[Adopted 9-9-1997 by Ord. No. 55-1997]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A fence of at least six feet in height or other structure, such as a pen, forming or causing an enclosed area suitable to prevent the entry of young children, or any part of their bodies, and suitable to confine vicious dogs in conjunction with other measures which may be taken by the owner or the keeper, such as the tethering of a vicious dog. Such other structure shall be securely enclosed and locked and designed with secure sides, top and bottom, and shall be designed to keep the animal from escaping therefrom. If the pen or other structure has no bottom secured to the sides, the sides must be embedded in the ground no less than one foot.
- Taken into custody or the public pound used by the City of Cohoes.
- A natural person or any legal entity, including but not limited to a corporation, firm, partnership or trust.
- A. Any dog:
- (1) Which, when unprovoked, approaches a person in a vicious or terrorizing manner in an apparent attitude of attack upon the streets, sidewalks or any public grounds or places;
- (2) With a known propensity, tendency or disposition to attack unprovoked, cause injury or otherwise endanger the safety of human beings or domestic animals;
- (3) Which bites, inflicts injury, assaults or otherwise attacks a human being or domestic animal or household pet without provocation on public or private property; or
- (4) Owned or harbored primarily or in part for the purpose of dog fighting or any dog trained for dog fighting.
- B. No dog may be declared vicious if any injury or damage is sustained by a person who, at the time such injury or damage was sustained, was committing a willfull trespass or other tort upon premises occupied by the owner or keeper of the dog or was teasing, tormenting, abusing or assaulting the dog or was committing or attempting to commit a crime. If the trespass is determined to be of an innocent nature, the court may, depending on the circumstances, and in accordance with the procedures set forth in § 107-9, find the dog to be vicious.
- C. No dog may be declared vicious if it is used by law enforcement officials for law enforcement work.
[Amended 5-28-2002 by Ord. No. 9-2002; 4-22-2014 by Ord. No. 2-2014]
An animal control officer who has probable cause to believe that a dog is vicious, as defined in this article, shall immediately demand that possession of the dog be forthwith relinquished to said animal control officer, who shall impound said dog and notify the owner of said impoundment. An owner who denies that the dog is vicious as defined above must file with the Cohoes City Court a written demand for a hearing within five days of receipt of the notice of impoundment. The owner shall also serve a copy of said written demand on the Office of the Corporation Counsel within two days of filing with the City Court. If a demand for a hearing is timely made and served on the Office of the Corporation Counsel, the City Court shall provide for a hearing within five days. At such hearing the parties shall have the opportunity to present evidence on the issue of whether the dog is vicious as defined in this article. If no such hearing is timely demanded the dog shall become the property of the City.
After a finding that a dog is vicious as defined in this article, it is in the Court's discretion to order the dog destroyed or return the dog to the owner. The City Court may return the dog to the owner only upon satisfaction of the following conditions:
The owner obtained general liability insurance in the amount of $100,000 for any injury which the dog may cause, naming the City of Cohoes as an additional insured for the purpose of receiving notification of termination. It shall be the duty of said dog owner to maintain such insurance policy in force so long as the dog shall be present in the City of Cohoes.
Payment of all expenses, including but not limited to shelter, food and veterinary expenses necessitated by the seizure of the dog within 10 days of the Court 's determination.
The owner shall obtain a leash and muzzle for said dog. Such leash shall have a maximum length of three feet and shall have a minimum tensile strength of 300 pounds. It shall be unlawful at all times thereafter to allow said dog to leave the owner's home or secure enclosure as defined herein upon the owner's property unless said dog is muzzled, collared and tethered and under the control of a person at least 18 years of age.
Registration. The owner of a vicious dog shall register such dog with the City Clerk. The application for such registration shall contain the name and address of the owner, the breed, age, sex, color and any other identifying marks of the dog, the location where the dog is kept if not at the address of the owner and any other information which the City Clerk or his/her designee shall require. The application for registration pursuant to this subsection shall be accompanied by a registration fee of $150. Each dog registered pursuant hereto shall be assigned an official registration number by the City Clerk. The certification of registration shall be of such form and design and shall contain such information as the City Clerk shall prescribe and shall be issued to the owner upon payment of the registration fee and presentment of sufficient evidence that the owner has complied with all the orders of the City Clerk.
The owner shall display a sign on the premises warning that there is a vicious dog on the property. This sign shall be visible and capable of being read from the public highway or street.
The dog shall not be returned to any person under the age of 18.
An animal control officer who has probable cause to believe that a vicious dog is being possessed in violation of this article or in violation of any conditions imposed by the City Court pursuant to § 107-9 shall immediately demand that possession of the dog be forthwith relinquished to said animal control officer, who shall impound said dog. A hearing may be demanded by the owner as set forth in § 107-9A. If it is determined that the owner has failed to comply with the City Court 's conditions, the City Court shall order the dog destroyed.
If any vicious dog causes injury to a person or domestic animal or damage to property while out of or within the enclosure of the owner of the dog or while off the property of the owner, whether or not the vicious dog was on a leash and securely muzzled or whether the vicious dog escaped without the fault of the owner, the owner shall be liable to the person aggrieved by the injury for all damages sustained, to be recovered in a civil action.
The owner shall notify the animal control officer immediately, but in no event more than 24 hours, if a vicious dog is loose, unconfined, has attacked another animal, has attacked a human being or has died.
No person shall own or harbor any dog for the purpose of dog fighting or shall train, torment, badger, bait or use any dog for the purpose of causing or encouraging the dog to unprovoked attacks upon human beings or domestic animals.
No person shall possess with intent to sell, offer for sale, give away, breed, buy, attempt to buy or receive as a gift within the City any vicious dog.
Any person violating the provisions of this article shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000 or 15 days in jail, or both. Each separate offense shall constitute an additional violation.
[Amended 1-27-2009 by Ord. No. 1-2009]
Any person found guilty of violating this article shall pay all expenses, including shelter, food and veterinary expenses, necessitated by the seizure of any dog for the protection of the public and such other expenses as may be required for the destruction of such dog.
The owner of any dog found to be vicious under this article shall be required to pay all expenses, including but not limited to shelter, food and veterinary expenses, necessitated by the seizure of the dog and, if the dog is ordered to be destroyed, such expenses as may be required to have the dog destroyed. No dog found to be vicious shall be returned to its owner unless said expenses are paid within 10 days of the City Court's determination. Should the owner fail to timely pay said expenses, the dog shall be destroyed without further order of the City Court.
[Added 4-22-2014 by Ord. No. 2-2014]
The provisions of this article shall not supersede but rather shall be supplementary to the provisions of law contained in Article 7 (§ 106 et seq.), of the Agriculture and Markets Law and any other applicable ordinance, rule or regulation and successor laws, ordinances, rules and regulations.