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Backyard chicken keeping has increased in popularity and while as a Right-to-Farm town we encourage that, it has given rise to some conflict especially in densely developed neighborhoods.
However, it can be done successfully if some simple guidelines are followed:
If you have any questions please feel free to contact either the Board of Health or the Building Department.
In late spring and early summer, adult female turtles cross roads in search of nest sites. Each species has a different habitat requirement, but when searching for a nest site they usually choose sandy or loose soil in lawns, tilled or mowed fields, roadsides, and occasionally backyard compost piles.
It is often assumed that something is wrong when a turtle is crossing the road. People, with best intentions, mistakenly attempt to return it to water, take it home, or, take it somewhere that seems safer and release it. But the best thing to do is leave it alone. The turtle knows where it wants to go and may have been nesting in the same spot for many years—or even decades.
If a small turtle is in danger of being hit by cars, it can be moved in the direction it was headed, to the other side of the road. Snapping turtles can be dangerous and should not be handled. They are surprisingly fast for their size and can extend their necks the length of their carapace. Never pick up a snapping turtle by the tail because you could seriously injure it.
The owner of any dog or cat shall immediately notify the Animal Control Officer (ACO) within 24 hours of any dog or cat owned or kept by them has bitten or scratched a person, including, if known, the name, address and phone number of the injured party. The owner shall provide evidence of current rabies certificates and, in the case of a dog, current dog license.
A dog or cat that bites or scratches a person shall be quarantined for ten (10) days if ordered by the Animal Inspector and/or Animal Control Officer. During the quarantine, the animal shall be securely confined and kept from contact with any other animal. At the discretion of the ACO, the quarantine may be on the premises of the owner. If the ACO requires confinement, the owner shall surrender the animal for the quarantine period to an animal shelter or shall at his/her own expense, place the animal in a facility approved by the ACO.
If you find an injured dog or cat, please call us. We can assist in locating the owner and/or transporting the animal to Wignall Animal Hospital.
If you find injured wildlife, please do not try to touch or move the animal. Contact Animal Control or the Dracut Police if after hours.
Please note that the operator of a motor vehicle that strikes and injures or kills a dog or cat is required to report the accident to the owner of the animal or to the police department. Failure to do so is punishable by a fine. (Reference M.G.L. Chapter 272, Section 80H).
Dog licenses are available through the town clerks office. They may also be registered online through city hall systems.
Dracut has a leash law, which is in effect 24/7. Dogs are not permitted to run at large at any time. They may not be left unattended on their owner’s property. When off the owner’s property, the person attending the dog must have control of the dog on a leash no greater than six (6) feet in length. Dogs that are found running at large may be taken by Animal Control and impounded at Wignall Animal Hospital. If the dog can be identified, the owner will be notified. Impounded dogs will be kept for ten (10) days, unless they are claimed by their owners. After ten (10) days the dogs will be eligible for adoption.
Please refer to Chapter 12, Section 8 of the town by-laws for more information on the leash law.
Dog waste is a threat to our public water supply, degrades our town and transmits disease. Leash, curb and clean up after your dog – it is required by law. Failure to clean up after your dog falls under the public nuisance section of the town by-laws pertaining to dogs. Fines for violations are as follows:
There are several types of bark that dogs use to communicate with people. Most dogs learn at a young age to bark when they need to go outside, want to come indoors, or to remind us that it is dinner time. Dogs have a specific bark to let us know that something is suspicious and needs attention.
Dogs do not bark without reason. Like humans, dogs are extremely social creatures and most dogs hate being left alone outside while their family is indoors. Dogs that are left outdoors for extended periods of time become bored, or they become anxious about being alone. These dogs tend to bark at every sound or movement in the neighborhood because they feel vulnerable when by themselves, especially if they are tethered.
Barking frequently or for continued duration (in excess of 20 minutes) is considered a noise disturbance and your dog can be considered a public nuisance (Chapter 12, Section 9 of the town by-laws). Penalties are as follows:
Do not get angry with the neighbors for complaining, and please do not get angry at the dog! Your dog is trying to tell you something. Figure out what is causing your dog to bark excessively and make some changes to alleviate the conditions that are causing the dog to bark. Please try to understand your neighbors’ frustration and be considerate of their desire for peace and quiet.