Dutchess County , NY
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by Dutchess County as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
STATUTORY REFERENCES
Animals, generally — See Agriculture and Markets Law Art. 26.
Propagation of fur-bearing animals — See Environmental Conservation Law § 11-1907.
Sexual misconduct with an animal — See Penal Law § 130.20.
Killing or injuring a police animal — See Penal Law § 195.06.
Harming an animal trained to aid a person with a disability — See Penal Law § 195.12.
Harming a service animal — See Penal Law §§ 242.10 and 242.15.
[Adopted 8-12-2019 by L.L. No. 4-2019]
The Dutchess County Legislature finds it necessary and appropriate to establish a Countywide Animal Abuse Registry. Animal abusers have a high rate of recidivism and are often associated with violence towards humans. It is the intent of this article to restrict those persons who have committed serious animal welfare crimes to be banned from owning or living with an animal for a period of 15 years and to be listed on the Sheriff's website in order to restrict their ability to obtain an animal. Persons or entities transferring the ownership of an animal, or which have employees or volunteers interacting with animals, have a duty to inspect the registry to ensure such persons have no history of animal abuse. This registry will severely restrict an animal abuse offender's ability to obtain an animal. It is the hope that surrounding counties will provide a link to Dutchess' Registry alongside their registry in order to prevent an offender from traveling outside the County to obtain an animal. The registry maintained by the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office will have links to other online registries throughout the state, should a person or entity want to do an exhaustive search of state-wide offenders to ensure the welfare of the animal. It may be necessary from time to time to update the crimes enumerated as an animal abuse crime if the State of New York enacts new laws; however, this article allows judicial discretion in requiring a person to register for nonenumerated crimes.
Unless the context clearly provides otherwise, the terms set forth below shall have the following meanings:
ANIMAL
Any living mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian or fish. It shall not mean a human being.
ANIMAL ABUSE CRIME
Any of the following:
A. 
New York State Agriculture and Markets Law Article 26:
Section 351, Prohibition of animal fighting
Section 353, Overdriving, torturing and injuring animals; failure to provide proper sustenance
Section 353-a, Aggravated cruelty to animals
Section 353-c, Electrocution of fur-bearing animals
Section 353-d, Confinement of companion animals in vehicles: extreme temperatures
Section 353-e, Companion animal grooming facilities
Section 353-f, Companion animal piercing and tattooing prohibited
Section 355, Abandonment of animals
Section 356, Failure to provide proper food and drink to impounded animal
Section 357, Selling or offering to sell or exposing diseased animal
Section 359, Carrying animal in a cruel manner
Section 360, Poisoning or attempting to poison animals
Section 361, Interference with or injury to certain domestic animals
Section 362, Throwing substance injurious to animals in public place
Section 364, Running horses on highway
Section 365, Clipping or cutting the ears of dogs
Section 366, Companion animal stealing
Section 366-a, Removing, seizing or transporting dogs for research purposes
Section 368, Operating upon tails of horses
Section 379, Selling fur, hair, skin or flesh of a dog or cat
B. 
New York State Penal Law:
Section 130.20, Subdivision 3, Sexual misconduct with an animal
Section 195.06, Killing or injuring a police animal
Section 195.12, Harming an animal trained to aid a person with a disability
Section 242.10 and Section 242.15, Harming a service animal
ANIMAL ABUSE OFFENDER
Any person 18 years of age or older convicted of an animal abuse crime, except youthful offenders whose convictions or adjudications include sealed records.
ANIMAL ABUSE REGISTRY
The online registry established by this article for the purpose of registering any person convicted of an animal abuse crime who is currently residing in the County.
ANIMAL SHELTER
Any public or privately owned organization, including, but not limited to, any duly incorporated humane society, pound, animal protective association or animal rescue group which maintains buildings, structures or other property for the purpose of harboring animals which may be stray, surrendered, unwanted, lost, abandoned or abused and seeks to find appropriate temporary or permanent homes for such animals.
CONVICTION
Any adjudication of guilt by any court of competent jurisdiction, whether upon a verdict after trial, plea of guilty or nolo contendere plea.
FARM ANIMAL
Any ungulate, poultry, species of cattle, sheep, swine, goats, llamas, horses or fur-bearing animals, as defined in § 11-1907 of the Environmental Conservation Law, which are raised for commercial or subsistence purposes. "Fur-bearing animal" shall not include dogs or cats.
PET SELLER
Any individual, person, partnership, firm, corporation or other entity which offers animals for sale, exchange or otherwise transferring ownership of animals.
SERVICE ANIMAL
Any animal that has been trained to do work and/or perform tasks for persons with disabilities as defined under the American with Disabilities Act.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.
A. 
The County Sheriff's Department is hereby authorized, empowered and directed to establish, manage and maintain an online Animal Abuse Registry of any animal abuse offenders living in the County.
B. 
The Animal Abuse Registry shall contain information as listed in § 130-5D of this article and including but not limited to the animal abuse crime(s) convicted of, date the listing was posted, type of animal, and, should the animal(s) related to the charges have a name(s), their name(s) shall be listed.
C. 
The Animal Abuse Registry shall be found on the Sheriff's Department website and contain links to other counties who maintain an Animal Abuse Registry in some form easily available for public inspection.
D. 
The Sheriff's Department is hereby authorized and empowered to promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to implement the Animal Abuse Registry.
A. 
Any person who has been charged with an animal abuse crime and is offered a plea to a reduced charge may be ordered by the court, with proper notice and after a hearing, to register with the Sheriff's Department as part of the final judgment.
B. 
Any person who has been convicted or pleaded to a nonenumerated crime under the "animal abuse crime" definition, but such crime is related to endangering the welfare of an animal, may be ordered by the court, with proper notice and after a hearing, to register with the Sheriff's Department as part of the final judgment.
C. 
Any hearing pursuant to this section shall be a summary hearing and necessary when the defendant has been found guilty or pleaded to a nonenumerated crime under the "animal abuse crime" definition. The hearing shall determine if the underlying conduct the defendant was charged with poses a risk to the safety and well-being of animals and therefore indicates a compelling interest to subject the defendant to registration pursuant to this article. Any person who is required to register with the Sheriff's Department pursuant to this section shall comply with all applicable provisions of this article.
A. 
Any animal abuse offender who resides in the County and who has been convicted of an animal abuse crime on or after the effective date of this article must register with the Sheriff's Department within 10 days of their release from incarceration or, if not incarcerated, from the date of the rendering of judgment.
(1) 
Nothing in this article shall require any animal abuse offender convicted of an animal abuse crime prior to the enacting date of this article to register with the Sheriff's Department.
B. 
The Animal Abuse Registry shall contain the required information of each animal abuse offender for a period of 15 years following their release from incarceration or, if not incarcerated, from the date of the judgment of conviction.
(1) 
Any persons registered, required to be registered or previously registered who are convicted of a subsequent animal abuse crime shall be listed on the Animal Abuse Registry for life.
C. 
When a person is convicted of an animal abuse crime, the prosecuting agency shall promptly forward to the Sheriff's Department the name, address, the animal abuse crime(s) that said person was convicted of, type of animal, and the animal name(s), should they have one, thereby notifying the Sheriff's Department that said person is required to register with the Animal Abuse Registry.
(1) 
Should a person successfully appeal a conviction of an animal abuse crime, the prosecuting agency shall promptly forward to the Sheriff's Department the name and address of the convicted person and the animal abuse crime(s) that they were originally convicted of, thereby notifying the Sheriff's Department that the person is no longer required to be registered with the Animal Abuse Registry.
(2) 
Upon notification to the Sheriff's Department of a successful appeal of a conviction of an animal abuse crime by an individual that has been required to register pursuant to this article, the individual shall be removed from the Animal Abuse Registry within five days following the notification.
D. 
Each person required to register with the Sheriff's Department shall submit the following information:
(1) 
Their name and any aliases they may be known by;
(2) 
Their place of residence and any other addresses listed on a government-issued identification card;
(3) 
Their date of birth;
(4) 
A clear and accurately depicted photograph of the person's head and shoulders. The Sheriff's Department may or may not accept a submitted photograph and require the person to be photographed at a Sheriff's Department office.
E. 
Every five years, each person required to register with the Sheriff's Department shall:
(1) 
Verify or update their name and any aliases, and place of residence and any other addresses;
(2) 
Update their photograph.
F. 
Each person required to register with the Sheriff's Department shall update their registry information within five days of any change of residential address and/or upon any official change of name.
G. 
Each person convicted of an animal abuse crime in another county within the State of New York who establishes residence in the County shall register with the Sheriff's Department within 30 days of establishing residence.
H. 
Each person required to register with the Sheriff's Department shall pay an initial fee of $125 to the Sheriff's Department at the time of registration. All such fees shall be used to help pay the administrative and maintenance costs of maintaining the Animal Abuse Registry or for animals in the service of the Sheriff's Department.
I. 
Any person who is required to register who fails to do so shall have all of the required information, made available to the Sheriff's office, listed on the registry within 20 days of such person's release from incarceration or, if not incarcerated, from the date of the rendering of judgment with a notation that such person has failed to register.
A. 
Animal abuse offenders shall not own animals within the County, where such ownership includes having animals within or about the person's residence or otherwise under the care, custody or control of such person, except:
(1) 
An animal abuse offender may own an animal used as a service animal or farm animal, either utilized by themselves or by another person residing at the same address as the animal abuse offender.
B. 
An individual who is convicted of an animal abuse crime shall transfer ownership and control of any animals within 60 days of conviction.
C. 
An animal shelter, pet seller, or other person or entity located in the County shall not sell, exchange or otherwise transfer the ownership of any animal to any person residing in the County who is listed as an animal abuse offender on the Animal Abuse Registry, except:
(1) 
An animal shelter, pet seller, or other individual or entity may sell, exchange or otherwise transfer the ownership of a service animal or farm animal to an animal abuse offender.
D. 
At the time of sale, exchange or other transfer of ownership of any animal, the animal shelter, pet seller or other person or entity shall examine the Animal Abuse Registry to confirm that the name of the potential owner of the animal is not listed.
(1) 
It shall not be considered a violation if the animal abuse registry was reviewed at the time of sale, exchange or transfer and the animal abuse offender was not listed.
E. 
Nothing in this article shall prevent an animal shelter, pet seller, or other person or entity located in the County from denying a sale, exchange or otherwise transferring the ownership of any animal for any reason, including but not limited to a person being registered on another animal abuse registry within the State of New York.
F. 
Any business, nonprofit, entity or otherwise which, in their normal course of business, has supervision or control of any animal shall:
(1) 
Inspect the Animal Abuse Registry for names of new employees or volunteers who have supervision or control of any animal.
(2) 
Annually cross-reference a list of employees and volunteers who have supervision or control of any animal with the Animal Abuse Registry.
A. 
Any animal abuse offender required to register or update their information with the Sheriff's Department who fails to do so shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by incarceration for a period of not more than one year and/or a fine not to exceed $2,000.
B. 
Any animal abuse offender who violates the prohibition against possessing, owning, adopting or purchasing an animal shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by incarceration for a period of not more than one year and/or a fine not to exceed $5,000.
C. 
Any animal shelter, pet seller, or other individual or entity that violates any provision of this article shall be guilty of a violation and subject to a fine not to exceed $5,000.
If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section, or part of this article or the application thereof to any person, individual, corporation, firm, partnership, entity, or circumstance shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unconstitutional, such order or judgment shall not affect, impair, or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section, or part of this article, or in its application to the person, individual, corporation, firm, partnership, entity, or circumstance directly involved in the controversy in which such order or judgment shall be rendered.
This article shall be null and void on the day that statewide legislation goes into effect incorporating either the same or substantially similar provisions as are contained in this article or in the event that a pertinent state or federal administrative agency issues and promulgates regulations preempting such action by the County of Dutchess.
This article shall be effective immediately upon filing with the New York State Secretary of State.
[Adopted 8-12-2019 by L.L. No. 6-2019]
The Dutchess County Legislature finds it necessary and appropriate to adopt regulations for tethering a canine. Tethering a canine without shelter leaves them susceptible to adverse weather conditions, wild animals, and unwanted human interactions. Should a canine feel threatened, a shelter provides an area in which they may feel safe and protected. Tethering a canine for prolonged periods of time can lead to psychological issues that affect the canine's behavior towards humans and other animals. If a canine is kept outside for a prolonged period, the preferred method of restraint is an animal enclosure. Inhumane tethering practices can show a broader disregard for the general welfare of the animal. The Legislature recognizes that education prior to or instead of the issuance of certain violations is a necessary tool for an animal owner to recognize the deficiencies in how their canine is tethered. It is not the intent to require every violator of this article to register as an animal abuse offender; however, a court may deem it necessary for certain severe first-time violators or persistent violators to register.
Unless the context clearly provides otherwise, the terms set forth below shall have the following meanings:
INCLEMENT WEATHER
Weather conditions including but not limited to rain, sleet, ice, snow, wind, or extreme heat and cold.
SHELTER
An "appropriate shelter" as defined in Subdivisions 3 and 4 of § 353-b of New York State Agriculture and Markets Law, and in addition shall have an opening that will allow the canine easy entry and exit, clean bedding, and a solid floor, and be small enough to retain the canine's body heat, and the surrounding area must be kept free of standing water, ice and waste.
TETHER
To restrain a canine by attaching the canine to any object or structure, including but not limited to a house, tree, fence, post, garage, or shed, by any means, including but not limited to a chain, rope, cord, leash, or running line. It shall not mean a person using a leash to walk a canine or tethering a supervised canine for less than 15 minutes in a public place.
WEATHER ALERT
A weather advisory or warning issued by local, state or federal authorities, including but not limited to a winter storm watch, blizzard warning, winter storm warning, ice storm warning, winter weather advisory, wind chill warning or advisory, high wind warning, wind advisory, severe thunderstorm watch, severe thunderstorm warning, tornado watch, tornado warning, extreme wind warning, tropical storm warning or watch, hurricane warning or watch, hurricane wind warning, tropical storm wind warning, heat advisory, excessive heat warning, flash flood warning, or areal flood warning.
The following provisions shall regulate the usage of tethers and the conditions surrounding when a canine may be tethered:
A. 
Tethers:
(1) 
A tether shall be properly fitted and attached to the canine with a buckle-type collar or a body harness. Such collar or body harness shall be made of a nonmetal, such as nylon or leather, that is at least one inch wide.
(2) 
A tether shall not utilize a choke collar, pinch-type collar, or attached weights.
(3) 
A tether's length shall be whichever length is longer: longer than 10 feet or five times the length of the canine's body as measured from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail.
(4) 
A tether shall connect at both ends with a swivel, weigh less than 1/10 of the canine's weight and be free of tangles.
(5) 
If the canine is tethered to a pulley, running line, trolley, or cable system, it shall be a minimum of 15 feet long, less than seven feet above the ground.
(6) 
A tether shall allow the canine to move in an area not less than 125 square feet.
(7) 
A tether shall restrain the canine to the property.
B. 
While a canine is tethered, the following provisions shall be met:
(1) 
The canine shall be at least six months old.
(2) 
The canine shall have access to shade, water, and dry ground.
(3) 
The canine shall not be tethered during a weather alert.
(4) 
The canine shall not be tethered in any weather that poses an adverse risk to the health and safety of such canine based on the breed, age or physical condition.
(5) 
The canine shall not have any known medical or behavioral condition that could be exacerbated by tethering.
(6) 
A canine shall not be tethered for longer than 12 hours per twenty-four-hour period. If a canine is tethered between sunset and sunrise, the surrounding area must be well lit.
(7) 
If tethered for more than two consecutive hours, the canine shall have access to shelter.
(8) 
If there are multiple canines, each must be tethered separately or on a separate pulley, running line, trolley, or cable system.
(9) 
A canine shall be free of cruel, inhumane or dangerous conditions at all times, including but not limited to:
(a) 
Exposure to animal waste, garbage, noxious odors or objects that could injure or kill a canine;
(b) 
Exposure to taunting, prodding, provoking, hitting, harassing, threatening or otherwise harming a tethered canine;
(c) 
Potential attack by other animals;
(d) 
Objects that could cause a canine to become entangled.
This article shall be enforced by the office of the Dutchess County Sheriff and may also be enforced by any police officer, local Canine Control or Animal Control Officer in their respective jurisdictions, or human law officer or investigator with jurisdiction within said County.
A. 
Any person found to be in violation of any provisions of this article shall, for a first offense, be subject to a fine not to exceed $250.
B. 
For a second offense, any person found to be in violation of any provisions of this article shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $500.
C. 
For a third or subsequent offense, any person found to be in violation of any provisions of this article shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $1,000.
D. 
Any person found to be in violation of any provisions of this article may be required to register as an animal abuse offender with the Dutchess County Sheriff's Department after proper notice and hearing.
If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section, or part of this article or the application thereof to any person, individual, corporation, firm, partnership, entity, or circumstance shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unconstitutional, such order or judgment shall not affect, impair, or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section, or part of this article, or in its application to the person, individual, corporation, firm, partnership, entity, or circumstance directly involved in the controversy in which such order or judgment shall be rendered.
This article shall be null and void on the day that statewide legislation goes into effect incorporating either the same or substantially similar provisions as are contained in this article or in the event that a pertinent state or federal administrative agency issues and promulgates regulations preempting such action by the County of Dutchess.
This article shall be effective 90 days from filing with the New York State Secretary of State.