New York City

NYC Councilman Wants to Ban Dogs in High-Rises After Attack

A New York City councilman is calling for a ban on dogs in high-rise buildings a day after a grandmother lost part of her ear while trying to protect children from an attacking pit bull.

Councilman Andy King said at a news conference Thursday afternoon he was proposing a bill that would bar dogs from all high-rise buildings unless owners have medical needs requiring a dog in the attack's aftermath.

"We must do something to prevent this from happening to anyone and their family," he said. 

He added, "don't get it wrong, I enjoy pets pets" but added "in some environments dogs are unpredictable."

"Dogs can terrorize a human being," King said. "A poodle could take a nice gash out of your leg. A Labrador can pounce on you and do some damage. It doesn't have to be a Rottweiler. It doesn't have to be a pit bull."

King announced the proposal while updating members of the media on the condition of a woman who was attacked by an unleashed pit bull in a playground outside the Eastchester Houses in the Bronx Wednesday afternoon.

Witnesses at the scene said the grandmother, 57, was attempting to shield a group of children from the dog; the animal’s owner was arrested after the attack.

The woman's grandson, Walter Woodson, said that the woman was back home on Thursday. 

"She's angry that it happened, but she's grateful that it wasn't a child that was hurt," said Woodson.

King said the woman lost part of her ear in the attack and had a “badly damaged” hand.

He said he is also calling on the New York City Housing Authority, which manages the Eastchester Houses, to change its policies on dogs and enforce its current regulations.

"If you own an animal in NYCHA you have to be responsible," King said. 

NYCHA, meanwhile, said it is "saddened to hear of this incident and will be looking into this immediately." The authority noted there were restrictions to the policy.

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