Pets on the Close


We love pets! We also love responsible pet owners!

Pets have been a happy part of community life on the Close for a long time; however the inclusion of pets at the Seminary is a privilege and not a right and is dependent upon the pet-owning members of the community taking full responsibility for their animals. The following rules have been adapted from recommendations of the ASPCA and are intended to facilitate the peaceful co-existence of pets, pet owning residents, and non-pet owning residents at General. A clear understanding of the expectation and responsibilities of pet owners will ensure the successful co-habitation of companion animals in the Seminary community.


Pet Ownership

1.     Any resident who wishes to keep a companion animal(s) must inform the Vice President of Operations and or the Director of Campus Services and review and sign the Rules for Pet Ownership at The General Theological Seminary. The Seminary reserves the right to check references for previous pet ownership. If the Seminary feels a pet is inappropriate, the administration will inform the resident. All pet owners must be able to control their pets via leash, pet carrier or cage.

2.     Birds, rabbits, rodents, invertebrates, small reptiles, amphibians and other exotics should be kept in appropriately sized and secured enclosures. Keepers of exotics are expected to abide by the same pet owner obligations that cat and dog owners at GTS abide by. Owners are obligated to review city, state, and federal laws and get appropriate vaccinations and licenses if they are required. Additionally, all owners of exotics must review and sign off that the animal in question is not being kept in violation of NYC Dept. of Health Code 161.01. GTS reserves the right to prohibit an animal if it is in violation of NYC Dept. of Health Code 161.01.

3.     All dogs and cats over the age of six months who reside on the Close must be spayed or neutered. If health problems prevent such spaying or neutering, a veterinarian's certificate will be necessary to allow the pet to become a resident of the Seminary. Any exceptions will be at the Seminary’s sole discretion.

4.     The Seminary reserves the right to require pet owners to remove the pet based upon complaints concerning: 1) the behavior of the pet in the elevator or hallways; or 2) the documented medical conditions of residents affected by the presence of the pet; or 3) excessive noise.

Pet Owner Obligations

1.     Pet owners must provide an annual certificate of good health for each pet residing on the Close. Dogs and cats must wear identification tags and a collar when outside their residence. Dogs must be licensed by the City of New York.

2.     Pet owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets inside their residences. 

3.     Pet owners MUST take their pets off the close to do their business.  All waste must be bagged and disposed of in an outdoor receptacle (not in an indoor receptacle in one of the public spaces). Failure to clean up after pets is considered a serious infraction of community standards and could result in the animal being prohibited from living on the Close.

4.     Pets are not allowed on the lawn areas, gym, classrooms, lounges or any of our meeting spaces.

5.     The Seminary’s toilets are not designed to handle pet litter. Under no circumstances should litter be disposed of in a toilet, as blockages will occur. Residents will be responsible for the cost of repairs or replacements of any damaged toilets or pipes.

6.     Pet owners must keep their private patios (if any) clean and free of pet odors, waste, and litter and must maintain the area in a sanitary condition at all times.

7.     Pet owners must prevent their pets from gnawing, chewing, scratching or otherwise defacing doors, walls, windows and floor coverings of their residence, or other residences and common areas, as well as shrubs and landscaping of the Close.

8.     Residents must not alter their residence, patio, or other outside area to create an enclosure for an animal.

9.     Pets shall be leashed at all times when on the grounds. Pets are not to be tied outside or left unattended outdoors at any time.

10.  A guest of a resident on the Close with pets is not allowed on the Close with their pet.

11.  Pets will not be allowed to disturb the health, safety, rights, comfort or quiet enjoyment of other residents. A pet will not create a nuisance to neighbors with excessive barking, whining, chirping, or other unruly behavior.

12.  Any incident between a pet and a person who is not a member of the pet’s household, or between two pets who are not members of the same household that involves an injury must be reported to the Operations Department immediately.

13.  Pet owners are responsible for providing the seminary with the following information and documents which are kept on file in the Operations Department:

a)     veterinary certificates of spaying or neutering, Current certification of annual inoculations for rabies, distemper combination, parvo virus, feline VRC, feline Leukemia testing

b)     dog and cat licensing certificates in accordance with local and state law

c)     Pet owners are responsible for keeping the seminary informed of any changes.

Liability of Pet Owners for Damage or Injury

1.     Pet owners will be responsible for repairing or replacing damaged areas of the exterior, interior, doors, walls, floor coverings and fixtures in the unit, common areas or other areas damaged by the resident's pet. Charges for damage will include materials and labor.

2.     Pet owners will be responsible for cleaning, deodorizing and sanitizing flooring in the unit as necessitated by the presence of the pet.

3.     Any costs incurred by the Seminary in repairing, replacing, cleaning, etc., may be reimbursed out of the tenant’s security deposit.

4.     It is strongly recommended that the pet owner secure personal liability or other insurance and indemnify the Seminary against pet-related litigation or attorney's fees. On a case-by-case basis, the Seminary may require individual pet owners to secure liability insurance as a condition of pet ownership.

Removal of Pet

1.     Repeated Violations of the Rules for Pet Ownership at The General Theological Seminary could result in the pet being prohibited from living at the Seminary.

2.     Termination of the Living Licenses Agreement proceedings may be instituted if the pet owner is in violation of these rules, which the pet owner has agreed to abide by in signing the pet rider attached to the lease. Termination of the agreement proceedings may also be instituted if the pet owner was notified more than once to correct a situation regarding his/her pet.

Please refer to this Pet Policy for reference.