[Adopted by the Supervisors of the Township of Derry 12-17-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-4. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This article may be cited as the "Derry Township Animal Ordinance."
The purpose of this article is to provide regulations relating to the keeping of animals on certain premises within the Township, the running at large of animals and in relation to the prohibition of certain specified animals within the Township of Derry that are wild or exotic or the keeping of farm or barnyard animals unless permitted by applicable provisions of the Township Zoning Ordinance, Chapter 215, Zoning, of the Code of Ordinances of the Township of Derry. It is found that the keeping of certain specified animals within the Township, unless otherwise permitted, the running "at large" of animals and the keeping of permitted animal(s) in such a manner to permit the animal(s) to habitually trespass upon or damage either private or public property or that causes obstruction or injury to the rights of another or that produces a material annoyance, inconvenience, discomfort or hurt to another or the real or personal property of another, or the keeping of specified permitted animals in an unhealthy and malodorous place or environment is detrimental to the health and the general welfare of the animals and the neighbors and objectively detrimental to the health, safety, general welfare, cleanliness and beauty, convenience, comfort and safety of the Township and its residents.
This article is adopted pursuant to the provisions of the Second Class Township Code, § 101 et seq., as amended (53 P.S. § 65101 et seq., as amended), the power to prohibit nuisances as per § 1529, Nuisances, as amended (53 P.S. § 66529, as amended), and the general powers of the Township to make or adopt ordinances necessary for the proper management, care and control of the Township and the maintenance of peace, good government, health and welfare of the Township and of its citizens per Section 1506 of the Second Class Township Code, as amended, (53 P.S . § 66506, as amended) and otherwise per law.
The following terms shall have the meaning set forth hereinafter for purposes of this article:
- When applied, it is to be construed in a broad sense to include all species of living organisms, not including plant organisms and humans, and including, but not necessarily limited to mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians, be it a dog, cat, bird, fowl, poultry, horse, cow, sheep, goat or pig, be it wild, exotic, domesticated, undomesticated, farm or barnyard animal.
- DOMESTICATED ANIMAL
- An animal typically domesticated by man so as to live and breed in a tame condition, especially by generations of breeding to live in close association with humans as a pet or work animal and usually creating a dependency so that the animal loses its ability to live in the wild.
- FARM OR BARNYARD ANIMAL
- An animal typically held, kept, or maintained by farmers or others as a work animal or for raising, slaughtering, or some other farm function other than as a pet or domesticated animal. [For example, farm or barnyard animals, include, but are not limited to, cows, sheep, goats, swine or pigs (including "pot bellied pigs"), emus, peacocks, ducks, geese and chickens and the like.]
- The unreasonable, unwarrantable or unlawful use by a person of his own property, whether real or personal, or by his/ her/its personal conduct, which is an obstruction or injury to the rights of others or of the public and which produces material annoyance, inconvenience, discomfort, or hurt to others.
- CODE ENFORCEMENT DEPARTMENT
- The Code Enforcement Department or the officers thereof.
- CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- The person or persons selected by Township Supervisors to enforce the various ordinances adopted by the Township.
- When applied to the proprietorship of an animal, shall include every person having a right of property in such animal; every person who keeps or harbors such animal or has it in his/her/its care; every person who permits such animal to remain on or about any premises occupied by such person; and in the case of a minor, the parent or guardian of any such minor owner.
- An individual or entity of any kind including, but not limited to, corporations; limited liability companies; partnerships; associations; officers, employees, and members of all entities; and in the case of a minor individual, the parent or guardian of any such minor individual.
- Any police officer of the Mifflin County Regional Police Department, or successor Department, a police officer of any other Police Department with whom the Township of Derry has contracted to enforce the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and/or Township Ordinances within the Township, the Pennsylvania State Police or such other police officer with authority to enforce the Ordinances of the Township of Derry, state dog wardens, state or Mifflin County animal control officers, and any other police officer authorized to enforce laws, ordinances, statutes, rules, and regulations in the Township of Derry.
- The Township of Derry, Mifflin County, Pennsylvania.
- WILD ANIMAL, EXOTIC ANIMAL, or WILD OR EXOTIC ANIMAL
- Any animal of a species prohibited by Title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, or otherwise controlled by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania including, but not limited to, any animal that is wild and/or is fierce, dangerous, noxious, or naturally inclined to do harm. Wild animals, however domesticated, also shall include (but not be limited to) the following:
- A. Dog family: all except domesticated dogs, including (but not limited to) wolf, fox, coyote, dingo, wolf hybrids, etc.
- B. Cat family: all except commonly accepted domestic cats, including, but not limited to, lions, pumas, panthers, mountain lions, leopards, bobcats, tigers, lynx and the like, and to include commonly accepted wild cats.
- C. Bears.
- D. Raccoons and civets
- E. All porcupines.
- F. Skunks.
- G. All venomous and constricting snakes.
- H. All venomous lizards.
- I. All alligators, caimans, crocodiles, and the like.
- J. All venomous fish and piranha.
- K. All venomous invertebrates.
- L. Deer.
- M. Foxes
- N. Weasels. All, including (but not limited to) weasels, martens, mink, wolverine, badgers, otters, ermine mongoose, etc. but excluding ferrets.
It shall be the duty of the owner, custodian, or keeper of any animal, and the duty of the parent or guardian of any minor owner, custodian, or keeper of any animal, to keep the animal securely tied or penned or fenced in a yard or enclosure, including an electronic fence, in such a manner that the animal cannot break loose and run at large over the streets, alleys, sidewalks, or public grounds in the Township of Derry, or upon the property of any person other than the owner, custodian, or keeper of such animal. It shall be unlawful for any owner, custodian, or keeper of any animal, and the parent or guardian of any minor owner, custodian, or keeper of any animal, to allow or permit such animal, whether due to failure to adequately secure such animal or otherwise, to run at large upon the public streets of the Township, upon the private property of any person, or upon property other than the property belonging to any owner of such animal, or the person under whose supervision, control, or custody such animal is being kept.
It also shall be the duty of the owner, custodian, or keeper of any animal, and the parent or guardian of any minor owner, custodian, or keeper of any animal, at all times while traveling on the streets, alleys, or public grounds in the Township, to have the animal on a leash not greater than six feet in length, and to prevent the animal from entering upon the property of any person without the consent of the owner of such property.
It shall be the duty of the owner, custodian, or keeper of any animal and/or the parent or guardian of any minor owner, custodian, or keeper of any animal, at all times to keep and maintain said permitted animal in a clean and healthy environment, provide adequate food, water and shelter and in a condition that is not unhealthy and malodorous such that it is unhealthy for the animals or that it subjects the neighbors and the public to noise and noxious odors as a result of the unclean and unhealthy environment in which the animal is kept by the owner, custodian, or keeper of any animal, and/or the parent or guardian of any minor owner, custodian, or keeper of any animal.
The police and/or the Code Enforcement Department are hereby authorized to impound any animal running at large in violation of this section. In the event such animal is licensed, the police or Ordinance Enforcement Officer shall notify the owner of such animal as indicated by any such license if any such animal is not claimed by its owner within three days, custody and control of said animal shall be relinquished by the police and transferred to the state dog warden. If applicable, or any other person with similar powers to deal with stray or lost animals or feral animals.
Any person owning or having supervision, control or custody over any anima l that is running at large in violation of this section shall, in addition to the fine as hereinafter provided, be liable to the Township of Derry for all costs incurred in the care of said animal during the term of its retention by the Township of Derry, or its police, or its Code Enforcement Department, such costs being set in the amount of $25 per day.
Except as may otherwise be permitted by applicable provisions of the Township Zoning Ordinance, as amended, it shall be unlawful and no person shall keep any chicken, fowl, sheep, cow, goat, or any other farm or barnyard animal, as defined hereinabove, at or on any premises, place or property within the boundaries of the Township.
Except as may otherwise be permitted by applicable provisions of the Township Zoning Ordinance, as amended, it shall be unlawful and no person shall keep any wild or exotic animal as defined hereinabove, at or on any premises, place or property within the boundaries of the Township.
In addition to any other prohibition or restriction set forth in this article, it shall be unlawful for any person within the Township to keep on his/her or its property such a number of animals that due to the number of animals, together with the inability or failure of the owner, custodian, or keeper of such animals, and/or the parent or guardian of any minor owner, custodian, or keeper of such animals, to properly keep, care for and maintain the same, conditions are then created and existing that affect the health and welfare of the neighbors and the public. In such case, a nuisance, as defined in this article, is created which materially and unlawfully damages and affects and harms his/her/its neighbors and the public.
It shall be unlawful for any person to abandon or attempt to abandon any animal within the Township of Derry.
Except as otherwise protected or permitted pursuant to Pennsylvania's "Right to Farm Act", 3 P.S. § 951 et seq., as amended, or other applicable law or regulation, it shall be unlawful and a nuisance for any person to hold, keep, or maintain any animal in any fashion that odor or insect infestation from or caused by such animal can be detected outside the property boundary on which such animal is held, kept, or maintained. Any person violating this section shall initially be given a written warning to correct the condition within such time as reasonably determined to be necessary by the police or Codes Enforcement Officer, as applicable, based on the conditions then existing on the property. Thereafter, if the condition is not corrected, the person may be prosecuted for a second or any subsequent violation.
It is found by the Township of Derry that a violation of any of the provisions of this article constitutes a public nuisance.
It is the intent of this article that for a violation hereof to constitute a public nuisance, there must be a nuisance in fact.
This article shall not be interpreted and enforced in such a way that it would unreasonably interfere with any agricultural operation to the extent prohibited by the applicable law of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Any person or persons who shall violate this article shall in each case. upon conviction thereof as a summary offense before a Magisterial District Judge, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $300 nor more than $1,000, together with the costs of prosecution, and in default of payment of said fine and costs, shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 30 days. Each day the condition or activity or activities continues shall constitute a new offense
The imposition of any of the penalties provided in this article shall not preclude the Township from instituting an appropriate action or proceeding, including an action in equity brought in the Court of Common Pleas, to abate and to prevent the continuation of the condition or activities as set forth in this article and such appropriate actions and/or proceedings, including, but not limited to, an action in equity, are hereby duly authorized by this article.
In addition to the fines and penalties set forth in this article, the Township of Derry shall be entitled to the assessment of court costs incurred in enforcing this article. The said court costs shall be added to any fines and penalties set forth in this article.