[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of LaFayette 12-13-2010 by L.L. No. 3-2010. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to protect the health, safety and well-being of persons and property within the Town of LaFayette through the licensing and identification of dogs, and by imposing restrictions and regulations upon the keeping of dogs. The Town of LaFayette, New York finds that the uncontrolled behavior of dogs has caused physical harm to persons, damage to property and created nuisances within the Town.
This chapter is enacted pursuant to the provisions of Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law of the State of New York.
The title of this chapter shall be "The Regulation of Dogs in the Town of LaFayette."
As used in this chapter, 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 in the Town of LaFayette.
- To stand, run, walk or otherwise roam without restriction or restraint by a leash, rope, cord or chain not longer than 12 feet in length affixed to an immovable object, or held by a person of sufficient size, strength and ability to effectively restrain the dog and restrict such movements as to be in control of said dog. No dog shall be deemed to be at large if it is:
- Any member of the species Canis familiaris.
- DOG CONTROL OFFICER
- Any individual appointed by the Town of LaFayette to assist in the enforcement of this chapter and Article 7 of the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law or any authorized officer, agent or employee of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), an incorporated humane society or similar incorporated dog protective association under contract with the Town of LaFayette to assist in the enforcement of this chapter.
- 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 with the state during the period such dog is being trained or bred for such purpose.
- To provide food or shelter to any dog.
- 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 during the period such dog is being trained or bred for such purpose.
- IDENTIFICATION TAG
- A tag which sets forth an official identification number, as required by the provisions of this chapter.
- IDENTIFIED DOG
- Any dog carrying an identification tag, as provided in Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
- OFFICIAL IDENTIFICATION NUMBER
- A series or combination of letters, numbers or symbols approved and furnished by the Town of LaFayette.
- Any person who keeps, harbors or is in lawful custody of any dog.
- OWNER OF RECORD
- The person in whose name any dog was last licensed pursuant to this chapter and/or Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law, except that if any license is issued on application of a person under 18 years of age, the owner of record shall be deemed to be the parent or guardian of such person.
- Any individual, corporation, partnership, association or other organized group of persons, municipality or other legal entity.
- PERSON WITH A DISABILITY
- Any person with a disability as that term is defined in Subdivision 21 of § 292 of the Executive Law.
- RECOGNIZED REGISTRY ASSOCIATION
- Any registry association that operates on a nationwide basis, issues numbered registration certificates and keeps such records as may be required by the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Markets.
- 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.
- TOWN CLERK
- The Town of LaFayette Town Clerk.
Licensing of dogs.
The owner of any dog reaching the age of four months shall immediately make application to the Town Clerk for a dog license pursuant to Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
The application shall state the sex, age, breed, color, official identification number and identification marks, if any, of the dog and the name, address and telephone number of the owner.
The application shall be accompanied by a fee, as set forth in § 137-6 of this chapter, and a certificate of a current rabies vaccination or statement in lieu thereof, as required by Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law. An application for a spayed or neutered dog shall be accompanied by either a certificate, executed by a licensed veterinarian, or an affidavit by the owner, verifying that such dog has been spayed or neutered; a certificate or affidavit shall not be required if the same is already on file with the Town Clerk. In lieu thereof, an owner may submit a statement, certified by a licensed veterinarian, verifying that an examination of the dog reveals that spaying or neutering will endanger the life of the dog. In such a circumstance, the license fee for the dog shall be the same as for a spayed or neutered dog, as set forth in Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
Upon validation by the Town Clerk, the application shall become the license for the dog described therein. Once an application has been validated, no refund shall be forthcoming.
The Town Clerk shall provide a copy of the license to the owner. If the application or renewal for a dog license is made by mail and a validated copy is requested, the owner shall provide a stamped, self-addressed envelope for that purpose.
No license shall be transferable. Upon the transfer of ownership of any dog, the new owner shall immediately make application for a new license.
Licenses shall be issued for a period of one year and shall expire on the last day of the month one year from the date of issue, unless the owner presents a certificate of rabies vaccination for a duration longer than a one-year period. In such cases, the owner may elect to have the license expire on the last day of the month the license was obtained in the same year as the rabies vaccination expires. Under no circumstances, however, may a license exceed a three-year period. Multiple-year licenses shall be charged a fee for each year of the license term. Renewing early or late does not change the renewal month.
Relocation; dogs adopted from shelters.
The owner of any dog that is currently licensed in another municipality must, upon harboring such dog in the Town of LaFayette, obtain a Town of LaFayette dog license within 30 days.
Any dog adopted from an animal shelter must be licensed in the Town of LaFayette prior to being released from such shelter.
Vaccination. The Town Clerk shall require the applicant to present a statement certified by a licensed veterinarian showing that the dog has been vaccinated to prevent rabies or, in lieu thereof, a statement certified by a licensed veterinarian stating that the administration of vaccine will endanger the life of the dog. The Town Clerk shall make, or cause to be made from such statement, a record of such information and shall file such record with a copy of the license.
In lieu of or in addition to the individual license required by this chapter, the owner of one or more purebred dogs registered by a recognized registry association may annually apply to the Town Clerk for a purebred license. A purebred license shall be valid for a period of one year, commencing on the first day of the month following the date of issuance, and shall be renewable annually thereafter prior to the expiration date.
The application shall state the sex, age, breed, registry name and number of each purebred registered dog over the age of four months which is harbored on the premises, the sex and breed of each purebred dog over the age of four months which is harbored on the premises and eligible for registration and the name, address and telephone number of the owner. The application shall include a statement by the owner that all purebred dogs over the age of four months which are harbored on the premises have been listed.
The application shall be accompanied by the license fee, as set forth in § 137-6 of this chapter.
Upon receipt of the foregoing items, the Town Clerk shall assign a license number, which shall be reserved for the sole use of the named owner, and shall issue a purebred license, a copy of which shall be provided to the owner. Purebred license fees shall not be prorated or waived. No purebred license fee is refundable, or partially refundable, in the even the dog is lost, stolen, sold, given away, surrendered or deceased before the expiration of the license.
A fee schedule shall be established by resolution of the Town Board of the Town of LaFayette and is available in the office of the Town Clerk. Such fee schedule may thereafter be amended by resolution of the Town Board. Fees shall be charged and collected prior to the issuance of a license.
There shall be no fee for any license issued for any guide dog or hearing dog or service dog. Each copy of any license for such dogs shall be conspicuously marked "Guide Dog" or "Hearing Dog" or "Service Dog," as is appropriate, by the Town Clerk.
[Amended 12-8-2020 by L.L. No. 2-2020]
In addition to any other applicable fee, any person applying for a dog license for a dog identified as unlicensed during an enumeration conducted pursuant to Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law shall pay an additional fee of $5. Such additional fee shall be the property of the Town of LaFayette and shall be used to pay the expenses incurred by the Town of LaFayette in conducting the enumeration. In the event the additional fees collected exceed the expenses incurred by the Town of LaFayette in conducting an enumeration in any year, such excess fees may be used by the Town of LaFayette for any other lawful purpose.
In accordance with Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law, each applicant for a dog license shall pay a surcharge, which shall be remitted to the State Comptroller for deposit into the animal population control fund, of $1 if the dog to be licensed is spayed or neutered or a fee of $3 if the dog sought to be licensed is neither spayed or neutered.
On or before the fifth day of each month, the Town Clerk shall remit all license fees to the Town Supervisor.
Each dog licensed pursuant to this chapter shall be assigned, at the time of first licensing, a permanent official identification number, which shall be featured on an identification tag 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 in 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. Should an official Town of LaFayette dog identification tag be lost, a new tag will be issued at a fee prescribed by the Town Board of the Town of LaFayette.
No tag carrying an official identification number shall be affixed to the collar of any dog other than the one to which that number is assigned.
The size, shape and form of imprints on identification tags shall be prescribed by resolution of the Town Board of Town of LaFayette. Any tag bearing an imprint other than that prescribed shall not constitute valid identification for purposes of this chapter.
Fees received pursuant to this section shall be remitted by the Town Clerk to the Town Supervisor by the fifth day of each month.
In the event of a change in the ownership of any dog which has been assigned an official identification number by the Town Clerk, or a change in the address of the owner of record of any such dog, the owner of record shall, within 10 days of such change, file with the Town Clerk a written report of such change. Such owner of record shall be liable for any violation of this chapter until such filing is made or until the dog is licensed in the name of the new owner.
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, file with the Town Clerk a written report of such loss or theft. 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 chapter or Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law committed after such report is filed.
In the case of a dog's death, the owner of record shall so notify the Town Clerk, in writing, either prior to renewal of licensure or upon the time of such renewal as set forth in § 137-5 of this chapter. Failure to so notify the Town Clerk shall constitute a violation and the owner of record shall be held liable.
It shall be unlawful for any owner of any dog to permit or allow such dog, whether licensed or not, in the Town of LaFayette to:
Bark, whine or make other noise for a period of at least 15 minutes within any one-hour period, which barking, whining or other noise can be heard from a location outside of the owner's premises and would disturb a reasonable person of normal sensitivities;
Cause damage or destruction to property, or commit a nuisance by defecating or urinating upon the premises of a person other than the owner of such dog;
Chase or otherwise harass any person in such a manner as reasonably to cause intimidation or to put such person in reasonable apprehension of bodily harm or injury; or
Habitually chase, run along side of or bark at motor vehicles or bicycles; or
Run at large on any property under the ownership or control of the Town of LaFayette.
All owners of female dogs in heat shall keep such dogs confined in such manner as to not be in contact with other dogs (except for intentional breeding purposes) and so as to avoid creation of a nuisance by attracting other dogs.
The fact that a dog is at large shall be presumptive evidence that the owner permitted or allowed said dog to run at large in violation of this chapter.
This chapter shall be enforced by any Dog Control Officer, peace officer when acting pursuant to special duties, or police officer in the employ of or under contract to the Town of LaFayette.
Any person who observes a dog in violation of this chapter may file a complaint under oath with the Justice of the Town of LaFayette 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 the dog. Such complaint may serve as the basis for enforcing the provisions of this chapter.
Any dog found in violation of the provisions of this chapter may be seized pursuant to Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
Every dog seized shall be properly cared for, sheltered, fed and watered during the redemption period set forth herein.
Dogs seized pursuant to this chapter may be redeemed by producing proof of licensing and identification and by paying fees as set from time to time by resolution of the Town Board.
If the owner of any unredeemed dog is known, such owner shall be required to pay the impoundment fees set forth in Subsection C this section, whether or not such owner chooses to redeem his or her dog.
Any dog unredeemed at the expiration of the appropriate redemption period shall be made available for adoption or euthanized pursuant to the provisions of Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
Any owner to fail to license any dog;
Any owner to fail to have any dog identified as required by this chapter;
Any person to knowingly affix to any dog any false or improper identification tag or special identification tag;
Any person to furnish any false or misleading information on any form required to be filed with the Town pursuant to the provisions of this chapter or the rules and regulations promulgated thereto; and
Any owner of a dog to fail to notify the Town of any change of ownership or address as required by this chapter.
The Town of LaFayette may elect to either prosecute any person who has committed any violation of §§ 137-5, 137-6, 137-7 and 137-8 of this chapter as a violation under the Penal Law or commence an action to recover a civil penalty. A violation of this chapter shall be punishable, subject to such an election, either:
Where prosecuted pursuant to the Penal Law and served an appearance ticket, by a fine of not more than $25, except that:
Where the person was found to have violated this chapter within the preceding five years, the fine may not be more than $50; and
Where the person was found to have committed two or more violations within the preceding five years, it shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $100 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 more than $25, except that:
Each day that failure continues shall constitute a separate violation.
This chapter shall take effect on the first day of January 2011.