Make Animal Neglect in Extreme Weather a Felony


Target: New York Senator Greg Ball

Goal: Make neglecting an animal during extreme weather a felony

Senator Greg Ball and Assemblyman Jim Tedisco recently called for a new piece of legislation that will protect companion animals from being neglected, left outside, or given improper housing during times of extreme weather.  Hard winters are often fraught with the deaths of animals left outside or tied up, and those responsible are rarely punished aside from miniscule fines. This is a critical piece of legislation that will hopefully influence other states that endure inclement weather during the winter months, and deserves our support.

The push for new legislation is largely the result of a recent raid on a puppy mill in Sprakers, New York. The situation was brought into the public eye through photographs posted on Facebook of several dogs chained up outside in temperatures well below freezing. Two of them had already died and were frozen to the ground. The person who posted the photographs also added an update that the owner, using a wheelbarrow, had removed the dogs from the property to avoid suspicion.

Originally, news agencies reported the whistleblower’s claims as an exaggeration, but further investigation has revealed that the situation was actually much worse. More than 40 dogs have since been removed from the property by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) because of matted hair, malnourishment, infections, and dental problems. Only 7 of them were an ideal bodyweight, 10 were emaciated, and none of them were healthy enough to undergo basic spay and neuter procedures or other surgeries. This is all beside the fact that they were left outside freezing to death.

The owner of the property was only charged with violating the state’s Agriculture and Markets Law, which carries a maximum $100 fine. Ball and Tedisco’s legislation will make the crime a felony, punishable by up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine. “The punishment for leaving a dog out in the freezing cold to potentially die should be beyond a mere slap on the wrist, pay your fine and go back to your puppy mill to extract more blood money. It should be criminal,” said Assemblyman Tedisco.

Senator Ball and Assemblyman Tedisco are currently drafting the bill. Please sign the petition below to support this necessary piece of legislation. Hundreds of companion animals freeze to death every winter due to negligence and this must be put to an end.


Dear Senator Ball,

Along with Assemblyman Jim Tedisco you have recently called for an update to New York State laws regarding improper housing for companion animals during inclement winter weather by making it a felony for failing to do so. The maximum penalty is currently a mere $100 fine.

Far too many animals are forced to endure brutally cold conditions simply because of the carelessness and ignorance of their owners. People must know this will not be tolerated. Thank you for your effort to ensure animals receive the love and protection they deserve.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Cathyse97 via Flickr

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