[Adopted 1-8-1973 by L.L. No. 1-1973; amended in its entirety 4-15-2010 by L.L. No. 1-2010]
The purpose of this article shall be to preserve the public peace and good order in the Town of Kingston and to contribute to the public welfare and good order of its people by enforcing certain regulations and restrictions on the activities of dogs which regulations are consistent with the rights and privileges of other citizens of the Town of Kingston. This article is adopted pursuant to the authority of Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law of the State of New York.
As used and intended in this article and for the purpose hereof, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Male or female dogs, either singular or plural.
- AT LARGE
- As applied to an animal, each animal at all times when it is off the premises of its owner or is on the premises of another without his consent and is not under the visual and voice control of its owner.
- As applied to dog(s), such dog is securely contained either within a building, kennel, or wire-link fencing enclosure of at least six feet in height with secure sides, top and bottom, or if no bottom, with sides that extend at least 12 inches below ground and which is locked and designed to prevent the escape of the dog(s) or entry of unauthorized personnel.
- Any animal which without cause bites, attacks, chases or snaps at or otherwise threatens to attack any person or attacks and wounds a dog or other domestic animal, or which displays any other fierce, vicious or dangerous propensities.
- The party purchasing the license unless the dog is or has been lost and such loss reported to the Dog Control Officer and reasonable search has been made. If an animal is not licensed, the term "owner" shall designate and cover any person or persons, firm, association or corporation who or which at any time owns or has custody or control of, harbors, or is otherwise responsible for any animal which is kept, brought or comes within the Town. Any person owning or harboring a dog for a period of one week prior to the filing of any complaint charging a violation of this article shall be held and deemed to be the owner of such dog for the purpose of this article. In the event any dog found to be in violation of this article shall be owned by a minor, the head of the household in which said minor resides shall be deemed to have custody and control of said dog and shall be responsible for any acts of the said dog and violation of this article.
- PUBLIC NUISANCE
- As applied to an animal:
- A. Every animal which seriously and habitually disturbs the peace and quiet of the neighborhood by barking or howling or making other disturbing noises.
- B. Every animal which habitually chases any persons or bicycles, automobiles or other vehicles upon any public highway or in any such public place.
- C. Every animal which causes damage or destruction to property upon the premises other than of the owner or person harboring such animal.
- D. Every animal which is a dangerous animal as defined in the above definition of "dangerous;" every such animal is hereby declared to be a public nuisance.
- The area within the corporate limits of the Town of Kingston.
The owner of every animal which is at any time kept, brought or comes into the Town will be held responsible for the strict observance by such animal and with respect to such animal of all the rules and regulations contained in this article at all times when such animal is within the Town.
All dogs housed in the Town of Kingston for a period of 30 days or more must be licensed pursuant to Article 109 of the Agriculture and Markets Law of the State of New York. The owner/keeper must show proof that licenses for dogs licensed in another township, state or country are current and in force at all times while such dog is within the Town.
No person who owns a dog shall permit such dog to be at large in the Town of Kingston, Ulster County, New York, 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 other than when on the premises of the person owning, keeping, harboring, or having custody and control of such dog, or upon the premises of another with the knowledge, consent and approval of the owner of said premises, or when hunting in the company and under the control of a hunter or hunters.
The owner of every female animal must effectively confine such animal at all times during every period while such animal is in heat.
It shall be unlawful for any animal determined to be dangerous to be at large within the Town of Kingston at any time, even though such animal is licensed, muzzled and effectively immunized against rabies. A dangerous animal which is found at large may be taken and impounded. If any dangerous, fierce or vicious animal cannot be safely taken up and impounded, such animal may be summarily slain.
It shall be a violation of this article for the owner/keeper of any dog to permit or allow such dog to:
Be at large.
In the event howling, barking, crying or whining or such other disturbing behavior occurs continuously and is audible beyond the property line of the premises on which the dog is located:
It shall be a defense to such violation if the owner of the dog proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the only reason the dog was acting in such a disturbing manner was that the dog was being provoked by a person or was otherwise being incited, or was acting as a guard dog, hearing dog, service dog or law enforcement work dog.
Cause damage or destruction to real or personal property of any person other than the owner/keeper of such dog or member of the owner/keeper's household residing with the owner/keeper or a guest of such owner/keeper.
Defecate or urinate upon public property or upon the premises of any person other than the owner of such dog.
Chase, threaten, harass, annoy, intimidate or alarm any person or place any person in reasonable apprehension of bodily harm or injury, unless such person is unlawfully on the owner's premises or in the owner's residence or such person is threatening the safety of the owner's person, family, guests or property, and such dog is protecting or guarding the owner, the owner's real or personal property of any person lawfully on the owner's property or in the owner's residence.
Habitually chase or run alongside of moving vehicles, horses or pedestrians lawfully using the public highways.
If female, be unconfined while in heat.
Be carried in an open vehicle or pickup truck, unless the dog is cross-tethered to the vehicle or caged or the open vehicle has an enclosure of at least 46 inches high on all four sides.
Be turned loose, abandoned or left unattended for the purpose of disposal.
Be provoked or incited.
Be deprived of sustenance.
Be inhumanely treated as covered in the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law Article 26.
It shall be the duty of the Dog Control Officer of the Town of Kingston to enforce the appropriate provisions of the Agriculture and Markets Law with respect to dogs in the Town of Kingston and to enforce this article.
The Dog Control Officer of the Town of Kingston shall seize any dog which is found to be in violation of any portion of this article as well as any dog or dogs otherwise required to be seized under and by virtue of the Agriculture and Markets Law of the State of New York. All complaints concerning alleged violations of this article shall be communicated to the Town Justice to proceed with civil or criminal enforcement of this article or any other provisions of law pertaining hereto.
Any dog at large which does not display any current dog license or other means of identification or fails to exhibit any evidence of having had administered to it a rabies vaccination shall be considered an abandoned dog and may be summarily impounded by the Dog Control Officer.
Every dog shall be properly fed and cared for at the expense of the Town of Kingston until disposition thereof, as herein provided and in accordance with the applicable provision of the Agriculture and Markets Law of the State of New York.
Every dog seized shall be treated in a humane manner.
If the dog bears a license tag, the Dog Control Officer shall ascertain the owner of the dog and shall give immediate notice by personally serving such owner or by mailing said personal notice to such owner or an adult member of his family with a notice in writing, stating that the dog has been seized and will be destroyed unless redeemed as herein provided.
The owner of a dog so seized may redeem the dog within seven days except that the owner of a dog bearing a license tag may redeem the dog within 12 days by paying to the Town Clerk the sum of $20 as the cost of seizure and the reasonable cost of feeding and caring for such dog.
If not so redeemed, the owner shall forfeit all title to the dog and the dog shall be sold or destroyed. In the case of sale, the purchaser must pay the purchase price to the Town Clerk and obtain a license for such dog. A dog which is to be destroyed shall be done so only by a veterinarian in keeping with humane practices. The Town Clerk shall keep a record of all dogs which are destroyed.
It shall be unlawful for any person in the Town of Kingston to torture, torment, deprive of necessary sustenance, unnecessarily or cruelly beat or otherwise abuse, or needlessly mutilate or kill a living animal or creature. Any animal so treated shall be impounded by the Dog Control Officer. The owner thereof shall be notified in writing and by personal service or by regular mail of the alleged violation, and the matter shall be referred to the Town Justice for a hearing and determination.
Any violation of this law constitutes an offense. The following fines and penalties are hereby imposed, in addition to the punishments imposed by any general statutes, on every person who violates or who owns or is responsible for any animal which violates any of the foregoing requirements or provisions of this article, to wit: For a first offense, a fine of not less than $50 and not exceeding $250 and for any second or subsequent violations, a fine of at least $100 and not more than $500 or imprisonment in the County Jail for a period not exceeding 30 days of both such fine and imprisonment.
The owner, harborer or possessor 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.
The Town Board may from time to time amend, supplement, change, modify or repeal this article pursuant to the provisions of the Town Law applicable thereto.