Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Dogs Alone in Cars

Last night, the Common Council voted unanimously to enact a local law pertaining to the confinement of animals in motor vehicles. The law was initiated by Alderman Rich Volo (Fourth Ward), inspired by an incident last summer when a dog had been left in a pickup truck for more than a hour in the parking garage at Columbia Memorial Hospital when the temperature was 90 degrees. Volo was distressed that the penalty for such negligence was only a $50 fine.

It is already illegal in the State of New York to leave a companion animal confined "in a motor vehicle in extreme heat or cold without proper ventilation or other protection from extreme temperatures," and police officers and agents for the humane society are already empowered "to take necessary steps to remove the animal or animals from vehicle" and seek whatever veterinary care is necessary. What the Hudson law does is raise the fine for leaving a dog in a potentially dangerous situation to not less than $250 and not more than $500 for the first offense and not less than $500 and not more than $1,000 for each subsequent offense.

The mayor has scheduled a public hearing on the law for Monday, January 7, at 4 p.m., in City Hall.

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