Effective April 18, 1985, residents in buildings designated for occupancy by the elderly and disabled, in which are managed by the Housing Commission of Anne Arundel County (HCAAC) are allowed to own and keep common household pets in their respective units. This policy sets forth the conditions and guidelines under which pets are permitted.

I. Purpose

The purpose of the policy is to ensure that pet ownership will not be injurious to persons or property, or violate the rights of all residents to clean, safe and sanitary surroundings. These rules do not apply to and will not be enforced against individuals who have animals that are used to assist the disabled.

Common household pets are defined as follows:

Birds: Small birds such as canaries, parakeets, finches and other species that are normally kept caged; birds of prey are not permitted.

Fish: Tanks or aquariums are not to exceed ten (10) gallons in capacity. Only one tank or aquarium is permitted per dwelling unit.

Dogs: Not to exceed fifteen (15) pounds at the time of maturity. Residents must be able to carry their pet. All dogs must be spayed or neutered. Vicious breeds of dogs, as defined by Simon and Schusters Guide to Dogs are prohibited.

Cats: All cats must be spayed or neutered.

Exotic pets such as snakes, spiders, frogs, monkeys, rodents, reptiles, scorpions, ferrets, etc are not permitted.

II.  Registration

Every pet must be registered with the Housing Commission of Anne Arundel County on site Property management prior to moving the pet into the unit and updated annually thereafter. Registration requires the following:

A. Certification from a licensed veterinarian, or state or local authority empowered to inoculate animals stating that the animal has received all inoculations required by state and local law, if applicable. (dogs and cats only)

B. Proof of current license, if applicable. (dogs and cats only)

C. Identification tag bearing the owner’s name, address and phone number, if applicable. (dogs and cats only)

D. Proof of neutering/spaying by the age of six months, if applicable. (dogs and cats only)

E. Photograph of the animal or aquarium (3×5 or smaller)

F. At least two persons, who are not residents of the Housing Commission of Anne Arundel County capable of assuming responsibility of the animal should the owner become incapacitated.

III. Licenses and Tags

Every dog and cat must wear the appropriate local animal license, a valid rabies tag and a tag bearing the owner’s name, address and phone number. All licenses and tags must be current. Pet license information must be updated annually.

IV. Density of Pets

Only one (1) dog, cat or turtle will be allowed per dwelling unit. Only two (2) birds will be allowed per dwelling unit. The Housing Commission will have final approval on type and density of pets.

V. Visitors and Guests

No visitor or guest is permitted to bring pets onto the premises at anytime. Resident are not permitted to pet sit or house a pet without fully complying with this policy.  Feeding or caring for stray animals is prohibited and will be considered keeping a pet without permission.

VI. Pet Restraints

A. All dogs must be on a leash when not in an owners unit. The leash must be no longer than three (3) feet. Dogs must be confined during scheduled maintenance work and inspections.

B. Cats must be in a caged container or on a leash when taken outside of the owners unit.

C. Birds must be caged at all times.

D. Outside cages, fences or houses are not permitted.

E. No pet may be tied up anywhere on Housing Commission property and left unattended for any amount of time.

VII. Liability

Residents owning pets shall be liable for all damage to the Housing Commission’s premises caused by their pet, both in their unit and outside of their unit. Residents are responsible for charges including but not limited to repairs, replacement, cleaning, extermination, and deodorizing due to damage caused by their pet.  Pet owners are strictly liable for the entire amount of any injury to the person or property of other residents, staff or visitors of the Housing Commission caused by their pet, and shall indemnify the Housing Commission of Anne Arundel County for all costs of litigation and attorney’s fees resulting from such damage.  The Housing Commission recommends but does not require that residents obtain pet liability insurance.

VIII. Sanitary Standards and Waste Disposal

A. Litter boxes must be provided for cats with use of odor-reducing chemicals

B. Dogs and Cats should wear effective flea deterrents such as flea collars or products such as frontline. Should extermination become necessary, cost of such extermination will be charged in full to the resident.

C. Pet owners are responsible for immediate removal of the feces of their pet and shall be charged in accordance to the schedule of maintenance charges for trash removal in instances where removal is necessitated by Housing Commission staff.

1. All pet waste is to be placed in a sealed plastic bag and placed in designated garbage receptacles.

2. Residents with litter boxes must clean them regularly.

3. Pet accidents must be removed and cleaned immediately

4. All households with pets must be kept free for pet odors and maintained in a clean and sanitary manner.

5. Failure to comply with the above will result in the resident being subjected to monthly housekeeping inspections and possibly the termination of the pet addendum.

IX. Pet Rule Violation and Pet Removal

A. If it is determined that a pet owner has violated a rule governing the pet policy the Housing Commission shall serve notice of the violation on the pet owner. The pet owner will have five (5) days to correct the violation or request an informal hearing at which time the Housing Commission’s Grievance Procedure will be followed. Serious or repeated violations may result in pet removal or termination of the pet owner’s tenancy, or both.

B. If a pet poses a nuisance such as excessive noise, barking, or whining which disrupts the peace of other residents, owner will removed the pet from the premises upon the request of management within forty-eight (48) hours.  Nuisance complaints are subject to immediate inspections. Failure to allow an immediate inspection will result in the termination of the pet addendum.

C. Pet owners must make arrangements for their pets in the event of vacation or hospitalization. If a pet owner becomes unable to care for the pet and the person designated to care for the pet in the pet owner’s absence refuses or is unable to care for the pet, the Housing Commission can officially remove the pet. The Housing Commission of Anne Arundel County accepts no responsibility for pets so removed.

X. General Rules

A. Residents must be able to abide by all state and local laws and ordinances governing the owning and keeping of pets.

B. Food for pets must be sealed in containers kept inside the apartment.

C. Dogs and cats cannot be left alone for more than eight hours. The Housing Commission has the right to enter and remove any pet if it has been left unattended for more than 24 hours.

D. Pets will not be allowed in areas such as lobbies or meeting rooms. Dogs and cats must be carried on elevators and when passing through common areas to the outside. Dogs and cats must be kept on leashes when outside on the project’s common areas.

E. Residents cannot take pets with them while visiting other Housing Commission residents and pets cannot be left in apartments other then the pet owner’s apartment. Pets that are not owned by a resident may not be kept on the premises temporarily. For purposes of this rule, pets are kept “temporarily” if they are kept in a resident’s apartment for a period less than 14 consecutive days and nights.

F. The Housing Commission assumes no responsibility for pets during its own pet extermination program. The resident will be required to remove the pet during exterminations provided by the Housing Commission.

G. The resident must be present during any scheduled dwelling unit inspection, or maintenance service call, if the unit is occupied by a dog, cat, or other unrestrained ambulatory pet.

XI. Fees

A. There is a mandatory pet deposit in the amount of $100.00 for a dog or cat, one-half of which must be paid at the time of the execution of the Addendum to Dwelling Lease allowing the pet to be present. The balance of the pet deposit must be paid in monthly installments of no less than $25.00, exclusive of the rent or other charges, until the full $100.00 deposit is paid.

a. The pet deposit may be used by the Housing Commission in its discretion to pay for reasonable expenses directly attributed to the presence of the dog or cat on the property, including, but not limited to, the cost of repairs and replacements to, and the fumigation of, the resident’s dwelling unit, as well as any damage to any public or common areas caused by the pet. In the event that the pet deposit or any part of it is used by the Housing Commission to pay for such reasonable expenses, the Housing Commission will notify the resident and the resident will be required to replenish the initial deposit by monthly payments in accordance with paragraph 1 of the Rule.

b. The Housing Commission shall refund the unused portion of the pet deposit to the resident within 30 days after the resident has moved from the property, no longer owns or keeps a pet in the dwelling unit.

B. A monthly fee of $15.00 will be assessed to each family approved for pet ownership in the family communities. This monthly fee does NOT apply to elderly and disabled households.

XII. Grievance

Management and resident agree to utilize the Grievance Procedure described in the Lease Agreement to resolve any dispute between resident and site management regarding a pet.

XIII. Exceptions

This policy does not apply to animals that are used to assist persons with disabilities. This exclusions applies to animals that reside in the communities, as well as animals used to assist individuals that visit those communities.