Christmas is almost here and although many animal experts and organizations recommend against it, some families will be giving puppies as pets. A dog is a great addition to a loving family but there are many responsibilities that come with any animal under your care.

During the past snowstorm that passed through New York State, we saw many dog lovers out with there dogs trying to find an area for them to "do their business" that wasn't on a five foot snowbank. But should there be a more strict law regarding keeping dogs on shorter leashes?

Here in New York State, we already have laws that are pretty specific about leashes and the length of leash that are allowed in public places. These laws are local laws and each town and city may be different.

Since New York State does not have a state-wide leash law, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Instead, leash laws are determined by locality.

Specifically in New York City, the law reads as follows:

A person who owns or controls a dog may not allow it to be in any public place or in any open or unfenced field abutting a public place, unless the dog is effectively restrained by a leash or chain no more than six feet long.

Most people love dogs but when dogs are allowed to roam free, there are risks. The biggest complaint seems to be that dogs that are not on leashes go on to private property. So many neighborhood relationships have been ruined because of lazy dog owners who refuse to clean up after their dogs. Just because there is a snowstorm, dog owners need to understand that they are responsible for their own dogs and keep in mind that snow melts and that mess your dog leaves behind will still be there to clean up!

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