Is it illegal in New York to leave your dog outside in hot weather?

Today, Wednesday, July 20, 2022, heat index readings around most of New York City will be in the 90s and 100s. The state is warning residents to be cautious and prepare for the heat extreme of today and tomorrow. Dangerous heat will cover most of the state today bringing high temperatures and humidity. On Thursday, southern regions will experience heat index values ​​above 100 degrees. Simply put, it’s going to be as hot as hell.

If it’s hot for humans, it’s stifling for animals

Photo by Florencia Potter on Unsplash

Photo by Florencia Potter on Unsplash

Imagine being outside all day in a fur coat in 100 degree weather. Doesn’t sound fun, does it? This is basically what your dog will be subjected to if you let him outside today. That’s why New York has a law to prevent pets from being left outside during extreme weather conditions.

New York’s law that protects animals left outdoors says,

“Severe Weather” means weather conditions which may affect the health or safety of the Dog, including but not limited to rain, sleet, ice, snow, wind or heat and cold extremes.

The heat expected today and tomorrow certainly falls under the description of “bad weather”. If this were Arizona, the 90 degree weather might be considered a balmy day, but in New York it’s brutal.

The law states that the owner of a dog must relieve him of the extreme elements,

Any person who owns or has the care or control of a dog left outdoors must provide it with shelter appropriate to its breed, physical condition and climate.

If a dog’s owner is caught leaving him outside tomorrow or Thursday without adequate shelter from the sun and heat, he will be fined $50 to $100, if this is his first offense. For second offenses and beyond, the fine is between $100 and $200. If the problem is not corrected within three days, further fines will be added,

Beginning seventy-two hours after a charge of violating this section, each day that a defendant fails to correct deficiencies in the dog shelter of a dog that he owns or is in his care or control and which is left outside, so as to bring it into conformity with the provisions of this article constitutes a separate offence.

What does New York State consider a “shelter” for an outdoor dog?

Photo by Alireza Shirvan on Unsplash

Photo by Alireza Shirvan on Unsplash

– A dog left outdoors at all times must have natural or artificial shade at all times, as sunlight may harm the dog.

– A dog left outside in bad weather must be provided with an accommodation facility that has,

(1) have a waterproof roof; (2) be structurally sound with insulation appropriate to local climatic conditions and sufficient to protect the dog from the weather; (3) be constructed to allow each dog sufficient freedom of movement to make normal postural adjustments, including the ability to stand up, turn around, and lie down with straight limbs; and (4) allow efficient disposal of excreta and other wastes; dirt and trash. The accommodation and the area immediately surrounding it should be cleaned regularly to maintain a healthy and hygienic environment and to minimize health risks.

The bottom line is, if possible, to keep your dog indoors and out of the heat today and tomorrow. If you can’t keep your dog inside your home, at a daycare, or with a friend, be extra careful when leaving him outside. Make sure your dog has plenty of water and a well-ventilated housing structure in the shade. If you have a security camera, it may be helpful to point it at the area where your dog is, that way you can keep an eye on it.

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