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(A) Animal bite procedure. All bites by dogs, cats or other domestic animals or wild or exotic animals shall be reported to the Health Department and the animal control officer as soon as possible by the person bitten or by the owner or keeper of the animal, or both.
(B) Motor vehicle operator responsibility. The operator of a motor vehicle that strikes, injures, or kills any animal within the town shall report such incident to the pet’s owner or keeper, custodian or to a Watertown Police Officer.
(C) Feeding of wild animals. No person within the town shall feed any wild animals, including without limitation, ducks, geese and raccoons, or any homeless dogs or cats, except birds fed within the confines of his /her private property, provided that no threat to public health or safety is thereby created. Persons feeding their own domestic animals shall do so only in a sheltered space inaccessible to wild or roaming animals. This division (C), shall not apply to the feeding of homeless dogs or cats, if done in a sheltered place inaccessible to wild or roaming animals, with the express purpose of befriending the dog or cat in order to have it vaccinated, spayed, neutered and ultimately adopted.
(D) Wild and exotic animals. No person within the town shall possess, maintain, propagate, cultivate or deal with wild or exotic animals within the meaning of Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 131, § 23, unless notice thereof has been filed with the Board of Health and all permits required by Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 131, § 23, or otherwise, have been obtained.
(E) Town dog parks.
(1) Owners and/or keepers using a town dog park must adhere to posted dog park rules referenced on town website and posted at each town dog park.
(2) Dog park rules are enforced under the provisions of this chapter. Any change in dog park rules shall be communicated to the Town Council.
(F) Nuisance and dangerous dogs. In accordance with the provisions of Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 140, § 157, any person may file written complaint to the Board of Health that a dog owned or kept in the Town is a nuisance or a dangerous dog. The Board of Health, which has been appointed as the hearing authority, shall process the complaint, hold a public hearing, and make a decision on the written complaint.
(G) General prohibition. No person shall own or keep in the town any dog, cat or other household pet which, by biting, barking, howling, scratching or crying, or in any other manner, disturbs the peace and quiet of any neighborhood, destroys private property or endangers the safety of any person.
(Ord. O-2017-2, passed 1-24-2017; Am. Ord. O-2018-79, passed 9-25-2018)