[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Wheatland as Ch. 24 of the 1980 Code; amended in its entirety 12-2-2010 by L.L. No. 2-2010. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor’s Note: This local law also provided for an effective date of 1-1-2011.
It appearing that dogs in the Town of Wheatland have, in some instances, been allowed to cause annoyance and damage to the person and properties of others, and it appearing further that dogs properly cared for serve a useful purpose, the Town Board of the Town of Wheatland enacts the following article to preserve the relationship between a dog and his master and, at the same time, to protect the health, safety and property of others from annoyance and damage caused by dogs.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- APPEARANCE TICKET
- A written notice issued and subscribed by the Dog Control Officer that directs a designated person to appear in a designated local court at a stated future time.
- DOG CONTROL OFFICER
- The person authorized by the Town Board from time to time, by resolution, to enforce the provisions of this article.
- A. The Dog Control Officer shall be authorized to draw an information and obtain supporting affidavits for submission to the Town Justice Court.
- B. The Dog Control Officer shall have the power to serve appearance tickets and summons pursuant to § 113 of the Agriculture and Markets Law of the State of New York.
- Any person who harbors or keeps any dog.
- OWNER OF RECORD
- The person in whose name any dog was last licensed, except that if the license is issued on application of a person under 18 years of age, the owner of record should be deemed to be the parent or guardian of such person.
It shall be unlawful for any owner of or any person harboring any dog to permit or allow such dog while in the Town of Wheatland to:
Run at large unless said dog is restrained by an adequate collar and leash or unless accompanied by its owner or a responsible person able to control the animal. For the purposes of this article, a dog or dogs hunting in company with a hunter or hunters shall be considered as accompanied by their owner, if the dog is under the control of the hunter or hunting party.
Engage in habitual loud howling or barking or conduct itself in such a manner so to habitually annoy any person. For purpose of this section, a noise disturbance from a barking dog shall be defined as that created by a dog barking continually for five minutes or intermittently for 10 minutes, unless provoked.
Cause damage or destruction to property or commit a nuisance upon the premises of a person.
Chase or otherwise harass any person in such manner as reasonably to cause intimidation or to put such person in a reasonable apprehension of bodily harm or injury.
Habitually chase or bark at motor vehicles or bicycles.
Kill or injure any other dog, cat or other domestic or farm animal.
Restraints on dogs within a densely populated residential areas shall be as follows:
The Dog Control Officer or the Town Board shall designate and publish those residential areas of concentrated population where more restrictive dog control measures are required. Such areas shall be published in a newspaper circulated within the Town and shall be posted on the Town bulletin board. Regulations shall be effective 10 days after publication.
Any dog within these areas shall be kept confined or on a leash no longer than eight feet except when on the owner's property or on the private property of another person or persons with the knowledge and consent of such person or persons:
The owner of any dog which is within the limits of the Hamlet of Mumford, the Rolling Acres Subdivision and the Clearview Farms project shall not permit his dog to bark, chew, cry, be vicious or playful or defecate in such a way as to cause annoyance to the residents of any such residential area or damage to their property; nor shall the owner of a dog allow his dog to tip over trash cans or other devices used to contain refuse. No owner shall permit the premises or enclosures in which the dog is kept to be unsanitary or unclean.
It shall be unlawful for the owner or person harboring any female dog to permit such dog to run at large when in heat, and such dog shall be confined to the premises of such person during such period.
This article shall be enforced by the Dog Control Officer or by any other law enforcement officer.
The Dog Control Officer or peace officer observing a violation of this article in his presence may issue and serve an appearance ticket for such violation.
The Dog Control Officer is hereby authorized to enforce those provisions of § 123 of the Agriculture and Markets Law of the State of New York relating to and defining dangerous dogs.
Any dog which violates § 43-3, § 43-4 or § 43-5 and which does not have a license shall be impounded and taken to such place as may be designated by the Town Board as a place of detention and shall there be properly fed and cared for at the expense of the Town until disposition thereof shall have been made in accordance with the provisions of this article.
Identified dogs. In the event that the dog seized bears a license tag, the person seizing the dog shall, within three days thereafter, ascertain the name of the owner and give the owner immediate notice by serving upon the owner an instrument, in writing, stating that the dog has been seized, indicating when, where and why the dog was seized, and stating that the dog will be sold or adopted unless redeemed or a trial is demanded within seven days of the impounding of the dog.
Not-identified dogs. Each dog which is not identified or not licensed, shall be held for a period of five days from the day seized during which period the dog may be redeemed by its owner, provided that the owner produces proof that the dog has been licensed and has been identified pursuant to the provisions of Article 7 of the Agricultural and Markets Law and further provided that the owner pays the impoundment fees set by local law.
Redemption fees. If the dog is to be redeemed, the owner shall pay the Town Clerk a fee set by local law, plus the charge for the care of the dog while impounded. In the event of a repeat violation, the fee shall be set by local law for each additional redemption, together with the charge for the care of the dog while impounded. A "repeat violation" is defined as any subsequent violation which occurs within a one-year period of the initial offense. In the event of repeat violations, the Dog Control Officer shall notify the Town Clerk of the same.
Trial procedure. In the event that the owner of the dog desires a trial, he shall post bail of $100 to pay for the care of the dog while impounded and demand, in writing, a trial. The Dog Control Officer or other law enforcement officer shall immediately proceed to file an information with a Town Justice so that the matter will appear on the docket of the Town Justice Court as soon as possible. The rules of procedure and as to proof applicable in criminal actions shall apply.
Forfeiture of title to dog. If an impounded dog is not redeemed or a trial demanded within the time hereinbefore set forth, the owner shall forfeit title to the dog, and it may thereafter be adopted out or euthanized by the appropriate official as hereinafter provided.
Adoption of dog. The Dog Control Officer is hereby authorized to offer for adoption any dog impounded at such price as he shall determine to be fair and shall deposit such sum in the general fund of the Town. The Town shall keep a record of all adoptions, and such records shall be open to the public. Such records shall be kept for one year.
Destruction of dogs. In the event that it becomes necessary to destroy a dog, the Dog Control Officer or other law enforcement officer shall arrange through a veterinarian for the euthanization of the dog, cause the carcass to be disposed of and make a report, in writing, of such destruction to the Town Clerk. The Town Clerk shall keep a record of the destruction for one year.
Dangerous dogs. Dangerous dogs shall be handled in accordance with Agriculture and Markets Law § 123.
In the event of the owner's failure to redeem the dog within the time allowed, all costs in connection with the feeding, caring, housing and destruction of said dog shall be a charge against the owner, and required to be paid within 30 days of notification from the Town.
Except as otherwise punishable, as provided in § 118 of the Agriculture and Markets Law, an offense against any of the provisions of this article shall be prosecuted either:
As a violation to the Penal Law of the State of New York, punishable by fine of not more than $50; provided, however, that the person committing such an offense shall not have committed an offense against this article within the preceding five years.
For a second offense with a five-year period, the fine will be not more than $125.
For a third violation in a five-year period, the fine will be not more than $250, and such person shall be punishable by imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
The owner, possessor or harborer of any dog destroyed under the provisions of this article shall not be entitled to any compensation, and no action shall be maintainable thereafter to recover the value of the dog.
All complaints made under any provision of this article by a party or parties other than the Dog Control Officer must be in writing, signed and sworn to before a Town Justice. Such complaints shall be promptly heard and determined by the Town Justice after return notice of such complaint is given to the owner of such dog in compliance with the Justice Court Act of the State of New York.
No person or persons living in the same household, living unit, apartment, trailer or dwelling shall keep or suffer to be kept more than three dogs, six months old or older, at any one time on said premises.
Any person or persons desiring to keep more than three dogs must apply to the Town Planning Board.
The annual fee for each dog license issued pursuant to the Code of the Town of Wheatland shall be as follows:
In accordance with § 109 of the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law, no person shall own or harbor a dog unless licensed as provided in said article. Licenses are required for dogs four months or older.
A dog brought into the Town from another state or town for a period of 30 days or less does not require a license from the Town as long as such dog has legal license and rabies inoculation from whence they came.
All dogs, including service dogs or guide dogs, must be licensed with and by the Town of Wheatland. Service and guide dogs will be exempt from Town license fees.
All dogs over four months old must be licensed by the Town Clerk and will be required to present a current certificate of rabies at the time of licensing or the renewal of an existing license. Also, a valid certificate of neuter or spayed must be provided for a reduced rate.
A license shall be issued or renewed for a period of one year.
The Town will not issue purebred licenses.
All dogs will be licensed individually.
All fees collected will be used in funding the administration of the Dog Control Code of the Town of Wheatland.