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Co-op, owners battle over singing dog

January 19, 2011 3:19:19 AM PST
A dispute over a singing dog has erupted into an ugly feud in the Bronx.

Now, a co-op board is trying to evict the pooch.

The owners of one of the apartments claim the dog has special singing talents and is really a therapy dog.

The co-op board is not buying their story.

You could say Rocky, the 4-year-old singing Maltese, is singing the blues because he's at the center of a fight between his owners' parents and their co-op board, which could get them evicted.

"Why should we be put in a position that we should have to be split up, over what?" said Murray Hyman, the apartment owner.

Murray and Rita Hyman say the board has accused them of violating the building's pet harboring policy, even though the Hymans insist Rocky and his canine companion, Vegas, actually belong to their daughter, Julie.

The Hymans say the animals simply visit often and have become like therapy dogs to them.

"I think you can see they love me, I love them, they give me comfort," Rita Hyman said.

Julie, an attorney, argues the pet harboring clause only says, "The animal must be carried or on a leash," not barred from the building.

She believes the pets aren't really the issue.

"I think they just want ultimate power to do whatever they want in their building, and it just so happens they have found a little four-pound dog to create a problem for them," Julie Hyman said.

The co-op board attorney told Eyewitness News his client has no interest in getting involved in a mudslinging campaign, "There are rules and regulations that apply to every shareholder and the board simply wants the Hymans to comply like every other shareholder."

The Hymans say they not only fear losing their home of more than 40 years, they also fear losing the benefits of Rocky's therapeutic harmonizing.

"They're part of the family, it's very simple," Murray Hyman said.

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