Laws: Counties and Municipalities

Suffolk County

Tether Bill

On April 17, 2017 Local Law No. 182 to Amend County Restrictions on Outdoor Restraint of Pets in Suffolk County was signed.  This law amends Chapter 299 of the Suffolk County Code relating to animals. Full text of the law can be found at   

Relevant provisions of the law include:

  1. It is unlawful for a dog to be tethered where they are denied access to sufficient food, fresh water and dry ground.
  2. A dog may not be tethered using a choke, pinch or prong collar.
  3. A dog may not be tethered for longer than one continuous hour during any continuous twelve hour period between the hours of 6 a.m. and 11 p.m.
  4. No dog shall be tethered between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  5. No dog shall be tethered when the temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit or 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Violation of the law is an unclassified misdemeanor and subject to fines and imprisonment ranging from $250 to $1,000 and/or 5 days to 30 days depending on the number of offenses.

Animal Rescue

On May 22, 2017 Local Law No. 30 to Regulate Animal Rescue Organizations in Suffolk County will take effect.  This law amends Chapter 302 of the Suffolk County Code which regulates animal shelters and kennels. 

Full text of the law 

Relevant provisions of the law include: 

  1. Animal rescue includes any individual or organization which adopts, gives away or barters more than 24 animals per year.
  2. Animal rescues will be required to apply for and obtain a permit, renewable every two years, and to meet certain requirements
  3. Animal rescues will be required to provide protection from the elements to animals, daily exercise and proper sustenance.
  4. Animal rescues must meet requirements for primary enclosures including space, height, and number of animals housed.
  5. Isolation areas must be available.
  6. Animals arriving from out of state must be examined by a New York State licensed veterinarian within 7 days of arrival and must be placed in isolation for a period of 7 days to be observed. Animals may not be adopted during the isolation period.
  7. Documentation of all examinations, treatments and inspections must be made available to an adopter and/or the Department of Health Services.
  8. Animals must be tested and treated for internal parasites.
  9. Certificate of Veterinary Inspections from out of state must include specific information including breed, sex age, state of origin, full name and address of the consignee and the consignor, a statement that the examination revealed no clinical evidence of infectious or communicable disease, and a statement that the animals has been immunized against rabies, if applicable.
  10. Animals must be spayed or neutered prior to adoption unless a veterinarian deems the procedure unsafe.
  11. This law will be enforced by the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.