In New York State, it's against the law to leave your pets unprotected in dangerous weather conditions such as severe thunderstorms and scorching temperatures.

Temperatures may reach the triple digits today in CNY. Please remember to keep an eye on your pets and maybe your neighbors. According to the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets, "inclement weather" means 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.

The law also states that 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.

Shelter MUST include:

  • 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.
  • Have a waterproof roof.
  • Be structurally sound with insulation appropriate to local climatic conditions and sufficient to protect the dog from inclement weather.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Those who violate Article 26 Animal Laws are subject to fines up to $250.00 and seizure of the animal.

Governor Cuomo also signed legislation allowing first responders to save animals from motor vehicles under conditions that endanger their health or well-being effective immediately. Governor Cuomo:

"Leaving a pet in a stifling hot or freezing cold car is inhumane and potentially dangerous, and emergency responders should have the ability to remove them if necessary. As a dog owner myself, I am proud to sign this measure into law to help ensure the safety and wellbeing of animals."

Medical service personnel and firefighters can now act quickly to save a pet from extreme hot or cold temperatures inside a vehicle, but they are the only ones that will not be held liable. Concerned citizens and good samaritans are not included in the bill.

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