A law has been passed in New Jersey making it illegal to leave a dog outside in extreme temperatures. The bill, first introduced last January, was proposed after 2 dogs froze to death in the state after being tied outside in sub-zero weather.
The law states that dogs cannot be tied up alone for longer than half an hour in temperatures above 90 degrees (32 degrees Celsius), or below 32 degrees (0 degrees Celsius). They also cannot be tethered with a rope shorter than 15 feet, or left tied up overnight.Nursing mothers and puppies under 4 months are banned from being tethered at all.
People found not following the law will be given a chance to give their pet adequate shelter, says Deborah Bresch, a member of the ASPCA:
Law enforcement has to give the owner a corrective warning and they give them seven days to comply. But if the animal is in a perilous state, we don't want law enforcement to have to wait for the animal to die or to be close to death before they intervene.
If they do not comply, they could face a fine of up to $2000.
The sponsor of the bill, Senator Jeff Van Drew, said that he hoped the law would make pet-owners think more about how the weather could affect their animals:
Most owners treat their pets well but, unfortunately, we continue to see devastating cases of animal cruelty each year. This measure strengthens our laws and hopefully will deter people from subjecting animals to harsh conditions without regard for their health and welfare.
Hopefully more cities and states will start to enact these laws to protect their animal citizens in extreme weather.
Cover image from Patch.com
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