To The Editor:
Dogs belong inside our homes, except when exercised outdoors under supervision. They should not be tethered or penned outdoors for lengthy time periods.
If dogs are kept outdoors, New York law requires adequate sheltering. The law specifically requires the shelter have a waterproof roof; be structurally sound with insulation appropriate to the local climatic conditions and sufficient to protect dogs from inclement weather; be constructed to allow each dog adequate freedom of movement to make normal posture adjustments, including the ability to stand up, turn around and lie down with limbs outstretched; and allow for effective removal of waste.
The memorandum in support of this legislation noted that complaints about inadequate dog shelters are among the most frequent made to police and to humane societies. Stories of dogs that die frozen to the ground, from extreme heat, or from other complications due to exposure to the elements continue to appear, the memo said. This legislation was designed to permit police and other cruelty investigators to better protect mans best friend.
All too often, however, patrol deputies drive by dogs with inadequate or no shelter, taking no corrective action. I urge the St. Lawrence County sheriff to remind deputies of the sheltering law and of the need for strict enforcement.
And because police officers cant observe all sheltering law violations, anyone knowledgeable of a violation or of an incidence of animal cruelty should call the sheriffs department.
Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate New York