Town of Barrington, RI
Bristol County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Barrington 10-25-1965 (Ch. II, Sec. 6, of Title Seven of the 1965 Code); amended in its entirety 8-9-1983. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
RHODE ISLAND GENERAL LAWS (AS AMENDED)
Animal care — See § 4-19-1 et seq.
Animals at large — See § 4-15-1 et seq.
Dogs generally — See § 4-13-1 et seq.
Enforcement and penalties — See § 4-13-1.
Regulation of vicious dogs — See § 4-13.1-1 et seq.
GENERAL REFERENCES
Dogs in parks and on beaches — See Ch. 134, Art. I.
Horses on Barrington Beach — See Ch. 134, Art. VIII.
Fee and Fine Schedule — See Ch. A225.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings unless the context shall otherwise require:
ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER
The person or persons employed by the Town as its animal enforcement officer, any police officer or constable of the Town.
ANIMAL SHELTER
Any premises designated by the Town for the purpose of impounding and caring for all animals.
COLLARED
A dog is "collared" when it wears around its neck a collar with a current dog tag attached issued at the time of licensing.
GUIDE DOGS
Dogs trained to assist the handicapped.
HOUSE LOT
One or more parcels of land which are contiguous and are under the same ownership according to the Tax Assessor’s records and which are zoned residential or are residential as a legal nonconforming use pursuant to the zoning ordinance.
[Added 5-9-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-2]
OWNER
A person having the right of property or custody of a dog or who keeps or harbors a dog or knowingly permits a dog or dogs to remain on or about any premises owned or occupied by that person.
PUBLIC NUISANCE
Any animal which:
A. 
Interferes with passersby or passing vehicles;
B. 
Attacks or threatens other animals or persons;
C. 
Frequents public grounds while not under restraint;
D. 
Frequents private properties not owned by the owner of the dog while not under restraint;
E. 
Is repeatedly at large or unrestrained;
F. 
Damages or soils private or public property;
G. 
Forages in trash, garbage or other refuse; or
H. 
Excessively barks, whines or howls or makes other sounds common to its species.
RESTRAINT
A dog is under "restraint" if it is:
A. 
Controlled by means of a leash securely connected to the dog and held by a person who is physically capable of retaining control; or
B. 
Within a vehicle being driven or parked on the streets; or
C. 
In a building or within a fenced enclosure on the property of its owner, which building or fence is adequate to prevent the dog from escaping therefrom; or
D. 
By means of chain, rope or similar materials limited to boundaries of the property of its owner.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection E, which immediately followed and which provided that a dog was under restraint if it was under control of a competent person and obedient to said person's commands, was repealed 4-3-2000 by Ord. No. 00-1.
Each owner shall keep his dog under restraint at all times. Failure to do so shall constitute a violation of this chapter.
A. 
Any dog found not under restraint or collared may be seized by the Animal Control Officer and impounded in the animal shelter for the period hereinafter provided.
B. 
Immediately upon impounding a dog, the Animal Control Officer shall make all reasonable efforts to locate and notify the owner of such dog and inform the owner of the conditions whereby he may regain custody of his dog.
C. 
Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter to the contrary, any owner who immediately notifies the Police Department or the Animal Control Officer that his dog has escaped from restraint and requests assistance in bringing the dog under restraint shall, in the first instance, not be liable for a fine, charge or fee pursuant to the provisions of this chapter unless the nature of the violation is related to nonlicensure by the owner or dangerous and threatening behavior by the dog involved.
D. 
An updated list of all impounded animals shall be maintained at the Town's public safety communication center, including a full description of each animal in custody and the location and time of pickup.
The owner shall be entitled to regain possession of any impounded animal during the normal hours the animal shelter is open upon payment of fees, charges and penalties related thereto as provided in § 67-15 of this chapter.
Any dog impounded under the provisions of this chapter and not reclaimed by its owner within five working days during which the animal shelter is open may:
A. 
Be placed in the custody of a new owner deemed to be a responsible and suitable individual; or
B. 
Have its title transferred to a recognized nonprofit humane society, association or corporation; or
C. 
Be humanely destroyed at the direction of the Animal Control Officer after consulting with the shelter manager.
[Amended 11-14-1994 by Ord. No. 94-14]
A. 
Upon the seizure of a dog or cat pursuant to this chapter whose owner at that time can be ascertained, the Animal Control Officer may return the dog or cat to its owner in lieu of impoundment.
B. 
The Animal Control Officer may, at his discretion, issue an official warning or a violation notice to any person who violates any provision of this chapter or fails to cause a dog or cat owned or kept by him to be licensed. The violation notice shall inform such person of the particular violation or violations and the fees, charges and penalties pertaining thereto as provided in this chapter.
C. 
Payment of all fees, charges or penalties shall be made to the Town Clerk by mail or in person, within 10 days of the receipt of the violation notice, unless the violation entails a licensing or a rabies certification offense, which shall necessitate a personal appearance before the Town Clerk.
D. 
The payment of the violation charge shall be voluntary, and the person so paying shall not be prosecuted for the offense in a court of proper jurisdiction.
E. 
Payments may be made at the Police Department for licensed dogs or cats at times the Town Clerk's office is not open for business.
F. 
If a person refuses or fails to pay the charge within the said ten-day period, the Town Clerk shall so inform the Police Department and Town Solicitor, and said person shall be prosecuted for said violation.
A. 
Dangerous dogs.
(1) 
An owner shall confine within a building or secure enclosure every fierce, vicious or potentially dangerous dog or a dog with a propensity to threaten other animals or persons and shall not take such dog out of such building or secure enclosure unless such dog is securely muzzled and on a leash.
(2) 
Any dog which threatens to harm casual visitors to the property at which it is housed must be muzzled while within the enclosure or building in which it is housed.
(3) 
Every fierce, vicious or potentially dangerous dog that may have the opportunity to escape from its normal containment and run at large shall be muzzled at all times.
B. 
Dog bite and rabies control.
(1) 
The owner of any animal which has bitten a person or another animal must report the incident to the Police Department within two hours.
(2) 
Upon receiving the report of a dog bite from whatever source, the Animal Control Officer will quarantine the animal for 14 days at the animal shelter or such other place as the Animal Control Officer shall deem appropriate, and the cost of confinement and all expenses related thereto shall be that of the owner.
(3) 
No person, other than the Animal Control Officer or a veterinarian, shall kill or cause to be killed any animal suspected of being rabid except in cases of immediate self-protection. In such case, the body shall be retained and the Police Department notified immediately.
(4) 
The carcass of any dead animal exposed to rabies shall upon demand be surrendered to the Animal Control Officer.
(5) 
The Animal Control Officer shall direct the disposition of any animal found to be infected with rabies.
(6) 
No person shall fail or refuse to surrender any animal for quarantine or destruction as required herein when demand is made therefor by the Animal Control Officer.
(7) 
When rabies has been diagnosed in an animal under quarantine or rabies is suspected by a licensed veterinarian, and the animal dies while under such observation, the Animal Control Officer shall immediately send the head of such animal to the State Health Department for the pathological examination and shall notify the proper health officials of human and animal contacts.
(8) 
A quarantined animal may be reclaimed by the owner upon payment of fees set forth herein if it is adjudged free of rabies and is not considered a public danger.
C. 
Destruction of dog. The Animal Control Officer may destroy any dog or animal which is determined to be habitually dangerous to persons or other animals.
[Amended 4-3-2000 by Ord. No. 00-1]
A. 
No person shall keep or harbor any dog, whether licensed or not, which is a public nuisance. The term "public nuisance" shall include, but is not limited to, the habitual howling, yelping or barking which creates a noise disturbance.
B. 
The Animal Control Officer or police officer shall, upon personal observation of a dog habitually howling, yelping or barking or when two or more persons in a neighborhood shall affirm in writing that any dog habitually howls, yelps or barks, find that a noise disturbance is created and shall fine the owner or keeper of such dog according to § 67-15. Each day of the noise disturbance shall constitute a separate violation of this section.
[Amended 6-14-1993 by Ord. No. 93-35; 11-14-1994 by Ord. No. 94-14]
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to own any dog or cat over the age of six months within the Town unless such dog or cat shall have received a rabies vaccination in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
The vaccination or immunization referred to in Subsection A of this section shall be by vaccine approved by the State Department of Health and shall be certified to by a licensed veterinarian. Such certificate shall be dated as of the date of vaccination, shall contain the rabies tag number, the sex and breed of dog or cat and the owner thereof and whether the vaccine given is the one-year or two-year vaccine, together with such other information as may be required by law.
C. 
Dogs or cats vaccinated with the one-year vaccine shall be revaccinated annually. Dogs or cats under one year of age given the two-year vaccine shall be revaccinated one year thereafter and then every two years thereafter. Dogs or cats over one year of age given the two-year vaccine shall be revaccinated every two years.
D. 
With respect to any dog or cat which shall have bitten any person or animal and which shall be owned by any person not a resident of the Town, the Animal Control Officer may seize such dog or cat and cause it to be confined in an animal shelter at the expense of the owner until it can be determined that such dog or cat is not rabid.
E. 
Any dog or cat over six months old found within the limits of the Town without evidence that such dog or cat has been vaccinated or inoculated in accordance with the provisions of this chapter may be impounded by the Animal Control Officer of the Town as provided in §§ 67-3 and 67-4.
F. 
Any dog or cat may be exempted from the requirement of such vaccination, for a specified period of time, upon presentation of a veterinarian's certificate stating that because of an infirmity or other physical condition or a regimen of therapy the inoculation of the animal at this time shall be deemed inadvisable.
No person shall own nor shall any property owner permit on his property the keeping of more than three dogs aged three months or older, whether or not owned by such person, except when such person is a breeder of purebred dogs holding a valid kennel license issued by the Town.
[Amended 4-5-1993 by Ord. No. 93-9; 9-4-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-9; 6-5-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-6]
Dogs, with the exception of guide dogs as defined in § 67-1, shall not be allowed at the Doug Rayner Wildlife Refuge at Nockum Hill (with the exception of the gravel road right-of-way providing access to Nos. 10 and 11 George Street (Assessor's Plat 37, Lots 42 and 46)), and shall not be allowed on any Town-operated beach from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
A. 
No person shall cruelly hurt or mistreat any dog or other animal whether by omission or commission.
B. 
All owners shall provide adequate housing and fresh food and water to their animals on a daily basis.
C. 
All animals shall be provided with necessary medical care, which shall include current rabies vaccinations.
[Amended 4-3-2000 by Ord. No. 00-1]
D. 
Animal housing and grounds shall be maintained in a sanitary condition.
E. 
Any person operating a motor vehicle who causes injury or death to an animal shall stop at once, assess the extent of injury and immediately notify the owner or Animal Control Officer of the location of the animal and the nature of the incident.
F. 
Every female dog or cat in heat shall be confined in a secure building or enclosure so as to prevent conception except during instances of planned breeding.
G. 
No person shall abandon or cause to be abandoned any animal anywhere within the Town.
H. 
No person shall own or harbor a dangerous animal.
I. 
No person or entity shall cause or allow any cat owned or harbored in the Town of Barrington to breed without first obtaining a breeding permit under this section.
J. 
Cat breeding permits. Any person or entity desiring to breed male or female cats must make an application to the Animal Control Officer for a breeding permit, which shall be valid for 12 months, renewable on an annual basis for a fee of $100 per cat.
(1) 
All breeding permits shall contain the following terms and conditions and be subject to the following requirements:
(a) 
No offspring may be sold or adopted and permanently placed until reaching an age of at least eight weeks;
(b) 
No offspring may be sold or adopted until immunized against common diseases as determined by the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management in accordance with Rhode Island General Laws Title 4, Chapter 4, to be contagious or injurious to public health or to the health of other animals;
(c) 
Any permit holder advertising to the public the availability of any animal for sale or adoption must prominently display the permit number assigned by the Animal Control Officer in any publications in which he or she advertises. The permit number must be provided to any person purchasing or adopting any cat bred by the permit holder;
(d) 
The permit holder shall adhere to minimum standards regarding the care and keeping of animals pursuant to Rhode Island General Laws Title 4, Chapter 19; and
(e) 
The permit holder shall adhere to the licensing requirements of cats provided for in § 67-14 of the Town Code.
(2) 
Enforcement of permits. The Animal Control Officer of the Town of Barrington shall be responsible for the enforcement and administration of the permits under this § 67-12.
(3) 
Revocation of permits.
(a) 
Any permit issued by the Animal Control Officer may be revoked if the Animal Control Officer has reasonable cause to believe any of the following to be true:
[1] 
The permit holder has violated the provisions of Rhode Island General Laws Title 4, Chapter 19, or this § 67-12;
[2] 
The permit holder is in violation of any state health or safety law or regulation regarding animal care or control;
[3] 
The permit holder has failed to comply with any condition or requirement of the permit or has failed to pay any fee imposed under this § 67-12;
[4] 
The permit holder refuses to allow inspection, upon 48 hours of prior written notice, of any cat covered by the permit or the premises on which the animal is kept; or
[5] 
The permit holder has transferred, sold, or otherwise disposed of the cat for which the permit was issued.
(b) 
If, after investigation, the Animal Control Officer concludes that it is probable that one or more of the above grounds for revocation has occurred, said Officer shall cause written notice thereof to be sent by mail to the address of the permit holder. The notice shall specify the grounds of possible revocation of the permit and shall specify a date and time for an informal hearing to be held before the Animal Control Officer. The date shall be not less than five days from the date the notice is mailed. After the informal hearing, the Animal Control Officer may modify the terms of the permit or revoke the permit, provided that if the health or well-being of the animal(s) is in danger, the Animal Control Officer may take custody and control of the animal(s) until such time that a hearing is conducted pursuant to this subsection.
A. 
Persons finding a stray animal shall notify the Animal Control Officer within 24 hours.
B. 
At the discretion of the Animal Control Officer, the animal may be kept by the finder and a found report left with the police communication center to enable the finder to return the animal to its rightful owner.
C. 
Upon demand by the Animal Control Officer, any found animal will be surrendered and held for a minimum of five working days before disposition.
[Amended 11-14-1994 by Ord. No. 94-14; 4-8-1996 by Ord. No. 96-4; 9-4-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-6]
A. 
All dogs or cats housed, kept, harbored, or maintained within the Town shall be licensed by the Town Clerk's office upon the dog or cat attaining the age of six months. The application shall state the breed, sex, color, and markings of the dog or cat for which the license and registration are sought and whether it is of a long- or short-haired variety; also, the name, street, and post office address of the owner and the person who shall keep or harbor such dog or cat. License forms and official tags shall be numbered serially and shall bear the year of issuance.
B. 
An owner of a new dog or cat shall have 30 days in which to obtain a license.
C. 
Licenses shall be issued annually during the month of April by the Town Clerk.
D. 
Proof of rabies vaccination shall be provided at the time of licensing.
E. 
All dogs and cats shall be required to wear their Town license tags on breakaway or elastic collars or other clearly identifiable devices such as an ear stud with the license number marked thereon at all times. If a license tag has been lost or misplaced, a duplicate can be obtained at a fee of $1. License tags are not transferable.
F. 
New residents shall have 30 days in which to license their dogs and cats from the first day of residency.
G. 
Subject to the provisions of § 67-9F, the Town Clerk shall not grant any such license and official registration tag for any dog or cat unless the owner provides evidence that the dog or cat has been inoculated with a rabies vaccine of a type approved by and administered in accordance with the State Department of Health. The Town Clerk shall not issue any such license and official registration tag for any cat unless the owner provides evidence that the cat has been spayed or neutered or that a breeding permit has been issued.
H. 
Proof of licensing shall be produced by any person owning, keeping, maintaining, or harboring a dog or cat, upon the request of the Animal Control Officer or a police officer.
I. 
The licensing and breeding of cats is further subject to the provisions of Chapter 24, Title 4, of the Rhode Island General Laws.
A. 
Licensing and sheltering fees and charges shall be as set from time to time by the Town Clerk.[1]
[Amended 2-7-1994 by Ord. No. 94-2]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. A225, Fee and Fine Schedule.
B. 
Any person violating the terms of this chapter shall be subject to the penalties as provided in Chapter A225, Fee and Fine Schedule.
[Amended 4-8-1985 by Ord. No. 85-2; 2-7-1994 by Ord. No. 94-2]
C. 
The Animal Control Officer is authorized, in his discretion, to issue citations to the owners of dogs and cats for violation of any animal control regulation herein, which citation may be paid by mail.
[Added 1-6-1992 by Ord. No. 91-22; amended 11-14-1994 by Ord. No. 94-14]
Complete records of the Town's animal control program, including those at the animal shelter as deemed appropriate by the Town Manager, shall be maintained by those departments designated by the Town Manager.
The Animal Control Officer shall have the discretion to transport domestic animals in need of medical attention to an appropriate care facility. The cost of such care shall be borne by the owner of the animal. Injured wild animals shall be disposed of in a humane manner. Disposal of dead animals shall be accomplished in an appropriate manner.
[Added 4-3-2000 by Ord. No. 00-1]
A. 
It shall be the duty of each person who owns, possesses or controls a dog to remove and dispose of any feces left by the dog on any sidewalk, street, beach, park, cemetery or other public area. It shall further be the duty of each person who owns, possesses or controls a dog to remove and dispose of any feces left by the animal on any private property neither owned nor occupied by such person.
B. 
No person who owns, possesses or controls a dog shall appear with such dog in any public area or private property neither owned nor occupied by such person without such means of removal of any feces left by such dog.
C. 
This section shall not apply to a licensed dog accompanying any handicapped person who, by reason of his handicap, is physically unable to comply with the requirements of this section.
[Added 5-9-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-2]
A. 
The owner of any house lot containing at least one dwelling may keep or permit to be kept on the house lot no more than six chicken hens.
B. 
Subsection A of this chapter shall be construed to prohibit the raising and/or keeping of roosters.
C. 
All chicken hens must be provided with both a hen house (coop) and a fenced outdoor enclosure, subject to the following provisions:
(1) 
The hen house must be covered, predator-resistant and well-ventilated. It shall be no more than eight feet in height and a maximum of 64 square feet in area;
(2) 
The fence made of chicken wire or a stronger substance shall be no more than six feet in height;
(3) 
The hen house must provide a minimum of two square feet per chicken hen;
(4) 
The hen house must be kept clean, dry, and sanitary at all times;
(5) 
The hen house must be located upon a permeable surface that prevents waste run-off;
(6) 
The fenced enclosure must adequately contain the chicken hens at all times;
(7) 
The fenced enclosure must be kept clean and sanitary at all times;
(8) 
The hen house must provide the chicken hens with adequate protection from the elements and inclement weather and provide for the chicken hens good health and prevent any unnecessary or unjustified suffering;
(9) 
The hen house shall not be built onto any shared fence;
(10) 
The setbacks for the hen house and enclosed area shall be those for the principal dwelling located on the house lot.
D. 
No chicken hens may be kept or raised within the dwelling.
E. 
The owner of the hen(s) must be a resident of the dwelling located on the house lot.
F. 
The raising of chicken hens shall be restricted to back yards or side yards; chicken hens shall not be permitted, at any time, on the part of the property directly abutting a main road.
G. 
The keeping of chicken hens pursuant to this section shall be primarily for the purpose of raising chicken hens and collecting the eggs produced thereof; this section shall not be construed to allow for the commercial slaughter and sale of any chicken hens for any purpose.
H. 
Necessary euthanasia of chicken hens shall be performed by a veterinarian licensed to practice in the State of Rhode Island.
I. 
This section shall be subject to the nuisance provisions of § 67-8.
J. 
The Town Manager, on the advice of the animal control officer, shall promulgate a registration process as a condition precedent to the construction of hen houses and keeping of chicken hens. Such registration shall include:
(1) 
Inspection and approval of the construction plans by the Building Official.
(2) 
Payment of a fee to be set by the Town Council each year.