Town of Athens, NY
Greene County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Athens as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Appearance tickets — See Ch. 4.
[Adopted 10-9-2000 by L.L. No. 4-2000]

§ 96-1 Title.

This article shall be known as the "Control of Nuisance Dog Law."

§ 96-2 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
DANGEROUS DOG
Any dog which attacks any person or domestic animal within the meaning of Article 7 of the Agricultural and Markets Law of the State of New York. Such dog shall be dealt with in accordance with Article 7 of the Agricultural and Markets Law.
DOG
Includes both male and female dogs whether spayed or neutered, or not.
OWNER
Any person, family, entity or business who owns, keeps, harbors, or has the care, custody or control of a dog. Dogs owned by minors shall be deemed to be in the custody and control of the minor's parents, guardian or head of the household where the minor resides.
RESTRAINT
A dog is to be considered under restraint when it is as follows:
A. 
Controlled by a leash; or
B. 
In the presence of a competent person and obedient to that person's command; or
C. 
Within the property limits of the owner or on the premises of another with the consent of that person; or
D. 
On or within the owner's vehicle being driven or parked by the street.

§ 96-3 Nuisances prohibited.

A. 
It shall be unlawful for any owner of any dog in the Town of Athens to permit or allow his or her dog to:
(1) 
Run at large.
(a) 
Off owner's property; and
(b) 
Not under the restraint of a competent person.
(2) 
Engage in loud howling or barking, crying or whining, or to conduct itself in such a manner so as to unreasonably disturb the comfort or repose of any person other than the owner of such dog.
(3) 
Chase and/or bark at motor vehicles, pedestrians or persons on bicycles while on a public street or highway or upon public or private property other than property of the owner or harborer of said dog.
(4) 
Jump on, chase, bark at or otherwise harass any person in such a manner as to reasonably cause intimidation or fear or to put such person in reasonable apprehension of bodily harm or injury.
(5) 
Defecate or urinate on, dig in or otherwise damage public property or private property other than property of the owner or harborer of said dog.
(6) 
Upset or otherwise interfere with garbage receptacles.
(7) 
Cause damage to property or person of others.
(8) 
Kill or injure any dog, cat or household pet.
(9) 
Uproot, dig or otherwise damage any vegetables, lawn, flowers, garden beds or other property without the consent or approval of the owner thereof.
(10) 
Be off the owner's premises unrestrained by a leash, if a female dog is in heat.
B. 
No unspayed female dog in season shall be allowed to roam, nor shall she be left unattended without the precaution of properly enclosing her either by fence of cage. In all cases she should be properly supervised so as to prevent the occurrence of packs of dogs.

§ 96-4 Enforcement.

A. 
This article shall be enforced by the Dog Control Officer, by any peace officer or by a person having jurisdiction under the Agriculture and Markets Law. The Dog Control Officer is hereby authorized to issue an appearance ticket for any violation of this article pursuant to the Town of Athens Appearance Ticket Local Law.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 4, Appearance Tickets.
B. 
Any person who observes a dog in violation of this article may file a complaint under oath with the Town Justice of the town or with the Town Dog Control 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 such dog. Such complaint may serve as the basis for enforcing the provision of this article.

§ 96-5 Seizure.

A. 
Any dog alleged to be in violation of this article may be seized by the Dog Control Officer or any peace officer and will be impounded and disposed of in accordance with the provisions of Article 7 or other applicable provisions of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
B. 
The Dog Control Officer or police officer may also investigate or refer to a Town Justice of the town any dangerous dog described in Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law and see that the order of the Town Justice in such case is carried out.
C. 
No person shall hinder, resist or oppose the Dog Control Officer, peace officer or other person(s) authorized to administer or enforce the provisions of this article in the performance of the officer's duties under this article.
D. 
Each dog seized in accordance with the provisions of this article shall be properly sheltered, fed and watered for the redemption period as herein provided in a facility so designated by the Town Board of the Town of Athens.

§ 96-6 Fees; penalties for offenses.

A. 
Each dog which is not identified, whether or not licensed, shall be held for a period of at least five days from the day seized, during which period the dog may be redeemed by its owner, provided that such owner produces proof that the dog has been identified pursuant to the provisions of this article and further provided that the owner pays the following impoundment fees:
(1) 
The impoundment fees shall be set by the Town Board by resolution.
(2) 
Fines.
(a) 
Upon an owner's first conviction for any violation of this article, a fine in an amount not to exceed $50 shall be imposed.
(b) 
Upon an owner's second conviction within 18 months, with respect to any dog, for any violation of this article, a fine of not less than $35 nor more than $100 shall be imposed.
(c) 
Upon an owner's third or subsequent conviction within 18 months, with respect to any dog, for any violation of this article, a fine of not less than $75 nor more than $175 shall be imposed.

§ 96-7 Notification.

A. 
Promptly upon seizure of an identified dog, the owner of record of such dog shall be notified by the Dog Control Officer personally or by certified mail, return receipt requested, of the facts of seizure and the procedure for redemption.
B. 
If notification is personally given, such dog shall be held for a period of at least five days after day of notice, during which period the dog may be redeemed by the owner in accordance with Agriculture and Markets Law provisions.
C. 
If such notification is made by mail, such dog shall be held for a period of six days from the date of mailing, during which period the dog may be redeemed by the owner in accordance with Agriculture and Markets Law provisions.
D. 
In either case, the owner may redeem such dog upon payment of the impoundment fees prescribed by § 96-6 of this article and by producing proof that the dog has been licensed.

§ 96-8 Forfeiture.

An owner shall forfeit title to any dog unredeemed by the expiration of the appropriate redemption period, and it may be kept for six days, with no liability to the Town of Athens. On the seventh day, the dog will be put up for adoption in accordance with Agriculture and Markets Law provisions.

§ 96-9 Liability.

The owner or harborer of any dog destroyed under the provisions of this article, whether destroyed by the Dog Control Officer, peace officer or released to an authorized humane society or veterinarian, shall not be entitled to any compensation, and no action will be maintainable thereafter to recover the value of such dog or any other type of damage.

§ 96-10 Incorporation of state law.

The provisions of Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law of the State of New York are deemed incorporated in this article as if fully set forth herein. Any state law which is inconsistent with this article shall be superseded by the provisions hereof to the extent of its inconsistency, except where supersession is restricted by law.
[Adopted 12-20-2010 by L.L. No. 2-2010[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law was adopted as Ch. 97, but was renumbered in order to maintain the organization of the Code.

§ 96-11 Purpose and intent.

The purpose of this article is to provide for the licensing and identification of dogs, the control and protection of the dog population and the protection of persons and property within the Town of Athens. All owners of dogs who are permanent residents of the Town of Athens shall license their dogs in the Town of Athens. Owners of dogs whose permanent place of residence is outside the boundaries of the Town of Athens shall be required to show proof of dog licensing when and if so needed. Such owners are subject to be in compliance with any and all local laws pertaining to dogs.

§ 96-12 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CLERK
The Clerk of the Town of Athens where licenses are validated or issued pursuant to this article.
DOG
Any member of the species Canis familiaris.
DOG CONTROL OFFICER
Any individual(s) appointed by the Town Board of the Town of Athens to assist in the enforcement of this article and of Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law or any authorized officer, agent or employee of an incorporated humane society or similar incorporated dog protective association under contract with the Town of Athens to assist in the enforcement of this article.
HARBOR
To provide food or shelter to any dog.
IDENTIFICATION TAG
A tag issued by the licensing agent of the Town of Athens which sets forth an identification number, together with such other information as the licensing municipality deems appropriate.
IDENTIFIED DOG
Any dog carrying an identification tag as required by this article.
MUNICIPALITY
The Town of Athens and its authorized agents.
OWNER
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.

§ 96-13 License required; rabies vaccination required.

A. 
The owner of any dog harbored within the Town of Athens who is four months of age or older, unless otherwise exempted, shall be licensed.
B. 
No license shall be required for any dog which is under the age of four months and which is not at large, or that is residing in a pound or shelter maintained by or under contract or agreement with the state or any county, city, town or village, duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, duly incorporated humane society or duly incorporated dog protective association.
C. 
A license shall be issued or renewed for a period of at least one year, provided that no license shall be issued for a period expiring after the last day of the 11th month following the expiration date of the current rabies certificate for the dog being licensed. All licenses shall expire on the last day of the last month of the period for which they are issued.
D. 
In the event an applicant for a license presents, in lieu of a rabies certificate, a statement certified by a licensed veterinarian, a license shall be issued or renewed for a period of one year from the date of said statement.

§ 96-14 Application for license.

A. 
The owner of each dog required to be licensed shall obtain, complete and return a dog license application, together with the license application fee, any applicable license surcharges and such additional fees as may be established by the Town of Athens.
B. 
The application for a dog license 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, address, telephone number and address of residence of the owner.
(1) 
Each license application shall be accompanied by a 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. A copy of such certificate or statement shall be filed with a copy of the license and shall be made available to the Commissioner upon request for rabies and other animal disease control efforts.
(2) 
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. A copy of such certificate or affidavit shall be filed with a copy of the license and shall be made available to the Commissioner upon request for rabies and other animal disease control efforts.
(3) 
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. A copy of such certificate shall be filed with a copy of the license and shall be made available to the Commissioner upon request for rabies and other animal disease control efforts. 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.
C. 
Upon validation by the Clerk, the application shall become a license for the dog described therein.
D. 
The 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.
E. 
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.

§ 96-15 License fees.

A. 
The Town of Athens hereby establishes the fee for a dog license at $9, to which amount shall be added $5 if the dog for which the license application is made is unspayed or unneutered. The Town of Athens reserves the right to change these fees from time to time by resolution of the Town Board.
B. 
In addition to the fees set forth herein, each applicant for a dog license shall pay a surcharge of $1 if the dog to be licensed is altered, or a fee of $3 if the dog to be licensed is unaltered. The surcharges imposed by this section shall be remitted to the Department of Agriculture and Markets for transmittal to the State Comptroller for deposit in the animal population control fund.
C. 
In addition to the license fee set forth by this section, each applicant for a dog license shall pay a surcharge of $2, which shall be retained by the Town of Athens and used to defray the cost of an enumeration of dogs living within the Town of Athens and the cost of providing replacement identification tags. In the event the additional fees collected exceed the expenses incurred for conducting an enumeration in any year, such excess fees shall be used by the Town of Athens for enforcing this article and spaying or neutering animals.
D. 
All revenue derived from such fees shall be the sole property of the municipality and shall be used only for:
(1) 
Enforcing Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law and this article;
(2) 
Subsidizing the spaying or neutering of dogs and any municipal facility established to provide spaying and neutering services; and
(3) 
Subsidizing humane education programs in responsible dog ownership.
E. 
Excepted from payment of the license fee are applications submitted for a dog license for any guide or hearing dogs. Each copy of a license for such dogs shall be conspicuously marked "Guide Dog" or "Hearing Dog."

§ 96-16 Identification tags required.

Each dog licensed pursuant to this article 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.

§ 96-17 Enforcement.

A. 
This article shall be enforced by the Dog Control Officer, by any peace officer or by a person having jurisdiction under the Agriculture and Markets Law. The Dog Control Officer is hereby authorized to issue an appearance ticket for any violation of this article pursuant to the Town of Athens Appearance Ticket Local Law.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 4, Appearance Tickets.
B. 
Any person who observes a dog in violation of this article may file a complaint under oath with the Town Justice of the Town or with the Town Dog Control 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 such dog. Such complaint may serve as the basis for enforcing the provision of this article.

§ 96-18 Seizure.

A. 
The owner of each dog which is not licensed shall be notified, in person or by mail, that said dog must be licensed within 10 days from the date of notification, whether in person or by mail.
B. 
Any dog alleged to be in violation of this article may be seized by the Dog Control Officer or any peace officer and will be impounded and disposed of in accordance with the provisions of Article 7 or other applicable provisions of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
C. 
The Dog Control Officer or police officer may also investigate or refer to a Town Justice of the Town any dangerous dog described in Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law and see that the order of the Town Justice in such case is carried out.
D. 
No person shall hinder, resist or oppose the Dog Control Officer, peace officer or other person(s) authorized to administer or enforce the provisions of this article in the performance of the officer's duties under this article.
E. 
Each dog seized in accordance with the provisions of this article shall be properly sheltered, fed and watered for the redemption period as herein provided in a facility so designated by the Town Board of the Town of Athens.

§ 96-19 Impoundment fees; penalties for offenses.

A. 
Each dog which is not identified, whether or not licensed, and which is seized, shall be held for a period of at least five days from the day seized, during which period the dog may be redeemed by its owner, provided that such owner produces proof that the dog has been identified pursuant to the provisions of this article and further provided that the owner pays the following impoundment fees: The impoundment fees shall be set by the Town Board by resolution.
B. 
Fines.
(1) 
Upon an owner's first conviction for any violation of this article, a fine in the amount not to exceed $50 shall be imposed.
(2) 
Upon an owner's second conviction within 18 months, with respect to any dog, for any violation of this article, a fine of not less than $35 nor more than $100 shall be imposed.
(3) 
Upon an owner's third or subsequent conviction within 18 months, with respect to any dog, for any violation of this article, a fine of not less than $75 nor more than $175 shall be imposed.
C. 
The Town of Athens reserves the right to modify the fines from time to time by resolution of the Town Board.

§ 96-20 Notification.

A. 
Promptly upon seizure of an identified dog, the owner of record of such dog shall be notified by the Dog Control Officer, personally or by certified mail, return receipt requested, of the facts of seizure and the procedure for redemption.
B. 
If notification is personally given, such dog shall be held for a period of at least five days after the day of notice, during which period the dog may be redeemed by the owner in accordance with the Agriculture and Markets Law provisions.
C. 
If such notification is made by mail, such dog shall be held for a period of six days from the date of mailing, during which period the dog may be redeemed by the owner in accordance with the Agriculture and Markets Law provisions.
D. 
In either case, the owner may redeem such dog upon payment of the impoundment fees prescribed in § 96-19 of this article and by producing proof that the dog has been licensed.

§ 96-21 Forfeiture.

An owner shall forfeit title to any dog unredeemed by the expiration of the appropriate redemption period, and it may be kept for six days, with no liability to the Town of Athens. On the 7th day, the dog will be put up for adoption in accordance with the Agriculture and Markets Law provisions.

§ 96-22 Liability.

The owner or harborer of any dog destroyed under the provisions of this article, whether destroyed by the Dog Control Officer, peace officer or released to any authorized humane society or veterinarian, shall not be entitled to any compensation, and no action will be maintainable thereafter to recover the value of such dog or any other type of damage.