[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Marion 10-22-2018 STM by Art. S10. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This article also repealed former Ch. 109, Animal Control, adopted as Art. XXVI of the Bylaws, as amended.
As used in this bylaw, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER
- The person or persons employed by the Town as the enforcement officer.
- DOG POUND
- Any premises designated by action of the Town for the purpose of impounding dogs and caring for all dogs found running at large in violation of this bylaw.
- FIERCE, VICIOUS OR DANGEROUS DOG
- A dog that either:
- KENNEL, COMMERCIAL
- A single premises, with a collection of 11 or more dogs, three months or older, that are maintained for any purpose, or where four or more litters per year are raised, or where the boarding or grooming of dogs is performed as a business.
- KENNEL, HOBBY
- A single premises with a collection of four to 10 dogs, three months or older, that are housed, groomed, bred, boarded, trained, or sold, or where fewer than four litters per year are raised.
- LICENSE PERIOD
- The time between January 1 through December 31, both dates inclusive.
- Any person, group of persons or corporation owning or keeping or harboring a dog or dogs.
- A dog is under restraint within the meaning of this bylaw if it is under the control and beside a competent person and obedient to that person's command or within the property limits of its owner or keeper.
The Animal Control Officer or Animal Control Officers shall enforce the provisions of this bylaw.
The owner shall keep his dog under restraint at all times.
Any dog impounded hereunder may be reclaimed as herein provided upon payment by the owner to the Animal Control Officer of the sum of $100 for each day such dog is kept.
It shall be unlawful for any person to permit any dog owned by him and/or under his care or control to be present on any beach owned by the Town of Marion from May 1 through October 1. From October 2 through April 30, dogs may be present on any beach owned by the Town of Marion, provided they are under the control of their owner. It is the owner's responsibility to provide a "pooper scooper" or some other device capable of removing dog waste from the beach property. Failure of the owner to remove dog waste shall be subject to the penalties described in § 109-7.
Penalties for the violation of § 109-6 shall be assessed and collected in accordance with the procedure established under MGL c. 140, § 173A (noncriminal disposition of complaints for violation of dog control laws). The fines, beginning at the second offense, are $50, thereafter to $60 for the third offense, and $100 for the fourth and each subsequent offense within the calendar year.
Pursuant to the terms of MGL c. 140, §§ 137A, 139(a), 173 and 173A, this Article II, Licensing, including § 109-9, Kennel licenses, supplements the provisions of MGL c. 140, §§ 137 through 174E, and certain provisions of the Marion Zoning Bylaw. Those statutes and regulations should be reviewed in order to obtain a complete understanding of the licensing provisions for dogs within the Town.
The owner or keeper of a dog in the Town of Marion is subject to these regulations when the dog reaches the age of three months. This section shall not apply to a person having a kennel license.
There shall be a fee that is paid by the owner for each license and tag and any replacement tag issued by the Town Clerk. All fees under this section shall be determined by the Board of Selectmen and may be changed from time to time as it deems appropriate. No fee shall be charged for a license for a dog owned by a person aged 70 years or over.
The Town Clerk shall record each license issued, the name of the owner or keeper of each dog so licensed, and the name, registered number and description of each dog. The owner or keeper of any dog so licensed shall state upon the license form the breed, color, weight and special markings of the dog. Such books shall be open to the public for inspection during the usual office hours of the Town Clerk.
The owner or keeper shall cause said dog to wear around its neck or body a collar or harness to which the tag shall be securely attached. In the event that any tag is lost, defaced, or destroyed, the owner or keeper shall obtain substitute tags from the Town Clerk.
The licensing period shall be for one year. The deadline for procurement of a dog license is established as December 30 of each year. License renewal may be applied for within 30 days prior to the expiration date. New residents must apply for a license within 30 days of establishing residence. No fee shall be charged for a dog specially trained to lead or serve a blind or deaf person.
A license fee shall not be refunded because of a subsequent death, loss, spaying or neutering, or removal from the Town of such dog, nor because a license fee has been mistakenly paid to the Town.
No dog license shall be issued to any person who has been convicted of cruelty to animals as defined in MGL c. 272, § 77, § 80A, § 94 or § 95.
The provisions of this section shall not apply to institutions licensed under MGL c. 140, § 174D, to shops licensed under MGL c. 129, § 39A, to any person operating a licensed kennel or where otherwise provided by law.
Any owner or keeper of a hobby kennel or commercial kennel shall obtain a kennel license; provided, however, that before the Town Clerk issues such license, the owner or keeper provides the Town Clerk a completed application with:
An opinion, in writing, by the Building Commissioner that the proposed kennel application meets the kennel definitions described in § 109-1.
An opinion, in writing, by the Animal Control Officer that the maintenance of a kennel will not result in a health hazard.
The issuance of a hobby kennel or commercial kennel license shall be contingent upon an inspection by the Animal Control Officer to ensure that the basic standards of cleanliness and proper care and confinement of said dogs exists on the premises, and the maintenance of a kennel will not result in a health hazard or be injurious to the health of the neighbors by reason of prospective noise or otherwise.
The kennel license shall be issued by the Town Clerk and there shall be a fee for such kennel license, to be paid by the owner. All fees under this section shall be determined by the Board of Selectmen and may be changed from time to time as it deems appropriate.
A kennel license shall be in lieu of any other license required for a dog, for the period of time the dog is kept in such kennel per MGL c. 140, § 137A. The owner or keeper of such kennel shall renew the license prior to the commencement of each succeeding license period.
While at large, each dog in a kennel shall wear a collar or harness with a tag securely attached. The tag shall have the number of the kennel license, the name of the town that issued the kennel license, and the year that the license was issued. Such tag shall be in the form prescribed and furnished by the Town Clerk and shall be issued by the Town Clerk.
If a kennel owner desires to increase the capacity of his/her kennel during a license period, or its use, he/she shall apply to the Town Clerk with a new kennel application.
The Town Clerk shall issue, without charge, upon written application and written approval of the Board of Appeals, a kennel license to any domestic charitable corporation, incorporated in the commonwealth, exclusively for the purpose of protecting animals from cruelty, neglect, or abuse or for the relief of suffering except for commercial kennels which shall require compliance with § 230-7.4 of the Zoning Bylaw, provided that there is compliance with the terms and conditions of this chapter.
A veterinary clinic, office, or hospital shall not be considered a kennel unless it contains an area for the grooming or selling of dogs, or for the boarding of dogs for other than medical or surgical purposes. If it is considered a kennel, the owner or keeper shall, before the Town Clerk issues such license, provide the Town Clerk with the written approval of the Board of Appeals or special permitting authority.
All holders of kennel licenses shall notify the Town Clerk, in writing, of the sale of any dog or puppy, which includes the description of the animal, the age, color, breed, identifying marks, sex, and whether the dog has been spayed or neutered. The kennel owner shall forward a copy of such notice to the Clerk of the city or town in which the new owner of the dog resides.
If any person refuses to answer, or answers falsely, questions of a police officer or an Animal Control Officer, pertaining to his/her ownership of a dog, he/she shall be punished by a fine of not less than $25, which shall be paid to the Town.
If the dog as to which any violation occurs was unlicensed at the time of such violation, a fine of not less than $25 nor more than $50 shall be paid by the owner to the Town, and the owner or keeper of such dog will be required to immediately procure all delinquent licenses and tags, as well as the current license and tag.
Violation of any substantive provisions of this chapter shall be grounds for the revocation of a license issued for a kennel pursuant to this chapter. The Town Clerk may revoke or suspend any license upon receiving a written directive from the Board of Selectmen that was based on information concluding a kennel is operating in violation of this chapter from the Animal Control Officer or the Chief of Police or his/her designee. Prior to such revocation, the Board of Selectmen shall hold a public hearing during which the kennel licensee shall have been offered, in writing, an opportunity to be heard. In such case of suspension of said license, the Board of Selectmen may reinstate such kennel license and impose conditions and regulations upon the operation of the kennel.
If an applicant is shown to have withheld or falsified any material information on the application, the Town Clerk may refuse to issue or may revoke a license.
The Animal Control Officer or the Chief of Police of the Town of Marion or other persons authorized under the General Laws may at any time inspect or cause to be inspected any kennel, and if, in his or her judgment, the same is not being maintained in a sanitary and humane manner, or if records are not properly kept as required by law, the Board of Selectmen shall by order revoke or suspend such license. In the case of suspension, the Board of Selectmen may reinstate such license and impose conditions and regulations upon the operation of said kennel.
Upon the petition of citizens filed with the Board of Selectmen setting forth they are aggrieved or annoyed to an unreasonable extent by one or more dogs at a kennel located in Town, because of excessive barking, vicious disposition or vicious actions or any other conditions connected with the kennel that constitute a public nuisance, the Board of Selectmen shall give notice to all parties concerned of a public hearing to be held. The Board of Selectmen shall, after the public hearing, investigate or cause to be investigated the subject matter of the petition and shall, by order, either suspend or revoke the kennel license, otherwise regulate the kennel, or dismiss the petition. Written notice of any order under this section revoking, suspending or reinstating a license shall be mailed forthwith to the office issuing such license and to the holder of the license.
Any person maintaining a kennel after the license has been so revoked, or while such license is so suspended, shall be charged a fee of $50 per day up to $250 (MGL c. 140, § 137C).