[Adopted 11-23-2010 by L.L. No. 6-2010; amended in its entirety 3-28-2017 by L.L. No. 3-2017]
The purpose of this article is to adopt the amendments to Article 7 of the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law by Part T of Chapter 59 of the Laws of 2010 to 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.
Any dog harbored within the City of Cohoes which is owned by a resident of New York City or licensed by the City of New York, or which is owned by a nonresident of New York State and licensed by a jurisdiction outside of the State of New York, shall for a period of 30 days be exempt from the licensing and identification provisions of this article.
This article shall not apply to any dog confined to the premises of any public or private hospital devoted solely to the treatment of sick animals, or confined for the purposes of research to the premises of any college or other educational or research institution.
This article shall not apply to any dog confined to the premises of any person, firm or corporation engaged in the business of breeding or raising dogs for profit and licensed as a class A dealer under the Federal Laboratory Animal Welfare Act.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The delivery to any natural person 18 years of age or older, for the limited purpose of harboring a pet, of any dog, seized or surrendered, or any cat.
- The clerk of any county, town, city or village where licenses are validated or issued pursuant to this article.
- The State Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets.
- DETECTION DOG
- Any dog that is trained and is actually used for such purposes or is undergoing training to be used for the purpose of detecting controlled substances, explosives, ignitable liquids, firearms, cadavers, or school or correctional facility contraband.
- Any member of the species canis familiaris.
- DOG CONTROL OFFICER
- Any individual appointed by a municipality to assist in the enforcement of this article or any authorized officer, agent or employee of an incorporated humane society or similar incorporated dog protective association under contract with a municipality to assist in the enforcement of this article.
- DOMESTIC ANIMAL
- Any domesticated sheep, horse, cattle, fallow deer, red deer, sika deer, whitetail deer which is raised under license from the Department of Environmental Conservation, llama, goat, swine, fowl, duck, goose, swan, turkey, confined domestic hare or rabbit, pheasant or other bird which is raised in confinement under license from the state Department of Environmental Conservation before release from captivity, except that the varieties of fowl commonly used for cock fights shall not be considered domestic animals for the purposes of this article.
- To bring about death by a humane method.
- GUIDE DOG
- Any dog that is trained to aid a person who is blind and is actually used for such purpose, or any dog owned by a recognized guide dog training center located within the state during the period such dog is being trained or bred for such purpose.
- To provide food or shelter to any dog.
- HEARING DOG
- Any dog that is trained to aid a person with a hearing impairment and is actually used for such purpose, or any dog owned by a recognized training center located within the state during the period such dog is being trained or bred for such purpose.
- IDENTIFICATION TAG
- A tag issued by the licensing municipality which sets forth an identification number, together with the name of the municipality, the state of New York, contact information, including telephone number, for the municipality and such other information as the licensing municipality deems appropriate.
- IDENTIFIED DOG
- Any dog carrying an identification tag.
- The City of Cohoes.
- Any person who harbors or keeps any 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. If it cannot be determined in whose name any dog was last licensed or if the owner of record has filed a statement pursuant to the provisions of § 112 of Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law, the owner shall be deemed to be the owner of record of such dog, except that if the owner is under 18 years of age, the owner of record shall be deemed to be the parent or guardian of such person.
- Any individual, corporation, partnership, association or other organized group of persons, municipality, or other legal entity.
- PERSON WITH A DISABILITY
- Any person with a disability as that term is defined in Subdivision 21 of § 292 of the Executive Law.
- POLICE WORK DOG
- Any dog owned or harbored by any state or municipal police department or any state or federal law enforcement agency, which has been trained to aid law enforcement officers and is actually being used for police work purposes.
- RECOGNIZED REGISTRY ASSOCIATION
- Any registry association that operates on a nationwide basis, issues numbered registration certificates and keeps such records as may be required by the Commissioner.
- SERVICE DOG
- Any dog that has been or is being individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, provided that the dog is or will be owned by such person or that person's parent, guardian or other legal representative.
- THERAPY DOG
- Any dog that is trained to aid the emotional and physical health of patients in hospitals, nursing homes, retirement homes and other settings and is actually used for such purpose, or any dog owned by a recognized training center located within the state during the period such dog is being trained or bred for such purpose.
- WAR DOG
- Any dog which has been honorably discharged from the United States armed services.
- WORKING SEARCH DOG
- Any dog that is trained to aid in the search for missing persons, is actually used for such purpose and is registered with the department; provided, however, that such services provided by said dog shall be performed without charge or fee.
All dogs within the City of Cohoes 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 City Clerk a dog license application together with the license application fee, any applicable license surcharges and such additional fees as may be established by the City of Cohoes. 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. The City Clerk shall make or cause to be made from such statement a record of such information and shall file such record with a copy of the license. Such records shall be made available to the Commissioner upon request for rabies and other animal disease control efforts. Each license issued shall be valid for a period of one year and shall not be transferable.
The application shall state the sex, actual or approximate age, breed, color, and municipal identification number of the dog, and other identification marks, if any, and the name, date of birth, address, telephone number and address of residence of the owner of said dog.
In the case of a spayed or neutered dog, every application shall also be accompanied by a certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian or an affidavit signed by the owner, showing that the dog has been spayed or neutered, provided such certificate or affidavit shall not be required if the same is already on file with the Clerk or authorized Dog Control Officer. In lieu of the spay or neuter certificate, an owner may present a statement certified by a licensed veterinarian stating that he has examined the dog and found that because of old age or other reason, the life of the dog would be endangered by spaying or neutering. In such case, the license fee for the dog shall be the same as for a spayed or neutered dog as set forth in this article.
Upon validation by the City Clerk, the application shall become a license for the dog described therein. The City Clerk shall provide a copy of the license to the owner and retain a record of the license that shall be made available upon request to the Commissioner for purposes of rabies and other animal disease control efforts and actions.
Upon notification to the City of an unlicensed dog at a city residence, the Clerk of the City will provide written notice to the resident and property owner of the violation and allow for a two-week grace period to license the dog(s) before an appearance ticket is issued.
The City of Cohoes hereby establishes the fee for a dog license issued pursuant to this article at $12.50 for spayed or neutered dogs and $20.50 for unspayed or unneutered dogs. The City of Cohoes waives the local fee for senior citizens, charging only the state surcharge of $1 for spayed/neutered dogs and $3 for unsprayed or unneutered dogs. All revenue derived from such fees shall be the sole property of the City of Cohoes and shall be used only for controlling dogs and enforcing this article.
Excepted from payment of the license fee are applications submitted for a dog license for any guide dog, hearing dog, service dog, war dog, working search dog, detection dog, police work dog or therapy dog. Each copy of any license for such dogs shall be conspicuously marked "Guide Dog," "Hearing Dog," "Service Dog," "Working Search Dog," "War Dog," "Detection Dog," "Police Work Dog," or "Therapy Dog," as may be appropriate, by the City Clerk.
In addition to the license fee established by this article, each applicant for a dog license shall pay a surcharge of $1 if the dog to be licensed is altered, or a surcharge of $3 if the dog sought to be licensed is unaltered. The City Clerk shall remit such surcharge to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets for transmittal to the State Comptroller for deposit in the animal population control fund.
There shall be a fee of $3 to receive a replacement identification tag.
Each dog licensed pursuant to local law shall be assigned, at the time the dog is first licensed, a municipal 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, provided that a dog participating in a dog show shall be exempt from the identification requirements of § 111 of the Agriculture and Markets Law during such participation.
No tag carrying an identification number shall be affixed to the collar of any dog other than the one to which that number has been assigned.
The City Clerk offering a license for any guide dog, service dog, hearing dog or detection dog shall issue a special tag for identifying such dog, provided that such tag shall be in addition to the identification tag required by this article. The City Clerk shall prescribe the shape, size, color, and form of imprint of the tag which shall be a different color and shape than the standard identification tag.
In the event of a change in the ownership of any dog which has been licensed pursuant to this article or in the address of the owner of record of any such dog, the owner of record shall, within 10 days of such change, file with the City Clerk a written report of such change. Such owner of record shall be liable for any violation of this article until such filing is made or until the dog is licensed in the name of the new owner.
If any dog which has been licensed pursuant to this article is lost or stolen, the owner of record shall, within 10 days of the discovery of such loss or theft, file with the City Clerk a written report of such loss or theft. In the case of a loss or theft, the owner of record of any such dog shall not be liable for any violation of this article committed after such report is filed.
In the case of a dog's death, the owner of record shall so notify the City Clerk either prior to renewal of licensure or upon the time of such renewal.
Every Animal 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 Animal/Dog Control Officer, any peace officer, or any Code Enforcement Officer when acting pursuant to his/her special duties, or police officer who is authorized by a municipality to assist in the enforcement of this article 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.
Every Animal/Dog Control Officer, peace officer, Code Enforcement Officer when acting pursuant to his/her special duties or police officer shall promptly make and maintain a complete record of any seizure and subsequent disposition of any dog. Such record shall include, but not be limited to, a description of the dog, the date and hour of seizure, the official identification number of such dog, if any, the location where seized, the reason for seizure, and the owner's name and address, if known.
Every Animal/Dog Control Officer shall file and maintain such records for not less than three years following the creation of such record and shall make such reports available to the Commissioner upon request.
The Animal/Dog Control Officer shall ascertain and list the names of all persons in the City of Cohoes owning or harboring dogs.
Any Animal/Dog Control Officer, peace officer, or Code Enforcement Officer acting pursuant to his/her special duties, or police officer shall seize:
Any dog which is not licensed, whether on or off the owner's premises;
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; and
Any dog which poses an immediate threat to the public safety. Promptly upon seizure the dog control officer shall commence a proceeding as provided for in Subdivision 2 of § 123 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
Any Animal/Dog Control Officer, peace officer, or Code Enforcement Officer acting pursuant to his/her special duties, or police officer may seize any dog in violation of this article or any ordinance relating to the control of dogs.
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.
The owner of any dog impounded by the City of Cohoes shall be entitled to redeem that dog within five business days, excluding the day the dog is impounded, provided that the owner produces proof that the dog is licensed and identified and pays a fee of $100 for the first impoundment and a fee of $275 for the second impoundment and each subsequent impoundment.
All impoundment fees shall be the property of the City of Cohoes and shall be used only for controlling dogs and enforcing this article and any rule, regulation, or ordinance adopted pursuant thereto, including subsidizing the spaying or neutering of dogs and any facility as authorized under § 116 of the Agriculture and Markets Law used therefor, and subsidizing public humane education programs in responsible dog ownership.
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. If notification is personally given, such dog shall be held for a period of seven days after the day of notice, during which period the dog may be redeemed by the owner. If such notification is made by mail, such dog shall be held for a period of nine days from the date of mailing, during which period the dog may be redeemed by the owner. In either case, the owner may redeem such dog upon payment of the impoundment fees prescribed by this article and by producing proof that the dog has been licensed.
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 or euthanized subject to Subdivisions 6, 8 and 9 of § 117 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
It shall be a violation, punishable as provided in this article, for:
Any owner to fail to license any dog;
Any owner to fail to have any dog identified as required by this article;
Any person to knowingly affix to any dog any false or improper identification tag, special identification tag for identifying guide, service or hearing dogs;
Any person to furnish false or misleading information on any form required to be filed with the City of Cohoes pursuant to the provisions of this article or rules and regulations promulgated thereto;
Any owner of a dog to fail to notify the City of Cohoes in which his or her dog is licensed of any change of ownership or address as required by this article.
It shall be the duty of the Animal Control Officer of the City of Cohoes to bring an action against any person who has committed within the City of Cohoes any violation set forth in Subsection A. The City of Cohoes may elect either to prosecute such action as a violation under the penal law or to commence an action to recover a civil penalty. A violation of Subsection A shall be punishable, subject to such election, either:
Where prosecuted pursuant to the penal law, by a fine of not less than $500, except that:
Where the person was found to have violated this section or former Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law within the preceding five years, the fine may not be less than $1,000; and
Where the person was found to have committed two or more violations within the preceding five years, it shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $1,000 or imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both; or
Where prosecuted as an action to recover a civil penalty, by a civil penalty of not less than $500, except that:
When the person was found to have violated this section or Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law within the preceding five years, the civil penalty may not be less than $1,000; and
Where the person was found to have committed two or more violations within the preceding five years, the civil penalty may not be less than $1,000.
Guilty plea by defendant.
A defendant charged with a violation of any provision of this article may plead guilty to the charge in open court. He or she may also submit to the magistrate having jurisdiction, in person, by duly authorized agent, or by registered mail, a statement:
That he or she waives arraignment in open court and the aid of counsel;
That he or she pleads guilty to the offense charged;
That he or she elects and requests that the charge be disposed of and the fine or penalty fixed by the court;
Of any explanation that he or she desires to make concerning the offense charged; and
That he or she makes all statements under penalty of perjury.
Thereupon the magistrate may proceed as though the defendant has been convicted upon a plea of guilty in open court; provided, however, that any imposition of fine or penalty hereunder shall be deemed tentative until such fine or penalty shall have been paid and discharged in full. If upon receipt of the aforesaid statement the magistrate shall deny the same, he or she shall thereupon notify the defendant of this fact, and that he or she is required to appear before the said magistrate at a stated time and place to answer the charge which shall thereafter be disposed of pursuant to the applicable provisions of law.
Any person who intentionally refuses, withholds, or denies a person, because he or she is accompanied by an on-duty police work dog, working search, war, or detection dog as defined in this article, any accommodations, facilities, or privileges thereof shall be subject to a civil penalty of up to $200 for the first violation and up to $400 for each subsequent violation.
All moneys collected as fines or penalties by the City of Cohoes as a result of any prosecution for violations of the provisions of this article and all bail forfeitures by persons charged with such violations shall be the property of the City of Cohoes and shall be paid to the Clerk of the Cohoes City Court. Such moneys shall be used only for controlling dogs and enforcing this article, including subsidizing the spaying or neutering of dogs and any facility as authorized under § 116 of the Agriculture and Markets Law used thereof, and subsidizing public humane education programs for responsible dog ownership.
If any section of this article or the application thereof to any person, circumstance or property shall be adjudged invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such order or judgment shall be confined in its operation to the controversy in which it was rendered and shall not affect or invalidate the remainder of any provision of any section or the application of any part thereof to any other person, circumstance or property, and to this end, the provisions of each section of this article are declared to be severable.
All ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict with the provisions of this article are hereby repealed to the extent necessary to give this article full force and effect.