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Niagara Falls to vote on penalties for exposing dogs to harsh weather

A Niagara Falls dog owner who exposes an animal to the risk of frostbite or heatstroke soon could end up behind bars.

If the City Council passes the ordinance Wednesday – and four of the five councilmen are co-sponsoring it – a city judge could impose a 15-day jail sentence on any dog owner who leaves his or her pooch outdoors for more than an hour when the temperature is below 32 degrees or above 90 degrees.

The penalty possibilities also include a fine of up to $250, plus civil penalties of $250 to $1,000 and a spot on Niagara County's Animal Abuser Registry, whose members are not allowed to buy pets.

The law, based on one passed in Buffalo in December, wouldn't apply to leashed dogs accompanying their owners on recreational excursions.


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