Grieving Mom Faces Eviction for Keeping Late 9-Year-Old Son’s Dog

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Monique James, daughter Leila, age 17, and King. Photo: Shawn Inglima for NY Daily News --------------------------------------
Monique James, daughter Leila, age 17, and King. Photo: Shawn Inglima for NY Daily News

Monique James, 40, lost her 9-year-old son, Jelani, to brain cancer on March 22. Now she is at risk of losing her son’s beloved dog, King, as well – or else face eviction from her Brooklyn apartment.

King was the light of her terminally ill son’s life. Since his passing, the dog has not left her side.
James filed a lawsuit this week in Brooklyn Federal Court to stop the eviction proceedings.

“I can’t get rid of the dog. The dog is a part of my family,” James told the Daily News. “It’s my son’s dog and I feel like when I’m with the dog, I’m with him in a sense.”

James, a hospital administrator, has lived in the apartment since 2011. King became a part of their family in 2015; a gift meant to provide Jelani – then bedridden – with companionship and comfort, to reduce his depression and anxiety.

James told the Daily News that King and Jelani were “un-detachable.”

“It was just them two, 24 hours a day. The dog was in bed with him.”

James hopes the matter can be resolved in court, and that King will be permitted to stay in the dog-free building.

6 thoughts on “Grieving Mom Faces Eviction for Keeping Late 9-Year-Old Son’s Dog”

  1. PLEASE let this Mom and Daughter keep this wonderful dog, who helped her now beloved (deceased) son courageously battle brain cancer. This dog has the unique ability to help this family and other people in the building. PLEASE show the utmost humanity and bring some compassion to this Mother, who is somehow enduring life’s most horrific experience.

  2. This utterly sad.
    To think People to be so cruel.
    This Family has been through Hell.
    LEAVE them alone the Dog is also an integral part of their Family.
    You try losing more than one Family member around the same time I guarantee your thought process
    would change instantly!
    You need to upgrade your policy.
    Everyone has the right to companionship no matter where they live.

  3. I am so very sorry for your loss. But I don’t understand, you knew this was a dog free building, and yet you brought a dog into and expect special treatment for blatantly ignoring the rules? You say this dog is family, which I don’t argue. But if that’s the case – move. Ask for an extended time to gather money, resources, find a place. Whatever you need. Don’t force an entire establishment and it’s residence base (who were promised a dog free building) change their entire lives and expectations so you can have your special exception. That’s a dishonor you’re doing to your family. Teach them better – teach them to follow the rules.

  4. Oh, come on, Do the right thing, Let her keep the dog and the apartment. How could you sleep at night? God is watching you.

  5. Children cannot be legal owners of pets for financial reasons. He may have been a gift but really the responsibility falls on the adult. I hope they get to keep their furry friend!

  6. This family needs this dog! What is the problem here? He is clearly an emotional support therapy dog that the family needs! People need to start reading through the lines. Please get him registered legally and you will never be without your beloved pet. Prayers to this family may God give you strength and continued comfort as you mourn your late son.


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