Town of Livonia, NY
Livingston County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Livonia as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 3-19-2004 by L.L. No. 1-2004[1]]
[1]:
Editor's Note: This local law also repealed former Art. I, Dogs, adopted 6-19-1986 by L.L. No. 1-1986, as amended.

§ 54-1 Purpose.

The County of Livingston, New York finds that the running at large and other uncontrolled behavior of dogs has caused annoyance to persons, damage to property and created nuisances within the County. The purpose of this article is to protect the health, safety and well-being of persons and property by imposing restrictions and regulations upon the keeping of dogs and the seizure thereof within the County.

§ 54-2 Authority.

This local ordinance is enacted pursuant to the provisions of Section 124 of Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.

§ 54-3 Title.

The title of this article shall be "A Dog Control Ordinance of the County of Livingston."

§ 54-4 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AT LARGE
Any dog that is unleashed and 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) accompanied by and under the immediate supervision and control of the owner or other responsible person; b) a police work dog in use for police work; c) 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; d) is actively engaged as a livestock protection dog or a herd dog and is in the company of its designated livestock on lands owned or leased by the owner of the dog, or by the permission of the owner or lessor of such lands.
DOG
Shall refer to both male and female dogs except where the context requires otherwise.
DOG CONTROL OFFICER
Any individual appointed by the County of Livingston to assist in the enforcement of this article.
HARBOR
To provide food or shelter to any dog.
OWNER
Any person who harbors or keeps any dog. In the event any dog found in violation of this article shall be owned by a person under 18 years of age, the owner shall be deemed to be the parent or guardian of such person (or the head of the household in which said person resides).

§ 54-5 Restrictions.

It shall be unlawful for any owner of any dog to permit or allow such dog, in the County of Livingston, to:
A. 
Be at large;
B. 
Cause damage or destruction to property or commit a nuisance upon the premises of any person;
C. 
Habitually chase motor vehicles, bicycles, horseback riders, pedestrians or persons moving by human- or animal-powered devices, such as skateboards, roller blades, carriages, sleds, wagons, or skis;
D. 
Engage in habitual, loud howling or barking or conduct itself in a manner as to disturb the public peace;
E. 
Kill or injure any other dog or cat.

§ 54-6 Dangerous dogs.

Any dog which shall attack any person or domestic animal, within the meaning of Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law of the State of New York, shall be dealt with in accordance with Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.

§ 54-7 Enforcement.

This County ordinance shall be enforced by any dog control officer, peace officer when acting pursuant to his special duties, or law enforcement officer.

§ 54-8 Seizure, impoundment, redemption and adoption.

A. 
Any dog found in violation of the provisions of § 54-5 of this article may be seized pursuant to the provisions of Section 118 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
B. 
Every dog seized shall be properly cared for, sheltered, fed and watered for the redemption period set forth in Section 118 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
C. 
Seized dogs may be redeemed by producing proof of licensing and identification pursuant to Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law and by paying the redemption fees set forth in Section 118 of said Article.
D. 
Any dog unredeemed at the expiration of the appropriate redemption period shall be made available for adoption or euthanized pursuant to the provisions of Section 118 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
E. 
All impoundment fees shall be the property of the County of Livingston and shall be used only for the controlling of dogs and the enforcement of this article.

§ 54-9 Appearance ticket.

Any dog control officer, peace officer acting pursuant to his special duties, or police officer in the employ or under contract to the County of Livingston observing a violation of this article in his presence shall issue an appearance ticket for such violation.

§ 54-10 Penalties for offenses.

Any person convicted of a violation of this article shall be deemed to have committed a violation and shall be subject to a fine not exceeding $250 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 15 days.

§ 54-11 Disposition of dogs voluntarily surrendered to the County shelter.

A. 
In the event an owner wishes to surrender an unwanted dog to the County shelter, such person must execute a consent form prescribed by the County, allowing the Dog Control Officer to dispose of the dog immediately by either adoption or euthanasia, at the discretion of the Officer, and absolve the County, forever, of liability in connection with said dog.
B. 
The owner of any dog surrendered to the County must pay a fee in the amount set by the County.
C. 
This service may be discontinued at any time, by order of the Dog Control Officer, if overcrowding or any other condition at the shelter would create a situation whereby dogs could not be properly sheltered and cared for.

§ 54-12 Repealer.

This article shall supersede all prior local laws, ordinances, rules and regulations relative to the control of dogs within the County of Livingston, and they shall be, upon the effective date of this article, null and void.

§ 54-13 Effective date.

This article shall take effect March 23, 2004.
[Adopted 12-2-2010 by L.L. No. 2-2010]

§ 54-14 Legislative purpose.

A. 
On June 22, 2010, Governor David Paterson signed a measure into law as part of the 2010/2011 State Budget. The measure eliminates the existing roles of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and county government in the licensing of dogs and moves the remainder of the dog licensing function required by Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law to the level of local government.
B. 
Part T of Chapter 59 of the Laws of 2010 provides for the elimination of NYSDAM's dog licensing functions, including the agency's centralized Dog Licensing System. Part T repeals a significant portion of state level mandates in terms of licensing fees, exemptions, enumeration fee caps and penalties. Legislative action by the Town of Livonia is necessary to determine local fees and other policies prior to January 1, 2011. Without such action, the Town of Livonia would not be able to ensure the continuity of revenue used to pay for the local licensing function.
C. 
Because the Town Board of the Town of Livonia recognizes that certain adjustments to its regulations must be made from time to time in order to preserve the health and safety of its residents, the Town Board finds that it is in the best interest of the Town of Livonia to amend Chapter 54 of the Code of the Town of Livonia.

§ 54-15 Definitions.

The following definitions shall apply to the licensing requirements of this Article II:
ADOPT
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, from an animal shelter run by the Town or Livingston County.
AGRICULTURE AND MARKETS LAW
The Agriculture and Markets Law of the State of New York in effect as of the effective date of this article, as amended by this article, and as thereafter amended.
BE AT LARGE
To be in a public place or on private land without the knowledge, consent, and approval of the owner of such lands.
CLERK
The Town Clerk, or Deputy Town Clerk, of the Town of Livonia, by whom licenses are to be validated or issued.
DOG
Shall refer to both male and female dogs except where the context requires otherwise.
DOG CONTROL OFFICER
Any individual appointed by the County of Livingston or the Town of Livonia to assist in the enforcement of this article.
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.
GEESE DOG
Any dog that is trained to aid the Animal/Dog Control Officer in the control of geese within the boundaries of the Town.
GUIDE DOG
Any dog that is trained to aid a person who is blind and that is actually used for such purpose, or any dog owned by a recognized guide dog training center located within the State of New York during the period such dog is being trained or bred.
HARBOR
To provide food or shelter to any dog.
HEARING DOG
Any dog that is trained to aid a person with a hearing impairment and that is actually used for such purpose, or any dog owned by a recognized training center located within the State of New York during the period such dog is being trained or bred for such training.
IDENTIFICATION TAG
A tag which sets forth an identification number, as required by the provisions set forth in this article.
OWNER
Any person who harbors or keeps any dog. In the event any dog found in violation of this article shall be owned by a person under 18 years of age, the owner shall be deemed to be the parent or guardian of such person (or the head of the household in which said person resides).
OWNER OF RECORD
The person in whose name a dog was last licensed pursuant to this article.
PERSON
A person, partnership, corporation, association or other organized group of persons, business entity, municipality or other legal entity.
POLICE WORK DOG
Any dog owned or harbored by any municipal police department or any state or federal law enforcement agency, which dog has been trained to aid law enforcement officers and is actually being used for police work purposes.
RESIDENT
(A person) An individual who maintains a residence within the Town of Livonia, County of Livingston, State of New York.
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 that is actually used for such purpose, or any dog owned by a recognized training center located within the State of New York during the period such dog is being trained or bred for such purpose.
TOWN
The Town of Livonia, including incorporated areas.
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 and that is actually used for such purposes; provided, however, that such services provided by said dog shall be performed without charge or fee.

§ 54-16 Dog licensing requirements and procedures.

A. 
Licensing of dogs.
(1) 
The owner of any dog reaching the age of four months shall immediately make application for a dog license. No license shall be required for any dog under the age of four months that is not at large. A license shall be renewed after a period of one year beginning with the first day of the month following the date of issuance. Renewals shall be for one-year terms.
(2) 
Application for a dog license shall be made to the Clerk, or, in the instance of adoption from the Livingston County Dog Control facility, an application can be made to a Dog Control Officer from that facility, and a license issued therefrom.
(3) 
The application shall state the sex, actual or approximate year of birth, breed, color(s), and official identification number of the dog, and other identification markers, if any, and the name, address, telephone number, county and town of residence of owner.
(4) 
The application shall be accompanied by a license fee as listed below and a valid certificate of rabies vaccination or statement from a licensed veterinarian that such vaccination would endanger the dog's life, in which case vaccination shall not be required. In the case of a spayed or neutered dog, every application shall also be accompanied by a certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian showing that the dog has been spayed or neutered, provided that such certificate shall not be required if the same is already on file with the Clerk, or, in the alternative, a sworn affidavit from the owner indicating that the dog has been spayed or neutered.
(5) 
The fees for a dog license shall be as set forth on the fee schedule adopted by the Town Board from time to time and available in the office of the Town Clerk.
(a) 
There shall be no fee charged for the license issued for any detection dog, geese dog, guide dog, hearing dog, police work dog, service dog, therapy dog, war dog or working search dog.
(b) 
The Clerk shall be authorized to charge fees to an owner for reimbursement of any charges incurred by the Town by virtue of any services provided by a Dog Control Officer in the execution or enforcement of this article.
(6) 
Upon validation by the Clerk (or a Dog Control Officer from the Livingston County Dog Control facility), the application shall become a license for the dog described therein. Once an application has been validated, no refund shall be made.
(7) 
The Clerk (or a Dog Control Officer from the Livingston County Dog Control facility) shall provide a copy of the license to the owner and retain a record of the license in either paper or electronic format.
(8) 
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. The original issued identification tag shall remain the same for the life of the dog, excepting that if a tag is lost or destroyed, the Clerk is authorized to issue a new tag with a different identification number and the owner shall pay a fee as designated by the Town for such purpose.
B. 
Purebred licenses. The owner of one or more purebred dogs registered by a recognized registry association as defined in Agriculture and Markets Law § 108 and set forth in this law may annually make an application for a purebred license, in lieu of or in addition to the individual licenses required by this article. A purebred license shall be valid for a period of one year beginning with the first day of the month following the date of issuance and shall be renewable annually thereafter prior to the expiration date.
(1) 
The purebred dog license application shall state the name, address and telephone number of the owner; the county and town where such dogs are harbored; the sex, breed, registry name and number of each purebred registered dog over the age of four months which is harbored on the premises; and the sex and breed of each purebred dog over the age of four months which is harbored on the premises and which is eligible for registration. The application shall also include a statement by the owner that all purebred dogs over the age of four months which are harbored on the premises have been listed.
(2) 
The application shall be accompanied by the purebred license fee prescribed by this article and a certificate of rabies vaccination as required by this article and Article 7 of the State Agriculture and Markets Law.
(3) 
Upon receipt of the foregoing items, the Clerk shall assign a license number, which shall be reserved for the sole use of the named owner, and shall issue a purebred license. Once a purebred license has been issued, no refund therefor shall be made.
(4) 
The Town Clerk shall:
(a) 
Provide a copy of the purebred license to the owner;
(b) 
Retain a record of the purebred license in the office of the Town Clerk.
(5) 
No purebred license shall be transferable. Upon change of ownership of any dog licensed under a purebred license, such dog shall become subject to the licensing provisions of Subsection B(1) of this section, except when the new owner holds a valid purebred license.
(6) 
The fees for a purebred dog license shall be as set forth on the fee schedule adopted by the Town Board from time to time, including a mandatory surcharge as set forth by New York State's Agriculture and Markets Law for the purposes of carrying out animal population control efforts, such schedule being available in the office of the Town Clerk.
C. 
Rabies vaccination. The Clerk, at the time of issuing any license pursuant to this article, shall require the applicant to present a statement certified by a licensed veterinarian showing that the dog or dogs have been vaccinated to prevent rabies or, in lieu thereof, a statement certified by a licensed veterinarian stating that because of age or other reason, the life of the dog or dogs would be endangered by the administration of vaccine. The Clerk shall make or cause to be made from such statement a record of such information and file such record with a copy of the license.
D. 
Enumeration. In addition to other applicable fees, any person applying for a dog license for a dog identified as unlicensed during an enumeration shall pay a fee of $5. Such additional fee shall be used to pay the expenses incurred by the Town in conducting the enumeration. In the event that the additional fees collected exceed the expenses incurred by the Town in conducting an enumeration in any year, such excess fees may be used by the Town for any other lawful purpose.

§ 54-17 Identification of dogs.

A. 
Each dog licensed shall be assigned, at the time the dog is licensed for the first time, a permanent official identification number. Such identification number shall be carried by the dog on an identification tag that shall be affixed to a collar on the dog at all times.
B. 
The official identification number shall constitute the official identification of the dog to which it is assigned, regardless of changes of ownership, and the number shall not be reassigned to any other dog during the lifetime of the dog to which it is assigned.
C. 
At the time a dog is first licensed, one identification tag shall be furnished to the owner at no charge. Any replacement tag shall be obtained by the owner at his expense at a fee pursuant to a fee schedule adopted by the Town Board from time to time and available in the office of the Town Clerk.
D. 
No tag carrying an official identification number shall be affixed to the collar of any dog other than the one to which that number has been assigned.
E. 
The identification tag shall be imprinted with the words "Livonia, NY," a unique identification number, and the telephone number of the Town Clerk's office.

§ 54-18 Change of ownership; lost or stolen dogs.

A. 
In the event of a change in ownership of any dog that has been assigned an official identification number or in the address of the owner of record of any such dog, the owner of record shall, within 10 days of such change, notify the Clerk.
B. 
If any dog that has been assigned an official identification number is lost or stolen, the owner of record shall, within 10 days of the discovery of such loss or theft, notify the Clerk.
C. 
In the case of a dog's death, the owner of record shall so notify the Clerk, either prior to renewal of license or upon the time of such renewal.

§ 54-19 Violations of licensing requirements.

It shall be a violation, punishable as provided in § 54-9 of this section, for:
A. 
Any owner to fail to license a dog.
B. 
Any owner to fail to have any dog identified as required by this article.
C. 
Any person to knowingly affix to any dog any false or improper identification tag or special identification tag for identifying guide, service or hearing dogs.

§ 54-20 Penalties for offenses.

A violation of this article shall be subject to a fine, which shall not be less than $25, except that:
A. 
Where the person was found to have violated this article within the preceding five years, the fine shall not be less than $50; and
B. 
Where the person was found to have committed two or more violations of this article within the preceding five years, the fine shall not be less than $100 or imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both.

§ 54-21 Severability.

If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part of this article shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall be confined in its operation to the clause, paragraph, section or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered.

§ 54-22 Effective date.

This article shall take effect January 1, 2011, after filing with the Secretary of State in Albany.