Dog Control Law
Local Law 4-2010
A local law- Establishing dog control regulations for the Town of Oswego, New York. Be it enacted by the Town Board.
SECTION 1. TITLE:
This Local Law shall be referred to as "A local Law No. 4 of the Year 2010, a local law establishing dog control regulations for the Town of Oswego, New York."
SECTION 2. PURPOSE
The purpose and intent of this law shall be to preserve the public peace and good order in the Town of Oswego and to contribute to the public welfare and preservation and protection of the property and the person of the inhabitants of the Town of Oswego by declaring and enforcing certain regulations and restrictions on activities of all dogs and owners of dogs within the Town of Oswego.
SECTION 3. DEFINITION OF TERMS
As used in this Local Law, the following words shall have the following respective meanings:
a.
Clerk - Clerk means the clerk of the Town where the licenses are validated or issued
b.
Confined - That such animal is securely confined or restrained and 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 or any adjacent premises or on any public street, way or place, or, if the animal is being transported by the owner, it is securely confined in a crate, or other container, or so restrained in a vehicle that it cannot be expected to escape there from.
c.
Dog - Dog shall mean male or female, licenses and unlicensed, spayed or non-spayed, neutered or un- neutered, members of the species Canis familiaris.
d.
Dog Control Officer - Any person authorized by the Town Board to enforce the provisions of this local law.
e.
Harbor - To provide food and/or shelter to any dog.
f.
Owner - Any person who owns, keeps, harbors, or has the care, custody or control of a dog. 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 local law shall be held and deemed to be the owner of such dog for the purpose of the local law. In the event any dog found to be in violation of this chapter shall be owned by 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 in violation of this local law.
g.
Private Property - Any Real Property owned or leased by an owner of a dog upon which the dog is harbored.
h.
Recreational Areas - Recreational areas shall mean any real property owned by the Town of Oswego that is used for recreational purposes by the public including, but not limited to, parks or playgrounds.
i.
Restraint - A dog is under restraint if it is controlled by a leash or in the presence of a competent person not less than fourteen years of age and obedient to that person's commands on or within a vehicle being driven or parked on the street or within the property limit it's owner or keeper, or upon the premises of another with the consent of such other person.
j.
Run At Large - Run at large shall mean to be in a public place or on private lands without the knowledge, consent and approval of the owner of such lands.
k.
Town - Town shall designate the area within the corporate limits of the Town of Oswego
SECTION 4- LICENSING OF ALL DOGS:
1. The Town Clerk and or deputy town clerk are solely authorized to issue licenses for the Town of Oswego. The pound, shelter or Dog Control officer are not authorized to issues dog licenses for dogs redeemed or adopted.
2. The owner of any dog reaching the age of four months shall immediately make application for a dog license. No license shall be required for any dog which is under the age of four months and which is not at large except as otherwise provided in this law
3. The town may provide for the establishment and issuance of purebred licenses and, in the event the town does so, shall provide for the assessment of a surcharge of at least three dollars for the purposes of carrying out animal population control efforts.
4. No license shall be transferable. Upon the transfer of ownership of any dog, the new owner shall immediately make application for a license for such dog.
5. A license shall be issued or renewed for a period of one year commencing on the anniversary of the original application.
6. The application shall state the sex, actual or approximate age, breed, color, and municipal identification number of the dog, and other identification marks, if any, and the name, address, telephone number, county and town, city or village of residence of the owner. The Town of Oswego may also require additional information on such application as deemed appropriate. The application shall be accompanied by the license fee and a certificate of rabies vaccination, provided such certificate or affidavit shall not be required if the same is already on file with the clerk. In lieu of the rabies certificate an owner may present a statement certified by a licensed veterinarian stating that he has examined the dog and found that the life of the dog would be endangered by vaccinating due to old age or other reasons. In the case of a spayed or neutered dog, every application shall also be accompanied by a certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian or an affidavit signed by the owner, showing that the dog has been spayed or neutered, provided such certificate or affidavit shall not be required if the same is already on file with the clerk. In lieu of the spay or neuter certificate an owner may present a statement certified by a licensed veterinarian stating that he has examined the dog and found that because of old age or other reason, the life of the dog would be endangered by spaying or neutering. In such case, the license fee for the dog shall be the same as for a spayed or neutered dog.
7. The license renewal will be mailed via US Postal Service prior to the month of expiration.
8. All licenses shall expire on the last day of the last month of the period for which they are issued or for a period expiring after the last day of the eleventh month following the expiration date of the current rabies certificate for the dog being licensed.
9. The annual fee for each dog license issued shall be determined by the municipality issuing the license, provided that the total fee for an un-spayed or un-neutered dog shall be at least five dollars more than the total fee for a spayed or neutered dog. All revenue derived from such fees shall be the sole property of the municipality setting the same and shall be used only for controlling dogs and enforcing this article and any rule, regulation, or local law or ordinance adopted pursuant thereto, including subsidizing the spaying or neutering of dogs. In addition to the fee charged a one dollar fee for altered dogs and at least three dollars for unaltered dogs for the purposes of carrying out animal population control efforts. There will be no refunds of license fees.
10. Identification number shall be carried by the dog on an identification tag that shall be affixed to a collar on the dog at all times. Any owner to fail to have any dog identified as required by this law; any person to knowingly affix to any dog any false or improper identification tag, special identification tag for identifying guide, service or hearing dogs shall be in violation of this law
11. Enumerations of dogs harbored or residing in the Town of Oswego shall be conducted at such intervals as shall be determined, from time to time, by the Town Board; however, such enumerations shall not occur more frequently than once every five (5) years.
A. In addition to any other fee charged, a fee for the assessment of additional surcharges for recovering costs associated with an enumeration conducted will be charged. Should a dog be identified as unlicensed during such enumeration, such additional fee shall be the property of the licensing municipality and shall be used to pay the expenses incurred by the municipality in conducting the enumeration.
B. In the event the additional fees collected exceed the expenses incurred by the town in conducting an enumeration in any year, such excess fees may be used by the town for enforcing this law, for spaying or neutering animals, and/or for offsetting costs associated with the provision and replacement of identification tags.
12. The following dogs are exempt from licensing fees:
Any guide dog, hearing dog, service dog, war dog, working search dog, detection dog, police work dog or therapy dog. 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 clerk.
SECTION 5. RESTRICTIONS
A. Except as provided in Section 6 (B) below, it shall be unlawful for any owner of any dog in the Town of Oswego to permit or allow such dog to:
a. Run at large unless the dog is restrained by an adequate leash or unless it is accompanied by its owner or a responsible person able to control it by command. For the purpose of this local law, a dog or dogs hunting in company of a hunter or hunters shall be considered as accompanied by its owner.
b. Engage in habitual loud howling, barking, crying or whining for periods of 20 minutes or more, 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.
c. Uproot, dig, or otherwise damage any vegetables, lawns, flowers, garden beds, or other property not belonging to the owner of such dog.
d. 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.
e. Habitually chase, run along of or bark at motor vehicles while on a public street or highway or upon public or private property other than property of the owner or harborer of said dog.
f. Create a nuisance by defecating, urinating or digging on public property or private property.
g. If an un-spayed female dog, be permitted to be outside a building or a fenced enclosure unless on hand leash when in heat.
h. Be at large on any recreational areas, unless said dog is on a leash.
i. Roam with one or more other dogs in a pack,
j. Kill other animals except rats and mice.
B. A dog shall be permitted to run at large on its owner's private property so long as the dog can be placed under restraint should it become uncontrollable or dangerous to passersby.
C. Establishment of the fact or facts that a dog has committed any of the acts prohibited by Section 6 of this local law shall be presumptive evidence against the owner or harborer of such dog that he has failed to properly confine or leash or control his dog.
SECTION 6. ENFORCEMENT
This local law shall be enforced by any dog control officer when acting pursuant to his special duties.
SECTION 7. SEIZURE, IMPOUNDMENT, REDEMPTION AND ADOPTION
A. Any dog found in violation of the provisions of Section 5 of this local law may be seized.
B. Every dog seized shall be taken to an area shelter and properly cared for, sheltered, fed and watered for the redemption periods.
C. Seized dogs may be redeemed by producing proof of licensing and identification pursuant to this local law and paying the impoundment fees as herein set forth:
a. $25.00 fee on all dogs taken into custody by the dog control officer.
D. If the owner of any unredeemed dog is known, such owner shall be required to pay the impoundment fees set forth in subdivision (c) of this section whether or not such owner chooses to redeem his or her dog.
E. Any dog unredeemed at the expiration of the appropriate redemption period shall be made available for adoption or euthanized.
F. No action shall be maintained against the Town of Oswego, any dog control officer or constable when acting pursuant to his special duties, or any other agent or officer of the Town or person under contract to the Town of Oswego 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.
SECTION 8. APPEARANCE TICKET
Any dog control officer or constable when acting pursuant to his special duties, or police officer in the employ of or under contract to the Town of Oswego observing, or having knowledge of, a violation of this local law shall issue and serve an appearance ticket for such violation.
SECTION 9. COMPLAINT
A. Any person who observes a dog in violation of this local law may file a complaint under oath with the town clerk, animal control officer or constable 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. The dog control officer or constable shall forward said complaint to the Town Justice.
B. Upon receipt by the Town Justice of any such complaint, he shall summon the alleged owner to appear in person before him for a hearing, at which both the complainant and owner shall have an opportunity to be represented by counsel and to present evidence. If, after such hearing, the Town Justice decides that further action is warranted, he may order:
a. The dog be declared a vicious or dangerous dog to be restrained by collar and leash at all times whether on or off the owner's property.
b. The dog may be confined to the premises of the owner.
c. Such other remedy as may be warranted by the circumstances in such case, including but not limited to.
C. A violation of any order issued by the Town Justice under the provisions of this Section shall be an offense punishable, upon conviction thereof, as provided in Section 9 of this local law.
SECTION 10. PENALTIES
A. Upon conviction, a violation for failure to license a dog shall be deemed an offense and shall be punishable for a first offense by a fine of $50.00; or a second offense within a period of 5 years from the first offense by a fine of $100.00; and by a third offense and any subsequent offenses within a period of five years from the first offense by a fine of $150.00, and by destruction of the dog.
B. Upon conviction, a violation of any other provision of this local law shall be deemed an offense, and shall be punishable for a first offense by a fine of $50.00; or a second offense within a period of five years from the first offense by a fine of $100.00; and by a third offense and any subsequent offenses within a period of three years from the first offense by a fine of $150.00 and by destruction of the dog.
SECTION 11. SEPARABILITY
Each separate provisions of this local law shall be deemed independent of all other provisions herein, and if any provisions shall be deemed or declared invalid, all other provisions hereof shall remain valid and enforceable.
SECTION 12. REPEALER
This local law shall supersede all prior local laws, ordinances, rules and regulations relative to the control of dogs within the Town of Oswego, which shall be, upon the effectiveness of this local law, null and void.
SECTION 13. AUTHORITY
This local law is enacted pursuant to the provisions of Article 7, Chapter 59; part T of the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law and the Municipal Home rule law of the State of New York.
SECTION 14. EFFECTIVE DATE
This local law shall take effect upon filing with the New York State Secretary of State's Office.
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