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(Photo by Mark McQueen, phoDOGraphy)

Photo by Mark McQueen, phoDOGraphy

Legal Resources for People with Pets

As a New York City pet owner, it's important to know about your legal rights and responsibilities, and where to turn when you need legal help.

Estate Planning

Providing For Your Pets In The Event of Your Death or Hospitalization

by The Association of the Bar of the City of New York

Housing Issues

Companion Animals in NYC Apartments – 2009 Edition

by The Association of the Bar of the City of New York

Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC):

Surrender Prevention Program

Community Pets Program

New York City Civil Court: Commercial Landlord and Tenant Cases

For eviction and other housing court issues, there are pro bono centers in the civil courts in each borough:

Bronx County

1118 Grand Concourse, Bronx

Phone: (718) 466-3020

Kings County

141 Livingston Street, Brooklyn

Phone: (718) 643-7528 or (718) 643-7529

New York County

111 Centre Street, Manhattan

Phone: (212) 791-6000

x

Queens County

89-17 Sutphin Blvd., Jamaica, Queens

Phone: (718) 262-7100

Richmond County

927 Castleton Avenue, Staten Island

Phone: (212) 791-6000

 

Service Animals

A Guide to the Use of Service Animals in New York State

by The Association of the Bar of the City of New York and New York State Bar Association

Unpaid Veterinary or Boarding Bills

Bringing Rex Home: A Veterinarian/Boarding Kennel's Right to Hold Your Pet Because of an Unpaid Bill in New York

by The Association of the Bar of the City of New York

Animals Illegally Offered for Adoption on the Street / Sham Charity

Report to Police

If you observe animals being offered for adoption on the street and they appear to show signs of neglect or the adoption agent appears not to be a credible rescue organization, you can report the situation to the local police precinct. It's recommended that you physically visit the local precinct. Ask to speak with the ASPCA Liaison. If you are told they do not have one, ask for the Neighborhood Coordination Officer (NCO). You can mention that the person is operating as a pet dealer without a license, and soliciting donations without a 501(c)(3), in addition to reporting any neglect or abuse you might have observed, such as the absence of adequate shelter from the weather, clean water, signs of illness or malnutrition, etc.

Report to State Business Authorities

All legitimate rescues in New York State must be registered with New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets. If you observe a rescue group that appears to be illegally conducting pet adoptions or soliciting donations, you can file a complaint with that department. Additionally, all legitimate 501(c)(3) rescue charities operating in New York State must register with the Charities Bureau of the New York State Office of the Attorney General. In the case of suspicious adoptions or donation solicitations, you can also file a complaint with that bureau.

Legal Assistance

If you need legal assistance, please contact one or more of the following to see if they can assist you:

Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC):

Surrender Prevention Program

Community Pets Program

The Association of the Bar of the City of New York:

Free Legal Services

Peggy Collen, Esq.

Phone: (212) 859-5092

Karen Copeland, Esq.

Phone: (212) 560-7154

x

Haley Greenberg, Esq.

Phone: (212) 593-6111

Elinor Molbegott, Esq.

Phone: (516) 746-6505

Elizabeth Stein, Esq.

Phone: (516) 747-4726

Darryl Vernon, Esq.

Phone: (212) 949-7300 x201