of the Burgettstown Borough Police Department.
Transportation of animals. If it is determined that the transportation of an animal is necessary, the Animal Control Officer shall transport said animal in his/her vehicle.
Seizure of animals. The Animal Control Officer may seize any animal that is the subject of an alleged violation and cause that animal to be held as required pursuant to the provisions of this article and any other applicable state and/or federal statute. At all times hereto, the Animal Control Officer shall seize, house, transport and care for any animal under his/her supervision as humanely as possible. Upon seizure of any animal, the Animal Control Officer shall attempt to locate the owner of the animal and return said animal to the owner. When the owner of said animal cannot be located within a reasonable period of time, the Animal Control Officer may turn said animal over to a no-kill shelter and/or a shelter which does not supply animals for research.
Injured or dead animals. Upon the report of an injured or dead animal in Burgettstown Borough, the Animal Control Officer will be notified and ordered to report to the scene and assume responsibility for the animal. If it is determined that charges should be placed for incidences of injury, death or mistreatment of an animal, the Animal Control Officer may file a citation. Dead animals located on Borough property, where the owner of the animal is unavailable, will normally be removed by the Highway Department after notification by the Animal Control Officer. PennDOT will be notified to remove dead animals from state roadways.
Dangerous or vicious animals. Upon report of a vicious animal, the Animal Control Officer will report to the scene immediately. If the owner of the animal is unavailable or unknown, the Animal Control Officer may utilize a tranquilizer gun or other approved method to subdue the animal and/or take appropriate action to insure the safety of the Burgettstown Borough residents. A dog determined to be dangerous under Section 502-A of the Pennsylvania Dog Law, 3 P.S. § 459-502-A, shall be restrained or otherwise kept in accordance with Article V-A of the Pennsylvania Dog Law, 3 P.S. § 459-502-A et seq. Dogs may be killed only in accordance with the requirements of Section 501 of the Pennsylvania Dog Law, 3 P.S. § 459-501, and otherwise, said animal must be retained and delivered to the police or State Animal Control Warden. While detained, said animal must be treated in a humane manner and cannot be subject to euthanasia or other means of destruction without a hearing before the presiding District Judge or such other court of law having original jurisdiction.
Suspected rabid animals. Upon complaints of suspected rabid animals, the Animal Control Officer shall be notified immediately. If the Animal Control Officer determines that the destruction of a suspected rabid animal is deemed necessary, such destruction must be accomplished in the least public manner possible, as humanely as possible, and such that the head of the animal is not damaged and is preserved for analysis to confirm rabies.
Wild or exotic animals. For complaints involving wild animals and protected animals, the Animal Control Officer shall be notified and respond to the complaint unless the Animal Control Officer determines that a state game official is better suited to respond to the complaint. If such a determination is made, the Animal Control Officer shall notify such official of the same.
Penalties. On the first two occasions that an owner violates any section of this article, unless otherwise specified, the owner of such animal shall pay a fine in the amount of $25 to the Burgettstown Borough, as well as reasonable fees incurred by the Burgettstown Borough for keeping any animal in a kennel or other structure. Upon conviction of a third or subsequent offense involving a violation of this article, the owner of the animal involved shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree per each violation and, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of no less than $300 but no more than $1,000 and may be subject to imprisonment for not more than one year in jail.
Additionally, any animal which attacks a human being or another domestic animal may be ordered destroyed when, in the court's judgment, such vicious animal represents a continuing threat of serious harm to human beings or other animals. In addition, any person found guilty of violating any part of this article shall pay all expenses, including Borough Solicitor's fees, shelter, food, veterinary expenses for identification or certification of the breed of the animal or any veterinary expenses necessitated by the seizure of any animal for the protection of the public, and such other expenses as may be required for the destruction of any such animal. Any such other expenses and/or fees shall be chargeable to the owner as costs of suit.