City of Newark Animal Control Laws

Article I. In General

§ 5-1. Definitions.
§ 5-2. Agreements with the SPCA or other appropriate agency authorized.
§ 5-3. Keeping of vicious, exotic, wild, or farm animals and wild fowl prohibited.
§ 5-4. Restriction on the number of animals allowed.
§ 5-5. Animal or fowl running at large prohibited; nuisance.
§ 5-6. Accumulation and removal of animal or fowl fecal matter.
§ 5-7. Property owner may impound animal or fowl; notify police.
§ 5-8. Return or impound animal or fowl; notice to reclaim; warrant served on owner or custodian, confiscation of prohibited animals or fowl.
§ 5-9. Officer may impound or destroy animal or fowl at-large.
§ 5-10. Redemption of impounded animal or fowl; pay board bill.
§ 5-11. Disposition of unredeemed animals or fowl.
§ 5-12. Sick, injured, or dead animals.
§ 5-13. Noisy animal or fowl prohibited, nuisance, notify police, failure to abate nuisance.
§ 5-14. Dog license; rabies vaccination for dogs and cats required.
§ 5-15. Right of entry of animal control officers.
§ 5-16. Cruelty to animals.
§ 5-17. Quarantine.
§ 5-18. Enforcement.

Article II. Horses.

Article III. Penalties.

 
CITY OF NEWARK ANIMAL CONTROL LAWS Article 1.  In General

§ 5-1. Definitions.  As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise clearly indicates:

  • Animal control officer shall mean a person employed by the state, county, municipality, or an animal control agency as an enforcement officer.
  • Animal control agency shall mean a state, county, or municipal administrative agency, or a humane society which is authorized by statute or ordinance to enforce any animal control laws or regulations of the state, county, or municipality.
  • Animal shall mean any and all types of animals, both domesticated and wild, male and female, singular and plural.
  • At large shall mean an animal which is off the property of the person who possesses, owns, harbors, or cares for the animal and
    the animal is not under restraint.
  • Authorized shelter shall mean any animal impoundment facility designated by the city manager for the receipt of animals or fowl retained by the city or its agents pursuant to this article.
  • Exotic animal shall mean wild mammals or hybrids of wild animals (mammals whose parents are different varieties of the same species or belong to different but closely allied species, one parent being a wild mammal not native to or generally found in Delaware and the other parent being a domestic mammal native to or generally found in Delaware) or live reptiles not native to or generally found in the State of Delaware (as determined by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Division of Fish and Wildlife), as defined by the state pursuant to Title 3, Delaware Code, for which permits are required by the state pursuant to that chapter. Possession or ownership of any animal, fowl, or reptile that is prohibited by federal or state statute or regulation shall also be defined as an exotic animal.
  • Farm animal shall mean any animal or fowl commonly found on a farm including, but not limited to, chickens, roosters, ducks, geese, emus, ostriches, all species of pigs/hogs, donkeys, mules, horses, cattle, goats, sheep, llamas, oxen, or any other animal or fowl suitable for slaughter or for the production of milk, eggs, fiber, or feathers.
  • Fowl shall mean any and all fowl, male and female, domesticated and wild, singular and plural, but shall not include registered racing or homing pigeons.
  • Leash shall mean a cord, thong, leash, or chain of sufficient strength not more than eight feet in length by which an animal is controlled by the person accompanying it. Person shall mean any owner, individual, household, family, partnership, or corporation possessing, owning, harboring, or caring for one or more animals. Any animal shall be deemed to be harbored if it is fed or sheltered for three consecutive days or more by a person.
  • Property (premises) shall mean all of the real property under a person or persons ownership, lease, or control inside the inner line of a sidewalk, or, if no sidewalk exists, inside the curb, ditch, or shoulder marking the edge of the traveled or used portion of the public right-of-way. Property also includes the inside of a motor vehicle.
  • Public nuisance animal shall mean any animal or group of animals which: (1) Is repeatedly found at large; (2) Damages the property of anyone other than the person who possesses, owns, harbors, or cares for the animal; (3) Is vicious; (4) Molests passersby or passing vehicles; (5) Is a noisy animal or fowl as described in § 5-13 of this chapter. Subsequent offense shall mean any offense which occurs within five years of the occurrence of any prior offense under the same section of this chapter.
  • Vicious animal shall mean any animal which constitutes a physical threat to human beings or other animals by virtue of one unprovoked attack resulting in serious physical injury or property damage or two or more unprovoked attacks resulting in other physical injury or property damage. Evidence of a prior instance of an animal biting a human being, without provocation, shall be prima facie evidence that the animal is vicious. A vicious animal will also include any animal away from the property of the person who possesses, owns, harbors, or cares for it which constitutes a physical threat to human beings or other animals by showing its teeth, snarling, growling, or barking in a menacing manner. (Ord. No. 98-25, 9-28-98)

§ 5-2. Agreements with the SPCA or other appropriate agency authorized. For the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this chapter, the city manager is authorized to enter into any necessary agreement with the SPCA or other appropriate agency. (Ord. No. 98-25, 9-28-98)

§ 5-3. Keeping of vicious, exotic, wild, or farm animals and wild fowl prohibited. (a) No person shall possess, own, harbor, or care for, whether as a pet or for any other purpose, vicious, exotic, wild, or farm animals or wild fowl as defined in this chapter within the boundaries of the city unless specifically exempted by this chapter. (b) The following animals shall be exempt from this section: (1) Wild animals, fowl, and fish that may be purchased from a licensed commercial pet shop or dealer and are exempted from permit requirements by a State of Delaware veterinarian as authorized by Title 3, Del.C., Chapter 72. (2) Animals kept or harbored at licensed zoos or accredited educational institutions that are used in the course of instruction or research and licensed as required by the Delaware State Code. (3) With approval of the chief of police, animals that are used for temporary display and licensed as required by the Delaware State Code. (4) Farm animals as defined in this chapter may be possessed, owned, harbored, or cared for under the following conditions: a. The property where the animal(s) is kept must be a minimum of four acres; b. The property must be properly fenced to contain such animal(s); and c. The restriction on the number of animals allowed as specified in Section 5-4 of this chapter shall apply. (c) Any person convicted of a violation of this section shall pay a mandatory minimum fine of not less than $250 for the first offense, not less than $500 for the second offense, and not less than $750 for each subsequent offense. (Ord. No. 98-25, 9-28-98)

§ 5-4. Restriction on the number of animals allowed. (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to possess, own, harbor, or care for more than six animals within the city except that a litter of puppies, kittens, or other young animals which may be kept for a period of time not exceeding five months from birth. The intent of this section is to restrict the number of animals to six within any household or other location unless otherwise exempted. The animal control officer or police officer is authorized to remove animals to reduce the number to that which is authorized by this ordinance. (b) Pet fish are excluded from this subsection. (c) This section shall not apply to any establishment where animals are kept in a licensed pet shop for commercial sale or boarding by a licensed facility or at licensed zoos or accredited educational institutions. (d) Any person convicted of a violation of this section shall pay a mandatory minimum fine of not less than $250.00 for the first offense, not less than $500.00 for the second offense, and not less than $750.00 for each subsequent offense. (Ord. No. 98-25, 9-28-98)

§ 5-5. Animal or fowl running at large prohibited; nuisance. (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to cause, permit, or allow animal(s) or fowl, possessed, owned, harbored, or cared for by him or her, to roam, run, or stray away from the premises in which the animal(s) or fowl, are possessed, owned, harbored, or cared for, except when the animal(s) or fowl is kept under control by means of a leash or secure cage by the owner or other custodian. Every female dog in heat shall be confined in a building or secure enclosure in such a manner that such female dog cannot come in contact with another dog except for planned breeding. (b) A public nuisance animal shall, upon demand of the animal control officer or his agent be delivered to the animal control agency. It shall be unlawful for the owner of a public nuisance animal to refuse to surrender such animal to a control officer. A public nuisance animal which has been impounded by the animal control officer may be redeemed by the owner only upon the conditions establishing to the satisfaction of the animal control agency that such animal will no longer constitute a public nuisance. Any animal found unredeemable shall be disposed of. (c) No person possessing, owning, harboring, or caring for any animal(s) or fowl shall permit the animal(s) or fowl to scatter garbage, refuse, and debris. (d) Any person convicted of a violation of subsections (a) and (c) of this section shall pay a mandatory minimum fine of not less than $50.00 for the first offense, not less than $100.00 for the second offense, and not less than $150.00 for each subsequent offense. Any person convicted of a violation of subsection (b) of this section shall pay a mandatory minimum fine of not less than $250.00 for the first offense, not less than $500.00 for the second offense, and not less than $750.00 for each subsequent offense. (Ord. No. 98-25, 9-28-98)

§ 5-6. Accumulation and removal of animal or fowl fecal matter. (a) Every person possessing, owning, harboring, or caring for one or more animals or fowl shall take all reasonable and necessary measures to prevent accumulation of fecal matter of the same in the area in which such animals are customarily kept or are customarily allowed to stay or remain. No such person shall allow fecal matter to accumulate so as to create obnoxious or offensive odors, or to potentially create a health hazard. Disposal of fecal matter must be accomplished in a sanitary manner and must be placed in an airtight, sealed bag or container if placed in a trash receptacle. (b) Before being charged with a violation of subsection (a), any such person shall be given notice of such violation either verbally or in writing. Any person who fails or refuses to remove the fecal matter within 12 hours of such verbal or written notice shall be deemed in violation of this section. The passage of each 24 hours after original notice and failure to properly dispose of fecal matter will constitute another violation of this section. Violations within six months after original notice will represent a violation of this section and shall not require another notice to establish a violation of this section. (c) Any person possessing, owning, harboring, or caring for any animal or fowl shall immediately remove, in a sanitary manner in an airtight bag or other closed container, any fecal matter deposited by such animal or fowl upon any street, sidewalk, park, or upon any other public property, or upon any private property not owned by the person in control of said animal or fowl. (d) Any person convicted of a violation of subsection (a) of this section shall pay a mandatory minimum fine of not less than $100.00 for the first offense, not less than $200.00 for the second offense, and not less than $300.00 for each subsequent offense. Any person convicted of a violation of subsection (c) of this section shall pay a mandatory minimum fine of not less than $50.00 for the first offense, not less than $100.00 for the second offense, and not less than $150.00 for each subsequent offense. (Ord. No. 98-25, 9-28-98)

§ 5-7. Property owner may impound animal or fowl; notify police. Any person who shall find an animal or fowl on his property to his injury or annoyance is authorized: (a) To remove such animal or fowl to an animal shelter, public or private; or (b) To retain possession of such animal or fowl and, as soon as possible, notify the Newark Police Department of this custody, giving a description of the animal or fowl and the name of the owner if known. (Ord. No. 98-25, 9-28-98)

§ 5-8. Return or impound animal or fowl; notice to reclaim; warrant served on owner or custodian, confiscation of prohibited animals or fowl.(a) The officer or agent who shall take possession of the animal or fowl pursuant to this article shall return it, whenever possible, to the owner or custodian. (b) If there is no one at the owner’s or custodian’s residence, the officer or agent shall leave a notice where the owner or custodian may reclaim the animal or fowl. (c) Where the officer or agent is unable to return the animal or fowl to its owner or custodian, or after reasonable diligence is unable to find who owns or has custody of it, he shall deliver it to an appropriate shelter for impoundment. (d) Such officer shall then serve, or cause to be served, a warrant of arrest on the owner or custodian for the violation of this chapter or of the appropriate statute of the State of Delaware. (e) The animal control officer or police officer is authorized to immediately confiscate any prohibited or nuisance animal or fowl as defined in this chapter, or any seriously ill or injured animal or fowl. Any wild, vicious, injured, or seriously ill animal or fowl may be destroyed immediately after impounding. Any other animal shall be held for three days, except that dogs carrying a current license tag shall be held for five days after which time said animal or fowl may be disposed of in accordance with law. (Ord. No. 98-25, 9-28-98)

§ 5-9. Officer may impound or destroy animal or fowl at-large. Any officer or agent is authorized to capture and impound any animal or fowl found at large in accordance with the procedure established in this chapter. In the event that capture cannot be promptly effected, the officer or agent is authorized to destroy the animal or fowl if life or property will be endangered by permitting the animal or fowl to remain at large. (Ord. No. 98-25, 9-28-98)

§ 5-10. Redemption of impounded animal or fowl; pay board bill. A person reclaiming the animal or fowl shall pay a maintenance fee in an amount determined by the animal control agency, which fee shall reasonably relate to the cost of boarding the animal for each day the animal has been impounded. (Ord. No. 98-25, 9-28-98)

§ 5-11. Disposition of unredeemed animals or fowl. Any animal or fowl not redeemed within 72 hours may be disposed of by the city or the animal control agency except that dogs carrying a current license tag shall be held for at least five days before being disposed of. (Ord. No. 98-25, 9-28-98)

§ 5-12. Sick, injured, or dead animals. (a) Disposal. No person shall deposit, place, or throw any dead or sick animal or fowl, or part thereof, on any public or private place. When any animal dies on the premises of the person possessing, owning, harboring, or caring for such animal, he shall dispose of such animal immediately by burial or removal to a veterinarian or to the SPCA or the humane society. Animals may be buried on the private property of the person owning, possessing, harboring, or caring for such animal, or other private property with the permission of the property owner. (b) Conveyance. No person shall carry or convey any dead animal through or upon the street or public place unless the same is so covered that no part of it is exposed to view and no odors can emanate therefrom. (c) Any person convicted of a violation of subsection (a) of this section shall pay a mandatory minimum fine of not less than $500.00 for the first offense, not less than $1,000.00 for the second offense, and not less than $1,500.00 for each subsequent offense. Any person convicted of a violation of subsection (b) of this section shall pay a mandatory minimum fine of not less than $100.00 for the first offense, not less than $200.00 for the second offense, and not less than $300.00 for each subsequent offense. (Ord. No. 98-25, 9-28-98)

§ 5-13. Noisy animal or fowl prohibited, nuisance, notify police, failure to abate nuisance. (a) A person shall not possess, own, harbor, or care for any animal or fowl which by frequent or habitual or long continued noise would reasonably disturb any person or persons living or working in such proximity to hear such noises. Possessing, owning, harboring, or caring for such animal or fowl is also declared to be a public nuisance and detrimental to the public health and welfare. (b) Any person reasonably disturbed by a noisy animal or fowl shall notify the Newark Police Department. Upon the receipt of a complaint, the animal control officer or police officer shall respond and if there is evidence that such offense has occurred or is occurring, shall issue an initial warning if there has not been a previous warning. A previous warning shall remain in effect for six months. (c) It shall be a misdemeanor for any person or custodian to fail to abate the nuisance caused by the frequent, habitual, or long-continued noise of the animal or fowl after receiving notice thereof. (d) Any person convicted of a violation of subsection (c) of this section shall pay a mandatory minimum fine of not less than $100.00 for the first offense, not less than $200.00 for the second offense, and not less than $300.00 for each subsequent offense. (Ord. No. 98-25, 9-28-98)

§ 5-14. Dog license; rabies vaccination for dogs and cats required. (a) No person residing within the city shall possess, own, harbor, or care for a dog over the age of six months unless such dog is currently licensed and is wearing a tag or other device as provided by state law. (b) Any person residing within the city possessing, owning, harboring, or caring for a dog or cat six months of age or older shall have the dog or cat vaccinated against rabies by a veterinarian and shall ensure the animal continues to receive the required vaccinations to maintain its immunity to rabies. The person possessing, owning, harboring, or caring for the dog or cat shall be responsible for keeping a valid rabies vaccination certificate in his possession for inspection by the animal control officer. (c) Any person convicted of a violation of subsection (a) of this section shall pay a mandatory minimum fine of not less than $50.00 for the first offense, not less than $100.00 for the second offense, and not less than $150.00 for each subsequent offense. Any person convicted of a violation of subsection (b) of this section shall pay a mandatory minimum fine of not less than $100.00 for the first offense, not less than $200.00 for the second offense, and not less than $300.00 for each subsequent offense. (Ord. No. 98-25, 9-28-98)

§ 5-15. Right of entry of animal control officers. An animal control officer or police officer shall have the right to enter upon any outside premises at all reasonable times for the purpose of discharging his or her duties where deemed necessary for the welfare of the animal to insure the public health, safety, and peace, or to effectuate this article. (Ord. No. 98-25, 9-28-98)

§ 5-16. Cruelty to animals. A person is guilty of cruelty to animals when he intentionally or recklessly: (a) Subjects any animal to mistreatment; (b) Subjects any animal in his custody to cruel neglect; (c) Kills or seriously injures any animal belonging to another person without legal privilege or consent of the owner; or (d) Cruelly or unnecessarily kills or seriously injures any animal whether belonging to him or not. A person acts unnecessarily if the act is not required to terminate an animal’s suffering, to protect life or property or if other means of disposing of an animal exist which would be a more humane way of terminating the life of the animal. Paragraphs (a), (b), and (d) of this section are inapplicable to accepted veterinary practices and activities carried on for scientific research. (e) Any person convicted of a violation of subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall pay a mandatory minimum fine of not less than $250.00 for the first offense, not less than $500.00 for the second offense, and not less than $750.00 for each subsequent offense. Any person convicted of a violation of subsection (c) and (d) of this section shall pay a mandatory minimum fine of not less than $500.00 for the first offense, not less than $1,000.00 for the second offense, and not less than $1,500.00 for each subsequent offense. (Ord. No. 98-25, 9-28-98)

§ 5-17. Quarantine. If any animal bites or otherwise exposes any person to rabies, the person possessing, owning, harboring, or caring for such animal shall be required to quarantine such animal for at least 10 days commencing at the time of exposure as follows: (a) If the person possessing, owning, harboring, or caring for the animal can provide proof of a currently valid rabies vaccination, that animal may be quarantined on the premises of the owner or custodian. (b) If the person possessing, owning, harboring, or caring for the animal cannot provide proof of a currently valid rabies vaccination, that animal must be quarantined by a veterinarian, kennel, or other facility approved by the Delaware Department of Agriculture. The cost of the quarantine in this instance is to be borne by the owner of the animal. (c) If the person possessing, owning, harboring, or caring for the animal cannot show proof of a valid rabies vaccination, the quarantine period shall be extended beyond the 10 days until such time that rabies vaccine is administered to that animal by a licensed veterinarian. The animal shall not be vaccinated during the initial 10-day quarantine period. (d) Any person convicted of a violation of this section shall pay a mandatory minimum fine of not less than $250.00 for the first offense, not less than $500.00 for the second offense, and not less than $750.00 for each subsequent offense. (Ord. No. 98-25, 9-28-98)

§ 5-18. Enforcement. (a) No person shall interfere with, hinder, delay, or impede an animal control officer or police officer in the enforcement of the provisions of this article. (b) No person shall falsely represent to any animal control officer or police officer his or her address or identity as the person possessing, owning, harboring, or caring for the impounded animal, or other required information. (c) Animal control officers shall have all powers of police officers of the city, limited, however, to the powers and authority incident to the enforcement of this chapter and other statutes, ordinances and regulations concerning the regulation of animals and fowl. The SPCA, or other agency authorized by ordinance to enforce this chapter, shall be designated an instrumentality of the city created pursuant to Title 9, Del.C., only for the purpose of immunities conferred on said agency, and its employees by the Tort Claims Act, 10 Del.C., Chapter 40, unless otherwise provided by said authorizing ordinance. (d) Any person convicted of a violation of subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall pay a mandatory minimum fine of not less than $250.00 for the first offense, not less than $500.00 for the second offense, and not less than $750.00 for each subsequent offense. (Ord. No. 98-25, 9-28-98)

Article II. Horses
§ 5-19. Horses on sidewalks prohibited; horses in bicycle paths permitted. (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to ride, drive, or lead a horse upon any of the sidewalks of the city or in any way impede the free use of sidewalks by pedestrian traffic without authorization. Where streets are marked with bicycle paths, horses may be ridden in said path. (b) Any person convicted of a violation of this section shall pay a mandatory minimum fine of not less than $50.00 for the first offense, not less than $100.00 for the second offense, and not less than $150.00 for each subsequent offense. (Ord. No. 98-25, 9-28-98)

§ 5-20. Reckless riding and driving of horses. (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to run, drive, or ride any horse in a reckless, disorderly, or careless manner through or over any of the streets or private property in the city. (b) Any person convicted of a violation of this section shall pay a mandatory minimum fine of not less than $100.00 for the first offense, not less than $200.00 for the second offense, and not less than $300.00 for each subsequent offense. (Ord. No. 98-25, 9-28-98)

§ 5-21. Reserved.

Article III.  Penalties.
§ 5-22. Unspecified fines.

For the violation of any section not set forth above, the fine shall be at the discretion of the court subject to Section 1-9 of this code. (Ord. No. 98-25, 9-28-98)