Since the New York City Housing Authority implemented a ban on pit bulls, Rottweilers, and Doberman pinschers in public housing projects last April, at least 113 pets have been turned over to centers run by Animal Care and Control, and 49 have been euthanized. Tenants and animal welfare groups are outraged about the ban, which also prohibits any dog expected to weigh more than 25 pounds when grown.
Critics like Jane Hoffman, president of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals (a coalition of animal rescue groups and shelters unaffiliated with the city), tell the Times, "You can’t predict what a dog is going to be like just simply based on its breed. I don’t want a dangerous dog out there. But doing it this way is wrong and it’s condemning perfectly innocent dogs to death." The article puts a canine face on the ban by telling the tale of one Tyson, a pit bull whose owner, Marc Hernandez, insists "was a big baby." Nevertheless, Hernandez had to tearfully drop Tyson off at a shelter.
One resident of a housing project who owns a 28-pound poodle told City Councilwoman Rosie Mendez that she wasn't going to feed her pet until it met the 25-pound limit. Mendez wants the city council to re-examine the policy, but not everyone's against it. Victor A. Gonzalez, the tenant association president at Rabbi Stephen Wise Towers on the Upper West Side, says the ban is necessary because "the elderly are fearful. They’re afraid to get on the elevators with these dogs, much less be in the lobby when they get in."