Town of Ghent, NY
Columbia County
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[Adopted 11-2-1989 by L.L. No. 3-1989]
It shall be unlawful for any owner of or any person harboring any dog in the Town of Ghent to permit or allow such dog to:
A. 
Run at large unless said dog is restrained by adequate collar and leash or unless accompanied by its owner or a responsible person able to control and contain 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 its owner.
B. 
Engage in habitual howling, whining, barking or other noise-making so as to annoy any person other than the owner or person harboring such dog. For the purposes of this subsection, "habitual" shall mean for a majority of the time during any two fifteen-minute periods on separate days in the same week or for a majority of the time during any three ten-minute periods on three separate days in the same week. In order for howling, whining, barking or other noise-making to constitute annoyance of a person, it must be loud enough so that it is actually heard by such person from any part of his or her property. The provisions of this subsection shall not be applicable until the Dog Control Officer shall first have issued a warning to the owner or person harboring a dog(s) that such dog(s) is or may be engaging in habitual howling, whining, barking or other noise in violation of this subsection. The warning may be verbal or in writing. The validity of the warning shall not be an issue in any subsequent enforcement of this subsection. Only one warning shall be given to any such owner or person in any one-year period, after which the provisions of this subsection shall apply without the necessity of any further warning, and regardless of whether or not the dog(s) involved is the same dog(s).
C. 
Cause damage or destruction to property, or commit a nuisance upon the premises of the person other than the owner or person harboring such dog.
D. 
Chase or otherwise harass any person in such a manner as to cause intimidation or to put such person in reasonable apprehension of bodily harm or injury.
E. 
Habitually chase or bark at motor vehicles.
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.
The Dog Control Officer as designated by the Town of Ghent pursuant to the provisions of the Agriculture and Markets Law may enforce the provisions of this article and shall also have the power to investigate any complaints made pursuant to the provisions of this article.
The Dog Control Officer of the Town of Ghent shall have all powers as provided under the Agriculture and Markets Law and shall also have the power to file a signed information or complaint alleging a violation of any of the provisions of this article or any provision of Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law with a Town Justice of the Town of Ghent. The Dog Control Officer shall further have the power to issue appearance tickets for any such alleged violations. Upon receipt by the Town Justice of any such information or complaint, the Town Justice shall have jurisdiction in the prosecution of any such violations of this article. For the purposes of such prosecution, the relevant provisions of the Criminal Procedure Law with respect to a violation or violations shall apply.
Any person or persons found guilty of a violation of any of the provisions of this article shall be subject to a fine not exceeding $250 or to imprisonment for not more than 15 days or both for each violation. Any violation of any of the provisions of this article shall be deemed a separate and distinct violation and each such separate and distinct violation shall be subject to the fines and penalties provided for herein.
In lieu of a criminal penalty, the Court may also, in its discretion, provide for a civil penalty for any persons found guilty of any violation hereunder which civil penalty shall not exceed the sum of $250 per violation. Enforcement proceedings to collect such civil penalty may be taken by the Town of Ghent.
Any owner of or person harboring any dog in the Town of Ghent who is found guilty of more than three separate violations of this article in any one-year period shall also, in addition to the fines, criminal penalties and/or civil penalties provided for herein, have no further right to keep or possess within the Town of Ghent any such dog(s) involved in three such violations. In such event, the Town Justice shall have the power to order the owner or person harboring such dog(s) to remove the same from any premises within the Town of Ghent within 10 days of the date of said order. Upon the failure of the owner or person harboring the dog(s) to do so, the Town Justice shall upon three days' notice to the owner or person harboring the dog(s) order the Dog Control Officer to remove said dog(s) from the premises and to bring such dog(s) to a pound or shelter authorized by § 115 of the Agriculture and Markets Law, for disposition under provisions of Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law. However, such pound or shelter shall not return the dog(s) to the owner or person harboring the same unless authorized by the Town Justice having jurisdiction over this matter. The Town Justice may grant such authorization only after notice to the Dog Control Officer and an opportunity to be heard, if the Town Justice is satisfied that the dog(s) involved will thereafter be kept on premises outside of the Town of Ghent. The owner or person harboring such dog(s) shall be liable to pay for any costs and expenses charged by the pound or shelter in boarding and caring for such dog(s).
The provisions of this article shall be in addition to any provisions set forth under Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law, and the provisions of this article shall be separately enforceable as set forth herein.