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New legislation is aimed at protecting dogs from being left outside in extreme heat or cold


New legislation in the state house could penalize dog-owners for not providing adequate outdoor shelter for their pets.

State lawmakers say there are already penalties on the books for dog owners that don’t provide adequate shelter from the elements.

But, according to Democratic State Representative Darrin Camillari, there’s no clear definition of what protection from the elements should look like.

“So we are looking to create a set of standards for dogs that are left outside in extreme temperatures, both hot temperatures and cold temperatures.”

Camillari said without clear standards it is hard to enforce protections.

“What ends up happening is that someone could file a complaint but because there aren’t strict parameters law enforcement can’t really do anything about it.”

Dog owners could be subject to fines for leaving their dogs out for longer than a half hour in temperatures below 32 degrees or above 90 degrees.

Cammillari said the legislation does make exceptions based on a dog's age, breed, physical condition, and thickness of fur.

“We’re talking about farm animals, farm dogs as well. Hunting dogs. There are conditions that would exempt some of those situations.”

Under current law individuals who leave dogs out in extreme weather conditions could face a fine of up to $1,000 dollars or 93 days in prison.