New NYCHA Regulation Threatens Dogs Belonging to Residents of Public Housing

ASPCA Urges Residents of NYC Housing Authority to Take Action & Register Pets
April 28, 2009

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 May 1, 2009 implementation date of the revised NYCHA pet policy, which restricts dog ownership based on breed and weight.

The revised NYCHA pet policy reduces the permissible weight for full grown dogs from 40 pounds to 25 pounds, and prohibits Pit bull, Rottweiler and Doberman breeds either purebred or mixed breed.  In addition, residents must obtain a veterinarian certification verifying that their dogs are spayed or neutered, vaccinated against rabies, not one of the prohibited breeds, and licensed by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.  Dogs already registered with NYCHA before the implementation of this revised policy, regardless of breed and providing they do not exceed the current 40 pound weight limit, will be grandfathered and allowed to remain in NYCHA housing.  If residents submit a registration form for their pet by April 30th, they will be allowed 90 days to obtain the veterinarian certification.

“The ASPCA is opposed to this policy and is working to prevent it from going into effect,” said Laura Maloney, ASPCA Senior Vice President of Anti-Cruelty.  “We oppose laws that discriminate against particular breeds or impose excessive weight restrictions.  This regulation unfairly discriminates against responsible dog guardians on both counts.”

Information on Pet Registration and Fee

Existing Residents must submit the registration form to the NYCHA Housing Office by April 30th in order to have their dogs grandfathered and allowed to remain in NYCHA housing.  After the registration form is submitted, residents are given a 90 day grace period to submit a veterinarian certification.  The revised pet policy goes into effect Friday, May 1st.

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.

“The ASPCA is working with the Mayor's Alliance for New York City’s Animals to negotiate with NYCHA, but the issue has not yet been resolved,” said Michelle Villagomez, ASPCA Senior Manager of Advocacy and Campaigns.  “We want to assure NYCHA residents who own animals that this is a priority for us and we strongly urge residents of New York City public housing to register their dogs as soon as possible before the revised policy goes into effect.”

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: