Thursday, July 3, 2008
Manhattan, NY - A New York City website, the Gotham Gazette, recently mocked up a quick history of the pit bull problem in the area. The Gazette is published by the Citizens Union Foundation of the City of New York, the non-profit research and education affiliate of a good-government group. More simply said, they operate by the citizens and for the citizens.
Chances are this week’s string of pit bull attacks will bring back calls to ban ownership of the dogs in New York. There have been routine attempts at banning the animals since 1989, when the city’s health department put a temporary freeze on the pit bull population. And in 2004 -- and again in 2006 -- Staten Island City Councilmember Michael McMahon proposed a bill that condemned the State Assembly’s standing ban on “breed specific” dangerous dog-related legislation. If the the latest pit bull rampage does open up debate, expect some opposition from the animal rights crowd -- one pro-pit bull Web site lists McMahon, now running for Congress, under "[people] who want to kill your dog."The article references PETA and the city's attempts to "thin out" JFK's feral cat population. The article leaves out that the ASPCA, who bitterly opposes pit bull regulation, is headquartered in Manhattan. DogsBite.org thinks the Manhattan-Staten Island area would surely be a feisty battleground if a breed-specific law ever did gain traction. PETA -- who supports banning the breed -- and the ASPCA could do ferocious tiger-on-bear battle.
In 2006, New York City Councilmember Peter Vallone attempted to pass a pit bull ban. Vallone's ordinance did not apply to existing pit bull owners -- no dogs would be forced from their homes. His proposal was canned.
07/03/08: Coverage of the Henry Piotrowski Pit Bull Mauling