UPDATE: Brooklyn Dogs Left in Cold Not Removed From Property

ASPCA claims conditions are not “ideal,” but do not “meet definition of animal cruelty as defined by the law, making seizure by the police impossible.”

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Yesterday, Life With Dogs brought you the story of two dogs that have been left outside in Brooklyn, New York during this past weekend’s blizzard on the east coast.  Today, law enforcement with the local HSUS returned to the property, but the people refused to give up their dogs.  At that time, the people couldn’t be charged with a crime to have the dogs seized, but Guardians of Rescue was also there, and took action to help out.

To see yesterday’s article, click here.

A good Samaritan and neighbor of the dogs, Evelyn Tully-Costa, posted a video to socia media of the dogs crying to be let in from the cold, and the story exploded.  It wasn’t long before angry neighbors and dog lovers that saw and shared the video started calling police, demanding something be done.

It was discovered that this is something that goes on constantly.  Tully-Costa and her neighbors told police that the dogs are never let into the house, no matter the weather.  They cry and cry, but are ignored, and left to just deal with it.  Even if someone does call the cops or goes and knocks on the door to tell the people to let their dogs in, it never lasts.  They’re let in until the people in the house think no one is looking, and then they’re immediately sent back out.

The neighbors wouldn’t be so adverse to the dogs being outside if the home owners would simply provide adequate shelter.  However, the shack provided to the dogs could hardly be seen as adequate.  There’s no insulation, or any real comfort at all, and if you have been to New York in winter, you know how unbelievably cold it can get.

Law enforcement and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) returned to the property today, along with the Guardians of Rescue.  They couldn’t convince the homeowners the give up the dogs.  They claim that the dogs need to be there for protection, and unfortunately, even though the shelter provided is less than ideal, it still is shelter.  That meant the dogs couldn’t just be removed from the property.

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According to a Facebook post by the ASPCA, “The dogs’ living conditions are not “ideal,” but do not meet the definition of animal cruelty as defined by the law, making seizure by the police impossible.”

The majority of people disagree with that statement.  The laws defining what constitutes adequate shelter are clearly stated in New York Agriculture and Markets law, Article 26, Animals, section 353-b. Appropriate shelter for dogs left outdoors:

“1. For purposes of this section: (a) “Physical condition” shall include any special medical needs of a dog due to disease, illness, injury, age or breed about which the owner or person with custody or control of the dog should reasonably be aware. (b) “Inclement weather” shall mean weather conditions that are likely to adversely affect the health or safety of the dog, including but not limited to rain, sleet, ice, snow, wind, or extreme heat and cold. (c) “Dogs that are left outdoors” shall mean dogs that are outdoors in inclement weather without ready access to, or the ability to enter, a house, apartment building, office building, or any other permanent structure that complies with the standards enumerated in paragraph (b) of subdivision three of this section. 2. (a) Any person who owns or has custody or control of a dog that is left outdoors shall provide it with shelter appropriate to its breed, physical condition and the climate. Any person who knowingly violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a violation, punishable by a fine of not less than fifty dollars nor more than one hundred dollars for a first offense, and a fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than two hundred fifty dollars for a second and subsequent offenses. Beginning seventy-two hours after a charge of violating this section, each day that a defendant fails to correct the deficiencies in the dog shelter for a dog that he or she owns or that is in his or her custody or control and that is left outdoors, so as to bring it into compliance with the provisions of this section shall constitute a separate offense. (b) The court may, in its discretion, reduce the amount of any fine imposed for a violation of this section by the amount which the defendant proves he or she has spent providing a dog shelter or repairing an existing dog shelter so that it complies with the requirements of this section. Nothing in this paragraph shall prevent the seizure of a dog for a violation of this section pursuant to the authority granted in this article. 3. Minimum standards for determining whether shelter is appropriate to a dog’s breed, physical condition and the climate shall include: (a) For dogs that are restrained in any manner outdoors, shade by natural or artificial means to protect the dog from direct sunlight at all times when exposure to sunlight is likely to threaten the health of the dog. (b) For all dogs that are left outdoors in inclement weather, a housing facility, which must: (1) have a waterproof roof; (2) be structurally sound with insulation appropriate to local climatic conditions and sufficient to protect the dog from inclement weather; (3) be constructed to allow each dog adequate freedom of movement to make normal postural adjustments, including the ability to stand up, turn around and lie down with its limbs outstretched; and (4) allow for effective removal of excretions, other waste material; dirt and trash. The housing facility and the area immediately surrounding it shall be regularly cleaned to maintain a healthy and sanitary environment and to minimize health hazards. 4. Inadequate shelter may be indicated by the appearance of the housing facility itself, including but not limited to, size, structural soundness, evidence of crowding within the housing facility, healthful environment in the area immediately surrounding such facility, or by the appearance or physical condition of the dog. 5. Upon a finding of any violation of this section, any dog or dogs seized pursuant to the provisions of this article that have not been voluntarily surrendered by the owner or custodian or forfeited pursuant to court order shall be returned to the owner or custodian only upon proof that appropriate shelter as required by this section is being provided. 6. Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect any protections afforded to dogs or other animals under any other provisions of this article.”

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The good people at Guardians of Rescue decided that they would step in and help the dogs out.  They have directly partnered with the HSUS and ASPCA in the area, and are willing to do whatever is necessary to keep the dogs safe.  They are asking the public for help in the matter, and if you’d like to find out more, you can click here to see Guardians of Rescue’s Facebook page, or click here to see their main page.


1.26.16 - UPDATE

114 thoughts on “UPDATE: Brooklyn Dogs Left in Cold Not Removed From Property

  1. This is absolutely ridiculous. It’s cold, during a blizzard, and the dogs’ shelter is deemed “adequate”?? Are you kidding? Perhaps someone should offer to buy the dogs since they won’t willingly give them up. Talk about a bunch of hard-headed foolish people! This sickens me!!

  2. These people are scum, those dogs need to be removed from the property and the owners need to be brought up on charges. Lucky I wasn’t there because I would’ve been arrested

  3. “They claim that the dogs need to be there for protection”

    I’m sorry, but how do dogs kept confined to the backyard protect you? They can’t alert you to an intruder in the house and they certainly can’t protect you from an intruder when they’re outside! Excuses. Excuses. Excuses.

    This is plain and simple neglect which is now supposed to be a top-tier felony. So much for laws…


  4. Buy these dogs …get together and offer this jerk owner some money…probably will not cost that much since they obviously do not have any love for these animals. Smh…

  5. I don’t understand what’s the point of having authorities go there to do nothing. That’s ridiculous…they should be allowed to act.

  6. Still sad that these poor dogs are not safe. They’ve never known what it’s like to be part of a real family. These owners must be mentally deficient and that’s being polite. May karma bite you in the ass!

  7. The owners are scum….this is bullshit…..they need the dogs for their protection….really…..???? So full of shit…. dogs are not livestock…..livestock is another ballgame with shelter. But dogs….no…don’t fall under that rhelm……

  8. And if they are dead, or frozen in place, how does that protect you! The only ones needing protection….are the precious, innocent dogs!!!!

  9. “Conditions do not meet definition of animal cruelty as defined by the law”? Stick the owners outside in those conditions and then say that it isn’t cruel. Being that they’re older dogs, they probably aren’t only cold but in pain as well. New York needs to be changing their barbaric laws. This is flat out abuse!!

  10. Protection from what? The people coming to the door noting that they are committing animal abuse? I hope that the situation can be resolved and the poor dogs can be given a decent life.

  11. These pieces of shit are under the radar now and I think even their limited intelligence will tell them that. I would seriously fear for the lives of those poor dogs.

  12. The city needs to implement news laws making it a violation to keep any animal outside in that kind of weather . Other cities have implemented same as well as laws prohibiting tethering/chaining an animal !

  13. I hope with neighbors and peer pressure they will give up the dogs to people who care about their safety which they obviously do not. If the dogs should disappear, and they refuse to say where they are, it may be too late

  14. Local HSUS? HSUS does not have “local” anything. They are a bloated money machine for their pensions and million dollar salaries.

  15. So sad. Sadder even more so, because if they did get those dogs out, those are the kinds of folks that would probably get more dogs illegally.

  16. How is this not animal cruelty? They’re gonna need protection if they don’t take care of those dogs. Right now those dogs need the protection. What a couple of douche bags.

  17. There will be NO MERCY for those who have not shown Mercy to others and that includes animals. But if you have been Merciful, God Will be Merciful when he judges you. – James 2:13… My only consolation is the despicable people who are doing this WILL stand before God one day and answer for it. My prayers are for these senior dogs that likely have suffered a lifetime of this abuse.

  18. Shocking. Those dogs are living beings, they feel cold hot pain joy sadness hunger – just like us. They are not a bit of furniture, property to be dumped outside with all the other rubbish. There is something seriously wrong with those laws. Just shocking. Awful. I hate it.

  19. how about if those dumb F….. are left outside for 48 hours? would they be cold? Would they consider that cruel? Why do those asses even want the dogs if they just leave them outside? Scumbags…

  20. …soooo, they get these dogs that they can’t/won’t look after and they HELP them house them comfortably OUTSIDE instead of taking them away because THEY didn’t look after them to start with ??????

  21. My dog stays in our house all the time and he protects our house. I put a sweater on him for cold walks and he is in a nice warm house with a blanket, food and water. The bitch deserves to freeze to death.

  22. If a person chooses to have a dog for :protection” n neglects the dog …this person does not deserve to have the dog…What a frigin jerk n so are those protecting the owner….How sad for the dogs

  23. This is such bullshit! Rewrite your laws for 2016, NY…this is outright abuse. Owner is a’p.o.s. I’m sorry, tell me why you even have these dogs?!?

  24. What u should do good neighbors post here in facebook the names of the owners of the dogs… Post their social media files… Instagram…

  25. I disagree with the authorities on this one. There is NO WAY that the owner is following the law. The age of the dogs, the structure not having any insulation, the weather–no insulation in the house that would be consistent with the NY winter weather. My heart breaks for these poor dogs.

  26. Law are open to interpretation. Law enforcement needs to deem the structure unfit and take the dogs or someone should steal them and take them out of state so the owners could never find them.

  27. ASPCA are a bunch of whimps…they want donations but NEVER react. That’s why i refuse to give them any more of my money. According to the TV show, they act like they go into many places and remove animals…but they don’t!!! ASPCA needs to grow a pair.

  28. It’s a disgrace. Animals are family. Put these sub humans outside in a blizzard. Take these babies off the property . They need warmth and love . People make me sick

  29. Assholes then you sleep with them outside..or you let the dogs sleep inside..how many brainsels do you need to think for yourself..if you are cold they are cold..it is not rocket sience..

  30. The ASPCA and NYPD want nothing to do with law enforcement for animals.

    There was a dog down the block from me who was tethered on a heavy chain no more than 6 feet long in the front yard with no shelter whatsoever and a bowl that rarely had water in it. The ASPCA claimed that this was “an outside dog” and that there was no violation.

  31. If they were doing everything they could to help the dogs, why didn’t the rescue organizations offer to give the dogs insulated dog houses so they could have adequate shelter after the owners refused to turn them over. At least they’d have shelter until they could find reason to remove the dogs. Also, the owners were clearly in violation when that many people have witnessed the dogs’ distress!

  32. I live in Oregon. Come on someone local needs to rescue these dogs. I would not hesitate to grab these dogs if I lived there. What the hell is wrong with people, just grab the dogs! This is abuse and neglect!

  33. Sometimes the public just has to step in…couple yrs ago there was a 3# yorkie out with a carrier in sub zero weather I reported to pound and Ohio SPCA and they did NOTHING TOOK ONE WOMAN TO GO TAKE THE DOG….ENOUGH SAID

  34. Well if the dog frozen, he can not do his work. Enough for these idiotic argue. Authority must take appropriate action to protect this animal before too late. They should focus to what is the top priority.

  35. I am outraged ! Protection…trade them a security camera for those dogs !! Can’t you folks THINK OUTSIDE of the box ? Do whatever it takes…be creative & get those dogs & convince these low-lifes that dogs are too much trouble whereas a camera just needs batteries !!

  36. Yes these people are ignorant scumbags but something is seriously wrong with animal cruelty laws. Do the dogs need to be frozen to death on the ground for this to be deemed cruel , inhumane treatment warranting action/removal?

  37. Why would they even have the right to keep the dogs??? They obviously don’t care about their well being… Just human trash abusing dogs! Take the dogs and protect them from suffering!

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