LOCAL LAW NO.: 1 OF 1978


“A Local Law of the Village of Whitehall, New York, Relating to the Running at Large of Dogs, and Generally Regulating the Responsibilities of Dog Owners.”


Be it enacted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Whitehall, Washington County, as follows:


1.         PURPOSE.


            The purpose of this Local Law shall be to promote the health, protection, order, conduct, safety and general welfare of the people and property of the Village of Whitehall, by adopting and enforcing certain regulations and restrictions upon the keeping and running at large of dogs within the Village.


2.         DEFINITIONS.


a.         Dogs: The term dog shall mean both male and female dogs except where the context requires otherwise.

b.         Owner: The term owner shall include any person who owns, keeps or harbors, or has the care, custody or control of a dog. Dogs owned by minors shall be deemed to be in the custody and control of the minor’s parents, or other head of the household where the minor resides.

c.         At Large: The term “at large” shall mean a dog off the premises of the owner.

d.         Leashed: The terms “leashed” or “restrained by a leash” shall mean that the dog is equipped with a collar of sufficient strength attached to a leash not more than eight (8) feet long, which leash shall be held by a person having the ability to control and restrain the dog by means of the collar and leash.




a.         No person shall permit a dog owned by him to be at large within the Village unless restrained by a leash, provided, however, that dogs may be unleashed while off the owner’s premises when on the private premises of another with the knowledge, consent and approval of such person.


b.         No dog, whether leashed or unleashed, shall be in any restaurant, grocery or commercial establishment which sells food for human consumption.


c.         No person shall keep or suffer to be kept a dog which has attacked a person peaceably conducting himself in any place where such a person may lawfully be, or which has attacked, chased or worried or killed any domestic animal, as defined in Section 107 of the Agricultural and Markets Law of the State of New York, while such animal is in any place where it may lawfully be.


d.         No person who owns a dog shall permit or suffer such dog to damage or destroy property of any kind or to deposit waste on the private property of other persons.


e.         No person shall keep, suffer or permit to be kept on the premises occupied by such person, any dog by which its continual barking, howling or whining or other frequent or long continued noises shall unreasonably disturb the comfort or repose of other persons.


f.          No person who owns a dog shall permit the premises, structures or enclosures in which such dog is kept to be unclean or unsanitary.


4.         WARDEN.


            The Board of Trustees shall appoint a dog warden, or shall contract with another municipal corporation for the services of its dog warden. It shall be the duty of the dog warden as well as all peace officers within the Village of Whitehall to enforce the provisions of this Local Law, and the provisions of the Agricultural and Markets Law of the State of New York, with respect to dogs in the Village of Whitehall.


5.         SEIZURE OF DOGS.


            The dog warden or any peace officer shall seize any dog which is found at large within the Village of Whitehall in violation of this Local Law, as well as any dog or dogs otherwise required to be seized under and by virtue of the provisions of the Agricultural and Markets Law of the State of New York.




a.         Every dog seized shall be properly fed and cared for at the expense of the Village until disposition thereof be made as herein provided. The redemption of a seized dog shall be in conformance with and pursuant to the provisions of the Agricultural and Markets Law of the State of New York, both as to licenced and unlicenced dogs.


b.         In the event that the dog seized bears a licence tag, the warden or officer shall ascertain the owner of the dog and shall give immediate notice by personally serving such owner or an adult member of his family with a notice in writing stating that the dog has been seized, and that the dog will be destroyed unless redeemed within the period hereinafter provided.


c.         The owner of a dog seized may redeem the dog within seven (7) days of service of such notice, except that the owner of a dog bearing a licence tag may redeem the dog within twelve (12) days, by paying to the Village Clerk the sum of five ($5.00) dollars as the cost of the seizure, and the owner shall pay kennel fees for the days the dog is kept by the Village, at a rate to be established by the Board of Trustees.


d.         If any dog so seized is not redeemed within the time hereinbefore set forth, the owner shall forfeit all title to the dog and the dog shall be sold or destroyed by the Village. In the case of sale, the purchaser must pay the purchase price which shall not be less than the kennel fees and the cost of seizure, to the Village Clerk, and obtain a licence for such dog. In case the dog is destroyed, the warden or officer who destroys the dog shall immediately dispose of the carcass and make a written report of such destruction and disposition to the Village Clerk who shall keep a record thereof. The owner of the dog so destroyed shall pay to the Village Clerk the cost of seizure and kenneling and destruction of such dog, and such costs may be recovered by the Village Clerk in a civil action brought in the name of the Village before the Village Justice.


e.         The destruction of any dog seized by the dog warden or peace officer as herein provided shall be accomplished by approved humane methods. No dog seized hereunder shall be sold or surrendered to any person, firm, organization or institution for experimental use.




            a. the Village Justice shall have jurisdiction to hear all complaints filed as hereinafter provided, and all actions and proceedings hereunder, and of all prosecutions for any violation of this Local Law. Upon receipt by the Village Justice of any complaint against the conduct of any particular dog, the Village Justice shall summon the alleged owner or other person harboring said dog to appear in person before him. If the summons is disregarded, the Village Justice may permit the filing of any information and issue a warrant for the arrest of such person.


b.         Any person observing a dog causing damage or destruction to property of a person other than its owner or violating any section of this Local Law, may file a signed complaint, under oath, with the Village Justice of the Village of Whitehall, specifying the objectionable conduct of the dog, the date thereof, the damage caused, a description of the dog and the name and residence, if known, of the owner or other person harboring said dog.


8.         PENALTIES.


            A violation of this Local Law shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding ten ($10.00) dollars for the first violation, twenty ($20.00) dollars for the second violation and twenty-five ($25.00) dollars for the third violation. Each separate offense shall constitute a separate violation. The provisions hereof are in addition to the regulations, restrictions, requirements and penalties contained in Article 7 of the Agricultural and Markets Law.



9.         ENFORCEMENT.


            It shall be unlawful for any warden or officer to neglect or refuse to perform his duties under the provisions of this Local Law, and such neglect or refusal shall be cause for his removal from office.


10.       VALIDITY.


            The invalidity of any sentence, clause, paragraph or provision of this Local Law shall not invalidate any other sentence, clause, paragraph or provision thereof.




            This Local Law shall take effect on the twentieth day after it shall finally have been adopted.


Dated: June 23, 1978.