Suffolk County Man Charged With Keeping Dogs Outside In Freezing Cold

A Long Island man is facing a misdemeanor charge for keeping dogs penned up outside his home during the recent cold spell that saw temperatures dip near the single digits, the SPCA announced.

The dogs were kept outside on Rope Court in Melville.
The dogs were kept outside on Rope Court in Melville. Photo Credit: Google Maps street view

Officers from the Suffolk County SPCA announced that Melville resident Michael Kaplow, age 71, was charged with leaving his four dogs outside in sub-freezing temperatures during the recent run of cold weather.

Suffolk County SPCA Chief Roy Gross said that officers responded to Rope Court in Melville this week and found four dogs penned in a fenced-off area in the yard with no access to indoors or a heated facility.

At the time officers responded, the temperature outside was 26 degrees.

On Friday, Jan. 14, Gross announced that Kaplow was charged with violating a Suffolk County Code pertaining to restraining animals outside without sufficient food, water, or shelter.

Specifically, the law states that “it shall be unlawful for any person to tether, leash, fasten, secure, restrain, chain or tie a dog to any stationary object outdoors or cause such dog to be restrained in a manner that:

  • Endangers such dog's health, safety, or well-being;
  • Restricts such dog's access to suitable and sufficient food, fresh, potable water, and dry ground;
  • Does not provide such dog with shelter appropriate to its breed, physical condition, and the climate as defined by New York State Agriculture and Markets Law;
  • Unreasonably limits the movement of such a dog because it is too short for the dog to move around or for the dog to urinate or defecate in a separate area from the area where it must eat, drink or lie down.”

Kaplow is scheduled to appear in First District Court in Central Islip on Friday, Jan. 28.

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