Town of Emmitsburg
300A S. Seton Ave Emmitsburg, Maryland
21727
301-600-6300

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Title 6: Animals

Chapter 6.04: DOGS

6.04.010 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:

  • At Large. A dog shall be deemed to be "at large" whenever said dog is not on the owner's property or under the immediate physical control of a responsible person capable of physically restraining the animal; provided, however, that dogs will be permitted to run at large when accompanied by the owner or authorized agent if the dog is being used for hunting or trained for hunting or if the dog is being accompanied by its owners or his agent on horseback. Electronic doggie doors can be used to prevent dogs from being deemed "at large".".

  • "Keeping" or "harboring" means the act or sufferance either of feeding or sheltering a dog on the premises of the occupant or owner thereof.

  • "Owner" or "own" means any person having a right of property in a dog and any person who keeps or harbors a dog or has it in his care or acts as custodian or permits it to remain on or about any premises or controlled by him.

  • Public Nuisance. Any dog found repeatedly running at large, making loud or objectionable sounds, damaging property, molesting passersby, chasing vehicles or acting in any manner which is deemed to be doing damage to property or to the public health and well-being, or which is known to have bitten two or more persons within a period of six months, or which shall have been determined by the Frederick County Animal Control Officer, the Frederick County Health Officer or any authorized representative of the county or of the town to be a detriment to public health, welfare and safety, shall be deemed to be a public nuisance. If a dead dog is not properly disposed of and is deemed to be a public nuisance by reason of its appearance, odor or for public health reasons, its owner may be charged by the Frederick County Health Officer or the Frederick County Animal Control Officer or any authorized representative of the town for maintaining a public nuisance.

  • "Vicious dog" means any dog that constitutes a physical threat to human beings, other dogs, cats, livestock, swine or fowl by virtue of its specific training or demonstrated behavior, except dogs belonging to a government agency acting in the official performance of authorized duty. (Ord. 84-5B 1: prior code Art. III 1)

6.04.020 Requirements for owners.

No person shall own or have custody of any dog over four months of age unless such dog is licensed by Frederick County, Maryland, and has been vaccinated against rabies in a procedure approved by the Maryland Public Health Veterinarian. This provision shall not apply to dogs within the corporate limits of the town owned by a nonresident; provided, that such dogs are duly licensed in their home city, county or state, and provided that the owner has a valid rabies vaccination certificate for said dog with the dog while it is within the corporate limits of the town. (Ord. 84-5B 2: prior code Art. III 2)

6.04.030 Impoundment.

It is unlawful for any dog to run at large within the corporate limits of the town. Whenever any person finds a dog running at large or complains that the dog constitutes a public nuisance, he may notify the Frederick County Animal Warden, who may cause the dog to be impounded. No individual shall have the right to wilfully destroy or attempt to destroy or maim the dog so long as the dog does not pose a threat to life. Upon the capture of any dog, the animal warden shall make a diligent effort to notify the owner of its capture if his identity can be ascertained. Such dog may be confined and offered for adoption or humanely disposed of if not identified and claimed within five calendar days after its capture. No owner may claim the dog unless and until all charges incident to the confinement of the dog have been paid. (Ord. 84-5B 3: prior code Art. III 3)

6.04.040 Impoundment service fee.

Whenever a dog is impounded pursuant to this chapter or any other provision of the law, the owner thereof shall pay an impounding fee as may be set from time to time by the Frederick County Animal Warden. (Ord. 84-5B 4: prior code Art. III 4)

6.04.050 Liability for impounding fee.

Where the owner of any impounded dog can be ascertained, such owner shall be liable for the impounding fee and other proper charges, even in cases wherein the dog is disposed of pursuant to Section 6.04.030. (Ord. 84-5B 5: prior code Art. III 5)

6.04.060 Enforcement.

Animal wardens designated by the county commissioners for Frederick County as the enforcement authority for the animal control and dog licensing provisions of the county, acting under the general supervision of the Humane Society of Frederick County, are designated by the commissioners of Emmitsburg as the enforcement authority for this chapter. (Ord. 84-5B 6: prior code Art. III 6)

6.04.070 Animal wardens.

The animals wardens are empowered to take into custody and turn over to the Frederick County Humane Society stray, injured, sick or dead animals in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 84-5B 7: prior code Art. III 7)

6.04.080 Care and control of animals.

  1. It is a violation of this chapter for any person to abandon any animal, whether or not the person is the owner.

  2. All owners of animals shall exercise care and control of such animals so as to prevent same from becoming public nuisances, and an owner of a dog determined to be a public nuisance shall be subject to the penalties of this chapter.

  3. Any Maryland licensed veterinarian in Frederick County is authorized by the commissioners of Emmitsburg to immediately humanely euthanize or treat a suffering animal without liability if its owner cannot be promptly identified. (Ord. 84-5B 8: prior code Art. III 8)

6.04.090 Poisoning of animals.

No persons shall poison any animal other than rodents, unless authorized by the Frederick County Health Officer to protect human health. (Ord. 84-5B 9: prior code Art. III 9)

6.04.100 Female dog in season.

It is unlawful for the owner or custodian of a female dog while in oestrus or in a condition commonly known as "in heat" or "in season" to knowingly allow the dog to run at large. Any dog in oestrus shall be confined in a secure enclosure. (Ord. 84-5B 10: prior code Art. III 10)

6.04.110 Interference with authorized persons.

No person shall attempt to interfere with the animal warden or any other authorized person in the performance of his duties, nor shall any person attempt to release or release without authority any animal impounded pursuant to the animal control laws of the county. (Ord. 84-5B 11: prior code Art. III 11)

6.04.120 Vicious dogs.

Any dog of a vicious nature must be confined on the premises of the owner or persons in possession of the dog at all times in such a manner that it cannot reach persons who may have occasion to lawfully enter upon the premises at all reasonable times. The dog shall not be taken out of such confinement on the premises unless securely muzzled and under suitable control. (Ord. 84-5B 12: prior code Art. III 12)

6.04.130 Animals roaming at large

No animal shall be permitted to run at large at any time whatsoever within the corporate limits of Emmitsburg. All animals shall be confined to the property of their owner or the person who has possession or control of such animal by fencing or trolley line, unless leashed and accompanied by the owner or other person. Violation of this section is declared to a municipal violation .

6.04.140 Removal of feces

No owner or other person who has possession or control of a dog, animal or other pet shall permit its feces to remain upon any street, park lands, sidewalks, public lands or lands not owned, leased or rented by said person in possession or control or the owner of said dog, animal or pet within the corporate limits of the town of Emmitsburg. The owner or person who has possession or control of a dog, animal or pet which deposits feces upon any street, park lands, sidewalks, public lands or lands not owned, leased or rented by said person in possession or control or the owner of said dog, animal or pet shall immediately removed such feces from any and all of the above noted locations. Violation of this section is declared to be a municipal infraction.

6.04.150 Violations Penalties.

Any person who violates this chapter shall be guilty of a municipal infraction and shall be fined twenty-five dollars ($25.00). Each day the violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense. (Ord. 84-5B 13: prior code Art. III 13)

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