Town of Amherst, NY
Erie County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Amherst 5-20-1974 by L.L. No. 2-1974. Amendments noted where applicable. For additional information regarding 2010, 2011 and 2012 state local law numbers, refer to the Disposition List at the end of this volume.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Noise — See Ch. 138.
Parks, playgrounds and recreation areas — See Ch. 145.
[Amended 5-7-1979 by L.L. No. 2-1979; 11-11-2010 by L.L. No. 16-2010]
This chapter is to promote the health, safety and general welfare of the people of the Town of Amherst, New York, including the protection of the property of the Town and its inhabitants, to preserve peace and good order by imposing restrictions upon the keeping and running of dogs within the Town and to set license fees.
In the Town of Amherst, New York, outside the Village of Williamsville:
A. 
No person, firm or corporation owning, keeping, harboring or having the care, custody or control of any dog shall allow or permit such dog to be off the premises of such person, firm or corporation in the Town of Amherst, New York, outside the Village of Williamsville, unless restrained by a chain or leash, including retractable leashes, not exceeding six feet in length and under the control of a responsible person, except as designated by the Town of Amherst in duly authorized and posted dog parks. Whenever a dog is found off the premises of the person, firm or corporation owning, keeping, harboring or having the care, custody or control of such dog not restrained as above provided, it shall be presumed that such person, firm or corporation permitted or allowed such dog to be off such premises in violation of this section.
[Amended 3-21-2011 by L.L. No. 1-2011; 6-6-2011 by L.L. No. 15-2011]
B. 
No person, firm, company or corporation shall keep, suffer, permit or allow to be kept on the premises owned or occupied by such person, firm, company or corporation any dog or dogs which create any unreasonably loud or disturbing noise, such as repeated or continual barking, howling or whining, so as to be detrimental to the life, health, safety or welfare of any individual.
[Amended 11-17-1980 by L.L. No. 5-1980; 8-21-2000 by L.L. No. 5-2000]
(1) 
Any person, firm, company or corporation who shall do so shall be in violation of this chapter and subject to a fine of not more than $500.
(2) 
In determining whether any such noise is unreasonably loud or disturbing, due consideration shall include, but not limited to, the following factors:
(a) 
The loudness of the noise, as scientifically measured, or otherwise.
(b) 
The intensity of the noise, as measured by intervals.
(c) 
The quality of the noise, as measured by pitch or tone.
(d) 
The duration of the noise, as measured by time.
(e) 
The composition of the noise, as measured by the number of offending dogs.
(f) 
The time of day or night, of the noises.
(g) 
The proximity of the origin of such noise to the complainant, measured in distance.
(3) 
Repeated violations of this chapter are prohibited and may be deemed a public nuisance, which the Town Attorney is hereby authorized to pursue an abatement of in an appropriate court of law.
C. 
No person, firm or corporation owning or occupying a premises on which a dog is kept shall permit such premises to be unclean or unsanitary.
D. 
No person shall hinder, resist or oppose any police officer, Dog Control Officer or employee or representative of the Town in his performance of his duties under this chapter.
[Amended 11-17-1980 by L.L. No. 5-1980[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law also repealed former Subsection E, which prohibited the keeping of any dog not licensed as required by Art. 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
E. 
Feces.
[Added 8-16-1993]
(1) 
No person owning, harboring, keeping, walking or in charge of any dog shall cause, suffer or allow such dog to soil, defile, defecate on or commit any nuisance on any sidewalk, gutter, street, play area, park or other public area or on any private property without the permission of the owner of such property. This prohibition shall not apply to that portion of a street lying between the curblines or pavement edges where no curbs exist, which portion may be used to curb a dog, provided that any person who so curbs a dog shall immediately remove all feces left by such dog as follows:
[Amended 10-17-2011 by L.L. No. 24-2011]
(a) 
Individuals may place feces directly in a public or private sanitary sewer through deposit in a toilet on premises occupied by the individual owning or who curbs the dog. Plastic bags shall not be disposed of in a public or private sanitary sewer through deposit into a toilet along with any dog feces. Individuals may also dispose of dog feces contained in sealed plastic bags with regular household trash. Business entities must dispose of dog feces using a sanitary sewer system through deposit in a toilet on premises occupied by that business.
(b) 
In no event shall any feces be deposited in any storm sewer or drainage ditch.
(2) 
Exclusion. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to a guide dog accompanying any blind person.
Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law shall be applicable in addition to the provisions of this chapter.
[Amended 5-7-1979 by L.L. No. 2-1979; 11-17-1980 by L.L. No. 5-1980]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
DOG
Any dog of either sex.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 99-5, Local license fee, added 5-7-1979 by L.L. No. 2-1979, was repealed 11-11-2010 by L.L. No. 16-2010. See now § 99-13, License fees.
[Amended 11-17-1980 by L.L. No. 5-1980]
In the event that the owner of a dog shall be a person under the age of 18 years, then the head of the household in which said person resides shall be deemed to have custody and control of the dog for the purposes of this chapter.
[Amended 11-17-1980 by L.L. No. 5-1980]
A. 
This chapter shall be enforced by members of the Police Department, the Dog Control Officers or any other Town agent or employee hereafter designated by the Town Board for that purpose.
B. 
The Dog Control Officers and other Town agents or employees as may hereafter be designated by the Town Board are authorized to issue and serve appearance tickets upon any person, firm or corporation who or which has committed a violation of this chapter in his presence.
C. 
For the purpose of discharging the duties imposed by this chapter and the provisions of Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law, each member of the Police Department, Dog Control Officer or any other Town agent or employee hereafter designated by the Town Board for these purposes is authorized and directed to enter upon any premises upon which any dog is kept or harbored and to demand the exhibition by the person owning or having charge or control of such dog of the identification or purebred license tag for such dog.
D. 
Violations set forth in Subdivision 1 of § 118 of the Agriculture and Markets Law shall be prosecuted as such under the Penal Law.
[Amended 11-17-1980 by L.L. No. 5-1980]
A. 
Any person, firm or corporation violating any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of an offense punishable by a fine not to exceed $150 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both.
B. 
Any person, firm or corporation taking part in or assisting in any violation of this chapter shall also be subject to the penalties herein provided.
If any clause, sentence, paragraph or part of this chapter or the application thereof to any person or circumstances shall be adjudged by any court to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof or the application thereof to other persons and circumstances but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph or part thereof and the persons and circumstances directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered.
Upon this chapter taking effect, the Dog Ordinance of the Town of Amherst adopted May 8, 1961, is superseded and therefore repealed.
This chapter shall take effect immediately.
[Added 11-11-2010 by L.L. No. 16-2010]
Any person owning, possessing or harboring a dog four months of age or over in the Town of Amherst shall be required to have the dog vaccinated to prevent the spread of rabies, except that a rabies vaccine is not required as follows:
A. 
To a dog brought into the Town for a period not to exceed 15 days; and dogs confined to public or private hospitals devoted to the treatment of sick animals.
B. 
To a dog whose health would be adversely affected by a rabies vaccination, provided that a written statement, certified by a duly licensed veterinarian, specifying such condition is presented to the Dog Control Officer or the Town Clerk and filed with the Town Clerk's office.
[Added 11-11-2010 by L.L. No. 16-2010; amended 10-17-2011 by L.L. No. 24-2011]
A. 
Applications for a license or a renewal thereof shall be accompanied by a non-refundable processing fee as set by resolution of the Town Board from time to time. The cost for said applications for a license or renewal thereof for an unaltered dog must be at least five dollars ($5.00) more than the cost of said applications for a license or renewal thereof for an altered dog. In addition to the license fee, established herein, each applicant for a dog license shall pay a surcharge, pursuant to New York State Agriculture and Markets Law § 110(3) of (at least $1.00) if the dog to be licensed is altered, or a fee of (at least $3.00) if the dog sought to be licensed is unaltered. An application for a license or renewal shall be in the form prescribed by the Amherst Town Clerk and shall provide for the following minimum information:
(1) 
The name, residence address and telephone number of each owner; and
(2) 
The name, sex, approximate age, breed, color, markings and other identifying details of the dog; and
(3) 
Veterinarian’s statement of spaying or neutering; and
(4) 
Rabies certification in accordance with the provisions of this chapter; and
(5) 
Such other information or documentation deemed necessary by the Town Clerk to effectuate the purpose of this chapter.
B. 
In the case of an altered dog, every application shall be accompanied by a certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian except that such certificate is not required if same is already on file with the Town Clerk.
C. 
No individual under the age of eighteen (18) shall be deemed an owner of record and be issued a dog license.
D. 
Service and therapy dogs including guide dogs, hearing dogs and detection dogs are exempt from all licensing fees with proper documentation.
A. 
The fees payable by a dog owner for a dog impounded by the Town of Amherst shall be as follows:
1st Impoundment Fee
$30.00
2nd Impoundment Fee
$60.00
3rd Impoundment Fee
$100.00
Plus a Daily Fee (including first day)
$20.00
[Added 11-11-2010 by L.L. No. 16-2010]
A. 
Upon validation by the Town Clerk or authorized Dog Control Officer, a dog license shall be issued and a record of its issuance retained in the office of the Town Clerk.
B. 
No license shall be transferable. Upon the transfer of ownership of any dog, the new owner shall immediately apply for a new license for the dog. A license cannot be transferred to another dog.
C. 
Identification tag.
(1) 
The Town Clerk shall assign an identification number to a dog when it is first licensed. Such identification number shall be carried by the dog on an identification tag which shall be affixed to the collar of the dog at all times, except that the tag is not required to be worn while the dog is participating in a dog show.
(2) 
No tag carrying an identification number shall be affixed to the collar of any dog other than the one to which the number has been assigned.
(3) 
Any person wishing to replace a tag previously issued shall pay the sum of $3 to the Town Clerk for a replacement tag.
[Added 11-11-2010 by L.L. No. 16-2010]
All licenses issued pursuant to this chapter, and any renewal thereof, shall expire on the last day of the last month of the period for which they are issued, except that no license or renewal shall be issued for a period expiring after the day of the 11th month following the expiration date of the current rabies certificate for the dog being licensed. In the event an applicant for a license or renewal presents a statement certified by a licensed veterinarian, in lieu of a rabies certificate, then the license or renewal shall be issued for one year from the date of the statement.
[Added 11-11-2010 by L.L. No. 16-2010]
Sections 99-12 through 99-16 shall constitute part of the Code of the Town of Amherst and shall take effect upon filing in the office of the Secretary of State of New York and shall not be implemented before January 1, 2011.