[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Fallsburg 11-9-2010 by L.L. No. 15-2010. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Noise — See Ch. 197.
Editor's Note: This local law also repealed former Ch. 112, Dogs, adopted 12-18-1979 by L.L. No. 4-1979 (Ch. 154 of the 1971 Code), as amended.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Dog Control Law of the Town of Fallsburg."
As used in this chapter, unless otherwise expressly stated or unless the context or subject matter otherwise requires, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The delivery to any natural person 18 years of age or older, for the purpose of harboring a dog, seized or surrendered, from the Town's animal shelter.
- AGRICULTURE AND MARKETS LAW
- The Agriculture and Markets Law of the State of New York in effect as of the effective date of this chapter, as amended by this chapter and as amended thereafter.
- AT LARGE
- Any dog that is unleashed and on property open to the public or is on private property not owned or leased by the owner of the dog unless permission for such presence has been obtained. No dog shall be deemed to be at large if it is:
- The Town Clerk, or Deputy Town Clerk, of the Town of Fallsburg, where licenses are to be validated or issued.
- Refers to the risk of harm by any action of the dog, whether or not benign, such as biting, jumping, slamming against, grabbing, swiping with its paws and over-friendliness that is expressed as jumping upon; a propensity to attack other dogs.
- DANGEROUS DOG
- Any dog that, when unprovoked, inflicts bites on a human or a domestic animal either on public or private property, or chases or approaches a person upon the streets, sidewalks or any public grounds in a menacing fashion or apparent attitude of attack, or any dog with a known propensity, tendency, or disposition to attack unprovoked, to cause injury or to cause injury or otherwise to threaten the safety of humans or domestic animals. Any dog that inflicts severe injury on a human being without provocation on public or private property, kills a domestic animal without provocation while the dog is off the owner's property, or has been previously found to be potentially dangerous because of injury inflicted on a human, the owner having received notice of such and the dog again aggressively bites, attacks or endangers the safety of humans. This shall also mean any dog that, when unprovoked, creates havoc or damages property that is not its owner's. A dog that has engaged in or has been trained to engage in exhibition of fighting; a dog that has attacked a person or domestic animal, without jurisdiction, causing serious bodily injury or death. A dog's breed shall not be considered in determining whether or not it is dangerous.
- Any member of the species Canis familiaris.
- DOG CONTROL OFFICER
- Any individual appointed by the Town to assist in the enforcement of this chapter or any authorized officer, agent or employee of an incorporated humane society or similar incorporated dog protective association under contract with the Town to assist in the enforcement of this chapter.
- DOMESTIC ANIMAL
- A dog or a cat.
- (1) A total of not more than four dogs or cats, or any combination of both, are permitted in any zone, excluding litters (for a period not to exceed six months in age).
- (2) Vacant properties without a permanent structure intended for and occupied as a residence for human occupancy shall not be used for the keeping of domestic animals for any purpose in any zone.
- To provide food or shelter to any dog.
- IRRESPONSIBLE OWNER
- Any owner of any dog in the Town of Fallsburg who has violated, three or more times, any section contained in this chapter or Articles 7 and 26 of the Agriculture and Markets Law of New York State, or any combination of three violations of this chapter and of Articles 7 and 26 of the Agriculture and Markets Law of the State of New York, including, but not limited to, running at large, trespassing, creating a nuisance, being off leash, causing property damage or cruelty to animals, may be designated as an irresponsible dog owner.
- Any person, firm, corporation, organization or department possessing, harboring, keeping, having an interest in or having control or custody of an animal.
- POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS DOG
- Any dog that, when unprovoked, inflicts bites on a human or a domestic animal either on public or private property or chases or approaches a person upon the streets, sidewalks or any public grounds in a menacing fashion or apparent attitude of attack, or any dog with a known propensity, tendency or disposition to attack unprovoked, to cause injury or to cause injury or otherwise to threaten the safety of humans or domestic animals.
- PROPER ENCLOSURE OF A DANGEROUS DOG
- While on the owner's property, a dangerous dog shall be securely confined indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked pen or structure, suitable to prevent the entry of young children and designed to prevent the animal from escaping. Such pen or structure shall have secure sides and a secure top and shall provide protection from the elements for the dog.
- SHOW DOG
- A dog that competes in a competitive exhibition of dogs.
- The Town of Fallsburg, including incorporated areas.
- Refers to a dog that has done or communicated by its actions an intention, habit, tendency or propensity to do something harmful to people.
All other words and phrases used in this chapter shall, for the purpose of this chapter, have the meanings respectively ascribed to them by § 108 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
The purpose of this chapter shall be to preserve the public peace and good order in the Town and to contribute to the public welfare, safety and good order of its people by establishing certain regulations and restrictions on the activities of dogs that are consistent with the rights and privileges of other residents of the Town. This chapter shall also provide for the licensing and identification of dogs, the control and protection of the dog population and the protection of persons, property, domestic animals and deer from dog attack and damage.
The Town Board shall appoint a Dog Control Officer or Officers for the Town of Fallsburg for the purposes and shall have all the powers contained in § 114 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
Leash required. No person who owns, possesses or harbors a dog shall allow or permit such dog to run at large in the Town unless effectively restrained by a leash not to exceed eight feet in length or unless accompanied by its owner or other responsible person in full control of such dog on public roads.
Full control. For the purpose of this section, "full control" means that the dog will respond to the command, order or signal of the owner or other responsible person and that the owner or other responsible person shall at all times by his or her command, order or signal prevent his or her dog from bothering, worrying, annoying, chasing or barking at any person or animal.
Female dog. No person who owns, possesses or harbors a female dog shall permit such dog to be outside a building or fence enclosure in time of heat.
Exceptions. A dog shall be permitted to run unleashed on the property of the owner or other person harboring same; provided, however, that:
Permitting a dog to damage property prohibited. No person who owns a dog shall permit or suffer such dog to damage or destroy property of any kind.
Keeping of persistently barking dog prohibited. No person shall keep, suffer or permit to be kept on the premises occupied by such person any dog which by its continual barking, howling or whining or other frequent or long-continued noises which shall unreasonably disturb the comfort or repose of any person.
Sanitary requirements. No person who owns a dog shall permit the premises, structures or enclosures in which such dog is kept to be unclean or unsanitary.
Leashing of certain dogs. No person shall suffer or permit to run at large any dog which has been ordered to be confined, but any such order shall not be deemed violated while such a dog is personally and effectively restrained by a leash not to exceed eight feet in length.
Running at large on places of public assembly prohibited. No person owning, keeping, harboring or having the care, custody and/or control of any dog shall permit such dog to be at large on the grounds or on premises of places of public assembly unless restrained and under a leash not to exceed eight feet in length.
Keeping a dog which runs in a pack prohibited. No person shall permit, keep or suffer to be kept any dog which runs at large in a pack or with a pack of other dogs.
Kennels or dog hospitals. No person shall keep or maintain a kennel and/or animal hospital for the raising, breeding, boarding, care or treatment of dogs in the Town unless same are enclosed or housed in a suitable enclosure, and unless the enclosure or house used for such purpose shall be a minimum of 1,000 feet from any building or residence used or occupied by a person, firm, partnership or corporation, for business or residential purposes and approved by the Town of Fallsburg Zoning Board of Appeals.
The Dog Control Officer and any other peace officer authorized by the Town to assist in the enforcement of this chapter and Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law shall have the authority to issue an appearance ticket, pursuant to the Criminal Procedure Law.
A violation of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $50 and not more than $100, except that where the person was found to have violated this chapter within the preceding five years, the fine may be not less than $150 and no more than $250, and where the person was found to have committed two or more such violations within the preceding five years, it shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $250 and no more than $500 per violation, or imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both. The owner of any dog impounded by the Town shall be entitled to redeem that dog within five business days, excluding the day the dog is impounded, from the day the dog is impounded, provided that the owner produces proof the dog is licensed and identified and pays a fee of $75 for the first impoundment, a fee of $150 for the second impoundment and a fee of $3 for each additional twenty-four-hour period within a twelve-month period; a fee of $250 for a third and each subsequent impoundment and a fee of $3 for each additional twenty-four-hour period. In addition to the above-stated fees, the Town shall be entitled to a boarding fee of $25 per day.
The owner of any dog reaching the age of four months shall immediately make application for a dog license. No license shall be required for any dog under the age of four months that is not at large. A license shall be renewed after a period of one year beginning with the first day of the month following the date of issuance. Renewal shall be for a minimum of one year and shall not exceed three years, based on the validation term of the rabies vaccination.
Application for a dog license shall be made to the Town Clerk.
The application shall state the sex, actual or approximate year of birth, breed, color(s), official identification number of the dog and other identification markers, if any, and the name, address, telephone number, county and town of the residence of the owner.
The application shall be accompanied by a license fee as listed below and a valid certificate of rabies vaccination or statement from a licensed veterinarian that such vaccination would endanger the dog's life in which case vaccination shall not be required. In cases of spayed or neutered dogs, every application shall also be accompanied by a certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian showing that the dog has been spayed or neutered, provided such certificate shall not be required if the same is already on file with the Clerk.
The fees for a dog license shall be as follows:
Altered dogs: $10.
Unaltered dogs: $15.
There shall be no fee charged for the licenses issued for any service dogs, detection dogs, geese dogs and guide dogs, and hearing dogs shall be exempt from fees; however, owner(s) of the exempt dogs must register for a license and show proof of rabies vaccination as well as a spaying or neutering certificate.
Upon validation by the Clerk, the application shall become a license for the dog described therein. Once an application has been validated, no refund shall be made.
The Clerk shall provide a copy of the license to the owner and retain a record of the license in either paper or electronic form.
No license shall be transferable. Upon the transfer of ownership of any dog, the new owner shall immediately make application for a license for such dog.
No dog can be adopted out of the Town's animal shelter without first obtaining a license from the Clerk.
There will be no distinct purebred licenses as previously provided for by the state. Any and all existing purebred licenses will now be required to comply with this chapter.
The Clerk, at the time of issuing any license pursuant to this chapter, shall require the applicant to present a statement certified by a licensed veterinarian showing that the dog or dogs have been vaccinated to prevent rabies or, in lieu thereof, a statement certified by a licensed veterinarian stating that because of age or other reason, the life of the dog or dogs would be endangered by the administration of vaccine. The Clerk shall make or cause to be made from such statement a record of such information and file such record with a copy of the license.
In addition to other applicable fees, any person applying for a dog license for a dog identified as unlicensed during an enumeration shall pay a fee of $5. Such additional fee shall be used to pay the expenses incurred by the Town in conducting enumeration. In the event the additional fees collected exceed the expense incurred by the Town conducting an enumeration in any year, such excess fees may be used by the Town for any other lawful purpose.
Each dog licensed shall be assigned, at the time the dog is licensed for the first time, an official identification number. Such identification number shall be carried by the dog on an identification tag which shall be affixed to a collar on the dog at all times.
The official identification tag shall constitute the official identification of the dog to which it is assigned, regardless of changes of ownership, and the number shall not be reassigned to any other dog during the lifetime of the dog to which it is assigned.
At the time a dog is first licensed, one identification tag shall be furnished to the owner at no charge. Any replacement tag shall be obtained by the owner, at his or her expense, at a fee of $5.
No tag carrying an official identification number shall be affixed to the collar of any dog other than the one to which that number has been assigned.
The identification tag shall be imprinted with the "Town of Fallsburg," a unique identification number and the telephone number of the Town Clerk's Office.
A dog that participates within the dog show competition shall be registered with the Town, and all applicable fees will be due; however, the show dog shall be exempt from wearing an identification tag.
In the event of a change in ownership of any dog which has been assigned an official identification number or in the address of the owner of record of any such dog, the owner shall, within 10 days of any such change, notify the Clerk.
If any dog which has been assigned an official identification number is lost or stolen, the owner of record shall, within 10 days of the discovery of such loss or theft, notify the Clerk.
In the case of a dog's death, the owner of record shall so notify the Clerk either prior to renewal of the license or upon the time of such renewal.
Adequate shelter required. Any and all dogs harbored in the Town must be provided with adequate shelter and accessible shelter appropriate to each dog's breed, physical condition and the climate. The shelter must have a waterproof roof, be structurally sound and provide adequate room for free movement to make postural adjustments, including the ability to stand up, turn around and lie down with its limbs extended. The shelter must allow for the effective removal of waste, excretions, dirt and trash. The housing facility and the area immediately around it accessible to the dog shall be cleaned regularly to maintain a healthy and sanitary environment and to minimize health hazards.
Tethering of dogs. Any dog in the Town shall be so confined as to provide for the comfort and safety of the dog. The dog will be secured in a way that the tether cannot become entangled with other objects. Collars used to attach a dog must be comfortable and properly fitted at the discretion of the Town of Fallsburg Dog Control Officer. Excessive collars, such as, but not limited to, heavy chains and choke chains shall be prohibited. Restraints must allow the dog to move about and lie down comfortably with access to adequate shelter as defined in this chapter. Any dog tethered in the Town must, on occasion, and no less than once every two days, be removed from the tether for at least two hours in each two-day time interval.
All dogs within the Town will be provided with adequate food and accessible clean drinking water.
No animal shall be confined within or on a motor vehicle at any location in the Town under such conditions as may endanger the health or well-being of the animal, including but not limited to dangerous temperatures.
No animal shall be left for more than 24 consecutive hours without minimal care.
No person shall knowingly place food of any description containing poisonous or other injurious ingredients in any area reasonably likely to be accessible to animals, except as provided by law for nuisance, vector or predator control.
It shall be unlawful for any owner or custodian of any dog to knowingly and intentionally, whether for amusement of self or others, or for financial gain, cause any animal to fight or injure any other animal, cause it to be fought or injured by any other animal or to train or keep for the purpose of training any animal with the intent that the animal shall be exhibited combatively with any other animal. Anyone who permits such conduct on premises under that person's control, and any person present as a spectator at that exhibition, shall be considered a violator of this section and subject to punishment upon conviction.
A hearing shall be held to determine whether the accused is an irresponsible dog owner.
A Dog Control Officer, Town Prosecutor or private person may petition the court for a declaration that a person is an irresponsible dog owner as defined in § 112-2, Definitions, of this chapter, and that he be penalized as provided herein.
Upon petitioning the court, the accused shall be given notice as in civil cases that if he does not appear before the court and show cause why he should not he declared an irresponsible dog owner, then he shall be declared an irresponsible dog owner and shall be penalized as provided herein.
At the court hearing to determine whether the accused is an irresponsible dog owner, the court may admit into evidence all relevant evidence, including but not limited to prior convictions, incident reports and affidavits of witnesses. A jury shall not be available. The court may find, upon a preponderance of the evidence, that the accused is an irresponsible dog owner and, upon such finding, shall impose the penalty or penalties provided in this chapter.
An irresponsible dog owner as defined in § 112-2 of this chapter and declared such as provided in this section shall be penalized with any or all of the following:
Fine of up to $250 upon the first conviction hereunder, up to $350 upon the second conviction hereunder and up to $500 upon the third and subsequent convictions hereunder.
An irresponsible dog owner may be ordered to permanently surrender one or all of his dogs to the Dog Control Officer and refrain from owning, keeping or harboring any dog or dogs for a period of up to three years or a time the presiding judge shall deem appropriate.
Order the owner to restrain such dog by collar and leash at all times whether on or off the owner's property.
Order the owner to confine such dog to the premises of the owner.
Order spay/neuter of the dog.
Order permanent identification of the dog such as tattoo or microchip.
Effect such other remedy authorized by law as may be warranted by the circumstances in each case.
Order permanent confinement in the case of any dog deemed dangerous and a threat to public safety.
The court may not grant probation to an irresponsible dog owner except in extraordinary circumstances and under the condition that the next violation under this chapter or any other animal control or animal cruelly law shall result in imposition of the fullest penalties prescribed in § 112-15B hereof.
The provisions hereof shall be in addition to any other civil, criminal or administrative laws, regulations or causes of action against the owner of the dog or any other person, firm, corporation or governmental entity or employee.
A violation of an order made under this section shall be punishable as a criminal contempt of court as defined in Article 215 of the New York State Penal Law.
Any person who witnesses an attack or threatened attack, or, in the case of a minor, an adult acting on behalf of such minor, may make a complaint of an attack or threatened attack upon a person, companion animal or farm animal to a Dog Control Officer or police/peace officer of the Town. Such officer shall immediately inform the complainant of his right to commence a proceeding as provided in Article 7, § 121, of the Agriculture and Markets Law of the State of New York. The officer, at his discretion, may commence such proceeding without the consent of the complainant if the information provided by the complainant is compelling enough to suspect that the dog is a dangerous dog and a threat to public safety.
Any dog owner violating any provision of a confinement order after said dog is deemed dangerous by the Town Municipal Judge/Justice will be subject to immediate seizure of his dog identified in the order by the Town Dog Control Officer with no further notice, and the dog will become the property of the Town.
Any dog owner violating any provision of a confinement order as stipulated by a Town Municipal Judge/Justice shall be penalized by a criminal contempt of court as defined in Article 215 of the New York State Penal Law.
Unless otherwise provided by the Agriculture and Markets Law of the State of New York or specified in any other section of this chapter any violation of any provision of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $250 or by imprisonment of not more than 15 days, or both.
If any part of this chapter shall be held invalid, such a part shall be deemed severable, and the invalidity thereof shall not affect the remaining parts of this chapter.
No person shall interfere with, hinder or molest any agent of the Town in the performance of any duty as herein provided. Any person violating this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject to a fine of not less than $250 and not more than $500.