Breed discrimination restricts certain dog breeds from several New York housing properties.
New York state assemblyman, Ken Zebrowski, is determined to end breed discrimination. Zebrowski, a Pit Bull owner, has put forth a bill that will prohibit landlords from targeting specific breeds and banning them from housing units.
Breed discrimination is a controversial issue affecting home renters across the country. The law allows landlords to restrict their tenant's dog ownership based on the breed or physical appearance of the dog. Pit Bulls, Boxers, and Rottweilers are most commonly discriminated against under the belief that they are dangerous fighting dogs.
"There's no causation between the behavior of a dog and the specific size or breed of the dog."
Zebrowski adopted his dog, Ernie, from a Rockland shelter six years ago, and stresses the understanding that certain breeds do not have a genetic predisposition to aggression. He explains,
"Time and time again, you can point to studies that show it's mainly the proper training or improper training of a dog that leads to their behavior..."
If approved, the bill will not interfere with a landlord's right to prohibit their tenants from owning pets, only from restricting by breed.
For example, a landlord will not be able to say that a tenant may own a Labrador Retriever, but not a Doberman. Landlords will also still be able to restrict the number of pets in the home.
The bill also includes an exception for individual animals that have been deemed dangerous. Property insurers, however, have expressed concern.
The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America has been openly opposed to similar bills stating, "Common sense would tell us that, while any dog may attack and while any dog may be as gentle as a lamb, dogs of certain breeds may be more dangerous than others."
Senator Tony Avella, D-Queens, is sponsoring Zebrowski's bill, and the ASPCA is also backing the legislation.