NY 1: Legislation Looks to Raise Fees for Some Dog Licenses
By Grant Greenberg
December 17, 2010
Controlling the pet population and keeping animals safe are the goals to two new proposals before the City Council.
City Councilman Peter Vallone wants to make it illegal to keep animals outdoors and tethered from more than three straight hours.
"The animals are harmed mentally and physically,” said Vallone. “I’ve seen pictures of dogs with collars in necks that need to be surgically removed. No one should treat an animal like this."
Another proposal would raise the cost of a license for a dog that has not been neutered from $11.50 to $34. The extra money would go to a fund to help Animal Care and Control set up an animal population control program to reduce the numbers of stray dogs.
The extra charge might also encourage people to have their dogs fixed.
"We want to encourage people to have their pets spayed and neutered, but also to register,” said City Councilwoman Jessica Lappin. “Because if you lose your animal, this is the best way to find it."
But some argue that in a city where only fewer than 100,000 city dogs are currently registers, increasing the charge might be counterproductive.
Others question how the tethering legislation would be enforced.
"We don't expect cops to have stop watches,” said Vallone. “NY1 films something or a neighbor; it's complaint driven."
The ASPCA rallied Friday at City Hall in support of both plans.
"We really think it’s a problem the city needs to address and we're glad it’s part of the dialogue,” said Michelle Villagomez of the ASPCA.
Dog lovers don't know how effective either idea will be, but say they are all for protecting pets.
"I believe in rescue, not breeding, so I think it’s good to control the population of dogs and cats out there,” said one pet owner.
“They shouldn't be tethered,” said another. “Enclosed is okay but not tethered without accompaniment."
Both bills are in their early stages, and as of now, may be more bark than bite.