[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of North East 12-9-2010 by L.L. No. 4-2010. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is 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.
This chapter is enacted pursuant to the provisions of Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law and the Municipal Home Rule Law of the State of New York.
The title of this chapter shall be "The Dog Control and Licensing Law for the Town of North East."
As used in this chapter, the following words shall have the following respective meanings:
- AGRICULTURE AND MARKETS LAW
- The Agriculture and Markets Law of the State of New York in effect as of the effective date of this chapter, as amended by this chapter and as amended thereafter.
- ALTERED DOG
- A female dog that is spayed or a male dog that is neutered.
- That such animal is securely confined or restrained and kept on the owner's premises, either within a building, kennel or other suitable enclosure or securely fastened on a chain, wire, or other effective tether of such length and so arranged that the animal cannot reach or endanger any person or any adjacent premises or on any public street, way or place, or, if the animal is being transported by the owner, that it is securely confined in a crate, or other container, or so restrained in a vehicle that it cannot be expected to escape therefrom.
- (1) Any dog which:
- (a) Without justification attacks a person, companion or animal [as defined in § 350(5) of the Agriculture and Markets Law, "farm animal" as defined in § 350(4) of the Agriculture and Markets law, "domestic animal" as defined in § 108(7) of the Agriculture and Markets Law) and causes physical injury or death; or
- (b) Behaves in a manner which a reasonable person would believe poses a serious and unjustified imminent threat of serious physical injury or death to one or persons, companion animals, farm animals or domestic animals; or
- (c) Without justification attacks a service dog, guide dog or hearing dog and causes physical injury or death.
- (2) "Dangerous dog" shall not include a police work dog as defined in § 108(18) of the Agriculture and Markets Law, which acts in a manner described in this definition if such police work dog is being used to assist one or more law enforcement officers in the performance of their physical duties.
- Male and female, licensed and unlicensed, members of the species canis familiaris.
- DOG CONTROL OFFICER
- Any person authorized by the Dutchess County Legislature or the Town Board of the Town of North East from time to time to enforce the provisions of this chapter or the provisions of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
- A dog's barking, howling, crying or other similar conduct for repeated intervals of a least 15 minutes with less than five minutes of interruption which can be heard by any person, including a Dog Control Officer or peace officer, from a location outside of the owner's or caretaker's premises.
- To provide food or shelter to any dog.
- IDENTIFICATION TAG
- A tag issued by the Town Clerk which sets forth the identification number together with the name of the town and state, the telephone number of the town, and any other information deemed necessary by the Town Clerk.
- The party purchasing the license unless the dog is or has been lost, and such loss reported to the Dog Control Officer and reasonable search has been made. If an animal is not licensed, the term of "owner" shall designate and cover any person or persons, firm, association or corporation, who or which at any time owns or has custody or control of, harbors, or is otherwise responsible for any dog which is kept, brought or comes within the Town. Any person owning or harboring a dog for a period of one week prior to the filing of any complaint charging a violation of this chapter shall be held and deemed to be the owner of such dog for the purpose of this chapter. In the event any dog found to be in violation of this chapter shall be owned by a minor, the head of the household in which said minor resides shall be deemed to have custody and control of said dog and shall be responsible for any acts of the said dog and violation of this chapter.
- OWNER OF RECORD
- The person in whose name a dog was last licensed pursuant to this chapter.
- A person, partnership, corporation, association or other organized group of persons, business entity, municipality or other legal entity.
- RECREATIONAL AREAS
- Any real property owned by the Town of North East which is used for recreational purposes by the public, including, but not limited to, parks or playgrounds.
- An individual who maintains a residence within the Town of North East.
- RUN AT LARGE
- To be in a public place or on private land without the knowledge, consent and approval of the owner of such lands.
- SENIOR CITIZEN
- A person 65 years of age or older.
- The Town of North East and the area within its corporate limits.
For purposes of this chapter, all definitions set forth in § 108 of the Agriculture and Markets Law shall be applicable to this chapter, except when inconsistent herewith.
It shall be unlawful for any owner of any dog in the Town to permit or allow such dog to:
Run at large unless the dog is accompanied by its owner or a responsible person and under the full control of such owner or person. For the purpose of this chapter, a dog or dogs hunting in the company of a hunter or hunters shall be considered as accompanied by its owner.
Engage in habitual and loud howling, barking, crying or whining or conduct as to unreasonably and habitually disturb the comfort or repose of any person other than the owner of such dog.
Uproot, dig or otherwise damage any vegetables, lawns, flowers, garden beds, or other property without the consent or approval of the owner of such property.
Chase, jump upon or at or otherwise harass any person in such manner as to reasonably cause intimidation or fear or to put such person in reasonable apprehension or bodily harm.
Habitually chase, run alongside of or bark at motor vehicles, motorcycles or bicycles while on a public street, highway, or place, or upon private property without the consent or approval of the owner of such property.
Create a nuisance by defecating, urinating or digging on public property, or on private property without the consent or approval of the owner of such property.
If a female dog, when in heat, be off the owner's premises, unrestrained by a leash.
Be at large on any school premises or recreational areas, or the sidewalks adjacent thereto, unless said dog is on a leash.
Establishment of the fact or facts that a dog has committed any of these acts prohibited by this section shall be presumptive evidence against the owner or harborer of such dog that he has failed to property confine, leash or control his dog.
Nothing contained in § 86-5 is intended to apply to a guide dog, hearing dog, service dog, working search dog, war dog, detection dog, or therapy dog as defined in Article 7 of the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law while under the control of the person needing assistance and police work dogs utilized by law enforcement agencies while under the control of law enforcement for law enforcement purposes.
Any person owning, possessing or harboring a dog four months of age or over in the Town of North East shall obtain a current license for said dog and shall place and keep on such dog a collar to which shall be securely attached a valid identification tag for that dog in accordance with the requirements of this chapter.
Any person owning, possessing or harboring a dog four months of age or over in the Town of North East shall be required to have the dog vaccinated to prevent the spread of rabies, and, at the time of licensing or license renewal, a current valid certificate indicating that the dog has been vaccinated to prevent the spread of rabies must be provided to the Town Clerk's office in accordance with § 86-14 of this chapter.
All dog licenses will be issued for a period of one year and will expire at the end of the month, one year from the date of issuance.
No license is required for any dog under the age of four months and which is not at large, or residing in a pound or shelter maintained by or under contract by the Town of North East, Dutchess County, or State of New York, or a duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or a duly incorporated humane society or duly incorporated dog protective services.
Applications for a license or a renewal thereof shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable processing fee of $10 for an altered dog and $20 for an unaltered dog. A senior citizen discount of $5 shall be applicable to the fee upon proper proof. The fee for the altered dog includes a one-dollar surcharge. The fee for an unaltered dog includes a three-dollar surcharge. The surcharge portion of the fee shall be paid over to the agency designated pursuant to Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law to be used for animal population control efforts. These fees shall be set forth in the Town's fee schedule and may be amended, from time to time, in the discretion of the Town Board, by resolution. The balance of the fee shall be used by the Town to defray its costs in administering this chapter. An application for a license or renewal shall be in the form prescribed by the North East Town Clerk and shall provide for the following minimum information:
The name, residence address and telephone number of each owner; and
The name, sex, approximate age, breed, color, markings and other identifying details of the dog; and
A statement as to whether the dog has been altered; and
Such other information or documentation deemed necessary by the Town Clerk to effectuate the purpose of this section.
In the event the Town Board determines that the Dog Control Officer shall conduct an enumeration of dogs living within the Town of North East pursuant to the provisions of Section 113(6) of the Agriculture and Markets Law, in addition to the license fee imposed by Subsection A of this section, each applicant for a dog license for a dog which was identified as unlicensed during such enumeration shall pay a surcharge of $5 which shall be retained by the Town of North East and used to defray the cost of any enumeration of dogs living within the Town of North East conducted by the Dog Control Officer.
The application for a license or renewal shall be accompanied by a statement certified by a licensed veterinarian showing that the dog has received the rabies vaccine; or, in lieu thereof, a statement certified by a licensed veterinarian that because of the dog's age or other reason, the life of the dog would be endangered by the administration of the vaccine.
In the case of an altered dog, every application shall be accompanied by a certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian or a sworn affidavit signed by the owner in the form acceptable to the Town Clerk showing that the dog has been spayed or neutered, except that such certificate or affidavit is not required if same is already on file with the Town Clerk. In lieu of the spay or neuter certificate, an owner may present a statement certified by a licensed veterinarian stating that he or she 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 an altered dog.
No individual under the age of 18 years shall be deemed an owner of record and be issued a dog license.
Upon validation of the application materials by the Town Clerk, a dog license shall be issued and a record of its issuance retained in the office of the Town Clerk. Such record shall be made available upon request to the State Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets, or successor thereof.
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.
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 in participating in a dog show.
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.
Any person wishing to replace a tag previously issued shall pay the sum of $5 to the Town Clerk for a replacement tag.
Change in owner or address. In the event of a change in ownership of any dog which has been licensed pursuant to this section or change of address of the owner of record of any dog, the owner of record shall, within 10 days of the change, file with the Town Clerk a written notification of such change. Such owner of record shall be liable for any violation of this section until such filing is made or until the dog is licensed in the name of the new owner.
Lost or stolen dog. If any dog which has been licensed is lost or stolen, the owner of record shall, within 10 days of discovery of such loss or theft, file with the Town Clerk a written notification of such event. In the case of loss or theft, the owner of record shall not be liable for any violation of this section committed after such notification has been made.
Death of dog. In case of the death of a licensed dog, the owner of record shall notify the Town Clerk of the dog's death either before or upon receipt of a renewal notice from the Town Clerk.
Any person who observes a dog in violation of this chapter may file a complaint under oath with a Town of North East Justice or the Dog Control Officer or peace officer specifying the nature of the violation, the date thereof, a description of the dog and the name and residence, if known, of the owner of the dog.
The Dog Control Officer or peace officer, upon complaint by a person who observes a violation of this chapter filed with the Dog Control Officer or peace officer, or upon personal observation of a violation of this chapter, may institute a civil complaint with the Town of North East Justice Court.
Upon receipt by the Town of North East Justice of any such civil complaint, he or she shall summon the alleged owner to appear in person before him or her or at a hearing, at which both the complainant and owner shall have an opportunity to be represented by counsel and to present evidence. If, after such hearing, the Town of North East Justice decides that further action is warranted, he may order:
The dog to be declared a vicious or dangerous dog to be restrained by collar and leash at all times whether on or off the owner's property.
The dog to be confined to the premises of the owner.
A violation of any order issued by a Town of North East Justice under the provisions of this section shall be an offense punishable, upon conviction thereof, as provided in § 86-16 of this chapter.
The Dog Control Officer or peace officer, as the case may be, shall have the discretion upon the filing of a complaint alleging a violation of this chapter, or upon his or her observation of a violation of this chapter, to issue an appearance ticket and proceed with criminal violation action pursuant to the provisions of §§ 86-15 and 86-16 of this chapter.
The Dog Control Officer or any peace officer shall seize any dog under the following circumstances:
Is not licensed or is unidentified, whether the dog is located on or off the owner's or person-in-charge's property.
Any licensed dog which is not in the control of the dog's owner or custodian, or not on the property of the dog's owner or custodian, if there is probable cause to believe that the dog is dangerous.
Any dog that, in the opinion of the Dog Control Officer, police officer or peace officer, poses an immediate threat to the public safety.
In the event of a seizure by a Dog Control Officer or police officer of a dog on the grounds that there is probable cause to believe that the dog is dangerous, the Dog Control Officer or police officer, as the case may be, shall commence a proceeding as provided for in § 123(2) of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
Every dog seized, until disposed of, shall be properly sheltered, fed, watered and cared for the redemption period specified in this section.
Each dog which has been seized, but which is not identified, whether or not licensed, shall be held for a period of five days from the date 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 chapter and further provided that the owner pays the following impoundment fees:
Not less than $33 for the first 24 hours of impoundment of any dog owned by that person, together with $18 for each additional twenty-four-hour period of impoundment.
The first day of impoundment for any second impoundment of a dog within one year of the first impoundment shall increase to not less than $36 for the first 24 hours of impoundment, together with $18 for each additional twenty-four-hour period of impoundment;
The first day of impoundment for any third or subsequent impoundment of a dog within one year of the first impoundment shall increase to not less than $39 for the first twenty-four-hour period of impoundment, together with $18 for each additional twenty-four-hour period of impoundment;
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 time 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 section 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 the provisions of Article 7 and § 374 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
In the case of adoption of a seized dog, no adoption fee shall be paid to the Town of North East. Said dog must be vaccinated to prevent the spread of rabies and spayed/neutered before adoption. At the time of adoption, a license shall be obtained for the dog upon payment of appropriate fees by the new owner of record. All proceedings by the Dog Control Officer or any peace officer for seizure and impounding of dogs and/or the redemption, disposition or adoption thereof shall be conducted and/or collected pursuant to the provisions of § 118 of Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law of the State of New York or successor law.
Any person owning, possession or harboring a dog four months or age or over in the Town of North East shall be required to have the dog vaccinated to prevent the spread of rabies, except that a rabies vaccine is not required as follows:
To a dog brought in the Town for a period not to exceed 15 days; dogs in the custody of an incorporated society devoted to the care of lost, stray or homeless animals; dogs confined to public or private hospital devoted to the treatment of sick animals; and dogs confined to educational or research institutions for the purpose of research.
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.
Any person owning, possessing or harboring a dog who fails or refuses to submit the dog for vaccination within 10 days after a request by a Dog Control Officer, peace officer, police officer or health officer shall be in violation of this section.
Any Dog Control Officer or peace officer shall have the power to issue appearance tickets, and shall have such other powers as are prescribed in § 113(3) of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
Any person or owner who shall violate the provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation, and shall be held liable, upon conviction thereof, for a fine of not less than $25 and not exceeding $250 for a first offense. Where the person was found to have violated this chapter within the preceding five years, the fine may not be less than $50 and where the person was found to have committed two or more violations within the preceding five years, the penalty shall be a fine of not less than $100, imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both.
This chapter shall take effect upon filing in the office of the Secretary of State of the State of New York and shall not be implemented before January 1, 2011.