[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Highland as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Zoning — See Ch. 190.
[Adopted by L.L. No. 7-2002]
It shall be unlawful for any owner of any dog in the Town of Highland to permit or allow such dog to:
Run at large other than on premises owned or operated by the owner, unless it is accompanied by its owner or a responsible person able to control it by command. For the purpose of this chapter, a dog or dogs hunting in company of a hunter or hunters shall be considered as accompanied by its owner, and a dog or dogs performing farm or livestock duties shall be considered as accompanied by its owner.
Engage in habitual loud howling, barking, crying or whining or 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. (See also § 50-3 hereof.)
Uproot, dig or otherwise damage any vegetables, lawns, flowers, garden beds or other property not belonging to the owner of such dog.
Chase, jump upon or 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.
Habitually chase, run alongside or bark at motor vehicles while on a public street or highway or upon public or private property other than the property of the owner or harborer of said dog.
Create a nuisance by defecating, urinating or digging on public property or private property other than the property of said owner.
It shall be unlawful to keep more than four dogs of six months of age or more on any property, regardless of the number of owners, unless there is minimum of 10,000 square feet of lot area per dog and a license has been obtained from the Town of Highland to operate a kennel on said premises. Kennels as defined in the Zoning Law (Chapter 190), including any buildings, cages, pens, runs or other areas or facilities within which dogs are kept, shall be located a minimum of 300 feet from any adjoining property line and all dogs shall be housed inside a permanent structure between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. The Planning Board, in granting a special use permit, shall be authorized to impose special setbacks, buffers and other measures to limit noise, odor, water pollution and other impacts on adjacent properties. Kennels shall also be restricted to those zoning districts where such uses are permitted under the Town of Highland Zoning Law and shall be considered special uses.
No kennel shall be operated on any property which lacks a full-time manager or resident manager on premises to deal with problems of noise and other impacts on adjoining properties.
All kennels shall provide a plan for waste management and disposal of dead animals, including methods of collecting and disposing of wastes, schedules for such activities and disposal areas. Such disposal areas and methods shall comply with all Department of Health standards, protect groundwater supplies, control odors and provide sanitary conditions for the animals.
All proposed kennels shall fully comply with the requirements of this chapter and the Town of Highland Zoning Law and require a license from the Town Clerk. All existing kennels shall be required to comply with the operational requirements of this chapter and shall also make application for a license to operate a kennel, which application shall be made within 30 days of the effective date of this chapter. Rights of existing kennel owners shall be limited, however, to the scope of operation as provided for under the nonconforming use provisions of the Zoning Law and to a maximum of 10 years from the effective date of this chapter to allow amortization of any value in the existing nonconforming operations. They shall not, in any case, be expanded beyond the number of dogs that legally existed upon the enactment of said Zoning Law, except in accordance with this chapter and the Zoning Law.
Kennel license applications to the Town Clerk shall be accompanied by a fee of $250 or $10 per dog, whichever shall be greater, which amount may be amended from time to time by resolution of the Town Board. The Town Board may also provide a separate fee schedule for kennels operating with purebred licenses under Article 7 of the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law. A license shall be good for 12 months and may be renewed by the Town Clerk pending an inspection to determine that all operational standards continue to be met. An annual license renewal fee of $10 per dog shall apply, which amount may also be amended from time to time by resolution of the Town Board. A license may be revoked at any time if such standards are not being met, provided the owner has been given a warning and opportunity to remedy any problems, and no party shall operate a kennel without such license.
The Town Board or its designated agent may for purposes of enforcing the provisions of this chapter or conducting inspections connected therewith secure the services of a veterinarian, which costs shall be the responsibility of the applicant or licensee in the event of any violation.
Nothing herein shall exempt a dog or kennel owner from securing individual dog licenses or vaccinations as required by Article 7 of the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law.
Disturbing the peace. It shall be unlawful to own, harbor or keep in custody any dog or group of dogs that disturbs the peace by barking between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. for more than 1/2 hour or between 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. barking for more than five minutes. Such behavior shall be deemed to disturb the peace and create a nuisance by causing the annoyance and discomfort of persons in the Town of Highland.
Any resident of the Town may request, in writing, that the Town Board warn any person who shall own, harbor or keep in custody any dog which disturbs the peace by barking.
Any such request shall identify the owner of the premises, the keeper or custodian of the dog and the name and address of the person making the request. Upon receipt of such request the Town Board or their designated agent (Town of Highland Dog Control Officer, peace officer or police officer) shall promptly investigate the complaint and, upon satisfaction that there is probably cause that such complaint is valid, shall give the owner, keeper or custodian of the dog a warning.
The warning shall consist of personal delivery of a copy of these provisions to such owner, keeper or custodian, or to someone in their household, or by mailing a copy of these provisions, together with a written notice that no further warning shall be given and that any future complaints shall be prosecuted according to law.
Complaints. Any person who observes a dog in violation of this chapter may file a complaint under oath with the Town of Highland Dog Control Officer, or other designated agent of the Town Board, 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 chapter.
Appearance ticket. The Town of Highland Dog Control Officer, or other designated agent of the Town Board, any peace officer when acting pursuant to his special duties, or police officer in the employ of or under contract to the Town of Highland, New York, having reasonable cause to believe that a person has violated this chapter, shall issue and serve upon such person an appearance ticket for such violation.
Penalties. Any person violating the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to a fine of not less than $50 or more than $350 and costs of prosecution. Each day of violation shall be considered a separate violation. Responsibility for enforcement of this chapter shall rest with such official as may be designated by resolution of the Town of Highland Town Board or, in the absence of such designation, with any peace officer or officer of the court. The Town Board shall also be authorized to pursue such civil remedies as may be available under the New York State Town Law, including securing of an injunction to enjoin a property owner or other violator from continuing a violation or engaging in action that would constitute a violation.
The Town of Highland Town Board may, by resolution and for good cause, waive any of the requirements contained herein or establish classes of exemption.
[Adopted 11-9-2010 by L.L. No. 1-2010]
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 purpose of harboring a dog, seized or surrendered, or any cat from the Town's animal shelter.
- ANIMAL/DOG CONTROL OFFICER
- Any individual appointed by the Town Board to assist in the enforcement of this Chapter.
- The Town Clerk, or Deputy Town Clerk, of the Town of Highland, where 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.
- GEESE DOG
- Any dog that is trained to aid the Animal/Dog Control Officer in control of geese within the boundaries of the Town.
- GUIDE DOG
- Any dog that is trained to aid a person who is blind and 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 or cat.
- HEARING DOG
- Any dog that is trained to aid a person with a hearing impairment and 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.
- Any person who harbors or keeps any dog or cat.
- PERSON WITH DISABILITY
- Any person with a disability as that term is defined in subdivision 22 of Section 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 has been trained to aid law enforcement officers and is actually being used for police work purposes.
- SENIOR RESIDENT
- Any resident of the Town age 65 or older.
- 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 home, retirement homes and other settings and 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.
- Town of Highland, 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 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 date 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.
Application for a dog license shall be made to the 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 marks, if any, and the name, address, telephone number, county and town of residence of owner.
The application shall be accompanied by a license fee set by resolution of the Town Board 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 such certificate shall not be required if the same is already on file with the Clerk.
The fees for a dog license shall be pursuant to a resolution of the Town Board.
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 or 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.
No dog can be adopted out of the Town's animal shelter without first obtaining a license from the Clerk.
Purebred licenses. There will not be distinct purebred licenses as previously provided by the State. Any and all existing purebred licenses will now be required to comply with § 50-7A.
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 the 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 of $5. Such additional fee shall be used to pay the expenses incurred by the Town in conducting the enumeration. In the event 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.
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 which shall be affixed to a collar on the dog at all times.
The official identification number shall constitute the official identification of the dog to which it is assigned, regardless of changes of ownership, and the number shall not be reassigned to any other dog during the lifetime of the dog to which it is assigned.
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 of $3.
No tag carrying an official identification number shall be affixed to the collar of any dog other than to the one to which the number has been assigned.
The identification tag shall be imprinted with the "Town of Highland," 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 which 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 which 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 a violation, punishable as provided in Subsection B of this section, for:
Violations of this article shall be subject to a fine, not to be less than $25, except that: