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In 1920, the U.S. Supreme Court heard a New Yorker's constitutional challenge to the state's dog license requirement.

In Nicchia v. People of State of the State of New York, 254 U.S. 228 (1920), the United States Supreme Court denied a Brooklyn dog owner's challenge to the constitutionality of a New York dog license requirement.

The court held that "the states's decision to impose a dog license fee does not amount to the taking of one man's property and giving it to another, nor does it deprive dog owners of liberty without due process of law."  During the 1920's, New York entrusted collection of dog license fees to the ASPCA.

"[W]hen the state in the reasonable conduct of its own affairs chooses to entrust the work incident to such licenses and collection of fees to a corporation created by it for the express purpose of aiding in law enforcement, and in good faith appropriates the funds so collected for payment of expenses fairly incurred and just compensation for the valuable services rendered, there is no infringement of any right guaranteed to the individual by the federal Constitution."

The owner raised a due process challenge to the statute's licensing requirement.  The Court reasoned that "[P]roperty in dogs is of an imperfect or qualified nature and they may be subjected to peculiar and drastic police regulations by the state without depriving their owners of any federal right."

Today, New York City residents can get their dog license applications on the Web.  Click here to find out how:  YellowrDog License



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