Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. The county commissioners of Hampden county are hereby authorized to establish the Hampden county regional dog control program. Participation in said program is to be an option of each respective city and town in said county. The cities and towns which choose to participate in said dog control program shall enter into an agreement with the county commissioner of said county relative to the licensing and keeping of dogs in said county. Said county commissioners shall apportion the budget approved for dog control in accordance with agreements they have entered. Nothing in this act shall prevent a city or town in said county from establishing separate dog control programs, individually or collectively. If a city or town provides for their own dog control, the provisions of this act shall not apply.
SECTION 2. Monies on hand in the Hampden county regional dog control program fund as of December thirty-first, nineteen hundred and eighty-three, established by chapter seven hundred and ninety-six of the acts of nineteen hundred and eighty-one shall be refunded to the General Fund of the county as follows: fifty thousand dollars emergency loan to the Hampden county regional dog control program fund shall be fully refunded to the General Fund of the county by June thirtieth, nineteen hundred and eighty-five; and nine thousand six hundred and thirty-four dollars to the reserve fund transfer to said regional dog control program fund shall be fully refunded to the General Fund of the county by June thirtieth, nineteen hundred and eighty-five.
Any other monies shall be refunded on the basis of the percentage interest in the dog account of the individual municipalities who have chosen not to join the program. Said refund amounts shall be determined by the county commissioners and the advisory board of Hampden county.
SECTION 3. Notwithstanding the provisions of section one hundred and thirty-seven of chapter one hundred and forty of the General Laws or any other provision of law to the contrary, the registering, numbering, describing, and licensing of dogs, if kept in said county, shall be conducted in the office of the clerk of the participating city or town of said county. Income from such fees shall be submitted to the treasurer of Hampden county and deposited in the Hampden county regional dog control program fund on a monthly basis.
SECTION 4. Notwithstanding the provision of section one hundred and thirty-nine of said chapter one hundred and forty, initial fees for dog licenses in Hampden county shall be ten dollars for unspayed females and unneutered males, and four dollars for spayed females and neutered males if the licensing authority is provided with proof thereof. This fee structure may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the county commissioners of Hampden county.
SECTION 5. Notwithstanding the provisions of section one hundred and forty-seven of said chapter one hundred and forty or any other provisions of law to the contrary, all money received by the county treasurer of Hampden county from the participating communities of the Hampden county regional dog program from dog licenses or from the sale of dog licenses, gifts or recovered as fines and penalties shall be deposited in a fund established by and under the direction and control of the Hampden county regional dog control program excluding the statutory fee retained by city and town clerks for licensing. Said fund shall be administered by the treasurer of said county and shall be separate and distinct from any other accounts under the purview of said treasurer.
In the event of a deficit or surplus within the fund of the Hampden county regional dog program, the commissioner shall apportion the balance of the shortfall or surplus of revenues for the maintenance and operation of the Hampden county regional dog control program among those cities and towns that are participants.
SECTION 6. The county commissioners of Hampden county shall hire all personnel necessary to implement the Hampden county regional dog control program, and such personnel shall be deemed Hampden county employees. All transactions of the said dog control program shall be under the control and supervision of the county commissioners of said county. Said county commissioners, with the approval of the county advisory board, are hereby authorized to build, construct, bond, lease or enter a purchase rental agreement for the purpose of establishing a dog shelter.
SECTION 7. Notwithstanding any provisions of law to the contrary, the Hampden county regional dog control program fund may borrow those funds needed to establish the program from Hampden county or a commercial lender in accordance with procedures and terms as approved by the county commissioners and the county advisory board of said county.
SECTION 8. Any fund established or operating under the provisions of this act shall operate under the fiscal year established for counties pursuant to section sixteen of chapter thirty-five of the General Laws.
SECTION 9. Chapter seven hundred and ninety-six of the acts of nineteen hundred and eighty-one is hereby repealed.