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Village of Wesley Hills, NY
Rockland County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Wesley Hills as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 10-9-1984 by L.L. No. 9-1984]
This article shall be cited and may be referred to hereinafter as the "Dog Control Law of the Village of Wesley Hills."
It is the intention of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Wesley Hills by the adoption of this article to preserve public peace and good order in the Village of Wesley Hills and to promote the public health, safety and welfare of its people by enforcing regulations and restrictions on the activities of dogs which are consistent with the rights and privileges of dog owners and the rights and privileges of other citizens of the Village of Wesley Hills.
For the purposes of this article, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
AT LARGE
Any dog that is unleashed or not under the full and immediate control of a person in charge and is 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 a guide dog actually leading a blind person or is a police work dog in use for police work or is accompanied by its owner or other responsible person and is actively engaged in hunting or training for hunting on unposted land or on posted land with the permission of the owner of the land.
DOG
Any member of the species canis familiaris.
DOG CONTROL OFFICER
Any individual appointed by the Village of Wesley Hills to assist in the enforcement of this article.
DOMESTIC ANIMAL
Any animal defined as a "domestic animal" in § 108 of Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law of New York State and, in addition, any dog or cat kept as a pet by any person.
[Added 9-10-1985 by L.L. No. 3-1985]
HARBOR
To provide food or shelter to any dog.
OWNER
Any person who keeps, harbors or has custody, care or control of a dog. Dogs owned by minors shall be deemed to be in the custody and control of parents or other head of household where the minor resides. Any person harboring a dog for a period of one week shall be deemed to be the owner of the dog for the purpose of enforcing this article.
PERSON
Any individual, corporation, partnership, association or other organized group of persons, municipality or other legal entity.
UNREASONABLE NOISE
A noise of a type or volume that a reasonable person of normal sensitivities, under the circumstances, would not tolerate.
It shall be unlawful for any owner of a dog in the Village of Wesley Hills to permit or allow such dog to engage in the following enumerated acts:
A. 
Running at large. It shall be unlawful for any owner of a dog within the limits of the Village of Wesley Hills to permit such dog, whether licensed or not, to be at large.
B. 
Nuisance. It shall be unlawful for any owner of a dog in the Village of Wesley Hills to permit or allow such dog to engage in habitual loud howling, barking or whining so as to create a public nuisance or create unreasonable noise across real property boundaries.
C. 
Dangerous dogs. It shall be unlawful for any dog owner who knows or has reason to know of any dangerous and vicious propensities of said dog to permit the dog to run at large in the Village of Wesley Hills.
[Amended 9-10-1985 by L.L. No. 3-1985[1]]
(1) 
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 as defined in § 350 of the Agriculture and Markets Law, farm animal as defined in § 350 of the Agriculture and Markets Law, or a domestic animal as defined in this article to a Dog Control Officer of the Village of Wesley Hills. Such officer shall immediately inform the complainant of his or her right to commence a proceeding as provided in Subsection C(2) of this section, and, if there is reason to believe the dog is a dangerous dog, the officer shall forthwith commence such proceeding himself or herself.
(2) 
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, and any Dog Control Officer as provided in Subsection C(1) hereof shall, make a complaint under oath or affirmation to the Village Justice of such attack or threatened attack. Thereupon, the Justice shall immediately determine if there is probable cause to believe the dog is a dangerous dog and, if so, shall issue an order to any Dog Control Officer, peace officer, acting pursuant to his or her special duties, or police officer, directing such officer to immediately seize such dog and hold the same pending judicial determination as herein provided. Whether or not the Justice finds there is probable cause for such seizure, he or she shall, within five days and upon written notice of not less than two days to the owner of the dog, hold a hearing on the complaint. The petitioner shall have the burden at such hearing to prove the dog is a dangerous dog by clear and convincing evidence. If satisfied that the dog is a dangerous dog, the Justice shall then order neutering or spaying of the dog, microchipping of the dog and one or more of the following, as deemed appropriate under the circumstances and as deemed necessary for the protection of the public:
(a) 
Evaluation of the dog by a certified applied behaviorist, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist, or another recognized expert in the field and completion of training or other treatment as deemed appropriate by such expert. The owner of the dog shall be responsible for all costs associated with evaluations and training ordered under this subsection;
(b) 
Secure, humane confinement of the dog for a period of time and in a manner deemed appropriate by the court but in all instances in a manner designed to prevent escape of the dog; protect the public from unauthorized contact with the dog; and to protect the dog from the elements pursuant to § 353-b of the Agriculture and Markets Law. Such confinement shall not include lengthy periods of tying or chaining;
(c) 
Restraint of the dog on a leash by an adult of at least 21 years of age whenever the dog is on public premises;
(d) 
Muzzling the dog whenever it is on public premises in a manner that will prevent it from biting any person or animal but will not injure the dog or interfere with its vision or respiration; or
(e) 
Maintenance of a liability insurance policy in an amount determined by the court, but in no event in excess of $100,000 for personal injury or death resulting from an attack by such dangerous dog.
(3) 
Euthanasia or permanent confinement.
(a) 
Upon a finding that a dog is dangerous, the Justice may order humane euthanasia or permanent confinement of the dog if one of the following aggravating circumstances is established at the judicial hearing held pursuant to Subsection C(2) of this section:
[1] 
The dog, without justification, attacked a person causing serious physical injury or death; or
[2] 
The dog has a known vicious propensity as evidenced by a previous unjustified attack on a person, which caused serious physical injury or death; or
[3] 
The dog, without justification, caused serious physical injury or death to a companion animal, farm animal or domestic animal and has, in the past two years, caused unjustified physical injury or death to a companion animal, farm animal or domestic animal as evidenced by a dangerous dog finding pursuant to the provisions of this subsection.
(b) 
An order of humane euthanasia shall not be carried out until expiration of the thirty-day period provided for in § 123, Subdivision 5, of the Agriculture and Markets Law for filing a notice of appeal, unless the owner of the dog has indicated to the Justice, in writing, his or her intention to waive his or her right to appeal. Upon filing of a notice of appeal, the order shall be automatically stayed pending the outcome of the appeal.
(4) 
Justification.
(a) 
A dog shall not be declared dangerous if the court determines the conduct of the dog:
[1] 
Was justified because the threat, injury or damage was sustained by a person who at the time was committing a crime or offense upon the owner or custodian of the dog or upon the property of the owner or custodian of the dog;
[2] 
Was justified because the injured, threatened or killed person was tormenting, abusing, assaulting or physically threatening the dog or its offspring, or has in the past tormented, abused, assaulted or physically threatened the dog or its offspring;
[3] 
Was justified because the dog was responding to pain or injury, or was protecting itself, its owner, custodian, or a member of its household, its kennels or its offspring, or was justified because the injured, threatened or killed companion animal, farm animal or domestic animal was attacking or threatening to attack the dog or its offspring.
(b) 
Testimony of a certified applied behaviorist, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist, or another recognized expert shall be relevant to the court's determination as to whether the dog's behavior was justified pursuant to the provisions of this subsection.
(5) 
Nothing contained herein shall restrict the rights and powers derived from the provisions of Title IV of Article 21 of the Public Health Law relating to rabies and any rule and regulation adopted pursuant thereto.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
D. 
Additional prohibitions.
(1) 
Interference with enforcement officer. It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to hinder, molest or interfere with any officer or agent of the Village in the performance of any of the provisions of this article.
(2) 
Violation of article. It shall be unlawful for any person to violate any provision of this article, whether or not he or she has any knowledge of or intends any violation of this article.
A. 
The duly appointed Dog Control Officer or any peace officer shall seize and impound any dog found at large in violation of this article. The Dog Control Officer or peace officer shall deliver such dog to a pound or shelter or to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and notify the Village Clerk of the identity of the owner of the dog if the same can be established. If the dog's owner can be properly identified, then the dog shall be held and maintained for a period of 10 days for redemption or, if it cannot be properly identified, for a period of five days. Thereafter, it may be held and offered for adoption for an indefinite period or humanely destroyed at the discretion of the Dog Control Officer.
B. 
The fact that a dog is without a current dog license tag attached to the dog's collar or harness, as provided in Article 7, § 109, of the Agriculture and Markets Law, shall be presumptive evidence that the dog is unlicensed.
C. 
Any person claiming a dog from the pound or shelter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals must produce a license for such dog and pay the impoundment fees forth in § 117, Subdivision 4, of the Agriculture and Markets Law. If the dog is not licensed, a license must be provided.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
A. 
The Board of Trustees of the Village of Wesley Hills shall appoint one or more Dog Control Officers for the purpose of assisting, within the Village, with the control of dogs and the enforcement of this article and the provisions promulgated pursuant thereto.
B. 
The appointed Dog Control Officer shall serve at the will of the Board of Trustees and shall be paid such compensation as duly adopted by the Board of Trustees for such services, plus expenses, not exceeding, however, the amounts set forth in the budget therefor.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
C. 
The Village of Wesley Hills may enter into a contract for Dog Control Officer services pursuant to § 115 of the Agriculture and Markets Law as an alternative to, or in addition to, the appointment of a Dog Control Officer.
D. 
Every Dog Control Officer shall have all the powers of a peace officer in enforcing the provisions of this article and the applicable provisions of Article 7 of the Agricultural and Markets Law.
Any person aggrieved by any dog may on his or her own motion apply to any court having jurisdiction for all the relief the law provides.
[Amended 10-23-2008 by L.L. No. 2-2008]
Any person committing an offense against or violating any section or provision of this article shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine not exceeding $100 for the first offense. Each successive conviction shall be punished by a fine not exceeding twice the maximum fine for the prior conviction.