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Town of Ipswich, MA
Essex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 5-14-2013 ATM, approved by Attorney General 8-30-2013 (Ch. XV, § 5, of the 1973 Bylaws); amended in its entirety 5-9-2017 ATM by Art. 12, approved by Attorney General 8-29-2017[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: Certain subsection designations in this bylaw have been modified from the original so as to match the style and organization of the General Bylaws as codified. In addition, any internal cross-references to the prior numbering have been modified accordingly. See § 5-4 of this Code.
The following words as used in Chapter 109, Articles II and III, shall have the following meanings unless the context requires otherwise:
ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER
An appointed officer authorized to enforce Chapter 109.
ATTACK
Aggressive physical contact initiated by an animal.
DANGEROUS DOG
A dog that either (i) without justification, attacks a person or domestic animal causing physical injury or death; or (ii) behaved in a manner that a reasonable person would believe poses an unjustified imminent threat of physical injury or death to a person or to a domestic or owned animal.
DOMESTIC ANIMAL
An animal designated as domestic by regulations promulgated by the Department of Fish and Game.
EUTHANIZE
To take the life of an animal by administration of barbiturates in a manner deemed acceptable by the American Veterinary Medical Association Guidelines on Euthanasia.
HEARING AUTHORITY
The Selectmen of the Town.
INTACT
A dog, whether male or female which has not been spayed or neutered.
KEEPER
A person, business, corporation, entity or society, other than the owner, having possession of a dog.
NUISANCE DOG
A dog that: (i) by excessive barking or other disturbance, is a source of annoyance to a sick person residing in the vicinity; or (ii) by excessive barking, causing damage or other interference, a reasonable person would find such behavior disruptive to one's quiet and peaceful enjoyment; or (iii) has threatened or attacked livestock, a domestic animal, or a person, but such threat or attack was not a grossly disproportionate reaction under all the circumstances.
A person who owns or keeps a dog within the territorial limits of the Town of Ipswich shall not permit nor shall allow such a dog to be at large in the Town other than on the premises demised to its owner or keeper, unless said dog is restrained by being kept on a leash not exceeding six feet in length.
A. 
Any owners or keepers of dogs six months or older shall license such dogs annually between January 1 and March 31 each year or shall be subject to a late fee of $10 for each month or part thereof said license is issued after March 31. Proof of rabies vaccination shall be provided prior to issuance of a license. The other requirements for licensing dogs shall be in accordance with MGL c. 140, § 137.
B. 
All owners and operators of kennels, as defined by MGL c. 140, § 136A, shall license such kennels annually between January 1 and March 31 or shall be subject to a late fee of $20 for each month or part thereof said license is issued after March 31. Prior to obtaining such a kennel license, the owner or operator of the kennel must provide proof of inspection of said kennel signed by the Animal Control Officer.
C. 
Any violation of this subsection shall be punished by fine of $50 for each offense.
Whoever is the owner or keeper of a dog, cat, or ferret six months of age or older shall cause such dog, cat, or ferret to be vaccinated against rabies in accordance with MGL c. 140 § 145B. Violators of this subsection shall be punished by a fine of $50 for each offense.
A. 
Duty to dispose. It shall be the duty of every person who owns, possesses, or controls a dog to remove and dispose of any feces left by his/her dog on any sidewalk, street, or other public area. It shall further be the duty of each person who owns, possesses or controls a dog to remove and dispose of any feces left by his/her dog on private property neither owned nor occupied by said person.
B. 
Duty to possess means of removal. No person who owns, possesses or controls a dog shall appear with such dog on any sidewalk, street, park, or other public area without a means of removal of any feces left by such dog. Furthermore, no person who owns, possesses or controls such dog shall appear on any private property neither owned nor occupied by said person without the means of removal of any feces left by such dog. Disposal in Town trash barrels or bins or in the storm drains is prohibited.
C. 
Method of removal and disposal. For the purposes of this section, the means of removal shall be any tool, implement, or other device carried for the purpose of picking up and containing such feces, unexposed to said person or to the general public. Disposal shall be accomplished by transporting such feces to a place suitable and regularly reserved for the disposal of canine feces, or as otherwise designated as appropriate by the agent of the Board of Health.
D. 
The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to a physically handicapped person in custody or control of a dog.
E. 
Penalties for violation. Violations shall be punished by a fine of $10 for the first such offense in any calendar year; a fine of $25 for the second such offense in any calendar year; and a fine of $50 for any third or subsequent offense in any calendar year.
F. 
Enforcement. Violations of this section shall be enforced in accordance with all other applicable laws governing municipal bylaws; however, at the option of the Animal Control Officer or other officer authorized to enforce this bylaw, violations may be enforced non-criminally pursuant to MGL c. 40, § 21D, rather than by a criminal complaint in District Court.
G. 
The Town Clerk shall provide a copy of this section to each dog owner when said owner licenses his/her dog.
Any person who owns, possesses or controls an intact dog, whether the dog be male or female, shall cause such dog to be confined in a building or secure enclosure in such a manner that such dog cannot come in contact with another animal except for planned breeding, or the dog must be on a leash no longer than six feet in length with a capable adult. A violation of this subsection shall be punishable in the same manner as established in § 109-5 of this Animals Bylaw.
A. 
Parks and cemeteries:
(1) 
Dogs are not allowed in any Town owned park or cemetery under the control of the Town of Ipswich Parks and Cemetery Department without their approval.
(2) 
Exception. Any area specifically designated and operated as a "Dog Park" by the Town for the purpose of providing a recreational area for dogs to run off leash, while under the direct control of its owner or handler.
B. 
Playing fields.
(1) 
Dogs are not permitted on the playing surface of synthetic turf fields controlled by the Town or Ipswich School District.
(2) 
No person owning, keeping, or handling a dog within the Town of Ipswich shall allow such dog to trespass within a playing field. Playing fields shall be defined under this subsection as any field designed and used for outdoor team games or practice, whether those fields are under the control of the Town or the Ipswich School District.
(3) 
Basketball courts and tennis courts shall be designated as "playing fields" for the purpose of this subsection.
C. 
Beaches.
(1) 
Leashed dogs are permitted on Pavilion Beach from Labor Day to Memorial Day. From the day after Memorial Day to the day after Labor Day, dogs are not permitted on the Pavilion Beach.
D. 
Ipswich Open Space Properties and Public Trails.
(1) 
Leashed dogs shall be permitted on Town owned open space properties unless posted signage prohibits dogs. For the purpose of this subsection, Ipswich Open Space Properties and Public Trails are lands which are controlled by the Town of Ipswich.
(2) 
Service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) shall be allowed on any Town owned land at any time, provided they abide by all the rules and regulations set forth by the ADA.
(3) 
Penalties and enforcement. A violation of this subsection shall be punishable in the same manner as established in § 109-5 of this Animals Bylaw.
A. 
Upon calls to domesticated animals (except dogs), the Animal Control Officer, or any other officer authorized to enforce this bylaw shall assess a charge of $50 per call.
B. 
A person who owns or keeps a dog within the territorial limits of the Town of Ipswich, whose dog was picked up and impounded at the Town Animal Shelter between the hours of 8 am – 4 pm, will be charged a pick up fee of $10. A person who owns or keeps a dog within the territorial limits of the Town of Ipswich, whose dog was picked up and impounded at the Town Animal Shelter between the hours of 4 pm – 8 am, shall be charged a pick-up fee of $50. If a dog remains impounded beyond 24 hours, a daily impound fee of $40 will be assessed for each additional 24 hour period, or parts thereof.
[Amended 5-14-2019 ATM by Art. 14,[1] approved by the Attorney General 9-5-2019]
A. 
No person owning, keeping, or otherwise responsible for a dog or dogs shall allow said dog or dogs to annoy another person by making loud or continuous noise, where such noise would be found by a reasonable person to be disruptive to one' s quiet and peaceful enjoyment. Continuous and clearly audible barking, whining, crying or howling by a dog or dogs is prima facie evidence of a violation, if:
(1) 
It occurs between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7 a.m. of the next day; or
(2) 
It is in excess of 45 minutes between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.
B. 
If observed by the Animal Control Officer, or any other officer authorized to enforce this section, or an investigation substantiates an excessive noise complaint under this bylaw, said officer will issue a written warning for the first offense and a fine of $25 for each subsequent offense. Nothing in this subsection shall interfere with a person' s right to file for a Nuisance Dog Hearing under § 109-13 of these bylaws.
C. 
Any person owning, possessing or controlling a dog in the Town of Ipswich shall not allow or permit said dog be a nuisance dog or a dangerous dog, as defined by MGL c. 140, § 136A. The Animal Control Officer or any other officer authorized to enforce this Section may capture and hold any dog running at large in order to protect public safety, pending a hearing and decision by the Select Board upon such complaint. The Animal Control Officer or any other officer authorized to enforce this Section may also issue an order to remove or temporarily ban any dog that is the subject of a complaint as a dangerous dog from any street, sidewalk, park or any other public area in order to protect public safety, pending a hearing and decision by the Select Board.
[1]
Editor's Note: The subsection designations for Subsections A, B and C of this section were added to the original so that the section would match the style and organization of the General Bylaws as codified. See § 5-4 of this Code.
A. 
Any person, including the Animal Control Officer or any other officer authorized to enforce this Section, may make a complaint about a nuisance or dangerous dog in the Town of Ipswich in writing, signed under penalties of perjury and filed with the Town Clerk. Such complaint shall set forth the nature and date of the act complained of, the name and address, if known, of the owner, possessor or controller of the dog, and a description of the dog.
B. 
Upon the filing of any complaint under this Section, the Select Board of Selectman shall cause the investigation of such complaint and conduct a hearing to determine whether the dog is a nuisance or dangerous dog, and to determine the disposition of the complaint. Such hearings shall be held in accordance with MGL c. 140, § 157.
C. 
If the owner of the dog that is the subject of any such complaint and hearing is dissatisfied with the disposition of the complaint, he/she may bring a petition in the district court within 10 days requesting review of the complaint and disposition pursuant to MGL c. 140, § 157.
D. 
Violations and Penalties. Any owner or keeper of a dog found to be in violation of an order issued by the Select Board under this section shall result in seizure and impoundment of the dog and fines as described in MGL c. 140, § 157 and § 157A.
Any person owning, possessing or controlling a dog in the Town of Ipswich shall not allow or permit said dog to be chained or tethered, as defined by MGL c. 140 § 174E. An initial violation of this subsection shall be punished by a written warning, or a fine of $50, for a second offense, be punished by a fine of $200 and for a third or subsequent offense, be punished by a fine of $500, and be subject to impoundment of the dog in a local shelter at the owner's, keeper's or guardian's expense pending compliance with this section, or loss of ownership of the dog.
Any person owning, possessing, or controlling a dog in the Town of Ipswich shall not allow or permit said dog to be confined, as defined by MGL c. 40 § 174E. An initial violation of this subsection shall be punished by a written warning, or a fine of $50, for a second offense, be punished by a fine of $200 and for a third or subsequent offense, be punished by a fine of $500, and be subject to impoundment of the dog in a local shelter at the owner's, keeper's or guardian's expense pending compliance with this section, or loss of ownership of the dog.
Any person owning, possessing or controlling an animal in the Town of Ipswich shall not allow or permit said animal to be confined inside of a motor vehicle in a manner that could reasonably be expected to threaten the health of the animal due to exposure to extreme hot or cold. The process of removing an animal from a motor vehicle will be as defined by MGL c. 140, § 174F. An initial violation of this subsection shall be punished by a fine of $150, and for a second offense and subsequent offense, be punished of a fine of $300. Nothing in this subsection shall preclude prosecution under MGL c. 272, § 77.
A. 
Except as otherwise provided in this article, any violation of this article shall be subject to the following fines:
[Amended 5-10-2016 ATM by Art. 23, approved by Attorney General 8-9-2016]
Violation
Fine
First offense
$10
Second offense
$25
Third offense
$50
B. 
Notwithstanding the provisions of § 109-1 above and of MGL c. 140, § 173A, as amended, the final disposition of each violation of this chapter, with the exception of violations of § 109-6 shall be in accordance with the following schedule. The Animal Control Officer and any deputy, and any Ipswich Police Officer shall have the authority to enforce the provisions of this article; and to further establish annual license fees as follows:
Neutered or spayed dogs
$15
Intact dogs
$20
Personal Kennel:
1 - 4 dogs:
Exempt;
5 - 9 dogs:
$50
10 - 14 dogs:
$75
15 or more dogs:
$100
Commercial Boarding/Training Kennel
$100
Commercial breeding kennel
$100
Veterinary kennel
$100
Domestic charitable corporation kennel
Exempt