Chapter 8 - ANIMAL SHELTERS AND STERILIZATION ACT¶
§ 17-802 Definitions. For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall be defined as follows: a. "Adoption" means the delivery of a dog or cat deemed appropriate and suitable by an animal shelter to an individual at least eighteen years of age who has been approved to own, care and provide for the animal by the animal shelter. b. "Consumer" means any individual purchasing an animal from a pet shop. A pet shop shall not be considered a consumer. c. "Feral cat" shall mean an animal of the species felis catus who has no owner, is unsocialized to humans and has a temperament of extreme fear of and resistance to contact with humans. d. "Full-service shelter" shall mean a facility required to have a permit issued pursuant to subdivision (b) of section 161.09 of the New York city health code that houses lost, stray or homeless animals and: (1) accepts dogs and cats twelve hours per day, seven days per week; (2) has an adoption program available seven days per week; and (3) provides sterilization services for dogs and cats and any other veterinary services deemed necessary by a licensed veterinarian at such shelter or at a veterinary facility. e. "Pet shop" means a facility required to have a permit issued pursuant to subdivision (a) of section 161.09 of the New York city health code, where dogs and/or cats are sold, exchanged, bartered, or offered for sale as pet animals to the general public at retail for profit. Such definition shall not include full-service shelters or other animal shelters that make dogs and cats available for adoption whether or not a fee for such adoption is charged. f. "Sterilization" means rendering a dog or cat, who is at least eight weeks of age, unable to reproduce, by surgically altering the dog's or cat's reproductive organs or by non-surgical methods or technologies approved by the United States food and drug administration or the United States department of agriculture and acceptable to the department. Such definition shall include the spaying of a female dog or cat or the neutering of a male dog or cat. g. "Trap-neuter-return" means a program to trap, vaccinate for rabies, sterilize and identify feral cats and return them to the locations where they were found.
§ 17-803 Animal shelters. a. A full-service shelter shall be maintained and operated in each of three boroughs of the city of New York. At least one of the full-service shelters shall be open to the public for the purpose of receiving animals twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week. b. Facilities to receive lost, stray or homeless dogs and cats from the public shall be maintained seven days per week, twelve hours per day in those boroughs of the city in which there is not a full-service shelter. c. Field services having the capacity to pick up and bring to a shelter lost, stray, homeless or injured dogs and cats from all five boroughs shall be maintained and operated seven days per week, twelve hours per day. Where public health and safety is threatened, they shall have the capacity to pick up such animals twenty-four hours per day.
§ 17-804 Sterilization required. a. No full-service shelter or other shelter for homeless animals required to have a permit issued pursuant to subdivision (b) of section 161.09 of the New York city health code shall release a dog or cat to a person claiming ownership thereof, or to a person adopting such dog or cat, unless such dog or cat has been sterilized by a licensed veterinarian; provided, however, that such requirement shall not apply: (1) if a licensed veterinarian certifies to such shelter that he or she has examined such dog or cat and found that because of a medical reason, the life of such dog or cat would be endangered by sterilization; provided, however, that such reason shall not consist solely of the youth of such dog or cat, if such dog or cat is at least eight weeks of age; (2) in the case of a dog, if such dog, within the time period provided for by law, rule or regulation, is claimed by a person claiming ownership thereof, and such person demonstrates to the satisfaction of the shelter that such dog has a breed ring show record from the American Kennel Club or United Kennel Club or other similar, registry association, dated no more than twelve months prior to the date such dog entered such shelter, or such person claiming ownership is able to provide proof that such dog has successfully completed the requirements of the American Kennel Club or United Kennel Club or other similar, registry association, for the title Champion or its equivalent, at any time prior to the arrival of the dog at the shelter; (3) in the case of a dog, if such dog, within the time period provided for by law, rule or regulation, is claimed by a person claiming ownership thereof, and such person demonstrates to the satisfaction of the shelter that such dog is a guide dog, hearing dog, service dog or police work dog; or (4) in the case of a cat, if such cat within the time period provided for by law, rule or regulation, is claimed by a person claiming ownership thereof, and such person demonstrates to the satisfaction of such shelter that such cat has a breed show record from the Cat Fancier Association or other similar, registry association dated no more than twelve months prior to the date such cat entered such shelter or such person claiming ownership is able to provide proof that such cat has successfully completed the requirements of the Cat Fancier Association or other similar, registry association for the title Champion, Grand Champion or its equivalent, at any time prior to the arrival of the cat at the shelter. b. No pet shop shall release to a consumer a dog or cat that has not been sterilized by a licensed veterinarian; provided, however, that such requirement shall not apply to a consumer who presents to the pet shop a letter from such consumer's licensed veterinarian, dated within the immediately preceding ten days, stating the reason(s) why, in the opinion of such veterinarian, such dog or cat should not be sterilized until a later specified date, not to exceed four months following the date of such letter. Such letter shall state that such veterinarian will cause such dog or cat to be sterilized at the request of such consumer on or before such later specified date. Such veterinarian shall also provide to the pet shop a certificate, in such form and manner as determined by rules promulgated by the department, stating the date on which such sterilization was performed. Any consumer who provides a pet shop with a letter with respect to a later sterilization of a dog or cat must ensure that such animal is sterilized by the date indicated in the letter. c. Every pet shop, in accordance with rules promulgated by the department, shall maintain records of dog and cat sales, sterilization procedures performed at the request of the pet shop, and veterinarian letters and certificates received, and shall retain such records, letters and certificates for a period of two years. Such records, letters and certificates shall be made available to the department according to rules promulgated by the department. d. Every owner of a cat who permits such cat to roam outside the interior of the owner's dwelling shall have such cat sterilized. At the request of employees or authorized agents of the department, owners shall provide proof satisfactory to the department that a cat found roaming has been sterilized. The Department shall not seize a cat solely on the ground that the cat has not been sterilized. e. The department shall post and maintain on its website a regularly updated list of organizations in New York city that offer trap-neuter-return information and conduct trap-neuter-return activities.
§ 17-805 Reporting requirements. The department shall provide the mayor and the city council with a report by February twenty-eight of each year which shall set forth information regarding the management and operation of all full-service shelters performing services pursuant to a contract with the city of New York, including but not limited to: a. The following information with respect to the previous calendar year: (1) the total number of animals accepted by each full-service shelter; (2) the total number of animals that were sterilized at each full-service shelter; (3) the total number of animals that were humanely euthanized at each full-service shelter; (4) the total number of healthy animals that were humanely euthanized at each full-service shelter; (5) the total number of animals that were adopted at each full-service shelter; (6) the total number of animals at each full-service shelter that were returned to their owner; and (7) the number of animals at each full-service shelter that were provided to other shelters for adoption. b. The following information for each month of the previous calendar year: (1) the total number of animals, disaggregated by borough, picked up by field services during regular business hours and delivered to (A) receiving facilities and (B) full-service shelters; (2) the total number of animals, disaggregated by borough, picked up by field services during off hours and delivered to (A) receiving facilities and (B) full-service shelters; (3) the total number of animals taken in and transferred to a full-service shelter from each receiving facility; and (4) the staffing levels at all full-service shelters and receiving facilities. c. The department shall report to the mayor and the council each month the total number of healthy animals that were humanely euthanized at each full-service shelter during the previous month. d. No later than twenty-four months after the effective date of the local law that added this subdivision, the department shall provide to the mayor and the council a report that summarizes and describes trends in the reporting requirements provided annually in accordance with this section.
§ 17-806 Violations. Any person found to be in violation of subdivision (b), (c) or (d) of section 17-804 of this chapter or any of the rules promulgated thereunder shall be liable for a civil penalty of not less than two hundred fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars for each violation. A proceeding to recover any civil penalty authorized pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be commenced by the service of a notice of violation which shall be returnable to the administrative tribunal authorized to adjudicate violations of the health code.
§ 17-807 Rules. The commissioner may promulgate such rules as are necessary for the purposes of implementing and carrying out the provisions of this chapter.
§ 17-808 Severability. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or other portion of this local law is, for any reason, declared unconstitutional or invalid, in whole or in part, by any court of competent jurisdiction such portion shall be deemed severable, and such unconstitutionality or invalidity shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this law, which remaining portions shall continue in full force and effect.
§ 17-809 No limitation on additional services. Nothing contained in this chapter shall be deemed to limit the department's authority to offer additional services or facilities to facilitate the decline in numbers of unwanted and uncared for animals in New York city.
§ 17-810 Euthanizing animals; time frame for making such determination. In determining when a full-service shelter may euthanize a lost, stray or homeless animal held by it, such shelter shall exclude from the calculation of the number of hours that such shelter is required by law to hold such animal before euthanizing such animal those hours when such shelter is not required to accept dogs and cats pursuant to paragraph one of subdivision d of section 17-802 of this chapter. Such calculation of the number of hours shall not take into consideration the full-service shelter required to accept dogs and cats twenty-four hours per day pursuant to subdivision a of section 17-803 of this chapter.
§ 17-811 Animal population control program. The department shall promulgate rules and regulations to establish and implement an animal population control program within one hundred eighty days from the effective date of this section. The purpose of this program shall be to reduce the population of unwanted stray dogs and cats thereby reducing potential threats to public health and safety and reducing the costs of caring for these animals. This program shall seek to accomplish its purpose by encouraging residents of the city of New York who are the owners of dogs and cats to have them spayed or neutered by providing no or low-cost spaying and neutering services to such owners. The department shall promulgate rules and regulations necessary to establish an animal population control program including, but not limited, to creating clinics or mobile units where such services shall be performed and establishing criteria for pet owner eligibility to use such services. Indicia of eligibility for pet owners seeking no or low-cost spay and neuter services shall include but not be limited to any criteria deemed acceptable by the agencies performing the services. The commissioner may solicit and accept funds from the animal population control fund established pursuant to section 17-812 of this chapter and any other public or private source to help carry out the provisions of this section.
§ 17-812 Animal population control fund. 1. There is hereby established in the joint custody of the city comptroller and commissioner of finance a fund to be known as the "animal population control fund" which shall be used by the department to subsidize the city's animal population control program as established by section 17-811 of this chapter. 2. Such fund shall consist of all moneys collected from the animal population control program established pursuant to section 17-811 of this chapter and section three-a of chapter one hundred fifteen of the laws of eighteen hundred ninety-four, and all other moneys credited or transferred thereto from any other fund or source pursuant to law. 3. Moneys of the fund shall be made available to the department and shall be expended for the purposes of carrying out animal population control programs pursuant to the provisions of section 17-811 of this chapter. Moneys shall be paid out of the fund on the audit and warrant of the city comptroller and approved by the commissioner. Any interest received by the city comptroller on moneys on deposit in the animal population control fund shall be retained in and become part of such fund.
§ 17-813 Dog license fee. a. In addition to the fees required pursuant to chapter 115 of the laws of 1894, as amended, any person applying for a dog license shall pay twenty-five dollars and fifty cents for any dog four months of age or older that has not been spayed or neutered unless an owner presents with the license application a statement certified by a licensed veterinarian stating that he or she has examined the dog and found that because of old age or other reasons, the life of the dog would be endangered by spaying or neutering. b. Fees collected pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be directed to the animal population control fund established pursuant to section 17-812.