Liberate Pets from Punishing Restraints and Brutal Weather

Target: Carl E. Heastie, Speaker of the New York State Assembly

Goal: Prevent the cruel, potentially fatal restraint of pets.

With unprecedented cold winters in many parts of the country, helpless animals are suffering every day. They cannot seek the warmth of a shelter nor, in some cases, can they even create the scarcest warmth through movement. Rather, countless dogs can only lay shivering on the cold ground, prisoners cast from their own homes. State laws regarding the tethering of dogs vary, but for countless animals, no legal advocate exists.

State dictates vary greatly. California, for example, bans almost all cases of restraining a dog to a stationary object. Other states limit the amount of time a dog may be tethered or the length of the restraining device. Still other states prohibit using certain types of restraints, such as chains, due to their capability of causing cuts or other injuries. Extreme weather exceptions are also prominent in many laws. Punishments for violating these laws range from citations to jail time.

Abuse comes in many forms, and the negligent, cruel abuse of tethering leads to far too many premature canine deaths. Unfortunately, many states still hold no accountability in their laws. New York, a state often seen as at the forefront of progression and liberty, can set an important example that will impact the lives of millions of animals now and for years to come.

Sign this petition and urge New York State Speaker Carl Heastie to blaze another trail—this time in the fight for animal rights. Make a state pet tethering law a top priority today.


Dear Speaker Heastie,

Whether for immigrants, disenfranchised minorities, or anyone enduring a struggle, New York stands as a beacon of strength, liberty, and hope. You have fought for the underrepresented time and again, and now we ask you do the same for your state’s, and this country’s, animal population.

Recently, a small outside shelter in Connecticut was discovered by authorities. A chain looped from the shelter, and attached to its other end was a frozen dog. The owner of this abandoned pet was charged with animal cruelty. Across the country, similar cases populate the local papers— a tragic byproduct of record cold temperatures.

In your state, this horrific trend has merited no response. Currently, New York is one of several states with no statewide statute related to tethering pets. As a result, authorities have no framework for punishing those responsible for incidents like the one detailed above. Citizens of your state are accustomed to harsh temperatures and even harsher weather conditions. Would you recommend any individual venture into these conditions in nothing more than a tee-shirt and a pair of shorts? In essence, this is exactly the fate to which reckless owners have condemned animals under their care.

Protect these innocents from such conditions and from those who treat their lives with such cruel disregard. Presently, at least three bills have been sponsored that would address tethering of companion animals in a proactive way. Examine these proposals more closely and urge the immediate enactment of a dog tethering law. In the process, set another powerful standard for empathy and advocacy.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Earving Corona

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  1. Linda Hilty-Tuttle says:



  3. Get Animal Legal Defence Fund onto it.

  4. Janice Haines says:

    I can’t believe this is allowed to happen in New York state. We need this to stop immediately. Make this a law. Janice Haines Albany, NY

  5. Negligence often causes some of the WORST suffering for animals — a slow and TORTUROUS death. If an animal isn’t a full-fledged part of the family, they should have gone, or go to, people who WILL keep them safe from harm and loved, and we have to make sure THIS becomes the norm, instead of all this blatant cruelty!

  6. agree all above

  7. protect animals and save their life – this is the MOST IMPORTANT

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