It’s a doggone problem for the couple that formerly lived under the FDR Drive whose cherished pet has been evicted from their new home.
Now, Alex Lively, one half of the couple, is back on the street, sleeping with pitbull Buddy and plans to undergo rotating shifts with April Saccoccio watching over the dog.
“This is such bulls**t,” Saccoccio said of the situation.
The happiness of the couple who once made a makeshift home beneath the FDR Drive during the COVID-19 pandemic was brought to a screeching standstill on Monday evening.
After the NYPD demolished the encampment that Alex Lively and April Saccoccio constructed beneath the FDR Drive, the couple and their two beloved dogs were granted a second start in life with their very own transitional apartment on the Upper West Side.
The couple credited amNewYork Metro readers for their new home thanks to an outpouring of support, but now their happiness has hit a roadblock.
The pair were told that their two dogs, Buddy and Snoopy, could accompany them to their new home and have done so for almost one month. Additionally, prior to moving into their apartment, services were provided for both dogs to be administered updated rabies shots.
For the couple, Buddy is not just an emotional support pet, he is a member of their family.
But Lively and Saccoccio were informed by the PHI Riverside staff that Buddy can no longer stay with them, and the pooch was forced to leave the premises. That led Lively to go back on the street with his canine.
This location is a temporary housing program run by PRAXIS Housing Initiatives, Inc., which is funded by the Department of Homeless Services (DHS).
“I have no idea why they are doing this. They say they need reasonable accommodation papers for the dogs. I have paperwork for both dogs, and they are accepting Snoopy but denying Buddy,” Lively told amNewYork Metro.
Buddy has remained with them without incident since early July and Lively even produced medical documents signed by a physician deeming the canine to be an emotional support animal with the recommendation for it to stay by his side. However, Lively says the building’s officials will only accept the paper for one of the two dogs.
amNewYork Metro reached out to PRAXIS Housing Initiatives, Inc. to discern why the animal is being removed after a month’s stay, but the organization refused to comment on this story.
“I’m in shock!” Saccoccio said, adding, “Why did we do all of that to get here and why did they let us stay here a month and now kick our beloved dog out to the streets again? Now we have to separate from one another and take turns watching Buddy while the other sleeps or whatever outside nearby.”
Lively and Saccoccio affirmed that they are forever grateful to have four walls and a shower, but not at the cost of Buddy. When push comes to shove, this couple said they will always choose to stick together like a family.