Monday, February 7, 2011

Leash, Collar, and Red Tape.

If you plan on bringing your dog to the Big Apple for the Big Show, you’d best have its health records in hand or you’ll be in violation of the NYC health code. And don’t get them too early – you’ll be in violation.

According the WKC CITY LAWS 
The Director of the Bureau of Animal Affairs of New York City requires all dogs entering the City of New York to be accompanied by a Health Certificate issued by a licensed Veterinarian no more than seven days prior to arrival in the City.
That seven days seemed pretty arbitrary to me, so I wanted to know more about the requirements for this capital H, capital C, Health Certificate. If you need to see the specific regulations, or find the right form, however, don’t bother look under the Bureau of Animal Affairs, it’s not there. 
§4-01. Definitions.  The following changes have been made to this section:
  “Bureau of Animal Affairs” – deleted; replaced by successor program at the Department, Office of Veterinary Public Health Services.
Okay. Now we’re getting somewhere.

The Department is the Department of Public Health, under which I found the VPHS easily enough. But that's where the easiness stopped. While I found laws regulating the speed of rental horses in the city, 
(d) Permissible riding paces. Carriage horses shall not be driven at a pace faster than a trot. Riding horses may be ridden at a canter but shall not be galloped.
I could not find any laws, policies, or forms regarding bringing a dog into NYC there.

Not one to be easily dissuaded by red tape, I tried another avenue and found on EHow – that ubiquitous, yet not particularly helpful clearinghouse of articles written by subject enthusiasts such as myself –that a dog’s written health requirements were licensed under the Agriculture and Markets part of the state health code.  But don’t look for it there, either; the state gave that burden back to the city.

Well, there’s always this little compendium of dealing with animals in public settings, but those aren’t regulations. Do not fear, however, I think I found the umbrella agency that issues and enforces the regulations regarding the requirement of a dog’s Health Certificate: 
New York City has many laws that apply to the keeping of animals, some of which carry fines of up to $2,000 per violation. Some of the regulations pertaining to animals are the Dog License Law, the Dog Leash Law, the Canine Waste Law (Pooper Scoop"), the Rabies Vaccination Law and the Animal Nuisance Law. VPHS works with the Police, the Parks Department, the Sanitation Department and other agencies to enforce these regulations. DOH will take complaints concerning the presence of animals or will refer you to the appropriate agency. To make a complaint call DOHMH Central Complaints at 311. For additional information regarding the animal laws or applicable permits call VPHS at 311.
The DOHMH: The New York City Department of Hygiene and Mental Health.

No, I haven’t found the actual regulation or form yet, but I’m not going to drive myself insane trying to find it.  

I’m sure there are some regulations, somewhere, against that. 

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