[Adopted 5-28-1991 (§§ 9-40 to 9-44 of the 1974 Code)]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- UNCONFINED VICIOUS ANIMAL
- An animal that is not securely confined indoors or confined in a securely enclosed and locked pen or structure upon the premises of the person described in § 153-7 hereof. Such pen or structure must have secure sides and a secure top. If the pen or structure has no bottom secured to the sides, the sides must be imbedded in the ground no less than one foot.
- VICIOUS ANIMAL
- Any animal that has attacked a human being, another domestic animal, or protected wild animal one or more times without provocation, as documented and determined by the local Canine Control Officer or others fulfilling the duties of the Canine Control Officer as designated by the Chief of Police.
No person owning or harboring or having the care of a vicious animal shall suffer or permit such animal to go unconfined on the premises of such person, as such term is defined in § 153-6.
No person owning or harboring or having the care of a vicious animal shall suffer or permit such animal to go beyond the premises of such person unless such animal is securely leashed and muzzled or otherwise securely restrained and muzzled.
A person owning or harboring or having the care of a vicious animal shall post a notice to that effect, e.g., "Beware. Vicious Animal on Premises." Said notice shall be readily visible to anyone entering the premises where said animal is domiciled or kept.
A person owning or harboring or having care of a vicious animal must provide proof to the Town of Newington of liability insurance with a minimum coverage of $100,000 for bodily injury or death of any person or persons or for damage to property owned by any persons which may result from ownership, keeping, or maintenance of such animal.
The Town of Newington shall be notified if said vicious animal has been sold, given away, disposed of or died. Proof of such disposition shall be provided to the Town.
No animal shall be declared vicious if the threat, injury, or damage caused by such animal was sustained by a person who, at the time, was committing a willful trespass or other tort upon the premises occupied by the owner of the animal, or was tormenting, abusing or assaulting the animal, or has, in the past, been observed or reported to have tormented, abused or assaulted the animal, or was committing or attempting to commit a crime. Nor shall any animal be declared vicious if it was responding to pain or injury, or was protecting itself, its property, or its offspring.
Whoever violates any provision of this article dealing with vicious animals shall be fined not more than $90 for a first offense, in addition to any other penalties as may be appropriately applied under any federal, state or local provision. When any person is found guilty of a second offense of this article, such person may be imprisoned for not more than 60 days and shall be fined $1,000, which fine shall be mandatory and shall not be suspended or remitted. In addition, any vicious animal which attacks a human being or another domestic animal may be ordered destroyed when in the court's judgment such vicious animal represents a continuing threat of serious harm to human beings or other domestic animals or protected wild animals. The owner of said vicious animal shall be responsible for all damage and/or injuries as a result of actions by said animal. Any person found guilty of violating § 153-7 shall pay all expenses, including shelter, food, veterinary expenses for identification or certification of the breed of the animal or boarding and veterinary expenses necessitated by the seizure of any animal for the protection of the public and such other expenses as may be required for the destruction of any such animal.