ALBANY, N.Y.—State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk is introducing new legislation that would change the charge of failure to provide adequate shelter for dogs from a violation to a misdemeanor.
Currently, the harshest penalty for leaving a dog out in the cold or other dangerous conditions is a fine of $50 or $100 for the first offense, and up to $250 for a second offense.
"The current penalty is the equivalent of a parking ticket," Senator Tkaczyk said. "Knowingly leaving dogs to suffer in the freezing cold should be treated as a crime, not as an expired parking meter."
Under the proposed law, the violation would become a misdemeanor criminal charge punishable by up to a year in jail, substantial fines and probation.
"As a dog-owner and an animal lover, I know that caring for an animal is a huge responsibility, and dog owners have to take that responsibility seriously, whether they own one even if they're a commercial operation," she said.
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