ASPCA® Urges Residents of NYC Housing Authority to Register Pets by January 31

New NYCHA Regulation Continues to Threaten Dogs Belonging to Residents of Public Housing
January 20, 2010

NEW YORK— The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) urges residents of public housing under the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) to register their dogs prior to the January 31st registration extension deadline.  NYCHA has extended the registration deadline under its previous pet policy, permitting residents to register dogs up to 40 pounds, regardless of breed.  After January 31st, NYCHA will begin enforcing the revised pet policy, which reduces the permissible weight for full grown dogs from 40 pounds to 25 pounds, and prohibits purebred and mixed breed pit bulls, Rottweilers, and Doberman pinschers. The requirement that NYCHA residents may have only one dog or one cat remains unchanged.

The ASPCA, Animal Care & Control of NYC, and Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals have produced a Resident Rights' Memo in order to inform NYCHA residents of the grounds on which they may register their dogs regardless of size or breed, as well as their other rights as dog owners in NYCHA housing.  For example, residents may have a legal right to keep and register their dog, regardless of size or breed, if:

  • The dog has lived in NYCHA housing for at least six years;
  • The resident has a serious physical disability;
  • The resident has been diagnosed with a mental or physical impairment and a doctor says the dog helps the resident cope with his or her condition; or
  • The resident's dog is registered with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as a "service dog." 

If residents are asked to remove their dog, they may request a hearing at NYCHA headquarters, and they will have an opportunity to challenge any adverse decision in court.  For more information on NYCHA residents' rights, please visit the ASPCA's website at

"The ASPCA is opposed to the revised pet policy and wants to be sure that NYCHA residents know to register their dogs by NYCHA's deadline and also that they otherwise have rights that are protected," said Debora Bresch, attorney and Senior Director for ASPCA Government Relations.. 

"The Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals opposes any laws that discriminate against particular breeds or impose weight restrictions," added Jane Hoffman, attorney and President of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals.  "This regulation unfairly discriminates against responsible dog owners and good dogs needing homes." 

Information on Pet Registration and Fee

Existing residents must submit the registration form to the NYCHA Housing Office by January 31st  in order to register dogs up to 40 pounds, regardless of breed.  After January 31st, existing residents may submit a registration form for dogs up to 25 pounds, except for purebred and mixed breed pit bulls, Rottweilers and Doberman pinschers.  (Please see our Resident Rights' Memo for discussion of the grounds on which dogs may be registered at any time, regardless of size or breed).  After the registration form is submitted, residents will have a 90 day grace period to submit a veterinarian certification form verifying that their dogs are spayed or neutered, vaccinated against rabies, licensed by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and, after January 31st, not one of the prohibited breeds. 

New residents must submit the registration form to the NYCHA Housing Office during the rental interview for any dog, cat or service animal they wish to bring into the NYCHA apartment.  Staff must explain the pet policy to prospective residents at the time of the rental interview.

Pet registration fee is $25 for all residents who do not reside at project-based Section 8 developments.  Owners of service animals and animals that live in buildings designated exclusively for senior citizens are exempt from this fee.

For the purpose of filling out the registration form, you can immediately obtain a dog license number by purchasing the license online (see below for internet address).

To obtain a registration form, residents can visit their NYCHA management office between 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. or call (212) 306-3000.  The form is also available online:

**Registration forms will be available at the ASPCA Adoption Center and Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital located at 424 East 92nd Street**

To obtain a dog/cat veterinarian certificate:

To obtain a NYC Dog License: