City of Yonkers, NY
Westchester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Yonkers 9-22-1987 by G.O. No. 13-1987; amended in its entirety 11-21-1989 by G.O. No. 11-1989. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
A. 
If a term is used in this chapter and is not defined in this section, then it shall have the meaning indicated in § 108 of the Agriculture and Markets Law, if defined therein.
B. 
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ADOPTION
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, or any cat.
DANGEROUS DOGS AND ANIMALS
Any dog or animal that when unprovoked, approaches or menaces any person in a dangerous or terrorizing manner, or in an apparent attitude of attack, upon the streets, sidewalks or any public grounds or places; or any dog or animal with a known propensity, tendency or disposition to attack, when unprovoked, to cause injury or to otherwise endanger the safety of human beings or domestic animals; or any dog or animal which bites, inflicts injury, assaults or otherwise attacks a human being or domestic animal without provocation on public or private property; or any dog or animal owned, bred or harbored primarily or in part for the purpose of dog fighting or any dog trained for dog fighting ; or any dog or animal used to facilitate a crime or criminal offense. This definition does not include dogs or animals owned or used by the Police Department or other law enforcement personnel performing police functions.
[Added 6-25-1996 by G.O. No. 5-1996; amended 11-23-2010 by G.O. No. 5-2010]
DANGEROUS INSTRUMENT
Any instrument or substance which, under the circumstances in which it is used, is readily capable of causing death or other serious physical injury, including a dangerous dog or animal as defined by this chapter.
[Amended 11-23-2010 by G.O. No. 5-2010]
DOG
Any member of the species Canis familiaris.
EUTHANIZE
To bring about death by a humane method.
HARBOR
To provide food or shelter.
OWNER
Any person owning, keeping, harboring or having the care, custody or control of any dog; and when any such owner shall be a child under the age of 18 years, the parent or guardian of such child shall be deemed to be the "owner" of such dog for all purposes of this chapter.
PHYSICAL INJURY
Impairment of physical condition or substantial pain.
POSSESS
To have physical possession or ownership or otherwise to exercise dominion or control over any animal, domestic or wild.
PUBLIC SERVANT
Any public officer or employee of the state or of any governmental instrumentality within the state or any person exercising the functions of any such public officer or employee. The term "public servant" includes a person who has been elected or designated to become a public servant.
SERIOUS PHYSICAL INJURY
Physical injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes death or serious and protracted disfigurement, protracted impairment of health or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ.[1]
[1]
Editor’s Note: The definition of "vicious animal," as amended 6-25-1996 by G.O. No. 5-1996, and the definition of "vicious dog," both of which immediately followed this definition, were repealed 11-23-2010 by G.O. No. 5-2010.
[Amended 11-23-2010 by G.O. No. 5-2010]
Whenever it is applicable and/or appropriate, the terms "dog" and "animal" shall be interchangeable in the context of the specific section, and the terms "poundkeeper," "dogcatcher," "Dog Control Officer," "Animal Control Officer," "Deputy Dog Control Officer" and "Deputy Animal Control Officer" shall be interchangeable.
A. 
All dogs required to be licensed pursuant to the provisions of Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law of New York State or a dog that is four months of age or older or required to be licensed pursuant to this chapter whose place of residence or domicile or whose owner's place of residence or domicile is Yonkers must be properly licensed with the City of Yonkers pursuant to this chapter of the City Code of the City of Yonkers and Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law of New York State. A license shall be renewed after a period of one year beginning with the first day of the month following the date of issuance and shall be renewable annually thereafter prior to the expiration date. A license shall be issued only upon compliance with the applicable provisions of this chapter and Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law, including submission of proof that the dog has been vaccinated against rabies.
[Amended 11-23-2010 by G.O. No. 5-2010]
B. 
Any violation of Subsection A of this section shall be an offense which may be prosecuted in City Court by any City official authorized to enforce this Code, including police officers, sanitation officers and animal control officers, in addition to any civil action, pursuant to this chapter and the Agriculture and Markets Law.
C. 
Except as provided in Subsection D of this section, the fee for each dog license issued in the City of Yonkers shall be:
[Amended 3-28-1995 by G.O. No. 4-1995; 5-23-2006 by G.O. No. 4-2006]
(1) 
Twelve dollars and fifty cents for each spayed or neutered dog for each year of the term of the license.
(2) 
Twenty dollars and fifty cents for each unspayed or unneutered dog for each year of the term of the license.
[Amended 11-23-2010 by G.O. No. 5-2010]
(3) 
Fifty dollars for each dangerous dog, in addition to the fee paid pursuant to Subsection C(1) and (2) of this section.
[Amended 11-23-2010 by G.O. No. 5-2010]
D. 
The fee for each dog license issued in the City of Yonkers pursuant to the provisions of the Agriculture and Markets Law to living persons who are 65 years old or older at the time of application shall be:
(1) 
Two dollars and fifty cents for each spayed or neutered dog for each year for the term of the license.
[Amended 5-23-2006 by G.O. No. 4-2006]
(2) 
Ten dollars and fifty cents for each unspayed or unneutered dog for each year for the term of the license.
[Amended 5-23-2006 by G.O. No. 4-2006; 11-23-2010 by G.O. No. 5-2010]
(3) 
Fifty dollars for each dangerous dog, in addition to the fee paid pursuant to Subsection D(1) and (2) of this section.
E. 
Any applicant seeking to obtain a license for a dog at the reduced rate established in Subsection D of this section shall have the duty of providing the City Clerk or his agent with appropriate identification to establish the applicant's age.
F. 
A purebred license may be obtained as authorized by § 109 of the Agriculture and Markets Law. The surcharge for a purebred license shall be in the amount of $3 for each unsprayed or unneutered dog. In addition, for no more than 10 dogs a fee of $25 will be imposed. For 11 to 25 dogs, a fee of $50 will be imposed. For more than 25 dogs a fee of $100 will be imposed.
[Amended 11-23-2010 by G.O. No. 5-2010]
G. 
There shall be no fee for any license issued for any guide dog, hearing dog, service dog, war dog or police work dog.
H. 
Each dog licensed shall be issued an identification tag, which shall be affixed to a collar that shall remain on that dog at all times when the dog is not on the premises of the owner. If an identification tag is lost, the owner may apply to the City Clerk’s office for a replacement tag at a cost of $5.
[Amended 11-23-2010 by G.O. No. 5-2010]
I. 
Any person or owner of a dangerous dog applying for a dog license for a dangerous dog as defined herein shall provide proof that liability insurance in an amount of $100,000 for personal injury or death of any person, resulting from an attack by such dog, has been obtained by such owner and is in full force and effect at the time of submission of such application for licensure.
[Added 11-23-2010 by G.O. No. 5-2010]
J. 
Any person who applies for a dog license and knowingly fails to apply for a dangerous dog license when such license is required shall be guilty of a Class I offense and may be fined and/or imprisoned for up to one year and may be subject to civil liabilities of up to $10,000.
[Added 11-23-2010 by G.O. No. 5-2010]
[Amended 6-25-1996 by G.O. No. 5-1996]
Any dog or other animal that is a dangerous animal, as defined herein, must obtain a special license from the City of Yonkers and wear a tag or other identifying collar of a conspicuous nature as issued by the City of Yonkers. The requirements of this license are the following:
A. 
An application fee of $50, in addition to the regular required license fee.
B. 
Proof of insurance for the compensation of people and property injured or damages as a result of the actions of this dangerous animal in an amount not less than $100,000, in a form satisfactory to the Corporation Counsel.
[1]
Editor’s Note: The section title of § 65-4 was amended 11-23-2010 by G.O. No. 5-2010.
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former § 65-5, Identification of vicious animals, was repealed 11-23-2010 by G.O. No. 5-2010.
[Added 6-25-1996 by G.O. No. 5-1996]
A. 
No owner of a dog known to have or who at any time demonstrates a vicious propensity and/or falls within the definition of "dangerous animal" as herein defined shall at any time leave such dog unattended in any place in or out of any building or property, except that such dog may be on the premises or property of such owner, provided that, when such dog is out of doors on the premises or property of said owner, it is confined within a fenced area or yard with a fence no less than eight feet in height and adequate to prevent such dog from leaving said yard or area. In addition, there must be a warning sign in accordance with § 65-7 below, posted in a clearly visible location at this property or premises, such that it can be seen by any person before he might enter such premises or property, informing him that a vicious dog or vicious animal is present on the premises.
B. 
Such dog, when out of doors on the premises or property of such owner, shall, in addition to being confined in a fenced yard or area, be restricted by a secured chain sufficient so as to prevent such dog from reaching a distance of less than two feet from such fence to any point within the fenced yard or area.
C. 
Any dangerous dog which is in a public place, including all streets and sidewalks, shall not only be in continuous control of its owner but shall be restrained by a leash of not greater than four feet in length, of metal or other construction permitted by the City Dog Control Officer, and said dog shall at all times wear a muzzle of a type and form specified and approved by the City Dog Control Officer.
D. 
Any dangerous dog which is on a street, sidewalk or any public ground or place shall wear in a conspicuous manner the tag or collar issued by the City of Yonkers. Any dangerous dog found on a street, sidewalk or other public ground or place without such conspicuous tag will be presumed to be an unlicensed and uninsured dangerous dog and animal, constituting a serious threat of bodily injury and harm to the public at large for which appropriate measures may be taken by law enforcement or dog control personnel.
E. 
No dangerous dogs or animals may be intentionally bred within the City of Yonkers and no person may own, harbor or possess two or more dangerous dogs or animals for breeding or any other purposes.
[Amended 11-23-2010 by G.O. No. 5-2010[2]]
[2]
Editor’s Note: This ordinance also repealed former Subsection F, which immediately followed this subsection and established a limit on the number of dangerous dogs or animals permitted to be possessed. General Ordinance 5-2010 also repealed former § 65-6.2, Regulation of vicious animals and dogs, added 6-25-1996 by G.O. 5-1996, which immediately followed this section.
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former § 65-6, Regulation of vicious dogs, was repealed 6-25-1996 by G.O. No. 5-1996. Former § 65-6.1, Regulation of dangerous dogs and animals, was renumbered as § 65-6 11-23-2010 by G.O. No. 5-2010.
A. 
The signs required under § 65-6 of this chapter are to be no smaller in size than three feet in length by three feet in height and no larger than four feet feet from the ground. These signs shall be of such material and construction so as not to fade or become illegible due to exposure to the elements.
[Amended 11-23-2010 by G.O. No. 5-2010]
B. 
This provision requiring warning signs shall stand independently of all other provisions of the City Code of Yonkers pertaining to the posting of signs for the purpose of this chapter only.
No person owning, harboring or having the custody and control of any animal except a cat shall permit or allow such dog to run or be at large in any public place in the City of Yonkers unless restrained by a chain or leash not exceeding six feet in length or in accordance with § 65-6 above, if applicable. Nothing contained in this section shall prohibit the running at large of any unleashed dog on privately owned property of the owner of such dog or on privately owned property occupied by the owner of such dog, provided that adequate measures are taken to prevent the dog from leaving the confines of said private property or from otherwise becoming a nuisance.
Proof of the running or being at large of a dog contrary to the provisions of this chapter shall be presumptive evidence that the person in whose name such dog is registered and/or the person who harbors such dog is the person who permitted or allowed such dog to run or be at large.
No person owning, harboring or having the custody and control of a dog shall allow such dog to become a nuisance. A dog shall become and constitute a nuisance when it shall:
A. 
Injure or threaten injury to a person.
B. 
Damage property, whether public or private, including lawns, flowers, shrubs or trees.
C. 
Knock over, spill, tip, rip or interfere with any garbage or leaf receptacle, container or bag.
D. 
Be present in any commercial or public establishment without the consent or permission of the owner or person in charge of such establishment.
E. 
Be present in any school building or on any school grounds at any time without the consent or permission of the principal or other person in charge of the school or contrary to the school's rules or regulations.
F. 
Habitually chase or run at persons, motor vehicles, motorcycles or bicycles upon any of the public street, highways or parkways or in any public places.
G. 
Habitually, or in a prolonged manner, bark, whine or howl so as to disturb the safety, health, welfare and peace and quiet of the neighborhood.
H. 
Defecate in any place in the City other than on the premises of the dog's owner or harborer or within the curblines of any public street or highway.
I. 
Be present in any public playground, recreation area or park, unless expressly permitted.
In addition to those acts proscribed in § 65-10, no person having the right and ability to prevent it shall permit, knowingly or negligently, any dog or other animal to commit any nuisance in or upon any public place or street or place frequented or used in common by people.
Except as to guide dogs, hearing dogs or service dogs accompanying a person with a disability as defined in § 1310 of the Public Health Law of the State of New York, it shall be the duty of each dog and animal owner to remove any feces left by his or her dog on any sidewalk, gutter, street or other public area within the City of Yonkers.
Female dogs in time of heat shall not be permitted to run or be at large upon any unfenced area or lot abutting upon any street, public park or public space in the City.
[Amended 11-23-2010 by G.O. No. 5-2010]
Every person having a dead animal or any animal diseased past recovery or sick with any contagious or infectious disease on his premises in the City and every person who has in his charge or under his control any animal who has died of any contagious or infectious disease in any street or place in the City shall at once remove or cause to be removed every such animal and disposed of the same as the Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Conservation, Animal Control Officer, Deputy Animal Control Officer or other duly elected or appointed law enforcement officer may direct.
A dogcatcher or animal control officer may be employed, whose duty it shall be to carry all dogs found in the streets in violation of the provisions of this chapter to the City pound or shelter; to issue violations and summonses and exercise all powers authorized by this chapter, Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law and any other applicable statutes, rules or regulations; and to otherwise enforce this chapter, Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law of the State of New York and any other applicable statutes, ordinances, laws, rules or regulations.
Dogcatchers or officers shall not receive any animal from a minor.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 65-17, requiring maintenance of a list of dog owners, which immediately followed this section, was deleted at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I.
A. 
Any representative of the Yonkers Animal Shelter or a member of the Police Department or a City Dog Control Officer shall, under the following circumstances, apprehend and impound dogs:
(1) 
When running at large in violation of § 65-8 hereof.
(2) 
When found tied or fastened to any public tree, hedge, post or other structure in such a manner that would cause a reasonable person to believe the dog has been abandoned or when not removed by the owner upon request.
(3) 
When otherwise authorized by Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
B. 
Any dog so impounded shall be placed in the custody of the Yonkers Animal Shelter.
It shall be the duty of the poundkeeper and dog control officers to provide necessary sustenance for all animals impounded and kept in any of the public pounds.
No person shall rescue or turn away from the custody of a person driving, leading or conveying to a City pound any animal prohibited from running at large or pasturing in any street, and no person shall interfere with, obstruct or hinder a person driving any such animal.
No person shall break into or attempt to break into or in any manner injure a City pound or shelter.
A. 
Any dog, upon being seized pursuant to the Agriculture and Markets Law or this chapter, shall be held for a minimal period before becoming eligible for adoption or euthanasia. During this minimal period, the Chief Dog Control Officer shall attempt to locate the dog's owner and inform him of the municipal seizure so that the owner can redeem the dog before the end of the period. The minimal period shall be five days for dogs of unknown ownership when seized. For dogs of known ownership when seized, the minimal period shall be seven days after the owner has been personally informed of the seizure or nine days after the date of mailing, by certified or registered mail, with return receipt, of written notice of seizure to the owner. Thereupon, a period of six months shall begin, which may be extended at the sole discretion of the City Dog Control Officer for an additional six months, at the end of which time such dogs shall be euthanized humanely if not already adopted. The Chief Dog Control Officer shall determine, in his discretion, that the animal shelter or other facilities housing municipally seized dogs are overcrowded, and he may select specific dogs to be euthanized before the end of the six-month period of eligibility for adoption, but not before the end of the minimal period. Dogs whose owners voluntarily surrender them to municipal custody shall become immediately eligible for adoption or euthanasia. This section shall not prevent the euthanasia of any sick or injured dog that, upon written recommendation of a veterinarian pursuant to § 374 of the Agriculture and Markets Law, requires such humane treatment at any time while in municipal custody.
B. 
Owners of dogs or animals seized, prior to redeeming their dogs from municipal custody, shall either produce proof of current dog licensing or purchase a new dog license.
[Amended 3-28-1995 by G.O. No. 4-1995; 11-23-2010 by G.O. No. 5-2010[1]]
(1) 
In addition, a dog owner who redeems his municipally seized dog shall pay a redemption fee as follows:
(a) 
Forty dollars for the first seizure.
(b) 
Sixty dollars for the first 24 hours or part thereof for the second seizure within one year of the first seizure, plus $15 per day or portion thereafter, as long as the dog remains in municipal custody.
(c) 
For the third or subsequent seizure within one year of the first seizure: $80 for the first 24 hours or part thereof, plus $15 per day or portion thereafter, as long as the dog remains in municipal custody.
(2) 
The number of seizures shall be counted against the dog owner without regard to whether or not it is the same dog being seized.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I.
C. 
Any dog available for adoption shall be spayed or neutered prior to being released from municipal custody if not already altered as such. This requirement may be postponed when the person adopting an unaltered dog in municipal custody agrees, in writing, to have the dog available to submit to spaying or neutering at a future date and location to be selected at a later time by the Chief Dog Control Officer. Further, this requirement may be postponed if, upon written certification by a qualified veterinarian, it can be shown that the municipally seized dog's health would be endangered by surgery for altering. Anyone adopting such a municipally seized dog shall provide the Chief Dog Control Officer with medical reports once a month while the endangerment lasts, unless the endangerment is permanent. Further, this requirement shall not apply to unaltered dogs that, by reason of health or age, are no longer capable of reproduction, as certified by a qualified veterinarian.
D. 
Any person adopting a dog in municipal custody shall pay an adoption fee of $35 per male dog and $40 per female dog, $20 for a male dog two years of age or older or held for a period of six months or $25 for a female dog two years of age or older or held for a period of six months, which includes the cost of any mandatory spaying or neutering. In addition, such person shall also purchase a license for the dog prior to release from municipal custody, unless the dog will not be harbored within the State of New York.
It shall be a defense to prosecution of a violation of this chapter if the owner, harborer or person having the custody and control of a dog shall:
A. 
Establish that he exercised due diligence in the supervision of said dog and complied with all other provisions of this chapter.
B. 
Establish that a dog who injured or threatened to injure a person did so in defense of its owner or harborer, a person having custody or control of it or any other person or private property and complied with all other provisions of this chapter.
[Added 7-3-1990 by L.L. No. 6-1990]
No person shall keep, cause or allow to be kept on, in or about any premises or property any poultry, fowl or other birds, except as hereinafter provided:
A. 
It shall be lawful to keep for purposes of sale live poultry in a live poultry market.
B. 
It shall be lawful to keep for purposes of sale at mercantile establishments lovebirds, canaries, parakeets and other birds of similar variety where the keeping of such does not constitute a health nuisance.
C. 
It shall be lawful to keep lovebirds, canaries, parakeets and other birds of similar variety as domestic pets where the keeping of such does not constitute a health nuisance.
[Added 7-3-1990 by L.L. No. 6-1990]
No person shall keep, cause or allow to be kept on or in any premises or property any type of animal which is or may tend to become a health nuisance. This section shall not be construed to prohibit the keeping for sale of other types of animals in a mercantile establishment, which animals are kept in such a manner as to prevent the creation of a health nuisance.
[Added 10-8-2013 by G.O. No. 7-2013[1]]
It shall be the duty of every owner, property manager or landlord of any house or other building to provide notice to tenants or persons occupying therein that every dog on said premises be registered pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided for the renumbering of former §§ 65-25 and 65-26 as §§ 65-26 and 65-27, respectively.
[Amended 6-25-1996 by G.O. No. 5-1996]
A. 
Failure to properly license any animal or dog pursuant to § 65-3 and Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law within five days of owning or acquiring an animal which is required to be licensed shall be a Class II offense.
B. 
A violation of §§ 65-8, 65-9, 65-10B, C, D, F, G, H, and I or 65-13 of this chapter shall be a Class II offense. A violation of § 65-10A and E of this chapter shall be a Class I offense.
[Amended 11-23-2010 by G.O. No. 5-2010]
C. 
A violation of § 65-12 of this chapter shall be a Class III offense.
D. 
Possession and control of a dangerous animal or dog, as defined herein, in the City of Yonkers is the equivalent of the possession of a dangerous instrument as defined. Failure to control such instrument in the City of Yonkers shall subject the owner of said animal or dog to penalties provided under the Penal Law in addition to any and all penalties established in this chapter.
[Amended 11-23-2010 by G.O. No. 5-2010]
E. 
A person who willfully or recklessly violates any provision of this chapter, which violation causes physical injury to any person, shall be punishable as a Class I offense.
F. 
Any other violation of this chapter shall be a Class II offense.
If this chapter is silent regarding a matter governed by Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law, then the provisions of Article 7 shall govern.