FOR NYCHA RESIDENTS WHO WISH TO KEEP THEIR DOGS
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- The ASPCA, Animal Care & Control of NYC, and Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals are concerned that NYCHA residents are unnecessarily giving up their dogs because of NYCHA's new pet policy. If you are a NYCHA resident, you may have the legal right to keep your dog without risking your home.
- Contact Pets for Life NYC at (917) 484-3169 (www.humanesociety.org/pflnyc) if NYCHA management approaches you about your dog. Pets for Life staff will refer you to a free attorney for further assistance as needed.
- NYCHA policy is that dogs may be registered only if 25 pounds or less and not a purebred/mixed breed pit bull, Rottweiler, or Doberman Pinscher. However, you still have the right to register your dog whatever his or her size or breed, if:
a. your dog is a service dog - a doctor says your dog helps you cope with a diagnosed mental or physical impairment, or your dog is registered with the NYC Department of Health as a "service dog" [NYS Public Housing Law §223-a; Federal Fair Housing Act; NYS Civil Rights Law §47], (note: if you need a service dog or cat, you are also allowed to have a pet dog or cat)
b. your dog has resided in NYCHA housing since May 2002 [GM-3755, "Revised Pet Policy," IV.B.], or
c. your dog has resided in NYCHA housing for at least six years [CPLR §213(2)]
- You have 90 days to submit your Veterinarian Certification Form and Service Animal Verification Form to your Housing Manager after you submit your Pet Registration form.
- You are entitled to two interviews with your NYCHA Housing Manager at which the Housing Manager must seek to determine all the facts. At the second interview, you may have representation (an attorney is recommended but not required).
- You are also entitled to a hearing at 250 Broadway, and may appeal the hearing decision in NYS Supreme Court. At the hearing, you may have representation (an attorney is recommended but not required) and present evidence and witnesses.
- Only a NYCHA hearing officer or a judg—not your Housing Manager—can order you to remove your dog or risk eviction. NYCHA can't remove you or your dog until after your hearing is decided. If you appeal, a judge will likely stop NYCHA from proceeding with removal until after your appeal is decided.
- Your Housing Manager MUST have two interviews with you and seek to determine all the facts of your case.
- Your Housing Manager MUST notify you of your right to a hearing.
- Your Housing Manager MUST give you 90 days to submit your Service Animal Verification form after you submit your Pet Registration form.
- Do NOT sign anything unless you understand and are sure you want to agree to what you are signing.
- Service animals are NOT subject to any breed or weight restrictions. Pit bulls, Rottweilers, and Doberman Pinschers may be service dogs.
- The service animal exemption applies to new AND longtime residents of NYCHA housing.
- If NYCHA notifies you of a hearing date, you may call NYCHA at 250 Broadway to ask that the hearing be adjourned (postponed) to give you time to prepare.