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New Buffalo law makes it illegal to leave dogs outside in extreme heat or cold

The Buffalo Common Council passed a law Wednesday prohibiting residents from tethering dogs for over an hour in extreme weather conditions.

The Buffalo Common Council passed a law Wednesday prohibiting tethering dogs for over an hour in extreme weather conditions, when temperatures are over 90 degrees or below freezing.

"People should not be leaving their dogs out for over an hour in extreme weather conditions," said Delaware District council member, Joel Feroletto. 

The ordinance makes it a misdemeanor for a city dog-owner to keep a dog outside without shelter. 

Fines start at $250 and increase after that; there could possibly be jail time included.

However, there are exceptions for working dogs, farm dogs or hunting dogs and specialty breeds intended for extreme temperatures, like huskies. 

The ordinance also makes it a crime to keep a pregnant dog, a dog five months and younger or a dog with a medical condition outside with extreme temperatures.

This new ordinance was championed by the Erie County SPCA. The organization's president Gary Willoughby II said, "We don’t think this is anything that will inconvenience responsible dog owners in Buffalo.”

Ans Feroleto points out the ordinance begins with a six-month grace period where first time violators will get a warning as long as the dog has not suffered any injuries from being exposed to the elements.