New York City Council Header
File #: Res 0156-2006    Version: * Name: Passage of local dangerous dog legislation.
Type: Resolution Status: Filed
Committee: Committee on Health
On agenda: 3/1/2006
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to repeal State Law which currently bans the passage of local dangerous dog legislation that is specific as to breed, so that New York City may ban the ownership or sale of dangerous dogs, including pit bulls, within the City.
Sponsors: Peter F. Vallone, Jr., G. Oliver Koppell, Michael C. Nelson, James Sanders, Jr., David I. Weprin, Helen D. Foster
Council Member Sponsors: 6
Date Ver.Prime SponsorAction ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsMultimedia
12/31/2009*Peter F. Vallone, Jr. City Council Filed (End of Session)  Action details Meeting details Not available
3/1/2006*Peter F. Vallone, Jr. City Council Referred to Comm by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available
3/1/2006*Peter F. Vallone, Jr. City Council Introduced by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available

Res. No. 156

 

Resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to repeal State Law which currently bans the passage of local dangerous dog legislation that is specific as to breed, so that New York City may ban the ownership or sale of dangerous dogs, including pit bulls, within the City.

 

By Council Members Vallone Jr., Koppell, Nelson, Sanders Jr., Weprin and Foster

 

                     Whereas, On May 19, 2004, a six-year old Brooklyn girl was savagely attacked by a pit bull as she stood with her mother on a City street near her home, suffering a broken leg and lacerations; and

Whereas, While her injuries were serious, the brutal attack was interrupted by quick-thinking neighbors whose intervention likely spared the young girl from life-threatening harm; and

Whereas, Unfortunately, many recent victims of dangerous dog attacks, particularly small children, have not been so lucky; and

Whereas, This mauling was one of many unprovoked attacks by dangerous dogs upon City residents in recent years, many of which resulted in serious physical injury; and

Whereas, Among the victims of these attacks was Elijah Torres, a three year-old Bronx boy whose mauling and brave recovery inspired the introduction of Elijah’s Law, one of a number of State bills introduced in response to the rash of dog attacks; and

Whereas, While various State legislative efforts are being debated, localities such as New York City remain powerless to enact breed specific local dangerous dog legislation to protect their residents from dangerous dog attacks; and 

Whereas, Like New York City, many communities nationwide have reported increased incidents of attacks by dangerous dogs, especially attacks on children; however, unlike New York, these cities, including Denver and Cincinnati, have been able to take decisive legislative action to protect their citizens by enacting bans on pit bulls, the breed determined to be most frequently responsible for attacks; and

Whereas, In contrast, New York City is currently unable to enact such legislation; under Section 107 of the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law, municipalities, including New York City, are prohibited from passing any laws which would regulate dangerous dogs in a manner which is specific as to breed; and

Whereas, In most cases of vicious dog attacks, certain specific breeds are consistently implicated, most notably, pit bulls and Rottweilers; and

Whereas, While there may be exceptions, evidence strongly suggests that these breeds have aggressive and violent tendencies which can easily be provoked and, when they are provoked, such dogs have the potential to inflict serious bodily harm to their victims, including death; and

Whereas, In densely populated urban environments like New York City, the potential for owner negligence and disregard for leash laws poses a very high public health and safety hazard, one which can be minimized with the enactment of restrictions on the ownership, possession, or sale of dogs deemed dangerous; and

                     Whereas, In a city like New York, where the inappropriate actions of one person can have severe consequences for many, and where dogs are often the weapon of choice of drug dealers and gangs seeking to intimidate and terrorize neighborhoods, the potential harm of dangerous dogs to the community warrants effective and meaningful legislative action; and

                     Whereas, In order to properly protect the health and safety of all individuals living and working in New York City, the City must have the ability to restrict the ownership, possession and sale of breeds of dogs deemed dangerous; now, therefore, be it

                     Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon the New York State Legislature to repeal State Law which currently bans the passage of local dangerous dog legislation that is specific as to breed, so that New York City may ban the ownership or sale of dangerous dogs, including pit bulls, within the City.

 

Res 402/2004

JN