If kept outdoors, New York requires that dogs receive adequate shelter and that this shelter has a waterproof roof.
The shelter should be structurally sound with insulation appropriate to local climate conditions and sufficient to protect dogs from inclement weather.
It should be constructed to allow each dog adequate freedom of movement to make normal postural adjustments, including the ability to stand up, turn around and lie down with limbs outstretched The shelter and surrounding area are required to be kept clean.
When complaints of inadequate sheltering are properly investigated, victimized dogs are often discovered to also be malnourished, dehydrated, unvaccinated and/or unprotected against heartworm or parasites.
In the 16 years since the sheltering law was enacted, this law has been laxly enforced throughout Western New York.
In addition to much better enforcement of the dog sheltering and other humane laws.
I also wish that all communities in Western New York would follow the example of Canandaigua City Council that enacted an ordinance last year which limits the time dogs can be tethered or otherwise confined outdoors to a maximum of eight hours in any 24 hour period. Dogs really are “man’s best friend,” deserving of a place inside our own homes.
These issues are about applying Jesus’ Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” to our relationships with all sentient beings. This ethics promotes human welfare too.
As the humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer believed “until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living beings, man will not himself find peace.”