Upper East Side Co-Op Tries to Evict Elderly Man's 'Dangerous' Dog

By Victoria Bekiempis on March 1, 2013 9:24pm 

UPPER EAST SIDE — Some say this pup is a real-life Oscar the Grouch.

The board of a posh Upper East Side co-op claims that Oscar, a 7-year-old chow and golden retriever mix, has repeatedly attacked residents — and now the board is trying to boot the dog from the building, according to recent court documents.

But Oscar's owner, 83-year-old Edgar Brandau, counters that his pup only raises a paw when provoked and that the East 68th Street co-op is overreacting. 

"He's never bitten. Never, never," said Brandau, who said his dog provides much-needed support as Brandau battles HIV and cancer. "Women bring their kids over and pet Oscar, and I take him into church."

The co-op's lawyers allege, however, that Oscar is "dangerous and has attacked and bitten Building residents and staff on many occasions," according to court papers filed Feb. 28 in New York State Supreme Court.

The co-op also argued that Brandau failed to keep Oscar on a short leash and muzzle him as the building requires.

The most recent incident cited by the co-op's lawyers took place on Feb. 22.

The co-op claims that "Brandau again failed to keep his dog muzzled and on a short leash while in the Building lobby and the dog bit the Cooperative's doorman," prompting the members to seek "injunctive relief removing the dog permanently from the Building."

Brandau said "a bite is not a bite unless there's skin penetration," and he saw "none" on the doorman's leg after the alleged incident.

"I immediately made it my business to go and look at his leg," Brandau said. "I'm smart enough to ask him to pull up his pant and let me look at it."

Brandau, who did not witness the incident, blamed the altercation on the doorman, saying the doorman startled Oscar by stepping into the building's elevator as Oscar was trying to exit it with a dog walker.

"[The] doorman stuck his foot inside the [elevator] car to hold the door open for a woman to get on," Brandau said. "[Oscar and the dog walker] weren't out yet and it scared the dog."

Brandau blamed other clashes between Oscar and the building's residents on the residents provoking the pup.

Brandau, who is due in court on Monday, refuses to part with Oscar and said he doubts that the co-op can evict him anyway.

The co-op's lawyers declined to comment.

"I have a letter from my doctor that said the dog, as a companion, is necessary to my life, my survival, because I'm ill," Brandau said. "They won't kick him out — there's not a chance."

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