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animal ORDINANCES

Towanda values the relationships between residents and their pets and has regulations in place to govern animals for the sake of the health, safety, and welfare of all City residents and the general public.  Below are the most prominent animal regulations, but Chapter 2 of the City Code details all animal regulations within the City. 

Do I need to license my animal?
The City of Towanda requires animal licenses for all dogs that reside within the city limits, renewed annually.  Licenses are obtained through City Hall.  Current rabies vaccination documentation must be provided to obtain the license and tag. Licenses are free annually from January 1 - March 31.  Dogs must wear identification tags or collars at all times when off the premises of their owner.  More information can be found here.

Do I need to walk my dog on a leash?

Yes.  It is unlawful for any dog to run at-large within the City at any time.  At-large means to be outside of a fence or other enclosure which restrains the animals to a particular premise or not under the control, by leash or lead, of the owner or other authorized person capable of restraining the animal.  Animals tethered to a stationary object within range of public thoroughfares are also deemed to be “at-large.”

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Is there a cost if my dog is impounded?

Yes.  Costs are assessed if the City impounds a dog running at-large.  Those costs are as follows.

Running At-Large:     

     1st Offense: $25.00 fine plus court costs     

     2nd Offense: $100.00 fine plus court costs     

     3rd+ Offense: $150.00 fine plus court costs

 

Impoundment:     

     Pick-up and first day at the pound: $25.00     

     $5.00/day thereafter

Is there a limit of how many animals I can have?

The City regulates the number of dogs harbored in one location (i.e. residence).  If there are more than three dogs in one location, a kennel license must be obtained.  Kennel permits are obtained through City Hall.  More information can be found here

Do I have to clean up my dog's waste?

In addition to sanitation concerns, it is a courtesy to the general public to pick up all of your dog's excrement.  Damages to public or private property by a dog's activities or with its excrement is, by code defined as a "nuisance" and can be charged against the owner.

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What can I do about a noisy dog in my area?

Contact City Hall with noisy dog complaints.  The keeping or harboring of any animal which by loud, frequent, and habitual barking, howling, yelping, mewing, roaring, or screeching shall disturb the peace of any neighborhood is prohibited.

Does the City prohibit Pitbull dogs?

The City removed its breed-specific dog regulations in 2022, so Pitbull dogs are no longer excluded by name.  The City does, however, still prohibit vicious animals, no matter what breed or type.

Are there any animals I cannot have?

Yes.  It is unlawful to have any warm-blooded, carnivorous or omnivorous, wild or exotic animal (including but not limited to non-human primates, raccoons, skunks, foxes and wild and exotic cats; but excluding fowl, ferrets, and small rodents of varieties used for laboratory purposes).  This does not apply to bona fide pet shops, zoos, circuses, carnivals, educational institutions or medical institutions if certain conditions are met.  It is also unlawful to have any animal that has a poisonous bite.

Can I have chickens?

Chickens and other fowl are permitted as long as certain conditions are met.  Fowl must be within an enclosure; they are not permitted to run at large.  Such enclosures must be clean, dry, and sanitary, free from debris and offensive odors that annoy any neighbor, and devoid of rodents and vermin.  The owner of any rooster that violates the City's noisy animal regulation will be required to abate the nuisance. 

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