Dog Ordinance Amendments and Enforcement Ordinance

The Waitsfield Selectboard, at its 05/18/20 meeting, adopted amendments to the dog ordinance and adopted an enforcement ordinance.

Dog Ordinance Amendment Summary

  • Revised the ordinance’s structure, amending and adding sections as necessary.
  • Expanded and clarified the list of definitions. Examples include a revised definition of “running at-large,” a new definition for “domestic pet,” and a new definition for “potentially vicious dog.”
  • Altered fine amounts. The fines are now tiered, based on type and number of offense, and include waiver fees for each.
  • Clarified impoundment and release, both in the amended ordinance and a new appendix (A).
  • Clarified the process for potentially vicious and vicious dog situations, including when a hearing may be called (such as a dog attacking other dogs or animals).
  • Added Section 13, which allows for enforcement of nuisance situations, such as failure to remove dog waste.
  • Added Section 14 (“Penalties and Costs”), which includes how offenses are counted, municipal ticketing, and mandatory training for dog owners in certain situations.

For the full text of the amended ordinance, please click here.

Enforcement Ordinance Summary

  • Attempts to establish and maintain an effective ordinance enforcement program.
  • Defines which officials are enforcement officers.
  • Defines areas of responsibility for enforcement officers.
  • Describes the Judicial Bureau process.
  • Mandates training for all enforcement officers prior to issuing a penalty for violations.

For the full text of the new ordinance, please click here.

The full text of each ordinance may also be examined at the Waitsfield Town Offices at 4144 Main Street, Waitsfield, VT (by appointment only, due to COVID-19).

Citizens may petition for a vote to repeal the amendment at an annual or special meeting, as provided by 24 V.S.A. § 1973. The petition must include signatures from 5% of registered voters within the Town, and be filed within 44 days (no later than 07/01/20) of the Selectboard’s action. If no appeal is filed, the amendments and new ordinance become effective 07/17/20.

Notices of amendment/adoption have been posted in the following “conspicuous” locations: the front door of the Town Offices, the back door of the Town Offices, the Post Office, the Village Grocery bulletin board, and the outer door of the Wait House. Closures and restrictions related to COVID-19 have limited the number the number of physical locations where notices can be posted and safely viewed.

Contact Town Administrator Trevor M. Lashua at (802) 496-2218, x5; or [email protected] with questions or to comment.