There are a variety of laws that pertain to owning animals in New York City and violating them can lead to fines of $2,000.
The most common of these are:
- 1. The dog license law
- 2. The dog leash law
- 3. The canine waste law (cleaning up after your pet)
- 4. The rabies vaccination law
- 5. The animal nuisance law
Dog Licenses (167;161.04)
Your dog(s) must wear a valid metal tag at all times displaying the license obtained from the New York City department of health.
Click the following link for an nyc dog license
Dog leash law (167;161.05)
If you are walking a dog in a public and / or open area next to a public area it is necessary to have your dog on a leash and that leash can be no more than six feet.
Canine waste law:
(“pooper scooper law” – section 1310 of New York State public health code) Plain and simple you must clean up after your dog on the street.
Rabies vaccination law (11.66. – Rabies: compulsory vaccination)
Any cat or dog you own in New York City over three months of age must be immunized against rabies.
The animal nuisance law (167;161.03)
Any person who owns a cat, dog, or any other animal will not allow that animal to create a public nuisance in either a public place or an open area, wall, fence, window next to a public place.
NYC dog laws (continued):
Determination of a dangerous dog (167;17-345)
A dangerous dog is defined as –
- 1. Any dog that when unprovoked, approaches or menaces any person in a dangerous or terrorizing manner upon the streets, sidewalks or any public grounds or places.
- 2. Any dog with a known propensity, tendency or disposition to attack when unprovoked.
- 3. Any dog which bites, inflicts injury, assaults or otherwise attacks a human being or domestic animal without provocation on public or private property.
When a dog is determined to be dangerous:
The commissioner may order the owner of a dangerous dog to –
- 1. Muzzle the dog.
- 2. Confine the dog at all times, indoors in a penned area and display a sign of owning a dangerous dog.
- 3. Obtain in full force and effect, a liability insurance policy of one-hundred thousand dollars for personal injury or death.
- 4. Be confined and impounded by the proper authorities
If your dog has been deemed “dangerous” and has now been impounded.
The owner of the dog may request the commissioner to conduct a hearing to determine if the dog should be returned to the owner. No dog shall be considered “dangerous” if the threat, injury or damage caused was sustained by a person who at the time was committing a willful trespass of the premises owned by the dog; was assaulting the dog; had been seen in the past to be assaulting the dog; was committing a crime.
- 1. To report an incidence of cruelty to animals call the ASPCA at (212) 876-7700.
- 2. If you have a trapped and or injured animal you can not reach call the Center for Animal Care and Control (CACC) at 311 and ask for them.
- 3. If you see a carriage horse or any horse in the city being treated cruelly call the VPHS at (212) 676-2120.
- 4. To view the laws mentioned on this page in greater detail click this link for dog laws.