Bexley has adopted a law that requires pet owners to provide shelter or shade for dogs when left outdoors unattended for more than 30 minutes.

In a unanimous vote March 26, Bexley City Council approved an ordinance that requires pet owners to provide a structure for dogs that offers shelter from cold and dampness Nov. 1 through April 30. The law also requires pet owners to provide shade from direct sunlight for dogs May 1 through Oct. 31.

The new law enhances a law council passed in December 2017 that bans chaining dogs outdoors overnight, said Councilman Troy Markham, chairman of council's Service and Environmental Committee, who introduced the ordinance.

"Let's continue to be leaders in Ohio and the nation in ensuring the humane treatment of animals," he said.

"Let's send a message to the rest of Ohio that for people who want to live in a city where animals are loved and respected that Bexley is that place."

Bexley's ordinance is similar to laws in Columbus and other municipalities around Ohio that provide protection from the elements for animals kept outside, said Corey Roscoe, director of the Ohio chapter of the Humane Society of the United States.

"We hope other communities around the state will be inspired and motivated by Bexley to also upgrade their care standards for dogs outside," she said.

The ordinance states that shelters for dogs "must be a constructed structure that must be completely enclosed and insulated, having a single entrance/exit secured with a flap or door or similar device. The structure shall be moisture-resistant, wind-resistant and of suitable size and type to allow the animal to stand, turn about freely, lie in a normal position and regulate proper body temperature.

"The structure shall not be constructed of metal or any material that readily conducts heat or cold, and shall be made of a durable material with a solid, moisture-proof floor that is raised at least 2 inches from the ground."