Dogs & Laws

Insulated Dog Houses Now Required by Law for some NM Residents

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For some New Mexico dogs, even if their family’s won’t bring them inside and out of the cold, they’ll at least get insulated dog houses – or their owners will face fines and jail time.

Dogs living in Albuquerque, New Mexico and surrounding Bernalillo County are now required, by law, to have insulated dog houses available to their outside pets.

Neglecting to provide an outside pet with an insulated shelter will result in a citation, a court appearance, a $500 fine, and up to 90 days in jail.

Animal Protection of New Mexico said, “It’s a common misconception that dogs and cats won’t get cold because of their fur. If you are cold, your companion animal is cold. Most domestic cats and dogs are not well equipped for cold weather and can easily be susceptible to frost bite and hypothermia.”

Signs of hypothermia include uncontrollable shivering, decreased heartbeat and weak pulse, stiff muscles, lack of coordination, and pale or blue gums. If you dog is exhibiting any of the above symptoms, seek medical care immediately.

The very best place for a dog is inside the home with family, but for those animals that must remain outside, using straw bedding is important because it retains heat and evaporates moisture, unlike hay, blankets, and pet beds which can become wet, freeze into icy layers, and stay wet.

For residents of Bernalillo County, free straw bedding is available (while supplies last) this winter through the partnership with Animal Protection of New Mexico, Albuquerque Animal Welfare, and Bernalillo County Animal Care Services.

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  1. Avatar Of Jennifer



    No one is doing a thing to enforce this. My son has a neighbor who has his dog chained in this terrible storms we been having, no blanket, no food, no water. They just sent me video of the dog desperately crying at the window. They have been reporting to 311 for days now. I told him try 242 cops. They say its not a police matter. Easy to make laws to sound good to the public but its a different thing for anyone to do anything.

  2. Avatar Of Meghan



    what a WONDERFUL thing for New Mexico to do! now if NORTH DAKOTA did the same, I would be VERY impressed! I didn’t think that NM got that cold – REALLY cold states need to follow suit!

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