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June 7, 2019

A bill continues to advance in New York that would restrict when dogs are permitted to be outdoors.

The bill passed the Senate last week and was assigned to the Assembly Agriculture Committee, but then it was recalled to the Senate for amendments.  The bill must now be voted on again by the Senate before being considered by the Assembly.

As written, Senate Bill 4577 would restrict dogs being outdoors in certain temperatures.  The AKC completely agrees that no dog should ever be left in dangerous weather where their health and safety could be at risk.  However, our concerns with this bill are that since it includes specific temperatures, it does not take into account that certain breeds thrive outside these temperatures, nor does it consider that some breeds require a more moderate climate and even a brief time in temperatures permitted under this proposal could jeopardize the dog’s health.

The bill was amended to exempt working dogs and situations when appropriate shelter is provided, and when shade is provided when the sun could threaten the animal’s health.  However, it remains unclear whether the shelter is required when a dog is outside for a brief period of time, and also whether it is required when the dog is not left unattended.

AKC supports current New York law that requires when dogs are left outdoors without ready access to a permanent shelter, residence, apartment, etc., appropriate shelter must be provided to protect them from inclement weather likely to adversely impact the animal.  The dog’s age, physical condition, breed, and other factors are taken into consideration in this requirement.

For further details on this bill, check out AKC’s previous alert.

What You Can Do:

Those who reside or participate in outdoor events in New York are encouraged to contact the State Senate regarding Senate Bill 4577.  When contacting them, let them know what you do to ensure the health and safety of your dog when it is outside.

Visit AKC’s Legislative Action Center and type your name and address in the “Find Your Elected Officials” box to get the name and contact information for your State Senator.

For more information on these bills or other legislation pending in New York, contact AKC Government Relations at