[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Bethel 3-1-1971. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter is enacted pursuant to the authority of 7 M.R.S.A § 3950 and 30-A M.R.S.A § 3001.
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER
- Shall be an appointed position and which appointee shall be responsible for the enforcement of this chapter and 7 M.R.S.A., Agriculture and Animals.
- AT LARGE
- Off the premises of the owner and not under the control of any person by means of personal presence and attention as will reasonably control the conduct of such dog.
- Both male and female, whether or not neutered.
- Any person or persons, firm, association or corporation owning, keeping, harboring or in possession of or having control of a dog.
Any police officer, animal control officer, or constable within the Town of Bethel shall seize, impound, or restrain any dog violating this chapter or state law and deliver such dog to the police officer, animal control officer, or constable having jurisdiction, who may bring suit against the owner of any dog violating this chapter or state law.
When impounding any dog, the police officer, animal control officer, or constable shall, at the time of such impounding, make a complete registry entering the date of impounding and the breed, color, sex, and general condition of such dog, as can reasonably ascertained, and if licensed or unlicensed and the name of the owner or keeper, if known, on a registry form prepared, approved and supplied by the Town Manager. A copy of this registry form shall be furnished to the person or shelter where the dog is impounded together with written instructions setting forth conditions under which the dog can be released. A copy of the registry form shall also be furnished to the Town Clerk within 24 hours of the impounding of the dog excepting weekends and holidays. The Town Clerk shall post a copy of the registry form in a conspicuous place in the Town Office for a period of 10 days following the date of the impoundment of the dog. Upon expiration of 10 days, if the owner of the dog has not appeared to claim the same, then the person or shelter may give away, sell or otherwise humanly dispose of the dog.
Any dog impounded under the provisions of this chapter shall be released only after the following conditions have been complied with:
Such dog shall be licensed in accordance with the statutes of the State of Maine.
All impoundment charges shall be paid to the person or shelter where the dog is impounded in accordance with fees established by the State of Maine.
When a dog is impounded as defined in § 17-3, the owner/keeper of said dog shall make payment to the impounding officer of an impound fee in an amount as stated in the Town of Bethel Fee Schedule. The impounding officer will then forward said fee to the Finance Officer or authorized representative of the Town of Bethel.
It shall be unlawful for the owner of a dog to cause or permit such dog to disturb the peace of any person through continued barking or howling. It shall also be unlawful for the owner of a dog to cause or permit such dog to damage or destroy property of any person.
Individuals walking one or more dogs on public property, a public right-of-way, or any other property not owned by the individual shall immediately remove the walked dog’s excrement from the ground, street, or sidewalk, and dispose of same in a lawful manner. Furthermore, said individuals shall be required to carry proper means to remove dog excrement from any ground, sidewalk, street or road, whether publicly or privately owned, and lawfully dispose of same.
It shall be the duty of all municipal police officers to enforce all provisions of this chapter. Further, there shall be appointed an Animal Control Officer(s) who shall have the prime responsibility of enforcing this chapter. Said Animal Control Officer(s) shall be appointed by the Town Manager and shall perform under the direction and supervision of the Town Manager or his authorized representative.
Any owner found in violation of any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a civil violation and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined in accordance with applicable Maine State Statutes. All fines so assessed shall be recovered for the use of the Town of Bethel through the District Court.