Proposed Bill Would Prevent NY Landlords From Banning Specific Dog Breeds

If one resident's Pekingese is welcome, another's Pit Bull would be too.

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Under the new bill, dogs of any size would be allowed to live in apartments. Via Geny1/iStock/Thinkstock
Under the new bill, dogs of any size would be allowed to live in apartments. Via Geny1/iStock/Thinkstock

Not every New York landlord hangs a handwritten “No Dogs Allowed” sign on the windows of their available apartments, but even the ones who do allow dogs can have restrictions against certain breeds. Your Pekingese might be welcome to wipe her paws on the mat, for example, but your Pit Bull isn’t getting near the front door. But one state assemblyman wants to prevent that kind of breed-specific discrimination from happening.

Ken Zebrowski, an assemblyman from Rockland County in southern New York state, has proposed a bill that would prevent any landlord from prohibiting specific breeds. Although the landlords and property owners could stipulate that they did not allow dogs, period, they would not be allowed to pick and choose which kind of pets were permitted.

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Ken Zebrowski and his rescue dog, a pit bull named Ernie. Via NYS Animal Advocacy Day/Facebook

“There’s no causation between the behavior of a dog and the specific size or breed of the dog,” Zebrowski told LoHud. “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, and not some sort of genetic predisposition to being mean.”

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has supported the bill, although LoHud reports that some insurance companies have been less enthusiastic about it.

There’s a good chance that Zebrowski knows the challenges that some pet owners face when they’re trying to find a place to live: six years ago, he adopted a Pit Bull from a Rockland County shelter.

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