New village ordinance regarding dog control

ROUSES POINT - The village of Rouses Point has a new dog control ordinance and it's one village officials hope will curb potential issues.

The village board of trustees approved Local Law No. 3 for 2009 during their regular board meeting July 20. The law was approved 3-0, with a motion from Trustee Brian B. Jefferson and second from Trustee John L. Cooper. Trustees Jean L. Birtz and Francis J. Baker were absent.

According to the ordinance, dogs must be on a leash when off their owner's property and are prohibited from causing damage to "any vegetables, lawns, flowers, garden beds or other property" not belonging to their owner. Also, dogs are not allowed to "chase, jump upon or at, or otherwise harass any person" or "habitually chase, run alongside of or bark at motor vehicles."

The law also addresses noise, prohibiting dogs from engaging in "habitual loud howling, barking, crying or whining" or "habitually disturb the comfort or repose of any person other than the owner of such dog."

Under the law, female dogs are also prohibited from leaving the owner's premises "when in heat." The law also states it will be illegal for all dogs to defecate or urinate on public property or property other than that of the owner.

Dog owners found in violation of the ordinance will be issued appearance tickets for village court, and, if convicted, face a $150 fine for the first offense and $250 for each offense thereafter. The fine is raised from $25 for a first offense, $50 for a second offense, and $100 for each offense thereafter.

Mayor George A. Rivers, who voted for the new law, said the number of people who scoffed the previous ordinance led to its revision.

"The fine was so small before, some people would ignore it or pay it and comment that it wasn't a big deal. We needed to make the penalties a little stiffer," said Rivers. "And, the law before was pretty vague. This one has more teeth."

The complete text of the new local law is available at the village clerk's office, 139 Lake St., Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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