Peter Vallone, you will recall, proposed a repeal of New York state’s prohibition of breed-specific legislation (BSL) several months back, which he hinted was motivated by the race of many “pitbull” owners. As a result of Vallone’s failure to repeal New York’s BSL prohibition, Vallone may now attempt to push anti-tethering laws.
As spokesperson for the Dog Federation of New York (DFNY) Mahlon Goer observed,
“It would seem that Mr. Vallone now plans to discriminate against good dogs and good owners by promoting anti-tethering laws, an approach that we’ve seen across the country when politicians don’t get their way. On the surface, these laws might sound humane, however they have no basis in fact. Anti-tethering laws also unfairly target the poor, and may disproportionately affect African- American and Hispanic dog owners. We are worried about his agenda…Race may be a factor.”
Goer’s speculation that race may be a factor in any anti-tethering law Vallone may propose could have teeth given that New York State Senator Eric Adams has alleged that “the New York City Council Public Safety Committee, chaired by Councilman Vallone, failed to ensure that New York City’s Police Department refrains from targeting racial and ethnic groups during police investigations.”
At this point, however, it can’t be proven that Vallone is racist, only that some of his comments and actions appear to have been racially motivated. What has been proven, according to Dr. Katherine Houpt of Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine Department of Biomedical Sciences, is that “tethering does not increase aggression in dogs.” More of Dr. Houpt and her colleagues’ findings can be found in the Cornell study on tethering which New Yorkers should familiarize themselves with in preparation for Vallone’s next onslaught of unconstitutional, anti-pet legislation. It’s certain that for the next round Vallone will be armed with questionable statistics, junk science, and further misrepresentations in order to push his legislation so New Yorkers should be armed with the truth.