Dutchess Legislature Passes Pair of Animal Welfare Laws

POUGHKEEPSIE – The Dutchess County Legislature adopted a county-wide animal abuse registry and a local law tightly restricting tethering of animals particularly in adverse conditions.

The Animal Abuse Registry will require persons who have been convicted of certain animal abuse crimes to be barred from owning or residing with an animal for a period of 15 years and to register with the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office. Any person or entity transferring the ownership of an animal will be required to inspect the registry to see if the person obtaining ownership is listed.

“On the 14 county registries in New York, there are 147 people (not including New York City) listed as of today,” said Legislator Tom Keith of Poughkeepsie. “As a police officer, I’ve seen first-hand animal abuse and this registry will go a long way in stopping abusers from obtaining more animals.”

The tethering regulations will create certain restrictions for when and how a canine may be tethered outside a person’s home. For the safety of the canine, it is necessary to have appropriate shelter if the animal is left outside for more than two consecutive hours.

The sponsors recognize education prior to or instead of the issuance of certain violations is a necessary tool for an animal owner to recognize the deficiencies in how their canine is tethered.

“My wife and I have recused 13 huskies, 10 of which had been severely abused or tethered without food and water for days at a time,” said Chairman Gregg Pulver. “These two proposals will go a long way in advancing animal welfare in Dutchess. I am proud of the Republican Caucus coming together and working on this proposal.”

Both measures were adopted unanimously by the full legislature last Monday night.

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