Borough of Sharon Hill, PA
Delaware County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 3-10-1988 by Ord. No. 1179 (Ch. 36, Art. IV, of the 1972 Code)]
For the purposes of this article, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
ENCLOSURE
A fence or structure that is at least six feet in height, forming or causing an enclosure suitable to prevent the entry of young children and suitable for confining a vicious dog or other dangerous animal, in conjunction with other measures which may be taken by the owner or keeper. "Enclosures" shall be securely enclosed, locked, designed with secure sides, top and bottom, and designed to prevent the animal from escaping therefrom.
IMPOUNDED
Taken into the custody of the public pound in the county.
OFFICER
The Code Enforcement Officer, any police officer or any other person authorized to enforce the ordinances of the Borough.
A. 
Any dog or other animal that, when unprovoked, makes an aggressive attack on a human being or other animal, either on public or private property, or in a vicious or terrorizing manner approaches any person in an apparent attitude of attack upon the streets, sidewalks, public grounds or public places in the Borough.
B. 
Any dog or other animal with a known propensity, tendency or disposition to make an unprovoked attack, to cause injury or to otherwise endanger the safety of human beings or domestic animals.
C. 
Any dog or other animal which attacks a human being or domestic animal without provocation.
D. 
Any dog or other animal owned or harbored primarily or in part for the purpose of fighting or trained for fighting.
All vicious dogs or other dangerous animals shall be licensed by the Borough.
A. 
The term of the license shall be from January 1 to December 31 of every year.
B. 
This article shall not apply to animals used by law enforcement officials for police work.
C. 
To license a vicious dog or other dangerous animal, the following requirements must be met:
(1) 
All applications shall be accompanied by an application fee as set from time to time by resolution of Borough Council, which is nonrefundable. The fee includes the cost of processing the application and any inspection prior to licensing.
[Amended 5-24-2012 by Ord. No. 1359]
(2) 
The owner shall present to the Borough proof that the owner or keeper has procured a liability insurance policy in the amount of at least $100,000, covering any damage or injury which may be caused by such dog or other dangerous animal during the twelve-month period for which licensing is sought, which policy shall contain a provision requiring the Borough to be named as an additional insured for the sole purpose of notification of the Borough by the insurance company of any cancellation, termination or expiration of such policy.
(3) 
The owner or keeper shall have the license number assigned to such dog or other dangerous animal tattooed upon the upper inner lip of said animal by a licensed veterinarian. For the purposes of this subsection, "tattoo" means any permanent numbering of a vicious dog or other dangerous animal by means of indelible or permanent ink with the number designated by the licensing authority or any other permanent, acceptable method of tattooing.
(4) 
The owner or keeper shall display a sign on his or her premises warning that there is a vicious dog or other dangerous animal on the premises. Such sign shall be visible and capable of being read from the public highway.
(5) 
The owner or keeper shall sign a statement attesting that:
(a) 
The owner or keeper shall maintain and not voluntarily cancel the liability insurance required by this subsection during the twelve-month period for which licensing is sought unless the owner or keeper ceases to own or keep the vicious dog or other dangerous animal prior to the expiration of such license.
(b) 
The owner or keeper shall, on or prior to the effective date of the license for which application is being made, have a fenced enclosure for the vicious dog or other dangerous animal on the property where such animal will be kept or maintained.
(c) 
The owner or keeper shall notify the Borough as soon as possible if a vicious dog or other dangerous animal is on the loose, is unconfined, has attacked another animal or a human, has died or has been sold or given away. If said animal has been sold or given away, the owner or keeper shall also provide the licensing authority with the name, address and telephone number of the new owner of the animal.
(6) 
The license fee per year shall be as set from time to time by resolution of the Borough Council.
[Amended 5-24-2012 by Ord. No. 1359]
D. 
The officer is hereby authorized to make whatever inquiry is deemed necessary to ensure compliance with this section and to seize and impound any vicious dog or other dangerous animal whose owner or keeper fails to comply with this section.
All vicious dogs or other dangerous animals shall be confined in an enclosure. No owner or keeper of a vicious dog or other dangerous animal shall maintain such animal upon any premises which does not have a locked enclosure. No owner or keeper shall allow any such animal to be outside of the dwelling of the owner or keeper or outside of the enclosure provided for such animal, unless it is necessary for the owner or keeper to obtain veterinary care for said animal or to sell or give away the animal or to comply with commands or directions of the officer with respect to said animal or to comply with the provisions of this article.
No person shall own or harbor any animal for the purpose of fighting or train, torment, badger, bait or use any animal for the purpose of causing or encouraging such animal to commit unprovoked attacks upon human beings or domestic animals.
If an officer has probable cause to believe that a dangerous dog or other dangerous animal is being harbored or cared for in violation of § 105-22 hereof, the officer may order the seizure and impoundment of such animal pending trial.
If any vicious dog or other dangerous animal kills or wounds or assists in killing or wounding any domestic animal belonging to or in the possession of any person or attacks, assaults, bites or otherwise injures or assists in attacking, assaulting, biting or otherwise injuring any person while out of or within the enclosure of the owner or keeper of such dog or other vicious animal or while otherwise on or off the property of the owner or keeper, whether or not such dog or other vicious animal was on a leash and securely muzzled and whether or not the dog or other vicious animal escaped without fault of the owner or keeper, such owner or keeper shall be liable to the person aggrieved, as aforesaid, for all damage sustained, to be recovered in a civil action, with costs of suit. It is rebuttably presumed, as a matter of law, that owning, keeping or harboring a vicious dog or other dangerous animal in violation of this section is a nuisance. It shall not be necessary, in order to sustain any such action, to prove that the owner or keeper of the dog or other vicious animal knew that such dog or other vicious animal possessed the propensity to cause such damage or that the dog or other dangerous animal had a vicious nature. Upon such an attack or assault, the officer may confiscate and destroy such dog or other dangerous animal if the conduct of such animal or its owner or keeper constituted a violation of any of the provisions of this article, punishable by the confiscation and destruction of the animal.
A. 
Any dog or other dangerous animal which has been ordered destroyed by the officer shall, if controllable, be impounded for a period of five days before being destroyed, during which time the owner or keeper of such dog or other dangerous animal may take whatever legal action he or she shall choose to challenge the order of the officer. If no order from any court of law is issued to delay the destruction of the dog or other vicious animal within the five-day period, the animal shall be destroyed.
B. 
No period of impoundment is required for the destruction of any dog or other dangerous animal that is not safely controllable and manageable.
A. 
Any person who shall be convicted of a violation of any of the provisions of this article before any Magisterial District Judge shall be sentenced to pay a maximum fine as provided from time to time by state statute, together with costs of prosecution, or to imprisonment in the county jail for a term not to exceed 30 days, or both.
[Amended 7-14-1988 by Ord. No. 1180]
B. 
In addition, any person violating the provisions of this article shall be subject to the following:
(1) 
Revocation of the license.
(2) 
Prohibition from obtaining another license.