In order to ensure that dogs are cared for properly during very cold temperatures or other weather extremes, NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. recently joined with his Senate colleagues in approving legislation he co-sponsors (S.1509) that would increase fines for owners who willfully fail to provide appropriate outdoor shelter for their canine companions.
Addabbo noted that New York State law requires dog owners to provide shelter to their pets, when they are left outside, that is appropriate to their physical condition, breed and the climate. It is the responsibility of local police or animal control officers to investigate and assess compliance with the sheltering requirements.
“Despite the threat of fines, there have been many instances throughout New York State where dogs have been knowingly left outside without adequate shelter in freezing temperatures and have suffered severe pain and injuries,” said Addabbo. “If we hit irresponsible owners a little harder in the wallet, maybe they will be more inclined to take better care of their companion animals when they are left outside to brave the elements.”
Under the bill, fines for knowingly failing to provide adequate shelter would rise from $50-$100 to $250 for a first offense. A second offense, now carrying fines of $100-$250, would rise to $500, and a third violation would bring a charge of $1000.
“The bottom line is that we need to take the health and welfare of our dogs and other companion animals very seriously, and give them the care they deserve as members of our families,” said Addabbo. “This legislation will help to make sure that dogs left outside are protected from preventable harm.”
The Assembly companion bill is now under consideration by the Committee on Agriculture.