[HISTORY. Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Owasco 11-11-2010 by L.L. No. 8-2010. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Trailers and tourist camps — See Ch. 136.
Editor's Note: This local law also superseded former Ch. 68, Dogs, adopted 3-9-1988 by L.L. No. 2-1988, as amended.
This chapter will be known as the "Dog Control Code of the Town of Owasco."
The Town Board of the Town of Owasco, Cayuga County, State of New York, is vested by the State of New York to regulate and control dogs and other animals within the Town of Owasco and to protect the health, safety and welfare of its residents. The State of New York has determined that as of January 1, 2011, the state will no longer be responsible for licensing and other regulation of dogs and has authorized local municipalities across the state to assume responsibility of such matters. This chapter is intended to provide a fair and uniform framework for the licensing and regulation of dogs and other animals.
This chapter is enacted pursuant to the authority of the Municipal Home Rule Law § 10 of the State of New York, and Agricultural and Markets Law Article 7.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any animal, reptile, bird or fowl, domesticated or wild, owned or otherwise maintained by any person.
- ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER
- That person, or his or her authorized representative, designated as such by the Town Board of Owasco.
- The Town Clerk of the Town of Owasco or any duly appointed Deputy Clerk.
- Any member of the species Canis familiaris.
- To provide food or shelter to any animal.
- A securely fastened restraint, not more than six feet in length, held by a responsible person.
- Any person, firm, partnership, trustee, association or corporation owning, keeping, harboring or otherwise maintaining an animal. Animals owned by minors shall be deemed to be in the custody and control of the minor's parents or head of the household where such minor resides.
- RESTRAINT (LEASH LAW)
- A dog must be controlled by a leash having a maximum length of six feet while off the owner's premises. A dog is considered under restraint if it is controlled by a leash having a maximum length of six feet, within a vehicle being driven or parked on the street, or within the property limit of its owner or keeper with a restraint or fencing, or upon the premises of another with the consent of such other person and restrained or confined to a fenced area. A retractable leash may be used as a restraint if the retractable leash is set and locked at six feet when the dog is in the immediate vicinity of the person or is on a sidewalk area.
- RUN AT LARGE
- To be in a public place or on private land without knowledge, consent and approval of the owner of such lands.
All dogs harbored within the Town that are four months of age or older, unless otherwise exempted, must be licensed. No license shall be required for any dog that is under the age of four months and which is not at large or that is residing in a pound or shelter maintained by or under contract or agreement with the state or any county, City, town or village, duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, duly incorporated humane society or duly incorporated dog protective association. Licenses may only be issued or validated by the Town Clerk of the Town of Owasco.
The owner of each dog required to be licensed shall obtain, complete and return to the Clerk a dog license application, together with the license application fee, any applicable license surcharges and such additional fees as may be established by the Town. The application shall be made using a form or forms provided by the Town and shall include the sex, year of birth, breed, color and municipal identification number of the dog and other identification marks, if any, as well as the name, address, telephone number, county and town, City or village of residence of the owner, street address where the dog will be harbored (if different from the owner's mailing address) as well as any other information the Town may deem appropriate.
Each license application shall be accompanied by proof that the dog has been vaccinated against rabies or a statement from a licensed veterinarian that such vaccination would endanger the dog's life, in which case vaccination shall not be required.
In the case of a spayed or neutered dog, every license application shall be accompanied by a certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian or an affidavit signed by the owner, showing that the dog has been spayed or neutered, unless such certificate or affidavit is already on file with the Clerk or Animal Control Officer. In lieu of such certificate, an owner may also 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.
Upon validation by the Clerk, the application shall become the license for the dog described therein. Once an application has been validated, no refund therefor shall be made. The Clerk or Animal Control Officer shall provide a copy of the license to the owner and retain a copy in the Town records. Upon request, the license shall be made available by the Town to the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets for purposes of rabies and other animal disease control efforts and actions.
Each license issued or renewed shall be valid for a period of one year and shall not be transferable. Each license shall expire on the last day of the month of the period for which it is are issued. Upon the transfer of ownership of any dog, the new owner shall immediately make application for a license for such dog.
Each dog licensed pursuant to this chapter shall be assigned a Town identification number. Such identification number shall be carried by the dog on an identification tag which shall be affixed to a collar on the dog at all times. The identification tag shall be furnished to the owner at no charge. Any replacement tag shall be obtained by the owner, at his/her expense, at a fee and in such manner as to be determined by the Town Clerk.
No tag carrying an identification number shall be affixed to the collar of any dog other than the one to which that number has been assigned.
In the event of a change in ownership of any dog which has been licensed pursuant to this chapter, or in the address of the owner of any such dog, the owner shall, within 10 days of such change, notify the Clerk of such change. Such owner shall be liable for any violation of this chapter until such notification is made or until the dog is licensed in the name of the new owner.
If any dog which has been licensed pursuant to this chapter is lost or stolen, the owner shall, within 10 days of the discovery of such loss or theft, notify the Clerk of such loss or theft. In the case of loss or theft, the owner of any such dog shall not be liable for any violation of this chapter committed after such notification to the Clerk.
Upon the death of any dog licensed pursuant to this chapter, the owner shall notify the Clerk either prior to or upon the time for renewal of the license.
It shall be unlawful for any owner of any animal to permit or allow such animal in the Town of Owasco to:
Engage in habitual loud howling, barking, crying, whining, or to conduct itself in such a manner as to unreasonably and habitually annoy any person.
Cause damage or destruction to property, including scattering garbage, or commit a nuisance by defecating or urinating upon the premises of a person other than the owner of such animal.
Chase or otherwise harass any person in such a manner as reasonably to cause intimidation or annoyance or to put such person in reasonable apprehension of bodily harm or injury.
Habitually chase, run along side of or bark at motor vehicles, bicycles or pedestrians.
Run at large, unless the dog shall be restrained as provided in the definition of "restraint" in § 68-4. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a dog or dogs accompanying its owner or a responsible person who is engaged in lawful hunting shall be considered in compliance with this leash law as long as the dog is under the full control of such owner or person.
All owners of female dogs in heat shall keep such dogs confined in such manner as to not be in contact with other dogs (except for intentional breeding purposes) and so as to avoid creation of a nuisance by attracting other dogs.
This chapter shall be enforced by any Animal Control Officer, peace officer, when acting pursuant to special duties, or police officer.
Notwithstanding the existence of any other enforcement procedure or remedy, the Town Animal Control Officer shall be authorized to seize any dog that is unlicensed or any animal that in his or her judgment is a danger to public health, welfare or safety.
The Town Board may from time to time by resolution amend this chapter to allow for leash requirements in other designated areas of the Town of Owasco upon the posting of signage clearly indicating such leash requirements.
Every dog seized shall be properly cared for, sheltered, fed and watered for the redemption period set forth in § 117 of the Agriculture and Markets Law (effective January 1, 2011).
Seized dogs may be redeemed by producing proof of licensing and identification pursuant to the provisions of Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law and by paying the following seizure fee to the Town Clerk:
If the owner of any unredeemed dog is known, such owner shall be required to pay the seizure fees set forth in Subsection C of this section, the impoundment and storage fees of the animal shelter keeping said dog and the euthanization fee, if applicable, whether or not such owner chooses to redeem his or her dog.
Any dog unredeemed at the expiration of the appropriate redemption period shall be made available for adoption or euthanized pursuant to the provisions of § 117 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
Other animals shall be impounded and disposed of in the same manner as dogs, except that in no event shall the costs of seizure, impoundment, redemption and euthanization be less than the actual costs incurred by the Town.
The applicant for any permit to keep or possess a dog, within the Town of Owasco, shall at the time of application pay to the Town the following fees:
There shall be no fee for any license issued for any guide dog, hearing dog, service dog, war dog, working search dog, detection dog, police work dog or therapy work dog as those terms are defined in § 108 of Article 7 of the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law (effective January 1, 2011).
The fee for a dog license issued pursuant to this chapter may be amended from time to time by the Town Board by resolution.
Enumeration fee: When the Town Board determines the need for a dog enumeration, a fee of $5 will be assessed to all dogs found unlicensed or renewed at the time the enumeration is conducted.
Any person who observes any animal in violation of this chapter may file a complaint under oath with the Town Animal Control Officer or a Justice of the Town of Owasco specifying the nature of the violation, the date thereof, a description of the animal and the name and residence, if known, of the owner of the animal. Such complaint may serve as the basis for enforcing the provisions of this chapter by commencement of a civil action by the Town to collect the penalties referenced in § 68-11.
In the event of a complaint of animal cruelty or torture, the Animal Control Officer shall inform the person making a complaint that pursuant to Article 26 of the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law, only a duly appointed constable, police officer or duly appointed agent or officer of any duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals may enforce such provisions of the law.
Any owner in violation of this chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty of $50. Upon a second violation of this chapter by an owner, the civil penalty shall be $100.
In addition to the penalties imposed under this chapter, any person may be subject to fines and penalties for violations of the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law Article 7, and such person may be subject to the penalties contained in § 118 of the state law.
Each separate provision of this chapter shall be deemed independent of all other provisions, and if any provision shall be deemed or declared invalid, all other provisions shall remain valid and enforceable.
This chapter shall take effect on January 1, 2011.