[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Rush as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Parks — See Ch. 83.
[Adopted 12-8-2010 by L.L. No. 5-2010]
Editor's Note: This article also superseded former Ch. 28, Animals, comprised of Art. I, Dog Control, adopted 12-19-1974 by L.L. No. 2-1974, as amended; and Art. II, Dog License Fees, adopted 9-11-1996 by L.L. No. 2-1996, as amended.
This article is enacted pursuant to the provisions of Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law and the Municipal Home Rule Law of the State of New York, as may be subsequently amended and supplemented.
The purpose of this article is to provide for the licensing and identification of dogs, the control and protection of the dog population, and the protection of persons, property, domestic and farm animals, and other animals raised for commercial purposes from dog attacks and damage.
All words, terms or phrases used herein shall have the meanings indicated below or as defined in the New York Agriculture and Markets Law. If no specific definition is set forth, all words shall have their usual and customary meaning in the English language. The word "shall" is intended to be mandatory.
- AT LARGE
- An unleashed dog off the premises of the dog's owner.
- DANGEROUS DOG
- In addition to the definitions set forth in Section 108, Subdivision 24 of the New York Agriculture and Markets Law, a dog shall be considered a dangerous dog and, subject to the provisions of Section 123, Subdivision 3 et seq. of the New York Agriculture and Markets Law, if such dog, without justification, attacks a person, dog, cat, farm animal and/or companion animal (as defined under New York State law) and causes physical injury or death to the same.
- 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.
- DOG CONTROL OFFICER or DCO
- A person or persons appointed by the Town for the purpose of enforcement of this article and/or Article 7 of the New York Agricultural and Markets Law.
- Male and female, licensed and unlicensed, members of the species canis familiaris.
- 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 for such training.
- 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.
- LEASHED or RESTRAINED BY A LEASH
- A dog that is equipped with a collar to which is attached a leash not more than eight feet long, both collar and leash to be of sufficient strength to restrain the dog, which leash shall be held by a person having the ability to control and restrain the dog.
- Includes any person who owns, keeps, harbors or has the care, custody or control of a dog. Dogs owned by minors shall be deemed to be in the care, custody and control of the minor's parents or property owner where the minor resides.
- POLICE WORK DOG
- Any dog owned or harbored by any municipal police department and/or any state or federal law enforcement agency which has been trained to aid law enforcement officers.
- 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.
- 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.
All dogs owned, kept, harbored or cared for within the Town of Rush that are four months of age or older, unless otherwise exempted, shall be licensed by the Town of Rush.
The following dogs are exempt from the licensing requirements of this article.
Any dog harbored within the Town of Rush which is owned by a nonresident of New York State and licensed by a jurisdiction outside the State of New York for a period of 30 days;
Any dog held at a shelter pursuant to an agreement with a county, city, town, village or duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, humane society or dog protective association; and
Any dog harbored within the Town of Rush which is owned by a resident of the State of New York and licensed by a jurisdiction within the State of New York for a period of less than 15 days.
The owner of each dog required to be licensed shall complete with the Town Clerk of the Town of Rush a dog license application, together with the applicable fees.
The dog license application shall state the name, sex, actual or approximate age, breed, color and other identification marks of the dog; the name, address and telephone number of the owner; together with any additional information deemed appropriate by the Town Clerk.
The dog 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, the 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; provided, however, that such certificate or affidavit shall not be required if the same is already on file with the Town. In lieu of the foregoing certificate or affidavit, the application may be accompanied by a statement by a licensed veterinarian that, by reason of old age or other reason, the life of the dog would be endangered by spaying or neutering, in which case the license fee for such dog shall be the same as for a spayed or neutered dog.
The Rush Town Clerk's office shall not issue purebred or kennel licenses. All dogs shall be licensed individually in accordance with fees established.
Upon validation by the Town Clerk, the application for a dog license shall become a license for the dog described therein. Once an application is validated, no refund shall be made. Each license shall be valid for a period of one year, shall expire on the last day of the last month of its term, and shall be nontransferable.
Upon the first issuance of a dog license, the Town Clerk shall issue an identification number and provide the owner with a tag for such dog. One identification tag shall be furnished to the owner of record at no charge. In the event that an identification tag is lost, the Town Clerk, upon request of the owner, shall issue a replacement tag at a fee in such amount as authorized by § 28-8D.
The identification tag shall be affixed to a collar on the dog at all times, provided that a dog participating in a dog show is exempt from such requirement, during such participation.
The identification tag shall be imprinted with the words "State of New York," "Town of Rush," a unique identification number, and the telephone number of the Town Clerk's office.
All fees shall be used in funding the administration of the Dog Control Law of the Town of Rush.
The annual fees for licensing of dogs pursuant to this article shall be in such amounts as the Town Board may, from time to time, establish by resolution.
In accordance with the provisions set forth in § 110, Subdivision 3, of the New York Agriculture and Markets Law, each applicant for a dog license shall also pay a New York State surcharge for the purpose of carrying out the animal population control program.
Exempted from payment of the license fees are applications for a dog license for any guide, hearing, service, war, working search, detection, police or therapy dog.
Replacement tags shall be obtained by the owner at his or her expense at a fee in such amount as the Town Board may, from time to time, establish by resolution.
An unlicensed dog found during an enumeration conducted shall pay a fee of $5. Such additional fee shall be the property of the Town and shall be used to pay the expenses incurred 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.
In the event of a change in ownership of any dog which has been licensed pursuant to this article 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 Town Clerk. Such owner of record shall be liable for any violation of this article 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 article is lost or stolen, the owner of record shall, within 10 days of the discovery of such loss or theft, notify the Town Clerk. In the case of a loss or theft, the owner of record of any such dog shall not be liable for any violation of this article committed after such report is filed.
In the case of a dog's death, the owner of record shall notify the Town Clerk either prior to renewal of licensure or upon the time of such renewal as set forth by the Town Clerk.
It shall be unlawful for any owner of any dog in the Town of Rush to permit such dog to howl, bark, cry or whine habitually or continuously at a frequency or level which disturbs the peace, quiet and comfort of any person other than the owner of such dog at any time of day or night.
It shall be unlawful for any owner of any female dog in the Town of Rush to permit or allow such dog off the premises of the owner or leave such dog out-of-doors and unconfined while such dog is in heat.
It shall be unlawful for any owner of any dog in the Town of Rush to permit or allow such dog to habitually chase, run alongside of or bark at motor vehicles, motorcycles or bicycles while on a public street, highway, or place, or upon the private property of someone other than the owner of the dog without the consent or approval of the owner of such property.
It shall be unlawful for any owner of any dog in the Town of Rush to permit or allow such dog to destroy property of another property owner.
It shall be unlawful for any owner of any dog in the Town of Rush to permit or allow such dog to commit a nuisance in a public street, public building, public park or on any private property except with the consent of the owner of such other property.
It shall be unlawful for any owner of any dog in the Town of Rush to permit or allow such dog to chase, jump upon or at, or otherwise harass any person in such manner as to reasonably cause intimidation or fear or to put such person in reasonable apprehension of bodily harm.
It shall be unlawful for the owner of any dog to permit the premises, structures or enclosures in which such dog is kept to be unclean or unsanitary.
It shall be unlawful for the owner of any dog to permit or allow such dog to run at large in the Town of Rush. All dogs shall be accompanied by the owner or a responsible person and under the full control of such owner or person on a leash affixed to the dog's collar not to exceed eight feet in length. For the purpose of this article, a dog or dogs hunting in the company of a hunter or hunters shall be considered as accompanied by the owner.
Any person who violates or knowingly permits violation of this article shall be subject to a fine of not more than $75, except that, where the person was found to have violated this article or Article 7 of the New York Agriculture and Markets Law within the preceding five years, a fine up to $150 may be charged; where the person was found to have committed two or more such violations within the preceding five years, it shall be punishable by a fine in an amount up to $300.
Nothing contained in this section is intended to eliminate, reduce, diminish or replace the provisions set forth in Section123 of the New York Agriculture and Markets Law relating to fines, civil penalties or imprisonment with respect to dog violations.
Any Town Justice of the Town of Rush shall have jurisdiction to hear all actions and proceedings hereunder and of all prosecutions for the violation of this article.
All complaints concerning alleged violations of this article shall be communicated to the Dog Control Officer or Deputy Dog Control Officer. All such complaints shall be investigated, and it shall be the duty of the Dog Control Officer or the Deputy Dog Control Officer in the appropriate case to proceed with the enforcement of this article or any other provision of law pertaining hereto.
The Dog Control Officer or Deputy Dog Control Officer is empowered to issue appearance tickets to any such persons who violate any provisions of this article. The appearance ticket shall be in the form prescribed by the Town Board by resolution in accordance with provisions of Section 122 of the New York Agriculture and Markets Law and this article. An answer to such appearance ticket may be made within five days of the violation, by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, in lieu of a personal appearance on the return date at the time and court specified in the appearance ticket, in accordance with the provisions of Section 122 of the New York Agriculture and Markets Law and this article.
In accordance with the provisions set forth in Section117 of the New York Agriculture and Markets Law:
It shall be the duty of the Dog Control Officer or Deputy Dog Control Officer to enforce the provisions of this article and to seize all dogs found in violation of this article or which are ordered seized by a Town Justice.
The Dog Control Officer, when acting pursuant to his or her duties, shall make and maintain a complete record of any seizure and subsequent disposition of any dog. Such record shall include, but not be limited to, a description of the dog, the date and hour of seizure, the municipal identification number of the dog (if any), the location where seized, the reason for the seizure and the owner's name and address, if known.
For any dog seized pursuant to § 28-15A above, the following notification and redemption procedures shall be followed:
Unidentified dogs, whether or not licensed, shall be held for a period of three days from the day seized, during which time the owner may redeem the dog.
For identified dogs, whether or not licensed, the owner shall be notified personally or by certified mail, return receipt requested, of the facts of the seizure and the redemption procedures. The dog shall be held for three days after the day of notice.
In either case above, the owner must produce proof of licensing and pay seizure and impoundment fees in order to redeem the dog. The seizure and impoundment fees shall be as set from time to time by the Town Board and in accordance with the provisions of Section 117 of the New York Agriculture and Markets Law.
If not so redeemed by the end of the appropriate redemption period, the owner shall forfeit all title to the dog. The dog shall then be taken to a humane society or shelter which will be empowered to adopt or euthanize the dog. The society shall submit to the Town a record of those dogs adopted or euthanized.
Prior to releasing a dog to its owner or adopting out a dog, the owner must pay all accrued charges to the Town Clerk and obtain a license for such dog.
Each separate provision of this article shall be deemed independent of all other provisions herein, and if any provisions shall be deemed or declared invalid, all other provisions hereof shall remain valid and enforceable.
This article shall supersede all prior local laws, ordinances, rules and regulations relative to the licensing, identification and control of dogs within the Town of Rush, which shall, upon the effectiveness of this article, become null and void.
This article shall take effect January 1, 2011, after filing with the New York Secretary of State.