Town of Swansea, MA
Bristol County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Swansea as Ch. 4 of the 1988 Revised General Bylaws. Amendments noted where applicable.]
No person shall keep any swine within a distance of 200 feet of any public way or place, or of any dwelling house not his own, or within a distance of 100 feet of his own dwelling place or within 250 feet of the high water mark of any source of drinking water supply or any tributary thereof or within 250 feet of the high water mark of any open waters flowing directly or ultimately into any source of water supply.
No person shall by any noise, gesture or other means, wantonly and designedly frighten any horse in any street or other place in Town.
No person shall suffer horses, grazing beasts or swine, to run at large in this Town, or to feed by the roadside either with or without a keeper.
[Amended 2-12-2002 STM by Art. 14]
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER
The person or persons employed by the Town as its enforcement officer and shall include any Police Officer.
ANIMAL SHELTER
Any premises designated by action of the Town or the continued use of the present premises for the purpose of impounding and caring for all dogs found running at large in violation of this article.
AT LARGE
Any dog shall be deemed to be at large when it is off the property of its owner and not under the control of a competent person.
OWNER
Any person, group of persons or corporation owning, keeping, or harboring a dog or dogs.
RESTRAINT
A dog is under restraint, within the meaning of this section, when it is property leashed or controlled or at "heel" beside a competent person and obedient to that person's commands or on or within a vehicle being driven or parked on the streets of the Town, or within the property limits of its owner or keeper.
A. 
No person owning or harboring a dog shall allow it to run at large on any of the streets or public places in the Town, nor allow it upon the premises of anyone other than its owner or keeper without permission.
B. 
No dog shall be allowed or permitted in any public place or street within the Town unless it is effectively restrained and controlled by a chain or other form of leash that is sufficient to hold the dog, or unless it is under the immediate and effective control of a handler, or unless it is within and confined to a motor vehicle.
C. 
Nothing in this article shall prohibit the use of hunting dogs during open season or the training of hunting dogs or the holding of field trials for hunting dogs.
The provisions of this article shall be enforced by the Animal Control Officer or Animal Control Officers and any Police Officer.
All licensing funds and other fees, which were previously delivered to Bristol County, shall be retained by the Town of Swansea.
A. 
Any person residing in the Town of Swansea, who at the beginning of the licensing period (April 1st to March 31st), or who during the licensing period becomes the owner or keeper of a dog six months old or over, shall cause the dog to be licensed. The Town Clerk shall issue dog licenses and tags on a form prescribed and furnished by the Town.
B. 
The Town Clerk shall not issue a license for any dog unless the owner or keeper provides the Town Clerk with a veterinarian's certificate verifying that the dog is currently vaccinated against rabies.
C. 
An exemption from the requirement of having to produce a valid rabies certificate in order to obtain a dog license shall be granted if the owner or keeper presents a signed statement from a veterinarian, indicating that because of infirmity, or other physical condition or regimen of therapy, inoculation is thereby deemed inadvisable.
D. 
The owner or keeper shall cause each dog to wear around its neck or body a collar or harness to which he shall securely attach the license tag.
E. 
The License Fee structure shall be as follows:
Spayed female dogs and neutered male dogs
$5 license per year
Unspayed female dogs and unneutered male dogs
$10 license per year
Late fee after June 30th
$10
F. 
No fee shall be charged for a dog specially trained to lead or serve a blind, deaf or handicapped person upon presentation of a certificate of such training to the Town Clerk.
G. 
In the event that any tag is lost, defaced, or destroyed, substitute tags shall be obtained by the owner or keeper from the Town Clerk at the cost of $1.
H. 
Any owner or keeper of a dog, who moves into the Town of Swansea and has a valid dog license from another city or town in the Commonwealth, shall within 30 days obtain a dog license for a fee of $1 upon producing evidence of the previous license.
A. 
Any dog found running at large shall be taken up by the Animal Control Officer and impounded in a shelter designated by the Town and there confined in a humane manner for a period of 10 days, and may thereafter be disposed of in a humane manner or if found free from disease made available for adoption if not claimed by their owner.
B. 
Immediately upon impounding dogs the Animal Control Officer shall make every possible reasonable effort to notify the owners or keeper of such dogs, so impounded, and inform such owners or keeper that the dog has been impounded.
C. 
The owner or keeper of any dog impounded may reclaim such dog, if duly licensed to its owner or keeper and upon payment to the Animal Control Officer of $10 together with the sum of $8 for each day or fraction thereof of such confinement.
D. 
When dogs are found running at large, and their ownership is known to the Animal Control Officer, such dogs need not be impounded, but the Animal Control Officer may, at his/her discretion, cite the owner of such dogs to answer to charges of violation of this article.
A. 
No more than three dogs are allowed to be kept on one premise in the Town of Swansea, except where the keeping of more dogs is allowed by zoning[1] and an annual kennel license is granted. Applications for licensing of four or more dogs shall be obtained through the Town Clerk's Office. The application form is to be filled out by the applicant and returned to the Town Clerk's Office.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 265, Zoning.
B. 
An investigation will be done by the Animal Control Officer in regards to sanitary conditions of kennel and/or exercise area, location and type of kennel, sound-proofing of kennel area, number of dogs, type of dogs, abutters concerns and any other issues deemed necessary.
C. 
The granting or denial of an annual Kennel License will be done within 30 days of filing a complete application.
D. 
The licensing period for Kennels is April 1st to March 31st.
E. 
The Kennel License Fee structure is as follows:
Not more than 4 dogs
$20
More than 4 dogs but not more than 10 dogs
$50
More than 10 dogs
$75
Late fee after June 30th
$10
F. 
Dogs under the age of six months shall not be counted in the number of dogs kept therein.
No person shall interfere with, hinder or molest the Animal Control Officer(s) of this Town in the performance of his/her duties, or seek to release any dog in the custody of the Animal Control Officer, except as herein provided.
It shall be the responsibility of the Animal Control Officer to keep, or cause to be kept, records of the impoundment and disposition of all dogs coming into his custody.
A. 
Any person found to be in violation of the Swansea General Bylaws and/or Rules and Regulations relating to dogs may be issued a citation pursuant to this Bylaw or MGL c. 140, § 173A. The citation shall denote the specific violation and amount of fine. All fines are to be paid to the Town of Swansea, Animal Control office within 21 days of the violation notice. Anyone wishing to appeal the violation notice shall do so in writing within the twenty-one-day period to the Clerk Magistrate of the Fall River District Court.
B. 
A criminal complaint may be issued against any such person who falls to pay the above fine or request a hearing within 21 days or if he or she fails to appear for the hearing or to pay any fine determined at the hearing to be due.
The Animal Control Officer may order a dog to be restrained and/or muzzled for any of the following reasons:
A. 
For having bitten any person.
B. 
For having killed, maimed or otherwise damaged any other domesticated animal.
C. 
For chasing any vehicle upon any public way or way open to public travel in the Town.
A. 
Any person who violates the provisions of this Article shall receive a written warning for the first offense and shall be liable for payments of the following fines: $25 for the second offense, $50 for the third and subsequent offenses, provided that all said offenses occur within the same calendar year.
B. 
If any dog six months of age or over is found after June 30th in any year to be unlicensed or unregistered with the Swansea Town Clerk, a fine of $25 will be imposed upon the owner or keeper of the dog.