Large Dogs Banned from Public Housing, Leads to Increased Euthanizations
With more and more reports of pit bull attacks in public housing, New York City will soon ban "dangerous" dogs within the buildings.
The strict ban, which goes in effect next May, prohibits residents from keeping any dog (with the exception of service dogs), that weigh over 25 lbs. New York's city-run Animal Care and Control reports at least 113 dogs have been given up because of the ban, and 49 of those have been euthanized. The ban is one of the strictest in the country.
According to a recent New York Times article, "A spokesman for the Housing Authority, Howard Marder, said the new rules were a response to complaints and reports of dangerous and threatening dogs from tenants, tenant leaders and the police. The three breeds on the forbidden list [pit bulls, Rottweillers, and Doberman Pinschers] had been identified as 'the most frequent problem breeds,' Mr. Marder said." Apparently public housing buildings have seen several pit bull attacks -- more than 17 since 2007.
Some think the ban creates its own problems, though, since the kinds of dogs prohibited are the hardest for shelters to adopt out. Residents have had to abandon their pets, while others simply hide theirs from authorities.
Bill Smith, founder and CEO of Main Line Animal Rescue, commenting on another story, told Paw Nation, "Over a million pit bulls and pit mixes are euthanized every year. Pit bulls are incredibly sweet dogs. There's a saying, 'Judge the deed, not the breed.'" We agree -- any dog, regardless of breed, who is poorly trained and/or mistreated could be dangerous. Assuming that certain breeds corner the market on bad behavior is bad behavior on our part.