The City shall provide an animal shelter in which seized animals shall be maintained for periods of time as provided by law.
[Amended 2-14-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-22; 12-19-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-391]
No person shall molest or interfere in any way with any Animal Control Officer or any of the staff of the Animal Services Center engaged in the performance of his or her duties.
No person shall permit an accumulation of animal feces on a property which results in a foul or nauseating odor or unsightly condition that makes travel or residence in the vicinity uncomfortable, or which attracts flies or other insects or animals thereby creating an unsanitary condition which may facilitate the spread of disease and endanger health, or which renders soil, water or food impure or unwholesome, or which endangers public comfort and repose.
[Amended 12-19-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-391]
The fees for adopting a cat from the Animal Services Center shall include the adoption, rabies vaccination, sterilization, and other fees as approved by the Chief of Police.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided that it shall take effect 2-1-2007.
This chapter may be enforced by any Animal Control Officer or police officer of the City. Animal Control Officers shall enforce any law or ordinance controlling animals in the City.
Any Animal Control Officer or police officer observing a violation of this chapter or of any local law or ordinance relating to the control of animals shall issue a notice of violation therefor. A notice of violation shall be served personally upon the owner of the animal or other person charged with such violation or mailed to the person at the person's last known address by means of first-class mail.
Any person who observes or has knowledge of a violation of this chapter or of any local law or ordinance relating to the control of animals may file a signed deposition, under oath, with an Animal Control Officer, specifying the objectionable conduct of the animal, the date thereof, a description of the animal and the name and address, if known, of the owner or other person harboring said animal. The Animal Control Officer shall investigate each complaint and, if the complaint is supported by substantial evidence, issue a notice of violation therefor.
[Amended 12-19-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-391; 5-21-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-139]
Any animal may be seized and impounded when found:
In violation of this chapter or of Article 26 of the Agriculture and Markets Law;
Constituting a nuisance or danger;
Sick or injured; or
Unattended or abandoned, including but not limited to situations where the owner cannot care for an animal due to the owner's death, emergency health condition, arrest or eviction.
Any animal seized pursuant to this chapter shall be held for not less than five days, unless injured or diseased to such an extent that justifies humane euthanasia sooner in accordance with § 374, Subdivision 1, of the Agriculture and Markets Law. Any animal which is not reclaimed by its owner within five days of its seizure shall become the property of the City and shall be offered for adoption, euthanized or otherwise disposed of in a lawful manner.
Notwithstanding the reclaiming period set forth in Subsection B above, the minimum owner reclaiming period shall be three days for any cat whose owner cannot be identified by a collar, tag, microchip, tattoo or other identifying mark, provided that, for at least two days thereafter, such cat be made available solely for the purposes of adoption and release to an adoptive owner following an examination by a duly licensed veterinarian, the details of which shall be provided to the adoptive owner.
Any wild animal seized or surrendered for a violation of this chapter or for violating § 11-0512 of the Environmental Conservation Law shall become the property of the City immediately and shall be euthanized or otherwise disposed of in a lawful manner. Any costs incurred by the City associated with seizing, transferring, recapturing or euthanizing a wild animal shall be borne by the person who owned, harbored or possessed the animal.
Any other animal seized or surrendered to the City pursuant to this chapter which is not reclaimed by its owner within three days of its seizure or surrender shall become the property of the City and shall be offered for adoption or otherwise disposed of in a lawful manner. Any such animal which is not reclaimed by its owner within five days of its seizure or surrender may be humanely euthanized in a lawful manner.
The owner of any animal seized or surrendered pursuant to this chapter shall be responsible for the costs of any seizure, health care, impoundment or other services except as provided otherwise in this section. Except as otherwise provided in the Municipal Code, fees for impoundment, adoption and other services relating to animals at the Animal Services Center shall be established by the Director of Animal Services with the approval of the Mayor. No animal shall be redeemed unless the person seeking the redemption first pays all outstanding animal and dog control fines and penalties owed by that person and the animal owner, and all outstanding animal control fines and penalties relating to the animal to be redeemed.
The Municipal Code Violations Bureau shall hear and determine charges involving violations of this chapter. Any person who violates this chapter shall be subject to the same penalties as those set forth in § 31-17A of the Municipal Code relating to dogs.
[Added 6-20-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-195; amended 12-19-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-391]
The Chief of Police shall establish fees for adoption of animals other than cats and for additional services offered by the Animal Services Center.
[Added 12-19-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-391; amended 9-19-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-308]
The City of Rochester is experiencing a significant overpopulation of unwanted cats. These are matters of serious concern affecting public health, safety, quality of life, and welfare of the public and of their pets. Animal Services, which operates the City's animal shelter within the Rochester Police Department, estimates that over 5,500 unwanted, stray, or abandoned dogs and cats entered its facility during the 2005-2006 fiscal year. Of these, approximately 90% were not spayed and neutered. While wandering the City's streets, nonsterilized cats reproduce at alarming rates, exacerbating a potentially unhealthy and dangerous situation. As a result of the exponential rate of increase, increasing numbers of individuals and animals are at risk for rabies and many animals become victims of vehicular accidents. These animals also suffer from lack of appropriate food and water, ingestion of poisons, exposure to inclement weather, and infestation with parasites. Furthermore, it is well documented that sterilization helps to improve health and longevity and to reduce roaming tendencies and undesirable behaviors, all of which impact cat intakes at shelters. Given the large and growing number of unwanted cats and the benefits of sterilization that address the challenges of cat control, Animal Services finds that a law providing for the spaying and neutering of cats adopted from the City's shelter is necessary to protect the health, safety, and quality of life of Rochester residents and the welfare of the City's pet community. Animal Services also finds that with the advancement of medical knowledge over the past 15 years, many veterinarians now advocate and practice early sterilization of pets, as early as eight weeks of age. Veterinarians at animal hospitals and humane shelters across the country, as well as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, have performed thousands of early spay-neuter surgeries. Many veterinary associations now also agree that even though any surgery has inherent risks, kittens heal faster and are lower surgical risks than older animals who may be ill, in heat, or pregnant. If cats are spayed or neutered before adoption from the shelter, then the chance that they will add more unwanted offspring to the numbers that already exist will be eliminated.
The Animal Services Center shall not release a cat to a person adopting such cat unless such cat has been sterilized by a licensed veterinarian; provided, however, that such requirement shall not apply if a licensed veterinarian certifies to Animal Services that he or she has examined such cat and found that because of a medical contraindication, the life of such cat would be endangered by sterilization; provided, however, that such reason shall not be based solely on the age of such cat, if such cat is at least eight weeks of age. Prior to releasing a nonsterilized cat to a person claiming ownership thereof, the Animal Services Center may offer to have the cat sterilized by a licensed veterinarian for a fee established by the Chief of Police pursuant to § 30-41; provided, however, that the owner shall not be required to accept the offer in order to redeem the cat.
[Added 12-19-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-391]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- 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.[Added 5-21-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-139]
- FERAL CAT
- Any free-roaming domestic cat which is not owned, lives in the wild and is not socialized with humans.
- Any person owning, harboring or keeping, or providing care or sustenance for a pet, whether registered or not, or having custody of a pet, whether temporarily or permanently. Pets owned by minors shall be deemed to be in the custody and control of the minor's parents or other head of household where the minor resides.
- Any cat, other than a feral cat, or any other domesticated
animal normally maintained in or near the household of the owner or
person who cares for such other domesticated animal. "Pet" shall not
include a "farm animal" as defined in this section.[Amended 5-21-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-139]
- Rendering a cat that is at least eight weeks of age unable to reproduce by surgically altering the cat's reproductive organs. Such definition shall include the spaying of a female cat and the neutering of a male cat.
[Added 12-23-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-429]
In accordance with § 117 of the Agriculture and Markets Law, the Animal Services Center shall provide services for the alteration of the reproductive capacity through spaying or neutering of cats owned by the residents of the City. The fees for such services shall be established by the Chief of Police pursuant to authorization contained in § 30-41.