Dog Regulations

Section 1
No owner or keeper of a dog shall permit the dog to go beyond the confines of the property of the owner or keeper unless the dog is held firmly on a leash or attended by a person exercising control of such dog.

Section 2
The Animal Control Officer may apprehend and impound any dog which he determines to be in violation of the law.

Section 3
The Animal Control Officer, upon apprehending any dog, shall make a complete registry, entering the breed, color and sex of such dog, its license number, and the name and address of the owner if known.

Section 4
If the owner of an impounded dog is known, such owner shall be given notice of the impounding within three days thereof. Such owner may reclaim the dog upon payment of a fee determined by the Animal Control Officer with the approval of the Board of Selectmen, together with any unpaid license fees, late fees, fines and reasonable costs incurred by the Town for impounding and maintaining the dog.

Section 5
No person shall keep within the Town any dog which by biting, barking, howling or in any other manner disturbs the peace and quiet of any neighborhood or endangers the safety of any person, domesticated animal or farm animal. No owner or keeper.of a dog shall permit the dog to perform its natural body functions on property other than that of the dog owner or keeper without approval of said property owner.

Section 6
The Animal Control Officer is hereby authorized to seek a complaint against the owner or keeper of a dog who is found to have violated Sections 1 or 5 of this by-law and impose fines and reclaiming fees with the approval of the Board of Selectmen.

Section 7
In addition to the foregoing fines and reclaiming fees, the Animal Control Officer is also authorized and empowered to muzzle, restrain or order the owner or keeper of a dog to muzzle or restrain a dog pending a hearing before the Board of Selectmen as hereinafter provided, when the Animal Control Officer finds that:
  • A dog has bitten or threatened any person, domesticated animal or farm animal,
  • A dog has chased any vehicle upon any way open to public travel in the Town, or
  • The owner or keeper has violated any provision of this by-law more than three times in any calendar year.
Section 8
The owner or keeper of any dog that has been ordered muzzled or restrained under the provisions of Section 7 may request the Animal Control Officer in writing to vacate such order. If such order is not vacated, the owner of such dog may bring a petition in the District Court asking that the order of restraint be reviewed by the court as provided in Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 140, Section 157 as amended.

Section 9
In addition to any other statutory authority contained in Massachusetts General Laws, chapter 140, the Animal Control Officer may enter a complaint with the Board of Selectmen to the control or disposition of any dog found to be uncontrollable or whose owner or keeper is unresponsive to any other penalties contained in this by-law.

Section 10 - Dog Licenses & Rabies Vaccinations
  • A. Each dog in Hingham must be licensed at 6 months of age and remain licensed thereafter.
  • B. No dog license will expire later than the expiration date of the current rabies vaccination.
  • C. No dog license will be issued until proof of a current rabies vaccination has been determined.
  • D. A fine of $15 will be assessed for failure to license a dog within 2 months after:
    • The dog reaches 6 months of age
    • Expiration of the current license
    • Being acquired or moved into the Town of Hingham without a current license.
  • E. A fine of $50 will be assessed for failure to maintain a current rabies vaccination for a dog unless:
    • The dog is under 6 months of age
    • The dog has been acquired or moved into the Town of Hingham less than 90 days.
  • F. Any fine may be assessed through non-criminal process in accordance with MGL Chapter 40, Section 21 D. Each day on which any such violation continues shall be considered a separate violation of this Section. The availability of non-criminal process under this article shall not preclude the use of criminal process or other means of enforcement.
Section 11
All monies received or recovered from license fees, late fees, reclaiming fees, reasonable costs and fines shall be paid into the treasury of the Town of Hingham.