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Animal Control

Purpose and Philosophy

The purpose of the Colonie Animal Control is to enforce the state and local laws in relation to dogs and other animals. The intention is to promote health, safety, and general welfare of the people of the Town of Colonie, including protection of the property of the Town and its inhabitants, and preservation of peace and good order within the Town. Specifically, we implement the provisions of Article 7, New York State Agriculture and Markets Law and Chapter 79 of the Town of Colonie Code.

Our philosophy is to remove animals in a safe and humane manner. We deal with the public by explaining the local and state laws to them before actual enforcement becomes necessary.

Duties and Responsibilities

Duties of Colonie Animal Control Officers include seizure control, impoundment, investigations of barking dog complaints, removing sick or injured animals, investigation of animal bites, removing dead dogs and cats from highways, occasional trapping of wildlife found in homes, transporting possible rabid animals for testing, and investigating cruelty complaints.

Responsibilities include: to serve any process related to criminal or civil proceedings including appearance tickets, impounding dogs found at large at Latham Animal Hospital or the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society and notifying the owner of its whereabouts, transporting stray dogs and cats to veterinarians for immediate medical treatment if necessary.

Rabies is now found throughout the Capital Region causing alarm for residents of the Town. When animal bites are reported to this office, officers contact all persons involved including the animal's veterinarian, the person bitten, and the Albany County Health Department.

Wildlife can sometimes find their way into residences. Certain wildlife can be easily removed while some others may require a trap to be set. The animal and trap are removed when the animal is caught.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) What do I do about my LOST PET?

Your first response should be to contact Animal Control at (518) 783- 2711 or, if they are not available, contact the Police Department at (518) 783-2744. It is also wise to inquire at the local veterinarian's office to see if anyone had contacted them in reference to finding a lost pet. The Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society (434-8128) takes in stray/found dogs and cats and also keeps a list of any pets that have been reported to them as being lost. It is also a good idea to speak with mail carriers or delivery persons from your area to see if they have seen any animals wandering in their area. Placing an ad in the newspaper and distributing leaflets might also help in locating a lost pet. You may also post an ad online at Craigslist or on Steve Caporizzo's Pet Connection Facebook page.

2) What should I do with a FOUND DOG?

If there is a Town of Colonie license on a found dog it would be an oblong shaped tag with a nine digit number issued by the Town Clerk. By calling Animal Control 783-2711, the police (518) 783-2811 or the Town Clerk's office (518) 783-2736, the number could be traced to an owner. If the pet has no identification you should contact Animal Control (518) 783-2711 so that the dog can be picked up and taken to the Latham Animal Hospital or the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society where the owner can then redeem it.

3) Should I take care of SICK or INJURED ANIMALS?

The Town of Colonie covers an area of approximately 56 square miles and is inhabited by many wildlife species such as fox, skunk, raccoon, opossum, birds, deer, turtles and coyotes. If an animal is struck by a vehicle or appears sick in your yard or on the street you should not attempt to handle it because it's first response would most likely be to bite or, in the case of a deer, kick you. When an animal is encountered in these circumstances, contact the Animal Control Office (518) 783-2711 or the Police Department (518) 783-2811. Injured cats and dogs are taken to a veterinarian for treatment and then brought to the Latham Animal Hospital or the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society

4) What about RABIES?

Rabies is a virus which is carried by mammals. The virus is generally transmitted by biting and most often occurs when animals are fighting over food that is left outdoors. The most common animals with rabies are raccoons, skunks, bats, fox and occasionally woodchucks. Smaller rodents such as squirrels, chipmunks, and mice are less likely to have rabies. It is very important to keep your pets rabies vaccine up to date. If you believe an animal has rabies contact the Animal Control Office (518) 783-2711 or the Police Department (518) 783-2811.

5) What should be done in the event of ANIMAL BITES?

In the event any animal bites a person or an unvaccinated pet, Animal Control (518) 783-2711 should be contacted. If the animal is wildlife that is still available, it can be tested for rabies at the New York State Rabies Lab. In the case of a dog or cat bite, Animal Control will contact the pet owner to verify if the cat or dog is up to date on its rabies vaccine. By law, all owned cats and dogs over 3 months of age must have rabies shots.

6) When is DOG LICENSING required?

New York State law requires licenses for all dogs four months of age and up. Dog licenses are obtained through the Town Clerk's Office (783-2736) and need to be renewed every year. Positive proof of a current rabies shot is required. Contact the Town Clerk's office for complete licensing information.