Petition for Immediate Change at Animal Care & Control of New York City

  • As concerned New Yorkers and taxpayers
  • As caring advocates for animals and a better New York
  • As members of rescue groups and animal advocacy organizations
  • As visitors to your city
We are appalled by the unconscionable number of animals killed, the horrific conditions in the shelters and the lack of accountability to the public by Animal Care and Control of New York City (AC&C). We therefore demand a new paradigm, with immediate changes in the shelter system and a new Executive Director who will implement these changes.

BACKGROUND

Despite the dedicated and persistent efforts of the Mayor's Alliance for New York City Animals, despite a major influx of funding from Maddies Fund, whose purpose is to bring about a NO KILL city, despite the heroic efforts of dedicated rescue groups and despite published euthanasia rates suggesting a reduction in the overall number of animals killed, nevertheless, the numbers of animals currently destroyed in the New York City shelters remain unacceptably high.  Tens of thousands of healthy and adoptable animals continue to be killed for space and the public has been deceived about this.  Recent press releases from AC&C have falsely stated that no animals were being killed for space, while at the very same time, alerts coming from AC&C personnel were begging rescue groups to save animals slated to be killed for space. 

Animal Care and Control of New York City has resisted attempts by public officials and others to obtain information about specific conditions in the shelters.  Moreover, AC&C has failed to follow its own mandated safety procedures, resulting in even more needless deaths:

  • Animals have been killed who had rescues or adoptions lined up
  • Animals have been destroyed who were incorrectly labeled sick or vicious
  • Animals have been killed before their hold time has expired, in some cases even while family members were on their way to the shelter
In addition, the financial/housing crisis and recent New York City Housing Authority breed-specific bans with size/weight restrictions have only added to the tragic numbers of innocent, friendly, family dogs who are killed at AC&C.

PETITION

In light of the above and in light of the urgent need to appoint a competent, humane Executive Director for Animal Care and Control of New York City, who can set about instituting meaningful change and repairing the damage done, we urge the Mayor, the new Commissioner and the Board of Directors to focus their national search on someone
  • who is fully knowledgeable about NO KILL and fully committed to working toward making New York a NO KILL city, without delay
  • who has a proven track record  advocating for animals,  who has successful  shelter  experience and who has demonstrated a capacity for creative and innovative solutions 
  • who is committed to dialogue with the animal advocacy and rescue communities and who will implement  an effective plan to immediately reduce kill numbers, increase adoptions and provide humane care for animals in the shelter system

We further demand full transparency and accountability to the taxpaying public by AC&C and the incoming Executive Director.  Until now, information to the public has been withheld or difficult to obtain.  FOIL/FOIA requests by public officials and the general public have been met with resistance and non-compliance.  In addition, statistics published by AC&C have been questioned by experts and issues of statistical manipulation have been raised: e.g., animals have been labeled "sick" in order to show a reduction in the number of healthy animals euthanized.  Specifically, we demand full availability to the public of published, monthly statistics on the AC&C website indicating the following:

  • the number of animals killed for space
  • the number killed for behavioral issues
  • the number destroyed because they were identified as pitbulls or deemed feral
  • the number killed  because of illness or injuries

We also demand that monthly statistics be published on the AC&C website showing how many animals went to rescues, were adopted out, returned to owners; the number unclaimed; how many off-site adoption events were held each month; how many volunteers and how many staff vets on duty at each shelter.


Finally, information about animals who are slated to be killed should be made available to the public, well in advance of their kill dates.  Currently, such information is distributed even to rescue groups at the very last minute, often making it difficult or impossible to save these precious lives.


The existing institutionalized impound and kill system in New York City is a disgrace and embarrassment to all New Yorkers and to animal advocates everywhere.  This archaic system which allows for the killing of healthy, adoptable animals has continued as an acceptable solution and as the status quo for far too long.

I THEREFORE JOIN WITH NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND CONCERNED CITIZENS EVERYWHERE TO DEMAND CHANGE AND AN END TO THE UNJUSTIFIABLE AND UNCONSCIONABLE KILLING OF ANIMALS AT ANIMAL CARE AND CONTROL OF NEW YORK CITY!
 

Animal Rights Action Network/ARAN (Ireland);

Brooklyn Animal Foster Network;

The Coalition for New York City Animals;

Cornwall's Voice for Animals (UK);

For the Animals Sanctuary;

Four Paws SakeFriends of Animals;

German Shepherd Rescue of Central Colorado;

HAYTAP (Turkey);

Long Island Animal Advocates;

My Loveable Rescues;

Noah's Arks Rescue;

One Life Rescue;

People for the End of Animal Cruelty and Exploitation/PEACE;

Pets Alive;

Pet Protectors;

Pryor's Planet;

SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness/SHARK;

Sunnyskies Bird and Animal Sanctuary;

United Poultry Concerns;

Wagging On and On Forever/WOOF;

The Westport Coalition Against Puppy Mills;

Animal Care and Control of New York City (AC&C) is out of control.   We the undersigned demand immediate changes in the shelter system in order to save precious lives and a new Executive Director who will implement these changes.   It is time for a new paradigm at AC&C!


  • In the past two years, management and the entire infrastructure of AC&C have been decimated. 

  • While animals continue to be killed for "space", the Manhattan shelter, with one floor fully shut down, continues to be subjected to endless out of scope specification changes, thereby causing delay after delay on its much needed HVAC updating and repairs.

  • The recently announced appointment of an interim Executive Director, a lawyer with no substantive sheltering or veterinary experience, someone who is clearly a political appointee, gives further evidence that neither the Mayor, nor the Commissioner of Health and Hygiene nor the current Board of Directors of AC&C have the interest of innocent, endangered animals at heart.  We understand that an excessive number of law suits have been filed against the former Executive Director; this does not justify hiring a lawyer to be the interim Executive Director.  
Now, more than ever, AC&C needs a competent Executive Director with humane sheltering and/or veterinary experience who will not be distracted by litigation and other unrelated responsibilities.  Once again, shelter animals have gotten short shrift.  Consideration and concern for the very lives, the well-being and proper treatment of these animals has been put on the back burner and we are fed up!

As someone who cares about New York City's animals, I am outraged and appalled by the City's failure to end the killing of healthy, adoptable animals in the New York City shelters. Efforts to increase public awareness have not yielded adequate results.  The system is rife with heartbreaking stories of abandonned animals, mis-identification, premature euthanasia and failure to reach out to families whose animals wind up in the shelter system.  Despite efforts to make New York a NO KILL city and despite reports of decreased killing rates, numbers euthanized still continue to number annually in the tens of thousands.  This is unconscionable, unacceptable and morally reprehensible. 

In view of this on-going crisis and the urgent need to appoint an Executive Director who can immediately take charge and set about repairing the damage done, we urge the Mayor, the new Commissioner and the Board of Directors of AC&C to focus their national search for a new Executive Director on someone

  • who is fully knowledgeable about NO KILL and fully committed to working toward making New York a NO KILL city, without delay

  • who has a proven track record advocating for animals, who has successful shelter experience and who has demonstrated a capacity for creative and innovative solutions 

  • who is committed to dialogue with the animal advocacy and rescue communities and who will implement  an effective plan to immediately reduce kill numbers, increase adoptions and provide humane care for animals in the shelter system
We further demand full transparency and accountability to the taxpaying public by AC&C and the incoming Executive Director.  To date, information requested by the general public and public officials has been withheld or difficult to obtain and attempts to contact AC&C at their listed telephone number are met with unacceptably long wait times, given emergencies and other urgent situations that arise. 

The existing institutionalized impound and kill system in New York City is a disgrace and embarrassment to all New Yorkers and to animal advocates everywhere.  This archaic system which allows for the killing of healthy, adoptable animals has continued as an acceptable solution and as the status quo for far too long. 

I THEREFORE JOIN WITH NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND CONCERNED CITIZENS EVERYWHERE TO DEMAND CHANGE AND AN END TO THE UNJUSTIFIABLE AND UNCONSCIONABLE KILLING OF ANIMALS AT ANIMAL CARE AND CONTROL OF NEW YORK CITY!
 
THANK YOU FOR YOUR COMPASSION AND IMMEDIATE ATTENTION TO THIS MATTER!
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