View Full Version : The Pet Law

September 27th, 2003, 10:12 PM

If Ole Shep Passes On, This Law Could Help


Lisa Haney

NEW Yorkers fight many wars. As the Sinatra song says, it's a challenging town. Parking ticket wars. Public school wars. Crime wars. Now we have the pet wars. And when you talk to the people on the front lines, a volatile mix of landlords, lawyers, judges, politicians and especially dog owners, you really come away with the feeling that war is hell.

Leave it to New York to have a law on the books saying that if your apartment building bans pets, you can still get away with having one if you harbor it "openly and notoriously" for three months and the landlord fails to object. "Paraphrasing the classic question that emanated from the Watergate investigations," George M. Heymann, a Bronx housing judge, wrote in an erudite New York Law Journal article in 1999, "the entire case boiled down to a single query: What did the landlord know and when did he know it?"

The Pet Law, as it is called, has led to interesting games of cat and mouse as tenants squirrel dogs in handbags or keep them inside for three months so they won't be spotted by porters and doormen. There are probably few other civil or legal contracts in this world that you can break with impunity as long as you don't get caught during the first 90 days. Imagine getting a waiver from the prohibition against turnstile-jumping because you have "openly and notoriously'' jumped turnstiles for three months.

Now the City Council, fresh from its success in approving public toilets, is proposing an amendment to the Pet Law that would go even further by offering pet owners a form of pet-bereavement insurance.

What if you have been living with Fido, undisturbed by the landlord, in a building that does not allow pets, and one day, Fido dies or runs off with the poodle next door? Would the next pet be permitted? Right now, the answer is no. But if Intro 380, drafted by Councilwoman Melinda Katz, is approved, Fido's successors would be protected forever. For good measure, the bill provides a blanket waiver from pet-related eviction to people 62 or older.

"My district is extremely senior," said Ms. Katz, a Democrat who represents Forest Hills and Kew Gardens, Queens. "Let's face it. To a lot of folks, pets are their only company. It's like getting rid of a child."

Eleven of Ms. Katz's 51 colleagues have signed on as co-sponsors of the bill, which is now awaiting a public hearing. Not since the Giuliani Administration outlawed pet ferrets in 1999 has a pet proposal drawn so much interest.

Is this all bark and no bite? Unclear. The Council leadership is uncommitted. But if the law passes, no one will be happier than the couple that owns Chester, a 9-year-old mutt who looks like Orphan Annie's dog and is no longer in the best of health. They live at 185 East 85th Street, but were afraid to be publicly identified; a neighbor, they said, is at war with their landlord over the chow she adopted after her 10-year-old chow died. "She had to get a dog, no matter what the consequences," the wife said. "So she hired this lawyer."

Carolyn Topp, a management consultant who used to live in that building, said she went to court six years ago to fight a threatened eviction after replacing an Airedale who had a heart attack, with another Airedale. Ms. Topp moved to the West Side with her new dog, Blake, rather than fight.

"New York's a great walking city," she said. "I could go on about friends and people I've met solely because I have a dog. But they don't live forever." Blake, by the way, who is still alive, was voted New York's Fittest Dog in Central Park in 1998.

Not every tenant, let alone landlord, supports the Katz bill. "This legislation just perpetuates the same irresponsible dog owner forever," said Adam R. Rose, president of Rose Associates, which manages 30,000 apartments. Mr. Rose is a dog owner (a chocolate lab named Rita), but in Westchester, not in the city.

He belittled the charge by some pet owners that landlords who couldn't care less about dogs are enforcing the existing law maliciously to evict tenants with low rents. "I've been hearing that since the day I joined the company," he said. "It's pure emotion."

Emotional is how Chester's mistress feels. She is thinking of getting a psychiatrist's note saying she needs a dog for emotional support, as others in her building have done. "But by then," she said, "too many people will have gotten psychiatrist's notes, and then it might be seen as crying wolf."

E-mail: amh@nytimes.com

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

December 9th, 2003, 06:24 AM
December 9, 2003

A Bill to Ease Restrictions on Living With Pets


They brought puppies. They wore buttons. They even had a celebrity — Rue McClanahan of "The Golden Girls." More important, the congregation of true believers on the City Hall steps had a righteous mission: winning passage of legislation touching on two of the subjects closest to the hearts of New Yorkers — housing and pets.

In front was the laser-focused sponsor of the bill, Councilwoman Melinda Katz of Forest Hills. In back was a layered assembly of 30 enthusiastic supporters, rising along the steps. In the center, Ms. McClanahan, who posed for pictures, called the legislation "common sense" and "good for the city."

The only unscripted moment came when Elinor Molbegott, a lawyer with the Humane Society of New York, took the microphone to talk about why "many people are waiting for this legislation." A participant named Rebecca emitted an unexpected high-pitched whine, causing Ms. Molbegott to pause and smile. "Isn't that right?" she asked. Rebecca, a 3-month-old puppy, had no immediate reply.

Indoors, the City Council was wrapping up a public hearing on the bill, which would make it easier for people to keep their pets and would provide elderly people who own pets with additional protection against eviction. Outside on the steps, Councilwoman Gale A. Brewer of Manhattan said: "It's a hard city to live in. Some of us need children for companionship. Some of us need pets."

But to others, especially those who believe fervently in the primacy of New York's system of cooperative housing, the proposed legislation would impinge on home rule and usurp the time-honored right of New Yorkers to determine the rules by which people should live, building by building, co-op board by co-op board. And it would also give people way too much leeway, critics say.

"A cooperative is a private entity and the shareholders are also the tenants, and as such, we make house rules that are geared for our local community," said Jordi Reyes-Montblanc, president of HDFC Council, a group of low-income co-ops. "The way the legislation reads, they can have a lion or a tiger."

Of course, other laws prohibit making pets of wild animals. But there was no missing the allusion to one famous pet, Ming the Bengal tiger, who — with his roommate, Lucky the alligator — dominated the news in October when they were found living in an apartment at a Harlem housing project.

New Yorkers certainly have a lot of pets. Animal-welfare advocates estimate that there are two million of them — a number that is impossible to verify because the census does not track animals. (There are 1.9 million children in New York City.)

Under current law, landlords have 90 days to object to someone's pet. But the law is vague as to what rules apply when that pet dies and the owner wants to replace it. Some landlords say that the 90-day rule should apply to every pet, especially if there are multiple pets at one address.

Under the proposed legislation, though, the rule would apply to the duration of the tenant's occupancy — meaning that all subsequent pets are grandfathered in. In addition, the elderly would not be denied occupancy in, or be evicted from, an apartment building simply for having a pet or pets. This is an important point, supporters say, because landlords may be keen to usher out elderly tenants in rent-regulated or rent-controlled units.

Much of the impetus for the legislation has come from Councilwoman Katz and Mary Max, an animal-welfare advocate whose campaign, called "Your Apartment or Your Pet," has gathered more than 9,000 signatures across the city. Along with many people who spoke yesterday, she emphasized various studies suggesting that pet ownership can reduce stress and lower blood pressure.

Even so, she, too, noted that the topic could be polarizing.

"The reception I've gotten has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic," she said. "But there was one area of town, around Tudor City, where I did encounter some people who — let me just be blunt — if they had a machine gun, they would shoot any companion animal. The people were just: `I don't want them around. They're dirty. I hate them.' "

It is simply too early in the legislative process to say whether the bill has a good shot at passage. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has yet to take a position on it. For the record, Mr. Bloomberg does not have any pets, an aide said, though he does have some fish in his bullpen office.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

December 9th, 2003, 09:49 AM
tenants squirrel dogs in handbags
There's a No Pets Allowed sign on the front door of Gristedes supermarket in BPC (NYC Dept of Health Law). A few weeks ago I noticed a woman in the store with a small dog on her arm. Being in a particularly nasty and sarcastic mood, I said rather loudly, "That's some ugly kid ya got there." She didn't answer, but the store manager was nearby and asked her to leave. She hurled profanities at me. I relished the spotlight.

December 9th, 2003, 11:15 AM

Not too long ago I watch a lady standing at a mirror trying on handbags, with the dog in them, to see which looked best! She caught us spying and giggling. Didn't look embarrassed enough.

December 9th, 2003, 01:51 PM
I love my apartment, it's has a great location, is spacious enough, nice brownstone conversion, and priced reasonably.

Unfortunately the landlord doesn't allow dogs. It seems arbitrary and unfair. Our leases say NO PETS but I know more than a few tenants have cats (the inside story on that is one tenant had recurring mice problem due to their next door neighbor, an elderly man who apparently isn't so clean. I think the landlord looks the other way on that cat as it saves him exterminator bills.)

I'm just wondering if there's anyway I can get him to change his mind? I live in the heights and there are so many apartments that allow pets.

December 9th, 2003, 03:03 PM
I'm just wondering if there's anyway I can get him to change his mind? I live in the heights and there are so many apartments that allow pets.

Maybe if you get an exceptionally cute pet? :-)

My lease says no dogs very clearly too, but then I saw all these people with dogs in my building and others under the same management company. I talked to my super about it and he said it was no problem. Now I have a dog. Getting one has been the best thing for socializing and getting out of the apartment.

December 13th, 2003, 01:59 AM
December 13, 2003

Middle Ground on Dogs

With an estimated one million dogs, New York has more dogs than most cities have people. Given New York's crowded urban landscape, there obviously have to be rules. A bill pending in the City Council on pet ownership goes overboard in the direction of the dogs and their owners, ignoring the needs of landlords and neighbors.

Championed by Melinda Katz, a Council member from Queens, the bill would deny landlords or co-op boards the right to ban dogs, except when the animals or their owners demonstrably violated health ordinances. The bill is aimed at helping the elderly. The current law allows a resident who lives in no-pet building to keep a dog if the animal has lived openly in the building for 90 days without a legal challenge from the landlord or the tenants' organization. But if an elderly resident loses a beloved dog, the pet advocates say, he or she could be evicted for trying to replace it.

That potentially heart-rending problem may require a targeted solution. But the blunt instrument now before the Council would expand the rights of dog owners generally and allow every elderly person to own a pet, regardless of building rules. A better approach, suggested by the Real Estate Board of New York, would allow an elderly tenant to replace a dead animal with a new one as long as the new pet met size limitations. The New York City Housing Authority imposes a limit of 40 pounds.

The goal in these negotiations should be to make the city dog-friendly while remembering that the rights of the humans always come first.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

December 18th, 2003, 09:01 AM
December 18, 2003

Dogs and the City: A Matter of Some Weight (3 Letters)

To the Editor:

Re "Middle Ground on Dogs" (editorial, Dec. 13):

Your opposition to the current bill to expand pet owners' rights is unfounded because the vast majority of pets are benign, in particular those owned by elderly people.

Your agreement with the New York City Housing Authority rule that imposes a weight limit of 40 pounds on pets is a slippery-slope solution that makes no sense and forces owners of 41-pound dogs to put them on diets. It is simply an arbitrary number that is patently unfair. Such logic could lead to airlines' imposing a similar weight limit on passengers.

The lack of pet-friendly housing is driving taxpayers out of the city and preventing others from moving here. It's bad for our local economy. Finally, we believe your assertion that "the rights of the humans always come first" is arrogant and outdated.

Pres., United Action for Animals
New York, Dec. 14, 2003

To the Editor:

By what criteria do you recommend that 40 pounds should be the cutoff weight for a New York City apartment dog (editorial, Dec. 13)? Any person knowledgeable about the various breeds of dogs knows that the smaller the dog, the greater the likelihood for more frequent barking, as smaller dogs have a tendency to be more high-strung than the larger breeds. Your suggestion condemns the larger breed to the misery of abandonment and deprives many people of the companionship of a calm and gentle companion.

New York, Dec. 16, 2003

To the Editor:

"Middle Ground on Dogs" (editorial, Dec. 13) was very accurate. If a person doesn't want to live in a building with dogs, he should have that option. And if a landlord doesn't want to allow dogs, he should be allowed to bar them from his property.

Why should the government be able to dictate to us that we must live in a building with dogs, with whom we have to share elevators, and who have the possibility of making noise, bringing in fleas and making a mess on the floor?

By the way, when I was a child, the people of this city used to walk their dogs on the curbside, and not against the buildings, as they do now. Whatever happened to "curb your dog"?

I have cats, and I keep them to myself. I am tired of dog owners inflicting their choice of pet on me, with their noise, and all the rest.

New York, Dec. 15, 2003

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

December 18th, 2003, 10:16 AM
I never realized "curbing" your dog was to keep them away from the buildings....

I do think they should start enforcing some rules like not allowing dogs to piss on the side of buildings anymore, but in certain areas that is not much of a possibility.

I guess the only real way to be able to do this right would be to gradually zone in areas of allowance and non-allowance.

As for the 40lb rule, I think that is rather arbitrary too. If they wanted to make a size limit for these pooches, they should list breeds available and all others NOT within those breeds should follow the 40 lb max.

As for what dog is better in the city? Although I HATE the little yappers, I do think they fit better. You don't want to have a lab or a golden (although I REALLY love those dogs) in a city that you can't take them for a swim, or larger dogs that are cramped in the $500K 900SF co-ops available in the city.

December 20th, 2003, 08:10 AM
December 20, 2003

Dogs Deserve Respect

To the Editor:

Re "Middle Ground on Dogs" (editorial, Dec. 13):

When the World Trade Center fell, dogs (over the New York City Housing Authority's 40-pound maximum, which you support) cut their feet on shards of glass and crawled through unstable debris, risking their lives to search for victims. Dogs sniffing for explosives protect the lives of airline passengers. When a plane crashes, dogs crawl through twisted metal searching for survivors; as passengers, these dogs are required to travel as baggage.

Dogs sniff out drugs; in Iraq, dogs risk their lives sniffing out land mines. They guard and warn of fire. When someone is missing, dogs search for clues while humans helplessly tag along. Dogs provide eyes and ears for the disabled.

Most of all, dogs provide humans with a unique and valuable gift — unconditional love. Let's stop merely exploiting dogs and give them the respect and honor they deserve.

New York, Dec. 14, 2003

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

February 19th, 2004, 06:53 AM
February 19, 2004

Here, Owners Fetch Their Dogs' Papers


Allison Rolontz walks her dog, Gabru on East 91 Street between Third and Second Avenues in Manhattan. The management of Ruppert Yorkville Towers Condominium is trying to ban dogs from the popular walkway.

Pet owners living at the Ruppert Yorkville Towers Condominium say their buildings have become a dog's police state. Here, they say, just look at some of the new rules:

¶Dogs will be required to wear special tags on their collars or leashes identifying their owners and apartment numbers.

¶Owners will be charged a $100 fee and must register their dogs by Feb. 27, submitting proof that they have been spayed and neutered and given the inoculations for rabies and other conditions.

¶No visiting dogs are allowed.

¶Owners are responsible for paying for whatever damage their animals cause, and preventing nuisance behavior defined in part as "making noise continuously and/or incessantly for a period of 10 minutes or intermittently for one hour or more.''

¶Violations will be subject to fines - $100 for the first infraction, $250 for the second, $500 for the third and permanent removal of the pet within 30 days for further breaches.

Dr. Judith Dattaro, a physician who lives there, was incensed. "I am being told that I can't do what I have always done: walk peacefully through the lobby without the prospect of someone stopping me and checking my pet's credentials,'' she said.

Yes, it is another confrontation in the pet wars, those impassioned fights that put owners against condo or co-op boards or landlords. This time, the battleground is the Ruppert Yorkville Towers, four brick towers in two buildings stretching from 90th to 92nd Streets between Second and Third Avenue in Manhattan. Until last January, the towers were under the umbrella of the Mitchell-Lama moderate income housing program.

There were, everyone agrees, hundreds of dogs living at the complex when the buildings converted under a noneviction condo plan. The offering plan specified that dogs already on the premises could remain, but their owners would be barred from replacing them without management's consent.

Now R Y Management, with the backing of the condo board, has sought to add teeth to that measure by enacting a stringent new set of limits. Residents received letters this month on the policy. Like a match to a tinderbox, the reaction was instantaneous.

Condo owners and renters retained Maddy Tarnofsky, a lawyer who specializes in pet issues. They held a meeting in a resident's apartment on Feb. 10 that spilled out into the hall. At an open condo board meeting two nights later, the first since the conversion, discussion of the matter became so heated that the topic was relegated to the end of the evening to not distract from more subdued considerations of tax abatements and laundry room renovations.

As Henry Kallan, president of the board, sees it, the policy was written to improve the ambience of the buildings, which have 1,257 apartments, 825 of them condos.

"The general idea is that there are way too many dogs in the building and we were trying to create a policy where everyone can hold on to their dogs, but we have to make sure that dogs behave so they don't diminish the quality of life for everyone in the building,'' he said in a telephone interview. "There is nothing wrong with dogs. The problem is people.''

Howard Schechter, the lawyer for the board, said that "for the small minority of people who feel they can't abide by the civilities that good neighborliness requires, the fines give the board a method to get their attention and require compliance short of going to court.''

To dog partisans in the buildings, the policy smacks of a dictatorship.

"They asked us to sign and comply with rules that, in my opinion, violate our civil rights, override what could be legally enforceable by law and threaten fines that could put someone in financial hardship or cause them to lose their pet,'' said Jane Colton, a former flight attendant and a 27-year renter in Ruppert Yorkville, who has two elderly Dalmatians and a sick bird.

No one disputes that there is a problem: a distinct aroma of urine at the complex that is especially noticeable in the summer. In part, it is believed to be trapped by the scaffolding that has been in place for months as renovations are done and in part, residents say, by inadequate cleaning.

At the board meeting, Mr. Kallan said there would be a referendum on the policy but did not say when.

In fact, the board has already rescinded one provision in the new policy, that owners may not walk their dogs on East 91st Street, which, although it is a public thoroughfare, is closed to traffic.

But this has done little to quell the controversy. Ms. Tarnofsky is telling people that, should they be apprehended for not having the tags on their pets, to "be courteous but resistant and carry identification and a cellphone when you go out."

To Bruce Steibel, who breeds his yellow Labrador retriever, the regulation that dogs be spayed or neutered is unthinkable. "He is a show dog," Mr. Steibel said. "How can they arbitrarily tell me to neuter him? I won't do that."

Allison Rolontz, who is divorced, said the policy would cause her multiple hardships. "I have two small Malteses who live with my husband, but I have visitation rights every other weekend," she said. "Now they won't be able to visit me."

Ms. Rolontz also has a Rottweiler that is walked by a dog walker. "She sometimes brings other dogs with her and would not be able to enter the building with them," Ms. Rolontz said. "So my dog would not be able to play with his friends."

Some people are concerned about the effects on the value of their apartments, not an unreasonable concern, said Steven Goldschmidt, an associate broker with Warburg Realty Partnership.

"I have had open houses at which some people leave when they realize there can be no pets," he said.

Indeed, Michael Renz, a cat owner who was at the board meeting the other evening, said: "The only reason I moved here was because I was told it was dog friendly, and I have friends with dogs here. I don't have a dog now, but I intend to get one when I retire a year from now."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

February 19th, 2004, 10:30 AM
Allison Rolontz, who is divorced, said the policy would cause her multiple hardships. "I have two small Malteses who live with my husband, but I have visitation rights every other weekend," she said. "Now they won't be able to visit me."

Ms. Rolontz also has a Rottweiler that is walked by a dog walker. "She sometimes brings other dogs with her and would not be able to enter the building with them," Ms. Rolontz said. "So my dog would not be able to play with his friends."
I think I understand why Ms. Rolontz is no longer married.

February 26th, 2004, 07:49 AM
February 26, 2004


Standing Up for Pets and Their Humans


FOR Sunday brunch there was turkey, sweet potatoes, carrots, pot pie and Granny Smith apples. It was followed by dessert - half an apple and fudge.

"He'll eat anything," said Maddy Tarnofsky, slicing pieces of the carob fudge in her cramped warren of a kitchen, "but he seems to really like this stuff. It has very little chemicals or preservatives. I watch his food more than my own because it is my responsibility."

Ms. Tarnofsky, 55, loves her dog. Her apartment on the Upper West Side has her pet's numerous stuffed animals strewn about the floor and on the couch. In her bedroom is a large box with more doggy playthings. And when the big black Labrador, named Moose Ann - "a name that came to me in a dream," she admitted - rumbled across the room, he leapt on the people in the room.

"Down!" she said to her dog, without producing any response. "Down!"

"As you can see, he is quite obedient," she apologized.

The dog, his tongue hanging out of his mouth and his breath redolent of the mixture of foods he had noisily gulped down, put his paws on the chair and his head on the table.

"Moose Ann," Ms. Tarnofsky said sternly.

She turned to explain.

"When I get mad at him I use his middle name."

If you end up with a dog's life, this is not a bad one. Ms. Tarnofsky not only lavishes motherly care on her dog, but is also a lawyer who specializes in battling landlords who want to evict tenants because of pets or, more often than not, multiple pets. But then the term "pet" grates on her. She prefers "family member."

"I can put myself in their shoes," she said, referring to her clients. "I know what it would mean to have a landlord say, 'You go or your dog goes.' I know how it would feel to have a landlord try and make you get rid of what is basically a family member. This is why the shelters are so full. People are frightened. They think they don't have a choice."

Oh, but they do have a choice, as long as they can pay the legal fees. Ms. Tarnofsky, a small spark plug of a woman with Little Orphan Annie curly red hair and bright red nail polish on her fingers and toes - she sat for an interview barefoot - has built her career by keeping "family members" with their owners and quashing eviction attempts.

"There was a lovely man on the East Side," she began, in one of numerous stories about clients, all of whom were described as "lovely."

"He was a professional dog walker. He had seven dogs of his own. He also ran a doggy day care center. He lived in a one-room apartment. It had no furniture. It was an empty space. He slept in a loft. He devoted his life to animals. He loved animals, his own and other people's."

And then the eviction threat came, the charges that the dogs were a public nuisance, that they made too much noise and smelled.

Her voice dipped and took on a tone of disgust as she recounted the case.

"When they claim odors I make house calls," she said, "but of course it was untrue. These dogs were trained. I asked the judge to come inspect the apartment. It took about a minute for the judge to get down on her knees and begin playing and hugging the pets. It was a great moment in legal history. There is no law that limits the number of pets you can have."

There have been cases she has not taken, such as the elderly woman who kept flocks of pigeons in her apartment.

"There was a lovely woman," she began as usual. "She was an artist. The landlord claimed she was feeding pigeons on her terrace and on her roof. He said the pigeon droppings were eroding the roof."

Her client, although lovely, was "also a little quirky."

"She didn't have a phone," she said. "She lived on a top floor walk-up. When I opened the door it was very, very dark. My eyes were adjusting to the light, and I could not see. All I could hear was this "

She stood up and began to flutter the pages of a notebook.

"There were dozens of pigeons walking and flying around," she said. "There was newspaper and toilet paper all over the floor. The landlord didn't know about this. He had only complained about the outside."

SHE came to the law late in life after spending years in New York trying to be an actress, getting small parts and making a living mostly as a waitress. She attended law school in her late 30's and after she passed the bar in 1988 at age 40, worked in a firm that specialized in defending tenants. She began to take the cases involving pets. She has been in private practice for about a decade.

She loves musicals and played the songs from "Oklahoma," a show she has seen three times, while she spoke. It was her dream as a young girl in Chicago to come to New York and find her place on the stage. But the stage did not repay her loyalty, not like Moose Ann and her two previous dogs, all in picture frames next to photographs of her parents. She let the remains of her first dog, Max, be disposed of, something she said will never happen again.

"My second dog, Rocky, is still here," she said. "I have his ashes in the bedroom."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

June 24th, 2004, 01:26 AM
June 24, 2004

Sorry, No Pets Unless Yours Just Died


More than two decades ago, the City Council passed a law that would allow tenants who sneaked their cats and dogs into apartment buildings, co-ops and condominiums with no-pet policies to keep them as long as no one took action against them within the first three months.

Now, the Council is poised to expand that law by allowing residents with smuggled-in pets to replace them - without fear of eviction - when they die.

Council Speaker Gifford Miller supports the proposed pet replacement bill, and 19 Council members and the public advocate, Betsy Gotbaum, have signed on.

A spokesman for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said yesterday that he had not yet taken a position on it.

The bill has drawn wide support from tenants and their advocates, animal rights groups and celebrities like the artist Peter Max, Bernadette Peters, William Baldwin, Rue McClanahan and Isaac Mizrahi.

These supporters say that pets become family members, especially for those with no children, and that those in rent-stabilized buildings cannot afford to move elsewhere.

"This is such a common-sense bill," said Mary Max, the artist's wife, who testified yesterday at a Council hearing on the bill. "There are people that want their animals - they miss the love, they miss the companionship - and it's a way of life in New York."

But representatives of the real estate industry countered that the bill would unfairly benefit pet owners at the expense of other residents and interfere with a building's own policies and rules.

"They got away with bad behavior once, and now it's being rewarded in perpetuity," said Nicholas LaPorte Jr., executive director of the Associated Builders and Owners of Greater New York, which represents more than a half-million housing units. "They can't be thrown out, they can't have another lease not issued to them - it's unfair."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

June 24th, 2004, 09:50 AM
If your building says no pets, it is no pets.

You should be required to get a written permit to have the pet in your place.

Some of te rules in the Feb article are rediculous (such as spay/neuter. It is not as if you are going to have a bunch of stray-dogs around the apartment if you dont...)

So if the super, or landlord lets you have a cat, so be it. But a lot of these people knew the rules. This 3 month thing is BS.

And the replacement of a dead pooch, IN A PLACE THAT DID NOT ALLOW THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE is getting really silly.

I like dogs too, but come on people! If you don't LIKE not having pets, don't LIVE there. Money speaks louder than lawyers sometimes.

June 24th, 2004, 10:01 AM

June 23, 2004

There will be no more tigers moving into Harlem or anywhere else in New York, under a new law passed by the state Legislature yesterday.

The law, which would be in effect for four years beginning Jan. 1, will restrict the sale, possession and transport of several exotic animals.

Included will be tigers and other big cats, monkeys, wolves, coyotes, bears, large reptiles and poisonous snakes. Violators will face fines of $500 to $1,000.

Wild animals now living in the parts of the state where regulations permit them will be grandfathered as long as their owners file with the county clerk.

Supporters say keeping exotic animals as pets is dangerous to the community and to the animal themselves.

"Wild animals are just that," said State Sen. Carl Marcellino (R-L.I.), who co-sponsored the bill.

Lawmakers reacted after several reports that the problem had grown out of control

The Wildlife Conservation Society, which runs the Bronx Zoo, says 10,000 tigers live as pets in the United States, compared with 7,000 in jungles, grasslands and forests in Asia.

Last October, a Harlem man was arrested for keeping a Siberian tiger in his apartment.

One week later, The Post showed how simple it was to obtain wild animals when it rescued an 8-day-old lion cub for sale at a roadside market in Ohio.

With Post Wire Services

Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings, Inc.

June 24th, 2004, 10:04 AM
The Wildlife Conservation Society, which runs the Bronx Zoo, says 10,000 tigers live as pets in the United States, compared with 7,000 in jungles, grasslands and forests in Asia.

Wait a minute...There are more tigers as pets than in the wild? I am totally surprice! :?

June 24th, 2004, 10:35 AM

June 24, 2004

Landlords and tenants were fighting like cats and dogs at City Hall yesterday when lawmakers debated a bill that would strengthen the rights of renters to have pets.

Currently, tenants with no-pet clauses in their leases can only keep pets if landlords don't begin eviction proceedings within three months from the time tenants begin to display the animals in an "open and notorious fashion."

A new proposal sponsored by Melinda Katz (D-Queens) would allow those tenants to replace pets who die. In addition, tenants who make it through the three-month period with their first pet would be allowed to have other pets as well.

"That waiver is the only fair thing to do. It is the only humane thing to do. Pets become part of your life," Katz said of her bill.

Animal-rights advocate Mary Max, wife of artist Peter Max, led advocates at City Hall urging passage of the bill, which is vigorously opposed by landlords.

"I have hundreds of people that are calling, e-mailing and faxing me who are in a lot of pain. They're really suffering and they are very lonely," Max said. "This is a people bill, not a dog and cat bill."

But landlord groups said the proposal would reward people for bad behavior and that the "open and notorious" clause was vague and open to abuse.

Mary Ann Rothman of the Council of New York Co-ops & Condos said the first pet may be quiet and agreeable, but newer animals could be boisterous, noisy or dirty. "The unclean situations are detrimental not only to pets and owners but to people in neighboring apartments," she said.

While the proposal has large support in the council, not all lawmakers are convinced of its merit.

"I've had cats and dogs — I'm the grandmother to two cats," said Madeline Provenzano (D-Bronx).

"But what seems to be bothering me is we are giving permission to people to break the law, and I have a problem with that," she said.

Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings, Inc.