Is it against the law to leave my dogs in my home ifI don’t sleep there butcurrently live nearby?

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Is it against the law to leave my dogs in my home ifI don’t sleep there butcurrently live nearby?

The house is clean, heated, and there is a radio. The dogs are in top shape according to the vet. Also, very friendly but my nosey neigbors are calling the dog warden and police to come there saying I’m using my home as a kennel. We have been renovating and one of us lost employment. We are just getting back on our feet and intend on moving back in. We moved out of the home in June. I am there 3-5 times a day but my current apartment does not allow dogs. Should I be doing something different?

Asked on February 6, 2011 under Criminal Law, New York

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

This situation may well violate not only housing laws but animal cruelty laws as well. I know that you are trying your best but what if there was a fire, or the heat went out over a frigid night, or someone broke in and caused harm to the dogs?  The fact is that no matter how well meaning you may be you could be breaking the law.  Is there any family member or friend who could take the dogs until you are ready to move back into your house?  Possibly there is a rescue group in your area that can make some type of temporary arrangements for you.  For example, if your dogs are Labs, there is a group called "Labs 4 Rescue" that you could contact (there are similar organizations for all breeds).  Maybe such a group could accommodate your dogs or at least recommend some group or person who can.  As a dog lover I sympathize with your situation.  However, if you are reported and animal control gets involved and finds a violation of the law, you run the risk of having your dogs taken and possibly having criminal charges filed against you.


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