Calls For Stricter Dog Laws Picking Up Steam In Westchester

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Adopt-A-Dog in Armonk is joining Sen. Greg Ball in calling for stricter animal cruelty laws.
Adopt-A-Dog in Armonk is joining Sen. Greg Ball in calling for stricter animal cruelty laws. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Adopt-A-Dog

ARMONK, N.Y. -- Anyone who leaves a dog outside in the cold should be charged with a felony, says State Senator Greg Ball.

Ball is calling on tougher new legislation to protect dogs and cats from being left outside in the cold all day. The legislation comes in the wake of an incident that occurred at an upstate puppy mill.

The new legislation, which is being drafted, will make it a felony for intentionally failing to provide adequate shelter for a dog. The owner of the puppy farm upstate was  charged with a violation of the state’s Agriculture and Markets Law, which caries a maximum fine of $100.

The legislation will make state law on this fall into line with the punishment for Buster’s Law punishable with up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Earlier this month, Gov. Cuomo signed legislation co-sponsored by Ball  to enable local governments to regulate pet dealers and puppy mills.

“I am glad to hear that Gov. Cuomo has signed legislation that will allow local governments to enact stricter animal abuse laws. However, there is so much more that still needs to be done," Ball said. "Only a felony will send a strong enough message that animal abuse will not be tolerated in New York State."

Adopt-A-Dog, a shelter based in Armonk, said it supports Ball's legislation and any legislation that further regulates places that sell dogs.

"We are excited," Alyson Halm, president of Adopt-A-Dog said. "Animal welfare laws need to be reinforced. The current legislation is bare ones. This is a step in the right direction."

Halm said more resources for enforcement are also needed.

"Who is going to investigate these calls and make sure something is done?" Halm said. "You can put in all the laws you want, but someone has to be there to enforcement."

Halm said Connecticut is more proactive with animal cruelty laws.

"I know pet stores in local towns that just have deplorable conditions," Halm said. "I don't understand how they can be inspected and approved. The state needs to bare down harder."

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Comments (12)

How about including horses left without blankets and shelter in freezing temperatures? NY needs a law against cruelty to ALL animals.

I think people who are cruel to animals should get a good stiff fine and never be allowed to ever have an animal. My Daughters and I love animals. Especially dogs. I always had a small dog until my Bichon went toRainbow Heaven on July 1, 2013. How I miss her so.

You've got to start somewhere. Point is "wanting" a baby or a dog or a cat is all anyone "needs" to be the keeper of another living thing. Those actually nonexistent "rights" are what need to be reevaluated. But no has the guts to take THAT politically incorrect position on. In America, that is.......and btw, call animal control and/or go get the puppy off the porch yourself. You're only as unempowered and victimlike as you want to be. The somebody in "doing something" is YOU.

Thank you Senator Ball. These laws are long overdue. Those who abuse aninmals need a strong message that mistreatment unacceptable. It's about time we stop huddling the abusers who leave their pets in the freezing weather. Well DONE!

I get that people care about Animals, but a felony? 2 years? Somebody mentioned already that's a harsher punishment than and DUI...let's try and keep crazy in context...animals are not people...
I have a husky- does that mean leaving my husky outside on a 85F day should get me arrested? My dog is happy in colder weather than we can all handle.
If you have harsher punishments for the treatment of animals than you do the treatment of fellow man, it reveals a frightening and disconnected reality that some live in.

I work for many animal rights organizations and believe me we know what is going on. Puppy Mill Pet Shops they all should be closed and I am glad Senator Ball is doing this. Two years in jail a 5000 fine is not enough but it is a start. People who treat animals like dirt need to be punished and now they will. People who neglect and abuse animals should not have kids as they will do the same yo their kids.

I have noticed people who abuse animals filing false charges against neighbors who have reported the abuse, because the abuser wants to shut the caring neighbor up. It always backfires as the neighbor who truly cares gets exonerated and the false accuser is deemed nuts and to be avoided. Karma has a way of taking care of the abuser not just them but family, so be aware you will all get caught eventually and with these new laws sooner than later. Best to keep your cat or dog in the house and not in a cold garage or outside as you will be caught.

Anyone who leaves a dog outside in the cold or starves it should have the dog taken away from them and taken to a shelter AND also charged with a felony with a fine equal to the cost of keeping the dog at the shelter until it is adopted by someone else. Ball's proposal is a good start.

That last sentence ,MM7 has me a little suspicious . Fighting neighbors making calls to police about dog. Hmmmm. Do you really see the amount of jail time they want to give ? I must be missing something here. I can get a D.U.I. and not get 2 years in prison but if your neighbor ( who you don't like ) leaves their dog out for an hr. they get 2 years ? Your not even happy that they put him in a garage. This also brings to mind " Stupid is as stupid does " I get off my soap box now. Just my opinion and I have no dog.

These puppy mills should be closed down !

It is about time. I have neighbors who left their puppy out in minus 22 degree weather on their deck in snow with no shelter for over four hours. They did this every day until neighbors complained. They were issued a warning, and now they are sticking it in a cold garage. They were also reported because the dogs ribs were sticking out, but the police didn't do anything, just another warning. The police in MT Pleasant are clueless to animal laws, but if this bill passes and these stupid neighbors do this again I hope they go to jail, and lose the dog. Good for you Senator Ball, it will make it much easier for neighbors to report animal neglect and abuse.