senate Bill S5048
(D, WF) 29th Senate District
- In Committee
- On Floor Calendar
- Passed Senate
- Passed Assembly
- Delivered to Governor
- Signed/Vetoed by Governor
Relates to animal control and licensing of animals; relates to the better protection of lost and strayed animals and to securing the rights of owners thereof; relates to licensing of dogs in certain cities; relates to the animal population control fund.
- See Assembly Version of this Bill:
- Legislative Cycle:
- Law Section:
- New York City Administrative Code
- Laws Affected:
- Rpld §§1, 2, 2-a, 3, 3-a, 4, 8-a & 8-c, add §§1, 2, 3 & 4, ren §8-b to be §8-a, amd §§8, 8-a, 9 & 13, Chap 115 of 1894; amd §17-812, NYC Ad Cd
- Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S7667, A5950B
2009-2010: A406, A406
2007-2008: A8032A, A8032A
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend chapter 115 of the laws of 1894,
relating to the better protection of lost and strayed animals and for
securing the rights of owners thereof, in relation to licensing of
dogs in a certain city; to amend the administrative code of the city
of New York, in relation to the animal population control fund; and to
repeal certain provisions of chapter 115 of the laws of 1894, relating
to the better protection of lost or strayed animals and for securing
the rights of owners thereof, relating to licensing of dogs in a
PURPOSE: To improve and clarify the law related to licensing of dogs
in New York City and to give the City greater local control over
licensure and the associated fees.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill repeals sections 1, 2, 2-a, 3, 3-a, and 4 of
chapter 115 of the laws of 1894 and replaces them with four new
sections 1, 2, 3, and 4.
The repealed section 1 of chapter 115 requires dogs to be licensed in
cities with a population of two million or more, sets the base fee at
$8 40, with an additional fee for unsterilized dogs, with an exemption
from the additional fee if the life of the dog would be endangered by
The repealed section 2 of chapter 115 sets the term of licenses at one
year and requires renewal each year.
The repealed section 2-a of chapter 115 sets a fee of $2.00 for late
renewal of licenses
The repealed section 3 of chapter 115 requires certificates of license
or renewal to state the name and address of person who obtained the
license and the number of the license.
The repealed section 3-a of chapter 115 sets the additional fee for
unsterilized dogs at the greater of $3.00 or an amount set by the New
York City Council or the New York City Board of Health, and requires
that the additional fees be deposited in the City's animal population
The repealed section 4 of chapter 115 requires every licensed dog to
wear a collar with a license tag.
The new section 1 of chapter 115 specifies that the chapter applies in
New York City.
The new section 2 of chapter 115 requires that dogs be licensed and
makes various provisions related to license applications and fees.
Subdivision 1 of the new section 2 of chapter 115 requires dogs to be
licensed, requires the applicant for a license to provide information
and authorizes the City health commissioner to require proof of rabies
vaccination with the application.
Subdivision 2 of the new section 2 of chapter 115 sets the term at one
year or a longer amount of time that may be set by the City health
Subdivision 3 of the new section 2 of chapter 115 permits New York
City to set fees for licenses by local law, with an additional fee for
licensing unsterilized dogs to be at least 85 percent of the base fee
applicable to licensing all dogs.
Subdivision 4 of the new section 2 of chapter 115 requires that the
additional fees for licensing unsterilized dogs be deposited in the
City's animal population control fund.
Subdivision 5 of the new section 2 of chapter 115 requires that fees
for a period greater than one year be prorated.
Subdivision 6 of the new section 2 of chapter 115 authorizes the City
to set a fee by local law for late renewal of licenses at no more than
20 percent of the base fee for a license.
Subdivision 7 of the new section 2 of chapter 115 requires applicants
for licenses to be notified that they may submit, along with the
license fees, a contribution to help fund low-cost sterilization
Subdivision 8 of the new section 2 of chapter 115 requires the City to
forward 10 cents front the fee for each license to the State
commissioner of agriculture, to be used to fund research into diseases
of dogs and viruses that Affect people and animals This subdivision
replaces section 8-a of chapter 115, which is repealed by section 3 of
the bill, as indicated below.
Subdivision 9 of the new section 2 of chapter 115 specifies that
license fees shall not be based in whole or part on the breed of the
The new section 3 of chapter 115 makes provisions related to
violations of the licensing requirement
Subdivision 1 of the new section 3 of chapter 115 provides for a fine
of $75 for an unlicensed dog and $100 for a second offense within 5
Subdivision 2 of the new section 3 of chapter 115 provides that a
violation for an unlicensed dog may not be issued to a person in the
course of obtaining or renewing a license, and provides for a defense
if a person issued a violation has applied for a license but not yet
received it or if a previously valid license has been expired for 30
days or less.
Subdivision 3 of the new section 3 of chapter 115 provides that
three-quarters of the amount paid in fines for violations of the
license requirement shall be deposited in the City's animal population
control fund and that the remainder shall be used solely for
activities related to animal care and control.
The new section 4 of chapter 115 makes provisions related to issuance
of licenses, license tags, and renewals.
Subdivision 1 of the new section 4 of chapter 115 requires the City to
supply certificates of license or renewal. Subdivision 2 of the new
section 4 of chapter 115 requires every licensed dog to wear a collar
with a license tag supplied by the City, requires the City to notify
the recipient of each tag of the penalty for using it for a dog other
than the one for which it was issued, permits the City to issue
optional specialty tags for an additional price, and permits the City
require a tag indicating that a rabies vaccination has been
Subdivision 3 of the new section 4 of chapter 115 permits the City to
issue replacements for lost tags, for a fee equal to the cost of
Subdivision 4 of the new section 4 of chapter 115 provides for the
City to notify licensees 30 days before a license will expire
Section 2 of the bill amends section 8 of chapter 115 of the laws of
1894 to give primary responsibility for carrying out its provisions to
the City health department rather than the American Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), and to make technical
Section 3 of the bill repeals sections 8-a and 8-c of chapter 115 of
the laws of 1894, amends section 8-b, and renumbers section 8-b as
The repealed section 8-a of chapter 115 requires the City to forward
10 cents from the fee for each license-to the State commissioner of
agriculture, to be used to fund research into diseases of dogs and
viruses that affect people and animals. This repealed section is
replaced by subdivision 8 of the new section 2 of chapter 115, as
indicated above. The repealed section 8-c of chapter 115 sets forth
various now-moot provisions related to the relationship between the
ASPCA and the City.
The newly renumbered section 8-a of chapter 115 is amended to clarify
that certain entities that give a dog to a New York City resident in
the city are required to ensure the recipient of the dog submit a
license application. The amendments also expand the range of people or
entities the City may designate to process dog license applications on
its behalf, to include, for example, those who provide care,
treatment, services, or merchandise for animals, and increases the
compensation such outside entities may receive from the current $1.00
per application to a new amount set at 10 percent of the application
Section 4 of the bill amends section 9 of chapter 115 of the laws of
1894 to remove a provision that subjects any person who has a dog
without complying with the licensing requirements to a charge of
disorderly conduct and a fine of up to $10.00 or 10 days in prison.
(The new section 3 of chapter 115, added by this bill as indicated
above, creates new provisions related to violations of the licensing
requirement.) Section 9 is also amended to make certain other
violations of the law returnable to the City's Environmental Control
Board or Health Tribunal and to make technical changes.
Section 5 of the bill amends section 13 of chapter 115 of the laws of
1894 to provide for an exemption from New York City's dog licensing
requirements for non-residents of New York City, those who reside in
the city temporarily or who recently arrived, organizations that
shelter and care for animals, boarding kennels, grooming parlors,
salons, pet shops, training. establishments, and similar businesses.
The amended section 13 also provides an exemption from the license
fees for guide dogs, hearing dogs, service dogs, and police work dogs.
Section 6 of the bill amends section 17-812 of the administrative code
of the city of New York to make it conform with the new and renumbered
provisions of chapter 115 of the laws of 1894 as amended by this bill
Section 7 of the bill sets forth the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: The State law that requires dogs in New York City to
be licensed and provides for license fees, issuance, and enforcement
has become outdated and doesn't provide for an appropriate level of
discretion and home rule, making licensure burdensome for both the
City and those with dogs that need to be licensed.
While the law specifies that license fees are intended to defray the
costs of the City's animal control program, most of the current fees
were set many decades ago and no longer cover even the cost of issuing
the licenses. (The existing law specifies a set amount for most fees
related to licenses, granting the City the option of increasing the.
amount of just one fee, the surcharge applicants must pay to license
an unsterilized dog.) The City is currently undertaking an effort to
protect public health and improve animal care by increasing public
awareness of the licensing requirements, and increasing shelter
services, hours of operation, field services, and adoption services,
with the expanded services being phased in between 2011 and 2014. The
ability to set reasonable fees by local law, as this bill would
provide, would help the City implement these changes effectively. The
bill also imposes certain parameters for setting the fees, to ensure
fairness and to achieve certain policy objectives.
Current law permits private entities, such as pet shops, to issue
licenses on behalf of the City, but authorizes them to receive only
$1.00 per license for providing the service. As a result, virtually
the only licenses issued privately are those mandated to be issued by
shelters and other animal organizations to adopted animals. This bill
would rectify this problem by authorizing a private dog license
provider to receive 10 percent of the total fees. The bill also
expands the range of entities that may be authorized by the City to
Under the existing law, an applicant for a dog license must pay must
submit notarized proof that the dog has been sterilized in order to
avoid paying the surcharge applicable to an unsterilized dog. Given
this administrative burden, many people simply avoid licensing their
dogs. This bill would allow self-certification by applicants that
their dog has been sterilized, simplifying the application and
enabling online licensing. The bill also authorizes the City to
require proof of rabies vaccination with license applications and to
mandate that dogs wear a tag indicating they've been vaccinated.
The current law provides for seizure of a dog without a license but
provides no authority to issue a notice of violation or a fine. This
bill would establish notices of violation and fines to promote
compliance with the license requirements. It would also clarify and
expand the range of exemptions from the license requirements so that
people are not charged and fined unreasonably.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2012: A05950B (Kavanagh) - Agriculture 2011:
A05950 (Kavanagh) - Agriculture/S7667 (Rules)- Rules
FISCAL IMPACT ON THE STATE: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after
it shall have become a law, provided that upon the repeal of sections
1, 2, 2-a, 3, 3-a and 4 of chapter 115 of the laws of 1894, relating
to the better protection of lost and strayed animals and for securing
the rights of owners thereof, pursuant to section one of this act, any
existing licenses or renewals thereof issued under the provisions of
such sections shall continue to be valid for such terms as they were
issued under such provisions; and provided further that such licenses
shall be renewable pursuant to the new provisions added by section one
of this act; and provided further that upon the repeal of sections 1,
2, a-a, 3, 3-a and 4 of chapter 115 of the laws of 1894, relating to
the better protection of lost and strayed animals and for securing the
rights of owners thereof, any license or renewal fees previously
authorized and in effect pursuant to such sections as of the date this
act takes effect shall remain in effect until new fees shall be
adopted and take effect pursuant to local law enacted in accordance
with this act; and provided further that notices of violation may not
be issued pursuant to section three of chapter 115 of the laws of
1894, relating to better protection of lost and strayed animals and
for securing the rights of owners thereof, until the one hundred
twentieth day after this act shall have become a law.
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