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New York City Housing Authority to Ban Breeds and Dogs Over 25 lbs!!!

(Thursday, April 30, 2009)

Beginning Friday, May 1, any dog weighing over 25 pounds, including Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers and "pit bulls", among many others, will be prohibited in housing controlled by the New York City Housing Authority. The American Kennel Club has sent a letter to the Housing Authority, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and the New York City Council opposing these restrictions and asking for the policy to be rescinded in favor of regulations which judge dogs on their behavior, not their breed or size. All New York City residents are strongly encouraged to contact the members of the New York City Housing Authority and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Let them know that you oppose the breed-specific rule change.

The AKC strongly opposes any breed-specific restrictions. We support policies that establish a fair process by which specific dogs are identified as "dangerous" based on stated, measurable actions and impose appropriate penalties on irresponsible owners. A dog should not be deemed "dangerous" simply based on a specific breed, phenotypic class, or because of its size. The AKC has recommended that dogs who obtain a Canine Good Citizen® certificate by passing a simple 10-item basic training test, displaying good manners and whose owners sign the CGC Responsible Dog Owners Pledge be allowed to remain. We have offered to work with the NYCHA on a pet policy that will ensure responsible owners are not penalized by these regulations.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Residents of New York City are strongly encouraged to contact the members of the New York City Housing Authority and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who appointed the Housing Authority Board members listed below. Let them know that you oppose the breed-specific rule change.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg
City Hall
New York, NY 10007
Phone: 311 (or 212-NEW-YORK outside NYC)
Fax: (212) 312-0700
E-mail form: http://www.nyc.gov/html/mail/html/mayor.html

New York City Housing Authority Members:
Ricardo Morales, Chairman
Earl Andrews, Jr., Vice-Chair
Margarita Lopez, Board Member

Mailing Address:
250 Broadway
New York, NY 10007

Phone: (212) 306-3600
E-mail form: http://www.nyc.gov/html/mail/html/mailnycha.html

TALKING POINTS FOR OPPOSING BREED-SPECIFIC LEGISLATION:

  • Breed-specific laws are not the best way to protect communities. An owner intent on using his or her dogs for malicious purposes will simply switch to another type of dog and continue to jeopardize public safety. The list of regulated breeds or types could grow every year without ever addressing responsible dog ownership. Deeds, not breeds, should be addressed.
  • Breed-specific laws are hard to enforce. Breed identification requires expert knowledge of the individual breeds, placing great burden on local officials.
  • Breed-specific laws are unfair to responsible owners.
  • Shelter costs for the community could rise as citizens abandon targeted breeds, and adoptable dogs of the targeted breeds would be euthanized at the shelter.

To view a copy of AKC President Dennis Sprung’s letter to the New York City Housing Authority regarding these new rules, please click here.

For more information, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail doglaw@akc.org.