Excerpted from a speech written by Mary Jo Tobin* and presented to the Board Members of Animal Care and Control of NYC on September 28, 2010
To the Board Members of Animal Care and Control of NYC, we would like to say the following:
If knowing thousands of animals are killed each year in the ACC doesn't hurt you, then on behalf of all those animals that left the shelter frozen in black plastic bags, we ask that you resign.
If you can't BOAST about the extraordinary work you have done to improve conditions, raise funds and increase adoptions, then on behalf of all the animals that went from healthy to super sick and then dead, we'd ask you to resign.
If you aren't working really hard to come up with innovative, outside the box ways to increase public awareness as to the dire situation that exists within our shelter system, then, on behalf of all the animals whose behaviors were changed from mild to severe, just so they could be killed for a reason other than space, we say to you, please resign.
If you can say you have walked through the shelter and looked into the eyes of the desperate pets struggling to survive, begging for attention, and that you weren't moved, then on behalf of the ones who purred and wagged their tails until the bitter end, we'd like to ask you to resign immediately.
If you can't list 50 companies/individuals that you approached soliciting funding for ACC in the past year or during your tenure, then on behalf of the dogs that were dragged down the hall to a death they knew was coming, we'd like to ask you to resign immediately.
Having a board filled with weak, indifferent members repeatedly showing up at these meetings lacking ideas, promise and enthusiasm can no longer be tolerated. This board MUST be comprised of leaders who have made great things happen for shelter pets --- like the folks in this audience! WE need a board consisting of spunky people with the highest integrity who understand what a crucial role they play in the fight for better conditions, not people who continue to be satisfied with the filth and death that is the reality of our shelter pets.
There is no shame in resigning, only shame in continuing to do nothing at the expense of the animals! Don't let your ego keep you on this board. If you are not an animal lover who hurts deeply because of the suffering of our shelter pets then you really are not suited for this board.
There is no shortage of qualified, ambitious and hopeful candidates ready, willing and aching to take your place. WE have tremendous respect and hope for the ACC. we'd take great joy in seeing the ACC become a model for other cities across the country, but that can only happen if the DOH and Mayor Mike embrace the ideas of finally operating with Urgency, Honesty and Outreach. We believe by embracing this approach, anything is possible.
Board Members of Animal Care and Control of NYC**
There are 7 seats on the AC&C Board. Three (3) are reserved for City government officials: the DOH, NYPD, and Parks & Recreation. The remaining 4 seats are for so-called "independent" directors (all of whom are selected by Mayor Bloomberg). Directors never challenge the DOH or the Mayor. They do what's best for the DOH and the Mayor.
The "ex-officio" board members from the City are:
THOMAS FARLEY, M.D Commissioner NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Chairman of the AC&C Board of Directors 125 Worth Street, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10013 Tel: (212) 295-5347 Fax: (212) 295-5426 firstname.lastname@example.org
In September 2009, Mayor Bloomberg appointed Dr. Farley to succeed former Commissioner Thomas Frieden as the DOH Commissioner. In that position, Dr. Farley had a reserved seat on the AC&C Board. His fellow directors immediately voted him their chairman. As one of his first acts, Dr. Farley approved the DOH's appeal from a court order that it must create full service shelters in the Bronx and Queens ASAP.
Adrian Benepe Commissioner of NYC Department of Parks & Recreation The Arsenal, Central Park, 830 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10021 Tel: 800 201-Park; Dial 311 for all Parks & Recreation Information Adrian.Benepe@parks.ny.gov
Commissioner Benepe has a reserved seat on the AC&C Board. He has not been seen at AC&C Board meetings for years. Commissioner Benepe facilitates access to parks for adoption events hosted by the Mayor's Alliance. He demonstrates little or no interest in improving the plight of shelter animals.
Inspector David Colon We believe Mr. Colon he is the newest Representative for NYPD Community Affairs. The AC&C provides no information about him. He remains a mystery as have all of his predecessors from the NYPD.
The "independent" board members (all chosen by Mayor Bloomberg):
JAY KUHLMAN, DVM Gramercy Animal Hospital 37 East 19th Street New York, NY 10003 Tel. 212-477-4080; fax (212) 254-7497 email@example.com
A veterinarian. Has never publicly protested the DOH's stewardship of the ACC or the actions and inaction of his fellow board members. Even when the AC&C dismantled its dog walking program, Dr. Kuhlman did not raise a complaint.
Former partner at JP Morgan Partners and now CEO of J.H. Whitney Investment Management in Manhattan. He has always closely allied himself with the Health Commissioner. He had been the AC&C's treasurer for four years. A blood sport hunter and ACC's most hostile board member to animal welfare issues. He has twice stated at Board meetings that the AC&C directors have no control over the AC&C's budget. Really? Even though the Commissioner of the DOH (which sets the AC&C's budget) is Chairman of the AC&C Board! Through the years, Mr. O'Connor has never employed his touted financial expertise to raise monies for the AC&C. Apparently, his overriding concern is to ensure that nothing at the AC&C embarrasses his "friend," Mayor Bloomberg.
Keep up the great work. Look what you've accomplished!
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