Animals Section of Town Code Revised

The Huntington Town Board, at its August 16 meeting, approved revisions to the section of Town Code dealing with animals, including setting requirements on the proper disposal of pet waste, limiting the length of time animals may be restrained outdoors and establishing guidelines to aid in the prevention of animals being abandoned.

Under the revisions, dog owners will be required for the first time to “pooper scoop” after their dogs, placing pet waste in a sealed plastic bag and depositing the bag in a covered garbage receptacle. The proposed revisions also prohibit tethering, leashing, fastening, securing, restraining, chaining or tying a dog to a stationary object outdoors for more than two continuous hours in any 12-hour period. For animals who are restrained, the proposal, among other requirements, bans the use of a choke collar; and requires that the restraint be at least 10 feet for a running able trolley and 15 feet for a tether to a stationary object and long enough to give the dog continuous access to food, water and shelter.

The resolution enacting the changes was sponsored by Councilman Mark Cuthbertson. The changes about treatment of animals were promulgated after the Town Attorney’s office conferred with the New York State director of the Humane Society of the United States, who advised as to humane methods of tethering animals as well as proper practice on how animals are to be attended.

The pet waste restrictions are part of a joint effort by the Town and the Villages of Northport and Asharoken to protect local waters from the contaminating effects of pet waste and to protect the health, safety and general welfare of those using local waters from exposure to this particular source of pathogenic bacteria. These changes stem from the Inter-Municipal Council the three governments formed in September 2014 to cooperate on management plans and in seeking grants for measures that affect water quality in Northport Harbor, Centerport Harbor, Northport Bay, Duck Island Harbor and Price’s Bend/Eaton Harbor .