92-Year old L.I. Woman Gets to Keep Her Pooch

By DeMarco Morgan
|  Thursday, Jan 28, 2010  |  Updated 2:16 PM EDT
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92 Year-Old Wins Decision, Gets to Keep Her Dog

Mary Pasko and Coco

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92 Year-Old Wins Decision, Gets to Keep Her Dog

A 92-Year-Old Long Island widow who battled the system to keep her dog from getting kicked out of her home has reason to celebrate.
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At 92 years old Mary Pasko can sing just about anything and make it sound sweet to the ear.

But for the past three years, Pasko's notes have been off key until now. A fierce battle with neighbors almost led to the separation of the woman and her poodle of 14 years, Coco.

"She's ever that I have. I love her," said Pasko. "She's like a baby. She sleeps with me. She eats with me."

Pasko and Coco live with her daughter in a co-op building in Rockville Center in Nassau County. The quiet residence doesn't allow pets -- but the family says Coco rarely makes any noise.

Yet because of her mother's disabilities, Pasko's daughter, Joan Anzelone, barked loud enough to prove the buildings board of directors were violating the Fair Housing Act and she won.

"She doesn't bother anybody," Anzelone said. "She doesn't bark at them."

Pasko depends on a walker and a wheelchair to get around, but Coco is mainly for emotional support.

"Having the dog. Its medicine for her. It keeps her mental health going." said Anzelone.

Many of the neighbors who wanted Coco out did not want to talk or be seen on camera, but expressed their disappointment with the decision by the US Attorney's office and the board to drop the eviction lawsuit.  The management could not be reached for comment.

Pasko says if Coco had to go, she would have packed her bags as well.

But leave the packing to someone else. Coco is here to stay.

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