Proposed Law Requires Owners to Limit Dogs' Outdoor Time in Extreme Weather

Common Council to vote next Wednesday

Tom Puckett
December 19, 2018 - 4:00 am

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) Buffalo Common Councilmembers heard from the public during the hearing on a proposed law which would require dog owners to limit the time their dogs are tethered outside in extreme weather.

Councilmember Joel Feroleto says the law is initially meant to educate dog owners. "It can't be more than one hour" where dogs can be tethered when the temperature is above 90 and lower than 32 says Feroleto. "We don't want someone to think it's safe to have your dog tethered if it's 88 or 89 degrees," says Feroleto.

Feroleto says he's looking at outreach when people come to license their dogs, and he's also looking to do some social media outreach.

Gary Willoughby at the SPCA says his group is averaging 300 calls a year with complaints about dogs tethered in extreme weather. He says there will be some flexibility in the law as well. "Depending on the age, breed and overall health of the animal. The law is there to support us if we can't educate," says Willoughby.

But Willoughby says it's not aimed at taking dogs. "Maybe they have decent housing but it's in an area where the wind is getting in, so our officers are trained to help them in the right way," notes Willougby.

Willoughby and Feroleto says enforcers will have flexibility in the matter. A fine of $250 is possible.

A vote in the Common Council takes place next week.

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