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Discovering Your Local Laws: Part 2 Animals & Pets

July 3, 2013


  07/05/13  Plymouth Mayor Mark Senter is hoping to educate citizens on various laws and ordinances in that city that may affect their daily lives and routines.  He will be doing a weekly news release highlighting such.  This week’s news release relates to animals and pets.

The City of Plymouth tries its best to regulate and monitor pets and animals throughout The City.  Sometimes, we have dog barking complaints or dogs running loose that the Plymouth Police Department has to deal with. Even though we have a dog tax (or license) in The City we have only sold 28 dog tags to date this year.  We have that many dogs in my little neighborhood of Westgate!   Below are the particular ordinances that regulate your pets and it’s not as hard as it seems:


 There is hereby levied and assessed an annual tax of $1 on each male dog or spayed female dog and $3 on each unspayed female dog owned kept or harbored within the corporate limits of the city by any person, persons, firms or corporations, and it shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to own, keep or harbor any dog if he, she or it shall fail to have such dog registered and pay such taxes as herein provided.

Upon the registering and the payment of the sum required by this subchapter, the City Clerk-Treasurer shall issue to the person, firm or corporation owning, keeping or harboring such dog, a receipt showing the name of such person, firm or corporation, the amount paid, the number, description, and kind of dog paid for.  A copy of such receipt must be kept on file by the Clerk-Treasurer as a permanent record.  The Clerk-Treasurer will issue to the owner of each dog registered a suitable tag upon exhibiting proof of compliance with state rabies control statutes, which tag shall be at all times securely fastened around the neck or body of such dog.


No animal owner shall permit any animal to cause annoyance, alarm, or noise disturbance for more than 15 continuous minutes at any time of the day or night, by repeated barking, whining, screeching, howling, braying, or other like sounds which can be heard beyond the boundary of the owner’s property.

It shall be unlawful for any person to keep or harbor any animal which violates division (A) of this section.  Any such animal shall be deemed a public nuisance and may be seized and impounded by the city’s designated animal control officer, or other city police officer, if a violation of division (A) has occurred on 3 separate occasions and after the owner or other custodian of such animal has received 2 previous warnings from the city.




 It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation, being the owner or keeper of any dog, to suffer or permit such dog to trespass upon the property of any person within the limits of the city or suffer to permit such dog to be or go unattended upon or over the premises of any person, firm or corporation, or upon a street, sidewalk, alley or other public place within the limits of the city, or upon a park or cemetery of the city.  Dogs causing such annoyance may be picked up by a police officer of the city or by the city’s designee and forthwith destroyed under the rules and regulations of the Marshall County Humane Society unless claimed by the owner in accordance with said rules and regulations.

 If, in the best judgment of the Chief of Police or dog catcher of the city, in order to protect the citizens from hydrophobia or other serious health threat, then any such dog may be destroyed or may be retained as provided by state statute.

The above ordinances were passed by Plymouth’s Common Council in 1994.  To check the penalties for the above violations go to$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:plymouth_in

Back in 1994 when this ordinance was written and approved The City had a “pot-belly pig” issue.  I do not know of any city residents that have pot-belly pigs currently, but we do have a law that regulates them and other farm animals as well.  I recently heard from a resident that is interested in harboring chickens.  Below is the ordinance on other animals in The City:


A)    It shall be unlawful for the owner or any person in charge of any cattle, sheep, swine or goats and fowl to keep, or to suffer, or permit any such animals to be kept within the corporate boundaries of the city.

B)    Notwithstanding division (A) above, the keeping of a Vietnamese pot-belly pig shall be permitted so long as the following conditions are met.

          (1)     License.  The owner of a Vietnamese pot-belly pig shall obtain from the Clerk-Treasurer a license for the keeping of the pig. The fee for the license shall be $25 and shall be acquired on an annual basis. The applicant for a license must, at the time of application, provide proof from a licensed veterinarian that the pot-belly pig has been tested and found not to have pseudo-rabies and brucellosis. Furthermore, the applicant must provide proof that the pot-belly pig has been vaccinated for pasteurella, bordatella and erysipelas.

          (2)     Requirement of being spayed or neutered.  No pot-belly pig shall be used for breeding. Upon making application for a license to keep a Vietnamese pot-belly pig, the applicant must provide proof that the pot-belly pig has been spayed or neutered.  If the pot-belly pig is not mature enough yet to have the surgical procedure, then only a temporary license shall be issued with a date requiring that the animal would be spayed or neutered by said date. Failure to complete the surgical procedure by the date of the temporary license will result in a revocation of the license.

          (3)     Number of pigs.  Only 1 pot-belly pig may be kept in any 1 residence.

          (4)     Size.  No Vietnamese pot-belly pig may be taller than 18 inches in height and weigh no more than 70 pounds.

          (5)     Tusks.  The tusks of male Vietnamese pot-belly pigs shall be removed.

          (6)     Nuisance.  The licensee shall prevent the squealing or any other animal noises from disturbing neighbors. Further, the licensee shall remove and properly dispose of the Vietnamese pot-belly pig excrement.

          (7)     Violation.  A violation of any of the conditions of the Vietnamese pot-belly pig license as outlined above shall result in the revocation of the license. The Board of Public Works and Safety shall be vested with the authority to determine, after due notice to the licensee, if a violation of the license has occurred.

If anyone is interested in all of The City ordinances they can go online and find them at:$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:plymouth_in

Next week:  Weeds.

Mayor Mark Senter


2 Responses to “ Discovering Your Local Laws: Part 2 Animals & Pets ”

  1. AnnF on July 9, 2013 at 1:46 am

    I must agree with Andrew on this matter. You can’t bring a “child” up only to realize that he is the next Yao, and must be terminated from your life.

    South Bend allows chickens to be raised. We are a much more rural community. Why isn’t it allowed here?

    Finally, I’d like to know about the laws of bee keeping in city limits. Honey bees need all the new environments they can have. Their populations are dying off. – That isn’t a good thing.

  2. Andrew on July 7, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Thank you Mr. Mayor for presenting this series. I think it’s good that people know the laws and statutes of the city (better than later when it would cost :-)).

    I was intrigued by the section about Pot Bellied Pigs. It was only a few weeks ago that I had looked a little deeper on that subject on an unrelated point. I couldn’t help but notice that the maximum height and weight doesn’t really approach the normal weight/height of a fully grown animal (See here:

    Since the license to own such an animal must be renewed on a yearly basis, it is clear at some point that the animal will not be able to pass the requirement. This will no doubt lead to heart-ache once a bond with the animal is established. Further for reasons outside of this ordinance there are already significant numbers of these animals that find their way to rescue institutions — when they are available.

    I would suggest that this ordinance be re-examined in light of the fact regarding this breed, or institute a moratorium (exempting those that are already in possession of owners).