Scott Grieves | Dog Officer
Appointed by the Town Administrator
Contacting the Dog Officer
Please feel free to call and leave a message with any questions or complaints including barking dog complaints.
If you do not hear back from me within a reasonable period of time please call the Police Station and ask them if they could contact the Dog Officer. Thank you for your continued cooperation.
Dog Licensing Fees are available on the Town Clerks Licensing Page.
A Brief Summary of Nahant’s Dog Laws
- We have a 24-hour Leash Law: ALL DOGS MUST be on a leash secured by its walker whenever it leaves its owners property.
- NO DOGS are permitted in the Greenlawn Cemetery.
- The Johnson School is designated as a “dog free zone”. NO DOGS are allowed on the grounds which includes: playgrounds, play areas, ball fields and parking lots.
- NO DOGS ARE PERMITTED on ANY BEACH, MAY 1ST through SEPTEMBER 30th. At other times, OCTOBER 1st through APRIL 30th, dogs may be on any beach but MUST BE LEASHED.
- All dog walkers must remove their dog’s feces from public and private property. Necessary “tools/equipment” must be carried for this purpose.
- Excessive barking is prohibited and may become a Police matter if not properly addressed by the owner.
- All dogs must be licensed EVERY JANUARY. Proof of Rabies Immunization must be presented to the Clerk in the Town Hall.
- A low cost Rabies Clinic is held every year behind the Town Hall the first Wednesday in May. (The Clerk is available for license purchases for those who may still need to get one.)
- Please help prevent Pet Overpopulation. Spay/neuter you’re pet. Adopt from shelters or rescue groups, especially mature animals
Understanding The Dog Ticketing Process
One of your Dog Officer’s major concerns is the timely collection of Dog Fines issued to those owners who continually do not respect the Town’s Dog Laws. It is important for everyone to understand the procedures that lead up to a ticket being issued:
- When your Dog Officer sees an offense occur, or receives a complaint, the first result is a contact with the owner to explain the offense and laws and the process which could lead to tickets and fines. This is considered a “VERBAL WARNING” and is documented in the log. NO FINE IS INCURRED.
- Subsequent violations witnessed by the ACO, result in written citations, which are mailed, to the owner. The first written ticket is a “written Warning” and NO FINE IS CHARGED. We believe in education first to solve animal problems.
- Additional violations result in fines according to the following:
2nd Offense – $10 (this is really #3)
3rd Offense – $25
4th Offense – $35
5th Offense, etc.- $50
- Occasionally, an ORDER is issued to repeat offenders. If this is violated, the first time, the fine is $25. Each additional violation is $100
As of September 27, 2001, the Town has adopted the following in order to encourage the prompt payment of dog fines
Prompt Payment Of Fines
- A bill for unpaid fines will be sent to owners the first of each month, every month.
- A $5.00 will be added to the bill after the 21-day appeal period and/or 30 days since the last bill sent.
- ALL FINES MUST BE PAID before January 1st of each year.
- A $25 fine will be assessed for late (after February 28 each year) licensing of each dog.
Nahant Police By-Laws | Section 13. Control of Dogs
No person shall permit a dog owned or kept by him beyond the confines of the property of the owner or keeper, unless the dog is held firmly on a leash. No person shall permit a dog, owned or kept by him, to enter on or remain on any part of Johnson School property. (rev.4-27-02) Article 37.
No person shall permit a dog, owner or kept by him, to enter on or remain on any Town beach, from May through September 30 each year, except on the beach on Castle Road opposite the Coast Guard Station may be used year round for the exercise of dogs not on a leash.
Whoever violates this by-law will be punished as follows:
- For the first offense, a ten dollar ($10) fine
- For the second offense, a twenty-five dollar ($25) fine
- For the third offense, a thirty-five dollar ($35) fine
- For each subsequent offense, a fifty dollar ($50) fine
- The Town Administrator shall annually appoint a Dog Control Clerk, whose duties shall be to supervise and co-ordinate the processing of all violations of this Section 13. Said Clerk shall have the authority, subject to the approval of the Town Administrator, and to appropriation of funds therefor, to hire such personnel as may be necessary for the purpose of carrying out such duties.
- The issuance of a citation by a police officer or the Dog Officer, for a violation of this Section 13, shall serve to give the owner of the dog notice to appear before the Dog Control Clerk, at any time during regular office hours, not later than twenty-one days after the date of such violation. A copy of the citation shall be given to the Dog Control Clerk, who shall maintain a docket of all such persons notified to appear.
- Any person so notified to appear before said Clerk may appear before him or his designee and admit to the offense charged, either personally or through an agent duly authorized in writing or by mailing to said Clerk the citation, accompanied by the fine imposed, such payment to be made only by postal note, money order or check payable to the Town of Nahant. Payment of the fine established shall operate as a final disposition of the case.
- A citation given as herein provided, shall be deemed a sufficient notice and a certificate of the officer giving such citation that it was given to the person charged in accordance with this by-law, shall be deemed prima facie evidence thereof and shall be admissible in any judicial or administrative proceedings as to the facts contained therein.
- Should any person notified to appear hereunder fail to appear, or, having appeared, fail to pay the fine imposed or request a hearing on the matter, the Dog Control Clerk shall forthwith schedule the matter before a person, hereinafter referred to as a hearing officer, said hearing officer to be the Dog Control Clerk or such other person or persons as said Clerk may designate. Written notice of the date, time and place of said hearing shall be sent by first class mail to the person notified to appear hereunder. Said hearing shall be informal, the rules of evidence shall not apply and the decision of the hearing officer shall be final, subject to judicial review, as provided by Section 14 of Chapter 301 of the Massachusetts General Laws.
- All fines received by the Town, pursuant to sub-section B hereof, shall be paid into the Town treasury. This section 13 was revised on April 26, 1986 and April 29, 1995
SECTION D. Disposal of Feces
- Duty to Dispose. It shall be the duty of each person who owns, possesses, or controls a dog to remove and dispose of any feces left by his/her dog on any sidewalk, street or other public area. It shall further be the duty of each person who owns, possesses, or controls a dog to remove and dispose of any feces left by his/her by such dog.
- Duty to Possess Means of Removal. No person who owns, possesses or controls a dog shall appear with such dog on any sidewalk, street, park or other public area without the means of removal of any feces left by such dog. Furthermore, no person who owns, possesses or controls a dog shall appear on any private property neither owned nor occupied by said person without means of removal of any feces left by such dog.
- Method of Removal and Disposal. For the purpose of this subsection, the means of removal shall be any tool, implement, or other device, including but not limited to bags or other suitable containers, carried for the purpose of picking up and containing such feces. Disposal shall be accomplished by transporting such feces to such person’s private trash container, a public trash container, or any other suitable place designated as appropriate by the Nahant Board of Health. Disposal in the storm drains is prohibited.
- The provisions of this subsection D shall not apply to a physically handicapped person in sole custody of a dog.
- Penalties for Violation. The initial violation of this subsection D shall be punished by a written warning from the Animal Control Officer. After issuance of said warning, subsequent violations shall be punished by a fine of ten dollars ($10), for the first such offense in any twelve-month period; a fine of twenty-five dollars ($25) for a second offense in any twelve-month period; and a fine of fifty dollars ($50) for any third or subsequent offense in any twelve-month period.
- Enforcement. This subsection shall be enforced by the Animal Control Officer consistent with other provisions of Article VIII, Section 12-A of the Town’s By-laws. (Section D added 4/27/98)