Town Of Poestenkill
 Animal Control 

Animal Control

New York State Law requires all dogs to be licensed annually. The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets issues renewal notices. However, they are processed in your local municipality. Before a license can be issued or renewed, current proof of rabies vaccination must be provided. The Rensselaer County Health Department requires all dogs three months of age or older to be vaccinated for rabies. This information is crucial for the general publics well being. In addition, proof of spaying or neutering must be presented if applicable. If that is not possible, the owner may fill out an Affidavit at the Clerk's office. Dog owners who do not respond to the renewal notice will be contacted by the Clerk's office. In the event that the dog owner does not respond after several delinquency notices and subsequent follow-up phone calls, their name is forwarded to the Animal Control Officer for further action. The Animal Control Officer visits the residence for final compliance. If no attempt is made to license the dog after all these procedures, the dog owner can be ticketed and/or fined with non-compliance of State and Town law. The Town of Poestenkill does have a Leash Law. In addition, if your dog is lost, stolen or dies, notify the Town Clerk's Office, or the Animal Control Officer.


Every dog control officer everywhere, gets similar laments from dog owners who seem to forget that with dog ownership comes responsibility. State and local law determines what the owner's responsibilities are, much to the surprise of many dog owners. For questions call our Animal Control Officer.

Dog Control Officer
Bob Guyer
Phone: (518) 951-0213
It's outrageous! First he hits my dog with his car, leaves me with a stack of vet bills and now he is suing me! I can't believe it. I want this guy to pay my vet bills. How could this possibly be? After all, he was the one who hit my dog with his car

Dog owners are responsible for the actions and welfare of their own dog at all times. The dog owner is responsible for damage caused by his dog while it is running loose including such damage that may be sustained by a motor vehicle that may hit the dog while it is not under the control of its owner. The driver of the car is required to report the accident to authorities. He is not responsible for injury caused to the dog. An insurance agency will prosecute a dog owner for both property and personal injury caused by a dog running loose.

My dog got out, dog control picked him up and now the animal shelter wants me to prove It's my dog!" It's ridiculous! I want my friend to pick him up because I have to work but the animal shelter won't give him to my friend.

Municipalities have arrangements with a holding facility as well as a dog control officer. State law requires that a stray dog, taken to the town's holding facility (kennel), be released only to the owner, and to no other person, during the 5 day period designated by law. After the 5-day holding period the kennel may offer the dog for adoption to another person. Adoptions have to be conducted according to State Law and the dog must be spayed, neutered and licensed. The dog control officer in NY State cannot return an unlicensed dog to anybody, including the owner.

My stupid neighbor is complaining about my dog barking. What can I do? Am I supposed to quit my job and stay home with the dog?" After all, dogs bark. That's just the way it is.

Most municipalities have laws about barking dogs. Excessive barking and/or barking at unreasonable hours are covered under both the municipality's dog control law and the noise ordinance. A dog that is barking and disturbing the peace of the neighborhood is the responsibility of the owner.

I got a ticket for my dog running loose. I'm certainly not running down to the courthouse for a ticket for a dog. I've got better things to do. I've got a family; kids and I've got a job. Now I've got a fine to pay and I wasn't even in court

Most municipalities have a law that restricts dogs to the owner's own property unless the dog is under the owner's direct control. Owners walking dogs on leads must clean up after their dogs. Tickets are written either by the police or the dog control officer. Tickets written for dog control violations are handled by the court in a manner that is similar to a traffic ticket. The dog owner must appear in court. If the owner does not appear, the proceeding can take place in his absence. Fines may be levied and, in some instances, the dog owner may be found in contempt of court, which may result in additional fines and penalties. Subsequent violations may result in escalating fines.

Is My Dog Dangerous?

This is a long one! Both New York State and local law have restrictions on dangerous dogs. A dog that bites someone may be declared dangerous but a dog that threatens or intimidates a person to the degree that a reasonable person feels that he is at risk of being bitten can also be declared dangerous. Tickets can be issued for local municipal violations. A court appearance will be necessary and fines may result. New York State has a dangerous dog hearing procedure that can result in a court appearance. If a dog is found to meet the criteria for a dangerous dog in New York State the court may impose restrictions on how a dog is maintained as well as other serious penalties. Harboring a dangerous dog can result in lawsuits that can be very costly. It is important to maintain all dogs in a safe and secure manner to both protect the public and the dog. Dogs should never be allowed to run at large. What a dog is doing or what is happening to a dog when you are not there leaves too much risk for all concerned.


Most dog bites to strangers occur as a person is entering the property either into the home or onto the property. If your dog barks at people, rushes at people, or threatens in any way, this behavior can lead to more aggressive actions as time goes on. Electric fences work fine for some dogs but are particularly dangerous when the dog, so confined, is exhibiting aggressive behavior. A stranger may be cautious when opening a fence gate but if there is no visible barrier he may find himself well into a dog's space before he meets an aggressive dog. Every year there are bites to people in just such a scenario. How a dog acts with the family, people he knows, and other animals he is familiar with, is not indicative of the way he will behave in the presence of strangers. Many people are shocked when their dog is accused of aggressive or dangerous behavior, especially if they are not there to see it.


Pets are members of our family. It is sometimes difficult to consider the fact that, beloved as they may be, our pets are still animals.

I'm an anonymous caller. Whatever I tell you is the absolute truth. Now go and arrest them. Take their dog away from them and give them a hefty fine. They deserve it. Everybody on the block says so. After all, there are laws! You are the animal control of

How common is this type of communication? Very common. Messages such as this are also sent by email and left on the answering machine. They almost always mention that there are laws. That much is correct. There are laws. One important law says that there must be a witness to a violation of the law before a ticket is issued and the subsequent court appearance. If a dog is barking and keeping you up all night, running at large, destroying your property or attempting to attack your family and you are a witness to it there is a legal procedure in place to address the problem. This is as it should be. Without it, false accusations and vendetta-based complaints would fill the courts.


With no witness to substantiate the complaint the court would promptly dismiss the claim. A waste of time for all concerned! If you have a problem with your neighbor it may be a good idea to talk to your neighbor first. If no remedy can be found call your municipal animal control officer for information on other options. Give the officer your name and contact information and then tell the truth, without embellishment. There are laws but you can't accomplish anything if your primary concern is hiding your identity.