If kept outdoors, New York requires dogs receive adequate shelter and that this shelter has a waterproof roof, is structurally sound with insulation appropriate to local climate conditions and sufficient to protect dogs from inclement weather and is 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 free of waste.
When complaints of inadequate sheltering are properly investigated victimized dogs are often malnourished and or unprotected against heartworm and parasites. To the best of my knowledge in the 16 years since the no sheltering law was enacted, this law has been unenforced in Cayuga County. While all existing humane laws should be strictly enforced I also wish all communities in Cayuga County 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 largely about applying Jesus’ Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have done unto to you.” This ethic promotes human welfare too. As the humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer believed; “until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.”