Thursday, December 20, 2007

City Of Auburn Plan To Restrict Pet Ownership
Violates New York State Law

Pet Ordinance Threatens Dog Ownership and Encroaches on Civil Rights

New York, NY, December 21, 2007 - The Dog Federation of New York (DFNY), a statewide coalition of dog owners and dog-related organizations, today voiced grave concern over a proposal before the Auburn City Council to place numerous restrictions on responsible and caring dog owners and disregard New York State laws.

Elected officials in Auburn, New York began consideration of a proposal which curtails ownership of Doberman Pinschers, Bull Terriers and “pitbulls”, in direct violation of the long-standing New York state law which protects residents from breed discrimination. Auburn plans to negatively profile and penalize dogs and dog owners based on the dog’s appearance, not behavior.

The plan also arbitrarily limits the number of dogs permitted in each Auburn home and defines hunting dogs as “dangerous.” DFNY points out that limit laws jeopordize dog lovers, those who rescue or foster animals and home hobby breeders, forcing them to move from their homes or give up their pets. There is no grandfather clause included in the proposal.

The Auburn ordinance would also eliminate the rights of dog owners to court hearings, the appeals process, and other basic civil rights. Angered city residents are rallying to oppose the lengthy and burdensome proposal.

“Auburn’s pet owners are not second class citizens, and we are particularly concerned about the civil rights issues and the violations of long-standing state laws. Pet owners in Auburn, New York are entitled to the same rights and responsibilities as every other American citizen,” said DFNY spokesperson Mahlon Goer.

The Dog Federation of New York sent a letter to the City Council urging officials to set the proposed ordinance aside. “Quality of life is important for all of Auburn’s residents, but this is not a solution to barking dog complaints,” continued Goer.

“The current proposal unnecessarily interferes with lawful dog owners and property usages, and it does not reflect the needs or values of Auburn’s residents. It is certain to drive shelter surrenders up”, said Ms. Goer. “DFNY would be pleased to work with the City of Auburn on a proactive approach to support responsible dog ownership and ensure quality of life for all citizens.”

Friday, October 19, 2007

New Rochelle: Fees and photo ID's required
to walk leashed dogs in a public park!

Police Department to dog owners: "Let me see your papers" ?!?

(Following report from Jeff Wiegand of We Love Ward Acres, New Rochelle)

Help us repeal "Bramson's Bullying" in New Rochelle

Hello fellow dog lovers! I am new to this group and would like tointroduce you to an outrageous ordinance ("Bramson's Bullying" - he's our Mayor) enacted April 1st of this year in New Rochelle.

In brief, the city now requires dog owners who wish to walk withtheir pets in a 62 acre open parkland called "Ward Acres" (purchasedwith state funds) to get a PHOTO ID and pay $50 (residents) and $250 (non-residents) per dog per year. The photo ID and fees apply whether you are walking on or off-leash as the city has allowed somevery limited off-leash recreation.

The city is deliberately directing armed police officers to enter thepark, STOP law-abiding citizens and demand to see their photo IDs.Many long-time users of the park are now AFRAID to go there.Penalties of up to $250 and FIFTEEN DAYS IN JAIL are possible.


This ordinance is illegal under NY state law, we believe, and it has needlessly destroyed a decades-old community of dog owners who have peacably shared their lives and pets together in Ward Acres mostly off-leash.

You can go to our web site for more info and read about the lawsuit that has been filed.

We are publicizing this issue in advance of the Nov 6th elections andwe have a Voters Guide on our web site which identifies dog-friendly New Rochelle candidates.

This fight is much more than an on/off leash issue. These rules violate our civil liberties and even apply to on-leash dog walking.We NEED ALLIES in this fight as the city is dismissive of our entreaties. If this ordinance stands, look for municipalities near you to try the same thing!

Jeff & Lulu

Saturday, October 13, 2007

WVOX Bob Marrone Morning Show 8:30 a m
Friday October 19

"Pit Bulls", BSL and much more: Part II

Tune in!

Not satisfied with the October 12 "debate"? Not a problem!

We will continue a discussion of NYC and NYS dangerous dog laws, and the myths and misinformation that the proponents of breed specific legislation--such as NYC Councilman Peter Vallone Jr.--use to support their position.

Councilman Vallone is an outspoken proponent of breed specific legislation, and would like to ban pit bulls from the City of New York.

If you are in the New Rochelle area, tune in! If you're not, listen live via the internet!

So, once again, set the automatic coffee brewer, and put the phone on "do not disturb"! You won't want to miss a word!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Dog Federation of New York Responds To Proposals to Restrict Dog Ownership

In Town Of Haverstraw

New York, NY – September 28, 2007: The Dog Federation of New York (DFNY), a statewide coalition of dog owners and dog-related organizations, issued a statement today expressing deepest concern over a new ordinance unanimously approved by Town of Haverstraw Councilmembers to restrict dog ownership by limiting the number of dogs town residents are allowed to own.

In press reports Haverstraw Town Supervisor Howard T. Phillips indicated that similar limitations on cat ownership may be discussed in the future, and consideration of breed specific measures was mentioned.

Responding to a barking dog complaint, on September 24 the Town of Haverstraw approved a limit law that restricts the number of pets permitted in each resident’s home. That plan has angered many town residents, who are coming out in force to oppose the law.

Breed specific measures are illegal in New York State, and they are opposed by every credible animal welfare organization in the country.

“Quality of life is an important issue, and residents should not be subjected to excessive barking,” said Mahlon Goer, DFNY spokesperson. “Dogs should not be allowed to become a nuisance to the community. However, limiting the number of dogs at a residence is not the best solution for excessive barking and there are better remedies available to address other concerns.”

“Simply put, the number of dogs in a household does not equate to noise. A single dog that barks excessively can be a huge problem, while other homes that include several quiet dogs cause no inconvenience or concern at all. We would hope that the Town of Haverstraw will choose to reconsider their actions and not target the vast majority of residents who are caring and responsible dog owners.”

Haverstraw’s limit law plan will also have a negative impact on the rescue community. “There are many people who voluntarily shelter homeless dogs without adding to the taxpayer’s expense. They foster dogs in their homes. This ordinance would be a death knell for many innocent dogs.” Ms. Goer also cited constitutional issues with the proposal, as similar ordinances have been overturned as violations of the 14th Amendment.

Under the new law, residents will be limited to four dogs. There is no "grandfather clause" for pets that may have resided in Haverstraw homes for many years.

“We fear that this law unnecessarily interferes with typical, lawful dog ownership and does not reflect the needs or values of town residents”, Ms. Goer continued. “DFNY would be pleased to work with the Town of Haverstraw on a proactive approach to support responsible dog ownership and ensure quality of life for all citizens.”

As a best practice, the DFNY supports addressing noise complaints with enforcement of nuisance or noise ordinances such as those already in place in Haverstraw, a recommendation from the Campaign For Responsible Ownership. “We are confident that a better, more effective solution is available that will address the needs of all residents of the community.”

The DFNY offers assistance to the Town of Haverstraw in crafting a solution and encourages the town to fairly, consistently and strictly enforce reasonable animal control measures and nuisance noise ordinances.

“Our goal is to support responsible dog ownership throughout New York State, said Ms. Goer. “The DFNY would be pleased to work with the Town of Haverstraw on a proactive approach to support responsible dog ownership and ensure quality of life for all citizens.”

Thursday, August 23, 2007

On August 19 New Yorkers stood together in peace to send a powerful message:

Save our dogs!

Across New York, and around the world, dog lovers lit candles in rememberance of the innocent dogs everywhere that have died due to discrimination and hate.
More than 300 vigils worldwide, including 12 in New York, were hosted by caring dog owners. Some were private vigils in homes, others were in the center of town. It didn't matter. The message was clear: Discrimination is killing our dogs. Stop the killing.

Information on how you can participate in next year's event is available at the Light a Candle, Save a Life website.

If you are in New York:
Please visit Dog Friendly Plattsburgh and be sure to download and
circulate our petition opposing the Plattsburgh
Resolution. The City of Plattsburgh passed a resolution to permit breed specific legislation in New York earlier this year. Don't let the discrimination return to New York.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Plattsburgh moves to profile dogs and dog owners in New York State

On July 12 the City Council of Plattsburgh unanimously approved a resolution which calls upon the New York State legislature to rescind New York's law against breed profiling and once again permit breed specific dangerous dog laws.

As a cost-cutting measure, the City of Plattsburgh eliminated its animal control staff. Subsequently, in response to two incidents this spring in which unrestrained dogs attacked other dogs--in one incident a dog owner who was protecting his dog was also bitten--Plattsburgh is now seeking to overturn a state law which has served New York for 10 years.

New York State law on dangerous dogs is among the most comprehensive and strict in the country.

WHAT WE NEED: The Dog Federation of New York requests letters of opposition from every dog club, rescue group, law enforcement, working dog club in the State of New York.

The text of the Plattsburgh Resolution, plus information on how to oppose it, can be found at Dog Friendly Plattsburgh .

PLEASE do not send model ordinances, alternatives, substitutions, "at risk dangerous dog models", "give backs" or anything that in any way limits or restricts dog ownership.

Many, many thanks for your cooperation and support!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Town of E. Fishkill Plans to Restrict Property Rights and Limit Pet Ownership

Proposed Ban On Construction Of Small Utility Buildings Without Special Permit Will Limit Pet Ownership

Earlier this year East Fishkill Town Board considered a pet limit law,
angering local residents.

Under the current draft proposal for changes to zoning ordinances, East Fishkill plans to limit the construction of dog houses, barns, rabbit hutches, etc., which will have the same net effect of restricting pet ownership.

Residents will be limited to ONE accessory building on their property, such as a small tool shed or greenhouse. There is no "grandfather clause" in the proposal.

Special permits will be necessary for additional small, commonplace structures like dog houses, rabbit hutches, etc.

Note: Dog Federation of New York is particularly concerned about this requirement which may inhibit residents from providing proper shelter to their pets. NYS Animal Cruelty statutes specifically require that dogs outdoors have access to adequate shelter--a dog house--and it is a violation of NYS cruelty laws to deny dogs adequate shelter.

Other concerns include a change to the definition of "commercial kennel" which may force home and hobby breeders to relocate outside of residential zoned districts.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Do you know the NY State laws on dog ownership?

Following are some of the outstanding features of current New York State laws which impact dog ownership.

New York State prohibits breed specific dangerous dog laws, and communities with breed specific legislation cannot legally enforce it. Specifically, Paragraph 107, Section 7 of Agriculture and Markets law states:

"Nothing contained in this article shall prevent a municipality from adopting its own program for the control of dangerous dogs; provided,however, that no such program shall be less stringent than this article, and no such program shall regulate such dogs in a manner that is specific as to breed".

There are several communities in New York which retain BSL on their books. These communities, including Canajoharie, Hempstead, Hornell, Larchmont, Lyons, Newburgh, and Sands Point, are vulnerable to law suit by dog owners who are threatened with prosecution under breed specific statutes.

Dangerous dog law in New York defines such dogs as those which without justification attack or injure human beings or domestic animals, or behave
"in a manner which a reasonable person would believe poses a serious and unjustified imminent threat of serious physical injury or death to one or more persons, companion animals, farm animals or domestic animals"

It is not necessary for a dog to have injured a person or domestic animal to be declared dangerous in New York.

All dogs over the age of four months must have a valid dog license. State law allows animal control authorities to seize unlicensed dogs, whether on or off their owner's property.

New York State has a "puppy lemon law". General Business Article 35-D covers the sale of cats and dogs by pet dealers, and includes remedies for purchasers who within 14 days from acquiring an animal become concerned about the animal's health.

Recently New York enacted a law requiring that dogs outdoors be provided proper shelter. Agriculture and Markets Article 26, Section 353 b reads:
"Any person who owns or has custody or control of a dog that is left outdoors shall provide it with shelter appropriate to its breed, physical condition and the climate."
This section of NYS law defines appropriate shelter and specifies penalties for owners and caretakers who fail to provide necessary housing.

Article 26, Section 26A addresses "pet dealers", and defines a pet dealer as an individual or business that sells more than nine animals to the public for profit. Home or hobby breeders selling or offering to sell more than 25 animals born and raised on their property directly to the public are also considered "pet dealers" and are required to comply with standards of care specified in this section of the law, maintain records as specified, and are subject to inspection.

In New York we have some of the most comprehensive legislation in the country regarding dog and animal fighting. In New York, fighting, possessing for the purpose of fighting, training, breeding or selling dogs (or other animals) for the purpose of fighting is a crime. Being a spectator at a dog fight, or being in possession of a dog where a dog fight has occurred is also a crime.

Know the NYS law and how it affects you. For further details on any state laws concerning dog ownership, you can refer to the
Consolidated Laws of New York.

Your municipal clerk's office, whether city, town or village, should be able to advise you on local legislation.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Voter Registration and Information at the
American Cancers Society's DogsWalk Against Cancer
Sunday, May 6
Riverside Park, Manhattan

In partnership with My Dog Votes, DFNY registered new voters and provided information on issues for dog-loving current voters .
The folks from the American Cancer Society were awesome, the weather was great, and the doggies? They were lovin' it.
We met hundreds of new friends and supporters. We don't know about the dogs, but man, we were BEAT by the end of the day!

Our message? Amy Sacks of the NY Daily News said it best: Get arf the couch and go vote!

Monday, April 02, 2007

March 31 [pictured at right: registered voters and caring Astoria dog owners circulate petitions to oppose Councilman Vallone]
DFNY in Astoria, Queens!

Do dog owners in Astoria support Peter Vallone Jr.'s plans to restrict their ability to humanely restrain their pets and ban certain dogs from the City of New York? Do they support backdoor breed bans and negative stereotypes?

Heck, no!

Astoria residents couldn't sign our petitions opposing Councilman Vallone's proposals fast enough!

In addition to gathering signatures from area residents, DFNY explained to shocked dog lovers how Mr. Vallone's tethering proposal will negatively and disproportionately impact the lives of New York's many caring dog owners with limited incomes.

As Astoria resident and pit bull enthusiast Nancy Silva commented on Vallone's tethering plan: "That's just so the city can make more money."

Nancy, we hear you!

Does Peter Vallone Discriminate?

Yes! NYC Councilman Peter Vallone from Queens is unfairly targeting good dogs and good dog owners with unfair and discriminatory proposals!

Are you or your dog the “Wrong” Breed???

What YOU NEED To Know!

Peter Vallone:
· Wants to pass a breed ban!
· Profiles dog owners as criminals!
· Will subject us to breed discrimination!
· Wants to back-door breed bans with anti-tethering laws!

Peter Vallone uses fake science to get his way!

Breed Bans & Anti-Tethering Laws
Unfairly Target and Discriminate against:

· Poor dog owners
· Racial and ethnic minorities
· Make criminals out of responsible dog owners

We need facts, not fear!


NO to Breed Bans!
NO to Anti-Tethering Laws!

Dog Federation of New York--For A Dog-Friendly, Dog-Safe New York

Saturday, February 03, 2007

What every New Yorker, from Buffalo to the Bronx, knows in their heart. . . .

Love Does Not Discriminate.
Join our campaign to Share the Love, Stop the Hate!

The Dog Federation of New York is a proud member of the Love Does Not Discriminate campaign, which kicked off in New York City on February 14.
DFNY will be visiting Astoria, Queens, this spring and summer to work with concerned dog owners facing discriminatory proposals from City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. that negatively profile good dog owners with good dogs.

DFNY believes the City of New York needs laws based on facts, not fear.
We hope you'll join us.
Our dogs are depending on us!

Saturday, January 06, 2007


Vote the dog ticket!

DFNY is partnering with My Dog Votes to get out the dog vote. In addition to registering new voters, we are helping voters identify dog-friendly candidates for local and state-level office.

Your dog is depending on you to vote dog-friendly. Feel free to download, copy, and distribute the checklist pictured above at your next club meeting, next class, next day at work or your next trip to the store.

Is your candidate dog-friendly?

Join us in supporting candidates ready to work with caring owners who want dog-friendly, dog-safe communities. Ask your candidates where they stand on the issues! Find out who will stand up for us on pet limit laws, insurance discrimination, breed specific legislation, forced spay-neuter and other anti-dog, anti-dog owner measures! !

Attention elected representatives and candidates in New York !

Close to 45% of households in New York include a dog. In many localities that percentage is doubled. "Dog issues" cut across party lines, and emotions run high when treasured family members and workmates are threatened.

In a recent poll a resounding 92.9% of likely voters indicated that they would cross party lines in local or state elections to preserve their right to own the dog of their choice.

Would elected officials be wise to court the "dog vote"?

The Dog Federation of New York thinks so.

(please note: We make the copyrighted "Is your candidate dog-friendly" flyer available with the permission of the owner. Please do not alter it in any way.