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Nassau dog-tethering bill: too little bite, or too much?

Nassau Legis. Arnold Drucker (D-Plainview) questioned whether a

Nassau Legis. Arnold Drucker (D-Plainview) questioned whether a GOP bill to regulate dog tethering could cause confusion with other local codes. Credit: James Escher

Nassau County legislators fought last week over whether a dog tethering bill had enough bite — or perhaps too much.

A Republican bill debated in the county Legislature's finance committee last Monday would bar dog tethering to any outdoor, stationary object when the temperature falls below 35 degrees or is above 85.

But Legis. Arnold Drucker (D-Plainview) warned the proposal could create confusion unless it supersedes any town, city and village codes with conflicting regulations.

But Drucker, who had authored similar legislation earlier this year, said there could be problems if local codes conflict with the county law.

"I think it's confusing and it's making enforcement difficult," Drucker said.

Legis. Howard Kopel (R-Lawrence) said the county law wouldn't apply in municipalities with local laws against tethering. He said he thought county law can't preempt town codes.

"How is a cop to know? …" which law is in effect, Drucker asked.

"We have very clever cops, I'm told," Kopel quipped.

Legis. Thomas McKevitt (R-East Meadow) said officers can consult books of local laws.

Drucker pressed on. "The logic says that wouldn't it be better to just have one uniform law in the County of Nassau," he said. "… Why do we have to have 12 different laws — aren't you just making the job of a law enforcement officer that much more difficult? He's got to now go to his handbook every time he answers a call regarding pet tethering."

McKevitt. said the intention of the measure is, "to have less confusion, not more. This is something we'll discuss and work on later."

The legislation was approved and goes before the full Legislature on Sept. 23.

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