Letter sent to lawmaker from the Spay Neuter Intervention Project.
Dear Council Member Vallone:
I am writing to you in reference to the above-titled. It is your opinion that pit bulls are a threat to public safety and you are seeking to ban the breeding or selling of pit bulls in NYC. Under your proposed law, current owners of this breed would be permitted to keep their pet.
You are correct in saying that pit bulls are the majority in NYC shelters. As a result, they are also the #1 breed put to death. However, it is not because the breed is dangerous or a threat to public safety, it is because the breed is in abundance.
New York State law requires that all dogs be licensed. Guard dogs require a standard dog license, as well as a specific guard dog license. New York City Health Code requires that all dogs be vaccinated against rabies. In addition, New York City Housing Authority mandates that all dogs and cats residing in Public Housing be spayed or neutered. These laws are not enforced.
There are two scenarios as to why NYC shelters are over populated. The irresponsible individual who breeds pit bulls for money and fighting. The irresponsible business owner who harbors dogs for protection, with the breed usually a pit bull or mix. Unspayed and unneutered, the destructive cycle of uncontrolled breeding continues. This is an every day occurrence in the inner communities of NYC.
In the year 2005, I addressed the above matters in a letter to Mayor Bloomberg, with a distribution list to NYC Borough Presidents, NYC Health and NYCHA Commissioners, Council Members and Community Boards. Documents obtained through FOIL indicate that in a 15 month period, NYPD brought 4,012 stray animals (majority were pit bulls) to Animal Care and Control of NYC shelters. As Chair of the Public Safety Committee, I would think this waste of manpower and tax dollars would be of concern to you, as you advocate for more police presence to protect the public against crimes. In addition, millions of dollars in dog license fees and fines for unlicensed and unvaccinated dogs go uncollected.
Attached is a photograph of a young female pitbull that was put to death Christmas Eve 2006 at a NYC municipal shelter. Her only crime....she was born. Her record indicates she was euthanized due to space. Think about how you spent your Christmas Eve, more than likely with family. This innocent and frightened creature sat in a cage waiting for a chance at life. That chance never came. In the year 2007, tens of thousands will walk through the doors of Animal Care and Control and into the freezer.
The pit bull breed is to be protected, not eliminated. The current crisis that exists today in NYC shelters is the direct result of an incompetent city government.
Spay Neuter Intervention Project (SNIP)
SNIP is a 501c3 not for profit organization, registered with the NYS Attorney General. SNIP is a Partner in Caring with the ASPCA and a member of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC Animals.
An Animal Neutered Today -- Saves Thousands Tomorrow!