The Department of Health is looking to revise it's health code again.
Here is the nuts n bolts:
Please find attached the Health Code changes. The public hearing is February 3rd
10 AM at 125 Worth Street.
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND MENTAL HYGIENE
BOARD OF HEALTH
NOTICE OF INTENTION
TO AMEND ARTICLE 161 OF THE NEW YORK CITY HEALTH CODE
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
In compliance with §1043(b) of the New York City Charter (the Charter) and pursuant
to the authority granted to the Board of Health by §558 of said Charter, notice is hereby given of
the proposed amendment of Article 161 (Animals) of the New York City Health Code (the
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND
MENTAL HYGIENE WILL HOLD A PUBLIC HEARING ON THE PROPOSAL FROM 10:00
A.M. TO 12:00 NOON ON WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2010 IN THE THIRD FLOOR
BOARDROOM (ROOM 330) AT 125 WORTH STREET, NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10013.
PERSONS INTERESTED IN PRE-REGISTERING TO SPEAK SHOULD NOTIFY, IN
WRITING, RENA BRYANT, SECRETARY TO THE BOARD OF HEALTH, 125 WORTH
STREET CN-31, NEW YORK, NEW YORK; (212) 788-5010 BY 5:00 P.M. TUESDAY,
FEBRUARY 2, 2010. PLEASE INCLUDE A TELEPHONE NUMBER WHERE, IF
NECESSARY, YOU MAY BE REACHED DURING NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS.
SPEAKERS WILL BE LIMITED TO FIVE (5) MINUTES.
PERSONS WHO REQUEST THAT A SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETER OR OTHER
FORM OF REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION FOR A DISABILITY BE PROVIDED AT
THE HEARING ARE ASKED TO NOTIFY RENA BRYANT, SECRETARY TO THE BOARD
OF HEALTH, 125 WORTH STREET CN-31, NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10013; (212) 788-
5010 BY JANUARY 20, 2010. REGISTRATION WILL BE ACCEPTED AT THE DOOR
UNTIL 12:00 P.M. ON FEBRUARY 3, 2010. HOWEVER, PREFERENCE WILL BE GIVEN
TO THOSE WHO PREREGISTER.
WRITTEN COMMENTS REGARDING THE PROPOSAL ADDRESSED TO THE
ATTENTION OF THE BOARD OF HEALTH MUST BE SUBMITTED TO RENA BRYANT,
SECRETARY TO THE BOARD OF HEALTH, BY MAIL TO 125 WORTH STREET CN-31,
NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10013, BY FAX TO (212) 788-4315, BY E-MAIL TO
RESOLUTIONCOMMENTS@HEALTH.NYC.GOV OR ONLINE (WITHOUT
ATTACHMENTS) AT http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/notice/notice.shtml ON OR BEFORE
5:00 P.M., WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2010. ATTACHMENTS TO ONLINE
COMMENTS MUST BE MAILED OR FAXED. COMMENTS RECEIVED AFTER
FEBRUARY 3, 2010 WILL BE CONSIDERED TO THE EXTENT POSSIBLE.
WRITTEN COMMENTS RECEIVED BY THE SECRETARY TO THE BOARD OF
HEALTH AND A TRANSCRIPT OF THE PUBLIC HEARING WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR
PUBLIC INSPECTION WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME AFTER RECEIPT, BETWEEN
THE HOURS OF 9:00 A.M. AND 5:00 P.M. AT THE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY. THE
DEPARTMENTS GENERAL POLICY IS TO MAKE WRITTEN COMMENTS AVAILABLE
FOR PUBLIC VIEWING ON THE INTERNET. ALL COMMENTS RECEIVED,
INCLUDING ANY PERSONAL INFORMATION PROVIDED, WILL BE POSTED
WITHOUT CHANGE TO http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/comment/comment.shtml.
These amendments to the Health Code are promulgated pursuant to §§558 and 1043 of
the Charter. Sections 558(b) and (c) of the Charter empower the Board of Health to amend the
Health Code and to include in the Health Code all matters to which the authority of the
Commissioner and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (the Department) extends.
Section 1043 grants the Department rule-making authority.
Statement of Basis and Purpose
As part of a comprehensive review of the Health Code, the DOHMH proposes that Board
of Health update various provisions of Article 161 of the Health Code to assure that it provides
adequate legal tools for the Board and DOHMH to effectively address the Citys current public
health needs related to animals, and to provide consistency with other applicable law. The
revisions reflect current law, policies and practices and update provisions regarding permits and
licenses, dangerous dogs, shelter animals, pest management and stables for horses. Not all
sections of the Article would be amended, however. The following changes are proposed.
§ 161.01. Wild and other animals prohibited
The title of this section has been amended to add the term other animals to more
correctly reflect its provisions, indicating that possession of certain animals other than wild
animals is prohibited in the City.
Paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) is new, and adds to the places where wild animals may
be kept, a veterinary or other health care facility that is providing care to such animals.
Former paragraph (4), renumbered as paragraph (5) would require that a permit be
obtained to exhibit and use animals whose possession or use would otherwise be prohibited; that
animals for which there is a USDA approved rabies vaccine be vaccinated prior to use; that a
permit application be submitted by the user or exhibitor in advance of the proposed use; and that
a fee may be imposed for such permit.
The following additions are proposed to the prohibited animals list in subdivision (b): in
paragraph (2), the term cross-breed in addition to hybrid or cross-breed offspring of a wild cat
and domesticated or other cat; in paragraph (10), turtles or tortoises with a carapace length of
less than four (4) inches; in paragraph (14), nutria; in paragraph (15) pigs, including pot
bellied pig, goats, cattle; and a new paragraph (18) prohibited sea mammals and other
predatory marine and freshwater animals and fishes including, but not limited to, sharks and
In response to a petition to commence rule making, the Department examined reports of
bee stings and found that such incidents are minimal. As a result the Department is proposing to
amend paragraph (12) to allow New Yorkers to keep hives of non-aggressive honey bees. No
permit would be required, only notification to the Department, and appropriate practices to avoid
creating a nuisance would have to be used. A definition of a beekeeping nuisance has been added
to the definition of animal nuisance in §161.02.
§ 161.02. Definitions.
This section includes additional terms and updated definitions to harmonize with
applicable law and to reflect current practice.
The existing terms, shelter, attack or guard dog (eliminating the term attack),
boarding kennel, stable, grooming parlor, and pet shop have been updated to reflect
modern usage and practice, pet animal has been removed, and the following terms and their
definitions have been added:
animal rescue group
exposure to rabies
hybrid or cross-breed
lost, stray and homeless animals
State Sanitary Code
The addition of these terms and their definitions updates and brings the Article into
greater conformity with its regulatory scope.
§ 161.04. Dog licenses.
Subdivision (a) now includes specifications that animal rescue groups are required to
obtain a license for any dog harbored by them for longer than six months.
A new subdivision (c) requires animal rescue groups to provide an animal shelter from
which they obtain animals with proof that owners of dogs adopted through their efforts have
licensed such dogs.
Subdivision (d) has been added to include an additional tag for service dogs and to waive
the fee for such tags, a Department practice consistent with dog licensing requirements in the rest
of the State. Instead of requiring that individuals with disability produce proof of disability, this
provision requires only proof that the animal has been trained to provide services needed by such
persons and is more consistent with provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
A new subdivision (e) allows for the sale of licenses in any manner not prohibited by law.
Current subdivision (c) (Enforcement) has been renumbered as subdivision (f) and has
been amended to authorize issuance of notices of violation for failure to comply by any peace
§ 161.05. Dogs to be restrained.
Subdivision (c) has been amended to authorize any peace officer to issue a notice of
violation for failure to comply with its requirements.
§ 161.06. Dogs and cats to be vaccinated and treated prior to change in ownership.
This section has been amended to update the reference to rabies vaccination requirements
in Article 11 of the Health Code.
§ 161.07. Dangerous dogs.
It is proposed that this section be repealed and recodified in its entirety. As recodified, the
section specifies procedures for addressing the perennial problem of dogs that are a danger
because their owners are generally unable or unwilling to control them. The new section would
provide a hearing to any owner disagreeing with the Departments assessment of his or her dog,
but would specify a length of time that a dog which has inflicted injuries can be kept in a shelter
prior to that hearing. It also modernizes and adds control measures to those currently available to
the Department in §161.07.
§ 161.09. Permits to keep certain animals.
This section has been updated and extensively revised. Subdivision (a) would no longer
require that a pet shop that exclusively sells dogs and cats and is a pet dealer regulated by Article
26-A of the Agriculture and Markets Law, or successor law be permitted by the Department.
Similarly, subdivision (f) excludes such persons from holding a certificate in small animal
Current subdivision (c) has been deleted. Sales of live rabbits and poultry are regulated
by the US Department of Agriculture and the State Department of Agriculture and Markets.
Current subdivisions (d) (e) (f) have been relettered but are substantively the same. The
relettered subdivision (c) has been amended to allow the possession or use of cattle, swine, sheep
or goats only at a zoo, farm exhibit, or other place in accordance with §161.01(a) of this Article.
The relettered subdivision (g) requires that the owners of trained guard dogs have their dogs
implanted with a microchip as a permanent identification, and that they supply the identification
number to the Department. Paragraph (2) of this subdivision requires owners or other persons in
control of any premises in which a trained guard dog is kept to post a durable sign or notice
warning the public of the presence of such trained guard dog, rather than the Department
providing the sign. Requirements for the content of the sign are listed, including the name and
other contact information for the owner of the guard dog. Paragraph (3) requires that all persons
who train, sell or rent guard dogs must post a durable sign or notice stating that a copy of this
section shall be provided by the trainer, seller or renter of a guard dog to any person who uses
such dogs, warning that all users shall comply with licensing, tagging, microchipping and signage
§ 161.11. Prevention of nuisances; cleaning.
Subdivision (b) has been amended to incorporate the definition of animal nuisance in
Subdivision (c) has been amended to include reference to equipment required to maintain
§ 161.15. Keeping of small animals for sale, boarding, grooming, or training.
Subdivision (a) has been amended to clarify that animals to be sold or held for sale, or
boarded, groomed or trained shall not be kept in any room in which a person lives and that only
live food fish species from a source authorized by applicable law to supply such fish, or fish kept
as pets in an ornamental aquarium, shall be sold or held for sale or kept, respectively, in the same
place where food or drink is sold for human consumption.
Subdivision (e) has been added to require that a holder of a permit to operate a boarding
kennel obtain proof from the dogs owner that any dog provided services is up to date on all
vaccinations in accordance with §17-366 of the Administrative Code. The owner shall maintain
such proof on the premises, and shall provide such records for inspection to the Department upon
§ 161.17. Small animals kept for sale, shelters, kennels and training establishments; physical
facilities and maintenance.
This section has been amended to reference Article 131 (Buildings) and Article 151 (Pest
Prevention and Management).
§ 161.19. Keeping of livestock, live poultry and rabbits.
The title of this section has been amended to add the term livestock.
Subdivision (a) has been amended to prohibit keeping a live rooster, duck, goose or
turkey in the City of New York except in a slaughterhouse inspected by or on behalf of the US
Department of Agriculture and the State Department of Agriculture and Markets or other places
in accordance with §161.01 (a).
Subdivision (b) has been amended to reference applicable law and this Articles
definition of animal nuisances.
Subdivision (c) contains provisions of current §161.09 (c).
§ 161.21. Horse stables; rabies vaccination for horses; nuisance prevention.
The current section, Yarding of horses, cattle, swine, sheep and goats, is being repealed
as outdated, and a repealed §161.23, Stables for horses; physical facilities and maintenance, has
been recodified and renumbered as §161.21. The new section provides general requirements for
horse stables that are required to hold a permit pursuant to §161.09, including horse stables used
in rental horse businesses regulated by Chapter 4 of the Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New
York. Chapter 4 now includes only rules applicable to stables maintained by rental horse
businesses. The new requirements reflect both the recommendations of the Advisory Board
established pursuant to §17-331 of the Administrative Code and standards of the State
Department of Agriculture and Markets Horse Health Assurance Program. The Department
believes such standards, which reflect modern stable management practices, are appropriate for
all commercial stables because they promote the safety and health of horses, and that of people
who work and have other contact with horses, and prevent and control diseases of horses and
other nuisance conditions at stables. New safety requirements include installation of sprinkler
systems, emergency management procedures, establishing emergency contact information, and
equipping stables with horse trailers for emergency care of horses. Stable operators will be
required to have all horses in commercial stables immunized against rabies.
§ 161.23 Sterilization of shelter animals.
This section is new and addresses obligations for sterilization of shelter animals. Since
2002, Administrative Code §17-804 has required that dogs and cats released from an animal
shelter must be spayed or neutered. The Administrative Code is silent regarding pre-adoption
release of animals to animal rescue groups. Since 2002, the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's
Animals, Inc., has actively promoted formal agreements with such groups, enabling them to take
animals from shelters. These agreements relieve the Citys shelters of overcrowding, and reduce
pressures to euthanize adoptable animals. The groups hold dogs and cats until their adoption by
permanent owners. This new Health Code provision would require shelters to sterilize dogs and
cats before they are released to an animal rescue group, when practicable. It establishes an
obligation for the animal rescue groups to maintain proof of sterilization of animals released to
adopters, if the animals are not already sterilized. It also establishes procedures for management
of cases whereby owners of animals being released from a shelter who object to sterilization of
their dogs and cats may post a bond and take the animal out of the shelter, pending the owners
litigation of the matter, and establishes a spay neuter fund with the proceeds of forfeited bonds in
the event that the owner does not timely commence litigation or does not prevail in court. Sums
collected from forfeited bonds would be dedicated to cover the costs of free or subsidized spay
and neuter services for dogs and cats.
§161.25 Modification by the Commissioner.
This section is new and would authorize the Commissioner in specific instances to
modify the application of provisions of this Article.
The resolution is as follows.
Matter deleted is [bracketed].
Matter that is new is underlined.
Resolved, that subdivisions (a) and (b) of §161.01 of the New York City Health Code,
found in Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York be, and the same hereby are, amended, to
be printed, together with explanatory notes, to read as follows:
§161.01. Wild and other animals prohibited.
(a) No person shall sell or give to another person, possess, harbor, [or]keep, or yard wild or other
animals identified in [subsection (b) of] this section or in regulations promulgated by the
Commissioner pursuant to [subsection] subdivision (e) of this section other than in:
(1) A zoological park or aquarium operated by the Department of Parks, by the Wildlife
Conservation Society, or by the Staten Island Zoological Society; or
(2) A laboratory operated pursuant to §504 of the Public Health Law; or
(3) A circus or native wildlife rehabilitator licensed by federal or state agencies; or
(4) A veterinary hospital or other veterinary or medical facility where veterinary care is provided
for such animals; or
[(4) A place which has received the approval of the Department to exhibit or use such animals,
and which has protective devices to prevent such animal from escaping or injuring the public. The
Department may impose reasonable conditions and time limits on the granting of such approval.]
(5) A place that exhibits, uses or displays such animals, including, but not limited to, a rodeo,
petting zoo, farm museum, school or similar institution, film, television, photographic or other
production, or for commercial or other purposes, in accordance with a permit issued by the
Commissioner. The Commissioner may impose reasonable conditions and time limits on such
exhibitions, usages or displays when issuing such permits, including a condition that the place
where animals are exhibited, used or displayed have protective devices to preventing animals
from escaping or injuring the public.
(A) An application for a permit to exhibit, use or display animals shall be submitted to the
Department at least five (5) business days prior to such exhibition, use or display by the person or
entity that proposes to exhibit, use or display such animals.
(B) Any animal of a species for which a rabies vaccine licensed and approved by the USDA is
available shall be currently vaccinated against rabies in accordance with the vaccine
manufacturers instructions sufficiently in advance of any permit being issued for its exhibition,
use or display, so that such vaccine shall be effective at the time of the animals exhibition, use or
(C) The Department may impose a fee to cover its costs in issuing such permits.
(b) For the purposes of this Code, a wild animal[s are] is deemed to be any animal[s] which [are]
is naturally inclined to do harm and capable of inflicting harm upon human beings and all such
animals are hereby prohibited pursuant to [subsection] subdivision (a) of this section. Such
animals shall also include: (i) any animals specified by the Commissioner in regulations
promulgated pursuant to this section; (ii) any native or exotic wildlife whose possession or sale is
prohibited because they are designated as protected or endangered pursuant to any federal, state
or local law, regulation, or rule; and (iii) any of the following animals:
(1) All dogs other than domesticated dogs (Canis familiaris), including, but not limited to, wolf,
fox, coyote, hyaena, dingo, jackal, dhole, fennec, raccoon dog, zorro, bush dog, aardwolf, cape
hunting dog and any hybrid or cross-breed offspring of a wild dog and domesticated dog.
(2) All cats other than domesticated cats (Felis catus), including, but not limited to, lion, tiger,
leopard, ocelot, jaguar, puma, panther, mountain lion, cheetah, wild cat, cougar, bobcat, lynx,
serval, caracal, jaguarundi, margay and any hybrid or cross-breed offspring of a wild cat and
domesticated or other cat.
* * *
(10) Reptiles (Reptilia). All Helodermatidae (gila monster and Mexican beaded lizard); all frontfanged
venomous snakes, even if devenomized, including, but not limited to, all Viperidae (viper,
pit viper), all Elapidae (cobra, mamba, krait, coral snake), all Atractaspididae (African burrowing
asp), all Hydrophiidae (sea snake), all Laticaudidae (sea krait); all venomous, mid-or rear-fanged,
Duvernoy-glanded members of the family Colubridae, even if devenomized; any member, or
hybrid offspring of the family Boidae, including, but not limited to, the common or green
anaconda and yellow anaconda; any member of the family Pythonidae, including, but not limited
to, the African rock python, Indian or Burmese python, Amethystine or scrub python; any
member of the family Varanidae, including the white throated monitor, Bosc's or African
savannah monitor, Komodo monitor or dragon, Nile monitor, crocodile monitor, water monitor,
Bornean earless monitor; any member of the family Iguanidae, including the green or common
iguana; any member of the family teiidae, including, but not limited to, the golden, common, or
black and white tegu; all members of the family Chelydridae, including snapping turtle and
alligator snapping turtle; all turtles and tortoises with a carapace length of less than four (4)
inches; and all members of the order Crocodylia, including, but not limited to, alligator, caiman
* * *
(12) All venomous insects, including, but not limited to, [bee,] bees other than non-aggressive
honey bees (Apis mellifera), hornet and wasp. Persons keeping honey bees shall file a notice with
the Department, on a form provided or approved by the Department, containing the beekeepers
name, address, telephone, e-mail and fax numbers, emergency contact information, and location
of the hive, and they shall notify the Department within ten business days of any changes to such
information. Beekeepers shall adhere to appropriate beekeeping practices including maintaining
bee colonies in moveable-frame hives that are kept in sound and usable condition; providing a
constant and adequate water source; locating hives so that the movement of bees does not become
an animal nuisance, as defined in §161.02 of this Article; and shall be able to respond
immediately to control bee swarms and to remediate nuisance conditions.
* * *
(14) All large rodents (Rodentia), including, but not limited to, gopher, muskrat, nutria, paca,
woodchuck, marmot, beaver, prairie dog, capybara, sewellel, viscacha, porcupine and hutia.
(15) All even-toed ungulates (Artiodactyla) including, but not limited to, deer, antelope, sheep,
pigs, including pot bellied pigs, goats, cattle, giraffe and hippopotamus. Such prohibition shall not
affect persons who keep livestock in accordance with applicable law.
* * *
(18) Sea mammals (Cetacea, Pinnipedia and Sirenia), including, but not limited to, dolphin,
whale, seal, sea lion and walrus, and any other predatory marine and freshwater animals and
fishes including, but not limited to, sharks and piranhas.
Subdivision (a) of §161.01 was amended by resolution adopted on XXX, adding a new paragraph
(4) and renumbering former paragraph (4) as paragraph (5), to add to the places where wild
animals may be kept a veterinary or other health care facility that is providing care to such
animals. Former paragraph (4), now renumbered as paragraph (5) specifies requirements for
obtaining a permit to exhibit and use otherwise prohibited animals, and requires rabies
vaccination for such animals.
Subdivision (b) of §161.01 was amended by resolution adopted on XXX, adding to the animals
prohibited in the City of New York the following: in paragraph (2), cross-breed offspring of wild
and domesticated cats; in paragraph (10), turtles or tortoises with a carapace length of less than
four (4) inches; in paragraph (14), nutria; in paragraph (15) pigs, including pot bellied pig, goats
and cattle; and in paragraph (18) adding other predatory marine animals and fishes including, but
not limited to, sharks and piranha. Paragraph (12) was amended to allow beekeeping.
Resolved, that §161.02 of the New York City Health Code, found in Title 24 of the Rules
of the City of New York be, and the same hereby are, amended, to be printed, together with
explanatory notes, to read as follows:
§161.02. Definitions. When used in this article[:], the following terms shall have the following
Adoption means the delivery to any natural person eighteen years of age or older, for the limited
purpose of harboring as a pet, a homeless, lost, stray, abandoned, seized, surrendered, or
Animal behaviorist means a person certified as an applied animal behaviorist or veterinary
behaviorist by the Animal Behaviorist Society or other person with qualifications acceptable to
the Department, who works with pets and their owners to modify animal behavior, provide
socialization training for animals and their owners, and assesses or diagnoses behavioral
pathology in animals.
Animal nuisances shall include, but not be limited to, animal feces, urine, blood, body parts,
carcasses, vomitus and pervasive odors; animals that carry or are ill with contagious diseases
communicable to persons or other animals; and dangerous dogs. A beekeeping nuisance shall
mean conditions that include, but not be limited to, aggressive or objectionable bee behaviors,
hive placement or bee movement that interferes with pedestrian traffic or persons residing on or
adjacent to the hive premises; and overcrowded, deceased or abandoned hives.
Animal rescue group shall mean a not-for-profit organization, group or unincorporated entity that
accepts unwanted dogs or cats from an animal shelter or other place and attempts to find homes
for, and promote adoption of, such animals by the general public.
[(a)] Animal [Shelter] shelter or shelter for homeless animals means a not-for-profit facility
holding a permit in accordance with §161.09 of this Article where homeless, lost, stray,
abandoned, seized, surrendered or unwanted animals are received, harbored, maintained [or] and
made available for adoption to the general public, redemption by their owners or other lawful
disposition, and which is owned, operated, or maintained by a duly incorporated humane society,
animal welfare society, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or other organization
devoted to the welfare, protection or humane treatment of animals.
[(d)] Boarding kennel[,] business[,] or establishment means a facility other than an animal shelter
where animals not owned by the proprietor are sheltered, harbored, maintained, groomed,
exercised, fed, or watered in return for a fee.
Cat means a domesticated animal of the species Felis catus kept as a pet, except for any animal
that is a hybrid or cross-breed of such species whose possession is prohibited in New York City
pursuant to §161.01 of this Article.
Dangerous dog means a dog, other than one registered with the Department pursuant to §161.09
of this Article as a guard dog, which menaces, threatens, attacks or bites a person or persons, or
which kills or inflicts physical injury upon any persons, when such persons are peacefully
conducting themselves in any place where they may lawfully be, and any dog owned or harbored
for the purpose of dog fighting. A Department record of a bite report made pursuant to §11.03 or
of a dog bite or other injury made by a police officer shall be prima facie evidence that a dog is
Dog means a domesticated animal of the species Canis familiaris kept as a pet, but does not mean
any other animal that is a hybrid or cross-breed of such species whose possession is prohibited in
New York City pursuant to §161.01 of this Article.
Exposure to rabies means a bite or non-bite penetration of the skin; or contamination of an open
wound, abrasion, scratch or mucous membrane with saliva or other potentially infectious material
from an animal subject to rabies.
[(c)] Grooming parlor, salon, business, or establishment means a facility where animals are
presented by their owners for bathing, dipping, clipping, combing, or cleaning for the purpose of
improvement of the animal's appearance and or well-being in return for a fee[.] and
establishments which provide facilities for owners to groom their own pets.
[(h)Attack or guard dog ] Guard dog means a dog which is trained or used for personal
protection, area protection, and/or the apprehension or warding off of an individual by means of
barking, threatening gestures, biting, or restraining by the use of its teeth.
Hybrid or cross-breed shall mean the offspring produced by two animals of different breeds,
varieties or species.
Lost, stray and homeless animals. For the purpose of determining applicability of the Animal
Shelters and Sterilization Act, §§17-801 et seq. of the Administrative Code, lost, stray and
homeless animals shall mean any animals owned or formerly owned by residents of the City of
New York, or animals whose owners are unknown, that are brought into or accepted by any New
York City animal shelter by any person for any reason other than for the purpose of evaluation by
an animal behaviorist pursuant to a request of the Department or order of the Commissioner.
Owner means any person who owns, harbors, possesses, adopts, cares for or keeps an animal.
[(g) Pet animal or small animal means any bird, mammal, reptile, amphibian, fish, arthropod or
other invertebrates kept as a pet for exhibit, work, companionship, or protection by a person,
possession or which is not prohibited by the Commissioner or any Federal, State or local laws,
[(b)] Pet shop means a facility other than an animal shelter where live animals are sold,
exchanged, bartered, or offered for sale as pet animals to the general public at retail for profit. A
pet shop shall not mean a pet dealer exclusively selling dogs and cats that is subject to Article 26-
A of the Agriculture and Markets Law. However, a pet shop where animals other than, or in
addition to, dogs and cats are sold shall hold a pet shop permit issued by the Commissioner and
shall comply with all other applicable provisions of this Code and other applicable law.
Service dog shall mean a dog that has been individually trained to perform tasks for persons with
a disability, as defined in Executive Law §292 or successor law, including, but not limited to,
providing guidance for persons who are blind, alerting persons who are deaf, pulling wheelchairs,
alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, or performing other tasks.
Severe injury, with respect to an injury inflicted by a dog, means any physical injury inflicted by
such dog upon a person that causes at least a broken bone or a disfiguring laceration requiring
either multiple stitches or cosmetic surgery.
Small animal means a companion animal such as a dog, cat, fish, bird, rabbit, reptile, gerbil,
hamster or other animal whose possession is not prohibited by §161.01 of this Article.
[(f)] Stable for horses means a [rental, boarding, racing, or private facility] building where one or
more horses are housed and/or maintained.
State Sanitary Code shall mean Chapter 1 of Title 10 of the Codes, Rules and Regulations of the
State of New York, or successor rules.
[(e)] Training establishment for small animals means a facility where small animals, whether or
not belonging to the owner or employee of such facility, are trained for any purpose in return for
Notes: Section 161.02 was amended by resolution adopted on XXX to add definitions for terms
used in Article 161.
Resolved, that §161.04 of the New York City Health Code, found in Title 24 of the Rules
of the City of New York be, and the same hereby is, amended, to be printed, together with
explanatory notes, to read as follows:
§161.04. Dog licenses.
(a) License required. A dog license obtained in accordance with Chapter 115 of the New York
State laws of 1894, as amended, shall be issued by the Department to every person who owns,
possesses, keeps, harbors, adopts, purchases, or cares for a dog in New York City for each dog
owned, possessed or controlled by such person, except that an animal shelter shall not be required
to obtain a license for any dog kept by such shelter and an animal rescue group shall not be
required to obtain a license for any dog harbored by such group for less than six months.
(b) License tag required in public. Every person who owns, possesses or controls a dog shall not
permit it to be in any public place, or in any open or unfenced area abutting on a public place,
unless the dog has a collar about its neck with a currently valid metal tag attached thereto bearing
the number of the license obtained for such dog in accordance with Chapter 115 of the Laws of
1894 of the State of New York, as amended or [§§109 and 112 of the Agriculture and Markets
Law.] subdivision (c) of this section.
(c) Animal rescue groups. Animal rescue groups shall provide an animal shelter from which they
obtain dogs or cats with proof acceptable to such shelter that the persons adopting dogs through
their efforts have purchased licenses for such dogs.
(d) Service dogs. Owners of licensed dogs may request an additional tag from the Department
indicating that the dog is trained to perform a task to assist a person with a disability, without
paying an additional fee for such tag. An application for such tag shall be accompanied by a
written statement from a trainer whose education, experience and training are acceptable to the
Department, stating that such dog has been specifically trained to perform a task or tasks for the
person applying for the tag.
(e) Sales of licenses authorized. Licenses may be sold by the Department in any manner that is
not prohibited by law. The Department may authorize other persons to sell such licenses, upon
such terms and conditions as it deems necessary to promote the sales of licenses. The Department
may accept license applications and sell licenses electronically, and may impose a surcharge to
cover the actual additional costs of selling licenses electronically, if any, including costs imposed
by credit card issuers.
[(c)] (f) Enforcement. Notices of violation for failure to comply with this section may be issued
by any authorized employee, officer or agent of the Department, [or of] the Department[s] of
Sanitation, [and] the Department of Parks and Recreation, or successor agencies, or any peace
Notes: §161.04 was amended on XXX to clarify that dogs released by a shelter to an animal
rescue group prior to permanent adoption do not need to be licensed; to authorize issuance of
licenses for service dogs without a fee; to authorize sales of dog licenses in any manner; and to
authorize any peace office to issue notices of violation for failure to comply with its provisions.
Resolved, that subdivision (c) of §161.05 of the New York City Health Code, found in
Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York be, and the same hereby are, amended, to be
printed, together with explanatory notes, to read as follows:
§161.05. Dogs to be restrained.
* * *
(c) Notices of violation for failure to comply with subdivision (a) of this section may be issued by
any authorized employee, officer or agent of the Department, [or of] the Department of
Sanitation, [or] the Department of Parks and Recreation, or successor agencies, or any peace
Notes: Subdivision (c) was amended XXX to authorize issuance of notices of violation for
violation of subdivision (a) this section by any peace officer.
Resolved, that §161.06 of the New York City Health Code, found in Title 24 of the Rules
of the City of New York be, and the same hereby is, amended, to be printed, together with
explanatory notes, to read as follows:
§161.06. Dogs and cats to be vaccinated and treated prior to change in ownership.
No person shall offer for sale, sell or give away any dog or cat unless such animal has been
vaccinated against rabies in accordance with [§11.65 of the] §11.29 of this Code, and treated for
parasites or certified in writing by a duly licensed veterinarian to have been tested and found to be
free of parasites.
Notes: §161.06 was amended on XXX to reflect the change in numbering of the rabies
vaccination requirements in Article 11 of the Health Code.
Resolved, that §161.07 of the New York City Health Code, found in Title 24 of the Rules
of the City of New York be, and the same hereby is, repealed and recodified, to be printed
together with explanatory notes, to read as follows:
§161.07. Dangerous dogs.
(a) Policy and scope. When the Department receives a report of a dangerous dog, the Department
may, in any case where it deems it necessary, investigate the circumstances giving rise to the
report and, if the Department determines that the dog is a dangerous dog, it may take any action
authorized by applicable law, including this Code, that it deems necessary to protect the public
health and safety.
(b) Dogs brought into a shelter. When a dangerous dog is brought into an animal shelter, or
when a dog held in an animal shelter injures a person, the operator of the shelter shall, no later
than the first business day after the dog is admitted to the shelter or after the dog in the shelter
injures a person, report the injury to the Department. The shelter shall obtain from the person
owning or presenting the dog, and the report shall, to the extent that the shelter operator has such
information, include a description of the circumstances in which injury was caused by the dog;
the names, addresses and other contact information for the injured person(s), the dogs owner,
and any witnesses to the incident; the types of injuries inflicted by the dog; and any other
information required by the Department. The shelter operator shall thereafter immediately
provide the Department with any additional information received about the incident.
(c) Rabies observation period. Any dog that is brought to a shelter after causing an injury to a
person or that is involved in any incident that creates a possible exposure to rabies shall be held
by the shelter for ten days, over which time such dog shall be observed by a veterinarian to
determine whether it has developed signs and symptoms of rabies.
(1) A dog held for rabies observation that is subsequently involved in any other incident
potentially exposing any person or animal at the shelter to rabies shall, commencing on the date
of the most recent incident, be held by the shelter for an additional ten days to be observed for
signs and symptoms of rabies.
(2) If a licensed veterinarian determines that a dog has signs or symptoms consistent with rabies,
the dog shall be humanely euthanized and its remains shall be tested for rabies.
(3) The Department may authorize release of a dog to its owner before the expiration of the ten
days rabies observation period if the Department determines that the dog is not a dangerous dog,
and the owner agrees to continue to observe the dog for signs and symptoms of rabies over the
remainder of the observation period and to make daily reports of his or her observations to the
Department in accordance with §11.27 (e) of this Code.
(d) Determination of a dangerous dog.
(1) Evaluation of a dog in a shelter. The Department shall make a preliminary determination as
to whether any dog being held in a shelter after causing injury to a person is a dangerous dog. In
making such determination, the Department shall consider the circumstances of the incident
resulting in the dogs placement in the shelter, the nature and severity of the injuries reportedly
inflicted by the dog, and the dogs prior history of biting and/or causing injury. When deemed
necessary by the Department, an assessment by an animal behaviorist may also be considered.
(2) If dog is determined to be dangerous. If the Department determines that a dog being held at
a shelter is dangerous, it shall notify the owner of the dog of such determination in writing, prior
to expiration of the ten day rabies observation period. The notification shall include the
Departments recommendations for the disposition of the dog, including any control measures
authorized by subdivision (g) of this section that the Department deems necessary as conditions
for the owners continued possession of the dog.
(3) If a dog is not determined to be dangerous. If the Department determines that a dog being
held at a shelter is not dangerous, it shall notify the shelter that the dog may be returned to its
owner at the end of the rabies observation period, provided the dog has been vaccinated against
rabies, licensed, and surgically sterilized in accordance with applicable law.
(4) Other disposition. A dog surrendered to a shelter by its owner for any reason shall be made
available for adoption or humanely euthanized, in accordance with applicable law. However, a
dog that is surrendered by its owner as a dangerous dog or a dog trained for dog fighting shall not
be made available for adoption by any person unless the shelter operator has completed a
behavioral evaluation of the dog showing that the dog is not a dangerous dog, provided the results
of the evaluation to the Department, and the Department has approved the release of the dog for
(e) Dogs that are not brought to a shelter. If the Department receives a report that a dog not being
held by a shelter to be observed for symptoms and signs of rabies is dangerous, the Department
may order the dogs owner to make the dog available for examination by an animal behaviorist,
or may order any other control measures authorized by subdivision (g) of this section for
protection of public health and safety.
(1) Place of examination. The Department may arrange for the examination to be conducted at a
shelter or other place where the Department determines the public will be adequately protected. If
a dog is brought by its owner to a shelter for examination pursuant to this section, the dog shall
not be deemed a homeless or abandoned dog, and the shelter shall not be required to surgically
sterilize the dog prior to releasing it to its owner. However, such dog shall not be released unless
it is currently vaccinated against rabies in accordance with Health Code §11.29, and has been
licensed in accordance with §161.04 of this Article.
(2) Failure to present dog for examination. If an owner fails to comply with an order of the
Department to make his or her dog available for examination by an animal behaviorist, the
owners failure to comply with such order shall be evidence in any hearing commenced by the
Department that the dog is dangerous and that its owner is perpetuating a nuisance in violation of
§3.07 of this Code.
(1) Owner objections. The Department shall notify the owner of a dog of its preliminary
determination that the dog is dangerous and of any control measures authorized by subdivision
(g) of this section that it deems necessary to protect public health and safety. If the owner does
not agree with the Departments preliminary determination or that the proposed control measures
are necessary, the Department shall serve the owner with a petition and notice of hearing to show
cause at a hearing to be held at the Citys Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH)
why the dog should not be found to be a dangerous dog and why conditions should not be
imposed on the dog and owner to protect the publics health and safety.
(2) Scheduling hearings.
(A) An OATH hearing shall be scheduled by the Department for a date and time that is no
more than twenty days after the petition is mailed to the owner, and the petition and notice of
hearing shall be mailed to owner no later than fifteen days after the dogs entry into the shelter,
unless the owner of the dog and the Department agree to a later date. If the last dates for mailing
and scheduling a hearing fall on a Saturday, Sunday or City holiday, the date of mailing the
petition and scheduling the hearing shall be the next business day.
(B) Such time periods shall not apply when the owners identity and address are not known
when a dog is first admitted to a shelter. In such cases, when the Department subsequently learns
the owners identity and address, and if the time for reclaiming a dog from a shelter has not
expired, the time period to schedule a hearing set forth in paragraph (2) above shall start to run on
the date the Department learns the owners identity and address.
(3) Severe injuries. A dog that has caused a severe injury to any person, or a dog that the
Department determines, based on the circumstances that prompted the Departments
investigation, was prevented from inflicting severe injury by the action of a third party or other
circumstance, shall continue to be held in a shelter until and unless the Commissioner has
received a report and recommendation of an OATH administrative law judge finding that the dog
is not a dangerous dog.
(4) Other injuries. A dog that does not meet the criteria in paragraph (3) above, may remain with
its owner or, if held in a shelter, shall be returned to its owner, at the completion of the rabies
observation period, to remain with its owner pending an OATH hearing.
(5) Abandonment. If an owner of a dog that is preliminarily determined to be dangerous and that
is being held at a shelter fails to appear at an OATH hearing and is found in default, or if the
identity or address of a dogs owner is unknown, such dog shall be deemed abandoned and shall
be disposed of in accordance with applicable law.
(g) Control measures authorized. The Commissioner may order any action deemed necessary to
control a dangerous dog and prevent injuries to persons, including, but not limited to, ordering
that a dangerous dog be:
(1) Surrendered for the purpose of humane euthanasia;
(2) Permanently removed from the City;
(3) Muzzled whenever it is in a public place or in any open or unfenced area abutting on a public
(4) Evaluated, at the owners expense, by an animal behaviorist to determine whether the animal
and any persons handling the animal may be trained in the safe management of the animal, and be
trained when indicated;
(5) Spayed or neutered, if the owner does not maintain proof satisfactory to the Department that
the animal was previously altered;
(6) Microchipped to enable identification of the dog if it inflicts further injury; or
(7) Confined in a place where there are sufficient barriers between the dog and passersby
lawfully on public streets and areas abutting the owners property.
(h) Guard dogs. Any dog owned, kept, engaged in or trained to attack persons that is not
currently registered with the Department as a guard dog pursuant to §161.09(g) shall be deemed
to be a dangerous dog and shall be surrendered to the Department, upon the request of the
Department, by the person who owns, possesses or controls it, for the purpose of performing an
examination and for such other disposition as the Department may order in accordance with this
(i) Dogs kept for dog fighting. Any dog owned, kept, engaged in or trained for dog fighting, or
any dog owned, kept or trained to attack persons and not properly registered as a guard dog
pursuant to §161.09 (g), shall be deemed to be a dangerous dog and shall be surrendered to the
Department by the person who owns, possesses or controls it, for the purpose of performing an
examination and for such other disposition as the Department may order in accordance with
subdivision (g) of this section.
(j) Dangerous dogs presumed to be a nuisance. When the Department determines that a dog is
dangerous in accordance with this section, it shall be presumed that the owner or other person
who harbored the dog trained, caused or permitted the dog to be dangerous, so as to establish a
prima facie maintenance of a nuisance in violation of §3.09 of this Code.
(k) Impoundment. A dog that is in a public area and that is menacing persons, or a dog that has
caused a severe injury to a person, or a dangerous dog owned by a person who has violated an
order of the Commissioner issued pursuant to this section, may be impounded by the Department
or by a police or other peace officer, or killed by a police or other peace officer, if capture is
(l) Disclosure of medical information. In addition to submitting the reports of animal bites
required by Article 11 of this Code, upon receipt of a written request from the Department, a
medical or other health care provider shall forward to the Department copies of medical records
concerning diagnosis and treatment of bites or other injuries to persons that were inflicted by, or
resulted from attacks by dogs or other animals.
(m) Public information relating to dangerous dogs.
(1) Copies of records and reports maintained by the Department concerning dangerous dogs may
be made available in accordance with the Public Officers Law, provided that, if the persons
injured who are the subjects of such records are not the persons requesting such reports, such
reports shall be redacted of all identifying information about the subjects, complainants and
person(s) injured or menaced.
(2) Information about injuries caused by dangerous dogs contained in medical and other records
obtained by the Department may be disclosed in the course of OATH proceedings to owners of
dogs, their attorneys, and to administrative law judges at OATH if such information is relevant to
a determination as to whether a dog is dangerous or has caused severe injury to a person. Such
information shall not be further disclosed without authorization of the person to whom the records
pertain except when disclosure may be necessary in further proceedings related to the OATH
Notes: §161.07 was repealed and recodified on XXX, updating its provisions and clarifying
procedures for addressing the serious public health problems presented by dangerous dogs.
Resolved, that §161.09 of the New York City Health Code, found in Title 24 of the Rules
of the City of New York be, and the same hereby is, amended, to be printed together with
explanatory notes, to read as follows:
Can you say a dozen eggs a week in the blizzard? In the summer, make that two dozen.
Can you say a dozen eggs a week in the blizzard? In the summer, make that two dozen.