Outdoor Dogs Frozen Alive
LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES ARE UNABLE TO ARREST OR SUMMONS THOSE WHO COMMIT THIS CRIME DUE TO FEAR OF RETALIATORY LAW SUITS. Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ("SPCA"), which have the humane law enforcement powers in New York State, are usually volunteer pseudo-governmental agencies. As a result they are very fearful of malicious prosecution retaliatory law suits if they issue a summons or arrest someone who may not be convicted of the crime as charged. Consequently they are unable to definitively know when to charge someone with improper care of an outdoor dog since the 2003 law only requires a "structurally sound shelter." Making matters worse, the regular law enforcement agencies which are indemnified against law suits and thus have no fear of retaliatory law suits, such as police, state troopers, sheriffs, and deputy sheriffs also have the legal authority to arrest and issue summonses for animal cruelty, but they always refer animal cases to the SPCAs. This creates a perfect "catch-22" for outdoor dogs where both types of law enforcement agencies are unwilling to relieve their suffering. The answer to this dilemma is to pass a law which specifically sets boundaries for the keeping of outdoor dogs, such as minimum size of enclosure, minimum temperature, minimum insulation for the shelter, and maximum length of time chained or "tethered." California, Maryland and Texas recently passed laws against tethering dogs for life. Seven other states are in the process of adopting such laws. Make your support known by contacting your state Assemblyman and State Senator in Albany – via phone and in person on March 30th, 2009.