Dog Information | What to do if you see a bear
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 Repealed.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:
AT 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 License Fees [Adopted 8-7-1979 by L.L. No. 1-1979]
§ 42-6. Dog license fees.
The following annual fees for each dog license issued by the Town of Chester pursuant to the provisions of the Agriculture and Markets Law of the State of New York shall be:
Five dollars and fifty cents for each spayed or neutered dog.
Ten dollars and fifty cents for each unspayed or unneutered dog.
§ 42-7. Purebred license fees.
The annual fee for each purebred license issued by the Town of Chester pursuant to the provisions of the Agriculture and Markets Law of the State of New York shall be:
Fifty dollars if no more than 10 registered purebred dogs or purebred dogs eligible for registration over the age of six months are harbored on the owner's premises at the time of the application.
Seventy-five dollars if no more than 25 registered purebred dogs or purebred dogs eligible for registration over the age of six months are harbored on the owner's premises at the time of the application.
One hundred twenty-five dollars if more than 25 registered purebred dogs or purebred dogs eligible for registration over the age of six months are harbored on the owner's premises at the time of the application.
In addition to local town codes and ordinances, the Town of Chester Police Department also enforces those laws covered under the Department of Agricultural and Markets.
Some helpful links:
What do to do if you spot a bear
According 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 with you, the less likely he/she is to coming 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:
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: