Recently, we wondered whether leaving your dog outside for long periods of time in sub-freezing weather could be considered animal cruelty. It seems that the city council was pondering a similar question: this week, a new measure was proposed that would bar dog owners from tethering their pets outside for longer than three hours in a continuous 12-hour period.
City Councilman and pet lover Peter Vallone introduced the bill, which was also backed by the ASPCA. He argued that cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco already have enacted stricter regulations that ban tethering entirely: "I don't expect the police to go around with stopwatches. I expect it to be complaint driven." ASPCA officials argued that tethered dogs can and have become aggressive, and leaving them outside exposes them to injury from other animals, people, and extreme weather conditions. Deputy Health Commissioner Dan Kass seemed doubtful of the measure passing because of logistics; according to the Post, he said the city would be hard pressed to enforce such a measure under any circumstances since inspectors would theoretically have to witness the three-hour violation in order to give out $250 summonses.