Updated 04/28/2009 11:30 PM
City Housing Authority Tightens Leash On Pets
The New York City Housing Authority is set to impose stricter rules on the size and type of pets residents are allowed to keep inside their public housing apartments. NY1's Ruschell Boone filed the following report.
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Starting May 1st, the New York City Housing Authority will no longer allow its residents to keep Pit Bulls, Rottweilers and Dobermans -- full or mixed breeds -- in their apartments.
"We're left to pay the price for other people's ignorance and it's just not fair, and it's not fair to the dog," said one Astoria Houses resident.
NYCHA believes the dogs they are banning are dangerous and it says it's changing its rules because residents and the NYPD have reported an increase in dog attacks.
Beginning May 1st, NYCHA will also restrict the size of any animal a tenant can own, trimming the permissible weight from 40 pounds to 25 pounds. At the Queensbridge Houses, some residents were not happy about the new rules either.
"If they are raising them to be vicious then they don't need to have them over 25 pounds. But if they are not raising them to be vicious then I don't see what's the problem," said one Queensbridge Houses resident.
The ASPCA, which has maintained that animals are aggressive based on how they are raised not by breed, is concerned that the new rules could overwhelm city animal shelters which it says is already overcrowded and are fighting to prevent the changes from going into effect.
"Here at the ASPCA people are already nervous. People are encountering problems with registering their dogs. So what we are telling them to do is just to follow the procedure. Go to their management office," said ASPCA worker Michelle Villagomez.
NYCHA, which had banned pets in the past, changed its policy in 2002, granting tenants one pet per apartment. Residents who already have animals up to 40 pounds will be allowed to keep them as long they're registered with the agency by April 30th. Once registered, there is a 90 day grace period to get the pet examined and licensed.
"I'm not too upset with the rules. Honestly, I'm not, because I have a small dog and I am afraid of bigger dogs," said one NYCHA resident.
To make a complaint or report any dangerous or illegal animals on NYCHA property, the city says residents should call 311.