Town of North Hempstead, NY
Nassau County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of North Hempstead 5-8-1979 by L.L. No. 5-1979.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Noise — See Ch. 38.
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law also repealed former Ch. 14, Dogs, adopted 4-11-1950, as amended.

§ 14-1 Declaration of legislative findings and intent.

The Town Board of the Town of North Hempstead has determined that the running at large and other uncontrollable behavior of dogs have caused physical harm to persons and damage to property and have created nuisances within the town. It is the intent of the Town Board in the enactment of this chapter to protect the health, safety and well-being of persons and property by imposing restrictions on persons owning or possessing dogs within the town.

§ 14-2 Definitions.

Unless otherwise expressly provided, for the purpose of this chapter, the following words shall have the meanings herein indicated:
AGRICULTURE AND MARKETS LAW
The Agriculture and Markets Law of the State of New York in effect as of the effective date of this chapter and as amended thereafter.
ANIMAL WARDEN
An individual appointed by the Town Board of the Town of North Hempstead to assist in the enforcement of this chapter.
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
The Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, or his duly authorized representative.
[Added 11-16-2010 by L.L. No. 14-2010[1]]
DIRECTOR OF THE ANIMAL SHELTER
The person appointed by the Town Board of the Town of North Hempstead to act as administrative officer of the Town of North Hempstead Animal Shelter.
DOG
Male and female members of the species canis familiaris.
HARBOR
To provide food or shelter to any dog.
IDENTIFICATION TAG
A tag issued by the Town Clerk which sets forth the identification number, together with the name of the Town and state, the telephone number of the Town Clerk and any other information deemed necessary by the Town Clerk.
[Added 11-16-2010 by L.L. No. 14-2010]
OWNER
The owner of record or any person who harbors any dog. If the "owner" of a dog shall be under the age of 18 years, the parent or guardian of such person shall be deemed the "owner."
[Amended 11-16-2010 by L.L. No. 14-2010]
OWNER OF RECORD
The person in whose name a dog was last licensed pursuant to this chapter.
[Amended 11-16-2010 by L.L. No. 14-2010]
PERSON
An individual, firm, partnership, unincorporated association, corporation or any other legal entity.
[Amended 11-16-2010 by L.L. No. 14-2010]
POSSESSOR
A person having custody or control of any dog.
PUBLIC PROPERTY
A place to which the public or a substantial group of persons has access and includes, but is not limited to, sidewalks, streets, transportation facilities, schools, places of amusement, parks and playgrounds.
[Added 9-19-1995 by L.L. No. 8-1995; amended 3-9-2004 by L.L. No. 1-2004]
A. 
Any dog owned, harbored or trained primarily or in part for the purpose of dog fighting;
B. 
Any dog owned, harbored or trained primarily or in part for the purpose of attacking a human being or domestic animal upon command.
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law provided an effective date of 1-1-2011.

§ 14-3 Licensing of dogs.

[Amended 9-19-1995 by L.L. No. 8-1995; 12-21-1995 by L.L. No. 11-1995; 11-16-2010 by L.L. No. 14-2010]
A. 
No person shall own, possess or harbor a dog four months of age or over within the Town of North Hempstead unless such dog is licensed and identified with a valid identification tag for that dog, in accordance with the requirements of this chapter. The fact that a dog is without a tag attached to the collar, as provided in this chapter, shall be presumptive evidence that such dog is unlicensed.
B. 
Any person seeking to obtain a license for a vicious dog must meet the additional requirements set forth in § 14-20 of this chapter.
C. 
Exemptions.
(1) 
No license is required for any dog that is under the age of four months and which is not at large, or residing in a pound or shelter maintained by or under contract by the Town of North Hempstead, Nassau County or the State of New York, or a duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or a duly incorporated humane society or duly incorporated dog protective services.
(2) 
No license is required for service dogs as the term is defined in Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law, or successor law. The person owning, possessing or harboring such a dog bears the burden of demonstrating to the satisfaction of the Town Clerk that the dog is a service dog and exempt from licensing.
(3) 
No license is required for a dog confined to a public or private hospital devoted solely to the treatment of sick animals, or confined for the purpose of research by any college or other educational or research institution.

§ 14-4 Rabies vaccination required; exceptions.

[Added 11-16-2010 by L.L. No. 14-2010[1]]
A. 
Any person owning, possessing or harboring a dog four months of age or over in the Town of North Hempstead shall be required to have the dog vaccinated to prevent the spread of rabies, except that a rabies vaccine is not required as follows:
(1) 
To a dog brought into the Town for a period not to exceed 15 days; dogs in the custody of an incorporated society devoted to the care of lost, stray or homeless animals; dogs confined to public or private hospitals devoted to the treatment of sick animals; and dogs confined to educational or research institutions for the purpose of research.
(2) 
To a dog whose health would be adversely affected by a rabies vaccination, provided that a written statement, certified by a duly licensed veterinarian, specifying such condition is presented to the Animal Warden or the Town Clerk and filed with the Town Clerk's office.
B. 
Any person owning, possessing or harboring a dog who fails or refuses to submit the dog for vaccination within 10 days after a request by an Animal Warden, peace officer, police officer or health officer shall be in violation of this chapter.
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law also redesignated former § 14-4 through § 14-5 as § 14-9 through § 14-20, respectively.

§ 14-5 Application for license.

[Added 11-16-2010 by L.L. No. 14-2010]
A. 
Applications for a license or a renewal thereof shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable processing fee set by a resolution of the Town Board in accordance with the provisions of Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law. A portion of the fee shall be paid over to the agency designated pursuant to Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law to be used for animal population control efforts. An application for a license or renewal shall be in the form prescribed by the Town Clerk and shall provide for the following minimum information:
(1) 
The name, residence address and telephone number of each owner;
(2) 
The name, sex, approximate age, breed, color, markings and other identifying details of the dog;
(3) 
Statement of whether the dog has been spayed or neutered; and
(4) 
Such other information or documentation deemed necessary by the Town Clerk to effectuate the purpose of this chapter.
B. 
Rabies certification. The application for a license or renewal shall be accompanied by a statement, certified by a licensed veterinarian, showing that the dog has received the rabies vaccine; or, in lieu thereof, a statement certified by a licensed veterinarian that because of the dog's age or other reason, the life of the dog would be endangered by the administration of the vaccine.
C. 
In the case of an altered dog, every application shall be accompanied by a certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian or a sworn affidavit signed by the owner in the form acceptable to the Town Clerk showing that the dog has been spayed or neutered, except that such certificate or affidavit is not required if same is already on file with the Town Clerk. In lieu of the spay or neuter certificate, an owner may present a statement, certified by a licensed veterinarian, stating that he or she 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. In such case, the license fee for the dog shall be the same as an altered dog.

§ 14-6 Issuance of license; transfer of license prohibited; identification tag.

[Added 11-16-2010 by L.L. No. 14-2010]
A. 
Upon validation by the Town Clerk or authorized dog control officer, a dog license shall be issued and a record of its issuance retained in the office of the Town Clerk. Such record shall be made available upon request to the State Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets, or successor thereof.
B. 
No license shall be transferable. Upon the transfer of ownership of any dog, the new owner shall immediately apply for a new license for the dog. A license can not be transferred to another dog.
C. 
Identification tag.
(1) 
The Town Clerk shall assign an identification number to a dog when it is first licensed. Such identification number shall be carried by the dog on an identification tag which shall be affixed to the collar of the dog at all times, except that the tag is not required to be worn while the dog is participating in a dog show.
(2) 
No tag carrying an identification number shall be affixed to the collar of any dog other than the one to which the number has been assigned.
(3) 
Any person wishing to replace a previously issued identification tag shall pay to the Town Clerk a replacement fee set by a resolution of the Town Board.

§ 14-7 Term of license; renewals.

[Added 11-16-2010 by L.L. No. 14-2010]
A. 
All licenses issued pursuant to this chapter, and any renewal thereof, shall be valid for one year and shall expire on the last day of the last month of the period for which they are issued. Whenever a renewal application is received after the expiration of the term of the license, the renewal license shall expire one year from the initial expiration date of the previous license. A rabies certificate must be valid at the time of licensing or renewal and extend into the new licensing period.
B. 
In the event an applicant for a license or renewal presents a statement certified by a licensed veterinarian in lieu of a rabies certificate, then the license or renewal shall be issued for one year from the date of the statement.

§ 14-8 Change of owner or address; lost or stolen dog; death of dog.

[Added 11-16-2010 by L.L. No. 14-2010]
A. 
Change in owner or address. In the event of a change in ownership of any dog which has been licensed pursuant to this chapter or change of address of the owner of record of any dog, the owner of record shall, within 10 days of the change, file with the Town Clerk a written notification of such change. Such owner of record shall be liable for any violation of this chapter until such filing is made or until the dog is licensed in the name of the new owner.
B. 
Lost or stolen dog. If any dog which has been licensed is lost or stolen, the owner of record shall, within 10 days of discovery of such loss or theft, file with the Town Clerk a written notification of such event. In the case of loss or theft, the owner of record shall not be liable for any violation of this chapter committed after such notification has been made.
C. 
Death of dog. Upon the death of a licensed dog, the owner of record shall notify the Town Clerk, in writing, of the dog's death either before or upon receipt of a renewal notice from the Town Clerk.

§ 14-9 Dogs to be restrained.

It shall be unlawful for a dog to be on public property or on private property without the consent of the owner or person in possession of such private property unless the dog is effectively restrained in the immediate custody and control of its owner or possessor by a chain or leash not exceeding six feet in length. A person owning or possessing a dog which is not so restrained, with or without the knowledge, consent or fault of such person, shall be guilty of a violation of this chapter. It shall be presumed that the presence of a dog on private property of a person other than the dog's owner or possessor is without the consent of the owner or person in possession of such private property.

§ 14-10 Committing a nuisance prohibited.

A. 
It shall be unlawful for a dog to defecate, urinate or commit a nuisance on public property, except that portion of a public street lying between the curblines in accordance with the requirements of Subsection B or on private property without the consent of the owner or person in possession of such private property. A person owning or possessing a dog which defecates, urinates or commits any nuisance as prohibited herein, with or without the knowledge, consent or fault of such person, shall be guilty of a violation of this section. It shall be presumed that a dog defecating, urinating or committing a nuisance on private property of a person other than the dog's owner or possessor does so without the consent of the owner or person in possession of such private property.
B. 
The owner or possessor of any dog shall immediately remove all feces deposited by said dog by placing such feces in a plastic bag which shall be sealed and deposited in a covered garbage receptacle.

§ 14-11 Menacing by dogs.

It shall be unlawful for a dog to chase, jump upon or at or otherwise harass any person in such a manner as to reasonably cause intimidation or fear by such person or to put such person in reasonable apprehension of bodily harm or injury. A person owning or possessing a dog committing an act prohibited herein, with or without the knowledge, consent or fault of such person, shall be guilty of a violation of this section.

§ 14-12 Excessive noise prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for a dog to engage in habitual or frequent loud howling, barking, crying or whining so as to unreasonably disturb the comfort or repose of any person in the immediate vicinity. The person owning or possessing a dog committing an act prohibited herein, with or without the knowledge, consent or fault of such person, shall be guilty of a violation of this section.

§ 14-13 Seizure of unleashed, unidentified or unlicensed dogs.

[Amended 11-16-2010 by L.L. No. 14-2010]
Any dog found on public property or on private property without the consent of the owner or person in possession of such private property which is not effectively restrained by a chain or leash as provided in § 14-9 of this chapter or any dog unidentified or unlicensed as provided in Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law shall be seized by any duly appointed Animal Warden or peace officer and thereafter confined in the Town of North Hempstead Animal Shelter until disposition is made pursuant to § 14-14 of this chapter. Any such dog that cannot be safely seized may be destroyed by any duly appointed Animal Warden or peace officer.

§ 14-14 Disposition of seized dogs.

[Amended 5-4-1982 by L.L. No. 4-1982; 12-21-1995 by L.L. No. 11-1995; 11-16-2010 by L.L. No. 14-2010]
The owner or authorized agent of the owner of any dog seized pursuant to § 14-13 of this chapter may redeem such dog within five days of seizure by paying to the Director of the Town of North Hempstead Animal Shelter a redemption fee set by a resolution of the Town Board. If not so redeemed, the owner of such dog shall forfeit all title to the dog, and the dog shall be offered for adoption or destroyed by the Director of the Town of North Hempstead Animal Shelter. The carcass of any such dog destroyed shall be disposed of by the Director of the Animal Shelter in a safe and sanitary manner.

§ 14-15 Voluntary surrender.

[Amended 5-4-1982 by L.L. No. 4-1982; 12-21-1995 by L.L. No. 11-1995; 11-16-2010 by L.L. No. 14-2010]
The owner or authorized agent of the owner of a dog licensed by the Town of North Hempstead may voluntarily surrender such dog to the Town of North Hempstead Animal Shelter upon payment of a surrender fee set by a resolution of the Town Board. Upon surrender, the owner shall forfeit all title to such dog, and such dog may be offered for adoption or destroyed by the Director of the Animal Shelter. The carcass of any dog so destroyed shall be disposed of by the Director of the Animal Shelter in a safe and sanitary manner.

§ 14-16 Adoption.

[Amended 11-16-2010 by L.L. No. 14-2010]
Any dog offered for adoption pursuant to §§ 14-14 and 14-15 of this chapter may be adopted upon payment of a nonrefundable adoption fee set by a resolution of the Town Board, together with the applicable license fee. No representation or warranty will be made by the town as to the health condition of any dog offered for adoption. Except when made by an incorporated society dedicated to the care of lost, stray or homeless animals, adoption will be made upon the condition that such dog shall not be used for experiments or for commercial resale or disposal of any sort.

§ 14-17 Issuance of appearance tickets.

A. 
The Animal Warden, Code Enforcement Officer or peace officer observing a violation of any section of this chapter shall issue and serve an appearance ticket for such violation. The appearance ticket shall be in the form prescribed and in accordance with the provisions of the Agriculture and Markets Law and the Criminal Procedure Law.
[Amended 11-16-2010 by L.L. No. 14-2010]
B. 
Any person observing a violation of any section of this chapter may personally appear at the office of the Town Attorney and report such violation. Said person may also sign and swear to the appropriate accusatory instrument as required by law and thereby commence prosecution of the alleged violator.

§ 14-18 Penalties for offenses.

[Amended 3-1-1994 by L.L. No. 2-1994; 12-9-2014 by L.L. No. 20-2014]
Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine not exceeding $250 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

§ 14-19 Severability.

If any clause, sentence, section, paragraph or provision of this chapter shall be adjudged by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder of this chapter which shall remain in full force and shall be deemed severable.

§ 14-20 Vicious dogs.

[Added 9-19-1995 by L.L. No. 8-1995; amended 3-9-2004 by L.L. No. 1-2004]
A. 
No individual may own or obtain a license for a vicious dog unless the individual is at least 21 years of age. An applicant for a license for a vicious dog must present adequate proof of age to the town's licensing authority.
B. 
With respect to a vicious dog which was licensed as of the effective date of this section, this § 14-20 shall apply as of the expiration date of such license, and any owner seeking to renew such license shall have to satisfy the requirements of this § 14-20.
[Added 11-16-2010 by L.L. No. 14-2010]