[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Lebanon 12-7-1976 by Ord. No. 14-A. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Dogs and Other Animals
As used herein, unless the context indicates otherwise, the following terms mean:
- ANIMAL SHELTER
- Any premises designated by the City Manager for the purposes of impounding and caring for animals held under the authority of this article.
- ANIMAL SHELTER OFFICER
- Any person appointed by the City Manager for the purposes of caring for animals impounded under authority of this article.
- HUMANE OFFICER
- Any law enforcement officer or other person appointed as a Humane Officer by the City Manager and who qualifies to perform the prescribed duties under this article and the laws of the State of New Hampshire.
- Any person, partnership or corporation, owning, keeping or harboring animals.
- VICIOUS DOG
- A dog is considered to be vicious to persons or to property
under the following conditions:[Added 12-9-1992]
- A. If it snaps at, runs after or chases any person or persons.[Amended 7-21-1999]
- B. If it runs after or chases bicycles, motor vehicles, motorcycles or other vehicles being driven, pulled or pushed on the streets, highways or public ways.
- C. If whether alone or in a pack with other dogs, it bites, attacks or preys on game animals, domestic animals, fowl or human beings. (Source: RSA 466:31, II)
It is the intent of this article to regulate against the problem animal, that is, to control the animal, who because of lack of supervision has become a nuisance to the community.
All dogs within the City of Lebanon shall be restrained from running at large. A dog shall be deemed to be restrained from running at large when it is kept upon the property of its owner and keeper, or is kept within an enclosure on the property of its owner or keeper, or is kept on a leash. A dog is not restrained if, when tied, it is able to reach another's property or any public domain. Hunting dogs in training and/or pursuing legal game shall not come under the provisions of this article.
Nothing contained in this section shall prevent the City of Lebanon or its designated Animal Shelter Officer from bringing any other type of action against the owner or keeper of a dog, as set out in this article.
Any dog found unrestrained contrary to the provisions of this article may be taken by the police or Humane Officer and impounded in the City animal shelter and there confined in a humane manner. The Animal Shelter Officer, upon receiving any dog, shall make a complete registry, which includes the breed, color and sex of such dog and whether licensed. If licensed, he/she shall enter the name and address of the owner and the number of the license tag. Licensed dogs shall be separated from unlicensed dogs.
Not later than 24 hours after the impounding of any dog, the Humane Officer shall serve a written notice on the owner of the dog stating that the dog has been seized and impounded, a description of the reason for the impoundment and that the dog will be liable to be disposed of or destroyed if not claimed within 10 days of service of such notice. Such notice shall be delivered in hand or left at the last known place of abode of said owner as determined by the registration tag or other available information.
The owner shall reclaim such dog within 10 days of receiving notice as provided above or shall authorize in writing disposition of such dog as provided herein. An owner complying with this section shall pay the City the fee specified in § 18-7, if a notice of violation is also issued to the owner or keeper of the dog, the costs as set periodically by the City Council, incurred in impounding, maintaining and, if applicable, disposing of said dog and the license fee, if unpaid, for said dog. An owner failing to comply with this section shall be liable for penalties under § 18-18.
In addition to or in lieu of impounding a dog, the Humane Officer or any police officer shall issue in the name of the owner or keeper of such dog a notice of violation. Such notice shall impose on the owner or keeper of such dog a fee of $10, which must be paid to the City of Lebanon within 48 hours of date and time notice is given, in full satisfaction of the assessed fee.
In the event such fee is not paid to the City within the time limitations specified, a summons or warrant of arrest may be served for appearance in District Court, and upon conviction of a violation of this article, the owner or keeper may be punished as prescribed under § 18-18.
[Amended 7-21-1999; 9-20-2000 by Ord. No. 70]
It shall be the duty of the Animal Shelter Officer to keep all impounded dogs for a period of 10 days after delivery of notice provided herein, except that when any dog that is diagnosed by a veterinarian as suffering from rabies, mange or other infection or dangerous disease, the veterinarian shall authorize the Animal Shelter Officer to destroy the affected dog forthwith.
If any owner shall not have claimed such impounded dog and paid the applicable license fee and costs and charges within 10 days after delivery of the notice, the Animal Shelter Officer may destroy the dog in the least painful and most humane manner practicable, as approved by the City Manager.
In lieu of destroying an unclaimed dog, the Animal Shelter Officer may place the dog in a new home. The Animal Shelter Officer may keep a dog in the shelter while a new home is sought for the dog, if in the opinion of the Animal Shelter Officer, the dog is valuable or amenable to new ownership. The Animal Shelter Officer shall maintain a listing of such dogs, prospective owners and other persons desiring to place dogs in new homes.
The ownership of any dog which remains unclaimed under the provisions of this article shall pass to the City 10 days after delivery or posting of the notice to the owner, in accordance with the provisions of this article.
Any person employed or contracted with by the City and appointed as Animal Shelter Officer or any owner of any animal hospital or shelter whose services are utilized in carrying out the provisions of this article is an agent of the City for the purposes of this article and his/her actions thereunder are deemed to be for governmental purposes.
[Amended 12-9-1992; 7-21-1999; 5-18-2011]
An owner or person having custody of any dog or other animal shall not permit said dog or other animal to defecate on any school ground, cemetery, public sidewalk, public parking lot, pedestrian walkway, the downtown Lebanon (Hanover Street) Mall, Colburn Park or any private property within the City, other than premises of the owner or person having custody of said dog or other animal, unless said defecation is removed immediately and properly disposed of in a container for trash or litter or similar manner. Further, no defecation or manure shall be dumped or left on any school ground, cemetery, public sidewalk, public parking lot, pedestrian walkway, the downtown Lebanon (Hanover Street) Mall, Colburn Park or any private property within the City, nor on any other open area or lot in any portion of the City.
Any person having control over a dog or any other animal, whether or not the owner, who allows the dog or other animal off his or her premises (that is, premises occupied by that person) and has knowledge that such dog or other animal is defecating on any school ground, cemetery, public sidewalk, public parking lot, pedestrian walkway, the downtown Lebanon (Hanover Street) Mall, Colburn Park or any private property within the City, or on any other open area or lot in any portion of the City, and does not remove and properly dispose of the defecation shall be in violation of this article.
All dogs kept, harbored or maintained in the City of Lebanon shall be licensed in accordance with the applicable provisions of state law. (See RSA, Chapter 466.)
Any owner of a dog, cat or other domestic animal who intentionally abandons such animal or fails to dispose of its remains in a sanitary manner shall be guilty of a violation of this article.
It shall be unlawful for any person who, while operating a motor vehicle on any public way in the City, strikes and injures or kills any dog, cat or other domestic animal, to continue on without stopping such vehicle at the scene and informing the animal's owner or the police of the injury.
It shall be unlawful for any owner to fail to exercise proper care and control of his/her animal to prevent it from becoming a public nuisance. Excessive, continuous and untimely barking, harassing pedestrians, chasing vehicles, attacking other domestic animals, trespassing upon school grounds or trespassing upon private property in such manner as to damage property shall be deemed a nuisance. A dog is not restrained if it is able to reach another's property or any public domain.
Nothing herein provided shall prevent citizens from making private complaints concerning possible violations of this article so long as the complaint is in written form, signed by two or more eyewitnesses who express an intention to testify in court.
Violation of any provision of this article shall be punishable as provided in Chapter 1, General Provisions.