In July, the New York City Housing Authority announced its "zero tolerance" order to dog owners residing in public housing who own vicious or menacing dogs. The NYC Housing Authority banned all "vicious or menacing dogs." This includes pit bulls, even the affectionate ones. Hilly Gross, Housing Authority spokesperson contends, "pit bulls are menacing dogs that have no place in our apartments." Gross continues, "we would like to phase out all dogs to make things safer." According to Gross, on June 24, the agency decided to ban American pit bulll terriers because drug dealing criminals often use them as attack dogs.
However, in the hands of a criminal, any dog can be made dangerous. These criminals need to be the target of strict punishment and be held accountable for their inhumane behavior. In an interview with the Newe York Post, ISAR President Susan Altieri observed that "many pit bulls are bred or taught to be violent, but you can't just institute a wholesale ban on them." Officials tried to ban all new pit bulls from the city in 1990, ut were thwarted by a judge who said there wasn't enough evidence that proved those dogs are more violent than other breeds. In fact, canine experts say there are no accurate studies to indicate which breeds are more prone to aggressiveness. Proper traning, corrected bad behavior, spaying and neutering are essential factors in raising any breed of dog. ISAR does not believe that one particular breed of dog can be labeled vicious. This is pure discrimination. Regrettably, it has been more important for legislators to convince voters that they have "done something" about community safety. Triggered by media accounts of pit bull attacks described in terrifying details, lawmakers have banned the victims, the pit bulls, from their homes.
We need your help in urging NYC Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to overturn the NYC Housing Authority's "zero tolerance" . Please contact the Mayor at: Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, City Hall, New York, NY 10007, Phone (212) 788 - 9600
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