A caring new law for dogs has gone into effect as of December 1st, 2014 to help dictate the care of dogs left outside and in cars during unfit weather. The city of Mississauga in southern Ontario passed the law in November and has wasted no time putting it into effect to help minimize the long standing neglect of dogs left outside or in cars.
The new law, named the New Standards of Care states that pets cannot be left outside during cases of extreme weather save for brief walks or exercise unless the animal has adequate shelter provided. Animal services will be authorized to enter private properties to ensure that the law is being followed. If no owner is home to take the animal to proper shelter, it will be taken into their care.
The law also states that doghouses must be large enough for the dog to stand up, turn around, lie down and stretch its limbs to the fullest capacity. It must be insulated, have clean, dry bedding and be in good repair. There are extra requirements for each additional dog that uses the dog house.
Pens that hold dogs should be 9.3 square meters or 100 square feet, with an increase of 2.8 meters or 30 square feet for each additional dog kept inside. Animals must be taken out of the pen and not tethered for four hours each 24 hour period. On the note of tethering, dogs cannot be tethered in a yard for more than four hours and must be in reach of appropriate food, water and shade.
Animals in cars cannot be left unattended in cars if the weather conditions may cause the animal distress. The cars should have suitable ventilation and animals should be retrained to prevent contact to the public.
This new law may seem strict to some animal owners, but will provide for the animals overall well-being in cars and extreme weather. The guidelines will also help guide concerned citizens better recognize unfit conditions and will allow them to know when to act. With any luck this new law will take hold in other areas to help the overall welfare of animals in other towns in great need of it.