Help Pass the NY Senate Bill to End Breed Discrimination in Public Housing and Rental Properties

  • by: Lauren Petrask
  • target: NY State Senate, Betty Little, Jamaal Bailey, Tony Avella, John J. Bonacic, Phil Boyle, John E. Brooks, Patrick M. Gallivan, Liz Krueger, Catherine Young, New York

This petition aims to have the NY Senate amend the public housing law and the real property law, in relation to discrimination against owners of specific breeds of dog. The goal is to prohibit public housing authorities and landlords from restricting a person's occupancy based on their ownership of a specific breed of dog. Here are the links for the NY bills that directly relate to this petition: NY State Senate Bill S5944 and NY State Assembly Bill A1594

Here is a statement from the White House in 2013: 

"We don’t support breed-specific legislation — research shows that bans on certain types of dogs are largely ineffective and often a waste of public resources.

In 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at twenty years of data about dog bites and human fatalities in the United States. They found that fatal attacks represent a very small proportion of dog bite injuries to people and that it’s virtually impossible to calculate bite rates for specific breeds."

Outlawing breed-discriminatory legislation has been on the upward national trend. As of June 2017, 21 states have provisions against BDL. New York already has laws prohibiting municipalities from discriminatory breed profiling, so BDL being outlawed in relation to public housing as well as rental properties is the next reasonable step. Here is a statement from Schopf Law, PLLC:
“Our legislature has recognized the unfairness of discrimination as to genetic breed, much as our country has come to recognize that discrimination against persons based upon genetic predispositions is unfair and wrong. Our legislature has statutorily imposed a ban on such legislation by enacting section 107(10) of the Agriculture and Markets and Law which prohibits municipalities from creating dog control laws which regulate by breed (…) Simply put, in New York State, discrimination by the government as to a dog’s genetics is unlawful, as it should be, due to its disparity and practical unenforceability.”

Inflated media attention based on fear, anger, or unawareness is often the catalyst for "panic policy making." Not only is BDL a misuse of tax dollars, but it is also responsible for the death of thousands of amazing and loving dogs that never stood a chance. Every dog is an individual, and should always be treated as such. Specifically in NY, breed discriminations put in place by public housing authorities and landlords reduce the adoptability chances for these breeds. Every dog deserves an equal opportunity to find a forever home.

Breed discrimination also creates unnecessary and unfair prejudice against the people who chose to adopt a certain type of pet. They infringe upon their fundamental property rights, and encroach on rights guaranteed under the Constitution. According to a study done by Dr. Victoria Voith, visual identification, even by professionals, is often incorrect. In one of her studies, 87.5 percent of adopted dogs, breeds identified by DNA analyses were not the breeds stated by the adoption agencies. Her research also states that "The discrepancy between breed identifications based on opinion and DNA analysis, as well as concerns about reliability of data collected based on media reports, draws into question the validity and enforcement of public and private policies pertaining to dog breeds." No responsible dog owner should ever be faced with the difficult decision to lose their home or their beloved pet because of these laws.

Promoting comprehensive breed-neutral laws that target behavior, not bias, is the real solution. Breed-neutral laws that prohibit careless or negligent owners from owning pets get at the root of the problem: the behavior of the owner. The goal is for the laws to be safe and humane, and to hold people responsible for their actions and for the behavior of their pets, regardless of breed or appearance.

There are no bad breeds. Let's help pass the NY Senate bill to end breed discrimination in public housing and rental properties and spread awareness on the real impact it's having on our rights and communities. Please sign and share!!

Update #32 months ago
Hey everyone! I've sent the petition (and signatures) to the members of the committee that this bill resides in to spread awareness, hopefully gain more support, and receive feedback. I'll keep you posted as I gain more knowledge!
Update #22 months ago
Happy national dog day! Here is a link for my fellow NY people to a Facebook group called New Yorkers In Support of Every Dog's Individuality https://www.facebook.com/groups/110365942973372/
Update #13 months ago
Hi everyone! I have included a link to the NY State Senate Bill that this petition relates to. Keep sharing! Thank you all so much for your support. We can make a change together.
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