Pet licensing data for New York City

Eliecer Pascal filed this request with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene of New York City, NY.
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Eliecer Pascal

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the New York State Freedom of Information Law (1977 N.Y. Laws ch. 933), I hereby request the following records:

All the pet licensing data, including breed, owner address, and animal names for New York City.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 5 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Eliecer Pascal

From: Chari Anhouse

Dear Mr. Pascal:

The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene acknowledges receipt of your Freedom of Information Law request and has assigned it the control number noted above. A search will be conducted for responsive documents available to you under the law and you should receive a response within 20 business days.

Thank you,
Chari Anhouse
Associate General Counsel/Records Access Officer
NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene
General Counsel's Office
42-09 28th Street, CN-31
Long Island City, NY 11101
347-396-6419

P

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From: Chari Anhouse

Dear Mr. Pascal:

Your Freedom of Information Law (NYS Public Officers Law Article 6, "FOIL") request has been granted in part and denied in part. It is granted with regard to the attached spreadsheet showing all dogs with licenses in New York City. Please note that the license of some dogs is in flux - e.g., in the process of re-registration or recently expired, while other dogs may have been reported as given away, dying, or otherwise no longer being in the possession of the registered owner.

Your request is denied with regard to the name and street address of the dogs' owners. To release this information would be a violation of the dog owners' personal privacy under FOIL §§ 87(2)(b) and 89(2)(b). It would also have a chilling effect on the strong public policy of encouraging pet adoption. As noted by the New York State Second Department Appellate Division, "as a matter of public policy the names of adoptive pet owners should be kept confidential in order to foster the adoption process. . . . The protection of the identities of the adoptive pet owners involved in the animal adoption process promotes the placement of animals in homes and prevents the needless euthanizing of otherwise healthy animals." Ferger v. Warwick Animal Shelter, 59 A.D.3d 68 (Second Dept., 2008), citations omitted. The Department does not segregate information about adopted dogs from that of dogs acquired via other means, so it is not possible to redact information related only to adopted animals to protect this important public policy.

Moreover, the Department has received inquiries of concern from advocates and victims of domestic violence living in safe and/or otherwise undisclosed locations who wish to license their pets but are concerned about privacy of their contact information. The contact information of dog owners is also therefore denied pursuant to FOIL § 87(2)(f), as release could endanger the life and safety of domestic violence victims as well as FOIL § 87(2)(a) because NYS Social Services Law § 459-h prohibits disclosure of the street addresses of residential programs for victims of domestic violence. Victims of domestic violence are not so identified in the Department's records, so it would not be possible to redact this information from the dataset.

You may file a written appeal of this denial within 30 days of the date of this message. The appeal should be addressed to:
Thomas Merrill, Esquire
Appeals Officer & General Counsel
42-09 28th Street, CN-30
Long Island City, NY 11101
The notice of appeal should include the request control number, the date of this denial message, a description of the records that were the subject of the request, the specific legal grounds for your appeal, and the full name and address of the original requester.

Thank you,
Chari Anhouse
Associate General Counsel/Records Access Officer
NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene
General Counsel's Office
42-09 28th Street, CN-31
Long Island City, NY 11101
347-396-6419

P

Please consider the environment before printing this email.

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Sent from the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene. This email and any files transmitted with it may contain confidential information and are intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. This footnote also confirms that this email message has been swept for the presence of computer viruses.

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