C. 49, ßß 22 to 41.
All Complaints involving animal issues should be
directed to the Northbridge Police Department at
(508) 234-6211. Members of the Northbridge Police
Department are not trained as Animal Control
Officers and do not have any special equipment for
the handling of domestic or wild animals. Officers
will respond to investigate reports of sick, injured
or stray animals, however, their responsibility is
limited to confirming the reported condition and
referring it to the Animal Control Officer.
Dan Chauvin, Animal Control Officer
If you are interested in adopting an animal, please
contact Northbridge Police via E-Mail. Northbridge
Dispatch Please include your full name, address, and
phone number. Your E-Mail will be forwarded to the
Animal Control Officer who will be in contact with
you and will explain the adoption process to you.
4-402. Animal Control Officer.
A. Establishment. There shall be an Animal Control
Officer who shall have all of the powers and duties
of a dog officer, as provided in MGL C. 41, ß 151,
and all of the powers and duties of a field driver,
as provided in MGL
B. Mode of appointment; term of office. The Town Manager
shall, annually, appoint an Animal Control Officer and such
assistants as may be required and authorized and who shall
hold office for one year or until their successors are
C. Authorities and responsibilities.
(1) The Animal Control Officer shall attend to all
complaints or other matters pertaining to dogs and other
animals in the town.
(2) The Animal Control Officer shall be responsible for the
enforcement of all laws relating to the care, custody and
control of dogs (MGL C. 140, ßß 136A - 174). The Animal
Control Officer shall be responsible for the enforcement of
all laws relating to the care, custody and control of other
animals found at large in the town (MGL C. 49, ßß 22 - 41).
ß 4-403. Animals, Inspector of.
A. Establishment. There shall be an Inspector of Animals as
provided in MGL C. 129, ßß 15 to 25.
B. Mode of appointment; term of office. The Town Manager
shall annually, in March, nominate one or more Inspectors of
Animals, and before April first, shall send to the Director
of Animal Health of the commonwealth the name, address and
occupation of each nominee. Such nominee shall not be
appointed until approved by the Director of Animal Health of
the commonwealth (MGL C. 129, ß 15).
C. Authorities and responsibilities. Each Inspector of
Animals shall comply with and enforce all orders and
regulations directed to him by the Director of Animal Health
(MGL C. 129, ß 18). Inspectors of Animals shall make regular
and thorough inspections of all neat cattle, sheep and swine
found within the town limits. Such inspections shall be made
at such times and in such manner as the Director of Animal
Health shall from time to time order. Inspectors of Animals
shall also from time to time make inspections of all other
domestic animals within the limits of the town if they know,
or have reason to suspect, that such animals are affected
with or have been exposed to any contagious disease, and
shall immediately inspect all domestic animals and any place
where any such animals are kept whenever directed so to do
by the Director of Animal Health (MGL C. 129, ß 19).
Chapter 8, REGULATION OF ANIMALS
SECTION 8-100: DOGS
ß 8-101. Definitions.
The following words and phrases, as used in this section,
unless the context requires otherwise, shall have the
HUNTING OR SPORTING DOG -- An animal under the control and
direction of its owner or keeper while used in training or
actual hunting. It also includes animals used in events or
trials participating under sanctioned competitions.
KEEPER -- Any person, other than the owner, harboring in his
possession any animal. The keeper shall be held liable for
the action of the animal.
KENNEL -- One pack or collection of dogs on a single
premises, whether maintained for breeding, boarding, sale,
training, hunting or other purposes, and including any shop
where dogs are on sale, who are not covered by MGL C. 129, ß
39A, and also including every pack or collection or more
than three dogs, six months old or over, owned or kept by a
person on a single premises, irrespective of the purpose for
which they are maintained. Any and all kennels registered in
the Town of Northbridge shall be subject to state and local
OWNER -- Includes corporations, societies, associations,
partnerships and individuals, provided that they show
ownership of an animal by possession of a current and valid
license or other satisfactory proof of ownership.
WORKING DOG -- An animal used in the performance of a
particular set of tasks. The animal must be engaged in such
tasks to be exempt from ß 8-102. Examples include guard
dogs, Seeing Eye dogs and dogs used to control a farmer's
flock or herd.
ß 8-102. Restraint; exceptions.
No person shall permit a dog owned or kept by him beyond the
confines of the property of the owner or keeper unless the
dog is held firmly on a leash. The length of a leash shall
not exceed six feet when off the property of the owner or
keeper. An owner or keeper may use a leash of greater length
to restrain a dog on the property of the owner or keeper,
provided that the dog is securely confined to the premises
of the owner or keeper. Exceptions are animals, which are
classified as hunting or sporting dogs, as well as working
dogs, while used in such capacity.
ß 8-103. Prima facie evidence of violation.
The unauthorized presence of any animal on public lands or
on the land of any person other than the owner or keeper of
such animal when such animal is not restrained as
above-mentioned shall be prima facie evidence of a violation
of the provisions of this section.
ß 8-104. Violations and penalties.
A violation of this ß 8-100 shall be punishable by a warning
for the first offense, $25 for the second offense and $40
for each subsequent offense within a calendar year.
ß 8-105. Licensing requirements.
A. Any owner or keeper of a dog six months of age or older
in the Town of Northbridge shall cause that dog to be
licensed as required by MGL C. 140 within the stipulated
(1) The annual fee for every dog license, except as
otherwise provided for by law, shall be $10, unless a
certificate of a registered veterinarian who performed the
operation that such dog has been altered and has thereby
been deprived of the power of breeding or producing
offspring has been shown to the Town Clerk, in which case
the fee shall be $6. If the Town Clerk is satisfied that the
certification by the veterinarian who altered the dog cannot
be obtained, he/she may accept in lieu thereof a statement,
under the penalties of perjury, by a registered veterinarian
describing the dog and stating that he has examined the dog
and, in his opinion, the dog is not capable of breeding or
producing offspring by reason of spaying or neutering. Until
the veterinarian has examined the dog in question, the
license fee for the licensing period shall be at the rate of
$10. When applying for a license, the applicant must also
show proof by a veterinarian's certificate that the dog has
been vaccinated against rabies within the last three years,
if the dog is six months of age or over, as required by MGL
C. 140, ß 115B.
(2) No fee shall be charged for a license for a dog
specifically trained to lead or serve a blind person or a
deaf person, provided that the Division of the Blind or Deaf
certified that such dog is so trained and actually in the
services of a blind or deaf person.
(3) Kennel fees shall be as follows:
(a) Four dogs or fewer: $50.
(b) Ten dogs or fewer: $75.
(c) Twenty-five dogs or fewer: $100.
C. No license fee or part thereof shall be refunded because
of subsequent death, loss, spaying, neutering or removal
from the commonwealth or other disposal of the dog.
D. Should any owner or keeper of a dog fail to license that
dog before June 1, that owner or keeper shall pay a late fee
of $10, plus an additional fee of $1 per month, beginning
June 1, before obtaining said license, except a dog brought
into the town as provided in MGL C. 140, ß 138. This late
fee shall be applicable from the 61st day after the arrival
of such dog.
E. Any person maintaining a kennel in the Town of
Northbridge who fails to license as prescribed by this
section and the laws of the commonwealth shall pay a late
fee of $20, plus an additional fee of $2 per month beginning
June 1. Such fees as are collected by the Dog Officer shall
be accounted for and paid over to the Town Treasurer to be
incorporated into the Animal Control Fund.
ß 8-106. Impoundment.
The Dog Officer can impound a dog or fine the owner or
keeper of said dog pursuant to ßß 8-104 and 8-114 of this
chapter for the following offenses:
A. Being an unlicensed dog.
B. Being found at large when the owner or keeper is not
C. Injuring or menacing a person.
D. Injuring a domestic animal or fowl.
E. Chasing vehicles (autos, motorcycles or trucks).
F. Chasing bicycles.
G. Causing any disturbance (barking, howling or disturbing).
H. Being unmuzzled off the owner's or keeper's property
while a muzzling order is in effect.
I. Being found at large at any school yard and/or
J. Violation of a quarantine.
ß 8-107. Muzzling.
A. The Dog Officer can order a dog to be muzzled for the
(1) Biting or menacing a person.
(2) Injuring a domestic animal or fowl.
(3) Excessive barking.
B. Exceptions. Only the Dog Officer has the power to remove
a muzzle order if he so desires, i.e., an exception is
ß 8-108. Quarantine orders.
For biting a person, the animal must be quarantined subject
to MGL C. 129, ß 21. Any and all violations of a quarantine
order will be subject to general penalties under MGL C. 129,
ß 8-109. Storage fees.
A. A storage fee of $5 per day will be levied if said animal
B. Impounded, unlicensed dogs will be kept for 10 days.
During such time, a description of the animal will be posted
at the Town Hall. To obtain the release of an unlicensed
animal, the owner must license the animal and pay all fines
and storage fees. If the animal is not claimed, it will be
sold to anyone paying the fines and storage of said animal.
If not claimed or sold within the ten-day period, the animal
shall be destroyed in a humane manner.
C. The owner of an impounded licensed dog will be notified
by registered mail of the animal's confinement. The animal
shall be kept until the owner pays all fines and storage. If
not claimed within 30 days, it will be destroyed in a humane
ß 8-110. Estrous cycle.
A. If found at large, dogs in the estrous cycle (heat) can
be impounded. If complaints have been recorded, the Dog
Officer may require the owner to remove the animal from the
area of disturbance. If impounded, the owner shall be
notified by registered mail of the animal's confinement.
B. A fine of $25 shall be levied against the owner or keeper
of an unspayed female dog in heat running at large.
C. Impounded, unlicensed dogs in heat shall be kept for 10
days. During such time a description of the animal will be
posted in the Town Hall. If the animal is not claimed, it
shall be sold to anyone paying the fines and storage of said
animal. If not claimed or sold within the ten-day period,
the animal shall be destroyed in a humane manner.
ß 8-111. Appointment of Dog Officer and assistants.
Subject to approval of the Board of Selectmen, the Town
Manager shall appoint an Animal Control Officer, who shall
be the Dog Officer, and such assistants as are deemed
necessary to administer and enforce this bylaw relating to
dogs and the sections of MGL C. 140, as amended, relating to
ß 8-112. Kennels.
Any person with more than three dogs, six months or older,
on a single premises shall be classified as a kennel, and,
as such, the owner or keeper must apply for a kennel
ß 8-113. Severability.
In the event that any provision or section of this section
is deemed invalid and unenforceable, all other provisions
shall remain in force and in effect.
ß 8-114. Penalties.
This Dog Regulation Bylaw may be enforced pursuant to the
provisions of MGL C. 40, ß 21D, and ß 1-109A of this Code of
Bylaws. The penalty for the first offense in a calendar year
shall be a warning; the penalty for the second offense shall
be $15, and the penalty for the third and each subsequent
offense in the same calendar year shall be $25.