City of Poughkeepsie, NY
Dutchess County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
GENERAL REFERENCES
General powers of city enumerated — See Administrative Code Section 2.04.
Housing Code provisions regarding the keeping of domestic animals and pets — See Code of Ordinances Section 12-81.
Obstructing sidewalks — See Code of Ordinances Section 15-4.
General powers of city enumerated — See Administrative Code Section 2.04.
Recreation Commission — See Administrative Code Art. XV.
General definitions and rules of construction — Code of Ordinances Section 1-2.
Games of chance — See Code of Ordinances Section 1-2.
STATE LAW REFERENCES
Control of dogs — See Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.

Section 4-1 Prohibited at large unless restrained.

[Ord. of 2-4-1929, § 5]
No owner or person having the care, charge or keeping of any horse or other animal shall suffer or permit the same to be at large or to stand without being tied or held by some proper person in any of the streets or public places of the City.

Section 4-2 Leading, riding, and driving animals on sidewalks.

[Ord. of 2-4-1929, § 5]
No person shall lead or ride or drive any horse or other animal upon any sidewalk in the City, except when crossing the same to enter the property abutting thereon.

Section 4-3 Dangerous dogs.

[Ord. of 6-5-1995, § 1, 2; Ord. of 5-28-2002, § 1]
(a) 
Legislative findings. The Common Council hereby finds that the regulation and control of dangerous dogs in the City of Poughkeepsie is a matter of vital concern, affecting the public health, safety and welfare of all City residents. Experience from the City of Poughkeepsie has demonstrated that while most dogs are suitable pets, there are certain exceptionally dangerous and unpredictable dogs of various breeds and that there has been a proliferation of these dogs in the City of Poughkeepsie, posing significant danger to City residents. This section seeks to remedy this dangerous situation by regulating ownership of dangerous dogs in the City of Poughkeepsie. This section shall not supersede but shall be supplementary to the provisions of law contained in Article 7 of the New York State Agriculture and Market Law and any other applicable section, rule or regulation.
(b) 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
(1) 
Any dog:
a. 
Which, when unprovoked, approaches a person in a vicious or terrorizing manner in an apparent attitude of attack upon the streets, sidewalks or any public grounds or places;
b. 
With a known propensity, tendency or disposition to attack unprovoked, causes injury or otherwise endangers the safety of human beings or domestic animals;
c. 
Which bites, inflicts injury, assaults or otherwise attacks or endangers a human being or domestic animal or household pet without provocation on public or private property; or
d. 
Which is owned or harbored primarily or in part for the purpose of dogfighting, or any dog trained for dogfighting.
(2) 
No dog may be declared "dangerous" if any injury or damage is sustained by a person who, at the time such injury or damage was sustained, was committing a willful trespass or other tort upon premises occupied by the owner or keeper of the dog or was teasing, tormenting, abusing or assaulting the dog or was committing or attempting to commit a crime. If the trespass is determined to be of an innocent nature, the Court may, depending on the circumstances and in accordance with the procedures set forth in this section, find the dog to be "dangerous."
(3) 
No dog may be declared "dangerous" if it is used by law enforcement work officials for law enforcement work.
IMPOUNDED
Taken into the custody of the public pound used by the City of Poughkeepsie.
PERSON
A natural person or any legal entity, including but not limited to a corporation, firm, partnership or trust.
SECURE ENCLOSURE
A fence of at least six feet in height or other structure, such as a pen, forming or causing an enclosed area suitable to prevent the entry of young children or any part of their bodies and suitable to confine dangerous dogs, in conjunction with other measures which may be taken by the owner or keeper, such as the tethering of the dangerous dog. Such other structures shall be securely enclosed and locked and designed with secure sides, top and bottom and shall be designed to prevent the animal from escaping therefrom. If the pen or other structure has no bottom secured to the sides, the sides shall be embedded into the ground no less than one foot.
(c) 
Seizure of dogs.
(1) 
An animal control officer who has probable cause to believe that a dog is dangerous, as defined in this section, shall issue an appearance ticket as authorized by Article 7 of the New York State Agriculture and Market Law and may immediately demand that possession of the dog be forthwith relinquished to said animal control officer, who may impound said dog until a hearing may be held before the City Court to determine if the dog is dangerous. At such hearing all interested persons shall have the opportunity to present evidence on the issue of the dog's dangerousness.
(2) 
It is in the Court's discretion to order the dog be destroyed pursuant to New York State Agriculture and Market Law § 121 or, after a finding that the dog is dangerous as defined in this section, to authorized the return of the dog to the owner upon satisfaction of the following conditions, which must be complied with within 10 days of the Court's finding or the dog shall become the property of the City:
a. 
Obtain general liability insurance in the amount of $100,000 for any injury which the dog may cause, naming the City of Poughkeepsie as an additional insured for the purpose of receiving notification of termination. It shall be the duty of said dog owner to maintain such insurance policy in force so long as the dog shall be present in the City of Poughkeepsie.
b. 
Obtain a leash, muzzle and collar for said dog. Such leash shall have a maximum length of four feet, and both leash and collar shall have a minimum tensile strength of 300 pounds. It shall be unlawful at all times thereafter to allow said dog to leave the owners home or a secure enclosure as defined herein upon the owner's property unless said dog is muzzled, collared and tethered and under the control of a person at least 18 years of age.
c. 
Registration. The City Clerk or her/his designee shall require the owner of a dangerous dog to register such dog with the City Clerk. The application for such registration shall contain the name and address of the owner, the breed, age, sex, color and any other identifying marks of the dog, the location where the dog is to be kept if not at the address of the owner and any other information which the City Clerk or his/her designee may require. The application for registration pursuant to this subsection shall be accompanied by a registration fee of $50. Each dog registered pursuant hereto shall be assigned an official registration number by the City Clerk. Such registration number shall be tattooed at the owner's expense in the manner prescribed by the City Clerk. The certificate of registration shall be of such form and design and shall contain such information as the City Clerk shall prescribe and shall be issued to the owner upon payment of the registration fee and presentation of sufficient evidence that the owner had complied with all of the orders of the City Court as prescribed at the determination hearing.
d. 
The owner shall display a sign on the premises warning that there is a dangerous dog on the property. This sign shall be visible and capable of being read from the public highway or street.
e. 
The owner of the dog shall have the dog sterilized.
f. 
The dog shall not be returned to any person under the age of 18.
g. 
The City of Poughkeepsie shall be paid all seizure and boarding fees for the dog.
(3) 
An animal control officer who has probable cause to believe that a dangerous dog is being possessed in violation of this section or in violation of the ownership conditions established by City Court shall immediately demand that possession of the dog be forthwith relinquished to said Animal Control Officer, who shall impound said dog until this section has been complied with and all fines paid.
(d) 
Liability of owner. If any dangerous dog causes injury to a person or domestic animal or damage to property while out of or within the enclosure of the owner of the dog or while off the property of the owner, whether or not the dangerous dog was on a leash and securely muzzled or whether the dangerous dog escaped without the fault of the owner, the owner shall be liable to the person aggrieved by the injury for all damages sustained, to be recovered in a civil action.
(e) 
Notification. The owner shall notify the animal control officer within 12 hours if a dangerous dog is loose, unconfined, has attacked another animal, has attacked a human being or has died.
(f) 
Dogfighting; training to attack. No person shall own or harbor any dog for the purpose of dogfighting or shall train, torment, badger, bait or use any dog for the purpose of causing or encouraging the dog to unprovoked attacks upon human beings or domestic animals.
(g) 
Selling, breeding or buying. No person shall possess with intent to sell, offer for sale, give away, breed, buy, attempt to by or receive as a gift within the City any dangerous dog. An owner wishing to relinquish ownership of a dog determined to be dangerous pursuant to the section, shall only be permitted to relinquish the dog to the animal control officer of the City.
(h) 
Penalty.
(1) 
Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be punished by a fine of $250 or 15 days in jail, or both. Each separate offense shall constitute an additional violation.
(2) 
Any dangerous dog which attacks a human being or domestic animal may be ordered destroyed as provided by New York State Agriculture and Markets Law.
(3) 
Any person found guilty of violating this section shall pay all expenses, including shelter, food and veterinary expenses necessitated by the seizure of any dog for the protection of the public and such other expenses as may be recruited for the destruction of such dog.

Section 4-4 Keeping swine prohibited.

[Ord. of 3-4-1929, § 1]
It shall be unlawful for a person to keep or suffer to be kept any swine on his premises, wherever located in the City.

Section 4-5 Trapping pigeons.

[Ord. of 5-15-1961, §§ 1, 2]
(a) 
Nuisance declared. It is hereby determined that pigeons have become and constitute a public nuisance and are generally injurious to the welfare and property of the citizens of the City.
(b) 
Issuance of permits. The City Chamberlain is hereby authorized and directed to issue permits to trap pigeons in the City pursuant to Section 185 of the Conservation Law of the State of New York[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See now Environmental Conservation Law §§ 11-0513 and 11-0523.

Section 4-6 Animal control.

[Ord. of 12-19-1966, § 1 through 5; Ord. of 2-22-1971; Ord. of 8-5-1974, § 1, 2; Ord. of 4-18-1977, §§ 1, 2; Ord. of 5-2-1977, § 1; Ord. of 5-31-1979, § 2; Ord. of 12-19-1983, § 1; Ord. of 8-19-1985, § 1 through 3; Ord. of 4-17-1995, § 1; Ord. of 5-28-2002, § 2]
(a) 
Purpose. This section is adopted to promote the general welfare, health and public welfare of the community, including the protection of the residents of the City.
(b) 
Violations. It shall be unlawful for any owner of or any person harboring any dog in the City to permit or allow muzzled or unmuzzled dogs to:
(1) 
Run at large unless said dog is restrained by an adequate collar and leash and is accompanied by its owner or a responsible person able to control the animal.
(2) 
Engage in habitual loud howling or barking or to conduct itself in such a manner so as to habitually annoy any person other than the owner or owners harboring such dog.
(3) 
Cause damage or destruction to property or commit a nuisance upon the premises of a person other than the owner or persons harboring such dog.
(4) 
Chase or otherwise harass any person in such manner as reasonably to cause intimidation or to put such person in reasonable apprehension or bodily harm or injury.
(5) 
Habitually chase or bark at motor vehicles.
(c) 
Definitions. The term "to run at large" is hereby defined as the act of running outside the dwelling house of any animal owner in the absence of an adequate collar and leash or rope, except when enclosed in a completely and adequately fenced-in area without freedom of ingress or egress.
(d) 
Civil penalties. Any animal found to be running at large may be apprehended by the Animal Control Officer and taken to a designated pound.
(e) 
Animal Control Officer; designation and duties. An Animal Control Officer shall be appointed to apprehend all animals running at large and to respond to complaints of residents of the City concerning any animal or animals said to be running at large. In the event that a complaint is directed at an animal which is not running at large, the Animal Control Officer shall, in the event of the owner's failure to comply with existing sections and regulations, expedite the filing of all necessary papers with the City Court by a complainant. The Animal Control Officer shall be the dog control officer for purposes of Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law for the City of Poughkeepsie.
(f) 
Pound. The City shall designate the official pound of the City, and said designation shall be placed on file in the Chamberlain's office.
(g) 
Penalties and reclamation. A violation of this section shall be deemed an offense, and any person convicted of violating after investigation and hearing shall be liable to a penalty of not more than $100 for the first violation, $200 for the second violation and $250 for three or more violations. Said owner will also pay the daily boarding fee and other charges required by the City or the shelter utilized by the City for the confinement the dog or the cost of keeping, feeding and caring for the animal while in the custody of the Animal Control or municipal shelter. The owner shall reimburse the City for the cost of emergency ambulance service and any veterinary treatment provided for injured dogs, before redemption of the animal.
(h) 
Notice to owners. It shall be the responsibility of the Animal Control Officer to serve written notice upon the owner of the licensed animal impounded, provided that the collar, harness, muzzle or leash has attached thereto a license issued through the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets for the year in which the animal was apprehended or for the prior year. Such notice shall be served personally upon the owner and shall inform the owner of the date on which the animal was seized and shall state that the animal will be destroyed unless redeemed within the applicable period of time.
(i) 
Retention. It shall be the duty of the Animal Control Officer to retain unlicensed animals apprehended for running at large, at the pound, for five days and licensed animals for 10 days only and thereafter to take any steps necessary to dispose of any and all unclaimed animals.
(j) 
Criminal penalties. The owner of any animal found to violate this section shall, upon the filing of any information with the City Court by a complaining witness, be summoned to such City Court by the Court Clerk. Such owner, upon conviction and notwithstanding anything contained in this section, shall be deemed guilty of the crime of disorderly conduct as defined in the Code. The jurisdiction of the City Court shall be exclusive in any and all cases covered by this subsection.

Section 4-7 Complaints regarding objectionable conduct; filing.

[Ord. of 5-31-1979, § 2]
Any person who observes a dog causing damage or destruction to property of a person other than its owner or committing a nuisance upon the premises of a person other than its owner may file a signed complaint, under oath, with a City Judge specifying the objectionable conduct of the dog, the date thereof, the damage caused, a description of the dog and name and residence, if known, of the owner or other person harboring said dog.

Section 4-8 Action by Judge.

[Ord. of 5-31-1979, § 2]
Upon receipt by the City Judge of any complaint against the conduct of any particular dog, the City Judge may summon the alleged owner or other person harboring said dog to appear in person before him; if the summons is disregarded, the Judge may permit the filing of an information and issue a warrant for the arrest of such person.

Section 4-9 Removal of canine wastes; violation, penalty, exemption.

[Ord. of 2-19-1985, § 1; Ord. of 5-28-2002, § 3]
(a) 
It shall be the duty of each dog owner or each person in possession, custody or control of a dog to remove any feces left by his dog on any sidewalk, gutter, street or other public area in the City of Poughkeepsie.
(b) 
Any such person found guilty of violating this section, by refusing or failing to comply with the provisions hereof, shall be subject to a fine or civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $250 for the first occurrence, up to $500 for the second occurrence and up to $1,000 for each occurrence thereafter.
[Amended by Ord. No. O-15-04, 4-7-2015§ 1]
(c) 
The Sanitation Inspector and the Animal Control Officer shall each have the authority to issue appearance tickets for violations of this provision, which ticket shall be returnable in the City Court of the City of Poughkeepsie, which Court shall have the power to impose the fine or penalty set forth herein.
(d) 
The provisions of this section shall not apply to a guide dog accompanying any blind person.

Section 4-10 Fees for dog licenses.

[Ord. of 1-6-1992, § 1; Ord. of 12-4-1997, § 1; Ord. of 12-17-1998, § 1; Ord. No. O-06-01, § 1; L.L. No. 6-2010, 12-6-2010, § 1]
(a) 
There shall be a license fee due to the City of Poughkeepsie as follows:
(1) 
For a one-year license, the fee shall be:
a. 
For each spayed or neutered dog: $7.
b. 
For each unspayed or unneutered dog: $20.50.
(b) 
No dog license shall be issued for a period expiring after the expiration date of the current rabies certificate for the dog being licensed. In the event an applicant for a license presents, in lieu of a rabies certificate, a statement certified by a licensed veterinarian as provided in New York Agriculture and Markets Law § 109(3), a license shall be issued or renewed for a period of one year from the date of said statement.
(c) 
Dog license violations. It shall be unlawful for:
(1) 
Any owner to fail to license any dog.
(2) 
Any person to furnish any false or misleading information on any form required to be filed with the City.
(d) 
Penalties. A violation of this section shall be deemed an offense; and any person convicted of violating any provision in Subsection (c) after a trial or a plea of guilty shall be held liable to a penalty of not more than $100 for the first violation, $200 for the second violation, and $250 for three or more violations.

Section 4-11 Adoption of animals.

[Ord. of 5-28-2002, § 4; Ord. No. O-10-10, § 1]
When appropriate, the Animal Control Officer shall, with the approval of a police supervisor, upon expiration of the redemption period as provided for in the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law, make available for adoption all animals seized by said officer or any assistant, whether pursuant to this chapter, state law, any other law, or otherwise. Such animals shall be available for adoption by any person or persons whom the Animal Control Officer shall find to be of suitable age, discretion and character to keep such animal or animals in a humane manner. The Animal Control Officer shall collect a fee of $50 for each such animal so adopted. If the Animal Control Officer determines that such animal is not appropriate for adoption, he/she shall have the animal disposed of in a humane manner.