City of Erie, PA
Erie County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
CROSS REFERENCES
Power to enact animal control ordinances — See 3rd Class § 2403 (8) and (9) (53 P.S. § 37403(8) and (9)).
Fowl — See GEN. OFF. Art. 707.
[Ord. 9-1988 § 1, passed 2-10-1988]
RUNNING AT LARGE
Any animal when it is off the property of its owner and not under restraint of a competent person.
An animal is under restraint if he is controlled by a leash, at heel beside a competent person and obedient to that person's commands, or within a vehicle being driven or parked on the streets, or within the property limits of its owner or keeper. All dogs shall be restrained by a leash not more than six feet in length when off the property limits of the owner and on the public streets, sidewalks or property of the City.
[Ord. 9-1988 § 1, passed 2-10-1988]
The owner shall keep his animal under restraint at all times and shall not permit such animal to run at large in the City. On property of the owner, custodian or keeper, an animal shall be so controlled or restrained as to prevent it from attacking or threatening letter carriers, delivery persons and any other persons legitimately coming onto the property.
[Ord. 50-1991 § 1, passed 6-19-1991]
Any police officer or enforcement officer of the City or any designated agent of the City is empowered to seize and detain any animal running at large.
[Ord. 70-2003, passed 11-19-2003]
All such animals so seized and detained shall be impounded at the shelter operated by the City, or City animal control facility, there to be kept in a humane manner as hereinafter provided.
[Ord. 70-2003, passed 11-19-2003; Ord. 16-2006, passed 4-26-2006]
Any unlicensed animal so seized and detained shall be properly kept and fed for a period of not less than 96 hours. Any person who shall, within such period of time, prove to the satisfaction of the designated agent of the City his ownership or right to the custody of such animal shall, upon payment to such agent of $25 for the first day or part thereof for the care of such animal while detained and a retention fee of $10 for each additional day, be entitled to have his animal returned to him, but shall be subject to arrest and fine as herein provided. Upon the owner's proof, within 15 days of return, that the animal has been either spayed or neutered, as applicable, and licensed, the owner shall receive a $5 rebate from the designated agent of the City. Additional costs and fees for services provided by the City, as established by the City Animal Control Officers, will be published, posted and available at the City animal control facility.
[Ord. 70-2003, passed 11-19-2003]
Any licensed animal so seized and detained shall be properly kept and fed. Immediately upon seizure and detention, notice either in person or by registered mail shall be given to the person in whose name the license was procured, or his agent, to claim such animal within five days. The owner shall be entitled to have his animal returned upon payment to the designated agent of the City of $25 for the first day or part thereof for the care of such animal while detained and a retention fee of $10 for each additional day, but shall be subject to arrest and fine as herein provided. Upon the owner's proof, within 15 days of return, that the animal has been either spayed or neutered, as applicable, the owner shall receive a $5 rebate from the designated agent of the City. Additional costs and fees for services provided by the City, as established by the City Animal Control Officers, will be published, posted and available at the City animal control facility.
[Ord. 50-1991 § 5, passed 6-19-1991; Ord. 16-2006, passed 4-26-2006]
Any unlicensed animal not claimed within 48 hours after its seizure shall become the property of the designated agent of the City and shall be disposed of in a humane manner either by sale or adoption or other humane method of disposition. However, if because of illness or disease, such animal cannot be retained humanely for 96 hours, then in the discretion of the designated agent of the City, such animal may be disposed of in a humane manner in a period of less than 96 hours after its seizure.
[Ord. 50-1991 § 6, passed 6-19-1991]
Any licensed animal not claimed within five days' after notice of its seizure, as herein provided, shall become the property of the designated agent of the City and shall be disposed of in a humane manner either by sale or adoption or other humane method of disposition. However, if because of illness or disease, such animal cannot be retained humanely for five days, then in the discretion of the designated agent of the City, such animal may be disposed of in a humane manner in a period of less than five days after its seizure.
[Ord. 51-1967 § 9, passed 10-4-1967]
No animal so caught and detained shall be sold for the purpose of vivisection.
[Ord. 50-1991 § 7, passed 6-19-1991]
Any fines collected pursuant to this article shall be paid by the district justice court or police court to the City to be utilized by the City for animal control.
[Ord. 61-1985 § 1, passed 10-23-1985; Ord. 9-1988 § 1, passed 2-10-1988]
(a) 
No person shall own, harbor or keep in custody any animal which disturbs, interferes or otherwise deprives the peace, quiet, rest, or sleep of any person within the City, by such animal making any loud or harsh noise or disturbance. Continuous barking, howling or the making of other loud noises by such animal for more than any fifteen-minute time period, which periods occur on two or more consecutive days or nights, shall be deemed to disturb the peace, quiet, rest, sleep and to cause the annoyance and discomfort of persons in the City.
(b) 
It shall constitute a violation of this section for any person owning, harboring, keeping or in charge of any animal to cause, suffer or allow any such animal to soil, defile, defecate on or commit any nuisance on any common thoroughfare, sidewalk, passageway, by pass, play area, park or any place where people congregate or walk, or any public property whatsoever, nor on any private property without permission of the owner of such property. All dog owners shall immediately remove any feces deposited by the owner's animal upon the public ways or property aforesaid and dispose of such fecal matter in a proper and sanitary manner.
(c) 
Any City resident may request the City Police Bureau to enforce any provision of this article against any person who owns, harbors or keeps in custody any animal which disturbs the peace, quiet, rest, sleep of any person within the City by barking, howling, or making loud noises, or which soils, defiles, defecates on or commits any nuisance on any common thoroughfare, sidewalk, passageway, by-pass, play area, park or any place where people congregate or walk, or on any public property whatsoever, or on any private property without permission of the owner of such property.
(d) 
Any such request shall identify and specify the residence of the owner, keeper or custodian of the animal.
[Ord. 9-1988 § 1, passed 2-10-1988; Ord. 50-1991 § 8, passed 6-19-1991]
(a) 
VICIOUS DOG — As the term is used in this section, means:
(1) 
Any dog with a propensity, tendency or disposition to attack, to cause injury or otherwise endanger the safety of human beings or other domestic animals; or
(2) 
Any dog which attacks a human being or another domestic animal one or more times without provocation.
(b) 
It shall be a violation for any person to own, harbor or have care of any dog which acts in the manner specified in Subsections (a)(1) or (2) hereof. Upon conviction of the owner, harborer or caretaker of such violation, the dog shall be declared a "vicious dog" and subject to further restraints as listed in this section in addition to the penalties provided under this article.
(c) 
An owner etc., who has been convicted under Subsection (b) hereof may rebut the declaration of viciousness and remove the dog from the additional restraints of this section by presenting within 14 days of such conviction the written consensus of opinion of a licensed veterinarian, a certified dog trainer, and a breeder of the dog's specific breed to the effect that the dog is not vicious despite the established facts of the behavior which resulted in conviction.
(d) 
Within 14 days of a declaration of a dog as a "vicious dog" under this section, the owner, harborer or other caretaker of the dog shall provide proof satisfactory to the Dog Enforcement Officer that:
(1) 
The dog is and shall be all times confined when on the premises of such person. "Confine," for purposes of this subsection, means securely locked indoors or kept in a securely enclosed and locked pen or similar structure on the premises of such owner, etc. The pen or other structure shall have secure sides and a secure top and if there is no bottom secured to the sides, the sides shall be embedded in the ground no less than one foot; and
(2) 
The vicious dog shall not be permitted off the premises of such owner, etc., unless such dog is securely leashed and muzzled, unless such dog is being shown in a sanctioned American Kennel Club show or upon prior approval of the Dog Enforcement Officer.
Failure to comply with this subsection within 14 days as aforesaid shall subject the dog to immediate relinquishment to the designated agent of the City for impoundment and destruction as provided by this article or other applicable law.
(e) 
Any dog which has previously been declared vicious under this section and subsequently attacks a human being or other domestic animal unprovoked which action results in the conviction of the owner, etc., under Subsection (b) hereof shall immediately be subject to seizure and impoundment by the designated agent of the City for destruction as provided by this article or other applicable law. The compliance of the owner, etc., with all restraints imposed by this article shall not be a defense under this subsection.
[Ord. 70-2003, passed 11-9-2003]
Beginning December 1, 2003 for the calendar year 2004 and all subsequent calendar years, the City will issue City dog licenses to City residents, as provided by state law, through the Animal Control Officers of the City, at the City animal control facility. The Animal Control Officers will document and account for all dog licenses issued. The Animal Control Officers or an employee designated by the City will be responsible for all license revenue collection and subsequent disbursement to the City Finance Department. An annual audit of the license collection procedures and proceeds will be conducted by the City Finance Department. Dog licenses shall be available for sale to the public on December 1 preceding each calendar year. The dog licensing fees beginning December 1, 2003 for the calendar year 2004 and all subsequent calendar years will be as follows:
Male
$8 Over 65 or disabled $6
Male (neuter)
$6 Over 65 or disabled $4
Female
$8 Over 65 or disabled $6
Female (neuter)
$6 Over 65 or disabled $4
All replacement licenses
$3
[Ord. 50-1991 § 10, passed 6-19-1991]
Any dog or cat adopted or placed from a government or nonprofit organization, including City shelters, shall be spayed or neutered according to the following schedule:
(a) 
Dogs or cats under six months of age at time of placement shall be neutered or spayed, as applicable, by six months of age or when deemed appropriate by a veterinarian.
(b) 
Dogs or cats six months of age or older at time of placement shall be neutered or spayed, as applicable, within 30 days of date placed.
The owner shall present to the nonprofit placement organization proof of neutering or spaying in the form of a veterinarian's certificate or an affidavit of the owner, within the prescribed time period. The penalty provisions of this article shall apply to all violators.
[Ord. 22-2004, passed 3-24-2004]
(a) 
Defining wild or farm animals. No person shall board, breed, house, keep or maintain any wild animal which is prohibited or protected by Title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, or otherwise controlled or prohibited by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. No person shall board, breed, house, keep or maintain any animal which is wild, dangerous, noxious or naturally inclined to do harm in any place, nor any animal usually kept as a farm animal or livestock in the City of Erie.
For purposes is this code, animal shall include but not be limited to the following:
(1) 
All members of the dog (Canidae) family except commonly accepted domesticated dogs.
(2) 
All members of the cat (Felidae) family except commonly accepted domestic cats.
(3) 
All members of the bear (Ursidae) family; weasel (Mustelidae) family including weasels, martens, minks, wolverines, badgers, otters, ermine etc; non-human primates, porcupine (Erithizontidae) family raccoon, (Procyonidae) family; skunks, mongoose and all other mammalian species not commonly accepted as domestic animals.
(4) 
All venomous snakes, including but not limited to all members of the families Viperidae (vipers and pit vipers, Elapidae (cobras), Hydrophidae (seasnakes) venomous Colubridae (boomslang, twig snake and keel back snake genus); all members of the order Crocodilia including alligators, crocodiles, caimans and gharials, venomous fish other than those commonly kept in small aquariums and posing no significant hazard to humans or domestic animals, piranha, sharks, barracuda and other predatory fish other than common small aquarium species posing no significant hazard to humans or domestic animals.
All reptilian species not prohibited as pets or specimens must be contained within habitats designed to prevent escape; shall be transported in escape-proof containers; shall not be handled openly in public places unless the handler is conducting an educational meeting or is demonstrating a reptile for sale within a commercial animal establishment; and shall not be released or abandoned except for native reptiles which may be released at their local point of capture, or wild reptiles which have wandered near human habitation and may be relocated to a nearby natural habitat. Any captive reptile secured by or forfeited to the City shall be released to a zoo, humane society or reptile rescue organization, or euthanized in the discretion of City officials.
(5) 
Cattle, horses, swine (excluding "pot-belly pigs"), sheep, goats, fowl and all other animals usually kept as farm animals or livestock for the production of food, clothing other products or agricultural labor.
(b) 
Exceptions. The provisions of this article shall not apply to:
(1) 
A bona-fide publicly or privately owned zoological park or educational institution incorporated or authorized to do business in Pennsylvania such as a humane society or animal park; a veterinary hospital, clinic or office; a bona fide research institution using animals for scientific research; or a circus; sideshow, amusement show or facility, or horse racing track.
(c) 
Enforcement costs and penalty. In the event any person is found to be boarding, breeding, housing, keeping or maintaining any animal in violation of this section, such animal shall be seized by any member of the Bureau of Housing, any police officer, firefighter or any other person authorized by the Public Safety Director and placed immediately in a zoological park or humane society. Additionally, the person or persons found in violation shall be obligated to reimburse the City all moneys expended by the City in seizing such animal or animals and placing or disposing of such animal or animals. The violation of this section is a summary offense, and is subject to the fines and imprisonment set forth at the end of this article.
[Ord. 50-1991 § 11, passed 6-19-1991]
Any person violating any of the provisions of this article, upon conviction, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $300 or imprisoned not more than 90 days, or both. Any police officer or enforcement officer of the City shall be authorized upon personal knowledge or upon information received of a violation of this article to issue citations and institute prosecution under this article. A citation for a first offense under this article shall be reduced to a warning with no penalty if the owner of the animal in violation can produce, in writing, within 15 days of the citation, proof that the animal as been:
(a) 
Spayed (female animals) or neutered (male animals);
(b) 
Licensed; and
(c) 
Vaccinated against distemper, rabies and rhino (that is the "three-way" vaccination, for cats only) or distemper, rabies and parvovirus (for dogs only).