Animals


[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Yorktown as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
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ARTICLE I Dog Control [Adopted 1-16-1979 by L.L. No. 2-1979]
§ 115-1. Purpose.

The Town Board of the Town of Yorktown finds that the running at large and other uncontrolled behavior of licensed and unlicensed dogs has caused physical harm to persons, damage to property and created nuisances within the town. The purpose of this article is to protect the health, safety and well-being of persons and property by imposing restrictions on the keeping and running at large of dogs within the town.

§ 115-2. Authority. [Amended 2-3-1981 by L.L. No. 5-1981]

This article is enacted pursuant to the provisions of § 124 of the Agriculture and Markets Law of the State of New York.

§ 115-3. Title.

The title of this article shall be “Dog Control Law of the Town of Yorktown.”

§ 115-4. Definitions. [Amended 5-18-2004 by L.L. No. 15-2004]

As used in this chapter, the following words shall have the following respective meanings:

AGRICULTURE AND MARKETS LAW — The Agriculture and Markets Law of the State of New York in effect as of the effective date of this chapter, as amended by this chapter and as amended thereafter.
ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER — Any person authorized by the Town Board, from time to time, to enforce the provisions of this chapter or the provisions of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
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 on any adjacent premises or on any public street, way or place or, if the animal is being transported by the owner, that it is securely confined in a crate or other container or so restrained in a vehicle that it cannot be expected to escape therefrom.
DOG — Male and female, licensed and unlicensed, members of the species Canis familiaris.
HABITUAL — A dog shall be deemed, for purposes of this chapter, to be engaged in habitual howling, barking, crying or whining when there is evidence that the dog has engaged in similar conduct on one or more prior occasions within a reasonable period of time preceding the violation for which the dog owner is charged, even if no Town Code violation had been filed against the dog owner as a result of such preceding occasion(s). A person is “habitually disturbed” in the reasonable use and enjoyment of property when such person has, in fact, been disturbed in the reasonable use and employment of property as a result of one or more prior occasion(s) of loud howling, barking, crying or whining by the same dog within a reasonable period of time preceding the charge, even if no Town Code violation had been filed against the dog owner as a result of such preceding occasion(s). [Added 4-6-1999 by L.L. No. 4-1999]
OWNER — The party in whose name the license is issued, unless dog is or has been lost, and such loss reported to the animal control officer or Town Clerk. 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 chapter shall be held and deemed to be the owner of such dog for the purpose of this chapter. In the event that 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 and violation of this chapter.
RECREATIONAL AREAS — Recreational areas shall mean any real property owned by the Town of Yorktown which is used for recreational purposes by the public, including but not limited to parks and playgrounds.
RUN AT LARGE — To be in a public place or on private lands without the knowledge, consent and approval of the owner of such lands.
TOWN — The area within the corporate limits of the Town of Yorktown.

§ 115-5. Restrictions.

A. It shall be unlawful for any owner of any dog in the Town of Yorktown to permit or allow such dog to: (1) Run at large, unless the dog is restrained by an adequate leash, not to exceed six feet in length, or unless it is accompanied by its owner or a responsible person able to control it by command. For the purpose of this article, a dog or dogs hunting in company of a hunter shall be considered as accompanied by its owner. [Amended 8-3-2004 by L.L. No. 20-2004]
(2) Engage in habitual loud howling, barking, crying or whining or conduct itself in such a manner so as to unreasonably and habitually disturb any person in the reasonable use and enjoyment of his property.
(3) Cause damage or destruction to property upon premises of other than the owner or person harboring such dog.
(4) Chase, jump upon or at or otherwise harass any person.
(5) Habitually chase, run alongside of or bark at motor vehicles and/or bicycles while on a public street or highway or upon public or private property other than property of the owner or harborer of said dog.
(6) Create a nuisance by defecating or urinating on private property other than the property of said owner and in play areas of public parks in the Town of Yorktown. [Amended 1-6-1998 by L.L. No. 2-1998]
(7) Be at large on any recreational areas, or the sidewalks adjacent thereto, unless said dog is on a leash.

B. Establishment of the fact or facts that a dog has committed any of the acts prohibited by § 115-5 of this article shall be presumptive evidence against the owner or harborer of such dog that he has failed to properly confine, leash or control his dog.

§ 115-6. Enforcement officer.

This article shall be enforced by the animal control officer, by any peace officer or by any person having jurisdiction under the Agriculture and Markets Law.

§ 115-7. Seizure of dogs.

A. Any dog found running at large in violation of this article may be seized by any animal control officer, peace officer or other designated representative of the Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets of the State of New York, exercising such degree of force as shall be necessary to effect such seizure without intentionally injuring or harming such dog, and shall be impounded and disposed of in accordance with the provisions of Article 7 or other applicable provisions of the Agriculture and Markets Law.
B. After any such seizure, the record owner of such dog or an adult member of his family, if the owner is ascertainable from the dog’s license tag, shall be notified.
C. A dog owner may redeem his animal from the pound in accordance with the provisions of the Agriculture and Markets Law, as amended, upon payment of the following redemption fees: [Amended 3-3-1987 by L.L. No. 4-1987] (1) For the first impoundment of any dog owned by that person: $25.
(2) For the second impoundment within one year of the first impoundment of any dog owned by that person: $50.
(3) For the third and subsequent impoundment within one year of the first impoundment of any dog owned by that person: $75.

D. No action shall be maintained against the Town of Yorktown, any duly designated animal control officer or any other agent or officer of the town to recover the 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.

§ 115-8. Issuance of appearance tickets; enforcement. [Amended 2-3-1981 by L.L. No. 5-1981; 8-18-1981 by L.L. No. 14-1981]

The animal control officer or a peace officer having reasonable cause to believe that a violation of this article has been committed in his presence shall issue and serve an appearance ticket for such violation. The appearance ticket shall be in form prescribed by the Town Board as adopted with this article. An answer to such appearance ticket shall be made within five days of the violation, by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, in lieu of a personal appearance on the return date at the time and court specified in the appearance ticket. This article may also be enforced by any police officer of the Town of Yorktown.

§ 115-9. Penalties for offenses. [Amended 2-3-1981 by L.L. No. 5-1981; 7-17-1984 by L.L. No. 10-1984; 2-5-1991 by L.L. No. 4-1991; 3-5-1996 by L.L. No. 7-1996; 10-1-1996 by L.L. No. 19-1996]

Any person convicted of a violation of this article shall be deemed to have committed a violation and shall be subject to a fine as follows:

A. For a first violation, a fine of not less than $25 nor more than $250.
B. For a second violation within five years, a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $300 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
C. For a third violation within five years, a fine of not less than $75 nor more than $375 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
D. For a fourth and subsequent violation within five years, a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
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ARTICLE II Dog Licensing Fees [Adopted 10-11-1979 by L.L. No. 5-1979]
§ 115-10. Authority.

This article is enacted pursuant to authority contained in Article 7, § 110 of the Agriculture and Markets Law of the State of New York.

§ 115-11. Additional license fees. [Amended 3-3-1987 by L.L. No. 4-1987]

License fees for dogs, in addition to the fees set by § 110, Subdivisions (1) and (2), of the Agriculture and Markets Law, shall be $5.
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ARTICLE III Protection [Adopted 5-18-2004 by L.L. No. 15-2004]
§ 115-12. Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:

ANIMAL — All species of mammals, except humans, and all species of birds.
ANIMAL SHELTER — Any municipally owned or operated facility maintained for the confinement of dogs and other animals.
MOTOR VEHICLE — Includes any vehicle which is self-propelled and any trailer which is attached to a self-propelled vehicle.

§ 115-13. Confinement in motor vehicles.

A. No person owning or otherwise having possession, charge, custody, dominion or control of an animal shall place or confine such animal or allow it to be placed or confined or to remain in an unattended motor vehicle without sufficient ventilation or under other conditions or for such a period of time as may endanger the health or well-being of such animal due to heat, lack of water or such other circumstances as may reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability or death.
B. No person owning or otherwise having possession, dominion or control over a motor vehicle shall place or confine an animal or permit an animal to be placed or confined or to remain in an unattended motor vehicle without sufficient ventilation or under other conditions or for such a period of time as may endanger the health or well-being of such animal due to heat, lack of water or other circumstances as may reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability or death.

§ 115-14. Authority of law enforcement officers.

Any police officer, peace officer or animal control officer of the Town of Yorktown who finds an animal in a motor vehicle in violation of § 115-13 of this article may break and enter the motor vehicle, without civil or criminal liability, to remove the animal. The person so removing the animal shall take said animal, or cause said animal to be delivered, to the animal shelter of the town involved. The person shall, in the event that the owner or custodian of said animal cannot be otherwise contacted, leave in a prominent place in the motor vehicle a written notice bearing his name and department and the address where the animal may be claimed by the owner thereof. The animal shall be surrendered to the owner if the owner claims the animal within five days from the time the animal was removed from the motor vehicle and pays all reasonable charges which have accrued for the maintenance of the animal. The animal shelter having custody of the animal shall make reasonable efforts to contact the owner and give notice that the animal is in its custody and that the animal may be reclaimed by the owner upon payment of the reasonable maintenance charges. If the owner does not reclaim the animal within the specified time, the animal shelter may dispose of the animal in accordance with prevailing laws and regulations.

§ 115-15. Penalties for offenses.

Any person who violates § 115-13 of this article shall be guilty of a violation punishable as follows:

A. For a first violation: a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $250.
B. For a second violation within five years: a fine of not less than $250 nor more than $400 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
C. For a third violation within five years: a fine of not less than $400 nor more than $550 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
D. For a fourth and subsequent violations within five years: a fine of not less than $550 nor more than $650 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
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ARTICLE IV Canine Waste [Adopted 5-18-2004 by L.L. No. 16-2004]

§ 115-16. Intent.

The purpose of this article shall be to promote the health, safety, cleanliness and general welfare of the Town of Yorktown, including the protection, cleanliness and preservation of the property of the Town of Yorktown and its inhabitants by adopting and enforcing certain regulations and restrictions on the activities of dogs.

§ 115-17. Title.

This article shall be known and can be cited as the “Town of Yorktown Canine Waste Law.”

§ 115-18. Nuisances by dogs prohibited.

Except as provided and regulated by § 115-19 hereof, no person owning, harboring, keeping, walking or having the custody or control of a dog shall cause, permit, suffer or allow such dog to soil, defile, defecate on or commit any nuisance on any common thoroughfare, sidewalk, passageway, bypath, play area, park or any other public property or private property, unless such person shall have the express written permission of the owner of said property.

§ 115-19. Exceptions; removal of feces.

The prohibition set forth in § 115-18 above shall not apply to those portions of a street lying between curb lines, which such portions may be utilized to curb a dog, subject however to the following conditions:

A. Any person who so curbs a dog shall immediately remove all feces deposited by such dog in the following, or similar, manner: feces shall be picked up with scoop, shovel, broom, tong or other similar implement and be deposited immediately thereafter in a bag or container, plastic or otherwise, and then subsequently deposited in a container used for the disposal of refuse.
B. In no event shall any feces be deposited in sewers or drains, whether storm or sanitary.

§ 115-20. Penalties for offenses.

Any person violating this article shall be guilty of a violation and shall be subject to a fine not less than $50 and not greater than $100.

§ 115-21. Enforcement officers.

The Dog Control Officer and the Police Department of the Town of Yorktown shall be the enforcement officers of the provisions of this article.

§ 115-22. Severability.

Should any paragraph or section, or portion thereof, of this article he declared by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unlawful, the same shall not affect the remainder of this article as a whole or any part thereof other than the part so declared to be invalid.

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ARTICLE V Control of Sick and Injured Cats and Wildlife [Adopted 8-3-2004 by L.L. No. 20-2004]
§ 115-23. Seizure.

Any cat, domestic or feral, believed to be sick or injured and any wildlife believed to be sick or injured may be seized, exercising such degree of force as shall be necessary to effect such seizure without intentionally injuring or harming such cat or wildlife, by any animal control officer, police officer, or peace officer, who shall determine the appropriate course of action to be taken or care to be given with respect to the seized animal.