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18.0 Pet Policy

INTRODUCTION

This chapter explains the Herkimer Housing Authority’s policies on the keeping of pets and any criteria or standards pertaining to the policies. The rules adopted are reasonably related to the legitimate interest of this PHA to provide a decent, safe and sanitary living environment for all tenants, to protecting and preserving the physical condition of the property, and to the financial interest of the PHA. This policy pertains to both elderly and family residents. FAILURE TO ABIDE BY THE PROVISIONS OF THE PET POLICY IS A SERIOUS LEASE VIOLATION AND MAY RESULT IN TERMINATION.

    1. EXCLUSIONS

This policy does not apply to animals that are used to assist persons with disabilities. Assistive animals are allowed in all public housing facilities with no restrictions other than those imposed on all tenants to maintain their units and associated facilities in a decent, safe, and sanitary manner and to refrain from disturbing their neighbors.

    1. PETS IN PUBLIC HOUSING

The Herkimer Housing Authority allows for pet ownership including dogs and cats in its developments with the written pre-approval of the Housing Authority. Residents are responsible for any damage caused by their pets, including the cost of fumigating or cleaning their units. In exchange for this right, the resident assumes full responsibility and liability of the pet and agrees to hold the Herkimer Housing Authority harmless from any claims caused by an action or inaction of the pet.

    1. APPROVAL

Because of the potential for damage that is historically associated with dogs and cats, residents must have the prior written approval of the Herkimer Housing Authority before moving a dog or cat into their unit. Residents must have the prior written approval on the Authorization for Pet Ownership Form that must be fully completed before the Herkimer Housing Authority will approve the request. Residents must give the Herkimer Housing Authority a picture of the pet so that it can be identified if it is running loose.

    1. TYPES AND NUMBER OF PETS

The Herkimer Housing Authority will allow only common household pets. This means only domesticated animals such as a dog (30 lbs. or under), cat, bird (excluding pigeons, farm birds or birds of prey), rodent (including hamster, guinea pig, rabbit), fish (excluding carnivorous species) in aquariums, or a turtle will be allowed in units. Common household pets do NOT include reptiles (except turtles), amphibians, insects, simians (non-human primates), pot-bellied pigs and other animals not listed above. No dangerous or intimidating pets such as pit-bull dogs, Rottweiler’s or Doberman pinchers will be permitted. If this definition conflicts with State or local law or regulation, the State or local law or regulation shall govern.

All dogs and cats must be spayed or neutered. A licensed veterinarian must verify this fact in writing.

Only one dog OR cat per unit will be allowed.

Any animal deemed to be potentially harmful to the health or safety of others, including attack or fight trained dogs, will NOT be allowed.

No animal may exceed thirty (30) pounds in weight projected to full adult size.

    1. INOCULATIONS

In order to be registered, dogs and cats must be appropriately inoculated against rabies, distemper, and other conditions prescribed by the State and/or local ordinances. They must comply with all other State and local public health, animal control, and anti-cruelty laws including any licensing requirements. A certification signed by a licensed veterinarian shall be annually filed with the Herkimer Housing Authority to attest to the inoculations.

18.6 PET DEPOSIT

Because of the potential for damage that is historically associated with dogs and cats, a pet deposit of $150 is required at the time of registering a dog or cat and must be submitted with the Authorization of Pet Ownership Form. The deposit is refundable when the family vacates the unit, less any amounts owed due to damage beyond normal wear and tear. All units occupied by a dog or cat will be fumigated upon being vacated and the cost for this will be deducted from the pet deposit or security deposit if the pet deposit is inadequate. Resident’s liability for damages caused by his/her pet is not limited to the amount of the pet deposit and the resident will be required to reimburse Herkimer Housing Authority for the amount of the real cost of any and all damages caused by his/her pet where the costs exceed the amount of the pet deposit.

18.7 FINANCIAL OBLIGATION OF RESIDENTS

Any resident who owns or keeps a pet in their dwelling unit will be required to pay for any damages caused by the pet. Also, any pet-related insect infestation in the pet owner’s unit will be the financial responsibility of the pet owner. The Herkimer Housing Authority reserves the right to exterminate and charge the resident.

18.8 NUISANCE OR THREAT TO HEALTH OR SAFETY

The pet and its living quarters must be maintained in a manner to prevent odors and any other unsanitary conditions in the owner’s unit and surrounding areas.

Repeated substantiated complaints by neighbors (that is, substantiated by formal signed written complaints) or by Herkimer Housing Authority personnel regarding pets disturbing the peace of neighbors through noise, odor, animal waste, or other nuisance may result in the owner having to remove the pet or move.

Pets that make noise continuously and/or incessantly for a period of ten (10) minutes or intermittently for one half hour or more to the disturbance of any person at any time of the day or night shall be considered to be a nuisance.

18.9 DESIGNATION OF PET AREAS

Pets must be kept in the owner’s apartment. Dogs and cats must be on a leash at all times when outside the unit unless they are in an approved locked pet carrier. No outdoor cages or fenced-in areas may be constructed. Pet owners are prohibited from allowing their pets to deposit waste on Herkimer Housing Authority property. Pet owners must clean up after their pets and are responsible for disposing of pet waste.

Dogs may not be exercised or curbed on Herkimer Housing Authority property. They must be walked or curbed outside Herkimer Housing Authority property. In case a pet does deposit waste on Herkimer Housing Authority property, the pet owner must have a utensil such as a “pooper scooper” to remove any waste as soon as it is deposited. The waste must then be placed in a plastic bag, tightly sealed and disposed of in a dumpster.

At Midtown Apartments, dogs and cats must be held and carried through the building corridors and elevator even if on a leash to reach the outside. Pet wastes are not permitted to be placed in the trash compactor chutes and must be placed in plastic bags, tightly sealed, and put into the exterior dumpster. Cat litter may NOT be placed in the trash compactor chutes. All cat litter should be placed in tightly sealed bags and taken directly to the outside dumpsters.

Cat litter shall not be disposed of by flushing down toilets. Charges for unclogging toilets or clean-up of common areas required because of litter or pet waste shall be billed to and paid by the resident pet owner.

With the exception of assistive animals, no pets shall be allowed in the Community Room, Community Room kitchen, laundry rooms, public bathrooms, lobby, office or hallways in any of our sites.

Resident pet owners acknowledge that other residents may have chemical sensitivities or allergies related to pets or be easily frightened by such animals. The resident pet owner, therefore, agrees to exercise common sense and common courtesy with respect to such other resident’s right to peaceful and quiet enjoyment of the premises.

To accommodate residents who have medically certified allergic or phobic reactions to dogs, cats or other pets, those pets may be barred from certain wings or floors in our developments/buildings. This shall be implemented based on demand for this service.

18.10 GENERAL MISCELLANEOUS RULES FOR AUTHORIZED PETS

Pets may not be left unattended in a dwelling unit for over twelve (12) hours or overnight. If the pet is left unattended and no arrangements have been made for its care, the Herkimer Housing Authority will have the right to enter the premises and take the uncared for pet to be boarded at a local animal care facility at the total expense of the resident.

Pet bedding shall not be washed in any common laundry facilities.

Residents must take appropriate actions to protect their pets from fleas and ticks.

All dogs and cats must wear a tag bearing the resident’s name and phone number and the date of the latest rabies inoculation.

Pets cannot be kept, bred or used for any commercial purpose.

Residents owning cats shall maintain waterproof litter boxes for cat waste. Refuse from litter boxes shall not accumulate or become unsightly or unsanitary. Litter shall be disposed of in an appropriate manner, that is, placed in a plastic bag, tightly sealed, and placed in the outside dumpster. Pet waste/litter may NOT be placed in the compactor chutes at Midtown Apartments. Litter shall not be disposed of by flushing down toilets. Charges for unclogging toilets due to cat litter will be charged to the resident.

A pet owner shall physically control or confine his/her pet during times when Herkimer Housing Authority employees, agents of the Housing Authority or others must enter the pet owner’s apartment to conduct business, provide services, enforce lease terms, perform inspections, etc. The tenant shall have pets restrained so that maintenance can be performed in the apartment. The tenant shall, whenever an inspection or maintenance is scheduled, either be at home or shall have all animals restrained or caged.

If a pet causes harm to any person, the pet’s owner shall be required to permanently remove the pet from the Housing Authority’s property within 24 hours of written notice from the Housing Authority. The pet owner may also be subject to termination of his/her dwelling lease.

Pet owners must be aware when cleaning or filling fish tanks, that any water damage done to his/her apartment or any apartments under him will be billed to the pet owner and charges must be paid within 30 days of the incident.

Any pet suffering from illness must be taken within two (2) days to a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment. The Herkimer Housing Authority must, upon demand, be shown a statement fro the veterinarian indicating the diagnosis. Any pet suspected of suffering symptoms of rabies or any other disease considered to be a threat to health must be immediately removed from the premises until signed evidence from a veterinarian can be produced to indicate that the animal is not so afflicted.

Tenant must identify and document willingness of a third party (third party must sign) who will within one hour remove and care for the pet in the event of sudden illness, injury or death of the tenant. In the event that the designated party cannot be reached or fails to act within 24 hours, Herkimer Housing Authority will turn the pet over to the Humane Society.

All authorized pets must be under the control of an adult. An unleashed pet, or one tied to a fixed object is not under the control of an adult. Pets which are unleashed, or leashed and unattended on Herkimer Housing Authority property will be impounded and taken to the local Humane Society. It shall be the responsibility of the tenant to reclaim the pet and at the expense of the tenant. Also, if a member of the Herkimer Housing Authority staff has to take a pet to the Humane Society, the tenant will be charged $50 to cover the expense of taking the pet to the Humane Society.

Resident pet owners agree to control the noise of his/her pet such that it does not constitute a nuisance to other tenants. Failure to control pet noise may result in the removal of the pet from the premises.

All resident pet owners shall provide adequate care, nutrition, exercise and medical attention for his/her pet. Pets which appear to be poorly cared for, or which are left unattended for longer than 12 hours will be reported to the Humane Society and will be removed from the premises at the pet owner’s expense.

Tenants shall not alter the interior of their unit to create enclosures for any animal or bird.

Tenants shall not allow pets tied or outside of the dwelling unit directly on the grounds of the Authority.

Tenants shall not feed stray or unregistered animals. This shall constitute having a pet without permission of the Authority.

A pet owner who violates any condition of this policy may be required to remove his/her pet from the development within 10 (ten) days of written notice from the Housing Authority. The pet owner may also be subject to termination of his/her dwelling lease.

The Herkimer Housing Authority’s grievance procedure shall be applicable to all individual grievances or disputes arising out of violations or alleged violation of this policy.

 

    1. VISITING PETS

In order to maintain policies regarding health, sanitation, nuisances, and peaceful enjoyment of others as well as to be fair to resident pet owners who are required to abide by the terms of this pet policy, visiting pets or temporary pets will not be permitted at any time or under any circumstances.

    1. REMOVAL OF PETS

The Herkimer Housing Authority or an appropriate community authority shall require the removal of any pet from a complex if the pet’s conduct or condition is determined to be a nuisance or threat to the health or safety of other occupants of the complex or of other persons in the community where the complex is located.

 

THE HERKIMER HOUSING AUTHORITY SHALL TAKE ALL NECESSARY ACTIONS UNDER THE LAW TO REMOVE ANY PET THAT CAUSES BODILY INJURY TO ANY GUEST, VISITOR, OR STAFF MEMBER.

In the event of a tenant’s sudden illness, the resident pet owner agrees that the management shall have discretion with respect to the provision of care to the pet consistent with policy guidelines and at the expense of the resident pet owner unless written instructions are provided in advance by the resident to the complex’s main office. All care shall be at the resident’s expense.

Unwillingness on the part of the named caretakers of a pet to assume custody of the pet shall relieve the management of any requirement to adhere to any written instructions with respect to the care or disposal of a pet and shall be considered as authorization to management to exercise discretion in such regard consistent with policy guidelines.

In the event of illness or death of the pet owner, or in the case of an emergency which would prevent the pet owner’s caring for the pet, the Herkimer Housing Authority has permission to call the emergency caregiver designated by the resident or to call the local pet law enforcement agency to take the pet and care for it until family or friends would claim the pet and assume responsibility for it. Any expenses incurred will be the responsibility of the pet owner.

Management may move to require the removal of a pet from the premises on a temporary or permanent basis for the following causes:

  1. Creation of a nuisance after proper notification consistent with these Pet Rules
  1. Excessive pet noise or odor
  1. Unruly or dangerous behavior
  1. Excessive damage to the resident’s apartment unit
  1. Repeated problems with vermin flea or other infestation
  1. Failure of the tenant to provide for adequate care of his/her pet
  1. Leaving a pet unattended for more than 12 hours
  1. Failure of the tenant to provide adequate appropriate care
  1. Serious illness and/or death of the tenant
  1. Failure to observe any other rule contained in this section and not here listed.

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