I would like to know if there is anything that can be done about a neighbor of mine who keeps his new puppy outside of his house regardless of the weather or time of day. The poor creature cries all through the day and night, and a number of us are becoming very concerned but do not know where to turn for help.
In 2003, our Legislature responded to concerns such as yours and drafted Agriculture and Markets Law Section 353-b, addressing “Appropriate shelter for dogs left outdoors.” The law describes what dog owners or guardians must provide for dogs that spend a significant amount of time outdoors. The requirements may vary depending upon the breed and health of the dog, as well as the available shelter and weather conditions. This law is a violation level offense that carries a fine of up to $100 for a first offense and increased fines for future offenses.
There are several factors to consider. The breed of the dog is important as certain breeds such as a Husky or Malamute might be very happy outside in mid-winter, whereas a shorthaired dog like a Boxer or a small Yorkie would chill quickly. Similarly, a bulldog may succumb to extreme heat, while a whippet may enjoy sitting in the summer sun. The health of the dog is another consideration. For example, a medically compromised animal may worsen in bad weather. Finally, the age of the animal, young or old, regardless of breed, may make them susceptible to the effects of extreme weather.
Inclement weather can be both hot and cold, and the available shelter must be suitable for that day. Dogs must be safeguarded from direct sunlight when exposure might threaten its health. Shade and an ample supply of fresh water are necessary for us all on a hot summer day, and our dogs are no different. At a minimum, dogs must have a structurally sound place with a waterproof roof and insulation sufficient to protect them from the weather. The law requires that the housing and surrounding area allow the dog to stand, stretch, turn around and lie down comfortably. Waste, dirt and trash must be removed to maintain a healthy and sanitary environment.
Both the ASPCA and the New York City Police Department make
arrests for animal neglect, fighting and cruelty in
It is said that a society can be judged by the way it treats
its weakest members and our pets are our responsibility.
Animal neglect and cruelty are not only crimes in their own
right but may also be indicia of other serious problems.
For more information visit my website at
www.brooklynda.org, or call
my Office’s District Attorney’s