Legislation

Search OpenLegislation Statutes
This entry was published on 2014-09-22
The selection dates indicate all change milestones for the entire volume, not just the location being viewed. Specifying a milestone date will retrieve the most recent version of the location before that date.
SECTION 123
Dangerous dogs
Agriculture & Markets (AGM) CHAPTER 69, ARTICLE 7
§ 123. Dangerous dogs. 1. Any person who witnesses an attack or
threatened attack, or in the case of a minor, an adult acting on behalf
of such minor, may make a complaint of an attack or threatened attack
upon a person, companion animal as defined in section three hundred
fifty of this chapter, farm animal as defined in such section three
hundred fifty, or a domestic animal as defined in subdivision seven of
section one hundred eight of this article to a dog control officer or
police officer of the appropriate municipality. Such officer shall
immediately inform the complainant of his or her right to commence a
proceeding as provided in subdivision two of this section and, if there
is reason to believe the dog is a dangerous dog, the officer shall
forthwith commence such proceeding himself or herself.

2. Any person who witnesses an attack or threatened attack, or in the
case of a minor, an adult acting on behalf of such minor, may, and any
dog control officer or police officer as provided in subdivision one of
this section shall, make a complaint under oath or affirmation to any
municipal judge or justice of such attack or threatened attack.
Thereupon, the judge or justice shall immediately determine if there is
probable cause to believe the dog is a dangerous dog and, if so, shall
issue an order to any dog control officer, peace officer, acting
pursuant to his or her special duties, or police officer directing such
officer to immediately seize such dog and hold the same pending judicial
determination as provided in this section. Whether or not the judge or
justice finds there is probable cause for such seizure, he or she shall,
within five days and upon written notice of not less than two days to
the owner of the dog, hold a hearing on the complaint. The petitioner
shall have the burden at such hearing to prove the dog is a "dangerous
dog" by clear and convincing evidence. If satisfied that the dog is a
dangerous dog, the judge or justice shall then order neutering or
spaying of the dog, microchipping of the dog and one or more of the
following as deemed appropriate under the circumstances and as deemed
necessary for the protection of the public:

(a) evaluation of the dog by a certified applied behaviorist, a board
certified veterinary behaviorist, or another recognized expert in the
field and completion of training or other treatment as deemed
appropriate by such expert. The owner of the dog shall be responsible
for all costs associated with evaluations and training ordered under
this section;

(b) secure, humane confinement of the dog for a period of time and in
a manner deemed appropriate by the court but in all instances in a
manner designed to: (1) prevent escape of the dog, (2) protect the
public from unauthorized contact with the dog, and (3) to protect the
dog from the elements pursuant to section three hundred fifty-three-b of
this chapter. Such confinement shall not include lengthy periods of
tying or chaining;

(c) restraint of the dog on a leash by an adult of at least twenty-one
years of age whenever the dog is on public premises;

(d) muzzling the dog whenever it is on public premises in a manner
that will prevent it from biting any person or animal, but that shall
not injure the dog or interfere with its vision or respiration; or

(e) maintenance of a liability insurance policy in an amount
determined by the court, but in no event in excess of one hundred
thousand dollars for personal injury or death resulting from an attack
by such dangerous dog.

3. Upon a finding that a dog is dangerous, the judge or justice may
order humane euthanasia or permanent confinement of the dog if one of
the following aggravating circumstances is established at the judicial
hearing held pursuant to subdivision two of this section:

(a) the dog, without justification, attacked a person causing serious
physical injury or death; or

(b) the dog has a known vicious propensity as evidenced by a previous
unjustified attack on a person, which caused serious physical injury or
death; or

(c) the dog, without justification, caused serious physical injury or
death to a companion animal, farm animal or domestic animal, and has, in
the past two years, caused unjustified physical injury or death to a
companion or farm animal as evidenced by a "dangerous dog" finding
pursuant to the provisions of this section.
An order of humane euthanasia shall not be carried out until expiration
of the thirty day period provided for in subdivision five of this
section for filing a notice of appeal, unless the owner of the dog has
indicated to the judge in writing, his or her intention to waive his or
her right to appeal. Upon filing of a notice of appeal, the order shall
be automatically stayed pending the outcome of the appeal.

4. A dog shall not be declared dangerous if the court determines the
conduct of the dog (a) was justified because the threat, injury or
damage was sustained by a person who at the time was committing a crime
or offense upon the owner or custodian of the dog or upon the property
of the owner or custodian of the dog; (b) was justified because the
injured, threatened or killed person was tormenting, abusing, assaulting
or physically threatening the dog or its offspring, or has in the past
tormented, abused, assaulted or physically threatened the dog or its
offspring; (c) was justified because the dog was responding to pain or
injury, or was protecting itself, its owner, custodian, or a member of
its household, its kennels or its offspring; or was justified because
the injured, threatened or killed companion animal, farm animal or
domestic animal was attacking or threatening to attack the dog or its
offspring. Testimony of a certified applied behaviorist, a board
certified veterinary behaviorist, or another recognized expert shall be
relevant to the court's determination as to whether the dog's behavior
was justified pursuant to the provisions of this subdivision.

5. (a) The owner of a dog found to be a "dangerous dog" pursuant to
this section may appeal such determination, and/or the court's order
concerning disposition of the dog to the court having jurisdiction to
hear civil appeals in the county where the "dangerous dog" finding was
made. The owner shall commence such appeal by filing a notice of appeal
with the appropriate court within thirty days of the final order
pursuant to this section. Court rules governing civil appeals in the
appropriate jurisdiction shall govern the appeal of a determination
under this section.

(b) Upon filing a notice of appeal from an order of humane euthanasia
pursuant to this section, such order shall be automatically stayed
pending final determination of any appeal. In all other circumstances,
the owner of the dog may make application to the court to issue a stay
of disposition pending determination of the appeal.

6. The owner of a dog who, through any act or omission, negligently
permits his or her dog to bite a person, service dog, guide dog or
hearing dog causing physical injury shall be subject to a civil penalty
not to exceed four hundred dollars in addition to any other applicable
penalties.

7. The owner of a dog who, through any act or omission, negligently
permits his or her dog to bite a person causing serious physical injury
shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed one thousand five
hundred dollars in addition to any other applicable penalties. Any such
penalty may be reduced by any amount which is paid as restitution by the
owner of the dog to the person or persons suffering serious physical
injury as compensation for unreimbursed medical expenses, lost earnings
and other damages resulting from such injury.

8. The owner of a dog who, through any act or omission, negligently
permits his or her dog, which had previously been determined to be
dangerous pursuant to this article, to bite a person causing serious
physical injury, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine
of not more than three thousand dollars, or by a period of imprisonment
not to exceed ninety days, or by both such fine and imprisonment in
addition to any other applicable penalties. Any such fine may be reduced
by any amount which is paid as restitution by the owner of the dog to
the person or persons suffering serious physical injury as compensation
for unreimbursed medical expenses, lost earnings and other damages
resulting from such injury.

9. If any dog, which had previously been determined by a judge or
justice to be a dangerous dog, as defined in section one hundred eight
of this article, shall without justification kill or cause the death of
any person who is peaceably conducting himself or herself in any place
where he or she may lawfully be, regardless of whether such dog escapes
without fault of the owner, the owner shall be guilty of a class A
misdemeanor in addition to any other penalties.

10. The owner or lawful custodian of a dangerous dog shall, except in
the circumstances enumerated in subdivisions four and eleven of this
section, be strictly liable for medical costs resulting from injury
caused by such dog to a person, companion animal, farm animal or
domestic animal.

11. The owner shall not be liable pursuant to subdivision six, seven,
eight, nine or ten of this section if the dog was coming to the aid or
defense of a person during the commission or attempted commission of a
murder, robbery, burglary, arson, rape in the first degree as defined in
subdivision one or two of section 130.35 of the penal law, criminal
sexual act in the first degree as defined in subdivision one or two of
section 130.50 of the penal law or kidnapping within the dwelling or
upon the real property of the owner of the dog and the dog injured or
killed the person committing such criminal activity.

12. Nothing contained in this section shall limit or abrogate any
claim or cause of action any person who is injured by a dog with a
vicious disposition or a vicious propensity may have under common law or
by statute. The provisions of this section shall be in addition to such
common law and statutory remedies.

13. Nothing contained in this section shall restrict the rights and
powers derived from the provisions of title four of article twenty-one
of the public health law relating to rabies and any rule and regulation
adopted pursuant thereto.

14. Persons owning, possessing or harboring dangerous dogs shall
report the presence of such dangerous dogs pursuant to section two
hundred nine-cc of the general municipal law.