Animals

Keeping Domestic Animals/Dog Licensing

110-2, 110-3

Any dogs aged six (6) months or older that are kept in the City of Springfield for more than sixty (60) days shall be licensed. There shall not be allowed more than three (3) dogs within a single dwelling unit, unless the keeper of such dogs is granted a license to operate a kennel, in accordance with this chapter, unless all animals in the home have been surgically altered.  If all animals in the home are surgically altered, four (4) dogs may be kept within a single dwelling unit, without the need to acquire a license to operate a kennel.

$50 fine per unlicensed dog, dog may be subject to impoundment.

Enforcement: Animal Control, 413-781-1484

Vaccinations

110-2

Each Owner of a dog, cat or ferret that is three months of age or older shall cause such dog, cat or ferret to be vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian. Unvaccinated dogs, cats or ferrets acquired or moved into the Commonwealth shall be vaccinated within thirty days after the acquisition or arrival of such Animal into the Commonwealth or upon reaching the age of three months, whichever occurs last.

$100 fine per unvaccinated animal.

Enforcement: Animal Control, 781-1484

Restraining Dogs / Cats

110-5

All Animals, with the exception of sterilized cats, shall be kept under restraint when in public.

Restraint shall mean a leash, lead, or other physical restraint. Dogs must be on a leash not more than six feet long, except in cases where the dog is confined in a fenced-in area or pen or when the dog is in a dog park.

$50 fine first offense, $100 fine second offense, $300 fine third and subsequent offense

Additional $100 fine for reproductively intact animals at large. If a reproductively whole dog or cat is found to be at large on three occasions the Animal shall be surgically sterilized and microchipped before being returned to the Owner.

Enforcement: Police Department, 413-787-6302, Animal Control, 413-781-1484

Nuisance Animals

110-5

Every owner or keeper of an animal shall exercise proper care and control of their animals to prevent them from becoming a public nuisance.  Further, persons who feed or care for wild animals, including feral cats, shall not cause such animals to become a public nuisance. Animal nuisance behaviors include, but are not limited to barking, whining, howling, or other noises natural to such animal’s species in an excessive, continuous, or untimely fashion, where such noise is plainly audible at a distance of one hundred (100) feet from the building, premises, or vehicle housing said dog. Additional nuisance behaviors include, but are not limited to: Molesting or attacking persons, animals or vehicles without provocation; Repeated trespassing on public or private property, including school grounds; Repeatedly being found at large, outside of confinement or off restraint; Causing offensive odors through accumulated waste or other reason that is detectable from the public way, any right of way, or adjoining properties;

Enforcement: Animal Control, 413-787-1484

$50 fine first offense, $100 fine second offense, $300 fine third and subsequent offense

Removing Dog Wastes

110-11

The Owner or person in possession of any Animal shall be responsible for the removal of any fecal matter deposited by such Animal(s) on public walks, recreation areas or private property.

Enforcement: Police Department, 413-787-6302, Animal Control, 413-781-1484

$50 fine first offense, $100 fine second offense, $300 fine third and subsequent offense

Nuisance or Dangerous Dogs

110-10

Dangerous Dog: A dog that either (i) without justification, attacks a person or Domestic Animal causing physical injury or death, or (ii) behaves in a manner that a reasonable person would believe poses an unjustified imminent threat of physical injury or death to a person or to a Domestic Animal. Any person may file a complaint in writing to the Advisory and Hearing Committee within 30 days of incident occurrence that a dog owned or kept in the City is a Nuisance Dog or a Dangerous Dog. To consider declaring a dog dangerous or a nuisance, a hearing before a special hearing committee shall be held. Request hearing in writing to Animal Control.

Humane Care

110-8

Owners shall provide each of their animals with sufficient good and wholesome food and water, proper shelter, protection from the weather; veterinary care when needed to prevent suffering, and otherwise humane care and treatment. No person shall tether a dog for more than five (5) out of every twenty-four (24) hours and outside from 10 PM to 6 AM, unless the tethering is for not more than 15 minutes and the dog is not left unattended by the owner, guardian or keeper. No dog under the age of six (6) months shall be tethered outside for any length of time. No person shall keep or place an animal in a location that would cause an unreasonable risk of injury or death to the Animal or subject them to “cruel conditions” which shall include, but not be limited to, the following-leaving an Animal unattended in a stationary or parked vehicle; filthy and dirty confinement conditions; extreme weather, including but not limited to extreme heat, cold, wind, snow or hail which pose an adverse risk to the health and safety of the dog based on the dog’s breed, age or physical condition, and times when a weather advisory, warning or watch is issued by a local, state or federal authority; taunting, prodding, hitting, harassing, threatening or otherwise harming a tethered or confined dog.

Enforcement: Police Department, 413-787-6302, Animal Control, 413-781-1484

$100 fine first offense, $300 fine second offense, $500 fine third and subsequent offense and dog may be subject to impoundment.

Page last updated:  Monday, January 22, 2018 02:16 pm