City of Springfield, MA
Hampden County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Springfield 10-17-2016[1]. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Noise — See Ch. 259.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 110, Animals, adopted 2-11-2015.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
ADVISORY AND HEARING COMMITTEE
A committee to be known as the "Animal Advisory and Hearing Committee." The Advisory and Hearing Committee shall be composed of five members: the City Clerk or designee; the Police Commissioner or designee; the President of the City Council or designee; and two persons appointed by the Mayor or designee. All members shall be residents of the City. Committee members shall elect a Chairperson and such other officers as they deem necessary and shall meet monthly or as needed.
ANIMAL
Any live, vertebrate creature, domestic or wild, excluding humans.
ANIMAL CONTROL CENTER
Any facility or shelter operated by or for the City of Springfield, including the Thomas J. O'Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center or its successor, or operated by a humane society, for the purpose of impounding or caring for animals.
ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER
Any person designated by the City to enforce this chapter or Sections 137 to 174E, inclusive, of Chapter 140 of the Massachusetts General Laws, including but not limited to police officers, special police officers, employees of the Department of Health and Human Services, and agents of the Thomas J. O'Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center or its successor.
ANIMAL EXHIBITION
Any display containing one or more animals which are exposed to public view for entertainment, instruction or advertisement, but excluding circuses, state and county fairs, livestock shows, rodeos, dog and cat shows and competitions, obedience trials and competitions, field trials, and any other fairs and exhibitions intended to advance agricultural arts and sciences.
ANIMAL, DOMESTIC
Any dog, cat, horse, cow, sheep, goat, pig, domestic fowl, rabbit, guinea pig, ferret, hamster, reptile and any other domesticated animal.
ANIMAL, LIVESTOCK
Any animal which is ordinarily kept for agricultural purposes and not as a pet, such as for the sale or consumption of their meat, eggs, milk, skins, fur, or labor, for profit or otherwise. Livestock animals include, but are not limited to: cattle, horses, swine, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, geese, and rabbits.
ANIMAL, WILD
Any raccoon, skunk, opossum, squirrel, fox, coyote, turkey, deer, bear, snake, bird or similar animal wild by nature or found in the wild.
COMMERCIAL ANIMAL ESTABLISHMENT
Any pet shop, shelter, auction, riding school or stable, zoological park, circus, animal exhibition or kennel.
DANGEROUS DOG
A dog that either:
A. 
Without justification, attacks a person or domestic animal, causing physical injury or death; or
B. 
Behaves 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 animal.
FERAL/HOMELESS CAT
A cat that exists in a feral, homeless, or untamed state, or one that has returned to an untamed state and is no longer considered domesticated, or one that was previously residing in a home as a domesticated cat that has been abandoned by its owner.
GROOMING SHOP
A commercial establishment where animals are bathed, clipped, plucked, or otherwise groomed.
KENNEL
A pack or collection of dogs on a single premises, including a commercial boarding or training kennel, commercial breeder kennel, domestic charitable corporation kennel, personal kennel or veterinary kennel; provided, however, that a person may keep up to four dogs, all of which are sterilized, or up to three dogs, any of which are unsterilized, without said dogs being considered a kennel under this chapter.
LICENSING AUTHORITY
The City Clerk or his/her designee or Thomas J. O'Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center as provided by the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
NUISANCE DOG
A dog that:
A. 
By excessive barking or other disturbance, is a source of annoyance to a sick person residing in the vicinity; or
B. 
By excessive barking, causing damage or other interference, is disruptive to one's peace and quiet; or
C. 
Molests or threatens passersby or passing vehicles; or
D. 
Threatens or attacks domestic animals or persons; or
E. 
Trespasses on school grounds or private property; or
F. 
Is found at large three or more times, as documented by an Animal Control Officer, within a consecutive twelve-month period; or
G. 
Damages public or private property.
OWNER
Any person, firm, corporation or organization owning, keeping, having an interest in, having care, custody or control of, or harboring one or more animals. An animal shall be deemed to be harbored if it is fed or sheltered for seven consecutive days or more. If the owner of an animal is a minor, the parent(s) or guardian(s) of said minor shall be considered the owner.
SECURE ENCLOSURE
A secure enclosure shall be a minimum of five feet wide, 10 feet long, and six feet in height above the grade, with a horizontal top covering said area, all to be at least nine-gauge, chain-link fencing with necessary steel supporting posts. The floor shall be at least three inches of poured concrete, with the bottom edge of said fencing embedded in the concrete or extending at least one foot below grade. The gate must fit closely and be securely locked or otherwise deemed secured by an Animal Control Officer. If the secure enclosure is intended to house a dangerous dog or nuisance dog, the owner shall post the secure enclosure with a clearly visible warning sign that informs people that there is a dangerous dog or nuisance dog on the property. The secure enclosure must be locked at all times when the dog is unattended by either the owner or a competent custodian 18 years of age or older. The enclosure must contain and provide protection from the elements for the dog or other animals mentioned before and shall comply with MGL c. 272, § 77 and animal care standards as detailed in § 110-8 of this chapter.
ZOOLOGICAL PARK
Any facility, other than a pet shop or kennel, displaying or exhibiting one or more non-domestic animals, operated by any person, partnership or corporation or any governmental agency in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws.
A. 
Each owner of a dog, cat or ferret that is three months of age or older shall cause such dog, cat or ferret to be vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian using a licensed vaccine according to the manufacturer's directions, and shall cause such dog, cat or ferret to be revaccinated at intervals recommended by the manufacturer. Unvaccinated dogs, cats or ferrets acquired or moved into the commonwealth shall be vaccinated within 30 days after the acquisition or arrival of such animal into the commonwealth or upon reaching the age of three months, whichever occurs last. It shall be the duty of each veterinarian to complete a certificate of rabies vaccination which shall include, but not be limited to, the following information: the owner's name and address; a description of the animal, including breed, sex, age, name and distinctive markings; the date of vaccination; the rabies vaccination tag number; the type of rabies vaccine used; the route of vaccination; the expiration date of the vaccine; and the vaccine lot number. A dog, cat or ferret shall be exempt from rabies vaccination if a veterinarian has examined the animal and has certified in writing that vaccinating the animal at that time would endanger the animal's health because of its age, infirmity, disability, illness or other medical considerations. An animal exempt under this section must be vaccinated as soon as its health allows.
B. 
Dog licenses.
(1) 
In accordance with MGL c. 140, § 137, any dogs aged six months or older, that are kept in the City of Springfield for more than 60 days, shall be licensed. The license application shall include: the name and address of the applicant; a description of the dog; proof of rabies vaccination; or proof of rabies vaccination exemption as defined in Subsection A of this section; and the appropriate fee.
(2) 
Applications for dog licenses shall be made to the licensing authority. License applications shall include: the name and address of the applicant; a description of the dog; proof of rabies vaccination or proof of rabies vaccination exemption; and the appropriate fee. The owner of a dog may add descriptive words, not more than 10 in number, upon the license form to indicate the color, breed, weight or special markings of the licensed dog.
(3) 
If not revoked, licenses for the keeping of dogs shall be for a period of one year, running from April 1 to March 31. Reapplication for a license may be made up to 30 days prior to April 1.
(4) 
Application for a license must be made within 30 days after obtaining a dog over six months of age or within 30 days after moving a dog into the City. This requirement will not apply to a nonresident keeping a dog within the City for fewer than 60 days.
(5) 
License fee exemptions.
(a) 
A license fee shall not be required for Seeing-eye dogs, governmental police dogs or service dogs as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act or regulations promulgated thereunder.
(b) 
A license fee shall not be required for dogs owned by a person aged 70 years or over.
(c) 
Persons and entities exempt from paying license fees under this section shall nevertheless apply for a license with the licensing authority and cause their dogs to wear tags issued by the licensing authority.
(6) 
Upon acceptance of the application and license fee, the licensing authority shall issue a durable tag stamped with an identifying number and year of issuance. Tags shall be designed so that they may be conveniently fastened or riveted to the dog's collar or harness.
(7) 
No license fee or portion thereof shall be refunded because of the subsequent death, loss, spaying, removal from the City of Springfield or Commonwealth of Massachusetts, or other disposal of the dog.
(8) 
Dogs shall be made to wear both rabies and license tags at all times.
(9) 
The licensing authority shall maintain records of the identifying numbers of all tags issued, and shall make these records available to the public.
(10) 
License fees for dogs shall be as follows:
(a) 
Unneutered/Unspayed dog: $25.
(b) 
Neutered/Spayed dog: $5. An applicant for a neutered/spayed dog license shall, as a condition of obtaining such license, produce a certificate from the veterinarian who spayed or neutered the dog, or, if such certificate cannot be obtained, a receipt of a bill from the veterinarian who performed such procedure or a statement signed under the pains and penalties of perjury by a veterinarian registered and practicing in the commonwealth describing the dog and stating that the veterinarian has examined the dog, which appears to have been spayed or neutered and incapable of propagation.
(c) 
Dog that has been declared a dangerous dog or a nuisance dog: $100.
(11) 
A duplicate license may be obtained upon payment of a replacement fee of $2.
(12) 
All permitted sources of dogs, including shelters, rescue organizations, pet shops, professional breeders, and veterinarians, operating within the City of Springfield shall notify the licensing authority upon the transfer of ownership of any dog. The City Clerk may authorize these permitted sources to register dogs and remit the fees to the City Clerk's office within five days thereafter.
(13) 
All permitted sources administering anti-rabic vaccines to dogs must notify the licensing authority upon administering the anti-rabic vaccine to any such dog.
C. 
Violations.
(1) 
Owners who fail to obtain a license as required within the time period specified in this section may be fined not more than $50, separate from any licensing fees owed, and the unlicensed dog may be subject to immediate impoundment.
(2) 
No person may use any dog license for a dog other than for the dog for which it was issued. Violators may be fined not more than $25.
(3) 
Any person keeping a dog in the City of Springfield who does not cause such dog to be vaccinated as required by this section against rabies may be fined not more than $100.
A. 
No person, partnership, or corporation shall operate a commercial animal establishment without first obtaining a permit in compliance with this chapter. A permit shall not be issued unless the applicant is in compliance with this chapter and applicable state law and pays the applicable permit fee.
B. 
There shall not be allowed more than three dogs within a single dwelling unit, unless the keeper of such dogs is granted a license to operate a kennel, in accordance with this chapter, unless all animals in the home have been surgically altered. If all animals in the home are surgically altered, four dogs may be kept within a single dwelling unit, without the need to acquire a license to operate a kennel.
C. 
Permits for commercial animal establishments shall be for a period of one year, running from April 1 to March 31. Renewal applications may be made up to 30 days prior to April 1. Application for a permit to establish a new commercial animal establishment under the provisions of this chapter may be made at any time. Any person, partnership or corporation operating a commercial animal establishment within the City who fails to license the same by April 1 of each year shall pay a penalty of $100 per month.
D. 
The Advisory and Hearing Committee shall promulgate regulations for the issuance of permits, and shall include requirements for humane care of all animals and for compliance with the provisions of this chapter and other applicable laws. The Advisory and Hearing Committee may amend such regulations from time to time as is deemed desirable for public health and welfare and for the protection of animals.
E. 
If there is a change of ownership of a commercial animal establishment, the new owner may have the current permit transferred to his name upon payment of a transfer fee of $25.
F. 
Annual permits shall be issued upon payment of the applicable fee after inspection by an Animal Control Officer for each:
(1) 
Kennel authorized to house fewer than 10 dogs: $50.
(2) 
Kennel authorized to house 10 or more but fewer than 50 dogs: $100.
(3) 
Kennel authorized to house 50 or more dogs: $150.
(4) 
Zoological park: $100.
(5) 
Circus: $150.
(6) 
Animal exhibition: $100.
(7) 
Grooming shop: $50.
(8) 
No fee is required for any: veterinary hospital or clinic, animal shelter or governmentally operated zoological park. Permits will be issued without charge.
G. 
Every facility at a different address regulated by this chapter shall be considered a separate enterprise and shall require a separate permit.
H. 
Operators of kennels may elect to license dogs individually.
I. 
Failure to obtain a permit before opening any facility covered in this chapter shall result in a fine of up to $200.
J. 
Any commercial animal establishment which has a change in the category under which a permit was issued shall be subject to reclassification, and appropriate adjustment of the permit fee shall be made.
K. 
A dog under the age of six months shall not be counted in determining the number of dogs kept in a kennel under this section.
A. 
The City or licensing authority may revoke any permit or license granted under this chapter if the person holding the permit or license refuses or fails to comply with this chapter, regulations promulgated by the City or any law governing the protection and keeping of animals.
B. 
Any person whose permit or license is revoked shall, within 10 days thereafter, be responsible for the placement or humane disposal of all animals owned, kept or harbored, and no part of the permit or license fee shall be refunded. Failure to place or humanely dispose of any animal kept or harbored shall result in a fine of up to $200 per animal.
C. 
It shall be a condition of the issuance of any permit or license that an Animal Control Officer be permitted to inspect all animals and the premises where animals are kept at any reasonable time with reasonable notice. If permission for such inspections is refused, such permit or license of the refusing owner may be refused, suspended or revoked by the licensing authority.
D. 
If an applicant for a license or permit has withheld or falsified any information on the application, the licensing authority may refuse, suspend or revoke such license or permit.
E. 
No person who has been convicted of any crime involving cruelty to animals shall be issued a permit or license of any kind under this chapter for a period of five years from the date of conviction.
F. 
Any person having been denied a license or permit may reapply after the conditions upon which denial was based have been corrected. Each reapplication shall be accompanied by a fee of $25.
A. 
All animals, with the exception of sterilized cats, shall be kept under restraint when in public. "Restraint" shall mean a leash, lead or other physical restraint. Dogs must be on a leash not more than six feet long, except in cases where the dog is confined in a fenced-in area or pen or when the dog is in a dog park.
[Amended 12-5-2016]
B. 
Every owner or keeper of an animal shall exercise proper care and control of his/her animals to prevent them from becoming a public nuisance. Further, persons who feed or care for wild animals, including feral cats, shall not cause such animals to become a public nuisance. An animal found to be a public nuisance may be impounded by an Animal Control Officer, as set forth in this chapter. Animal nuisance behaviors include, but are not limited to:
(1) 
Molesting or attacking persons, animals or vehicles without provocation;
(2) 
Repeated trespassing on public or private property, including school grounds;
(3) 
Repeatedly being found at large, outside of confinement or off restraint;
(4) 
Causing offensive odors through accumulated waste or other reason that is detectable from the public way, any right-of-way, or adjoining properties;
(5) 
Allowing an animal which tests positive for a communicable disease (for example, feline leukemia, parvovirus, distemper) to interact with other animals in such a manner as to increase the likelihood of the spread of such disease;
(6) 
Barking, whining, howling, or other noises natural to such animal's species in an excessive, continuous, or untimely fashion, where such noise is plainly audible at a distance of 100 feet from the building, premises, or vehicle housing said dog, and such noise is continuous for 10 minutes or more, so as to disturb the peace or otherwise be disruptful to any person's quiet enjoyment of property, comfort, or repose;
(7) 
Obstructing any public way or private way, or distracting drivers upon the public way;
(8) 
Any other circumstances affecting the health or safety of the public or other animals as determined by an Animal Control Officer or the Board of Health.
C. 
The owner of a reproductively whole dog or cat over the age of six months found to be at large shall be subject to a fine of $100 per violation.
(1) 
The owner of the dog or cat shall have the option of paying this fine of $100 or, in the alternative, the owner may, within 10 days of the violation, have the dog or cat spayed or neutered. If the owner elects to have the dog or cat spayed or neutered, the owner shall present proof of same to the City Clerk in lieu of payment of the fine. The City Clerk, upon receipt of proof that the dog or cat has been spayed or neutered, shall waive the fine of $100. Proof requires written verification by the veterinarian who performed the sterilization that the dog or cat has been sterilized.
(2) 
If a reproductively whole dog or cat is found to be at large on three occasions, as documented by an Animal Control Officer, the animal shall be surgically sterilized and microchipped before being returned to the owner. The owner shall bear all costs associated with this service and the fine of $100 shall be imposed.
(3) 
The Chief Animal Control Officer may waive the sterilization requirement if he/she finds that the animal's health may be endangered by the sterilization procedure (examples include an old animal or an animal in poor health).
D. 
It shall be unlawful for any person owning, keeping, harboring, or possessing any animals to permit the same to go at large any time within the limits of the City, to the damage or annoyance of any of the residents of the City.
E. 
In accordance with MGL c. 134, §§ 2 through 6, any stray animal found within the City of Springfield shall be reported to and impounded at the Thomas J. O'Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center immediately and for the duration of the legally required stray hold.
F. 
Violations.
(1) 
An owner of an animal covered by this section that allows such animal to become a public nuisance, including but not limited to failure to properly restrain or confine said animal, may be fined:
(a) 
Not more than $50 for a first offense;
(b) 
Not more than $100 for a second offense;
(c) 
Not more than $300 for a third or subsequent offense;
(2) 
Each day that a violation occurs shall be deemed a separate offense. Following a third offense, any license to keep animals may be revoked, and the offending animal may be impounded.
(3) 
Failure to properly restrain an animal covered by this section which is found to be reproductively whole shall result in the owner of such animal to be fined an additional $100.
(4) 
Failure to properly restrain an animal covered by this section which results in such animal entering upon school property shall result in an additional fine to the owner of such animal in an amount not more than $50.
A. 
Any animal found at large or determined to be a public nuisance may be taken by Animal Control Officers, Board of Health agents, or police officers and impounded and confined in a humane manner.
B. 
An Animal Control Officer, animal control center or veterinarian with custody of an impounded or stray animal shall make a reasonable attempt to contact the owner of such animal if the owner can be identified.
C. 
An animal control center or veterinarian may, in its sole discretion, administer veterinary care to sick or injured animals impounded under Subsection A. If the owner of the animal can be identified, the owner shall be responsible for payment of such veterinary expenses.
D. 
If the owner of an animal impounded under Subsection A has not reclaimed it within seven days of the date of the impoundment, or any lesser minimum period permitted by the General Laws of the commonwealth, an Animal Control Officer may release the animal for adoption or humanely euthanize the animal. If a licensed veterinarian states in writing that the animal is in significant pain and has no reasonable chance of recovering or having a good quality of life, the animal may be humanely euthanized at any time. The City shall not be liable for any disposition of animals in accordance with this section.
E. 
Redemption fees.
(1) 
Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the owner of any impounded animal may redeem the animal, upon payment to the City of the following:
(a) 
An impound fee of $40 for each animal redeemed;
(b) 
A boarding fee of $15 per animal or $22 for bite quarantine or dangerous/nuisance animal, per day;
(c) 
All outstanding fines, except for any fine for which a timely appeal is pending;
(d) 
All veterinary charges, drugs and other medical expenses;
(e) 
The cost of sterilization, if applicable;
(f) 
The cost of rabies vaccination, if applicable; and
(g) 
The cost of license and registration, if applicable;
(h) 
The cost of microchip implantation and registration, if applicable.
(2) 
At the request of the owner, the Animal Control Center shall provide an itemized list of charges.
F. 
An animal which has been seized following a bite or other violent incident shall be quarantined and confined from contact with persons or other animals for not less than 10 days:
(1) 
In the home of the owner of the animal if owner proves that the animal has been vaccinated for rabies;
(2) 
In an animal control center if the owner is unable to prove that the animal has been vaccinated for rabies and/or the owner of the animal is unable to manage or confine the animal in the interest of public safety.
The Thomas J. O'Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center shall not release a dog or cat for adoption without first sterilizing the dog or cat, except where a veterinarian states in writing that sterilization would place the dog or cat at considerable risk due to poor health.
A. 
Owners shall provide each of their animals with sufficient good and wholesome food and water, proper shelter, protection from the weather, veterinary care when needed to prevent suffering, and otherwise humane care and treatment.
B. 
A person owning or keeping a dog may confine such dog outside, subject to the restrictions in this section, through the use of any of the following methods:
(1) 
Inside a pen, if the following conditions are met:
(a) 
The pen shall have adequate space for exercise, with a dimension of at least 100 square feet; provided, however, that commercial dog kennels with pens intended for the temporary boarding of dogs shall be exempt from this requirement.
(b) 
The pen is constructed with chain link or other similar material as determined by the Building Inspector, with all sides enclosed.
(c) 
The minimum height of the fence shall be adequate to successfully confine the dog.
(2) 
A fully fenced, electronically fenced or otherwise securely enclosed yard, wherein a dog has the ability to run but is unable to leave the enclosed yard; or
(3) 
A trolley system or a tether attached to a pulley in a cable run, if the following conditions are met:
(a) 
Only one dog shall be tethered to each cable run;
(b) 
The tether shall be attached to a properly fitting collar or harness worn by the dog, with enough room to fit two adult fingers between the collar and the dog's throat; provided, however, that a choke collar or pinch collar shall not be used to tether a dog to a cable run;
(c) 
There shall be a swivel on at least one end of the tether to minimize tangling of the tether;
(d) 
The tether and cable run must each be at least 10 feet in length. The cable must be mounted at least four feet but not more than seven feet above ground level;
(e) 
The length of the tether from the cable run to the dog's collar or harness shall allow continuous access to clean water and appropriate shelter at all times as described in Subsection C;
(f) 
The tether system shall be of appropriate configuration to confine the dog to the owner's property, to prevent the trolley system or tether from extending over an object to an edge that could result in injury to or strangulation of the dog and to prevent the trolley system or tether from becoming tangled with other objects or animals; and
(g) 
No person shall tether a dog for more than eight out of every 24 hours. No dog under the age of six months shall be tethered outside for any length of time.
C. 
A person owning or keeping a dog confined outside in accordance with this chapter shall provide the dog with access to clean water and appropriate dog shelter. The dog shelter shall allow the dog to remain dry and protected from the elements and shall be fully enclosed on at least three sides, roofed and have a solid floor and be sufficiently insulated and ventilated to protect the dog from exposure to extreme temperatures. The entrance to the shelter shall be flexible to allow the dog's entry and exit, and sturdy enough to block entry of weather elements. The shelter shall contain clean bedding and shall be small enough to retain the dog's body heat and large enough to allow the dog to stand, lie down and turn comfortably. The enclosure shall be structurally sound and in good repair. Suitable drainage shall be provided so that water, ice or waste is not standing in or around the shelter.
D. 
No person shall keep or place an animal in a location that would cause an unreasonable risk of injury or death to the animal or subject it to "cruel conditions," which shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(1) 
Leaving an animal unattended in a stationary or parked car shall be prima facie evidence of keeping an animal in a location that causes an unreasonable risk of injury or death. The above-stated officials may use reasonable force to remove the animal from the vehicle, including, but not limited to, breaking the windows of the vehicle;
(2) 
Filthy and dirty confinement conditions, including, but not limited to, exposure to excessive animal waste, garbage, dirty water, noxious odors, dangerous objects that could injure or kill an animal upon contact or other circumstances that could cause harm to an animal's physical or emotional health;
(3) 
Extreme weather, including but not limited to times when a heat or cold advisory is in effect and times when an extreme weather advisory has been issued for the area; and
(4) 
Taunting, prodding, hitting, harassing, threatening or otherwise harming a tethered or confined dog.
E. 
No person shall beat, cruelly treat, torment, overload, overwork, or otherwise abuse an animal, or cause, instigate or permit any dog fight, cock fight, or bullfight, or any other combat between animals or between animals and humans.
F. 
If an animal is found to be in a location that causes an unreasonable risk to the animal, an Animal Control Officer or a police officer may use reasonable force to remove the animal from the dangerous situation and impound said animal as necessary.
G. 
A person who violates this section shall, for a first offense, be issued a written warning or punished by a fine of not more than $50; for a second offense, be punished by a fine of not more than $100; and for a third or subsequent offense, be punished by a fine of not more than $300, and be subject to impoundment of the dog in a local shelter at the owner's expense pending compliance with this section, or loss of ownership of the dog.
A. 
The City, through the Mayor or designee, shall appoint a Chief Animal Control Officer, whose primary responsibilities shall include the enforcement and implementation of this chapter or any rules and regulations promulgated thereunder. The Chief Animal Control Officer shall be responsible for coordinating and administering the City's animal control activities in accordance with any goals, policies, and procedures established by the Springfield City Council or Department of Health and Human Services, and shall be under the direction and supervision of the Mayor.
B. 
No person shall interfere with, molest, hinder or abuse an Animal Control Officer in the exercise of official duties. A person who violates this section shall be fined not less than $100.
C. 
Advisory and Hearing Committee. The Advisory and Hearing Committee shall have the power to:
(1) 
Meet monthly or at such times as the Chairperson or a majority of the Committee deems necessary;
(2) 
Study, review and issue written reports on issues dealing with dogs or other animals in the City;
(3) 
Make recommendations to the Mayor and the City Council for the improvement of ordinances of the City as they relate to dogs and other animals in the City;
(4) 
Impose fines for violations of this chapter and set the amount of fines where not specifically provided by this chapter; provided, however, that no fine imposed under this chapter shall exceed $300 per violation;
(5) 
Hold hearings to determine whether a dog is a dangerous dog or a nuisance dog, and to review orders to destroy; and
(6) 
Make rules and regulations, not inconsistent with this chapter and state and federal law, for the efficient and orderly conduct of its business and the control and care of animals in the City.
A. 
Any person may file a complaint in writing to the Advisory and Hearing Committee within 30 days of incident occurrence that a dog owned or kept in the City is a nuisance dog or a dangerous dog. To consider declaring a dog a nuisance dog or a dangerous dog, an Animal Control Officer of the City may initiate a special hearing before the Advisory and Hearing Committee to consider any evidence collected and take charge of and impound the animal. The Animal Control Center shall notify the owner of the dog by certified letter, or Sheriff's Department hand delivery of such special hearing, and the owner may attend and have an opportunity to be heard. Special hearings under this section shall be public meetings under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. At this special hearing, the Advisory and Hearing Committee will determine whether to declare such dog a nuisance dog or a dangerous dog, based on the facts presented and the definition of the terms "dangerous dog" and "nuisance dog" in § 110-1. If the dog is declared a nuisance dog or dangerous dog, the City Clerk shall notify the abutter(s) next door and across the street by regular mail and in the classified section of the local newspaper (i.e., Animals: dogs and cats section) of such finding at the owner's sole expense. No dog shall be declared a dangerous dog:
(1) 
Solely based upon growling or barking;
(2) 
Based upon the breed of the dog; or
(3) 
If the dog was reacting to another animal or to a person and the dog's reaction was not grossly disproportionate to any of the following circumstances:
(a) 
The dog was protecting or defending itself, its offspring, another animal or a person from assault or attack;
(b) 
The person who was attacked or threatened by the dog was committing a crime upon the person or property of the owner of the dog;
(c) 
The person who was attacked or threatened by the dog was engaged in teasing, tormenting, battering, assaulting, injuring or otherwise provoking the dog; or
(d) 
At the time of the attack or threat, the person or animal that was attacked or threatened by the dog had breached an enclosure or structure in which the dog was kept apart from the public and such person or animal was not authorized by the owner of the premises to be within such enclosure, including but not limited to a gated, fenced-in area if the gate was closed, whether locked or unlocked; provided, however, that if a person is under the age of seven, it shall be a rebuttable presumption that such person was not committing a crime, provoking the dog or trespassing.
B. 
Dogs declared to be nuisance dogs or dangerous dogs. If the Advisory and Hearing Committee deems a dog to be a nuisance dog or a dangerous dog, the Committee may order one or more of the following:
(1) 
That the dog be humanely restrained;
(2) 
That the dog be confined to the premises of the owner of the dog; provided, however, that "confined" shall mean securely confined indoors or confined outdoors in a securely enclosed and locked pen or dog run area upon the premises of the owner; provided however, that such confinement shall comply with § 110-8 of this chapter;
(3) 
That whenever the dog is removed from the premises of the owner, the dog shall be securely and humanely muzzled and restrained with a leash having a minimum tensile strength of 300 pounds and not exceeding three feet in length;
(4) 
That the animal shall be surgically sterilized and microchipped with the microchip registered to the City, with all costs associated with these services to be borne by the owner;
(5) 
That the owner construct, within two weeks from the date of decision, a secure enclosure to house the dog when it is in the owner's yard. The Advisory and Hearing Committee may order that, during the construction period, the dog be publicly impounded at an animal shelter or a private veterinary hospital until the secure enclosure is constructed. The effectiveness of the secure enclosure shall be subject to approval and periodic inspections by an Animal Control Officer, as deemed necessary. The fee for said inspection shall be $75. If the owner is found violating the secure enclosure requirements, immediate public impoundment of the dog shall be done by the animal control center during the time the violation continues to exist, and the owner shall bear all cost(s) for such public impoundment. The fine for such violation shall be $200 per day;
(6) 
That ownership of the dog may not be transferred unless the transfer of ownership is to an adult residing within the same residence and said dog shall remain housed solely at that residence;
(7) 
That, if the owner of the dog fails to appear at a hearing in front of the Advisory and Hearing Committee and the dog is declared a dangerous dog, the dog shall be impounded and/or euthanized;
(8) 
That the dog be humanely euthanized, immediately, or summarily upon the owner's failure to comply with conditions imposed by the Advisory and Hearing Committee; and/or
(9) 
Any other order that the Hearing Committee deems appropriate or necessary to protect the public from the dangerous or nuisance dog.
C. 
If a dog which has been found to be a nuisance dog or dangerous dog has no additional incidences of nuisance or dangerous behavior within a thirty-six-month period from the date of decision, the dog shall be removed from the list of nuisance and dangerous dogs. An owner of a nuisance or dangerous dog can request in writing to the Hearing Committee that the dog be removed from the list of nuisance or dangerous dogs prior to the expiration of the thirty-six-month period. The Hearing Committee may, but is not required to, remove a designation of nuisance or dangerousness if it is satisfied that there has been a change of circumstances or measures taken by the owner, such as training, that have mitigated the risk to public safety.
D. 
Any and all costs for the impounding of a dangerous dog will be borne by the owner unless determined otherwise by the Advisory and Hearing Committee or court of final appeal. An owner reclaiming a dangerous dog shall pay an administrative fee of $40, plus the following costs, where applicable:
(1) 
A boarding fee of $22 per dog, per day;
(2) 
All outstanding fines, except for any fine for which a timely appeal is pending;
(3) 
All veterinary charges, drug and other medical expenses;
(4) 
The cost of sterilization;
(5) 
The cost of rabies vaccinations;
(6) 
The cost of license and registration;
(7) 
The cost of microchip implantation and registration; and
(8) 
The cost of euthanasia and disposal.
A. 
The owner or person in possession of any animal shall be responsible for the removal of any fecal matter deposited by such animal(s) on public walks, recreation areas or private property.
B. 
The owner or person in possession of any animal on any public walk, street, recreation area or private property shall possess the means of removal of any fecal matter left by such animal.
C. 
For the purpose of this section, the means of removal shall include any tool, implement or other device carried for the purpose of picking up or containing such fecal matter.
D. 
Any owner or person in possession of an animal who fails to comply with the provisions of this section shall be subject to a fine in the amount of $50 for the first offense, $100 for the second offense, and $300 for the third and subsequent offenses.
A. 
No person shall keep or permit to be kept on his premises any wild, wild-domestic hybrid, or vicious animal as a pet, for display, or for exhibition purposes. This section shall not be construed to apply to zoological parks, animal exhibitions, circuses, or approved trap-neuter-return programs, as defined in this chapter.
B. 
No person shall provide food or sustenance to wild animals, including unsterilized feral, stray, or community cats, in such a manner that would cause a public health or safety risk, or cause a nuisance as defined in this chapter.
C. 
An Animal Control Officer may remove any animals kept in violation of this section and either release such animal into its natural habitat or place it in a suitable facility.
D. 
No person shall keep any livestock animals on his/her property except as otherwise allowed by Springfield Zoning Ordinance or state law. An Animal Control Officer may seize and impound any animals kept in violation of this section or the Springfield Zoning Ordinance, as defined by this chapter and place it in a suitable facility.
E. 
Violations. Any person who keeps, feeds, or shelters an animal in violation of this section shall be subject to a fine of not more than:
(1) 
For the first violation: $50;
(2) 
For the second violation: $100; and
(3) 
For the third or subsequent violations: $300.
A. 
Animal Control Officers shall be authorized to issue warnings, notices of violations, orders, citations, fines, and penalties for violations of this chapter.
B. 
A warning or notice of violations shall be construed to be an order of the City of Springfield to comply with this chapter or the laws and regulations of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Repeated failure to comply with such orders is grounds for revocation of any licenses or permits granted under this chapter and/or impoundment of any animals owned or kept.
C. 
The Animal Control Officer may seek enforcement of orders, citations, fines and penalties for violations of this chapter either through application for a criminal complaint or by seeking a noncriminal disposition in the Springfield District Court.
D. 
Fines, fees and charges.
(1) 
A citation, fine or penalty may be issued by the Animal Control Officer for violations of this chapter with or without a written warning or notice of violation, including for a first offense.
(2) 
All fines, fees, and charges under this chapter shall be due and payable 21 calendar days from the date printed on the citation, notice or bill. In the absence of a citation, notice or bill, fines, fees and charges issued under this chapter shall be due and payable within 21 calendar days of the date of service or violation.
(3) 
Failure to pay any fine, fee or charge within 21 calendar days shall result in an additional late fee of $25 for each individual fine, fee or charge.
(4) 
Persons who are assessed fines, fees or charges shall make payment to the licensing authority.
(5) 
Outstanding fines, fees or charges and associated late fees shall become a municipal lien against the property of the person issued the fine, fee or charge, in accordance with the provisions of MGL c. 40, § 58. Further, no license under this chapter shall be issued unless all outstanding fines, fees or charges and associated late fees have been paid in full.
E. 
Appeals. A person aggrieved by an action or decision of the Animal Control Officer or the Hearing Committee may appeal to the Springfield District Court by making application within 21 days of the decision, ticket, or notice of violation.