NYC’s Laws Against Large Dog Breeds

I was stunned this morning when I read this news on the New York Times website: Large Dogs in Public Housing Are Now Endangered Species. The law restricts the breeds in which a resident of public housing may keep and forces residents to forfeit their dogs or be evicted. Some breeds affected are pure-bred or mixed bred pit bulls, Rottweilers and Doberman pinschers and any dog with an expected adult weight over 25lbs. Residents with an outlawed dog had until May 1, 2009 to register their dog. The man identified in the article attempted to register his dog but was rejected because he exceeded the previous weight limit of 40lbs (which his dog was.) many other residents were also unable to register before May 1, 2009 and are left with the difficult decision of whether to forfeit their dog, find another residency or try to hide under the radar.

When the country as a whole already has severe problems with abandoned and forfeited dogs and cats, I am literally dumb founded how a progressive city like New York would put in such a ludicrous law that will make that problem worse and overwhelm the already struggling shelters and rescuers that work day and night to find and save abused and neglected animals.

The article cites that 113 dogs have been given up because of the ban. Of the 113, 49 dogs were euthanized either because of their illness, temperament or overcrowding of the shelter.

Those were 49 dogs that because of this ban were taken from loving homes and euthanized. Completely. Unnecessary. I find this to be completely unacceptable and disgusting. Why couldn’t those pets be grandfathered in? When Adam and I were looking at apartments and condos a few weekends ago in New York City a few places no longer allowed pets but we still saw a few running around who had been “grandfathered” in.

It’s more distressing to me because Pembroke Welsh Corgis, like my Isabella, are on average about 30lbs at their adult weight and she is 32lbs as of now. She is the sweetest angel and she would never bite anyone! I don’t know what I would do if I were faced with the horrible decision of either giving up my best friend or losing my home. Luckily, she came from a breeder and she can always go back there, but most dog owners don’t have that luxury.

It’s also distressing that the stereotype of pit bulls and other “bad” dogs are being singled out. Sure, the incidents of a pit bull attack are more common than other dog attacks but it’s the owners that choose whether to raise their dog as vicious or with bad behaviors, not the breed themselves. I’ve seen plenty of aggressive poodles over the years, but they aren’t singled out! There is a pit bull that lives in my complex and he is the sweetest little pup!

I’m hoping that with the complaints from the ASPCA and other human societies will help New York City either repeal and look at dogs on a case by case basis rather than a blanket law. However, I feel that most of the damage has already been done and those 49 dogs can’t be brought back. :-(