[Adopted 8-16-2011 by L.L. No. 41-2011]
This Legislature hereby finds and determines that Suffolk County is a leader in protecting the health and welfare of animals residing in the County. This Legislature also finds and determines that animal owners will sometimes tie their animals to a stationary object out of doors for a short period of time. This Legislature further finds and determines that some owners, however, leave their animals tied to a stationary object outside for long periods of time; in some cases, all day. This Legislature finds that animals left tied to an object outside for prolonged periods may not have sufficient food, water or shelter from inclement weather. This Legislature further finds that tethers, chains and other restraints can also injure animals, as the restraint may tangle or catch on other objects. This Legislature also determines that it is in the best interests of County residents and their pets to limit the amount of time animals spend tied to a stationary object.
Therefore, the purpose of this article is to limit the length of time that animals may be restrained outdoors to no more than two hours in any continuous twelve-hour period.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any individual, firm, partnership, corporation, company, society, association, or any organized group of persons, whether incorporated or not.
[Amended 5-13-2014 by L.L. No. 15-2014; 3-28-2017 by L.L. No. 7-2017]
It shall be unlawful for any person to tether, leash, fasten, secure, restrain, chain or tie a dog to any stationary object outdoors or cause such dog to be restrained in a manner that:
Endangers such dog's health, safety or well-being;
Restricts such dog's access to suitable and sufficient food, fresh, potable water and dry ground;
Does not provide such dog with shelter appropriate to its breed, physical condition, and the climate as defined by § 353-b of the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law; or
Unreasonably limits the movement of such dog because it is too short for the dog to move around or for the dog to urinate or defecate in a separate area from the area where it must eat, drink or lie down.
Notwithstanding the provisions of Subsection A of this section, no person shall tether, leash, fasten, secure, restrain, chain or tie a dog to any object with a device that:
Is a choke collar, pinch collar, or prong collar, or a similar collar that restrains the dog in such a manner that it impairs the flow of oxygen or blood to the dog, which may cause choking or causes substantial discomfort to the dog;
Is embedded, partially embedded or may become embedded in such dog's skin;
Has weights attached or contains links that are more than 1/4 inch thick;
Weighs more than 12.5% of the dog's total body weight, not to exceed 15 pounds for any dog;
Is less than 15 feet in length;
Because of its design or placement is likely to become entangled;
Is long enough to allow such dog to move outside of its owner's property;
Would allow the restrained dog to move over an object, including any fencing, barrier, or edge that could result in the strangulation of or injury to such dog; or
Is fixed (i.e., does not swivel) on either end.
No person shall tether, leash, fasten, secure, restrain, chain or tie a dog to any stationary object outdoors for more than one continuous hour in any continuous twelve-hour period between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.
No person shall tether, leash, fasten, secure, restrain, chain or tie a dog to any stationary object outdoors between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
Multiple dogs shall not be tethered or restrained in such a manner that they are able to come into contact with one another at any point in time while restrained.
No person shall tether, leash, fasten, secure, restrain, chain, tie, pen or otherwise confine outdoors a dog when:
The temperature is below 32° F.;
The temperature is above 90° F.;
The National Weather Service has issued a heat or wind chill advisory, watch or warning; or
Conditions are not appropriate due to the breed, physical condition and climate, as established pursuant to New York State Agricultural and Markets Law § 353-b.
This article shall not apply to any federal, state or local law enforcement agency.
[Amended 3-28-2017 by L.L. No. 7-2017]
Violation of this article shall constitute an unclassified misdemeanor, subject to a fine of $250 and/or imprisonment up to five days for a first offense, a fine of $500 and/or imprisonment up to 15 days for a second offense, and a fine of $1,000 and/or imprisonment up to 30 days for all subsequent offenses.
Individuals found guilty of a third or subsequent offense may be subject to a forfeiture of the animal, at the discretion of the court which so adjudicates their guilt.
[Amended 7-17-2018 by L.L. No. 21-2018]
This article will have no effect in any town or village located within the County of Suffolk which has enacted an ordinance, resolution or law regulating the restraint of dogs within its jurisdiction, unless the town or village ordinance, resolution or law expressly provides and allows for the enforcement of this article within the town or village boundaries.
This article shall apply to all actions occurring on or after the effective date of this article.