I would hope so too bluezone. We can hope.
The following is a statement posted yesterday evening by The Law Offices of Matthew Albert Esq. on social media.
"While these laws I'm going to post are state laws in NY and their relevance pertains mostly to the dastardly and brutal cold weather in Buffalo, it is important for all animal activists to know their requisite state laws. The reason being, most law enforcement agencies and local Humane Societies are woeful at actually enforcing animal welfare laws. The Western New York region is a primary example of law enforcements general disregard for animal welfare. Overall, police shoot far more dogs than they save. (think about that one for a minute.) Meanwhile, the SPCA's do absolutely nothing to combat the perverted law enforcement practice.
There are now numerous dogs in the Western New York region that are being forced to live... or die...outdoors in these elements. Police departments, primarily the Erie County Sheriff's Department, are telling concerned advocates that it is the SPCA's job to enforce animal cruelty laws. Frankly, that is completely untrue. § 371 of the Ag + Markets law clearly states that law enforcement officers are OBLIGATED and under a DUTY to enforce the animal welfare laws of this state, which fall under Article 26 of the Ag + Markets Laws. Key words will be capitalized for emphasis.
§ 371. Powers of peace officers. A constable or police officer MUST, and any agent or officer of any duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals may issue an appearance ticket pursuant to section 150.20 of the criminal procedure law, summon or arrest, and bring before a court or magistrate having jurisdiction, any person OFFENDING against ANY of the provisions of article twenty-six of the agriculture and markets law. Any officer or agent of any of said societies may lawfully interfere to prevent the perpetration of any act of cruelty upon any animal in his presence. Any of said societies may prefer a complaint before any court, tribunal or magistrate having jurisdiction, for the violation of any law relating to or affecting animals and may aid in presenting the law and facts before such court, tribunal or magistrate in any proceeding taken.
Cutting through the legalese, the law imposes what has been ruled by courts as a 'non-delegable' duty for police officers to enforce the laws in question. That is how we were able to get the dogs released in Sprakers last year.
The next statute in play, as many have pointed out, is § 353-b and § 353 of the Ag + Markets Laws. § 353-b is a long statute... I'll include the most relevant section.
3. Minimum standards for determining whether shelter is appropriate to a dog's breed, physical condition and the climate shall include:
(b) For all dogs that are left outdoors in inclement weather, a
housing facility, which must: (1) have a waterproof roof; (2) be
structurally sound with insulation appropriate to local climatic
conditions and sufficient to protect the dog from inclement weather; (3) be constructed to allow each dog adequate freedom of movement to make normal postural adjustments, including the ability to stand up, turn around and lie down with its limbs outstretched; and (4) allow for effective removal of excretions, other waste material; dirt and trash.
The housing facility and the area immediately surrounding it shall be
regularly cleaned to maintain a healthy and sanitary environment and to minimize health hazards.
We are having the coldest temps in 150 years. For the SPCA or a police agency to say leaving a dog outside now is appropriate...regardless of breed... is frankly disgusting and also false. Unless the dog has a torpedo heater directed upon a teepee, no veterinarian would dream of saying that it would be appropriate to leave a dog outdoors. The Mill Street situation, the Evans situation, and all other ones I have seen are woeful situations in which the structures lack waterproof roofs, are not structurally sound... and wouldn't be appropriate if it was 35 degrees out.
Activists... know your laws. Recognize that while the laws can certainly be written better... the much larger problem is the soulless people that enforce them."
You can't legislate common sense.