In memory of Milo and Samuel - kittens rescued from ACC, loved by their wonderful fosters but tragically only here a short time
New York City Animal Care and Control has increasingly come under the spotlight across the USA and internationally as an example of one of the worst kill shelters. In spite of extensive lobbying by animal advocates, little, if anything has changed, in terms of the numbers of highly adoptable cats and dogs killed every day. In a recent letter to an advocate Mayor Bloomberg makes claims which are not happening on the ground. There is a chasm between what the City ‘says’ is happening and what actually ‘is’ the reality. Where is the evidence that these services are being delivered?
“I am pleased that the City, the ASPCA, and the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals recently announced an agreement that will significantly enhance services and care for the dogs and cats that come into our animal shelter system. The number of staff in animal shelters and receiving centers will increase, and the number of hours and days animals may be dropped off or picked up will expand. To help control the City's feral cat population, the Health Department will require that free-roaming cats be spayed or neutered. In addition to these program enhancements, the Health Department is investing in significant capital improvements for animal care facilities in Staten Island and Queens.
Even as the national downturn continues to require that City government tighten its belt and make tough choices, we remain fully committed to significantly improving the way animals are cared for while they await adoption. If you are interested in learning more about our City's programs or how you can directly support Animal Care & Control of NYC"
Anyone visiting the Facebook pages : https://www.facebook.com/PetsOnDeathRow and https://www.facebook.com/Urgentdeathrowdogs every night will see the Gone albums and the kill list for the next day. This summer, 2012, for instance, for August approximately 750 cats and kittens killed, owner surrenders and strays – mostly not feral. The letter above refers to spay/neuter for feral or free-living cats….that is NOT happening. ACC traps simply to kill and regards these cats as vermin – they are not neutered and released in line with Trap, Neuter and Return Programs which are successful across the world.
The City must address these concerns of the public in New York, across the USA and internationally. The reputation of one of the world’s so-called ‘leading cities’ is greatly tarnished by this dirty little secret.
In this year, the voters of New York, fellow US citizens and animal advocates across the globe urge you to address the continuing failures of NYC ACC; to have the vision to work with the rescues, programs and volunteers already working tirelessly to save the companion animals of the City and pledge to implement and deliver a program working towards No Kill. New York City could and should be a shining example of No Kill – the means exist to achieve this. Failure to do so condemns the City to remain a shameful example of an uncaring society with lack of compassion. The No Kill movement is sweeping the country, it IS the 21st century and gains momentum every day. Those lobbying and supporting the moves for change will not remain silent or give up the fight for the voiceless in our societies.
Many try to detract from the fact that No Kill works, it works right now in many towns and cities across the USA and has been in existence as the main practice in many European countries for over a decade. We are aware there are detractors and those who are against no kill. Their arguments are unfounded. Evidence of such opposition can be seen in comments from a no-kill supporter lobbying the Humane Society:
“The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) stands in opposition to the No Kill Revolution taking place in shelters across the country, choosing instead to block progressive legislation and maintain the status quo of killing in our nation's shelters. On Monday, August 13th, concerned animal lovers from across the nation visited the national headquarters of HSUS in Washington, DC to speak out for the animals. We were mocked and told that the leaders of the No Kill movement were liars and "CRAZY" and that we were naive and crazy for thinking that we could stop the killing of shelter animals”
However, from No Kill Nation this is the truth behind the opposition:
“If the ASPCA, HSUS and PETA want to funnel their funds into lobbying, celebrity-driven ad campaigns to end meat-eating and high CEO salaries – they need to be honest with their donors that that’s where the money goes. They also need to be honest with their donors about their stance on the status quo of our nation’s shelters. The ASPCA and the HSUS support some of the nation’s worst shelters and their leadership, despite abuse, neglect and horrifically high kill rates. Their track records speak for themselves
The ACC shelters urgently need money. The euthanasia rate is unacceptable and could be drastically reduced if the budget was reapportioned to accurately meet the needs of the shelter. The city shelter gets a disproportionately small budget for the size of the job it is tasked with. Tens of thousands of animals both stray and surrendered (by irresponsible pet owners) pour into the shelter day and night and the allotted budget does not come close to covering the care and protection they need and deserve. It is our moral and societal obligation to provide homeless animals with proper medical care and a clean, comfortable shelter environment that is better for the animals, the staff and the visiting public who could be enlisted to volunteer, foster and adopt in much larger numbers. We, constituents and animals lovers alike. beseech the city to reassess their priorities and allot a proper and humane budget. New York City is a beautiful city with some of the world's most luxurious buildings, its a shame and a crime that our homeless animals should be shunted away and neglected in such a way. NYC has a stated objective to be no-kill by 2015 therefore, in addition to more budget, the following steps are recommended by experts.
We are asking for:
1. A Director with vision and compassion to move towards No Kill
2. Remove control of ACC from the DOH
3. Changes to surrender policy - full engagement with pet retention programs such as Pets for Life
4. Development and promotion of a comprehensive foster program
5. Work with volunteers to promote adoption events and allow more time for New Hope rescues to network animals
6. Overhaul infection control procedures at ACC to prevent the transmission of common diseases (cheap antibiotics treat most of the simple diseases which ACC uses as an excuse to kill)
7. Volunteers to answer phones and assist with public adoptions and facilitate out of state adoptions
8. Building of new no kill shelters in the Bronx and Queens
9. Practice TNR and return cats to colonies not trap to kill
10. Work with existing programs of assisted neuter/spay and vet care
11. Work with the media to promote adoptions and coverage of ACC animals
Emails: Note some are web forms with word limits.
Email to the Governor: http://www.governor.ny.gov/contact/GovernorContactForm.php
Join Governor on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Governor-Andrew-Cuomo/177009292330292
Mayor Bloomberg : http://www.nyc.gov/html/mail/html/mayor.html
Christine Quinn: firstname.lastname@example.org