Keep yourself safe from scams with AARP’s free, two-part webinar Feb. 5 and Feb. 7. Sign up today!
by Susan Q. Stranahan, AARP Bulletin, November 1, 2009
Owners of medium-size to large dogs who live in New York City public housing may now be faced with a difficult choice: their pet or their home.
A new policy, which prohibits ownership of a dog that exceeds 25 pounds, became effective May 1. Since then, at least 119 dogs have been surrendered by their owners to shelters; about half were euthanized.
The policy—designed to remove dangerous dogs from the city’s 178,000 public housing units—specifically targets pit bulls, dobermans and rottweilers. Service dogs are excluded.
Residents who registered their dogs prior to May 1 are exempt from the new rules, but an estimated 1,500 to 3,000 dogs must be surrendered or their owners could face eviction.
Animal welfare advocates are outraged at the ban. “No one wants a dangerous dog out there, but this is overkill, figuratively and literally,” says Jane Hoffman, president of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals.
The New York City Housing Authority enacted the ban based on fears of residents, 30 percent of whom are older adults. “Our responsibility is to the safety of our residents,” says Authority spokesman Howard Marder. So far, he says, no one has been required to vacate an apartment because of an oversize pet.
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at