[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Gates as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Appearance tickets — See Ch. 4.
[Adopted 11-4-1965; amended in its entirety 5-22-1967]
This article shall be known as the "Gates Dog and Cat Ordinance."
The purpose of this article shall be to preserve the public peace and good order in the Town of Gates and to contribute to the public welfare and good order of its people by enforcing certain regulations and restrictions on the activities of dogs and cats that are consistent with the rights and privileges of the owners of dogs and cats and the rights and privileges of other citizens in the Town of Gates.
This article is adopted pursuant to the authority of § 124 of the Agriculture and Markets Law of the State of New York.
[Amended 9-7-1999 by L.L. No. 2-1999]
As used and intended in this article and for the purposes hereof, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Male or female dogs and cats, either singular or plural.
- AT LARGE
- As applied to an animal, shall designate and describe 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 an animal, shall mean that such animal is securely confined or restrained and kept on the owner's premises, either within a building, kennel or wire or other suitable enclosure or securely fastened on a chain, wire or other effective tether of such length and so arranged that the animal cannot reach or endanger any person or any adjacent premises, or on any public street, way or place or, if the animal is being transported by the owner, that it is securely confined in a crate or other container or so restrained in a vehicle that it cannot escape therefrom.
- Shall mean, designate and apply to any animal which, without just 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.
- Considered to be the party purchasing the license, unless the dog is or has been lost and such loss has been reported to the Gates Police 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 said dog and violation of this article.
- PUBLIC NUISANCE
- As applied to an animal, shall describe, designate or apply to:
- 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 is a dangerous animal as defined in the above definition of "dangerous," and every such animal is hereby declared to be a public nuisance.
- The area within the corporate limits of the Town of Gates.
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.
[Added 10-1-1979; amended 12-2-1991 by L.L. No. 6-1991; 12-6-2010 by L.L. No. 5-2010]
License application and fees.
The owner of any dog reaching the age of four months shall immediately make application for a dog license. No license shall be required for any dog under the age of four months that 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, any duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, duly incorporated humane society or duly incorporated dog protective society.
Application for a dog license shall be made to the Clerk and shall be accompanied by the appropriate license fee, as specified below.
The application shall state the sex, actual or approximate year of birth, breed, color(s), and municipal identification number of the dog, and other identification marks, if any, and the name, address, telephone number, county and town of residence of owner, and such other information as deemed necessary by the Clerk.
In the case of a spayed or neutered dog, every application shall be accompanied by a certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian showing that the dog has been spayed or neutered, provided that such certificate shall not be required if the same is already on file with the Clerk.
The application shall be accompanied by a statement certified by a licensed veterinarian showing that the dog or dogs have been vaccinated to prevent rabies or, in lieu thereof, a statement certified by a licensed veterinarian stating that because of age or other reason, the life of the dog or dogs would be endangered by the administration of vaccine. The Clerk shall make or cause to be made from such statement a record of such information and file such record with a copy of the license.
License fees. The fee for a dog license shall be as follows:
Spayed/neutered dog: $9 per year (includes state-mandated surcharge of $3).
Unspayed/unneutered dog: $18 per year (includes state-mandated surcharge of $1).
Upon submission of proper documentation, there shall be no fee charged for the license issued for any detection dog, guide dog, hearing dog, police work dog, service dog, therapy dog, war dog or working search dog, as such terms are defined by the Agriculture and Markets Law.
Senior citizens will receive $4.00 off the dog licensing fee.
Upon validation by the Clerk, the application shall become a license for the dog described therein. Once an application has been validated, no refund shall be made.
The Clerk shall provide a copy of the license to the owner and retain a record of the license in either paper or electronic format.
A license shall be renewed after a period of one year beginning with the first day of the month following the date of issuance. Renewal shall be for a minimum of one year and shall not exceed three years, based on the validation term of the rabies vaccination.
No license shall be transferable. Upon the transfer of ownership of any dog, the new owner shall immediately make application for a license for such dog. The original issued identification tag shall remain the same for the life of the dog.
The owner of every female animal must effectively confine such animal at all times during every period which such animal is in heat.
[Amended 12-6-2010 by L.L. No. 5-2010]
It shall be unlawful to keep more than four animals, four months old or older, of which not more than two shall be either dogs or cats, on any premises, regardless of the number of owners, unless the provisions of Chapter 190, Zoning, in regard to kennels have been complied with, or as provided for in § 62-7B below.
A homeowner may apply for a special use permit to retain more than two dogs on his/her premises.
A homeowner owning more than two dogs may apply for a special use permit from the Animal Control Officer. The Animal Control Officer shall review applications for permission to retain more than two dogs on a case-by-case basis. The Animal Control Officer shall consider the effect on the character of the neighborhood in the event that additional dogs are permitted to remain on the homeowner's premises.
A homeowner applying for a special use permit must have had no violations of Chapter 62 of the Gates Town Code during the 12 months prior to the application.
In the event that a permit is granted by the Animal Control Officer, the permit will terminate upon the death or removal from the homeowner's premises of any dog for whom the permit was issued. The permit may be revoked in the event that the homeowner is convicted of two violations of Chapter 62 of the Gates Town Code within any twelve-month period or if any dog owned by the homeowner is determined to be a dangerous dog pursuant to this chapter or the New York Agriculture and Markets Law.
The application for a special use permit will be $50. An annual renewal of fee of $25 will also be required.
No person who owns a dog, shall permit such dog to be at large in the Town of Gates, Monroe County, New York, unless on a leash not to exceed six feet in length, other than when on the premises of the person owning, keeping, harboring or having the 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.
It shall be unlawful for any animal determined to be dangerous to be at large within the Town of Gates 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 found at large cannot be safely taken up and impounded, such animal may be summarily slain.
In addition to other restrictions contained in this article, it shall be unlawful for any owner of an animal to allow or permit such animal to:
Become a public nuisance as defined in this article.
Engage in loud howling or barking or conduct itself in such a manner as to habitually annoy any person other than the owner of person harboring such animal.
Cause damage or destruction to property other than the property of the owner or person harboring such animal.
The Town of Gates shall appoint a Dog Control Officer or Dog Control Officers, as needed, pursuant to the appropriate statutes of the State of New York. It shall be the duty of such Dog Control Officer or Dog Control Officers of the Town of Gates to enforce the appropriate provisions of the Agriculture and Markets Law with respect to dogs in the Town of Gates and to enforce this article.
The Dog Control Officer or Dog Control Officers of the Town of Gates 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 Dog Control Officer or Dog Control Officers. All such complaints shall be investigated and it shall be the duty of the Dog Control Officer or Dog Control Officers in the appropriate case to proceed with civil or criminal enforcement of this article or any other provisions of law pertaining hereto.
The Dog Control Officer or Dog Control Officers are hereby authorized to issue and serve appearance tickets, and the Dog Control Officer or a peace officer observing a violation of this article in his presence may issue and serve an appearance ticket for such violation. The appearance ticket shall be in the form prescribed by this Board by resolution in accordance with the provisions of § 124 of the Agriculture and Markets Law and this article.
[Added 6-8-1978; amended 9-7-1999 by L.L. No. 2-1999]
All complaints made under any provisions of this article must be in writing, signed and sworn to before a Justice of the Peace. Any such complaint shall be promptly heard and determined by a currently presiding Justice of the Peace after written notice of said complaint to the owner of such animal, appointing a time for such hearing, which shall not be less than three days after personal service of the notice on the owner or the purported owner. Personal service may be complied with by notification through ordinary mail. If the Justice of the Peace finds that the complaint made is duly established, he shall determine and declare such animal to be a public nuisance or make any other determination consistent with the provisions of this article and other laws relating thereto.
The owner of a dog who is issued an appearance ticket pursuant to § 62-11 herein may answer the same by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, within five days of the violation(s) as hereunder provided, in lieu of a personal appearance on the return date at the time and court specified in said appearance ticket.
If the person charged with the violation admits to the violation as charged in the appearance ticket, he may complete the appropriate form on such appearance ticket and forward such form and appearance ticket to the office specified on such appearance ticket. Where the appearance ticket sets forth the schedule of penalties and fines for violations of this article, a certified check or money order in the amount of the penalty for the violation charged shall be submitted with such answer. If no schedule of penalties is set forth, the court shall set the penalty as herein provided and notify the person charged with the violation of the amount thereof. If the penalty specified by the court shall not be paid within the time allowed by the court for payment of the same, a warrant of arrest may be issued.
If the person charged with the violation denies part or all of the violation as charged in the appearance ticket, he may complete the appearance ticket likewise prescribed for that purpose and forward such appearance ticket, together with a certified check or money order in an amount as set from time to time by resolution of the Town Board, to the office of the court specified on such appearance ticket. Upon receipt, such answer shall be entered in the docket and a new return date established by said court officer. Such person shall be notified of the date and place of such return date and/or trial, and the security shall be returned upon appearance thereat. If a person shall fail to appear at a return date when such is provided for pursuant to this section, the security posted to secure such appearance shall be forfeited and a summons or a warrant of arrest may be issued pursuant to the Criminal Procedure Law.
[Amended 9-7-1999 by L.L. No. 2-1999]
In the event that a violation of this article is based upon an information and not an appearance ticket and the owner of the dog desires a trial, he shall post bail in an amount as set from time to time by resolution of the Town Board.
[Amended 9-7-1999 by L.L. No. 2-1999]
Whenever an animal has been impounded or is required to be impounded, in addition to any penalties which may be imposed, the owner shall pay for the care and maintenance of the animal during the period of impoundment.
Any dog at large which does not display any current dog license or other means of identification or which 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 seized shall be properly fed and cared for at the expense of the Town of Gates until disposition thereof as herein provided and in accordance with the applicable provisions 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 seized 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. If notification is personally given, such dog shall be held for a period of seven days after day of notice, during which period the dog may be redeemed by the owner. If such notification is made by mail, such dog shall be held for a period of nine days from the date of mailing, during which period the dog may be redeemed by the owner.
[Amended 9-7-1999 by L.L. No. 2-1999]
The owner of a dog so seized may redeem the dog within the time period prescribed by the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law by paying to the Town Clerk a sum as set from time to time by resolution of the Town Board for the cost of seizure and the reasonable cost of feeding and caring for such dog. The redemption fee for a second seizure and for any subsequent seizures of the same dog shall be as set from time to time by resolution of the Town Board.
[Amended 2-4-1991 by L.L. No. 3-1991; 9-7-1999 by L.L. No. 2-1999]
If not so redeemed, the owner shall forfeit all title to the dog and the dog shall be sold, made available for adoption or euthanized by the Dog Control Officer. 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 the latest humane practices of disposing of animals. The Dog Control Officer who causes such dog to be destroyed shall make a written report of such destruction and disposition to the Town Clerk, together with a statement from the veterinarian destroying the dog, stating that the dog was destroyed in keeping with humane practices. The Town Clerk shall keep a record of all dogs which are destroyed.
[Amended 9-7-1999 by L.L. No. 2-1999]
In those instances where a dog has been seized and bears a license tag, the notice given by the Dog Control Officer pursuant to this section shall contain a statement advising the owner that, 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 written request will be made for said expenditure after destruction of said dog. Said notice will further advise the owner that in the event of his failure to pay the expense as aforesaid within 30 days of the receipt of said request from the town, the sum will be placed on the tax rolls of any real property in the Town of Gates to which the owner has title.
It shall be unlawful for any person in the Town of Gates 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 Justice of the Peace for hearing and determination.
[Amended 6-8-1978; 9-7-1999 by L.L. No. 2-1999]
Except as otherwise provided in § 119 of the Agriculture and Markets Law, upon conviction, a violation of this article shall be deemed an offense punishable by a fine of not more than $250 or by imprisonment not exceeding 15 days, or by 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.
This article shall take effect 10 days after publication and posting pursuant to § 133 of the Town Law of the State of New York but shall take effect from the date of its service as against a person served personally with a copy thereof, certified by the Town Clerk under the corporate seal of the town and showing the date of its passage and entry in the minutes.