ARMONK, N.Y. -- Anyone who leaves a dog outside in the cold should be charged with a felony, says State Senator Greg Ball.
Ball is calling on tougher new legislation to protect dogs and cats from being left outside in the cold all day. The legislation comes in the wake of an incident that occurred at an upstate puppy mill.
The new legislation, which is being drafted, will make it a felony for intentionally failing to provide adequate shelter for a dog. The owner of the puppy farm upstate was charged with a violation of the state’s Agriculture and Markets Law, which caries a maximum fine of $100.
The legislation will make state law on this fall into line with the punishment for Buster’s Law punishable with up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Earlier this month, Gov. Cuomo signed legislation co-sponsored by Ball to enable local governments to regulate pet dealers and puppy mills.
“I am glad to hear that Gov. Cuomo has signed legislation that will allow local governments to enact stricter animal abuse laws. However, there is so much more that still needs to be done," Ball said. "Only a felony will send a strong enough message that animal abuse will not be tolerated in New York State."
Adopt-A-Dog, a shelter based in Armonk, said it supports Ball's legislation and any legislation that further regulates places that sell dogs.
"We are excited," Alyson Halm, president of Adopt-A-Dog said. "Animal welfare laws need to be reinforced. The current legislation is bare ones. This is a step in the right direction."
Halm said more resources for enforcement are also needed.
"Who is going to investigate these calls and make sure something is done?" Halm said. "You can put in all the laws you want, but someone has to be there to enforcement."
Halm said Connecticut is more proactive with animal cruelty laws.
"I know pet stores in local towns that just have deplorable conditions," Halm said. "I don't understand how they can be inspected and approved. The state needs to bare down harder."