This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Animal Control Ordinance of the Town of Waterford, Saratoga County, New York."
The purpose of this article is to promote the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the Town of Waterford by controlling animals within the Town of Waterford.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any animal, reptile, bird or fowl, domesticated or not, harbored, owned or otherwise maintained by any person.
- ANIMAL AT LARGE
- An animal not under restraint and off the premises of his owner.
- ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER
- That person or his authorized representative designated as such by the Town Board of the Town of Waterford. This term shall be synonymous with "Dog Warden."
- Includes any abrasion of the skin.
- Includes any person of either sex, firm, partnership, trustee, association or corporation owning, keeping, harboring or otherwise maintaining an animal. Animals owned by minors shall be deemed to be in the custody and control of the minor's parents or the head of the household where such minor resides.
- Controlled by a leash or in the presence of a competent person and obedient to that person's commands or confined within a vehicle being driven or parked on the street or within the property limits of its owner or keeper or upon the premises of another with the consent of such other person.
No owner shall permit or allow an animal to run at large within the Town of Waterford unless such animal shall be restrained as provided herein.
It shall be the duty of the owner of any female dog to confine such dog, during the period when it is in heat or season, in a boarding kennel or veterinary hospital or within the owner's house, except that the dog may be exercised by the owner while on a securely fastened leash not more than six feet long.
Any person who observes such female dog in time of heat beyond the confines of the premises of the owner or other person in possession of the dog may file an information charging violation of this article.
[Added 9-1-1987 by L.L. No. 3-1987]
No owner shall keep or harbor an animal outside of a dwelling, which animal howls, barks or makes other objectionable sounds, habitually or continuously, so as to disturb the peace and quiet of other persons during the day or night or which otherwise creates a nuisance.
No owner shall permit an animal to enter upon public or private school property between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. during days when school is in session.
No owner shall maintain an animal which shall bite any person or cause damage to or defecate upon the property of persons other than the owner.
No owner shall maintain an unlicensed dog of such age as to require licensing.
No owner shall allow or permit an animal on any public park or playground during times when an organized activity is being conducted thereon, unless controlled by the owner on a leash not more than six feet long.
No owner shall permit an animal to enter public buildings, restaurants or stores even though leashed, except Seeing Eye dogs on duty accompanying blind persons.
Each owner shall provide each of his animals with sufficient good and wholesome food and water, proper shelter and protection from the weather, veterinary care when needed to prevent suffering, and humane care and treatment.
No person shall beat, ill-treat, torment, overload, overwork or otherwise abuse any animal or cause or permit any dogfight, cockfight, bullfight or other combat with an animal as participant.
No owner of an animal shall abandon such animal.
No person shall crop an animal's ears, except when a licensed veterinarian issues a signed certificate that the operation is necessary for the animal's health or comfort, and in no event shall any person except a licensed veterinarian perform such an operation.
No person shall ride any horse or other animal on any street or road or in any public place at a pace other than a walk. The provisions of this article do not apply, however, to any show parade, exhibition or other display as part of a performance of a function duly authorized by the Town Board of the Town of Waterford or its appointed agents, in any public place, street or park.
No person shall ride or lead any horse or other animal along any sidewalk or footpath or upon private property without prior consent of the owner or occupant thereof.
[Added 9-1-1987 by L.L. No. 3-1987; 9-3-1996 by L.L. No. 2-1996]
Any person who observes an animal (as defined in § 52-3) causing damage or destruction to property or to a person other than its owner or committing a nuisance upon a premises of a person other than its owner may file a signed complaint, under oath, with the Justice Court of the Town of Waterford, specifying the objectionable conduct of the animal, the date thereof, the damage caused, a description of the animal and a name and address, if known, of the owner or other person harboring said animal.
Upon receipt of a first complaint, the Justice Court shall cause to be served upon the owner or other person claimed to be harboring said animal a notice that a complaint has been filed and the general nature thereof. Such notice shall state that the person to whom it is sent may voluntarily attend before the Justice Court in person and make and sign a statement, under oath, or mail to the Justice Court a signed statement, in writing, making a general denial of the complaint or an explanation justifying the conduct of the animal, and also, if he so wishes, stating, what steps, by confinement or otherwise, he will take to prevent recurrence of objectionable conduct or damage by said animal.
Upon receipt by the Justice Court or any second or subsequent complaint against the conduct of any particular animal, the Town Justice may summon the alleged owner or other person harboring said animal to appear in person before the Town Justice. If the summons is disregarded, the Town Justice may permit the filing of an information and issue a warrant for the arrest of such person.
[Added 9-1-1987 by L.L. No. 3-1987]
Any person who is chased or otherwise harassed by any dog in such manner as reasonably to cause intimidation or to put such person in reasonable apprehension of bodily harm or injury, or any person who witnesses such offensive conduct by any dog, may file a signed complaint, under oath, with the Justice Court, stating the specific objectionable conduct of the dog, or, in the alternative, the person so harassed by a dog may file with the Justice Court an information charging a violation of this article.
Where a complaint has been filed alleging fear, from a dog or dogs, of bodily harm or injury, the Justice Court shall cause notice of such complaint and the general nature thereof to be served upon the owner or other person harboring said dog, in which notice shall be included a statement that explanation by denial or justification may be made in similar fashion to a case of alleged property damage.
A Town Justice who, upon written complaint, after hearing and upon due notice to each owner in charge of any animal, shall find that such animal is a public nuisance, shall direct that such animal shall forthwith be impounded, unless the owner, custodian or person in charge shall give satisfactory assurance to said Justice that such nuisance shall forthwith be abated. If such assurance is granted and later violated, the animal shall forthwith be impounded and disposed of according to the further order of the Court or Judge, and the owner of such animal shall be subject to the penalties described herein.
Notwithstanding the existence of any other enforcement procedure or remedy, the Animal Warden shall be authorized to seize any animal that is unlicensed or that, in his judgment, is a danger to public health, welfare or safety.
Upon impounding or seizing an animal, the Animal Warden shall cause a prompt and reasonable effort to be made to locate and notify the animal's owner pursuant to the Agriculture and Markets Law of the State of New York.
The owner of an impounded or seized animal shall be entitled to redeem such animal, except as herein otherwise provided, upon the payment of a lawful redemption fee, and costs, showing proof of ownership and upon compliance with any conditions established by this article.
Any animal which is impounded or seized and not reclaimed by its owner shall be disposed of in accordance with Articles 7 and 26 of the Agriculture and Markets Law of the State of New York.
[Amended 9-1-1987 by L.L. No. 3-1987; 9-6-2011 by L.L. No. 2-2011; 12-3-2013 by L.L. No. 2-2013]
An offense against any of the provisions of this article will be punishable as set forth in § 118 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
[Added 9-1-1987 by L.L. No. 3-1987]
Pursuant to the provisions of § 124(c) of the Agriculture and Markets Law, the Animal Control Officer is hereby authorized and empowered to issue an appearance ticket in accordance with § 150.20 of the Criminal Procedure Law for any violations of the sections of this article which apply to dogs and dog control.