Dog Licensing & Laws

Dog License Requirements
Pursuant to New York State Agriculture and Markets Law, all dogs in New York State are required to be licensed in the municipality in which the dog resides. Dog licenses are valid for 1 year. Once your dog is licensed, you will receive annual renewal forms in the mail before the license expiration date.
If you are licensing a new dog, and:
  • You live within the City of Ithaca, you can visit the City Clerk's Office, 108 E. Green Street, Ithaca, NY
  • You must bring proof of a current rabies vaccination signed by a licensed veterinarian
  • If the dog is spayed or neutered, a certificate from a licensed veterinarian or affidavit from the owner is required to qualify for a lesser fee
  • Dog license fees for the City of Ithaca are as follows:
    • $15 for a spayed / neutered dog
    • $25 for an unspayed / unneutered dog
    • $5 for a service dog
Leash Laws
All dogs in the City of Ithaca must be restrained by an adequate collar and leash when not on the property of the owner, or any other person harboring or having custody or control of the dog. Exemption: this provision does not apply to owners whose dogs are off-leash in an area established and designated as an off-leash dog park.

Prohibited Behaviors
Dogs may not chase, leap on, or otherwise harass or interfere with:
  • Any person in such a manner to reasonably to cause intimidation or to put such person in reasonable apprehension of bodily harm or injury when not on the non-commercial property of the person owning or harboring such dog
  • Any bicycle, motorcycle, automobile
  • Any cat, dog, or domestic animal
  • A service animal for people with disabilities
Dog Barking
Dogs may not engage in unreasonable howling and/or barking or other noise, audible beyond the property line of the property where the dog is harbored, that disturbs or annoys any person of reasonable sensitivities other than the person owning or harboring such dog.

Habitual howling or barking is defined as:
  • Howling, barking or other noise made by a dog and continuing for more than three cumulative minutes in any sixty-minute period
  • Howling, barking or other noise made by a dog which is determined to be unreasonable, taking into account the following factors:
    • The proximity of the noise to residential property
    • The time of the day or night when the noise occurs
    • The time duration of the noise
    • Whether the noise is repetitive
    • The volume of the noise
    • The existence of complaints concerning the noise from persons living or working in the vicinity of the noise and who are affected by it
    • Malicious provocation resulting from such activity as trespass, vandalism or badgering
Pooper Scooper Law
Dogs may not cause damage or destruction to, or defecate on public or private property other than on the property of the person owning or harboring such dog.

This provision shall not apply for a service animal for people with disabilities in performance of its trained duties. Dog owners walking dogs on public property including parks, natural areas, and sidewalks must clean up after their dogs or they may be fined. Please help to keep our city a clean and pleasant place to live and visit by cleaning up after your dog.

Tompkins County Animal Control and the Ithaca Police Department are the City's enforcement agencies regarding dogs. You may reach Tompkins County Animal Control at 607-257-1822, and the Ithaca Police Department at 607-272-9973.