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Animal Control

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Massachusetts General Laws applicable to the regulation of dogs:

        S79-4.  Regulations

  •        A.                 Town enforcement.  Beginning upon the effective date of this chapter, the town shall   
  •                     take over and assume responsibility for all dog control functions previously
  •                     undertaken by the County of Norfolk Dog Control Program with the limits of the
  •                     town and shall be responsible for administering all laws, rules and regulations
  •                     applicable to dogs within the town.

 

  •       B.                 Annual license required.  Any person who at the commencement of a dog licensing 
  •                   period is, or who during any dog licensing period becomes, the owner or keeper of a
  •                   dog six (6) months old or over which is not duly licensed by the town, and the owner
  •                   or keeper of a dog when it becomes six (6) months old during a license period, and the
  •                   owner or keeper of a dog so registered numbered and licensed during any license
  •                   period, in order to keep such dog after the beginning of the succeeding license period,
  •                   shall, before the beginning thereof, cause it to be registered, numbered, described and
  •                   licensed for such period.  Each such licensed dog shall wear such tags at all times in
  •                   accordance with the General Laws of the commonwealth.
  •  
    1.                   The "license period" referred to in this chapter shall be January 1 to December 31 of
    2.                   any one (1) year.
    3.                   The fees for such licenses are as follows:
    •         (a)   $15.00 for spayed or neutered dogs.
    •         (b)   $20.00 for males or females.

     

    • C.                Injured or diseased animals.  Whenever the Animal Control Officer determines that  
    •             any animal has been injured sufficiently to require the services of a veterinarian and 
    •             has transported such animal to the local veterinarian, a transportation charge of
    •             seventy-five ($75.00) shall be paid by the owner of the animal to the Town of
    •             Randolph.  In addition, the owner shall be directly responsible for the charge for the
    •             services of the veterinarian.
    •  
    • D.                 Animal Pickups.  A pickup fee, proportional to the size of the animal but not to
    •             exceed seventy-five ($75.00), shall be paid by the owner of any animal whenever the
    •             Animal Control Officer is required to enter upon private property to pick up animal
    •             dead or alive.
    •  
    •       E.                  Rabies vaccination.  The owner or any keeper of any dog or cat six (6) months of
    •                    age or older shall cause such dog or cat to be vaccinated against rabies by a licensed
    •                    veterinarian using a vaccine approved by the Department of Public Health.  Such
    •                    owner or keeper shall procure a veterinarian's certification, stating that such dog or
    •                    cat has been so vaccinated and setting forth the date of such vaccination and the 
    •                    duration of immunity, or a notarized letter from a veterinarian that a certificate was
    •                    issued, and a metal rabies tag bearing an expiration date indicating that such
    •                    certification is still in effect.  Unvaccinated dogs or cats acquired or brought in to the
    •                    town shall be vaccinated within thirty (30) days after acquisition or entry into the town
    •                    or upon reaching the age of six (6) months, whichever comes later.  A rabies tag shall
    •                    be worn in the same manner as a dog license.  Failure to vaccinate, to display the tag
    •                    or to procure the certificate shall result in a fine in the amount of fifty ($50.00).  Cats
    •                    shall not be required to wear the rabies tag.
    •  
    • F.                Fees to treasury.  All money received from licenses or recovered as fines pursuant to this chapter shall be paid into the treasury of the town, and no portion thereof shall be retained, withheld or paid back to any town official or employee as compensation, nor shall said money be paid over to Norfolk County.
    •  
    • G.                Leash law.  No person owning or harboring a dog shall suffer or allow it to run at large in any of the streets or public ways or places or upon the premises of anyone other than the owner or keeper unless the owner or occupant of such premises grants permission.  No dog shall be permitted in any public place or street within the Town of Randolph unless it is effectively restrained by a chain or leash not exceeding seven (7) feet in length and attended by a person of adequate age and discretion to properly control its actions.  Violations of the foregoing shall be penalized in accordance with MGL. 140, S.173.
    •  
    • If any person shall make a verbal complaint to be followed in writing to the Animal Control Officer that any dog owned or harbored within his/her jurisdiction is a nuisance by reason of vicious disposition or excessive barking, violation of personal property or other disturbance, the Animal Control Officer shall investigate such complaint, which may include an examination, under oath, of the complainant, and submit a written report to the Selectmen of his/her findings and recommendation, together with the written complaint.
    •  
    • Upon receipt of such report and examination of the complainant under oath, the Selectmen may make such order concerning the restraint, muzzling or disposal of such dog as may be deemed necessary.  The Animal Control Officer, after investigation, may issue an interim or order that such dog be restrained or muzzled for a period not to exceed fourteen (14) days to enable the Selectmen to issue their order following receipt of the report of the Animal Control Officer.  If the Selectmen fail to act during the period of the interim order, upon expiration of the period the interim order automatically is vacated.
    •  
    • The Animal Control Officer may restrain or issue an interim order against any dog for any of the following reasons:
    •  
    • (a)   for having bitten any person
    • (b)   If found at large

     

    • H.                Nighttime repetitive barking.  It shall be unlawful for a dog owner to allow a dog within the Town of Randolph to bark in the open outside of any building, repetitively for more than Ten (10) minutes during the quiet hours between 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.  (added 6-20-1995 STM, Art. 3, approved 8-4-1995)
    •  
    • I.                  It shall be unlawful for a dog owner to allow a dog within the Town of Randolph to bark in the open, outside of any building, or to bark inside a building in such a manner as to be heard beyond the premises where the dog is quartered, repetitively for more than thirty (30) minutes during the hours of 7:00 a.m. through 9:00 p.m.  (added 6-17-2002 STM, Art. 3 approved 10/3/02).
    •  
    •  J.                 The keeper of any dog that has been quarantined for suspicion of rabies and fails to obey such order shall be subject to a fine of fifty ($50) for each offense, each day constituting a separate offense.  (Added 4-23-2001 ATM, Art. 49, approved 12/21/2001).

     

    • K.                The owner of any dog found by the Animal Control Officer or Police Department to be unleashed or unsecured and have bitten or attached a person or another domesticated animal shall be subject to a fine as follows:
    •  
    •           First Offense in a 365 day period - $100
    •           Second Offense in a 365 day period - $200
    •           Third Offense in a 365 day period - $300
    •           (Added 4-23-2001 ATM, Art. 51, approved 12/21/2001)

     

    • S79-5.  Violations and penalties; enforcement.
    •  
    • A. Fine.  Any violation of this chapter shall be punished by a fine of fifty dollars ($50.00).  This chapter may be enforced by the Animal Control Officer utilizing the non-criminal tickets and disposition mechanism of MGL C. 40, S21D
    •  
    • B. Other Remedies Any violation of this chapter may be further remedied by the Board of Selectmen, after hearing,  issuing orders concerning the restraint, muzzling or disposal of dogs as may be deemed necessary in the same manner as authorized by MGL C. 140 S. 157, or any other general law of the commonwealth regulating dogs, here fully incorporated by reference as applicable  to the dog regulations of this chapter.
    •  
    • C. Leash law complaint.  Whenever a complaint is sought in the District  Court for violation of the so-called leash law, the procedure set forth in MGL C. 140 S. 173A, may be followed.
    •  
    • S79-6 Repealer
    •  
    • This chapter supersedes and replaces Article Seven, Section 21 (ATM 3-18-74), Section 21A (ATM 3-20-72), Sections 21B and 21C (STM 2-22-93) and Section 21C (ATM 6-21-93)
  •