The Town of North Hempstead added bite to its laws regarding tethered dogs at a Town Board meeting last month, adding a series of protections for dogs and fines for convicted offenders.
The change calls for dog owners to provide suitable food, water, shelter and dry ground when a dog is tethered outside. Dogs also cannot be tethered to a stationary object outdoors for more than one continuous hour during a 12-hour period between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m.
It also bars choke collars that could hurt a dog or impair its breathing, limits the amount of time a dog can be kept outdoors, and says dogs cannot be tethered outside in temperatures below 32 degrees or above 90 degrees.
“We are speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves,” Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said. “Dogs depend on humans to care and protect them.”
The first violation comes with a fine ranging from $500 to $750, the second violation has a fine ranging from $750 to $1,000, and the third and subsequent violations carry a fine from $1,000 to $1,500. Each violation also carries a risk of imprisonment for up to 15 days.
The new law will add considerable length to the subsection of the town code pertaining to “dogs to be restrained,” which did not restrain how an owner could tether a dog.
Prior to the amendment, that chapter of the code only said it was illegal for a dog to be on any property without the owner’s consent unless the dog is “effectively restrained in the immediate custody” of its owner or on a chain or leash that was six feet or less.
The full law can be found online at https://northhempsteadny.gov/Proposed-Local-Laws.
In other business, the Town Board awarded a $1.08 million contract to Galvin Brothers to expand the Hempstead Harbor Shoreline Trail by one mile south. This will be partly funded by $450,000 worth of grants.
The 200 acres of woodlands across the street from North Hempstead Beach Park was also renamed Hempstead Harbor Woods, which will be the location of a mountain bike trail and hiking trail.