Early Springfield Ordinances
From Directory of the City of Springfield
John W. Kees & Co., Springfield. 1852
To provide for assessing and collecting a tax on dogs, to prevent bitches from running at large, and to provide against the prevalence of hydrophobia in the city of Springfield
Sec. 1. Be it ordained by the city council of the city of Springfield, That it shall be hereafter the duty of the city marshal in the month of May in each year, to make out a list of all persons, within the city, owning or harboring any dog or bitch, and from time to time from and after the end of said month, until the last day of December in the same year, to add to the said list all persons not already thereon, who may be found owning or harboring any dog or bitch; and every person who shall allow any dog or bitch habitually to remain, or be lodged and fed, within his or her house, store or premesis, shall be considered as harboring the same within the meaning of this ordinance.
Sec. 2. Whenever the city marshal shall have entered upon his list the name of any person owning or harboring any dog or btich, he shall forthwith demand of such person a tax for the current year of fifty cents for each dog and two dollars for each bitch so owned or harbored by such person; and in case such tax shall not be paid, he shall give information thereof to the mayor of the city, who shall issue his warrant against any person so neglecting or refusing to pay said tax, to compel such person to answer to the said city of Springfield in an action of debt for the amount of such tax; and if on hearing of the cause, judgment shall be rendered against such person, the mayor shall forthwith issue execution for the amount of such tax and costs, and the marshal shall proceed to collect the same as in other cases of judgement and execution. And if the marshal shall not be able to find goods or chattels whereon to levy for the satisfaction of such execution, then each dog or bitch on which such tax shall have been demanded, and judgment rendered thereon, shall become forfeited, and shall be considered a common nuisance, and it shall be the duty of the marshal forthwith to cause such dog or bitch to be destroyed.
Sec. 3. Every person owning or harboring any bitch within this city, shall at all times keep such bitch confined, upon and within his or her premesis; and if any bitch shall be found running at large at any time, within this city, it shall be the duty of the marshal forthwith to cause such bitch to be destroyed.
Sec. 4. If any person owning or harboring any dog or bitch within this city as aforesaid, shall deny the same to the marshal, or refuse to give an account thereof, when called upon for that purpose, such person, on conviction thereof, shall pay a fine not exceeding five dollars and costs.
Sec. 5. The marshal shall make a report to the city council at the end of each quarter, of the amount of taxes assessed and collected by him under the provisions of this ordinance, with the names of persons who shall have paid the same, and also the number of dogs and bitches killed for the non-payment of taxes thereon.
Sec. 6. Whenever the city council shall apprehend that the disease of hydrophobia is in danger of becoming prevalent in the city, they may, by resolution or otherwise, direct the mayor to issue his proclamation, ordering and requiring every person owning or harboring any animal of the dog kind, to confine the same within three days after the date thereof, by good and sufficient means to the house, out-house or inclosure, where such person may reside, during a term not exceeding sixty days next ensuing the date of such proclamation. And upon the issuing of such proclamation by the mayor, it shall be the duty of every person owning or harboring any animal of the dog kind, to confine the same as aforesaid, during the time specified in said proclamation to prevent such animal from biting, or being bitten by other animals. And every person who shall neglect or refuse to comply with the requisitions of such proclamation, shall, upon conviction thereof, pay a fine not exceeding twenty dollars nor less than five dolalrs and costs.
Sec. 7. It shall be lawful for any person to kill any animal of the dog kind found running at large within said city, within the time specified by the proclamation of the mayor as aforesaid; and it shall be the duty of the marshal, to cause all such animals so running at large in contravention of such procalmation as aforesaid, to be destroyed.
Sec. 8. The marshal shall receive such compensation for performing the duties umposed upon him by this ordinance, as shall from time to time be allowed by the city council.
Sec. 9. All ordinances of the president and council of the town of Springfield, upon the subject provided for in this ordinance, are hereby repealed.
This ordinance to take effect and be in force from and after the publication thereof.
JAMES M. HUNT
Mayor of the city of Springfield
Passed July 2, 1850.