Animals and Pets

Dog Licenses

New York State law requires licenses for all dogs that are at least four months old.  Dogs must have their first rabies vaccine prior to being licensed.  In order to obtain a new license, please download the Dog License Registration Form and return it to the Town Clerk’s Office along with (1) current rabies vaccination documentation, (2) documentation indicating your dog was spayed/neutered (if applicable) and (3) the licensing fee.  The licensing fee schedule is listed on the form.

Dog licenses are good for a 12-month period from the date of issuance. We will notify you by mail when the license is due for renewal.

Dog Park Permits

Permits to use the Town dog park are available for dogs licensed in the Town of Bethlehem.  Those applying for a permit must present proof of immunization against rabies and distemper.  In order to obtain a dog park tag, please download the Dog Park Permit Form and return it to the Town Clerk’s Office along with (1) proof of rabies vaccination, (2) proof of distemper vaccination and (3) the permit fee.  The permit fee schedule is listed on the form.

Dog park permits are issued each calendar year and are good from January 1 through December 31.

Rabies Immunization for Dogs, Cats and Ferrets

The Albany County Board of Health requires all dogs, cats, and ferrets to be immunized against rabies.  Residents are reminded that unvaccinated pets remain vulnerable year-round to getting rabies from wild animals, and they can then expose people to the disease.  Plus, if a rabid or suspected-rabid animal fights with a pet that is not up-to-date on its rabies immunizations, the pet must be promptly put down or placed in quarantine for six months to protect other animals and people in case the pet develops rabies.  Neither of these is required for a vaccinated pet in the same situation, which requires only a booster dose of vaccine within 5 days.  When traveling with your dog, carry all paperwork and check with other municipalities for any additional regulations.

Wild Animals

The New York State Homeland Security and Emergency Services requires everyone who owns, possesses or harbors certain wild animals to annually report the location of the animal to their municipal clerk by April 1 of each year.  A list of animals that must be reported can be found on the NYS web site.  Please download the Report of the Presence of Wild Animals and return it to the Town Clerk's Office.  The office will forward the report to all emergency services personnel having jurisdiction, in case of a call to that location.  The information is essential to emergency services personnel so that they may protect themselves and your neighbors, provide for the safety of your animals and provide you with emergency services without unnecessary delay.

Leash Law

Article 61 of the Town Code requires all dogs to be leashed unless accompanied by either its owner or another person responsible for the dog's actions and under the full control of such owner or person.

Scooper Law

Article 61 of the Town Code prohibits owners from allowing their dogs to deposit any droppings or fecal matter on any private property, public roads, sidewalks, or parks. Owners are required to immediately clean up and remove all such droppings, place them in a suitable container, and dispose of them in a safe and sanitary manner.