[Adopted 6-10-1991 by L.L. No. 4-1991 (Ch. 54 of the 1983 Code)]
The purpose of this article is to promote the public health, safety and welfare of the community, including the protection and preservation of the property of residents of the Town and its inhabitants and of the peace and good order therein by regulating and controlling the activities of dogs within the Town of Dickinson and providing for the enforcement thereof.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- AT LARGE
- Any dog that is unleashed and either on property open to
the public or 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:[Amended 8-10-2015 by L.L. No. 1-2015]
- Any member of the species canis familiaris.
- ENFORCEMENT AGENT
- A Town Dog Control Officer, a police officer or a peace officer acting or pursuing special duties or any authorized officer, agent or employee of an incorporated humane society or similar incorporated dog protective association under contract with the Town to assist in the enforcement of this article.
- To provide food or shelter to any dog.
- A dog which is humanly bound directly to the owner or keeper by means of a chain, rope, leather strap, cord or other sufficient tether as to prevent the dog from moving free of the owner's or keeper's immediate control.
- Any person who harbors or keeps any dog. In the event that a 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 such person resides.
- PUBLIC NUISANCE
- As applies to a dog, the term shall describe, designate or apply to every dog which:
- A. Seriously or habitually disturbs the neighborhood by barking or howling or making any other disturbing noises;
- B. Chases any bicycle, automobile or any other type of vehicle upon any public highway or in any public place;
- C. Causes damage or destruction to property other than upon the premises of the owner or the person harboring such a dog;[Amended 11-9-2009 by L.L. No. 5-2009]
- D. Disperses garbage or refuse which is lawfully set out for collection; or
- E. Chases, bites, snaps at, jumps upon or otherwise harasses any person in such a manner as reasonably to put a person in apprehension of bodily harm or injury.
- Referring to the Town of Dickinson and the area within the corporate limits of the Town of Dickinson.
- A. Includes any dog:
- (1) With a known propensity, tendency or disposition to attack, cause injury to or otherwise endanger the safety of human beings or domestic animals. The propensity to be vicious shall be known if the owner has any notice that the dog has on any occasion inflicted bites or attacked a human being or other animal either on public or private property or, in a vicious or terrorizing manner, approached any person in an apparent attitude of attack upon the streets, sidewalks or any public grounds or places lawfully on private property;
- (2) Which attacks a human being or domestic animal without provocation; or
- (3) Owned or harbored primarily or in part for the purposes of dog fighting or any dog training to end dog fighting.
- B. No dog shall be deemed "vicious" if it bites, attacks or menaces with a trespasser on the property of its owner or harms or menaces anyone who has tormented or abused it.
It shall be unlawful for any person to:
Keep in a structure inhabited by one or more persons in the Town more than two dogs over eight weeks of age at any one time;
Maintain within the Town a kennel for pet harborage in such a manner as to be unsanitary or odor-bearing.
[Added 7-6-1998 by Ord. No. 4-1998]
Any person owning, harboring, walking or in charge of a dog who allows the dog to defecate on public property, or on any private property without the permission of the property owner, shall remove all feces immediately after it is deposited by the dog. All feces removed in accordance with this subsection shall be placed in a suitable bag or other container which closes. The bag or closed container shall then be deposited in a receptacle for the disposal of refuse.
The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to blind persons using dogs as guides.
The keeping of vicious dogs within the Town shall be governed by this section.
In the event that an enforcement agent or a citizen has probable cause to believe that a vicious dog is being harbored or cared for in the Town, the enforcement agent shall, or a citizen may, file a petition with the Dickinson Town Court seeking the seizure and impoundment of the vicious dog pending trial pursuant to the dangerous dog provisions of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
Dogs found by the Court to be vicious shall be humanely destroyed unless the Court determines that the interests of justice will be served by the issuance of a confinement order. The terms of such confinement are as follows:
No person owning or harboring or having the care of a vicious dog shall allow or permit such a dog to go unconfined on the premises of such person. A vicious dog is "unconfined," as the term is used in this section, if such dog is not securely confined indoors or confined in a securely enclosed and locked pen or dog run area upon the premises of such person. Such pen or dog run area shall be of such design and construction to prevent the entry therein by young children and the animal from escaping. The specifications for such a pen or dog run area shall be presented by the owner of a vicious dog to the Town Court at the time said Court issues the confinement order and shall be subject to the approval of said Court upon the recommendation of the enforcement agent. Proof that said pen or dog run area has been constructed shall be presented to the Court within 10 days of the entry of the vicious dog order. Failure to construct and maintain said pen or dog run area shall cause for the immediate seizure and destruction of the dog.
No person owning or harboring or having to care for a vicious dog shall allow or permit such a dog to go beyond the premises of such person unless the dog is securely muzzled and restrained with a chain or leash not exceeding three feet in length and having sufficient tensile strength to control an animal of the size of the vicious dog.
The owner shall, at his own expense, have the licensing number assigned to such dog, or such other number as the licensing authority shall determine, tattooed upon such vicious dog by a licensed veterinarian or person trained as a tattooist and authorized as such by the appropriate state, city or Town authority. The enforcement agent may, in his discretion, designate the particular location of said tattoo. No vicious dog shall be released to the custody of its owner without first having had this tattoo affixed.
The owner shall display a sign on the premises warning that there is a vicious dog on the property. The sign shall be visible and be capable of being read from the public highway or street. The sign shall conspicuously display a symbol warning children of the presence of a vicious dog.
No person shall own or harbor any dog for the purpose of dog fighting or train, torment, badger, bait or use any dog for the purpose of causing or encouraging said dog to unprovoked attack on human beings or domestic animals.
No person shall possess with the intent to sell, offer for sale, buy or intend to buy within the Town any vicious dog.
Any person owning, possessing or harboring a vicious dog shall at all times exercise due care and safeguarding of the public from attack by such animal.
It shall be presumed as a matter of law that the owning, keeping or harboring of a vicious dog in violation of this section is a nuisance.
Where an enforcement agent has probable cause to believe that a vicious dog is being confined in violation of a court order of confinement and presents a clear and present danger to persons and/or domestic animals, the enforcement agent may seize and impound the dog and shall seek an order from the Court for the destruction of the dog pursuant to § 229-4H.
[Amended 7-6-1998 by Ord. No. 4-1998; 11-9-2009 by L.L. No. 5-2009]
Any vicious dog may be ordered destroyed when, in the judgment of the Court, such vicious dog represents a continuing threat of serious harm to human beings and/or other domestic animals. In making said determination, the Courts shall consider the conduct of the owner in complying with the provisions of this article or any court order issued hereunder.
This article shall be enforced by any enforcement agent.
Any person who observes any conduct which would constitute a violation of this article may file a silence complaint under oath with an enforcement agent or Justice of the Town, specifying the objectionable conduct, the date thereof and the name and residence, if known, of the owner or other person harboring said dog.
Any enforcement agent observing a violation of this article or obtaining a written complaint under Subsection B of this section shall issue and serve upon the alleged owner an appearance ticket for such violation.
Any Town Justice obtaining a written complaint under Subsection B of this section may summon the alleged owner to appear in person before him.
If a person issued or served an appearance ticket or summons fails to appear in accordance with said appearance ticket or summons, a Town Justice may issue a warrant for the arrest of that person upon the filing of information.
[Amended 11-9-2009 by L.L. No. 5-2009]
Except as otherwise provided for in § 119 of the Agriculture and Markets Law, any person who violates this article, except § 229-4 hereof, or normally permits the violation of this article, except § 229-4 hereof, shall be deemed to have committed an offense, and any person convicted of any such violation, after investigation and hearing, shall be liable to a penalty of not more than $50 for each violation. Any person so convicted of such violation as a second offense shall be liable to a penalty of not less than $50 and not more than $100, and a third or subsequent offense shall be liable to a penalty of not less than $100 and not more than $200. Upon failure to pay any such fine, such person may be imprisoned in the county jail until such fine is paid, not to exceed 15 days. Each day that a violation shall continue to exist shall be considered a separate violation for purposes of this article.