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New Law Protects Pets from Being Left Behind in Evictions

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‘Cats are not like couches, dogs are not like dining tables.’

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has signed legislation to protect pets from being abandoned during an eviction.

The law requires officers executing a warrant of eviction to check the property for pets and to coordinate the safe removal of the animals with the evictee, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

“I know firsthand how pets quickly become members of your family and it is absurd that in these instances a living animal can be treated the same as a possession and be put in harm’s way,” Cuomo said in the release. “I’m proud to sign this measure that will protect beloved family pets and solve this issue once and for all.”

The New York Post reports that Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal of Manhattan drafted the bill after reading about a landlord who evicted a family in Brooklyn. Family members couldn’t get back into the residence to rescue their dog, which was “trapped inside in a small cage for two days without food.”

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Only after obtaining a court order did the family manage to save the dog, according to the Post.

Rosenthal said in the release: “The No Pet Left Behind Law recognizes that pets should not be treated like property when their family is evicted, and it will ensure that plans are made for their care. Cats are not like couches, dogs are not like dining tables, and no family should go through what Tori and her family did when they were evicted.”

 

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