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Owner insists 'arctic breed' dog not mistreated by being left outside

A Niagara Falls man cited city ordinances and threatened to press harassment charges against a police officer who chastised him for keeping his dog outside Saturday evening in conditions that resulted in a wind chill of -12 degrees.

Police responded to the home in the 2800 block of Lewiston Road just before 6 p.m. on complaints of a dog barking loudly outside. A large black-and-white Newfoundland was loose in the yard and barking in the 4-degree temperatures, police said. Officers noted that they had responded to the home in the past for reports of animal maltreatment.

When the owner was contacted, he came out and threatened to press charges against the person who called the police, as well as the responding officer. He reportedly showed police a wooden dog house that officers said was "barely large enough" to house the dog, as well as a heated water bowl on the porch of the home.

According to reports, the man then started rattling off city ordinances and quoting the city's dog control officer, who reportedly had told him that he could legally leave the dog — which he termed "an arctic breed" — outside for 12 hours without ramifications. The investigating officer responded that such treatment was cruel, and that the dog's barking was annoying neighbors. He then warned the dog owner that he would be arrested for "torture of animals" if the officer had to return again that evening.

At that point the man took the dog inside, and the book was closed on the case.

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