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Vallone co-sponsors bill to aid police dogs

City legislators want to protect police dogs from housing discrimination.

City Councilmen Rory Lancman (D-Hillcrest) and Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) said that officers assigned to the K-9 unit are required to live with their police dogs, but some landlords consider the dogs as pets instead of working animals.

 The lawmakers introduced a bill calling for a stop to this kind of housing and public accommodations discrimination at the request of Officer Matthew Wicelinski, whose co-op board denied his request to live with his canine.

The bill “will keep our community safer by keeping police officers and their K-9 partners living in the city in which they serve, rather than forcing them to move to the more affordable suburbs,” said Wicelinski.

Lancman said this legislation would recognize “the critically important role that the K-9 unit and its counterparts in state and federal government play in keeping our city safe from terror and drug-trafficking.”

The bills intends to amend the city’s Human Rights Law to protect the dogs.

“These dogs and their officers spend their lives keeping us safe, the least we can do is make sure they are treated with the same dignity other service animals receive,” said Vallone.