New York state law requires anyone in possession of dangerous dogs and dangerous wild animals (which include non-human primates, non-domesticated dogs and cats, bears, venomous, constrictors and python snakes, and certain crocodiles) to report the presence of that animal to the clerk of the city, town, or village in which the animal resides. The report must be filed by April 1st every year and must list all of the physical locations where the animal may be kept. The clerk must then notify all local police, fire, and emergency medical service departments of the presence of that animal. Any person who fails to report the presence may be fined up to $250 dollars for the first offense and $1,000 dollars for each subsequent offense. Zoos and other U.S. Department of Agriculture-licensed exhibitors are exempt from the reporting requirement.
1. The knowledge of the presence of dangerous wild animals, and dangerous dogs, in the context of emergency services responses, is necessary to protect public safety and the safety of emergency services personnel.
2. As used in this section:
(a) the term “emergency services personnel” means fire, police, and ambulance personnel.
(b) the term “person” means any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other entity.
(c) the term “wild animal” means any or all of the following orders and families:
(1) Nonhuman primates and prosimians;
(2) Felidae (with the exception of domesticated cats);
(3) Canidae (with the exception of domesticated dogs);
(5) All venomous snakes and all constrictors and python snakes that are ten feet or greater in length; and
(6) Crocodilia that are five feet or greater in length.
(d) the term “dangerous dog” means a dog found dangerous pursuant to the provisions of section one hundred twenty-three of the agriculture and markets law.
3. The state fire administrator, in consultation with the department of environmental conservation, shall develop and maintain a list of the common names of wild animals to be reported.
4. Except for pet dealers as defined in section seven hundred fifty-two-a of the general business law and zoological facilities and other exhibitors licensed pursuant to title 7 U.S.C. sections 2133 and 2134, and in the case of dangerous dogs except for licensed veterinarians in temporary possession of such dogs, every person owning, possessing, or harboring a wild animal or a dangerous dog within this state shall report the presence thereof to the clerk of the city, town, or village in which such wild animal or dangerous dog is owned, possessed, or harbored. Such report shall be filed annually on a date to be determined by the state fire administrator in the manner prescribed by the state fire administrator. A separate report shall be filed for each street address at which any such wild animal or dangerous dog may be found.
5. Such clerk shall forward a copy of such report to each state police troop, county sheriff, and municipal police agency having jurisdiction over the location of such wild animal or dangerous dog. A copy thereof shall also be forwarded to each fire department, fire corporation, or fire company serving such location and to each ambulance or emergency medical service department, ambulance corporation, or ambulance or emergency medical service company serving such location. In lieu of forwarding a copy of each report, the clerk may compile the contents of the several reports, and forward the compilation.
6. Any person who fails to report the presence of a wild animal or dangerous dog as required in this section shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than two hundred fifty dollars for the first offense, and upon being found guilty of a second or subsequent offense, by a civil penalty of not less than two hundred fifty dollars or more than one thousand dollars. Except as otherwise provided by law, such a violation shall not be a crime and the penalty or punishment imposed therefor shall not be deemed for any purpose a criminal penalty or punishment and shall not impose any disability upon or affect or impair the credibility as a witness, or otherwise, of a person found guilty thereof.
(Added L.2002, c. 680, § 1, eff. April 19, 2003. Amended L.2004, c. 392, § 6, eff. Dec. 15, 2004; L.2005, c. 289, § 2, eff. Dec. 15, 2004; L.2005, c. 538, § 1, eff. Aug. 16, 2005; L.2010, c. 59, pt. T, § 25, eff. Jan. 1, 2011.)