Proposed Clearfield Borough Animal Ordinance Under Legal Review

CLEARFIELD – A proposed animal ordinance is under review in Clearfield Borough.

At Thursday’s meeting, the Clearfield Borough Council voted to have Solicitor F. Cortez Bell III review the newly proposed ordinance to regulate keeping animals in the borough.

Once Bell has reviewed the proposed ordinance and recommended any changes, the final draft will come before the council for approval.

The proposed ordinance outlines regulations for the keeping of animals, fowl, wild and exotic animals, venomous and constricting animals, and provides mechanisms for enforcement of any violations.

The proposed ordinance is also designed to reduce or eliminate public nuisances and conditions detrimental to public health, safety and welfare; limiting the number of animals on premises in the borough, and to prohibit the keeping of animals that pose a threat to public health, safety and welfare.

The proposed ordinance specifies that all animals must be securely tied or penned in a yard or enclosure in such a manner that the animal cannot break loose or run at large through the borough.

Owners must also keep their animals on a leash no greater than six feet in length and the animal must be prevented from entering upon the property of other residents without their consent.

The proposed ordinance prohibits keeping animals such as guinea fowl, sheep, cows, goats or other barnyard animals within the borough limits.

However, residents wishing to raise or keep chickens within the borough can do so if they obtain a permit. Residents can only own six hens and roosters are prohibited.

The chickens must be kept in a secure enclosure/fenced in area at all times and secured in a henhouse during the evening hours. The henhouse may be attached to a “chicken run” and the enclosure must be kept clean, dry and odor free at all times.

The henhouse and chicken runs must provide adequate ventilation, as well as sun and shade areas, and must be impermeable to rodents, wild birds and predators (including dogs and cats)

The henhouse must provide the chickens with a minimum of four square feet per bird, have a roof, doors and must be enclosed on all four sides.

The henhouses and chicken runs must be located in the rear of a dwelling, at least 10 feet from the property line and 25 feet from any adjacent buildings.

The proposed ordinance also imposes limits on the number of animals a resident can own. Residents can keep no more than six animals.

The ordinance specifies that an aquarium would count as one pet and allows special circumstances where more than six animals can be owned.

Once the proposed ordinance is finalized and approved, any resident presently owning more than six animals can keep their animals, but they will not be allowed to replace them once they have died until they have only six animals remaining.

Finally, the proposed ordinance requires permits for anyone owning venomous and or constricting snakes. The snakes must be kept in an approved aquarium with a hinged lid that contains a locking device.

Anyone owning a venomous snake is required to have up-do-date anti-venom and the owner will be held responsible for recapturing any snake that escapes their home.

Once the proposed ordinance is approved, any resident in violation will be subject to monetary fines and other legal action.

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