[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Cecil as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 10-25-1974 by Ord. No. 7-74; amended in its entirety at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
For some years past the Township has had serious problems with respect to the running at large of domestic animals such as cows, horses, pigs and similar animals. Damage has been caused to property and at times the safety and health of the residents have been endangered. It is the intent of this article to compel owners of domestic animals to keep them under complete control in order that the health, safety and right to peaceful living of the residents may be assured. In this respect this article is being enacted under and by virtue of the public safety provision of the Second Class Township Code, 53 P.S. § 66527.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- DOMESTIC ANIMALS
- All cattle, horses, sheep, goats and pigs, but shall not include dogs and cats.
- Any person who has control or the right of control over domestic animals, whether or not such person is the owner, lessee or manager of such animals and whether or not such person is the owner or lessee of the property involved where such animals may be kept, stored, housed or collected.
- Any individual person, firm, partnership or corporation.
It shall be unlawful for any person or owner of domestic animals willfully to allow, suffer or permit such animals to run at large either upon public roads or upon public property or the private property of another person so as to endanger the lives or safety and health of other persons or so as to cause or threaten to cause damage to the property of other persons.
It shall be unlawful for any person or owner of domestic animals willfully to fail to fence in such animals on property in the ownership or control of the owner, or to fail to take reasonable precautions consonant with acceptable farming and cattle-keeping practices, so as to endanger the lives or safety and health of other persons or so as to cause or threaten to cause damage to the property of other persons.
It shall not be a violation of this article for any owner to drive or transport domestic animals from one place to another, provided that such owner has the animals in complete control and guidance and so that the property of others and the health and safety of others may not be endangered.
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this article, upon conviction thereof in an action brought before a Magisterial District Judge in the manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 plus costs and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 90 days. Each day that a violation of this article continues or each section of this article which shall be found to have been violated shall constitute a separate offense.
[Adopted 9-6-2000 by Ord. No. 9-00; amended in its entirety 9-29-2004 by Ord. No. 11-2004]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meaning indicated, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
- AT LARGE
- Any animal whether wild or domesticated when off the property of its owner and not restrained by a competent person.
- A carnivorous mammal of the species Felis catus.
- A domesticated carnivorous mammal of the species Canis familiaris.
- Accustomed to home life. Lives in a home with humans. Animals that can be kept within the immediate living quarters of a residential structure.
- Having escaped from domestication and become wild.
- To catch, trap, net or, if necessary, to kill any animal by the Animal Control Officer or authorized local agency.
- Any facility certified by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to hold and or care for dogs, cats or other domesticated animals.
- NONDOMESTICATED ANIMALS
- Any member of the sheep, swine, poultry, bovine or equine family or reptiles having a venomous or constrictor nature.
- OTHER ANIMAL(S)
- Any household pet defined as a "domesticated animal."
- 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/her care, and every person who permits such dog or other animal to remain on or about any premises occupied by him/her.
- PUT DOWN
- To kill or have killed by the most humane process possible at the time.
- Leash or chain not in excess of six feet in length.
- RUNNING AT LARGE
- Being upon any public highway, street, alley, park or other public land, or upon property of another person other than the owner, and not being restrained and being accompanied by or under the control of the owner or any other person having custody of the dog(s) or other animal(s).
- Living in a state of nature and not ordinarily tamed.
Shall be named by the Board of Supervisors annually at the reorganization meeting. The Animal Control Officer may be appointed or hired by contract, which has been approved by the Board, and serves at the pleasure of said Board. The Animal Control Officer along with the Cecil Township Police Department shall have concurrent responsibility for the enforcement of this article and of the Pennsylvania Dog Law, 3 P.S. § 459-101 et seq., or any amendments to said law, provided that the Animal Control Officer shall not have arresting powers under this Act.
It shall be unlawful for any dog, cat or other animal, whether domesticated or feral, to be running at large, or for any owner of said animal to permit such animal to run at large in Cecil Township. Exceptions to this section are dogs that are engaged in lawful hunting activities or for exhibition or field training.
It shall be unlawful within Cecil Township for any person(s) to own, possess, harbor or be in control of any dog or other animal which makes any noise continuously and/or incessantly, or makes such noise intermittently, which is generally continuous, repetitive or recurring to the disturbance of any person any time of the day or night. This article shall apply regardless of whether the dog or other animal is physically situated in or upon private property. Said noise shall be considered a nuisance, provided that at the time the animal is making such noise no person is trespassing or threatening to trespass upon private property in or upon which dog or other animal is situated nor is there any other legitimate cause which justifiably provoked the animal. Exception: This section shall not prohibit or otherwise declare unlawful any agricultural operations protected from nuisance suits by Act 1982-133.
Editor's Note: See 3 P.S. § 951 et seq.
No person having possession, custody or control of any dog or other animal or the owner of a dog or other animal over which no person exercises possession, custody or control shall allow or permit any dog or other animal to void excrement on any public or private property other than the property of the owner of such dog or other animal. Exception: This section shall not apply to a guide dog accompanying any blind person, or a dog used for the specific purpose to assist a physical handicapped person, or to animals used by police in the performance of their duties. Nor shall this section apply if the owner or person having custody or control of said animal removes the excrement immediately from private or public property.
No person(s) shall accumulate on property or in a disposal container dog or other animal excrement that may cause offensive odors, rodent infestation or unsanitary health conditions.
It shall be unlawful for any owner or person in control of a dog or other animal to enter any Township owned or operated park, parklet, playground, Township building or public grounds owned or operated by the Township. Exception: Where posted that dogs or other animals are permitted in secure areas or for any dog used for the sole purpose to accompany any blind or handicapped individual.
It shall be unlawful for any individual to own, harbor or control dangerous or vicious dogs or other animals. A dog determined to be dangerous under § 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. § 459-501-a et seq. Dogs may be put down only in accordance with the requirements of § 501 of the Pennsylvania Dog Law, 3 P.S. § 459-501, and otherwise said dogs must be retained and delivered to the police or State Dog Warden. While detained, said dog must be treated humanely.
Confinement. It shall be unlawful for the owner of any dog or other animal which bites any person or another animal, regardless of circumstance or whether the animal is vaccinated for rabies protection or not, not to confine said animal either in an enclosure at home, kennel or veterinary hospital, for a period of not less than 10 days or pursuant to state law on the evening of the day of the bite. Testing requirement: It shall be unlawful to destroy any dog or other animal which should for any reason die during the ten-day quarantine. Instead, the head of the animal shall be removed and submitted within 12 hours following the animal's death to a qualified official laboratory for examination and testing.
Upon suspicion of the Animal Control Officer that a dog or other animal has rabies, it shall be the owner's responsibility to euthanize the animal. In the absence of an owner, the Animal Control Officer shall euthanize the animal in the most humane manner possible.
Upon first violation, the owner or person harboring the animal(s) shall take immediate and necessary action to rectify the violation. Upon second or subsequent violations, the responsible party shall be subject to prosecution for violation of this article as a summary offense. Therein, any person who shall violate any provision or section of this article shall, upon being found guilty thereof, pay a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $300 plus all court costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees incurred by the Township in regards to the enforcement thereof. Each day that a violation occurs shall be deemed a separate offense. It shall further be ordained that the fines established may be changed by resolution of the Board of Supervisors.