SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – A local city official is not on board for a dangerous dog registry that is being pushed by a state lawmaker.
Assemblyman James Tedisco wants a system in place to map where dangerous dogs live after a vicious dog attack left another dog dead in Niskayuna. However, Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy doesn’t think an online registry will keep people safer.
“It’s not the dogs. It’s not a specific breed of dogs or anything like that,” City Councilman Vince Riggi said. “It’s we have irresponsible dog owners in the city of Schenectady.”
Riggi hoped Schenectady would implement Tedisco’s dangerous dog plan before the state does.
“I don’t really see it as something that’s hard to do,” he said. “It can be done administratively.”
Tedisco hopes that once a dog is convicted and deemed dangerous, its residence would be placed on an online website for the public. Alerts would be issued by e-mail, text or social media sites to inform the public where the dog lives. The owners would also be required to notify the city if they move or the dog dies, so the system can be updated.
“I think the public should have the opportunity to know whether they want to walk on the street, that block, or not,” Tedisco said.
But Mayor McCarthy is not on board. He thinks the registry is a political ploy for attention and isn’t a proven method to handle dangerous dogs.
“No fundamental research in terms of actually doing something of substance,” he said.
He also doesn’t believe it would make people any safer.
“It does nothing in terms of actually solving the problem,” he continued.
However, Tedisco and Riggi think it will.
“I think it’s a pretty simple thing, and I don’t think anybody is talking politics except the mayor,” Tedisco said.
Riggi said the idea came from a resident whose dog was killed this year after a cited dangerous dog attacked hers.
“She said, ‘If I had known there was an area where a dog had been cited for being aggressive, I would not have walked in that area,’” he explained.
Tedisco said he’s focused on safety.
“And the only thing I’m caring about is making a safer community here,” he said. “That’s the only thing the mayor should be caring about – making a safer community.”
The city of Schenectady does not have a plan in place to make the registry a local ordinance, but McCarthy said he would put this year’s locations and attacks on the city’s website. Tedisco said he plans to introduce the legislation to make dangerous dog registration a state law beginning in January 2015.