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Town of Porter, NY
Niagara County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Porter 12-13-2010 by L.L. No. 1-2011. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter 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 animals and deer from dog attack and damage.
This chapter is enacted pursuant to the provisions of § 122 of Article 7 of the Agricultural and Markets Law and the New York State Municipal Home Rule Law.
The title of this chapter shall be the "Dog Control Local law of the Town of Porter."
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated.
AGRICULTURE AND MARKETS LAW
The Agriculture and Markets Law of the State of New York in effect as may be amended by this chapter and or the State of New York.
AT LARGE
Any dog that is unleashed and on property open to the public or that is on private property not owned or leased by the owner of the dog unless permission for such presence has been obtained. No dog shall be deemed to be "at large" if it:
A. 
Is accompanied by and under the immediate supervision and control of the owner or other responsible person, leashed or restrained by a leash, which means that the dog is equipped with a collar or harness of sufficient strength and tightness to which is attached a leash of not more than eight feet in length, which lease shall be held by a person having the ability to control and restrain the dog by means of such collar or harness and leash (a harness worn by a guide dog for the blind shall be considered a suitable leashing);
B. 
Is a police work dog in use for police work; or
C. 
Is accompanied by its owner or other responsible person and is actively engaged in hunting of is training for hunting on unposted land or on posted land with the permission of the owner of the land.
A. 
To be securely restrained and kept on the premises of the owner either within a building kennel, electric fence, or other suitable enclosure sufficient to contain the dog;
B. 
To be securely fastened on a chain, wire or other effective tether of such length and so arranged that the dog cannot reach, endanger or harass any person who is legally permitted to be on such premises or adjacent property, whether on the owner's premises or otherwise, or on adjacent premises, or on any street, way or place; or
C. 
If the dog is being transported, that such dog is confined or otherwise so restrained that it cannot escape therefrom or endanger, reach or harass any person.
DOG
Male or female, licensed or unlicensed, members of the species of canines.
DOG CONTROL OFFICER
The person authorized by the Town Board of the Town of Porter from time to time by resolution to enforce the provisions of this chapter. The Dog Control Officer and all peace officers of the Town of Porter are authorized to issue appearance tickets.[1]
HARBOR
To provide food or shelter to any dog.
OWNER
Any person who harbors, feeds or keeps any dog for more than one week. In the event that any dog found in violation of this chapter shall be owned by a person less than 18 years of age, the owner shall be deemed to be the parent or guardian of such person nor the head of the household in which said person resides.[2]
[1]
Editor's Note: The original definition of "habitual," which immediately followed this definition, was repealed at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
[2]
Editor's Note: The original definition of "run at large," which immediately followed this definition, was repealed at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any owner of any dog to permit or allow such dog, in the Town of Porter to:
(1) 
Be at large. Whenever a dog is observed off the premises of the owner, not restrained or supervised as above provided, it shall be presumed that the owner permitted or allowed such dog to be off the premises in violation of this section.
(2) 
Engage in habitual or unreasonable howling, barking, crying, whining or other loud noises in violation of the noise standards in Chapter 200, Zoning, § 200-75.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
(3) 
Cause damage or destruction to property, overturn garbage and refuse containers, or strew garbage and refuse about, or commit a nuisance by defecating or urinating upon public or private property other than that of the owner of the dogs without promptly removing and disposing of same.
(4) 
Chase, jump upon, at or towards, or otherwise harass any person in such a manner as to cause such person reasonable fear or intimidation, or to put such person in reasonable apprehension of bodily harm or injury to such person or another.
(5) 
Habitually chase, run alongside of or bark at motor vehicles or bicycles.
(6) 
Attack, bite or maul another dog or other pet.
(7) 
Any dog known to be vicious or dangerous, by determination of the Dog Control Officer or police officer shall be confined to a suitably fenced yard and effectively restrained by a chain or leash not exceeding eight feet in length.
(8) 
Refused to provide current proof of licensing upon the request of the Dog Control Officer, peace officer or police officer.
B. 
The establishment of the fact or facts that a dog has committed any of the prohibited acts of Subsection A of this section or any subsection thereof shall be presumptive evidence against the owner or landowner of such dog that such owner or harborer has failed to properly confine said dog.
This chapter shall be enforced by any Dog Control Officer, peace officer when acting pursuant to his special duties, or police officer in the employ of or under contract to the Town of Porter.
A. 
Any dog found in violation of the provisions of this chapter may be seized pursuant to the provisions of § 117 of Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
B. 
Every dog seized shall be properly cared for, sheltered, fed and watered for the redemption periods set forth in § 117 of Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
C. 
Seized dogs may be redeemed by the owner producing proof of licensing and identification pursuant to the provisions of Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law and by paying the impoundment fees set forth by resolution of the Porter Town Board, namely:
(1) 
Fifteen dollars for the first impoundment of any dog owned by that person;
(2) 
Twenty-five dollars for the second impoundment of any dog owned by that person;
(3) 
Fifty dollars for the third and subsequent impoundments of any dog owned by that person;
(4) 
Any fees charged to the Town of Porter for dogs harbored at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and or any fees charged by them for after-hours or a weekend pickup.
D. 
Any dog unredeemed at the expiration of the appropriate redemption period shall be made available for adoption or euthanized pursuant to the provisions of § 117 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
E. 
The fees set forth in Subsection C(1) through (3) above may be changed from time to time by resolution of the Town Board.
A. 
Any person who observes a dog in violation of this chapter may file a complaint under oath with a Justice of the Town of Porter 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.
B. 
Attacks or threatened attacks.
(1) 
Any person who witnesses an attack or threatened attack, or in the case of a miner an adult acting on behalf of such minor may make a complaint of an attack or threatened attack upon a person, companion animal as defined in the Agriculture and Markets Law, farm animal as defined in the Agriculture and Markets Law, or a domestic animal as defined in the Agriculture and Markets Law to the Dog Control Officer or police officer authorized to enforce this chapter. Such officer shall immediately inform the complainant of his or her right to commence a proceeding as provided in Subsection B(2) of this section and, if there is reason to believe the dog is a dangerous dog, the office shall forthwith commence such proceeding himself or herself.
(2) 
Any person who witnesses an attack or threatened attack, or in the case of a minor, an adult acting on behalf of such minor, may and any Dog Control Officer or police officer as provided in Subsection B(1) of this section shall, make a complaint under oath or affirmation to the Town Justice of such attack or threatened attack. Thereupon the Justice shall immediately determine if there is probable cause to believe the dog is a dangerous dog and, if so, shall issue an order to the Dog Control Officer, peace officer acting pursuant to his or her special duties, or police officer directing such officer to immediately seize such dog and hold the same pending judicial determination as provided in this section. Whether or not the Judge or Justice finds there is probable cause for such seizure, he or she shall, within five days and upon written notice of not less than two days to the owner of the dog, hold a hearing on the complaint. The petitioner shall have the burden at such hearing to prove the dog is a "dangerous dog" by clean and convincing evidence. If satisfied that the dog is a dangerous dog, the Judge or Justice shall then order neutering or spaying of the dog, micro-chipping of the dog and one or more or the following, as deemed appropriate under the circumstances and as deemed necessary for the protection of the public:
(a) 
Evaluation of the dog by a certified applied behaviorist, a board certified veterinary behaviorist or another recognized expert in the field and completion of training or other treatment as deemed appropriate by such expert the owner of the dog shall be responsible for all costs associated with evaluations and training ordered under this section;
(b) 
Secure, humane confinement of the dog for a period of time and in a manner deemed appropriate by the court but in all instances in a manner designed to: prevent escape of the dog; protect the public from unauthorized contact with the dog; and to protect the dog from the elements. Such confinement shall not include lengthy periods of tying or chaining;
(c) 
Restraint of the dog on a leash by an adult of at least 21 years of age whenever the dog is on public premises;
(d) 
Muzzling the dog whenever it is on public premises in a manner that will prevent it from biting any person or animal, but that shall not injure the dog or interfere with its vision or respiration; or
(e) 
Maintenance of a liability insurance policy in an amount determined by the court, but in no event in excess of $100,000 for personal injury or death resulting from an attack by such dangerous dog.
Any Dog Control Officer, peace officer, when acting pursuant to his special duties or police officer, may issue an appearance ticket pursuant to § 150.20 of the Criminal Procedure Law, to serve a summons and to serve and execute any other order or process in the execution of the provisions of this chapter. In addition, any Dog Control Officer or any peace officer, when acting pursuant to his special duties, or police officer, who is authorized by a municipality to assist in the enforcement of this chapter, may serve any process, including an appearance ticket, a uniform appearance ticket and a uniform appearance ticket and simplified information, related to any proceeding, whether criminal or civil in nature, undertaken in accord with the provisions of this chapter or any local law or ordinance promulgated pursuant thereto.
A. 
It shall be the duty of the Dog Control Officer or peace officer, when acting pursuant to his special duties, or police officer, to bring an action against any person who has committed any violation set forth § 81-5 of this chapter. A violation of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $25, except that: where the person was found to have violated this chapter or the former dog control local law of the Town of Porter within the preceding five years, the fine may be not less than $50; and where the person was found to have committed two or more such violations within the preceding five years, it shall be punishable any a fine of not less than $100 or imprisonment for not more than 15 days or both.
B. 
A defendant charged with a violation of any provision of this chapter or any local law or ordinance promulgated pursuant thereto may plead guilty to the charge in open court. He or she may also submit to the Magistrate having jurisdiction, in person by duly authorized agent, or by registered mail, a statement: that or she waives arrangement in open court and the aid of counsel; that he or she pleads guilty to the offense charged; that he or she elects and requests that the charge be disposed of and the fine or penalty fixed by the court; of any explanation that he or she desires to make concerning the offense charged; and that he or she makes all statements under penalty of penury. Thereupon the Magistrate may proceed as though the defendant had been convicted upon a plea of guilty in open court; provided, however, that any imposition of fine or penalty hereunder shall be deemed tentative until such fine or penalty shall have been paid and discharged in full. If upon receipt of the aforesaid statement the Magistrate shall deny the same, he or she shall thereupon notify the defendant of this fact, and that he or she is required to appear before said Magistrate at a stated time and place to answer the charge which shall thereafter be disposed of pursuant to the applicable provisions of law.
All dogs within the Town of Porter four months of age or older, unless otherwise exempted, shall be licensed. The owner of each dog required to be licensed shall obtain complete and return to the Town Clerk of the Town of Porter a dog license application together with the license application fee any applicable license surcharges and such additional fees as may be established by the Town of Porter. Each 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. Each license issued shall be valid for a period of one year and shall not be transferable.
A. 
Pursuant to the New York State Municipal Home Rule Law and by adoption of this chapter, the Town Board of the Town of Porter may establish, by resolution, a schedule of dog licensing fees, surcharges for enumeration costs associated with any enumeration conducted pursuant to Agriculture and Markets Law § 113 of Article 7, and tag replacement fees as needed from time to time.
B. 
The Town of Porter hereby establishes the fee for a dog license issued pursuant to this chapter at $9, to which amount shall be added $6 if the dog for which the license application is made is unspayed or unneutered. These fees may be changed from time to time by resolution of the Town Board as set forth in Subsection A above.
C. 
There shall be no fee for any license issued for any guide dog hearing dog, and service dog war dog working search dog or police dog.
D. 
An additional fee of $1 for altered dogs and $3 for unaltered dogs shall also be paid, the Town Clerk annually for the purpose of carrying out animal population control efforts as provided in Agriculture and Markets Law § 117-a.
This chapter shall take effect January 1, 2011.