Thursday, July 10, 2008

Peter Vallone, Jr. Joins Animal Rights Extremists In Plan To Ban Dog Breeds And Humane Restraint

Dog Federation Of New York rejects NYC Councilman Peter Vallone Jr.’s plan based on animal extremism and discriminatory profiling of dogs and their owners

New York, NY – July 10, 2008 - The Dog Federation of New York (DFNY) is calling on dog owners throughout New York State to reject New York City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr.’s plans to work with animal rights extremists at PETA to ban certain breeds of dogs and enact anti-tethering laws which ban the humane restraint of dogs and endanger the community.

According to the New York Sun, Peter Vallone, Jr. is welcoming
support by PETA to help push his plan foward. PETA, an animal rights extremist organization, is known for calling mothers who give their children milk or meat “abusive” or “murderers”, equating pet ownership to slavery, and providing support to domestic terrorists Rodney Coronado and ALF, the Animal Liberation Front.

In addition, PETA angered many of the state's animal welfare advocates by calling for the euthanasia of all “pitbulls” in shelters. According to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, PETA killed over 97% of animals in their care in 2006. . "We are deeply concerned about Councilman Vallone's motives and his grasp of the facts. His association with PETA is troubling," stated DFNY spokesperson Mahlon Goer.

“Councilman Vallone’s focus should be on increasing the health and safety of the community in accordance with the fact-based guidelines set forth by Centers For Disease Control and the American Veterinary Medical Association.”

Earlier this month, a dog attack on Staten Island involved unrestrained, loose dogs which were reportedly allowed to roam free on numerous occasions despite repeated complaints to authorities from the community. The
DFNY immediately called for a full investigation as to why police and animal control failed to respond to numerous calls made by concerned neighbors about loose and roaming dogs.

Following this incident, Vallone announced his plan to ask the New York State Legislature to overturn the long-standing New York State law that protects dogs from breed discrimination, and to restrict the ability of caring dog owners to safely and humanely restrain their pets.

“Sadly, Mr. Vallone is choosing to exploit this tragic situation to grab headlines with inflammatory statements and false or misleading information”. If the dogs had been securely and humanely restrained, the attack may have been prevented. Proper tethering is a responsible and humane form of restraint which safeguards both the community and the dog.”

Ms. Goer further stated, “It is imperative that we protect our children and communities with laws based on facts, not fear. Councilman Vallone consistently has used misinformation as a calculated means to heighten public fears and misunderstanding, along with employing provocative language and negative stereotypes."

“Anti-tethering laws also unfairly target the poor, and may disproportionately affect African-American and Hispanic dog owners living in urban or rural areas. We are worried about his agenda,” said Goer. “Race may be a factor”.

Councilman Vallone’s proposal to discriminate against good dogs and caring dog owners with a breed ban and anti-tethering law was thoroughly rejected by New York’s concerned pet owners and animal groups last year.

Despite claims floating on the Internet that tethering dogs increases aggression, the claims have no basis in fact. Goer cited the expert testimony of Dr. Katherine Houpt of Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine Department of Biomedical Sciences, the country’s leading expert on the issue of tethering. Dr. Houpt, who has studied the issue for years, found that tethering does not increase aggression in dogs.

Furthermore, neither the U. S. government's Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nor the American Veterinary Medicine Association (AVMA) condones anti-tethering laws. Spokespeople for both organizations indicate that there is no scientific evidence to support such efforts.

Goer continued, "Both of Councilman Vallone’s proposals are based on bad information. Since he couldn’t ban breeds, now he wants a tethering law. Vallone’s lack of concern for good dogs and good owners, and his obvious profiling tactics, reflect poorly on him. They are an embarrassment for the New York City Council, and all New York dog lovers."

“We want to make sure that New York remains the most dog-friendly place in the world”, said Ms. Goer. “Discrimination, whether against dogs or their owners, is just not acceptable”.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

DFNY Sends Sympathies to Staten Island Dog Attack Victim,
Urges Full Investigation of Previous Complaints

Group Aims to Prevent Future Tragedies Through Enforcement
of Laws Requiring Humane Containment of Dogs

July 2, 2008 – New York, NY -- In response to news of a dog attack resulting in serious injuries in Staten Island, New York, members of the Dog Federation of New York (DFNY) today issued a statement of sympathy and support for Henry Piotrowski and his family. Mr. Piotrowski was gravely injured by two dogs that entered his yard. Press reports indicate that residents had complained repeatedly about the dogs, which have since been euthanized.

"Our hearts go out to Mr. Piotrowski, his family and his friends," commented Mahlon Goer, spokesperson. “While the exact events leading to the attack are still unknown, it appears that the dogs were allowed to roam and menace members of the community on previous occasions, and that authorities were alerted repeatedly. We are calling for a full investigation into the circumstances which led to this tragedy.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, almost all dog bites are preventable. Neither the breed of dog, nor the method of restraint are reliable indicators of the likelihood of dog bites.

“We want to make sure we educate the entire community to prevent future tragedies such as this,” said Ms. Goer. DFNY is offering its resources and assistance to the family, the public, and community leaders. To help educate the public about dog bite prevention, the Dog Federation of New York is reaching out to local community leaders with preventative safety and educational programs centered on material published by the Centers for Disease Control.

To help get the message to the community, DFNY will partner with local radio stations in the metro New York area to run dog safety public service announcements from the Campaign For Responsible Ownership. They are based on research and recommendations from both the Centers for Disease Control and the American Veterinary Medical Association.