NYC Dog Owners Find Creative Way to Bypass Law Requiring Pets to be Kept in Enclosed Containers


The days when four-legged passengers were able to travel on the subway without restrictions, are long-past. According to MTA rules, “no person may bring any animal on or into any conveyance or facility unless enclosed in a container.”

However, as many New Yorkers are unable to use other means of transport – driving or cabs – due to expense restrictions, many have no alternative but to take their furry pals on the subway. While some passengers can be seen smiling and cooing at a puppy sitting across them on the subway, others are not so accepting.

If it’s a cute dog, I’m like, ‘I know you’re not supposed to be here, but I’m happy you’re here,’ said Ms. O’Keefe, who lives in Brooklyn and works at a nonprofit. 

In comparison, many people argue that traveling with pets is unsafe and inconsiderate – especially to passengers that may have pet-based allergies. In the past, there have been many instances of pets escaping onto the subway tracks, resulting in delays and rescue missions.

This guy was just letting the dog spread out, which during rush hour was really annoying,Ms. Conway, who works in the entertainment industry, told the New York Times.

If riders are caught with an unauthorized animal, they can face a $25 fine. Therefore, in an attempt to bypass the law – and its accompanying fine – many pet owners are using creative means to travel with their pets on the subway.

Pet owners are carrying their four-legged friends around in bags, which – at least to some degree – meets the requirement of enclosing the animal in a container. The dogs and their ‘containers’ range in size, with some owners even carrying their fully-grown husky in a simple canvas bag.

Last year, only 219 riders were issued summonses last year for having unauthorized animals on subways and buses, according to the police. In 2014, a total of 261 riders were issued summonses for the same offence, suggesting that the alternative means of containing the animals is proving successful on public transport.

Image: Flickr, Thomas Leuthard

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