Town of Adams, MA
Berkshire County
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GENERAL REFERENCES
Peace and good order — See Ch. 76.
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER
Any officer appointed by the Board of Selectmen to enforce the laws relating to animals.
ANIMALS
All animals of any species, both male and female, including but not limited to dogs and cats.
COMMERCIAL KENNEL
A kennel maintained as a business for or to include the boarding of dogs.
LICENSE PERIOD
The time between April 1 and March 31, both dates inclusive.
LIVESTOCK or FOWL
Animals or fowl kept or propagated by the owner for food or as a means of livelihood, kept in proper houses or suitably enclosed yards. Such phrase shall not include dogs, cats or other pets.
MULTIPLE PET LICENSE
A license issued for the keeping of several dogs over the age of six months in a single private residence.
OWNER or KEEPER
Any person or persons, firm, association or corporation owning or keeping, or who or which has in his or its possession, for 11 consecutive days in any calendar year, a dog or any other animal, licensed or unlicensed, and cannot show to the satisfaction of the Animal Control Officer that such animal was sold, has died, or has been given away or otherwise disposed of. Further, if the owner or keeper of a dog or other animal is a minor, the parent or guardian of such minor shall be held liable for any violation of this chapter.
RUN AT LARGE
Free of restraint and permitted to wander on private or public ways at will.
A. 
Any owner or keeper of a dog six months of age or older in the Town of Adams shall cause that dog to be licensed as required by MGL c. 140, §§ 137 and 139, commencing on April 1 of each year.
B. 
Any owner or keeper of several dogs may acquire a multiple pet license.
C. 
Commercial kennels must be fully licensed pursuant to the provisions of MGL c. 140, § 137A, and subject to the Town of Adams Zoning Bylaw.
D. 
Any owner or keeper who renews his respective dog license(s) after June 15 will be charged a late fee as established by the Board of Selectmen.
E. 
Each pet household and commercial kennel shall be available to inspection by the Animal Control Officer, a natural resources officer, fish and game warden, police officer, or building inspector or the Board of Health.
F. 
All dogs and cats six months of age or older must be currently vaccinated against rabies as per MGL c. 140, § 145B.
G. 
The annual fee for every animal license, multiple pet license, and commercial kennel license shall be established by the Board of Selectmen. No fee shall be charged for a license for a dog specifically trained to lead or serve a blind or deaf person, provided that the Massachusetts Division of the Blind and Deaf certifies that such dog is so trained and actually in the service of a blind or deaf person.
H. 
The registering, numbering, describing and licensing of animals shall be performed in the office of the Town Clerk on a form prescribed and supplied by the Town and shall be subject to the condition expressed herein that the dog so licensed shall be controlled and restrained from killing, chasing or harassing livestock or fowl.
I. 
No license fee shall be refunded, in whole or in part, for any reason.
J. 
The owner or keeper of a licensed animal shall cause it to wear around its neck or body a collar or harness to which shall be securely attached a tag issued by the Town Clerk at the time of licensing.
A. 
Dog owners, keepers and persons otherwise in charge are required to physically restrain their dogs by leash when they are not on the owner's property. Hunting dogs when being used for hunting or training shall be exempt.
B. 
This section shall not apply to property owned and/or controlled by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts where a separate set of rules and regulations applies.
C. 
Whoever being the owner, keeper or person in charge of said dog(s) fails to keep his dog(s) physically restrained by leash shall be punishable by a fine as provided in § 14-8 for each individual dog in each individual offense.
A. 
Any owner, keeper or person in charge of a dog may be ordered to muzzle said dog by a duly appointed animal control officer and, in his/her absence, by a police officer for either of the following reasons:
(1) 
For having bitten, injured or physically molested any person; or
(2) 
For having physically injured any domestic animal.
B. 
This order shall remain in effect until removed by the officer after having been satisfied that the dog is unlikely to repeat its offense. Such decision by the officer to remove said order shall not be unreasonably withheld.
A. 
If any animal shall defecate upon any property or area, as hereinafter defined, then the owner, keeper and person then walking or otherwise in charge of said animal shall immediately remove or cause to be removed from said property or area all feces so deposited by said animal. Unless said feces are removed, the owner, keeper and the person then walking or otherwise in charge of said animal (or if the owner, keeper or person shall be under the age of 18, then the parent or guardian) shall be deemed to have committed a punishable offense.
B. 
As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meaning indicated:
PROPERTY or AREA
Any public property or the common areas of any privately owned property or any private property owned or occupied by any person or persons who are not members of the family of the owner or keeper of or the person then walking or otherwise in charge of the animal.
C. 
The provisions of this section shall not apply to a guide animal, hearing animal or service animal while actually engaged in the performance of its trained duties with a disabled person.
D. 
The commission of any offense punishable under this section shall be punishable by a fine of as provided in § 14-8..
A. 
Animal control officers or, in their absence, police officers may cause a dog to be impounded for any of the following causes:
(1) 
If found without a license when a license is required;
(2) 
If found unrestrained as set forth in § 14-3 of this chapter;
(3) 
For violation of a muzzling order as provided for in § 14-4 of this chapter or as provided under MGL c. 140, § 167, as amended;
(4) 
For having bitten, injured or physically molested any person;
(5) 
For having physically injured any domestic animal;
(6) 
To restore peace when the owner or keeper of a dog is otherwise unavailable, unwilling, or physically unable to restrain his/her dog from causing a nuisance by continuous barking or howling; or
(7) 
To ensure the safety and well-being of the particular dog.
B. 
No later than two days after the impounding of any dog the owner or keeper shall be notified, or if the owner or keeper of the dog is unknown or, after reasonable efforts, is not contacted, written notice shall then be posted for 10 consecutive days in the location for posting notices in the Town Hall, which notice shall describe the dog and the place and time of taking. Dogs impounded and unclaimed by the owner or keeper after such ten-day period shall be disposed of in accordance with the provisions of MGL c. 140, § 151A.
(1) 
Prior to the end of said ten-day period, the owner or keeper may obtain the release of any dog impounded hereunder as follows:
(a) 
In the case of a violation of Subsection A(1) of this section, upon obtaining a license as required by law and after paying all pound fees, fines, and notifications costs, if any.
C. 
A person who owns or keeps a dog and who has received such notice that the dog has been impounded and is eligible for immediate release and does not within 10 days claim said dog at the pound shall be punished by a fine as provided in § 14-8 to cover the board and disposal of such dog. The owner or keeper shall be described as provided in the definition of “owner or keeper” in § 14-1.
D. 
Any person who violates the provisions of § 14-4 or this section shall be punished by a fine as provided in § 14-8.
E. 
The owner or keeper of any dog who intentionally allows said dog to cause a nuisance by barking or howling shall be punished by a fine as provided in § 14-8.
The Board of Selectmen or its agents may, after written notice to the owner or keeper, enter upon the premises of the owner or keeper of any dog known to it to have killed livestock or fowl and then and there kill such dog, unless such owner or keeper whose premises are thus entered for said purposes shall give a bond in the sum of $200, with sufficient sureties approved by the Board of Selectmen, conditioned that the dog is continually restrained. If the owner or keeper of the dog declares his intention to give such a bond, said Selectmen or their agents shall allow the owner or keeper seven days, exclusive of Sundays and holidays, in which to procure and prepare the same and to present it to them.
[Amended 6-21-2005 ATM by Art. 24]
Whoever violates any provision of this chapter shall be subject to the noncriminal disposition of the violation pursuant to MGL c. 40, § 21D, punishable by a fine of $50 for a first offense, $100 for a second offense and $300 for a third or subsequent offense occurring in any twelve-month period. This penalty shall be assessed notwithstanding any other penalty or fine set forth elsewhere in the Town Code. Each day that any violation exists shall constitute separate violation under this provision. All fines and penalties shall be paid into the Treasury of the Town of Adams.