Categories: Animal laws

Long Island Housing Cooperative Bans Seven Stray And Fed Cats

Maryann Hamilton and one of the seven cats. Photo: Edmund J Coppa.

In a brief report by the New York Post, we are told that a lady, who I presume is a resident at the Long Island housing cooperative and who feeds seven cats every morning and has done for the past seven years, received a letter from the co-op’s lawyer demanding that she remove the cats. We are told that she’s been asked to remove them “from behind a fence at the Birchwood on the Green development in Oakdale”.

This is a very pleasant looking housing development:

Birchwood on the Green development in Oakdale. Photo: Facebook page of the Birchwood on the Green development in Oakdale.

This implies that the cats were living behind a fence at the housing cooperative. A lawyer for the Long Island co-op complex told Maryann Hamilton, a retired teacher, to get rid of the cats by the 25th April. Beyond that date a gate in the fence will be locked. The intention is to stop individuals who are not employed by the cooperative housing corporation accessing the area which I presume is within the common parts and grounds of the cooperative housing complex.

Maryann says that a former employee of the co-op, in fact a former superintendent, sheltered and provided feeding stations for the cats in the woods. Therefore they have a home at the complex. The cats names are: Jingles, Cookie, Shadow, Gigi, Bold, Raccoony and George. The cats have a relationship with Hamilton and have been there for a while.

In an interesting development, Hamilton’s lawyer, Karen Copeland, noted that New York state animal welfare law, “prohibits depriving an animal of sustenance.”. To be in breach of this law is a misdemeanour. At the time of dictating this, the co-op Board President, Jane Sheridan, had not yet responded to a request to comment on the developments.

Maryann is active on the Birchwood on the Green development in Oakdale FB page. In this post she asks for assistance on returning a cat to their owner:

Found cat with a buckled collar about 2 weeks ago ~ Oakdale. Please share. Wants to go home…

Cat at Birchwood on the Green development in Oakdale. Photo: Maryann Hamilton (presumed).

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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  • If they are not removed my main worry will be the idiot's @ Long Island housing cooperative will have them trapped and most likely sent to a kill shelter,that scares me but I hope with all my might MaryAnn will win this dispute.

    • Yes, it is a similar story to many others which is why it caught my eye. There is that fear that the cats will end up dead. It's a reflection of the battle over how to deal with stray cats.

  • The cats have a home there, established by an employee, there is no stated problem caused by the cats and it would be against the law to stop sustaining them let alone remove them, so I don't see how or why the cooperative has any say about them at all. Actually the "why" can be inferred to be they are (fill in the foul-mouthed blanks here). Leave the cats alone! Geeze this country has moral issues.

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