Agriculture & Markets - Animals - Appropriate shelter for dogs left outdoors


Published: 2014-09-22

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§ 353-b. Appropriate shelter for dogs 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 should reasonably be aware.

(b) "Inclement weather" shall mean weather conditions that are likely
to adversely affect the health or safety of the dog, including but not
limited to rain, sleet, ice, snow, wind, or extreme heat and cold.

(c) "Dogs that are left outdoors" shall mean dogs 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 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,
punishable by a fine of not less than fifty dollars nor more than one
hundred 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. 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 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
defendant 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 for a violation of this section pursuant to the
authority granted in this article.

3. Minimum standards for determining whether shelter is appropriate to
a dog's breed, physical condition and the climate shall include:

(a) For dogs that are restrained in any manner outdoors, shade by
natural or artificial means to protect the dog from direct sunlight at
all times when exposure to sunlight is likely to threaten the health of
the dog.

(b) For all dogs that are left outdoors in inclement weather, a
housing facility, which must: (1) have a waterproof roof; (2) be
structurally sound with insulation appropriate to local climatic
conditions and sufficient to protect the dog from inclement weather; (3)
be constructed to allow each dog 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) allow for
effective removal of excretions, other waste material; dirt and trash.
The housing facility and the area immediately surrounding it shall be
regularly cleaned to maintain a healthy and sanitary environment and to
minimize health hazards.

4. Inadequate shelter may be indicated by the appearance of the
housing 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.

5. Upon a finding of any violation of this section, any dog or dogs
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.

6. Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect any
protections afforded to dogs or other animals under any other provisions
of this article.