The Real Deal New York

Bharara wins rights for Co-op City pets

Residents were formerly not allowed to use assistance animals

June 04, 2015 09:01AM

Preet Bharara and a French bulldog

Preet Bharara and a French bulldog

Preet Bharara is on the prowl and setting his sights on New York City pet-owner rights.

Disabled residents of the largest affordable housing co-op in the country, Co-op City in the Bronx, will now be allowed to keep assistance animals, due to a settlement negotiated by Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

On Wednesday, Bharara simultaneously filed and settled a lawsuit that will allow the co-op’s 60,000 residents to keep lifestyle assistance animals, the New York Post reported. The co-op previously had an illegal policy that banned most pets and shut out two-thirds of people who applied to keep an animal.

“Housing providers must allow for reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities, including granting requests to keep assistance or service animals,” Bharara said in a statement.

The co-op will also have to pay a penalty of up to $50,000 and set aside $600,000 for people damaged by the policy. [NYP] — Tess Hofmann