Village of Chester – Hamlet of Sugar Loaf

Animal Complaints

The Town of Chester is home to a wide variety of wildlife. It’s important to remember that when dealing with any form of wildlife, to leave it alone. Wildlife is best viewed and enjoyed, from a distance and within their natural habitat.

Similar to black bear, other forms of wildlife can also be viewed as a nuisance. Some of these unwanted “guests” include: skunks, raccoon, opossums, bats, snakes, coyotes, and deer; just to name a few.

In addition, similar to that of black bear, these other forms of wildlife are in constant search for food. By following the recommended guidelines for black bear, your chances of having one of these unwanted “guests” becomes greatly minimized.

If you have an situation or emergency involving an animal please refer to the tabs below.

Animal Control Officers are provided by the Warwick Valley Humane Society. They are dispatched through the police department and are available for emergencies 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.  If you have an emergency involving an animal (either domestic or wildlife), please contact the police department for assistance at (845) 469-9311.

Dog InformationWhat to do if you see a bear
Dog Information

Chapter 42: DOGS [HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Chester as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]

ARTICLE I Running at Large [Adopted 12-7-1982 by L.L. No. 4-1982]

§ 42-1. Repealed.

This article repeals and replaces Local Law No. 1 of the year 1975 entitled “A Local Law Prohibiting Dogs Running at Large.” Editor’s Note: Local Law No. 1-1975 was adopted 12-16-1975 and comprised former Art. I, Running at Large, of this chapter.

§ 42-2. Findings; purpose; applicability.

The Town of Chester, Orange County, New York, finds that the running at large and other uncontrolled behavior of dogs has caused physical harm to persons, damage to property and created nuisances within the Town of Chester outside the Village of Chester. The purpose of this article is to protect the health, safety and well-being of persons and property by imposing restrictions and regulations upon the keeping or running at large of dogs and the seizure thereof within the Town outside the Village of Chester. This article shall be effective throughout the Town of Chester, except within the Village of Chester.

§ 42-3. Definitions.

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

DogAT 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 to be at large if it is accompanied by and under the immediate supervision and control of the owner or other responsible person and is restrained by a leash, rope, chain, cage or motor vehicle; a police work dog in use for public work; or accompanied by its owner or other responsible person and 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.
HARBOR – To provide food or shelter for any dog.
OWNER – Any person who harbors or keeps any dog. In the event that any dog found in violation of this article shall be owned by a person under 18 years of age, the owner shall be deemed to be the parent or guardian of such person (or the head of the household in which such person resides).
TOWN – The Town of Chester outside the Village of Chester.

§ 42-4. Restrictions.

It shall be unlawful for any owner of any dog to permit or allow such dog, in the Town of Chester, to:
Be at large.
Engage in habitual loud howling, barking, crying or whining or to conduct itself in such a manner so as to unreasonably and habitually annoy any person.
Cause damage or destruction to property or commit a nuisance by defecating or urinating upon the premises of a person, other than the owner of such dog.
Chase or otherwise harass any person in such a manner as reasonably to cause intimidation or to put such person in reasonable apprehension of bodily harm or injury.
Habitually chase, run alongside of or bark at motor vehicles or bicycles.

§ 42-5. Enforcement officers.

This article shall be enforced by any dog control officer, peace officer, when acting pursuant to his special duties, or police officer in the employ of or under contract to the Town of Chester.

§ 42-5.1. Seizure of dogs; redemption periods; impoundment fees. [Amended 6-7-1994 by L.L. No. 2-1994]
The dog control officer of the Town or police officer in the employ of the Town shall seize:
(1) Any dog which is not identified and which is not on the owner’s premises; and
(2) Any dog which is not licensed, whether on or off the owner’s premises.
The dog control officer of the Town or police officer in the employ of the Town may seize any dog found in violation of the Agriculture and Markets Law, the Environmental Conservation Law or any local law or ordinance relating to the control of dogs or other pets adopted by the state or the Town of Chester pursuant to the provisions of this article.
Each dog seized in accordance with the provisions of this article shall be properly sheltered, fed and watered for the redemption period as hereinafter provided.
Each dog which is not identified, whether or not licensed, shall be held for a period of five days from the day seized during which period the dog may be redeemed by its owner, provided that such owner produces proof that the dog has been licensed, and further provided that the owner pays the impoundment fees and fines as established by the Town Board.

§ 42-5.2. Filing of complaint.
Any person who observes a dog in violation of this article may file a complaint under oath with a Justice of the Town of Chester 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 such dog. Such complaint may serve as the basis for enforcing the provisions of this article.

§ 42-5.3. Issuance of appearance tickets.
Any dog control officer, peace officer, when acting pursuant to his special duties, or police officer in the employ of or under contract to the Town of Chester having reasonable cause to believe that a person has violated this article shall issue and serve upon such person an appearance ticket for such violation.

§ 42-5.4. Penalties for offenses. [Amended 6-7-1994 by L.L. No. 2-1994]
Any person convicted of a violation of this article shall be liable to a civil penalty not exceeding $250 and a charge for the boarding of said animal in an amount not to exceed $50 per day.
The Town Board may from time to time modify the fine(s) and boarding charge to be assessed for violation(s) of this article upon a resolution approved by a majority of said Board, passed at the annual reorganization meeting or such other time as the Board may determine. Such resolution shall be duly recorded by the Town Clerk in the minutes of the Town Board.

ARTICLE II Licensing

[Adopted 12-15-2010 by L.L. No. 3-2010]
Editor’s Note: This local law also repealed former Art. II, License Fees, adopted 8-7-1979 by L.L. No. 1-1979.

§ 42-6 Legislative purpose.

The purpose of this article is to provide for the licensing and identification of dogs. Effective January 1, 2011, the State of New York has relinquished the responsibility of dog licensing function to local municipalities and eliminated the Animal Population Control Fund. Local municipalities will now be required to adopt legislation relating to this issue.

§ 42-7 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ADOPT  The delivery to any natural person 18 years of age or older, for the purpose of harboring, a dog, seized or surrendered, from the Town’s animal shelter.
ANIMAL/DOG CONTROL OFFICER Any individual appointed by the Town Board to assist in the enforcement of this chapter.
CLERK  The Town Clerk, or Deputy Town Clerk, of the Town of Chester, where licenses are to be validated or issued.
DETECTION DOG  Any dog that is trained and is actually used for such purposes or is undergoing training to be used for the purpose of detecting controlled substances, explosives, ignitable liquids, firearms, cadavers, or school or correctional facility contraband.
DOG  Any member of the species canis familiaris.
GEESE DOG  Any dog that is trained to aid the Animal/Dog Control Officer in the control of geese within the boundaries of the Town.
GUIDE DOG  Any dog that is trained to aid a person who is blind and is actually used for such purpose, or any dog owned by a recognized guide dog training center located within the State of New York during the period such dog is being trained or bred.
HARBOR  To provide food or shelter to any dog.
HEARING DOG  Any dog that is trained to aid a person which a hearing impairment and is actually used for such purpose, or any dog owned by a recognized training center located within the State of New York during the period such dog is being trained or bred for such training.
IDENTIFICATION TAG  A tag which sets forth an identification number, as required by the provisions set forth in this article.
OWNER  Any person who harbors or keeps any dog.
PERSON WITH DISABILITY  Any person with a disability as that term is defined in Subdivision 22 of § 292 of the New York State Executive Law.
POLICE WORK DOG  Any dog owned or harbored by any municipal police department or any state or federal law enforcement agency, which has been trained to aid law enforcement officers and is actually being used for police work purposes.
SENIOR RESIDENT  Any resident of the Town age 65 or older.
SERVICE DOG  Any dog that has been or is being individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, provided that the dog is or will be owned by such person or that person’s parent, guardian or other legal representative.
THERAPY DOG  Any dog that is trained to aid the emotional and physical health of patients in hospitals, nursing homes, retirement homes and other settings and is actually used for such purpose, or any dog owned by a recognized training center located within the State of New York during the period such dog is being trained or bred for such purpose.
TOWN  The Town of Chester, including incorporated areas.
WAR DOG  Any dog which has been honorably discharged from the United States armed services.
WORKING SEARCH DOG  Any dog that is trained to aid in the search for missing persons and is actually used for such purposes; provided, however, that such services provided by said dog shall be performed without charge or fee.

§ 42-8 Dog licensing requirements and procedures.

A. Licensing of dogs.

(1) 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 under the age of four months that is not at large. A license shall be renewed after a period of one year beginning with the first day of the month following the date of issuance. Renewal shall be for a period of one year, but the Town Board, by Resolution, shall have the right to modify the renewal period for up to three years.

(2) Application for a dog license shall be made to the Clerk.

(3) The application shall state the sex, actual or approximate year of birth, breed, color(s), and official identification number of the dog, and other identification makers, if any, and the name, address, telephone number, county and town of residence of owner.

(4) The application shall be accompanied by a license fee as listed below and a valid certificate of rabies vaccination or statement in lieu thereof. In the case of a spayed or neutered dog, every application shall also be accompanied by a certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian showing that the dog has been spayed or neutered, provided such certificate shall not be required if the same is already on file with the clerk.

(5) Fees.

(a) The fees for a dog license shall be as follows:

[1] Unspayed/unneutered dog: $20 per year (includes state-mandated surcharge of $3).

[2] Spayed/neutered dog: $10 per year (includes state mandated surcharge of $1).

(b) There shall be no fee charged for the license issued for any detection dog, geese dog, guide dog, hearing dog, police work dog, service dog, therapy dog, war dog or working search dog, or any dog owned by a senior resident.

(6) Upon validation by the clerk, the application shall become a license for the dog described therein. Once an application has been validated, no refund shall be made.

(7) The clerk shall provide a copy of the license to the owner and retain a record of the license in either paper or electronic format.

(8) 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.

(9) No dog can be adopted out of the Town’s animal shelter without first obtaining a license from the clerk.

B. Purebred licenses. 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 § 42-2A of this chapter.

C. Rabies vaccination. The clerk, at the time of issuing any license pursuant to this article, shall require the applicant to present a statement certified by a licensed veterinarian showing that the dog or dogs have been vaccinated to prevent rabies or, in lieu thereof, a statement certified by a licensed veterinarian stating that because of age or other reason, the life of the dog or dogs would be endangered by the administration of the vaccine. The clerk shall make or cause to be made from such statement a record of such information and file such record with a copy of the license.

D. Enumeration. In addition to other applicable fees, any person applying for a dog license for a dog identified as unlicensed during an enumeration shall pay a fee of $5. Such additional fee shall be used to pay the expenses incurred by the Town in conducting the enumeration. 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 any other lawful purpose.

§ 42-9 Identification of dogs.

A. Each dog licensed shall be assigned, at the time the dog is licensed for the first time, a permanent official identification number. Such identification number shall be carried by the dog on an identification tag which shall be affixed to a collar on the dog at all times.

B. The official 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.

C. At the time a dog is first licensed, one identification tag shall be furnished to the owner at no charge. Any replacement tag shall be obtained by the owner at his expense at a fee of $3.

D. No tag carrying an official identification number shall be affixed to the collar of any dog other than the one to which that number has been assigned.

E. The identification tag shall be imprinted with the “Town of Chester,” a unique identification number, and the telephone number of the Town Clerk’s office.

§ 42-10 Change of ownership, lost or stolen dogs.
A. In the event of a change in ownership of any dog which has been assigned an official identification number or in the address of the owner of record of any such dog, the owner of record shall, within 10 days of such change, notify the Clerk.

B. 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 Clerk.

C. In the case of a dog’s death, the owner of record shall so notify the Clerk either prior to renewal of license or upon the time of such renewal.

§ 42-11 Violations; penalties for offenses.
A. It shall be a violation, punishable as provided in Subsection B of this section, for:

(1) Any owner to fail to license a dog;

(2) Any owner to fail to have any dog identified as required by this article;
(3) Any person to knowingly affix to any dog any false or improper identification tag, special identification tag for identifying guide, service or hearing dogs.
B. Violations of this article shall be subject to a fine, not to be less than $25 and not to exceed $250, except that:
(1) Where the person was found to have violated this article within the preceding five years, the fine may not be less than $50; and

(2) Where the person was found to have committed two or more violations of this article within the preceding five years, the fine may not be less than $100.

Some helpful links:

http://www.agmkt.state.ny.us/AI/AGM_ART_26.pdf
http://www.agmkt.state.ny.us/AI/doglic.html
http://www.agmkt.state.ny.us/AI/apc.html
http://www.wvhumane.org

What do to do if you spot a bear

Black bears on Glenmere RoadAccording to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, the black bear is New York’s second largest land mammal; second only to the moose. Black bears are omnivorous, eating grasses, berries, fruits, nuts, as well as human sources, such as bird seed, trash, corn, and pet food when available.

Although the color of black bears varies thorough North America, over 99.9% of the black bears in New York are jet black in color with a brown muzzle (NYS DEC, 2007).

Once thought to inhabit only large forests in upstate New York, black bears have expanded their range to include areas of the Hudson Valley, including the Town of Chester.

In order to gain a better understanding of the black bear, it’s important to learn some of their more frequent behaviors:

Bears are curious – They spend a great deal of time exploring for food, and this can bring them close to humans.
Bears are intelligent – Bears learn from experience. If an activity results in food, they will repeat that activity.
Feeding bears creates “bad” bears – When bears learn to obtain food from humans, they can become bold and aggressive.
Feeding bears is bad for bears – Bears are natural foraging animals. As they travel, in search of food, they undoubtedly come across waste, which has been discarded by humans. Often, bears will eat unhealthy materials such as soap, insect repellent, food packaging, etc.
In order to minimize the unwanted presence of the black bear, within your community, there are a few management related issues which you can follow. According to the NYS DEC (2007), these management related issues are “good housekeeping” requirements, which you as a town resident, can easily follow. The following list contains techniques that the DEC, along with the Town of Chester Police Department, recommends to prevent attracting bears.

Discontinue the practice of feeding suet and/or bird seed to birds for the entire summer. Bird feed is a very strong attraction for bears, even if they can’t reach it.
Do not leave garbage outside of your house. This also includes the local restaurants, which frequently discard grease, fat, bacon and other meats, which are extremely attractive to bears. All of these items should be discarded in a sealed container. It’s good practice to put out household trash on PICK UP DAYS ONLY. Putting trash out early will cause black bears (and other wildlife) to make unwanted visits.

NOTE: BURNING MAKES GARBAGE MORE ATTRACTIVE
Clean garbage bins and other containers frequently with ammonia, bleach or Lysol.
By placing camphor disks (available from some drug stores) in garbage cans to mask food odors. Other items which may work include: mothballs, air fresheners, and Lysol and ammonia soaked towels or rags.
Use plastic bags inside garbage cans to hide odors.
Store garbage cans in a secure place such as a garage, rather than storing them on a porch.
Remove the grease can from gas and charcoal grills after every use. Turn the grill on “High” for several minutes after you are done cooking.
Do not feed family pets outside. An empty dish can also attract bears.
Leave outdoor lights on, or a radio playing, all night.
Do not leave dirty diapers or diaper pails outside.
Remember: Bears are attracted by smells. With the exception of ammonia, Lysol, camphor and other strong smells, everything smells like potential bear food.

By removing the Food Attractant, you’ll remove the bear!!!!!!!

As the nice weather approaches, your chances of a bear sighting greatly increase; especially if you fail to follow the above recommended guidelines. If you should find yourself with one of these unwanted guests, here are some common rules to follow:

Stay calm; often the bear is just passing through.
Do not run away. Slowly walk towards a building, house or vehicle.
If you have children or pets, bring them inside.
Once inside, observe the bear. Did it continue on or remain on your property?
Encourage the bear to leave. Bang pots and pans, or honk a horn. The more stressful a bear’s encounter is with you, the less likely he/she is to come back.
Remember, once the bear has left, remove whatever attracted the bear to your property. It’s important to remember, by removing the Food Attractant, you’ll remove the bear!!!!!
If the bear is damaging property, breaking into your home or threatening your personal safety or that of others, call 911.

Some helpful links:

http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/wildlife_pdf/BBNaturalhistory.pdf
http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/6960.html

Other Forms of Wildlife

The Town of Chester is home to a wide variety of wildlife. It’s important to remember that when dealing with any form of wildlife, to leave it alone. Wildlife is best viewed and enjoyed, from a distance and within their natural habitat.

Similar to black bear, other forms of wildlife and can also be viewed as a nuisance. Some of these unwanted “guests” include: skunks, raccoon, opossums, bats, snakes, coyotes, and deer; just to name a few.

In addition, similar to that of black bear, these other forms of wildlife are in constant search for food. By following the recommended guidelines for black bear, your chances of having one of these unwanted “guests” becomes greatly minimized.

Some helpful links:

http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/6956.html
http://www.fws.gov/northeast/

 

Police Contact Information
Chief of Police
Daniel Doellinger
 
Address
Police Department
1786 Kings Highway
Chester, NY 10918
 
Emergency: Dial 911
P: (845) 469-7000 x1
F: (845) 469-7994
E: Email Link
Tip Line: (845) 469-7000 x370
 
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