Leaving Fido in Your Car on a Hot Summer Day? Illegal and Dangerous

Posted on 12 June 2013

dogheat

By Kathryn G. Menu

Each summer there are at least a few stories on the East End about the dog left too long in an unvented car on a hot summer’s day, panting to survive in the face of oven-like conditions. But despite pamphlets in the Sag Harbor Village Police Department, each summer these stories persist, which is why Dorothy Frankel has begun a crusade on behalf of man’s best friend to prevent what can be a deadly mistake.

At Tuesday night’s Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees meeting, Frankel urged the village board to pass a resolution to purchase a handful of signs “Warning: Heat Kills Pets in Parked Vehicles.” The signs are already being produced by the Town of Southampton and will be posted at bays and oceans, as well as municipal lots in that jurisdiction.

Frankel asked the board to purchase less than 10 signs at $30 apiece to be posted in key locations around Sag Harbor — on Main Street, in the parking lot behind Main Street and by the post office, for example. Frankel said the signs would serve simply as reminders to pet owners that the decision to dash into a store for an extended period of time while their car is parked in the heat without significant ventilation is putting their animals in serious danger.

Because apparently the law simply isn’t good enough.

While Sag Harbor Village does not have a specific line item in its code prohibiting leaving animals in unventilated cars, both the state and Suffolk County do.

According to a statute from the laws of New York State’s Department of Agriculture and Markets, it is illegal in the state to “confine a companion animal in a motor vehicle in extreme heat or cold without proper ventilation or other protection from such extreme temperatures where such confinement places the companion animal in imminent danger of death or serious physical injury due to exposure of extreme heat or cold.”

Under that law, police or peace officers are instructed to remove the animal by whatever necessary steps are required. Anyone found guilty of this violation faces a $50 to $100 fine as a first offense and a $100 to $250 fine under subsequent offenses.

While the Town of Southampton is erecting orange and red signs, Frankel said less obtrusive white and green signs are also available. The need in Sag Harbor, she added, is critical, to the point where just Tuesday — a day with temperatures in the mid-70s, which can translate to over 100 degrees in an unventilated car over time — she snapped a picture of a dog left in a car with one window cracked about an inch.

“Usually the person loves the animal, but they are not educated to realize they are going into a store and they are not going to be just one minute,” said Frankel.

“I am not saying let’s clutter the village with signs but could we be open to the idea that people leave their animals in their cars and they do it all the time,” she added.

Trustee Robby Stein said he would continue conversations with Frankel and Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce President Kelly Connaughton before the board considered a final decision.

Chief Asks to Hire Laid Off Officer Part Time

Also on Tuesday night, both village board member Kevin Duchemin and Sag Harbor Village Police Chief Tom Fabiano asked the board to pass a resolution hiring former full-time police officer David Driscoll — laid off as the last hire in the 2013-2014 village budget — back in a part time position.

However, while Mayor Brian Gilbride said it was his intention to do just that within the next week or so, the board stalled on the resolution while Mayor Gilbride said he ironed out details about the legality of hiring back a full time employee on a part time basis. The salary was also still a question for Mayor Gilbride, although Duchemin — a sergeant with the East Hampton Village Police Department — said with Driscoll’s 17 years of experience he deserved $30 per hour.

Chief Fabiano added without Driscoll he feels he will have to resort to using overtime, which would ultimately cost the department more than hiring Driscoll part time.

Mayor Gilbride responded he believes with the department’s 10 current officers and the chief it should be able to staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week with two officers on at all times and still have 190 shifts to play with. Chief Fabiano said this time

of year, a lot of vacation time creates open shifts he has to fill.

Hamlet to Hamlet Trail Viewed Favorably

A hamlet to hamlet trail system — created throughout Southampton Town by the Southampton Trails Preservation Society — aims to begin connecting downtowns with a path between Sag Harbor and Bridgehampton. On Tuesday night, Tony Garro, a member of the society’s Hamlet-to-Hamlet Committee, received a favorable review of the project from the Sag Harbor Village Board, which will have to sign off on the green blazers that will mark the trail from the Sag Harbor Historical Society back into the Glover Street neighborhood and over to Mashashimuet Park where it would connect to an existing trail system leading to Bridgehampton.

Garro was asked to provide the village board with a map of the trail and the location for the blazes marking the path, but was told he would have village support.

Eventually, hamlet-to-hamlet trails will connect Sag Harbor to Noyac, Noyac to North Sea, North Sea to Southampton Village and beyond until Southampton Town as a walking path between all of its hubs, much like England.

By Kathryn G. Menu

 

Each summer there are at least a few stories on the East End about the dog left too long in an unvented car on a hot summer’s day, panting to survive in the face of oven-like conditions. But despite pamphlets in the Sag Harbor Village Police Department, each summer these stories persist, which is why Dorothy Frankel has begun a crusade on behalf of man’s best friend to prevent what can be a deadly mistake.

At Tuesday night’s Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees meeting, Frankel urged the village board to pass a resolution to purchase a handful of signs “Warning: Heat Kills Pets in Parked Vehicles.” The signs are already being produced by the Town of Southampton and will be posted at bays and oceans, as well as municipal lots in that jurisdiction.

Frankel asked the board to purchase less than 10 signs at $30 apiece to be posted in key locations around Sag Harbor — on Main Street, in the parking lot behind Main Street and by the post office, for example. Frankel said the signs would serve simply as reminders to pet owners that the decision to dash into a store for an extended period of time while their car is parked in the heat without significant ventilation is putting their animals in serious danger.

Because apparently the law simply isn’t good enough.

While Sag Harbor Village does not have a specific line item in its code prohibiting leaving animals in unventilated cars, both the state and Suffolk County do.

According to a statute from the laws of New York State’s Department of Agriculture and Markets, it is illegal in the state to “confine a companion animal in a motor vehicle in extreme heat or cold without proper ventilation or other protection from such extreme temperatures where such confinement places the companion animal in imminent danger of death or serious physical injury due to exposure of extreme heat or cold.”

Under that law, police or peace officers are instructed to remove the animal by whatever necessary steps are required. Anyone found guilty of this violation faces a $50 to $100 fine as a first offense and a $100 to $250 fine under subsequent offenses.

While the Town of Southampton is erecting orange and red signs, Frankel said less obtrusive white and green signs are also available. The need in Sag Harbor, she added, is critical, to the point where just Tuesday — a day with temperatures in the mid-70s, which can translate to over 100 degrees in an unventilated car over time — she snapped a picture of a dog left in a car with one window cracked about an inch.

“Usually the person loves the animal, but they are not educated to realize they are going into a store and they are not going to be just one minute,” said Frankel.

“I am not saying let’s clutter the village with signs but could we be open to the idea that people leave their animals in their cars and they do it all the time,” she added.

Trustee Robby Stein said he would continue conversations with Frankel and Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce President Kelly Connaughton before the board considered a final decision.

Chief Asks to Hire Laid Off Officer Part Time

Also on Tuesday night, both village board member Kevin Duchemin and Sag Harbor Village Police Chief Tom Fabiano asked the board to pass a resolution hiring former full-time police officer David Driscoll — laid off as the last hire in the 2013-2014 village budget — back in a part time position.

However, while Mayor Brian Gilbride said it was his intention to do just that within the next week or so, the board stalled on the resolution while Mayor Gilbride said he ironed out details about the legality of hiring back a full time employee on a part time basis. The salary was also still a question for Mayor Gilbride, although Duchemin — a sergeant with the East Hampton Village Police Department — said with Driscoll’s 17 years of experience he deserved $30 per hour.

Chief Fabiano added without Driscoll he feels he will have to resort to using overtime, which would ultimately cost the department more than hiring Driscoll part time.

Mayor Gilbride responded he believes with the department’s 10 current officers and the chief it should be able to staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week with two officers on at all times and still have 190 shifts to play with. Chief Fabiano said this time

of year, a lot of vacation time creates open shifts he has to fill.

Hamlet to Hamlet Trail Viewed Favorably

A hamlet to hamlet trail system — created throughout Southampton Town by the Southampton Trails Preservation Society — aims to begin connecting downtowns with a path between Sag Harbor and Bridgehampton. On Tuesday night, Tony Garro, a member of the society’s Hamlet-to-Hamlet Committee, received a favorable review of the project from the Sag Harbor Village Board, which will have to sign off on the green blazers that will mark the trail from the Sag Harbor Historical Society back into the Glover Street neighborhood and over to Mashashimuet Park where it would connect to an existing trail system leading to Bridgehampton.

Garro was asked to provide the village board with a map of the trail and the location for the blazes marking the path, but was told he would have village support.

Eventually, hamlet-to-hamlet trails will connect Sag Harbor to Noyac, Noyac to North Sea, North Sea to Southampton Village and beyond until Southampton Town as a walking path between all of its hubs, much like England.

“And of course the quaintest of quaint villages is Sag Harbor and that is where we propose to start,” said Garro.

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