[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Kent as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 7-6-1981 by L.L. No. 3-1981; amended in its entirety 12-20-2010 by L.L. No. 10-2010]
Editor's Note: This local law also superseded former Ch. 32, Dogs, which was adopted as follows: Art. I, Regulation, 10-1-1962, amended 3-5-1971; Art. II, Dog Warden; Pound, 8-27-1973 by L.L. No. 13-1973; Art. III, Licensing, 9-24-1979 by L.L. No. 5-1979.
This chapter shall be known and cited as the "Animal Control Law" of the Town of Kent.
This chapter is enacted pursuant to the provisions of Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law of the State of New York and § 130 of the Town Law of the State of New York.
The purpose of this article is to provide for the licensing and identification of dogs. Effective January 1, 2011, the State of New York has relinquished the responsibility of dog licensing function to local municipalities and eliminated the Animal Population Control Fund. Local municipalities will now be required to adopt legislation relating to this issue.
In the event that any dog owned by a nonresident is harbored within the Town of Kent, such dog shall be exempt from the identification and licensing provisions of this article for a period of 30 days, provided that such dog is licensed pursuant to the provisions of the law of the area of residence.
This article shall not apply to any dog confined to the premises of any incorporated society devoted to the care of lost, strayed or homeless animals or confined to the premises of any public or private veterinary hospital or kennel.
This article shall not apply to any dog confined to the premises of any person, firm or corporation engaged in the breeding or raising of dogs for a profit and licensed as a Class A dealer under the Federal Laboratory Animal Welfare Act, provided that such person, firm or corporation has obtained a New York State Certificate of Exemption.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The delivery to any natural person 18 years of age or older, for the limited purpose of harboring a pet, of any dog seized or surrendered, from the Town's animal shelter.
- ANIMAL/DOG CONTROL OFFICER
- Any individual appointed by the Town Board to assist in the enforcement of this article.
- The Town Clerk, or Deputy Town Clerk, of the Town of Kent, by whom licenses are to be validated or issued.
- DETECTION DOG
- Any dog that is trained and is actually used for such purposes or is undergoing training to be used for the purpose of detecting controlled substances, explosives, ignitable liquids, firearms, cadavers, or school or correctional facility contraband.
- Any member of the species canis familiaris.
- To bring about death by humane method.
- GEESE DOG
- Any dog that is trained to aid the Animal/Dog Control Officer in the control of geese within the boundaries of the Town.
- GUIDE DOG
- Any dog that is trained to aid a person who is blind and that is actually used for such purpose, or any dog owned by a recognized guide dog training center located within the State of New York during the period such dog is being trained or bred.
- To provide food or shelter to any dog.
- HEARING DOG
- Any dog that is trained to aid a person with a hearing impairment and that is actually used for such purpose, or any dog owned by a recognized training center located within the State of New York during the period such dog is being trained or bred for such training.
- IDENTIFICATION TAG
- A tag which sets forth an identification number, as required by the provisions set forth in this article.
- A structure used for the harboring of more than four dogs that are more than six months old or more than 12 dogs that are under six months of age either where a fee is paid for the boarding and care of the dogs or where the dogs are maintained by the property owner as pets. Any dog owner whose dogs bear more than one litter of puppies that are of registered pedigree and offered for sale shall, for the purposes of this article, be considered as maintaining a "dog kennel" and must adhere to all regulations governing the same. Any owner who is maintaining more than four dogs in a residential district, may maintain those current dogs for the length of their life. When the dogs expire or are transferred to another owner, they cannot be replaced.
- Any person who harbors or keeps any dog.
- PERSON WITH DISABILITY
- Any person with a disability as that term is defined in Subdivision 22 of § 292 of the New York State Executive Law.
- POLICE WORK DOG
- Any dog owned or harbored by any municipal police department or any state or federal law enforcement agency, which dog has been trained to aid law enforcement officers and is actually being used for police work purposes.
- RUN AT LARGE
- Any dog in a public place or on private lands without the knowledge, consent and approval of the owner of such lands that is not on a leash or otherwise restrained by its owner or the owner's agent.
- SERVICE DOG
- Any dog that has been or is being individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, provided that the dog is or will be owned by such person or that person's parent, guardian or other legal representative.
- THERAPY DOG
- Any dog that is trained to aid the emotional and physical health of patients in hospitals, nursing homes, retirement homes and other settings and that is actually used for such purpose, or any dog owned by a recognized training center located within the State of New York during the period such dog is being trained or bred for such purpose.
- The Town of Kent, including incorporated areas.
- WAR DOG
- Any dog which has been honorably discharged from the United States armed services.
- WORKING SEARCH DOG
- Any dog that is trained to aid in the search for missing persons and that is actually used for such purposes; provided, however, that such services provided by said dog shall be performed without charge or fee.
Licensing of dogs.
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. A license shall be renewed after a period of one year beginning with the first day of the month following the date of issuance annually.
Application for a dog license shall be made to the Town Clerk.
The application shall state the sex, actual or approximate year of birth, breed, color(s), and official identification number of the dog, and other identification markers, if any, and the name, address, telephone number, county and town of residence of owner.
The application shall be accompanied by a license fee as listed below and a valid certificate of rabies vaccination or statement in lieu thereof. In the case of a spayed or neutered dog, every application shall also 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.
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.
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.
No dog can be adopted out of the Town's animal shelter without first obtaining a license from the Clerk.
Rabies vaccination. The Clerk, at the time of issuing any license pursuant to this article, shall require the applicant to present 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.
Enumeration. In addition to other applicable fees, any person applying for a dog license for a dog identified as unlicensed during an enumeration shall pay a fee as set by resolution of the Town Board and included in the fee schedule. Such additional fee shall be used to pay the expenses incurred by the Town in conducting the enumeration. In the event that the additional fees collected exceed the expenses incurred by the Town in conducting an enumeration in any year, such excess fees may be used by the Town for any other lawful purpose.
[Amended 3-7-2017 by L.L. No. 2-2017]
Each dog licensed shall be assigned, at the time the dog is licensed for the first time, a permanent official identification number. Such identification number shall be carried by the dog on an identification tag that shall be affixed to a collar on the dog at all times.
The official identification number shall constitute the official identification of the dog.
At the time a dog is first licensed, one identification tag shall be furnished to the owner at no charge. Any replacement tag shall be obtained by the owner at his expense at a fee as set forth by resolution of the Town Board and included in the Town fee schedule.
[Amended 3-7-2017 by L.L. No. 2-2017]
No tag carrying an official identification number shall be affixed to the collar of any dog other than the one to which that number has been assigned.
The identification tag shall be imprinted with the words "Town of Kent," a unique identification number, and the telephone number of the Town Clerk's office.
In the event of a change in ownership of any dog that has been assigned an official identification number or in the address of the owner of record of any such dog, the owner of record shall, within 10 days of such change, notify the Clerk.
If any dog that has been assigned an official identification number is lost or stolen, the owner of record shall, within 10 days of the discovery of such loss or theft, notify the Clerk.
In the case of a dog's death, the owner of record shall so notify the Clerk, either prior to renewal of license or upon the time of such renewal.
It shall be unlawful for any owner of any dog in the Town of Kent to permit or allow such to:
Run at large.
Engage in loud howling or habitual barking, crying or whining or so conduct itself in such a manner so as to unreasonably and habitually disturb the comfort or repose of any person other than the owner of such dog.
Chase and/or bark at motor vehicles or persons while on a public street or highway or upon public or private property other than property of the owner or harborer of said dog.
Jump upon, chase, bark at or otherwise harass any person in such a manner as to reasonably cause intimidation or fear or to put such person in reasonable apprehension of bodily harm or injury.
Defecate or urinate on, dig in or otherwise damage public property or private property other than property of the owner or harborer of said dog. No owner or possessor of a dog or domestic animal shall suffer or permit it to soil, defile or commit any nuisance on any commonfare, sidewalk, passageway, bypath, play area, park or any place where the public congregates or walks or upon any lawn, shrubbery or tree on any private property not belonging to the owner or custodian of said dog or domestic animal. The owner or possessor of a dog or domestic animal that permits the dog to soil, defile or commit any nuisance on that portion of the property lying between the street and the sidewalk (curbing of the dog) shall be responsible to clean up, on an immediate basis, said defilement or nuisance (fecal matter).
[Amended 7-19-2011 by L.L. No. 4-2011]
Upset or otherwise interfere with garbage receptacles.
Cause damage to property or person of others.
Kill or injure any dog, cat or household pet.
Uproot, dig or otherwise damage any vegetable, lawn, flowers, garden beds or other property without the consent or approval of the owner thereof.
If a female dog, when in heat, be off the owner's premises unrestrained by a leash.
It shall be unlawful for any persons residing in the Town of Kent to keep or harbor any dog, cat or other animal in such a manner as to create offensive odors, excessive noise or unsanitary conditions which are a menace to the health, comfort or safety of the public.
Any dog which shall attack any person or domestic animal within the meaning of Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law of the State of New York may in the alternative be dealt with in accordance with Article 7 of said Agriculture and Markets Law.
This article shall be enforced by the Dog Control Officer, by any peace officer or by any person having jurisdiction under the Agriculture and Markets Law. The Dog Control Officer is hereby authorized to issue an appearance ticket pursuant to the Criminal Procedure Law of the State of New York in the enforcement of this article.
Any person who observes a dog in violation of this article may file a complaint under oath with a Town Justice of the Town specifying the nature of the violation, the date thereof, a description of the dog and the name and residence, if known, of the owner of such dog. Such complaint may serve as the basis for enforcing the provisions of this article.
Any dog in violation of this article may be seized by the Dog Control Officer or any peace officer and shall be impounded and disposed of in accordance with the provisions of Article 7 or other applicable provisions of the Agriculture and Markets Law. The Dog Control Officer or police officer may also investigate or refer to a Town Justice of the Town any dangerous dog as described in Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law and see that the order of the Town Justice in such case is carried out.
No person shall hinder, resist or oppose the Dog Control Officer, peace officer or other person(s) authorized to administer or enforce the provisions of this article in the performance of the officer's duties under this article.
Each dog seized in accordance with the provisions of this article shall be properly sheltered, fed and watered for the redemption period as herein provided in a facility so designated by the Town Board of the Town of Kent.
Each dog which is not identified, whether or not licensed, shall be held for a period of at least five days from the date seized, during which period the dog may be redeemed by its owner, provided that such owner produces proof that the dog has been licensed and has been identified pursuant to the provisions of this article, and further provided that the owner pays the impoundment fees set forth by resolution of the Town Board and included in the Town fee schedule.
[Amended 3-7-2017 by L.L. No. 2-2017]
Promptly upon seizure of any identified dog, the owner of record of such dog shall be notified by the Dog Control Officer personally or by certified mail, return receipt requested, of the facts of seizure and the procedure for redemption. If notification is personally given, such dog shall be held for a period of at least 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. In either case, the owner may redeem such dog upon payment of the impoundment fees to the Town of Kent prescribed by Subsection D of this section and by producing proof that the dog has been licensed.
An owner shall forfeit title to any dog unredeemed at the expiration of the appropriate redemption period, and it may be kept for three months, with no liability to the Town of Kent, by the Putnam County Humane Society, and all costs for keeping the dog shall be borne by the Putnam County Humane Society. The dog shall be available for adoption for the fee as set forth by resolution of the Town Board and on the Town fee schedule and thereafter shall be euthanized.
[Amended 3-7-2017 by L.L. No. 2-2017]
It shall be a violation, punishable as provided in Subsection C of this section for:
Any owner to permit or allow any dog to commit one or more of the nuisances set forth in § 32-9 of this article.
Any owner to fail to license any dog.
Any person to knowingly affix to any dog any false or improper identification tag or purebred license tag.
Any owner of any dangerous dog to fail to confine, restrain or present such dog for any lawful purpose pursuant to this article.
It shall be the duty of the Dog Control Officer to bring an action against any person who has committed within the Town of Kent any violation set forth in Subsection A of this section. Such violation may be prosecuted as a violation under the Penal Law of the State of New York or by an action to recover a civil penalty.
A violation of this section shall be punishable either:
Where prosecuted as a criminal proceeding, by a fine of not less than $25 nor more than $50 for the first violation committed under this article; for the second violation committed under this article, by a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $100; and where the person was found to have committed three or more violations of this article, by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $250. Where a person was found to have committed two or more violations of this article, it shall be punishable by fines as set forth above or imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both; or
Where prosecuted as an action to recover a civil penalty, by a civil penalty of not less than $25 nor more than $50 for the first violation committed under this article, for the second violation committed under this article, by a civil penalty of not less than $50 nor more than $100; and where the person was found to have committed three or more violations of this article, by a civil penalty of not less than $100 nor more than $250.
Each dog may be considered separately for the purpose of establishing penalties for offenses under this article.
The owner or harborer of any dog so destroyed under the provisions of this article, whether destroyed by the Dog Control Officer or a peace officer or released to an authorized humane society or veterinarian, shall not be entitled to any compensation, and no action shall be maintainable thereafter to recover the value of such dog or any other type of damage.
This local law shall take effect January 1, 2011, after filing with the Secretary of State.