Town of Austerlitz, NY
Columbia County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Austerlitz as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]

ARTICLE I
Dog Control (§ 76-1 — § 76-8) 

ARTICLE II
Licensing of Dogs (§ 76-9 — § 76-21) 

[Adopted 1-13-2005 by L.L. No. 1-2005]

§ 76-1
Findings; intent; purpose. 

§ 76-2
Unlawful acts. 

§ 76-3
Enforcement. 

§ 76-4
Powers of Dog Control Officer; prosecution by Town Justice. 

§ 76-5
Complaints by other persons. 

§ 76-6
Penalties for offenses. 

§ 76-7
Civil penalty. 

§ 76-8
Construal of provisions. 

§ 76-1 Findings; intent; purpose.

A. 

The Town Board of the Town of Austerlitz finds that the uncontrolled behavior of licensed and unlicensed dogs can cause physical harm to persons and damage to property and create nuisances within the Town.

B. 

The provisions of this article are intended to complement the provisions of the Agriculture and Markets Law with regard to dangerous dogs and prohibition of animal fighting.

C. 

The purpose of this article is to protect the health, safety and well-being of persons and property by imposing restrictions on the keeping of dogs within the Town.

§ 76-2 Unlawful acts.

It shall be unlawful in the Town of Austerlitz for the owner of any dog to fail to:

A. 

Confine a female dog in heat to the premises of the owner.

B. 

Control such dog, with the result that such dog:

(1) 

Injures any person peaceably conducting himself or herself where he or she may lawfully be;

(2) 

Chases, harasses, intimidates or otherwise acts in a manner so as to cause reasonable apprehension of harm or injury to any person while off the owner's property;

(3) 

Causes damage or destruction while on property other than the property of the owner;

(4) 

Creates a nuisance by engaging in habitual howling, whining, barking or other noisemaking so as to annoy any person other than the owner or persons harboring such dog. For purposes of this subsection, "habitual" shall mean for a majority of the time during any two fifteen-minute periods on separate days in the same week or for a majority of the time during any three ten-minute periods on three separate days in the same week. In order for barking, whining, howling or making any other noise to constitute an annoyance of a person, it must be loud enough so that it is actually heard by such person from any part of his or her property; and

(5) 

Habitually chases or barks at motor vehicles.

§ 76-3 Enforcement.

The Dog Control Officer, as is designated by the Town of Austerlitz pursuant to the provisions of the Agriculture and Markets Law, may enforce the provisions of this article and shall have the power to investigate any complaints made pursuant to the provisions of this article.

§ 76-4 Powers of Dog Control Officer; prosecution by Town Justice.

A. 

The Dog Control Officer for the Town of Austerlitz shall have all of the powers as provided in the Agriculture and Markets Law and shall have the power to file the signed information or complaint alleging a violation of any of the provisions of this article or any provisions of Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law with the Town Justice for the Town of Austerlitz. The Dog Control Officer shall have further the power to issue appearance tickets for any such alleged violations.

B. 

Upon receipt by the Town Justice of any such information or complaint, the Town Justice shall have jurisdiction of the prosecution of any such violation of this article. For purposes of such prosecution, the relevant provisions of the Criminal Procedure Law with respect to violation or violations shall apply.

§ 76-5 Complaints by other persons.

Any person having personal knowledge of any violation of this article may file a signed complaint, under oath, with the Town Justice of the Town of Austerlitz specifying the objectionable conduct of the dog and the name and residence, if known, of the owner. Upon receipt by the Town Justice of any such complaint, he shall summon the alleged owner to appear in person before him for a hearing, at which both the complainant and owner shall have an opportunity to be represented by counsel and to present evidence.

§ 76-6 Penalties for offenses.

Any person or persons found guilty of a violation of any of the provisions of this article shall be subject to a fine not exceeding $300 or to imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both, for each violation. Any violation of any of the provisions of this article shall be deemed a separate and distinct violation, and each such separate and distinct violation shall be subject to the fines and penalties provided for herein.

§ 76-7 Civil penalty.

In lieu of a criminal penalty, the court may also, in its discretion, provide for a civil penalty for any persons found guilty of any violation hereunder, which civil penalty shall not exceed the sum of $300 per violation. Enforcement proceedings to collect such civil penalty may be taken by the Town of Austerlitz.

§ 76-8 Construal of provisions.

The provisions of this article shall be in addition to any provisions set forth under Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law, and the provisions of this article shall be separately enforceable as set forth herein.

[Adopted 11-11-2010 by L.L. No. 1-2010]

§ 76-9
Intent; purpose. 

§ 76-10
Statutory authority. 

§ 76-11
Enactment. 

§ 76-12
Definitions. 

§ 76-13
Licensing and identification requirements. 

§ 76-14
Fees. 

§ 76-15
Prohibited acts. 

§ 76-16
Enforcement. 

§ 76-17
Penalties for offenses. 

§ 76-18
Seizure of dogs; redemption periods; impoundment fees. 

§ 76-19
Presumption of noncompliance. 

§ 76-20
Interference with officers; penalties for offenses. 

§ 76-21
Effective date. 

§ 76-9 Intent; purpose.

The Town Board of the Town of Austerlitz finds it necessary to enact a local law to address the licensing of dogs in light of the State of New York's recent mandate that dog licensing become a local government function on January 1, 2011. The purpose of this article is to provide for the licensing and identification of dogs, the control and protection of the dog population and the protection of persons, property, and domestic animals from dogs.

§ 76-10 Statutory authority.

This article is adopted pursuant to § 10 of the Municipal Home Rule Law, the New York Agriculture and Markets Law, and Part T of Chapter 59 of the Laws of 2010.

Editor's Note: See Art. 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.

§ 76-11 Enactment.

The Town Board of the Town of Austerlitz hereby adopts the following article with regard to the licensing of dogs within the Town of Austerlitz.

§ 76-12 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:

CUSTODIAN
Person having possession or guardianship of any dog who is not the owner of the dog.
DOG
Includes male and female, licensed and unlicensed, members of the species Canis familiaris.
DOG CONTROL OFFICER
Any individual appointed by the Town of Austerlitz to enforce any and all New York State Agriculture and Markets Laws and local laws regulating animals, including dogs.
HARBOR
To provide food and/or shelter to any dog.
IDENTIFICATION TAG
Tag issued by the Town of Austerlitz which sets forth the identification number assigned to a specific dog and such other information as the Town of Austerlitz deems appropriate.
IDENTIFIED DOG
Any dog carrying an identification tag as required by this article.
LICENSE EXPIRATION DATE
The expiration date as noted on the dog license issued by the Town of Austerlitz.
OWNER
Any person who harbors or keeps a dog.
OWNER OF RECORD
The person in whose name any dog was last licensed pursuant to this article, except that if any license is issued on application of a person under 18 years of age, the owner of record shall be deemed to be the parent or guardian of such person. Any person owning or harboring a dog for a period of one week in the Town of Austerlitz shall be held and deemed the owner of such dog for purposes of this article.
TOWN CLERK
The Clerk of the Town of Austerlitz, where dog licenses are validated or issued pursuant to this article.

§ 76-13 Licensing and identification requirements.

A. 

All dogs within the Town of Austerlitz four months of age or older, unless otherwise exempted, shall be licensed. The owner of each dog required to be licensed shall obtain, complete and return to the Town Clerk or the Dog Control Officer a dog license application, together with required supporting documentation, the license application fee, any applicable license surcharges and such additional fees as may be established by the Town of Austerlitz. Each license application shall be accompanied by proof that the dog has been vaccinated against rabies or a statement from a licensed veterinarian that such vaccination would endanger the dog's life, in which case vaccination shall not be required. Each license issued shall be valid for a period of one year and must be renewed prior to the expiration date thereof. The Town of Austerlitz hereby specifically opts out of the option to allow any licensed chapter of the Humane Society to issue licenses within the Town.

B. 

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.

C. 

All licenses shall expire on the last day of the last month for which they are issued.

D. 

The owner of any dog shall notify the Town Clerk of a change of address or ownership, death or loss of their licensed dog.

E. 

Upon the submission of a dog license application, all required documentation and payment of the required license fee, a Town of Austerlitz dog license identification tag will be provided to the owner of the dog. The identification tag must be affixed to a dog collar and worn by the dog at all times. There shall be a fee of $3 for replacement tags.

F. 

For those owners who fail to renew a dog license, the Town Clerk shall mail a warning that failure to renew the license within a specified time shall result in the issuance of a court appearance ticket.

G. 

Any dog harbored within the Town of Austerlitz which is owned by a resident of New York City and licensed by the City of New York or which is owned by a nonresident of New York and licensed by a jurisdiction outside the State of New York shall, for a period of 30 days, be exempt from the licensing and identification provisions of this article.

§ 76-14 Fees.

License fees shall be as follows:

A. 

For spayed/neutered dogs: $5, plus the New York State surcharge of $1, equaling $6.

B. 

For unspayed/unneutered dogs: $10, plus the New York State surcharge of $3, equaling $13.

§ 76-15 Prohibited acts.

It shall be a violation, punishable as provided in § 76-17 of this article, for:

A. 

Any owner to fail to license any dog.

B. 

Any owner to fail to have any dog identified as required by this article.

C. 

Any owner to fail to renew a dog license on or before the license expiration date.

D. 

Any person to knowingly affix to any dog any false or improper identification tag.

E. 

Any owner or custodian of any dog to fail to confine, restrain or present such dog for any lawful purpose pursuant to this article.

F. 

Any person to furnish any false or misleading information on any form required to be filed with the Town of Austerlitz pursuant to this article.

§ 76-16 Enforcement.

It shall be the duty of the Dog Control Officer to bring an action against any person who has committed any violation set forth in this article pursuant to the Penal Law of the State of New York. Every Dog Control Officer shall have the power to issue an appearance ticket pursuant to § 150.20 of the Criminal Procedure Law, to serve a summons and to serve and execute any other order or process in the execution of the provisions of this article. In addition, any Dog Control Officer of the Town of Austerlitz may serve any process, including an appearance ticket, a uniform appearance ticket and a uniform appearance ticket and simplified information, related to any proceeding, whether criminal or civil in nature, undertaken in accord with the provisions of this article or any local law or ordinance promulgated pursuant thereto.

§ 76-17 Penalties for offenses.

A violation of this article shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $250, except that:

A. 

When the person was found to have violated any part of this article within the preceding five years, the fine may be not less than $100 nor more than $250; and

B. 

Where the person was found to have committed two or more such violations of any part of this article within the preceding five years, the fine may be not less than $150 nor more than $400.

§ 76-18 Seizure of dogs; redemption periods; impoundment fees.

A. 

Any Dog Control Officer, peace officer acting pursuant to his special duties, or police officer in the employ of or under contract to the Town of Austerlitz shall seize:

(1) 

Any dog which is not identified and which is not on the owner's premises;

(2) 

Any dog which is not licensed, whether on or off the owner's premises;

(3) 

Any licensed dog which is not in the control of its owner or custodian or not on the premises of the dog's owner or custodian, if there is probable cause to believe the dog is dangerous;

(4) 

Any dog found to be without vaccination for rabies; and

(5) 

Any dog which poses an immediate threat to the public safety.

B. 

Any Dog Control Officer in the employ of or under contract to the Town of Austerlitz may seize any dog in violation of this article or any other local law of the Town of Austerlitz relating to the control of dogs.

C. 

Each dog seized in accordance with the provisions of this article shall be properly sheltered, fed and watered for the redemption period as hereinafter provided.

D. 

Each dog which is not identified, whether or not licensed, shall be held for a period of at least five days from the day seized, during which period the dog may be redeemed by its owner, provided that such owner produces proof that the dog has been licensed and has been identified pursuant to the provisions of this article, and further provided that the owner pays the following impoundment fees:

(1) 

The costs associated with the shelter, feeding, and care of the dog, plus an impoundment fee of $15 for the first impoundment of any dog owned by that person;

(2) 

The costs associated with the shelter, feeding, and care of the dog, plus an impoundment fee of $15 and $5 for each additional 24 hours or part thereof for the second impoundment, within one year of the first impoundment, of any dog owned by that person; or

(3) 

The costs associated with the shelter, feeding, and care of the dog, not less than $15 for the first 24 hours or part thereof and $15 for each additional 24 hours or part thereof for the third and subsequent impoundments, within one year of the first impoundment, of any dog owned by that person.

E. 

Promptly upon seizure of any identified dog, the owner of record of such dog shall be notified personally or by certified mail, return receipt requested, of the facts of seizure and the procedure for redemption. Such dog shall be held for a period of 30 days after the date of the mailing or personal notice, during which period the dog may be redeemed by the owner. The owner may redeem such dog upon payment of the impoundment fees prescribed by Subsection D(1) through (3) of this section and by producing proof that the dog has been duly licensed.

F. 

An owner shall forfeit title to any dog unredeemed at the expiration of the appropriate redemption period, and the dog shall then be made available for adoption.

§ 76-19 Presumption of noncompliance.

Establishment of the fact or facts that the owner of a dog failed to properly license and identify his/her dog as licensed shall be presumptive evidence that the owner or person harboring said dog is not in compliance with the provisions of this article.

§ 76-20 Interference with officers; penalties for offenses.

Any person who shall interfere with or obstruct any animal control officer, police officer and any officer or agent of a duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for not more than one year or by a fine of not more than $1,000, or both.

§ 76-21 Effective date.

This article shall take effect on January 1, 2011.