North Hempstead sets fines, jail for leaving pets in ‘hot cars’

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The Town of North Hempstead has made it illegal to leave animals unattended in heated or unventilated vehicles.

Town Council members unanimously approved the law Monday, which sets a $250 fine and/or imprisonment for up to 15 days for violators.

“We’re all hearing about dogs that are left in cars and the temperatures in these cars are up to very high temperatures,” North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said.

Introduced during the council’s July 14 meeting, the law is part of a townwide educational initiative to increase awareness over so-called “hot cars,” in which pets and small children face heat stroke and even death if left unattended for too long.

The campaign has included public service announcements on North Hempstead TV, the distribution of fliers and various social media postings detailing the risks of leaving pets in “hot cars.”

According to the legislation, the law would not apply to animals in custody of an active peace officer or animal control officer.

In other developments:

• An application to allow self-service at the BP station at 944 Willis Ave. in Albertson was approved, as well as the replacement of three underground storage gasoline tanks.

Michael Sahn, the attorney for applicant Sands Point Acres Inc., said the town had approved self-service at the 9,100 square-foot site in 1995, but the owner did not pursue the proper permits and paperwork.

The application required a special-use permit for the replacement of the tanks, which under code must be conducted by November, Sahn said.

Sands Point Acres has also applied for a waiver to allow for two tanks, one holding 15,000 gallons of fuel and the other holding 16,000 gallons, to replace the three tanks presently at the site, two of which hold 10,000 gallons and the other holding 8,000 gallons.

Sahn said the new tanks would hold both diesel and regular fuel and would warrant fewer fuel deliveries and be less of an environmental risk.  

• The council approved an amendment to town code to grant the town the authority to prosecute violations in District Court and negotiate plea bargains as they arise.

Botwin said the amendment codifies a longstanding practice conducted by town prosecutors.

Reach reporter Bill San Antonio by e-mail at bsanantonio@theislandnow.com, by phone at 516.307.1045 x215 or on Twitter @Bill_SanAntonio. Also follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/theislandnow.

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