Town of Elma, NY
Erie County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Elma 8-7-1974 by Ord. No. 14; amended in its entirety 11-17-2010 by L.L. No. 3-2010. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 65-1 Title.

This article shall be known as the "Town of Elma Dog Licensing Law."

§ 65-2 Licensing of dogs.

A. 
All dogs in the Town of Elma must be licensed with the Town Clerk by the age of six months and are required to present a current certificate of rabies at the time of licensing or the renewal of an existing license.
B. 
All dog licenses will be paid for a period of one year and will expire at the end of the month one year from the date of issue. Dog licenses are not transferable and nonrefundable.
C. 
Fees for licensing of dogs. The fee for a spayed or neutered dog for one year will be $6 (which fee includes the assessment of a one-dollar surcharge for the purpose of carrying out animal population control). The fee for an unspayed or unneutered dog will be $14 (which included the assessment of a three-dollar surcharge for the purpose of carrying out population control). These fees established by this provision are subject to review by the Town Board periodically and may be changed by a resolution of the Town Board, if deemed necessary.
D. 
Grace period. Any dog harbored within the Town of Elma which is owned by a resident of New York City and licensed by the City of New York, or which is owned by a nonresident of New York State and licensed by a jurisdiction outside the State of New York, shall for a period of 30 days be exempt from the provisions of this section.
E. 
Enumeration fee. When the Town Board has determined the need for dog enumeration, a fee of $25 will be assessed to all dogs found unlicensed within the Town of Elma.
F. 
Purebred license. The Town of Elma will be issuing purebred licenses. A purebred license licensing up to 10 purebred dogs may be purchased for a thirty-dollar flat fee per year, plus a three-dollar surcharge for each unspayed and unneutered dog and a one-dollar surcharge for each spayed and neutered dog. A purebred license may only be issued if all dogs on premises have papers certifying them as purebreds. Holders of a purebred license may have different kinds of purebred dogs on the premises; non-purebred dogs are not permitted with a purebred license.
G. 
Service dogs. The Town of Elma will require a license for every guide dog, service dog, hearing dog, therapy dog and detection dog; however, the fee for this license shall be waived. A current certificate of rabies shall be required at the time of licensing or the renewal of an existing license.
H. 
The Town of Elma does not allow the licensing of dogs by a shelter. The shelter must send the adoptive dog owners to the Town Clerk of the town or city in which the dog will be harbored for licensing or to the Town Clerk of the Town of Elma where the shelter is located for the purchase of the license for adoption purposes.
I. 
All dog licenses may be purchased by visiting the Town Clerk's office, by regular mail or the night drop box on the front of the Town Hall. If licensing or renewing a license by mail, the appropriate fee must accompany the forms. There will be no refund of fees for a one-year license.
J. 
All fees will be issued in funding the administration of this chapter.
K. 
This annual dog license fee shall be charged for all licenses becoming effective January 1, 2011.

§ 65-3 Title.

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

§ 65-4 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AT LARGE
Any dog that is on property open to 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 guide dog actually leading a blind person, a police work dog in use for police work, or a dog accompanied by its owner or other responsible person and is actively engaged in hunting or training for hunting on unposted land or posted land with permission of the owner of the land or leashed as prescribed by § 65-5A.
HARBORER
The person who provides sustenance and shelter for any dog whether or not such person shall be the owner.
OWNER
The person who is recorded in the Town Clerk's office as the applicant for the license for a dog, if such animal shall be licensed, or the person who provides sustenance and shelter for such animal.

§ 65-5 Restrictions.

A. 
No owner or harborer owning, keeping, harboring or having the care, custody or control of any dog or dogs shall allow or permit any such dog or dogs to be off the premises of such person, firm or corporation (at large) and in the Town of Elma unless restrained by a chain or leash not exceeding six feet in length. Whenever any dog is found off the premises of the person, firm or corporation owning, keeping, harboring or having the care, custody or control of such a dog not controlled or restrained as above provided, it shall be presumed that such person, firm or corporation permitted or allowed such dog or dogs to be off the premises in violation of this section.
B. 
No owner or harborer shall keep or allow to be kept on premises owned or controlled by him or any dog which, by its incessant barking, howling, wining or other noise, shall unreasonably disturb the peace and quiet of any person.
C. 
No person shall deliberately, carelessly or negligently provoke a dog into barking, thereby disturbing the peace and quiet of a neighborhood by annoying he residents thereof.
D. 
No owner or harborer shall own, keep, harbor or have the care, custody or control of any dog not licensed as required by this Chapter 65.
E. 
No owner or harborer of a dog shall permit or allow such dog to cause damage or destruction to property or to urinate or defecate or to commit any other nuisance upon the premises of a person other than his own.
F. 
No owner or harborer of a dog shall allow such a dog to habitually chase motor vehicles or bicycles or other conveyance, including pedestrians and joggers.
G. 
No owner or harborer shall fail to have such a dog receive the mandatory rabies vaccinations as required pursuant to the provisions of Article 21, Title IV, of the Public Health Law.

§ 65-6 Interference with enforcement officials.

No person shall hinder, resist or oppose any properly designated official or representative of the Town in the performance of his duties under this article.

§ 65-7 Duties of Dog Control Officer; impoundment.

A. 
It shall be the duty of the Dog Control Officer or any other Town agent or employee designated by the Town Board hereafter to seize or take control of any dog found running at large or unrestrained contrary to the provisions of § 65-5, any dog found to be unlicensed, any dog which is not in the control of the dog's owner or harborer, or not on the property of the dog's owner or harborer if there is probable cause to believe that the dog is dangerous and any dog that, in the opinion of the Dog Control Officer, police officer or peace officer, poses an immediate threat to the public safety and to impound said dog in a suitable place.
B. 
In the use of any weapon or device for dog control, including but not limited to netting, trapping, snaring, tranquilization or firearm use (by a licensed official), the Dog Control Officer shall employ the most humane method possible under the circumstances.
C. 
The Dog Control Officer, seizing and impounding any dog, shall make a complete registry, entering therein the breed, color, sex and any distinguishing marks of such dog and whether licensed. If licensed, he shall enter the license number and the name and address of the owner.

§ 65-8 Effect of ownership by minor.

In the event that the owner shall be a minor under the age of 16 years, then the head of the household in which such minor resided shall be deemed to have the care, custody and control of said dog and shall be responsible for any acts in violation of this article.

§ 65-9 Enforcement; right of entry.

A. 
This article shall be enforced by the Dog Control Officer and any other Town agent or employee designated by the Town Board thereafter. The Dog Control Officer shall have all the powers of a peace officer in enforcing the provisions of this article and the provisions of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
B. 
The Dog Control Officer and any other Town agent or employee designated by the Town Board hereafter are authorized to sign and issue any complaint, information, affidavit or notice in connection with the prosecution of any violation of this article.
C. 
The Dog Control Officer and any other Town agent or employee designated by the Town Board hereafter are authorized to enter upon any lands upon which a dog is kept or harbored and to require the display by the person owning or having charge or control of such dog of the license tag for such dog. If a license tag for such dog is not displayed to the Dog Control Officer, the Dog Control Officer shall have the right to seize such dog at a suitable place.
D. 
If an issued summons is disregarded by the person receiving it, the Town Justice may permit the filing of information and issue a warrant for the arrest of such person.

§ 65-10 Penalties for offenses.

A. 
Any person. Firm or corporation violating any provision of § 65-5 of this article shall be guilty of a violation and shall be subject to penalties as set forth hereafter.
B. 
Any person, firm or corporation taking part in or assisting in any violation of § 65-5 of this article shall be also subject to penalties herein.
C. 
Each day that a violation of this article is committed or is permitted to exist shall constitute a separate offense.
D. 
Penalties shall be as follows:
(1) 
For the first violation by any person, owner or harborer within a three-year period, such person owner or harborer shall be subject to a fine of not less than $35 and not more than $100.
(2) 
For a second violation by any person, owner or harborer within a three-year period, such owner or harborer shall be subject to a fine of not less than $60 and not more than $150.
(3) 
For a third violation by any person, owner or harborer within a three-year period, such person, owner or harborer shall be subject to a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $200 and/or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 15 days.
(4) 
Any person taking part or assisting any violation of this article shall also be subject to penalties herein.
E. 
If a dog seized under the provisions of § 65-5 is not redeemed within the redemption time periods provided by the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law, the owner shall forfeit all the title to such dog, and the dog shall be sent to the SPCA, given for adoption, or destroyed by the peace officer or representative of the Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets, and pay any established fines. Anyone that picks up an at-large dog in the Town of Elma must notify the Dog Control Officer of Elma (or assistant) and surrender the dog upon request, before removing the dog from the Town, subject to fine. Adoption fees, which are set in the Fee Schedule of the Town of Elma, include veterinarian bills, license fees, and maintenance fees of the dog. There shall be a fee for the euthanasia and disposal of a dog, which shall be in an amount equal to the cost incurred by the Dog Control Officer in providing this service.
F. 
Redemption fees of seized dogs. The owner of a seized dog may redeem the dog(s) within seven days of seizure, if untagged or tagged, by paying to the Town Clerk's office the following seizure and poundage fees:
[Added 6-18-2014 by L.L. No. 2-2014]
(1) 
Twenty-five dollars on first seizure for each dog seized.
(2) 
Forty dollars on a second seizure within a one-year period per dog seized.
(3) 
Fifty-five dollars on a third seizure or more within a one-year period.
(4) 
Plus $7 per day for expenses after the first offense.

§ 65-11 Liability of Town officials.

No officer, agent or employee of the Town of Elma shall render himself personally liable for any damage that may accrue to persons or property as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of his duties under this article. Any suit brought against any officer, agent or employee of the Town of Elma as the result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of his duties under this article shall be defended by the Town Attorney until the final determination of the proceedings thereon.