Today, Saturday, November 6th 12-5:30 p.m. – Support NYC Shelter Reform/Learn More at Washington Square Park

Updated with AC&C links!

I’ve long thought the New York City shelter system, Animal Care & Control (AC&C), wasn’t going far enough to spare animals’ lives – it’s reported that 13,000 cats and dogs were killed last year in the New York City shelter system.

13 THOUSAND KILLED.

There are only three shelters – which cover all FIVE boroughs in a city with 8 MILLION people – and all are placed in locations that are not easily accessible for most. (The Brooklyn location is in East New York.) Shouldn’t our animals be given the best chance for their lives to be saved by being easily adoptable and every chance that can be given explored ?

The “system” has always been problematic but budget cuts have made the problem more glaring. People are rallying, after too long a silence, to reform the system. A few years ago, it was stated NYC was going No-Kill. This seems further away than ever.

One of the members of Board of Directors of the AC&C is NYC Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe.

The first gathering of a new independent coalition to reform the AC&C will be held today, Saturday, November 6th at Washington Square Park, 12 noon to 5:30 p.m. near the Holley Plaza (to west of the Fountain). Join in and find out more.

From the press release at the Vintage Cats blog:

Concerned New Yorkers are coming together on November 6th at Washington Square Park to educate the public about what is happening to the homeless pets of NYC. The goal is to force the NY ACC to reform so that the needless killings of adoptable pets can be stopped.

This year significant funding was cut from New York City’s Animal Shelter system’s (NYACC – New York Animal Care and Control) budget. Food and supplies have run out over the last few weeks. New Yorkers have been donating food and supplies to keep the cats and dogs fed. The shelters are severely under funded. In fact, there are only three shelters for all five boroughs.

On November 4th phone lines at the ACC were turned off. The public can no longer call in to inquire, or to adopt a cat and dog.

WSP Blog note: This is a particularly important piece of information:

The NY ACC is considered a private charity organization, but its board is made up of city officials. Several of them are from the Department of Health, as it is this agency that provides most of the funding for the shelters. Current board members must be replaced by caring, innovative, and experienced leaders in animal rescue, rather then civil servants with no experience in working for animal welfare and city bureaucrats.

Board members employed by the City of New York cannot challenge the Department of Health’s lack of funding. The NY ACC must start anew as a true charity organization without any ties to a city agency, except for funding.

And this is shocking and sad:

The board purposely hides the fact that the reason the animals are destroyed is because of lack of space and resources. A bulk of their funding comes from an organization called Maddie’s Fund. This organization has put in place a road map for the NY ACC to become a No Kill facility. As part of this road map, in 2010, the NY ACC is no longer supposed to kill for space, otherwise it will lose funding. So instead of documenting the reason for euthanasia as “lack of space,” the reasons that are listed are anything but that. Cats and dogs are killed for having colds, for having gingivitis, and for being too young.

More from Anipal Times Blog:

NYC Sunlight Coalition, a group that reports on AC&C, reported Thursday that AC&C shut down its call center, making it difficult for humans to inquire about adopting an animal. It has also canceled its locator service to help people find a missing cat or dog. Humans have to go to the AC&C website, hoping their cat or dog is listed there.

The New York Daily News reported on additional service cuts at AC&C and cuts to Animal Control services as well.

Concern is sufficiently widespread that a standing-room-only crowd attended September’s Board of Directors meeting. Vintage Cats also questions the commitment of city officials to the no-kill transition, as does the Shelter Reform Action Committee. .

Additionally, collaborating with AC&C is becoming more difficult. As Marina Guvenc writes on Vintage Cats:

“The [AC&C] board and administration frown upon Facebook networks that search for fosters for pets on the nightly destroy lists.” According to an anonymous rescue source, rescue groups in the Mayor’s Alliance have been finding it increasingly difficult to reach and work with New Hope coordinators this past year also.

Swing by WSP today and show your support!

* New York Times article: Saving Dogs from Death Through Facebook

* Facebook Page: Save the Homeless Pets of NYC – Join us to support a reform of the ACC

* On the choice of becoming a no-kill shelter from the Yes Biscuit Blog

* To adopt an animal from the AC&C, click here.

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3 thoughts on “Today, Saturday, November 6th 12-5:30 p.m. – Support NYC Shelter Reform/Learn More at Washington Square Park”

  1. Hi JJ,

    Delayed response —

    It IS awful but the more people that know, the more people adopt and also work to change it, the better it will get.

    Thanks Pinuprescue cats (tho’ your site seems to be down) for your comment and work!

    Cathryn.

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