senate Bill S6628

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Enacts "Charlamagne's law" to make the failure to provide food, water or appropriate shelter to a companion animal left outside a felony

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Feb 19, 2014 referred to agriculture

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S6628 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A8820
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Agriculture and Markets Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §§353, 353-b & 356, add 353-f, Ag & Mkts L

S6628 - Bill Texts

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Enacts "Charlamagne's law" to make the failure to provide food, water or appropriate shelter to a companion animal (dogs and cats) left outside a felony punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000, or imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

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BILL NUMBER:S6628

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the agriculture and markets law, in
relation to enacting "Charlamagne's law" relating to the provision of
food, water and appropriate shelter for companion animals left
outdoors

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this legislation is to increase penalties on those who
fail to provide adequate shelter to any companion animals left
outdoors in weather conditions that are likely to adversely affect the
animal's health or safety. Such acts would result in a felony
conviction, up to two years in prison and $5,000 fine.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1: Creates a new provision of the agriculture and markets law,
§ 353-b which changes the term "dogs" to "companion animals," and
establishes that term throughout.

Section 2: Extends the current law regarding penalties for any person
who knowingly-violates the provisions of this section from being
guilty of a mere violation to a felony. Additionally, the fine of not
more that $100 is raised to $5000.00, and imprisonment for not more
than two years, or both such fine and imprisonment.

Section 3: (b)Provides in greater detail an explanation of the
standards related to the companion animal's housing facilities
indicating that they be structurally sound "so as to protect the
companion animal from the inclement weather; be appropriate for the
companion animal's breed and physical condition, and the climate."

This section also calls for the structure to "have four connected
sides and a raised floor; have a door maintained in good repair that
is offset and baffled if necessary, to eliminate the entry of drafts
and precipitation, and also allow the accumulation of body heat;
provided, further, that damaged door flaps shall be replaced."

(c)Calls for enclosures to be set on a solid foundation such as stone
or concrete with proper drainage.

(d) Provides that the companion animal be provided with dry bedding
and/or solid resting boards so as to conserve its body heat.

Section 5: Connotes completion of any sentence of imprisonment imposed
for violation of this section.

Section 6: Adds a new section (§ 353-f) which reads as follows;
"Failure to provide proper food and drink to a companion animal. Any
person who, having ownership, custody or control of a companion
animal, refuses or neglects to supply such animal a sufficient supply
of food or water so as to impair the health of the companion animal
shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by a fine of not more than
five thousand dollars,.or imprisonment for not more than two years, or
both such fine and imprisonment."


This section also provides for an effective date of September 1, next
succeeding enactment.

EXISTING LAW:

Current law does not allow for such strict guidelines for those
committing these specific crimes against companion animals.

With these strict guidelines, it is expected that additional
deterrents will reduce widespread abuses and help foster an
environment for greater caretaking of such companion animals.

JUSTIFICATION:

Leaving a companion animal outside in the extreme cold to live in a
barrel or out in a yard day in and day out is no way to treat man's
best friend. The punishment for leaving a dog out in the freezing cold
to potentially die should be beyond a mere slap on the wrist, pay your
fine and go back to your puppy mill to extract more blood money. It
should be criminal. This legislation seeks to modernize this
anachronism in our state's animal cruelty laws and ensure we can
better protect those who have no voice - our companion animals - from
abuse and neglect.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None, and strict enforcement of penalties and fines may create
additional revenues for municipalities.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect on the first of September next succeeding
the date on which it shall have become law.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

    S. 6628                                                  A. 8820

                      S E N A T E - A S S E M B L Y

                            February 19, 2014
                               ___________

IN  SENATE -- Introduced by Sen. BALL -- read twice and ordered printed,
  and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Agriculture

IN ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by M. of A. TEDISCO -- read once and  referred
  to the Committee on Agriculture

AN ACT to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to enacting
  "Charlamagne's  law"  relating  to  the  provision  of food, water and
  appropriate shelter for companion animals left outdoors

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  Short  title. This act shall be known and may be cited as
"Charlamagne's law".
  S 2. The opening paragraph of  section  353  of  the  agriculture  and
markets  law,  as amended by chapter 523 of the laws of 2005, is amended
to read as follows:
  A person who overdrives,  overloads,  tortures  or  cruelly  beats  or
unjustifiably  injures,  maims,  mutilates  or kills any animal, whether
wild or tame, and  whether  belonging  to  himself  or  to  another,  or
deprives  any animal, OTHER THAN A COMPANION ANIMAL, of necessary suste-
nance, food or drink, or neglects or refuses to furnish it  such  suste-
nance  or  drink,  or causes, procures or permits any animal to be over-
driven, overloaded, tortured, cruelly beaten, or unjustifiably  injured,
maimed, mutilated or killed, or, BEING ANY ANIMAL OTHER THAN A COMPANION
ANIMAL,  to be deprived of necessary food or drink, or who wilfully sets
on foot, instigates, engages in, or in  any  way  furthers  any  act  of
cruelty  to  any  animal, or any act tending to produce such cruelty, is
guilty of a class A misdemeanor and for purposes  of  paragraph  (b)  of
subdivision  one  of section 160.10 of the criminal procedure law, shall
be treated as a misdemeanor defined in the penal law.
  S 3.  Section 353-b of the agriculture and markets law,  as  added  by
chapter 594 of the laws of 2003, is amended to read as follows:
  S  353-b.  Appropriate  shelter  for  [dogs]  COMPANION  ANIMALS  left
outdoors. 1. For purposes of this section:
  (a) "Physical condition" shall include any special medical needs of  a
dog  due to disease, illness, injury, age or breed about which the owner
or person with custody or control of [the dog] A COMPANION ANIMAL should
reasonably be aware.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD13571-03-4

S. 6628                             2                            A. 8820

  (b) "Inclement weather" shall mean weather conditions that are  likely
to  adversely  affect  the  health  or  safety  of [the dog] A COMPANION
ANIMAL, including but not limited to rain, sleet, ice,  snow,  wind,  or
extreme heat and cold.
  (c)  "[Dogs]  COMPANION  ANIMALS  that  are  left outdoors" shall mean
[dogs] COMPANION ANIMALS that are outdoors in inclement weather  without
ready  access  to, or the ability to enter, a house, apartment building,
office building, or any other permanent structure that complies with the
standards enumerated in paragraph  (b)  of  subdivision  three  of  this
section.
  2.  (a)  Any  person  who  owns  or  has custody or control of a [dog]
COMPANION ANIMAL that is left outdoors shall  provide  it  with  shelter
appropriate to its breed, physical condition and the climate. Any person
who knowingly violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of
a  [violation]  FELONY,  punishable  by  a  fine of not [less than fifty
dollars nor] more than [one hundred] FIVE THOUSAND dollars [for a  first
offense,  and  a fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than
two hundred fifty dollars for a  second  and  subsequent  offenses],  OR
IMPRISONMENT  FOR  NOT MORE THAN TWO YEARS, OR BOTH SUCH FINE AND IMPRI-
SONMENT.  Beginning seventy-two hours after a charge of  violating  this
section,  each day that a defendant fails to correct the deficiencies in
the [dog] shelter for a [dog] COMPANION ANIMAL that he or  she  owns  or
that  is  in his or her custody or control and that is left outdoors, so
as to bring it into compliance with the provisions of this section shall
constitute a separate offense.
  (b) [The court may, in its discretion, reduce the amount of  any  fine
imposed  for a violation of this section by the amount which the defend-
ant proves he or she has spent providing a dog shelter or  repairing  an
existing  dog  shelter so that it complies with the requirements of this
section.] Nothing in this paragraph shall prevent the seizure of a [dog]
COMPANION ANIMAL for a violation of this section pursuant to the author-
ity granted in this article.
  3. Minimum standards for determining whether shelter is appropriate to
a [dog's] COMPANION ANIMAL'S breed, physical condition and  the  climate
shall include:
  (a)  For  [dogs]  COMPANION  ANIMALS that are restrained in any manner
outdoors, shade by natural or artificial  means  to  protect  the  [dog]
COMPANION  ANIMAL  from  direct  sunlight  at all times when exposure to
sunlight is likely to threaten the health of the [dog] COMPANION ANIMAL.
  (b) For all [dogs] COMPANION ANIMALS that are left outdoors in  incle-
ment  weather,  a  housing  facility,  which must: (1) have a waterproof
roof; (2) be structurally sound [with] SO AS TO  PROTECT  THE  COMPANION
ANIMAL  FROM THE INCLEMENT WEATHER; (3) BE APPROPRIATE FOR THE COMPANION
ANIMAL'S BREED AND PHYSICAL CONDITION, AND THE CLIMATE; (4)  HAVE  insu-
lation  appropriate  to  local  climatic  conditions  and  sufficient to
protect the [dog] COMPANION ANIMAL from  inclement  weather;  [(3)]  (5)
HAVE FOUR CONNECTED SIDES AND A RAISED FLOOR; (6) HAVE A DOOR MAINTAINED
IN  GOOD  REPAIR, THAT IS OFFSET AND BAFFLED, IF NECESSARY, TO ELIMINATE
THE ENTRY OF DRAFTS AND PRECIPITATION, AND ALSO ALLOW  THE  ACCUMULATION
OF  BODY  HEAT;  PROVIDED,  FURTHER,  THAT  DAMAGED  DOOR FLAPS SHALL BE
REPLACED; (7) be  constructed  to  allow  each  [dog]  COMPANION  ANIMAL
adequate  freedom  of  movement  to  make  normal  postural adjustments,
including the ability to stand up, turn around and  lie  down  with  its
limbs  outstretched; and [(4)] (8) allow for effective removal of excre-
tions, other waste material[;], dirt and trash. The housing facility and

S. 6628                             3                            A. 8820

the area immediately surrounding it shall be regularly cleaned to  main-
tain a healthy and sanitary environment and to minimize health hazards.
  (C)  FOR  COMPANION ANIMALS THAT ARE RESTRAINED IN ANY MANNER OUTDOORS
IN AN ENCLOSURE, SUCH ENCLOSURE SHALL BE SET ON A SOLID FOUNDATION, SUCH
AS STONE OR CONCRETE, OR SOLID GROUND THAT IS WELL DRAINED.
  (D) FOR COMPANION ANIMALS THAT ARE RESTRAINED IN ANY ENCLOSURE, WHETH-
ER INDOORS OR OUTDOORS, THE ANIMAL SHALL BE PROVIDED  WITH  DRY  BEDDING
AND/OR  SOLID  RESTING BOARDS SO AS TO CONSERVE ITS BODY HEAT, AND UNDER
NO CIRCUMSTANCE SHALL A COMPANION ANIMAL BE FORCED  TO  LIE  ON  A  DAMP
SURFACE OR UPON UNHEATED CONCRETE OR STONE.
  4.  Inadequate shelter may be indicated by the appearance of the hous-
ing facility itself, including but  not  limited  to,  size,  structural
soundness,  evidence  of crowding within the housing facility, healthful
environment in the area immediately surrounding such facility, or by the
appearance or physical condition of the [dog] COMPANION ANIMAL.
  5. Upon a finding of any violation of this section, any [dog or  dogs]
COMPANION  ANIMAL OR COMPANION ANIMALS seized pursuant to the provisions
of this article that have not been voluntarily surrendered by the  owner
or  custodian  or forfeited pursuant to court order shall be returned to
the owner or custodian only  upon  proof  that  appropriate  shelter  as
required  by  this  section  is being provided AND THE COMPLETION OF ANY
SENTENCE OF IMPRISONMENT IMPOSED FOR VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION.
  6.  Nothing  in  this  section  shall  be  construed  to  affect   any
protections  afforded to [dogs] COMPANION ANIMALS or other animals under
any other provisions of this article.
  S 4. The agriculture and markets  law  is  amended  by  adding  a  new
section 353-f to read as follows:
  S  353-F.  FAILURE  TO  PROVIDE  PROPER  FOOD AND DRINK TO A COMPANION
ANIMAL. ANY PERSON WHO,  HAVING  OWNERSHIP,  CUSTODY  OR  CONTROL  OF  A
COMPANION ANIMAL, REFUSES OR NEGLECTS TO SUPPLY SUCH ANIMAL A SUFFICIENT
SUPPLY  OF  FOOD  OR  WATER  SO AS TO IMPAIR THE HEALTH OF THE COMPANION
ANIMAL SHALL BE GUILTY OF A FELONY, PUNISHABLE BY A  FINE  OF  NOT  MORE
THAN FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS, OR IMPRISONMENT FOR NOT MORE THAN TWO YEARS,
OR BOTH SUCH FINE AND IMPRISONMENT.
  S  5.  Section  356  of the agriculture and markets law, as amended by
chapter 458 of the laws of 1985, is amended to read as follows:
  S 356. Failure to provide proper food and drink to impounded animal. A
person who, having impounded  or  confined  any  animal,  OTHER  THAN  A
COMPANION  ANIMAL,  refuses  or neglects to supply to such animal during
its confinement a sufficient supply of good  and  wholesome  air,  food,
shelter  and  water, is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprison-
ment for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than one thou-
sand dollars, or by both. In case  any  animal,  INCLUDING  A  COMPANION
ANIMAL,  shall be at any time impounded as aforesaid, and shall continue
to be without necessary food and water for more than  twelve  successive
hours,  it  shall  be  lawful  for any person, from time to time, and as
often as it shall be necessary, to enter into  and  upon  any  pound  in
which any such animal shall be so confined, and to supply it with neces-
sary food and water, so long as it shall remain so confined; such person
shall  not  be  liable  to any action for such entry, and the reasonable
cost of such food and water may be collected by  [him  of]  SUCH  PERSON
FROM  the  owner of such animal, and the said animal shall not be exempt
from levy and sale upon execution issued upon a judgment therefor.
  S 6. This act shall  take  effect  on  the  first  of  September  next
succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.

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