[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Woodstock as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 10-2-1979 by L.L. No. 1-1979; amended in its entirety 12-21-2010 by L.L. No. 1-2011]
Editor's Note: This local law also amended the title of this article, which was formerly Dog License Fees, and provided an effective date of 1-1-2011.
All dogs in the Town of Woodstock must be licensed with the Town Clerk by the age of four months and are required to present a current certificate of rabies at the time of licensing or renewal of an existing license.
All dog licenses will be for a period of one year and will expire at the end of the month one year from the date of issue. Licenses shall not be transferable.
Pursuant to § 110, Subdivision 4 of Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law, local fees in addition to the New York State required fees (which includes the assessment of a surcharge of $1 for all spayed or neutered dogs for the purpose of carrying out animal population control), and the fee for an unspayed or unneutered dog (which includes the assessment of a surcharge of $3 for the purpose of carrying out animal population control) shall be set forth from time to time by resolution of the Town Board.
When the Town Board determines the need for a dog enumeration, a fee shall be set from time to time by resolution of the Town Board to all dogs found unlicensed or the need to be renewed at the time the enumeration is conducted.
The Town of Woodstock will not be issuing purebred or kennel licenses. All dogs will be licensed individually as per the fee system stated above.
The Town of Woodstock will require a license for any guide dog, service dog, hearing dog, working search dog, police dog, therapy dog or detection dog; however, they will be exempt from paying a license or renewal fee.
All dog licenses shall be purchased at the Town Clerk's office or may be requested by regular mail. However, if a licensing or renewal of a license is done by mail, the appropriate fees must accompany the application for license form.
The Town Clerk shall retain a copy of each dog license issued and, upon request, make a copy available to the Department of Agriculture and Markets.
The Town of Woodstock does not allow the licensing of dogs by a shelter. The shelter must send the adoptive dog owners to the Town Clerk of the Town of Woodstock in which the dog will be harbored for licensing.
All fees will be used in funding the administration of the Dog Control Law of the Town of Woodstock.
[Adopted 2-10-2004 by L.L. No. 2-2004]
This article is enacted pursuant to the provisions of Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law of New York State, § 10 of the Municipal Home Rule Law, and other legislative authority of the State of New York, as amended from time to time.
It is the purpose of this article to preserve public peace and order in the Town of Woodstock and to promote the public health, safety and welfare of its people by establishing and providing for the enforcement of regulations and restrictions on the activities of animals that are consistent with the rights and privileges of animal guardians as well as of other citizens of the Town of Woodstock.
This article shall be known as the "Animal Control Law of the Town of Woodstock."
As used in this article, the following words shall have the meanings given in this section:
- See "Animal Control Officer."
- The delivery of any dog or cat, seized or surrendered, to any natural person 18 years of age or older for the limited purpose of harboring a pet.
- Any living vertebrate, including but not limited to dogs, cats and farm animals, adapted to life in association with humans, or to use by humans.
- ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER
- The person or persons appointed by the Woodstock Town Board for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this article and/or the provisions of the Agriculture and Markets Law, hereinafter referred to as the "ACO."
- AT LARGE
- An animal off the premises of the animal's guardian and not under the guardian's control or an animal on private lands without the knowledge, consent and approval of the owner of such lands.
- An act upon any animal in which a person overworks, tortures, beats, intentionally injures, maims, mutilates or poisons such animal or deprives such animal of necessary sustenance, food or drink and/or shelter and protection. The term "cruelty" shall include every act, omission, or neglect whereby unjustifiable physical pain, suffering or death is caused or permitted.
- Any person 18 years of age or older who keeps, harbors or has custody, care or control of an animal shall be considered the primary guardian of such animal. An animal tended by a minor under 18 years of age shall be deemed to be in the custody and control of the primary guardian of such minor. As used in this article, the term "guardian" shall not be interpreted to include a person who has temporary custody, care and control of an animal. See also the definition of "owner."
- HOUSEHOLD PET
- Any dog or cat or other domesticated animal normally maintained in or near a household that is harbored, controlled, cared for by or under the custody of a guardian or other person who cares for such other domesticated animal.
- Restrained by a leash attached to a collar or harness of sufficient strength to control the animal.
- Title by which a person referred to in this article as a guardian is referred to by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and on certain licensing and other documents relating to the guardianship of animals. See also the definition of "guardian."
- Protection of an animal against extreme temperatures in a moisture-controlled structure with a dry floor and clean bedding material.
- WILD ANIMAL
- An animal living in a state of nature without human care or aid and not ordinarily tamed, including but not limited to deer, bear, raccoons, skunks, foxes, rabbits, reptiles and waterfowl.
The following regulations shall be known as "Class A Regulations":
Cruelty, neglect and/or injury to animals. All acts of cruelty as defined in § 14-6 of this article are prohibited.
Conditions for keeping of animals.
Animals shall be provided adequate food and water, shelter and protection. All premises occupied by animals shall be kept in a clean, safe and sanitary condition and shall be of sufficient size to provide adequate space so as not to result in overcrowding of the animals. In addition to these provisions, the keeping of livestock and fowl is regulated by the provisions of Chapter 260, Zoning, § 260-41A(5) of this Code or its successor.
No animal shall be left unattended in a motor vehicle without proper ventilation. A vehicle shall not be used as a permanent place for harboring an animal.
Vehicular accidents. Any person operating a vehicle which strikes, injures or kills an animal shall stop and be responsible for locating the guardian of the animal, the ACO, or a police officer. Such person shall take the necessary actions so that the animal receives immediate medical attention. Upon request by a police officer, the driver shall provide his/her name, address, insurance carrier and identification, and driver's license number.
Attacks on people and other animals.
No animal shall chase, leap at, bite or otherwise harass any person in such a manner as to reasonably cause intimidation or fear or put such person in reasonable apprehension of bodily harm or injury except when such person may be on the private property of the animal's guardian without said guardian's consent.
No animal shall attack, bite, destroy, kill or injure any household pet, poultry, livestock or protected wildlife.
The following regulations shall be known as "Class B Regulations":
License and inoculations.
All dogs shall have a valid New York State dog license which shall be renewed annually. The license tag shall be attached to the dog's collar and the collar shall be worn by the dog at all times. License application forms are available at the Woodstock Town Clerk's office.
All dogs and cats four months of age and older shall be inoculated for rabies. Guardians shall have a valid certificate of inoculation available upon the request of the ACO.
Transport of animals.
No person shall carry or cause to be carried in or upon any vessel or vehicle or otherwise any animal in a cruel, inhumane or dangerous manner.
No animal shall be carried on a public way in the open bed of a pickup truck or similar vehicle unless the animal is protected by a secure container or cage or is otherwise restrained upon a nonmetal mat in a manner that will prevent the animal from falling, being thrown or jumping from the vehicle, being strangled or being otherwise injured.
Damage and defecation.
No animal shall uproot, dig into, upset or otherwise damage any lawns, vegetables, flowers, garden beds, garbage containers or other property not belonging to the guardian of such animal.
An animal's guardian is responsible for removing feces deposited by such animals on any property, public or private, other than the property of the animal's guardian. Guardians of guide dogs are exempt from this regulation.
Noise and nuisance.
No animal shall engage in habitual barking, howling or whining in such a manner as to habitually interfere with the reasonable use or enjoyment of property by any person other than the guardian of such animal. "Habitual" shall be defined as more than 15 minutes of persistent barking, howling or whining.
No animal shall conduct itself in such a manner as to habitually annoy any person other than the guardian of such animal nor shall an animal habitually chase, run alongside of or bark at any motor vehicle, cyclist and/or pedestrian while on a public street or highway or upon public or private property other than property of the animal's guardian.
Animals in heat. When in heat, a female animal shall be confined to the premises of the animal's guardian except when being transported to a veterinarian's office or when involved in a formalized breeding program. If the guardian transports such animal while in heat, the animal shall be leashed. Any female animal found at large while in heat may be seized by the ACO and placed in a safe place of confinement until estrus ends. The guardian of such animal shall be responsible for all costs incurred.
Wild animals. New York State Conservation Law regulates the management of wild animals that pose a health threat or that cause damage to property. All complaints filed with Woodstock Emergency Dispatch shall be directed to New York State Conservation Officers.
The ACO, or a police officer for the Town of Woodstock if the ACO is unavailable, shall seize any dog which cannot be identified and which is not on the property of the dog's guardian and any unlicensed dog.
The ACO, or a police officer for the Town of Woodstock if the ACO is unavailable, may seize any animal which:
The officer suspects may be ill or injured or may endanger animal or human welfare.
Is found in conditions which are not clean, safe and sanitary with adequate food and water, shelter and protection as provided in § 14-7A(2)(a) of this article.
Upon taking custody of an animal the ACO or police officer shall make and maintain a complete record of the seizure and subsequent disposition of the animal. The record shall include a description of the animal, including sex and breed, license tag identification number (if available), date and time of the seizure, location of premises, and reason for the seizure.
The ACO or police officer shall attempt to locate the guardian of the seized animal by contacting Woodstock Emergency Dispatch and local animal shelters. If the animal's guardian cannot be located, the animal shall be taken by the ACO or police officer to either a shelter or animal hospital under contract with the Town of Woodstock, whichever is closer and/or open.
Any animal seized shall be properly sheltered, fed and watered for a period not to exceed 14 days from the time of seizure. After this period, any animal not claimed by the animal's guardian or adopted shall be transported to and released to the Ulster County SPCA or turned over to a not-for-profit animal care organization.
Any dog seized as unlicensed or for any violation of this article shall be held until the dog's guardian provides proof of current and valid licensing and current rabies inoculation. A cat seized shall be held until its guardian provides proof of current rabies inoculation.
Consistent with the New York State law that requires proof of rabies inoculation, when the guardian of a dog or cat cannot provide such proof, the ACO shall make an appointment for a rabies shot, transport the animal to the veterinarian and turn the certificate of inoculation over to the animal's guardian when the animal is released from impoundment.
Unclaimed animals may be offered for adoption after a five-day impoundment period. To adopt a dog, the prospective guardian is required to procure a New York State dog license and a rabies certificate. To adopt a cat, the prospective guardian shall procure only the rabies inoculation certificate. The ACO shall arrange for rabies certificates for adopting guardians.
The guardian of any animal seized pursuant to this article shall pay all shelter, veterinary and impoundment fees prior to the animal's return to said guardian.
Any person who observes an animal or its guardian in violation of any provision of this article may file a complaint, under oath, with the ACO or, if the ACO is not available, with any Town of Woodstock police officer specifying the violation, the damage caused, the place, time and date of the violation, and the name and address of the animal's guardian, if known. The ACO shall take warranted action.
Upon seeing or receiving information about any act of cruelty to an animal, the ACO shall file a report with an agent or officer of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) or with any duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals.
Lost or stray animals. Upon an animal guardian's payment of any outstanding impoundment, shelter or veterinary costs and proof of rabies inoculation and license, when applicable, a lost or stray animals shall be returned to its guardian without the imposition of penalties.
Issuance of appearance tickets. The ACO shall have the authority to administer and enforce the provisions of this article and to issue and serve court appearance tickets for violations thereof.
Court appearance required. An animal guardian who has received an appearance ticket shall appear in court, in person or by attorney, on the date and time specified on said appearance ticket.
ACO's authority. No person shall hinder, resist or oppose the ACO or other person(s) authorized to administer or enforce the provisions of this article.
After issuance of an appearance ticket, and upon conviction of a violation of this article, such offense shall be deemed a misdemeanor or violation as set forth hereinbelow. Each charge shall constitute a distinct and separate offense. Where more than one animal is involved in such offense, a separate penalty shall be imposed for each such animal.
A violation of any Class A Regulation as delineated in § 14-7A of this article shall be a misdemeanor and shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by both. In addition, the provisions of the Penal Law and the Criminal Procedure Law of the State of New York relative to dispositions of misdemeanors shall be applicable.
Violation of Class B regulations.
A violation of any Class B Regulation as delineated in § 14-7B of this article shall be a violation and shall be punishable as follows:
First offense: a fine of up to $25 or up to 10 days in jail, or both.
Second offense within the preceding five years: a fine of up to $100 or up to 10 days in jail, or both.
Third offense within the preceding five years: a fine of up to $150 or up to 15 days in jail, or both.
Fourth offense within the preceding five years: a fine of up to $250 or up to 15 days in jail, or both.
Fifth offense within the preceding five years: a fine of up to $350 or up to 15 days in jail, or both.
Sixth and any subsequent offense within the preceding five years: a fine of up to $500 or up to 15 days in jail, or both.
In addition, the provisions of the Penal Law and the Criminal Procedure Law of the State of New York relative to dispositions of violations shall be applicable.
The penalties specified in this section shall be in addition to any other penalties provided by this article or any other applicable law, regulation or statute and are specifically intended to supplement all other remedies provided by this article or any other applicable law, regulation or statute available to any individual who suffers damage caused by an animal of which another person is guardian.
The guardian of any animal destroyed as a result of being released to the SPCA or to an authorized veterinarian shall not be entitled to any compensation, and no action shall be allowed thereafter to recover the value of such animal or any other type of damage.
This article shall supersede all prior local laws, ordinances, rules and regulations relative to the control of animals within the Town of Woodstock and they shall be, upon the effective date of this article, null and void.