by No Dogs Allowed
New York, N.Y. - Ivelice Rosario wants to keep her 20-lb. Lhasa Apso-Schnauzer mix “Max” because he alleviates her panic attacks; but the co-op board at the building in which she resides said “sorry, no dogs allowed” and pointed to the building’s “no pet” policy.
In 2010, the Inwood co-op board filed an eviction proceeding against Ms. Rosario because she refused to get rid of her dog.
But that didn’t stop Ms. Rosario. She took the matter to New York’s Division of Human Rights, where a judge ruled in her favor. Judge Thomas Protano, who must be a dog lover, stated “She has demonstrated, through empirical evidence, that the dog prevents her from suffering from panic attacks when she is at home.” He ruled that Ms. Rosario be allowed to keep her dog despite the no pets rule, the co-op board must stop their eviction proceedings against her, and that they pay her $13,054 in attorney’s fees.
But Judge Protano didn’t stop there. He wanted Ms. Rosario to have a “comfort pet” “in perpetuity”: “Upon the demise of the dog, should (she) require the reasonable accommodation of a comfort pet, such accommodation will be granted,” he stated in his ruling.
Despite their overwhelming loss, the Inwood co-op board members did not give up. Last week they filed an appeal in Manhattan Supreme Court, which states the dog is not medically necessary, and that Ms. Rosario would be better served by taking anti-anxiety medication for her panic attacks. :“If…..Klonopin works and Prozac or Celexa would work if properly administered, then the dog is not necessary,” court documents stated.
I’m following this case because I think it will set a precedent: will people have to prove their “therapy” dogs are medically necessary, or will they be allowed to violate “no pets” rules? Why do people move into “no pets allowed” buildings when they intend on getting a pet?
I think dog lovers believe the rules apply to everyone else but them. I hope the Manhattan Supreme Court makes the right decision.
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