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Town of Berne, NY
Albany County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Berne as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 11-9-1994 by L.L. No. 1-1994]
The Town Board of the Town of Berne, New York finds that the uncontrolled behavior of licensed and unlicensed dogs has caused physical harm to persons, damage to property and has created nuisances within the Town. The purpose of this article is to protect the health, safety and well-being of persons and property within the Town of Berne.
This article shall be known as the "Dog Control Law of the Town of Berne."
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
DOG
Includes male and female, licensed and unlicensed, members of the species Canis familiaris.
OWNER
The party purchasing the license, unless the dog is or has been lost and such loss reported to the proper authorities and reasonable search has been made. If a dog is not licensed, the term "owner" shall designate and cover any person or persons, firm, association or corporation, who or which at any time owns or has custody or control of, harbors or is otherwise responsible for any dog which is kept, brought or comes within the Town. Any person owning or harboring a dog for a period of one week prior to the filing of any complaint charging a violation of this article shall be held and deemed to be the owner of such dog for the purpose of this article. In the event that the owner of any dog found to be in violation of this article is a minor, the head of the household in which said minor resides shall be deemed to have custody and control of said dog and shall be responsible for any acts of said dog and violation of this article.
RUN AT LARGE
To be in or on lands within a Town park or on private lands without the knowledge, consent and approval of the owner of such lands.
A. 
Dogs are to be under the control of their owner or a responsible person able to control them by command and shall not be permitted to run at large. Dogs hunting in the company of a hunter or hunters shall be considered as accompanied by their owner.
B. 
It shall be unlawful for any owner of any dog in the Town of Berne to permit or allow such dog to:
(1) 
Engage in habitual loud howling, barking, crying or whining or conduct itself in such a manner so as to unreasonably and habitually disturb the comfort or repose of any person other than the owner of such dog.
(2) 
Uproot, dig or otherwise damage any vegetables, lawn, flowers, garden beds or other property not belonging to the owner of such dog.
(3) 
While on property not belonging to the owner or harborer of such dog, chase, jump upon or at or otherwise harass any person in such a manner as to reasonably cause intimidation or fear or to put such person in reasonable apprehension of bodily harm or injury.
(4) 
Habitually chase, run alongside of or bark at bike riders or other moving vehicles while such vehicles are on a public street or highway or upon public or private property other than property of the owner or harborer of said dog.
(5) 
Create a nuisance by defecating, urinating or digging on public property or private property other than the property of the owner or harborer of said dog.
(6) 
If a female dog, be off the owner's property when the dog is in heat, unless the dog is accompanied by its owner.
C. 
Establishment of the fact or facts that the owner of a dog has allowed or permitted such dog to commit any of the acts prohibited by this article shall be presumptive evidence against the owner or harborer of such dog that he has failed to properly confine or control his dog.
A. 
Any person who observes a dog in violation of this article may file a complaint under oath with the Town Clerk 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. Alternatively, such sworn complaint may be filed with the Town Dog Control Officer or any other person authorized and designated by the Town Board to receive such complaints. In such event, the complaint shall then be delivered to a Town Justice as soon as possible for further proceedings as hereinafter set forth.
B. 
Upon receipt by the Town Justice of any such complaint, he shall summon the alleged owner to appear in person before him, at which time the owner shall have the opportunity to be represented by counsel.
[Amended 8-7-1996 by L.L. No. 2-1996]
A violation of any provision of this article shall be an offense punishable, upon conviction thereof, by a fine of not more than $50 for a first violation of the provisions of this article and by a fine of not more than $200 or imprisonment for not more than 15 days for any violation committed within five years of a conviction of any prior violation of the provision of this article. Each separate offense shall constitute an additional violation.
A. 
The Town Dog Control Officer or any person so designated by the Town Board is authorized to seize any dog found violating this article, exercising such degree of force as shall be necessary to effect such seizure without intentionally injuring or harming such dog, and such dog shall be impounded and disposed of in accordance with the provisions of Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
B. 
The owner of any dog so seized shall be notified if the owner is ascertainable from the dog's license tag. The owner or any adult member of his family may redeem the dog within five days, upon payment of impoundment fees, and license fee if the dog is unlicensed. If any dog is not so redeemed the owner shall forfeit all title thereto and the dog shall be sold or otherwise disposed of. No action shall be maintained against the Town of Berne, any duly designated Dog Control Officer, or any other agent or officer of the Town, to recover the possession or value of any dog, or for damages for injury or compensation for the destruction of any dog seized or destroyed pursuant to the provisions of this article.
Any Town Justice of the Town of Berne shall have jurisdiction to hear all complaints under this article and of all actions and proceedings hereunder and of all prosecutions for the violation of this article.
[Adopted 12-29-2010 by L.L. No. 5-2010[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law provided for an effective date of 1-1-2011.
This article shall be entitled the "Town of Berne Dog Licensing Law."
This article is enacted pursuant to the provisions of Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law, as amended by L. 2010, c. 59, Part T, and the Municipal Home Rule Law of the State of New York.
The Town Board of the Town of Berne, County of Albany hereby finds and declares that the purpose of this article is to provide for the licensing and identification of dogs.
A. 
All terms not specifically defined herein shall have the meaning assigned to such terms within § 108 of the Agriculture and Markets Law of the State of New York.
B. 
As used in this article, 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 of the effective date of this article, as amended by this article, and as thereafter amended.
IDENTIFICATION TAG
A tag issued by the Town Clerk which sets forth the identification number together with the name of the Town and state, the telephone number of the Town Clerk, and any other information deemed necessary by the Town Clerk.
OWNER
Any person who harbors or keeps any dog or other animal.
OWNER OF RECORD
The person in whose name a dog was last licensed pursuant to this article.
PERSON
A person, partnership, corporation, association or other organized group of persons, business entity, municipality or other legal entity.
RESIDENT
An individual who maintains a residence within the Town of Berne, County of Albany, State of New York.
RUN AT LARGE
To be in a public place or on private land without the knowledge, consent, and approval of the owner of such lands.
TOWN
The Town of Berne, County of Albany, State of New York.
A. 
No person shall own or possess a dog within the Town unless such dog is licensed and identified as provided in Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law and laws of the Town.
B. 
All dogs within the Town that are four months of age or older, unless otherwise exempted, shall be licensed. No license shall be required for any dog which is under the age of four months and which is not at large.
C. 
The owner of each dog required to be licensed shall obtain, complete and return to the Town Clerk of the Town 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.
The Town does not allow the licensing of dogs by a shelter. A shelter must send the adoptive dog owners to the Town Clerk of the town or city where the dog will be harbored for licensing or where the shelter is located for the purchase of the license for adoption purposes.
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 pursuant to this article shall be valid for a period of one year and shall expire on December 31 of the year in which it was issued regardless of the date of issuance. No license shall be issued for a period expiring after the last day of the 11th month following the expiration date of the current rabies certificate for the dog being licensed.
Licensing fees shall be as follows:
A. 
Individual dog license fees.
(1) 
There shall be a fee of $5 for a spayed or neutered dog, which includes the animal population control surcharge of $1.
(2) 
There shall be a fee of $13 for an unspayed or unneutered dog, which includes the animal population control surcharge of $3.
B. 
State-mandated animal population control surcharge.
(1) 
Each individual dog license for a spayed or neutered dog shall be subject to an animal population control surcharge in the amount of $1 payable at the time the dog license application is filed.
(2) 
Each individual dog license for an unspayed or unneutered dog shall be subject to an animal population control surcharge in the amount of $3 payable at the time the dog license application is filed.
C. 
Dog enumeration surcharge. Each dog found to be unlicensed during a Town dog enumeration, shall be subject to a dog enumeration surcharge of $25 payable at the time the application is filed to license said dog.
D. 
Replacement tag fee. A replacement tag fee of $3 shall be charged to offset the costs associated with the provision and replacement of identification tags.
E. 
Fee exemptions.
(1) 
There shall be no fee for any license issued for the following, as defined in Article 7 of the state Agriculture and Markets Law:
(a) 
Guide dog.
(b) 
Hearing dog.
(c) 
Service dog.
(d) 
War dog.
(e) 
Working search dog.
(f) 
Detection dog.
(g) 
Police work dog.
(h) 
Therapy dog.
(2) 
Each copy of any license for such dogs shall be conspicuously marked "Guide Dog," "Hearing Dog," "Service Dog," "Working Search Dog," "War Dog," "Detection Dog," "Police Work Dog," or "Therapy Dog," as may be appropriate, by the Town Clerk.
A. 
Upon validation by the Town Clerk of the Town, a dog license shall be issued and a record of its issuance retained in the office of the Town Clerk. Such record shall be made available upon request to the State Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets, or successor thereof.
B. 
No license shall be transferable. Upon the transfer of ownership of any dog, the new owner shall immediately apply for a new license for the dog. A license cannot be transferred to another dog.
C. 
Change of ownership; lost or stolen dogs; death.
(1) 
Upon the transfer of ownership of any dog, the new owner shall immediately make application for a license for such dog. The original issued identification tag shall remain the same for the life of the dog.
(2) 
In the event of a change in ownership of any dog which has been assigned an official identification number or in the event of a change of address of the owner of record of any such dog, the owner of record shall, within 30 days of such change, notify the Town Clerk.
(3) 
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, notify the Town Clerk.
(4) 
In the case of a dog's death, the owner of record shall so notify the Town Clerk either prior to renewal of license or upon the time of such renewal.
D. 
Identification tag.
(1) 
The Town Clerk shall assign a Town permanent official identification number to a dog when it is first licensed. Such identification number shall be carried by the dog on an identification tag which shall be affixed to the collar of the dog at all times.
(2) 
An identification tag is not required to be worn while the dog is participating in a dog show.
(3) 
The official permanent identification number shall constitute the official identification of the dog to which it is assigned, regardless of changes of ownership, and the number shall not be reassigned to any other dog during the lifetime of the dog to which it is assigned.
(4) 
No tag carrying an identification number shall be affixed to the collar of any dog other than the one to which the number has been assigned
(5) 
At the time a dog is first licensed, one identification tag shall be furnished to the owner at no additional charge. Any replacement tag shall be obtained by the owner at the owner's expense. Any person wishing to replace a tag previously issued shall pay the sum of $3 to the Town Clerk for a replacement tag.
There will not be distinct purebred licenses as previously provided for by the state. Any and all existing purebred licenses will now be required to comply with this article.
Any person convicted of a violation of this article shall be liable for a civil penalty of $25 for a first violation; of $50 for a second violation; and $75 for each subsequent violation.