Jay board to consider ordinance to control barking dogs, animal treatment

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JAY — Selectpersons will consider certifying two ordinances Monday, April 14, to go to a town referendum June 10.

One deals with control over dogs, horses and other animals. The other applies to subdivisions.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the Town Office.

Selectmen directed the Ordinance Review Committee to develop an Animal Control Ordinance in August 2013 because of the many barking dog complaints received by the town.

The town has an Animal Control Ordinance that was adopted in June 1986.

The new ordinance adds a section on barking dogs and treatment of animals, including horses, Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere said.

For the most part, the proposal mirrors state law but the state had dropped its section on barking dogs some years ago, she said.

The section on barking dogs is listed under Disturbing the Peace. It states that upon receiving a complaint of a barking or howling dog, an authorized animal control officer or police officer shall investigate the allegation and, upon probable cause, notify the the owner the disturbance must cease.

“It shall be a violation of this ordinance to own, keep or harbor any dog that by habitual barking, yelping or howling creates a nuisance and disturbs the peace and quiet of any neighborhood or persons,” the proposed ordinance states.

The subsection on dogs shall not apply if any animal is provoked by trespassing people or animals on private property on which the animal is situated or by other legitimate cause for provocation.

There is no time stipulated on how long the barking, yelping or howling goes on before action can be taken.

Larry Wright, the town’s animal control officer, said a process will be developed to determine procedures.

Under the section for Treatment of Animals, the proposal would require animals to be supplied with sufficient food and water, in accordance with state law.

It also requires equines to be provided sufficient hay, grain or other feed to maintain normal body weight and feeding arrangements to be such that each equine gets its own proper share of food at least twice a day.

Also, potable water would need to be provided daily and in sufficient quantities for the health of the animal if it is not accessible to the animal at all times. Snow or ice is not an adequate source of water, it states.

The proposed ordinance requires those responsible for an animal to supply necessary medical attention when the animal is or has been suffering from illness, injury or disease.

It also outlines proper shelter for indoors and outdoors, and addresses space standards and minimizing health hazards.

The ordinance would increase the penalties for violations from $25 to $50 for the first offense and from $50 to $100 for the second offense. Fines for each subsequent offense would increase from $100 to $150.

A proposed amendment to the subdivision section of the town’s Environmental Control and Improvement Ordinance reduces the lot size requirements for properties on town sewer. The current size is 40,000 square feet except for multiple-unit housing, for which the minimum lot size is 20,000 square feet per dwelling, LaFreniere said. Those numbers would be reduced to 15,000 square feet and 7,500 square feet, respectively, she said.

The proposal also reduces the road frontage requirement for properties on public sewer from 150 feet per lot to 100 feet per lot. Road frontage on lots with private septic systems would remain at 150 feet.

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