Pit Bulls Booted From Public Housing

By Jim Scott
|  Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009  |  Updated 4:00 PM EDT
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According to animal shelter statistics, around one-third of all dogs coming into shelters nationwide are pit bulls, up from just 2 to 3 percent fifteen years ago.

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Pit bulls and other popular breeds of dogs will be banned from all apartments run by the city Housing Authority starting this Friday.

"Finally someone is realizing that these potentially dangerous animals have no place in a confined urban space," City Councilman Peter Vallone told The New York Daily News.

Vallone is not exactly a pit bull lover, having unsuccessfully lobbied state legislators to ban the dogs in the past.

Pit bulls are often trained to be violent, but owners defended the breed saying it's the owner, not the dog that makes them a threat.

"It all depends on how you teach a dog," said pit bull owner Anthony Nieves. "My dog is like a puppy."

Pit bulls aren't the only dogs being targeted by the Housing Authority.

The new regulations are also specifically banning Dobermans and Rottweilers as well as any dog weighing over 25 pounds. The previous policy banned dogs weighing up to 40 pounds.

The ASPCA opposes the ban and has been working with the city housing agency to lighten the restrictions.

"We are opposed to breed-specific bans," said Michelle Villagomez, ASPCA senior manager of advocacy and campaigns told The Daily News.

"And we find the weight restriction is too oppressive. So many breeds are over 25 pounds. You can get an overweight beagle that weighs more than 25 pounds."

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