New York Consolidated Laws, Agriculture and Markets Law - AGM § 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.





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