Bronx Couple Faces Eviction From Co-Op Over Singing "Therapy" Dog

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011  |  Updated 1:44 PM EDT
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A singing dog and angry neighbors have a Riverdale family fighting to stay in their co-op.

Neighbors claim the howling dog violates the Bonnie House co-op no pet policy. TheDaily News discovered that an appeals court ruled in favor of the neighbors allowing eviction proceedings to move forward against Rita and Murray Hyman.

The family spoke with the News about their plight. The dog, Rocky, belongs to their daughter, and the Rita Hyman, who was disabled in a car accident says her engagement with the dog is therapeutic. When she sings, the dog howls along with her.

“Rocky gives me a whole different outlook on life and keeps me going,” Rita told the paper. “They’ve hurt me so much by taking away our special relationship, who will I sing with?"

The building does have a no pet harboring policy, but the Hymans say the dog only visits them and thus does not violate the policy. Their daughter, who is a lawyer, filed a disability-discrimination suit and a complaint against the Human Rights division since the family says the dog is part of the mother’s therapy.

Adding to their plea, is the 85-year-old father who is a Holocoaust survivor and says Rocky is a comfort to him. "I need to see him so that I'm not so lonely," Markowicz told the Daily News.

A co-op board member expressed their relief at the ruling to the paper, "They're eventually going to have to give up or move out, so it's a good step toward a conclusion," said the man, who declined to give his name.

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