Town of Putnam Valley, NY
Putnam County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Putnam Valley as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 8-18-1982 by L.L. No. 7-1982 (Ch. 24 of the 1974 Code); amended in its entirety 4-21-1999 by L.L. No. 3-1999]

§ 51-1 Legislative authority.

This article is enacted pursuant to the provisions of Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law of New York State and Article 2 of the Municipal Home Rule Law of New York State.

§ 51-2 Purpose.

The purpose of the article shall be to preserve public peace and good order in the Town of Putnam Valley and to promote the public health, safety and welfare of its people by enforcing regulations and restrictions on the activities of dogs that are consistent with the rights and privileges of other citizens of the Town of Putnam Valley.

§ 51-3 Applicability.

A. 
This article applies to the Town of Putnam Valley.
B. 
In the event that an animal owned by a nonresident is harbored within the Town of Putnam Valley, such animal shall be exempt from the identification and licensing provisions of this article for a period of 30 days, provided that such animal is licensed pursuant to the provisions of the law of its place of residence.
C. 
This article shall not apply to any animal confined to the premises of any incorporated society for the care of lost, strayed or homeless animals or confined to the premises of any public or private veterinary hospital or kennel.

§ 51-4 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ADEQUATE
Sufficient for the age, size, physical condition and number of animals on the premises.
AT LARGE
Any dog that is unleashed and on property open to the public or is on private property not owned or leased by the owner of the dog, unless permission for such presence has been obtained. No dog shall be deemed at large if it is:
A. 
A guide dog actually leading a blind person.
B. 
A hearing dog actually assisting a deaf person.
C. 
A police dog in use for police work.
D. 
Accompanied by its owner or other responsible person and it is actively engaged in hunting or training for hunting on unposted land or on posted land with the permission of the owner of the land.
E. 
A Town stray while in the care and custody of the Town of Putnam Valley.
CONFINED
Securely confined or restrained, or kept on the owner's premises either within a building, kennel or other suitable enclosure, or securely fastened on a chain, wire or other effective tether of such length and so arranged that the animal cannot reach or endanger any person on any adjacent premises or on any public street, way or place or, if the dog is being transported by the owner, securely confined in a crate or other container or so restrained in a vehicle that it cannot be expected to escape therefrom.
DOG
Both male and female dogs.
DOG CONTROL OFFICER
Any individual appointed by the Town to enforce the provisions of Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law or any local law or ordinance enacted pursuant thereto.
DOMESTIC ANIMAL
Any domesticated animal, including but not limited to sheep, horses, cattle, goats, swine, fowl, ducks, geese, llamas, confined snakes or lizards, ferrets, confined pigeons, quail, swans, turkeys, confined domestic hares or rabbits, pheasants or other birds which are raised in confinement including those raised under license from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation before release from captivity, except that the varieties of fowl commonly used for cock fights shall not be considered domestic animals for the purposes of this article.
LEASHED
Restrained by a leash attached to a collar or harness of sufficient strength to restrain the dog and which shall be held by a person having the ability to control the dog.
OWNER
Any person who keeps, harbors or has custody, care and control of a dog and who is responsible for purchasing the license for such dog unless the dog is or has been lost and such loss was promptly reported to the Dog Control Officer and a 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. Dogs owned by minors shall be deemed to be in the custody, care and control of the parents or other head of the household where the minor resides. Any person harboring a dog for a period of one week shall be deemed the owner of the dog for the purpose of enforcing this article.
SHELTER
Adequate protection from extreme weather conditions, direct intense sunlight, wind, rain or snow and which is kept dry, sanitary and properly maintained. If a dog is to be tethered, such tether must be constructed of material of adequate strength and in such condition as to prevent the dog from breaking it and escaping. Also, the tether must be of sufficient length to permit exercise without the danger of entanglement and to allow the dog to reach supplies of food and water.

§ 51-5 Licensing and identification.

A. 
Pursuant to §§ 107, 108, 109 and 110 of Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law, no person shall own or harbor a dog over the age of six months unless it is licensed.
B. 
The license application shall state the following:
(1) 
Sex of dog.
(2) 
Actual or approximate age of dog.
(3) 
Breed.
(4) 
Color(s).
(5) 
Markings, if any.
(6) 
Name, address and telephone number of owner.
C. 
The application shall be accompanied by the license fee and a certificate of rabies vaccination.
D. 
In the case of a spayed or neutered animal, each application shall also be accompanied by a certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian or an affidavit signed by the owner showing that the animal has been spayed or neutered. Such certificate or affidavit shall not be required if the same is already on file with the Clerk.
E. 
Upon validation by the Clerk, the application shall become a license for the animal described thereon.
F. 
No license shall be transferable. Upon transfer of ownership of any animal, the new owner shall immediately make application for a new license for such animal.

§ 51-6 Tags required.

All animals required to be licensed must wear a permanent, official identification number tag as required by the provisions of the Agriculture and Markets Law, Article 7, § 112. Such identification number tag shall be affixed to a collar on the dog at all times. No animal shall be permitted to be without a collar and tag. All untagged animals shall be subject to seizure and confinement by the Dog Control Officer.

§ 51-7 Prohibited acts.

It shall be unlawful for any owner of a dog in the Town of Putnam Valley to permit or allow such dog to:
A. 
Be at large.
B. 
Engage in habitual loud howling, barking or whining or to conduct itself in such a manner as to unreasonably disturb the comfort or repose of any person other than the owner or harborer of the dog. Specifically, no dog shall be allowed to bark or make other noises for a period in excess of 10 consecutive minutes. The barking or other noise may be intermittent and not continuous.
C. 
Cause damage or destruction to, or loss of, public or private property or otherwise commit a nuisance upon the property of someone other than the owner or harborer of the dog by:
[Amended 11-19-2008 by L.L. No. 7-2008]
(1) 
Urinating thereon.
(2) 
Defecating thereon, unless the feces is promptly removed.
(3) 
Digging.
(4) 
Uprooting or otherwise damaging any vegetables, lawns, flowers or garden beds.
(5) 
Taking any movable article owned by, or originally located upon the property of someone other than the owner or harborer of the dog.
D. 
Bite, chase, jump upon or otherwise harass any person in such manner as to cause intimidation or to put such person in reasonable apprehension of bodily harm or injury.
E. 
Upset or otherwise interfere with garbage receptacles.
F. 
Chase, leap on or otherwise harass persons on bicycles, in or on motor vehicles or on horses.
G. 
Kill or injure any dog, cat or other household pet or domestic animal.

§ 51-8 Premises and standards of care for keeping dogs.

All premises occupied or used by dogs shall be kept in a clean, sanitary condition. Failure to provide proper food, fresh water or adequate shelter from the elements of nature shall be a violation of, and an animal may be seized in accordance with, the provisions of Article 26, § 353, of the Agriculture and Markets Law.

§ 51-9 Seizure; fees.

Upon taking custody of any animal, the Dog Control Officer shall make a record of the matter as required by Subdivision 5 of § 114 of the Agriculture and Markets Law. The record shall include the date of pickup, breed, general description, sex, identification numbers, time of pickup, location of pickup and the name and the address of the owner, if any. Upon the first instance, the Dog Control Officer shall issue a written warning to the owner. The owner of a dog so seized shall pay to the Town of Putnam Valley a seizure fee of $25 for the second such seizure, $50 for the third and $100 for the fourth and any subsequent occurrences, in addition to the impound fees and maintenance fees. Payment shall be by cash, money order or certified check.

§ 51-10 Redemption; fees.

A. 
Dogs shall be held for the following periods of time, unless sooner redeemed.
(1) 
If a dog seized is not wearing an identification tag as required by Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law (license tag), it shall be held for a period of five days from the day of seizure, during which period the dog may be redeemed by its owner, provided that such owner produces proof that the dog has been licensed pursuant to the provisions of this article, or that the owner, at the time of redemption, produces proof of current rabies inoculation and at this time does license and identify the dog.
(2) 
If a dog seized is wearing an identification tag as required by Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law, the owner shall be promptly notified in person or by certified mail, return receipt requested. If the owner is notified in person, the dog shall be held for a period of seven days; if notified by mail, nine days.
B. 
The owner of the dog shall be responsible for an impoundment fee of $10 for the first impoundment, $20 for the second impoundment, $30 each time for the third and subsequent impoundments, in addition to the boarding fee set forth below, plus any other expenses, including veterinary fees, incurred by the municipality to humanely care for the dog. When a dog is unidentified at the time of seizure, the Dog Control Officer may have the dog inoculated against rabies so that it may thereafter be redeemed or adopted and duly licensed. The owner of such dog, when redeeming it, shall be responsible for the expenses incurred by the Town in having the dog so inoculated.
C. 
The owner of the dog shall pay a municipal fee of $3 per day, exclusive of any other fees set forth in this section, for the feeding and maintenance of the dog.
D. 
If not redeemed, the owner shall forfeit all title to the dog, and it may be kept for three months, available for adoption, and thereafter may be euthanized.
E. 
In addition to any licensing fees, any person who shall adopt any dog which has been seized by the Dog Control Officer or any peace officer shall pay an adoption fee of $15 to the Town or to any shelter or humane society which then harbors the dog, which shelter or humane society shall remit that adoption fee to the Town of Putnam Valley.

§ 51-11 Filing complaints.

A. 
The Dog Control Officer, police officer or peace officer observing a violation of this article in his presence shall issue and serve an appearance ticket for such violation.
B. 
Any person who observes a dog in violation of any section of this article may file a signed complaint, under oath, with a Justice of the Town of Putnam Valley, or with the authorized Dog Control Officer or any peace officer, specifying the nature of the violation, the date of the violation, the nature of any damage caused, including the place the violation occurred, a description of the dog and the name and address of the dog owners, if known.
C. 
Upon receipt by the Dog Control Officer of any such complaint, he may summon the alleged owner to appear in person before the Town Justice for a hearing at which both the complainant and the owner, if the violation is a misdemeanor, shall have an opportunity to be represented by counsel and to present evidence. If, after such hearing, a Town Justice decides that further action is warranted he may, in addition to imposing a penalty pursuant to § 51-14:
(1) 
Order the owner to restrain such dog by collar and leash at all times whether on or off the owner's property.
(2) 
Order the owner to confine such dog to the premises of the owner.
(3) 
Effect such other remedy authorized by law as may be warranted by the circumstances of the case. Such remedy may include but not be limited to reasonable restitution for damage to or loss of property due to a dog's actions and reimbursement of medical and/or veterinary bills for injury caused by the dog.

§ 51-12 Enforcement.

[Amended 3-20-2013 by L.L. No. 5-2013]
As authorized by Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law, any Dog Control Officer or peace officer acting pursuant to his or her special duties or any officer or agent of the Putnam County SPCA may enforce and administer the provisions of this article and, for the purpose thereof, shall have the authority to issue a summons or appearance ticket in accordance with § 150.20, Subdivision 3, of the Criminal Procedure Law and § 10, Subdivision 4, Paragraph (a), of the Municipal Home Rule Law and to seize dogs either on or off the owner's premises if witnessed to be in violation of this article.

§ 51-13 Hindrance of enforcement officer prohibited.

No person shall hinder, resist or oppose the Dog Control Officer, peace officer or other person(s) authorized to administer or enforce the provisions of this article in the performance of their duties under this article.

§ 51-14 Penalties for offenses.

A. 
It shall be a violation, punishable as provided in Subsection D of this section, for:
(1) 
Any owner to permit or allow any dog to commit one or more of the nuisances set forth in § 51-7 of this article.
(2) 
Any owner to fail to license any dog.
(3) 
Any owner to fail to have any dog identified as required by Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
B. 
A violation of § 51-5 of this article shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $25 nor more than $50 for each charge for the first violation; for the second violation, by a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $100 for each charge; for the third such violation, by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $250 for each charge; for the fourth and any subsequent violations, by a fine of not less than $250 nor more than $500 for each charge. Where a person was found to have committed two or more violations, he/she shall be punishable by fines as set forth above or by imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both.
C. 
Each dog may be considered separately for the purpose of establishing penalties for offenses under this article.
D. 
A violation of any section of this article shall constitute a violation as defined by the Penal Law of the State of New York and shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $25 for the first violation, $100 for the second violation and not more than $500 or imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both such fine and imprisonment.

§ 51-15 Liability of Town.

No liability in damages shall be incurred on account of the seizure, euthanization or adoption of any dog pursuant to the provisions of this article, in accordance with § 118, Subdivision 11, of the Agriculture and Markets Law.

§ 51-16 License fees.

A. 
The annual fee for each dog license issued pursuant to Subdivision 1 of § 109 of the Agriculture and Markets Law shall include the state fee for each of the following licensing categories:
(1) 
Male, neutered/female, spayed: $2.50.
(2) 
Male, unneutered/female, unspayed: $7.50.
(3) 
Purebred license for no more than 10 registered purebred dogs or purebred dogs eligible for registration, over the age of six months, harbored on the owner's premises at the time of application: $25.
(4) 
Purebred license for no more than 25 registered purebred dogs or purebred dogs eligible for registration, over the age of six months, harbored on the owner's premises at the time of application: $50.
(5) 
Purebred license for any number more than 25 registered purebred dogs or purebred dogs eligible for registration, over the age of six months, harbored on the owner's premises at the time of application: $100.
(6) 
Exemption (guide dog, war dog, police dog, work dog, hearing dog, service dog, registered working search dog): no fee.
B. 
A local fee of $7.50 shall be charged, in addition to the state fee, with the exceptions noted below. The total licensing fee per category shall be:
(1) 
For each spayed or neutered dog: $10.
(2) 
For each unspayed or unneutered dog: $15. The Town shall also collect the three-dollar surcharge now set forth by the Agriculture and Markets Law for the licensing of unspayed or unneutered dogs pursuant to the State Animal Population Control Program.
C. 
A local fee of $25 shall be charged, in addition to the state fees listed, for all categories of purebred licenses. The total licensing fee per category shall be:
(1) 
For purebred licenses as described in § 51-16, Subsection A(3): $50.
(2) 
For purebred licenses as described in § 51-16, Subsection A(4): $75.
(3) 
For purebred licenses as described in § 51-16, Subsection A(5): $125.
D. 
For licenses issued to dog owners who are 65 years of age or over, the local fee shall be waived, for total state fees as follows:
(1) 
For each spayed or neutered dog: $2.50.
(2) 
For each unspayed or unneutered dog: $7.50. The Town shall also collect the three-dollar surcharge now set forth by the Agriculture and Markets Law for the licensing of unspayed or unneutered dogs pursuant to the State Animal Population Control Program.
E. 
For licenses issued to owners of dogs classified as a service dog, Seeing Eye dog, hearing dog, war dog or used actively as a police work dog or search and rescue dog, the Town shall waive the local surcharge in its entirety.

§ 51-17 Incorporation of state law.

The provisions of Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law of the State of New York are deemed incorporated in this article as if fully set forth herein. Any state law which is inconsistent with this article shall be superseded by the provisions hereof to the extent of its inconsistency, except where suppression is restricted by law.