On June 5th 2013, at 10:20pm during our nightly leashed walk in Greenpoint Brooklyn, my dog, a Pomeranian named Arlo, was killed in an unprovoked dog attack on his first birthday. The owner of the other dog (a white German Shepherd) fled the scene after his dog quickly lunged at my dog and brutally attacked him, leaving me and my dying dog on the sidewalk. My beloved Arlo died in my arms on our way to an emergency vet. The most gentle, sweet, and loving being I've ever known was taken from me that night, and there has been no recourse for the owner of the other dog.
The entire attack was caught on camera and the identity of the dog owner has been confirmed. I have had multiple people come forward since the attack who have seen the owner not having control of their aggressive dog. This showcases that the owner knew their dog was aggressive but did not take the precautionary measures that were obviously needed, resulting in Arlo's death. When I contacted the NY Department of Health to inquire about a Dangerous Dog Hearing they stated since it was not a dog-on-human attack they would not allot me a hearing. This means the dog can continue to attack and kill other dogs without the owner being held accountable. Other dogs' lives are at stake, and who's to say that next time it won’t be a small child?
A major component of pet ownership is the responsibility to provide not only food, shelter and companionship, but training and education so that the dog, just like a child, learns appropriate behavior.
New York City does not enforce dog owner accountability in unprovoked dog-on-dog attacks. Thus, dogs can continually attack and kill other dogs without the owners being forced to cover medical and vet expenses, attend obedience training, muzzling their dog when in public spaces, neutering, or maintaining an insurance policy on their dog. THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE. The fact is there are NY dog laws, NYC just doesn't enforce them!
New York State Agriculture and Markets Law Section 121 imposes penalties and controls on the owners of dogs who have attacked or threatened to attack.
By statute, the penalties on the owner of a pet who has attacked can range from a fine to the possibility of one year in jail.
If a dog attacks or threatens to attack people or other pets, NY Law states there can be a hearing in court on whether the dog is a “dangerous dog.” Finding a dog “dangerous” allows the court to force the owners to take action to attempt to make sure the dog interacts safely with others. The court can request a variety of actions for the pet including:
-Requesting that the dog to be leashed or muzzled at all times in a public area,
-Requesting the owners to confine the pet (by fencing it, etc.) for a specific amount of time,
-Having the dog trained,
-Maintaining an insurance policy on the dog in case of future attack.
NYC, it is time to adhere to the LAW!
So many dogs are injured and killed due to irresponsible dog owners and it is the victim who is left to foot the vet bill!
ARLO'S LAW aims to enforce that victims of such incidents be granted a Dangerous Dog Hearing and that owners are held accountable for their dogs. Dogs are family members not disposable pieces of property, their lives and safety must be taken into consideration. Since they cannot defend themselves, it is us who must act as their voice!
PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE THIS PETITION TO HELP PROTECT OUR DOGS AND TO HOLD PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE ACTIONS OF THEIR DOGS!