About Animal Care and Control
The ACC is an open admissions shelter which is overseen by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. On an annual basis it takes in over 30,000 animals across the 5 boroughs. It is compelled by the city to not turn away any animal. Animals come to the shelter through owner surrender, field service pick up of strays, police seizures and DOH incidents. The ACC operates 2 full service shelters, a small shelter and 2 receiving centers across the city. The ACC is a Kill Shelter and Euthanizes on average 20% the animals it takes in, roughly 6,000 per year.
Our City Governments Position
The City has demonstrated it is more interested in the Control aspect rather than the Care aspect of the ACC. Accordingly it has:
- Funded the services through the DOH general operating budget thus exclusively providing DOH control of how much money is spent on animal welfare.
- Created an “Independent 501C charity” fully controlled by the DOH
- Refused to invest in full service shelters in the Bronx and Queens thus under servicing these communities to the extent that the City “broke” its own law that compelled the building of the shelter until political deals were struck to repeal the law
- Allowed Albany to remove ultimate control of animal welfare from the mayor’s office and passing it to DOH permanently as part of a deal to increase pet licenses.
What has this meant for NYC’s Homeless Companion Pets?
- Overcrowded shelters in antiquated industrial buildings that exasperate the spread of airborne illnesses
- Underfunding of basic animal needs let alone funding to drive placements through the proper marketing and follow up services.
- A Charity that cannot raise money – face it no one wants to donate to the government
- No continuity in leadership – The ACC has had 19 leaders in 21 years all with a variety of back grounds not always from Animal Welfare. The current Executive Director is a lawyer by training with a background in administration
- Inability to attract qualified staff – the ACC went three years without a medical director and at one point had only 2 full time veterinarians on staff.
- Lack of management accountability thus resulting in preventable killings
- No strategic plan to reduce killing other than to place animals on Euthanasia lists with the hopes someone will adopt
- Limited ability to adopt animals thus resulting in placing the burden of saving animals with local rescues that are part of the ACC New Hope Program – for every animal the ACC directly adopts the rescues pull 3.
The list can go on
What can you do?
- First and foremost PLEASE SHARE THE DOGS AND CATS to provide them exposure to potential fosters and adopters. The ACC does not have a wide reach and many people do not know the ACC exists. The Urgent threads are full of stories of people who have fostered or adopted a NYC dog or cat only because the photo happened across their Social Media Feed.
- Consider fostering, it is a short term proposition which helps saves an life and is very fulfilling and rewarding.
- Volunteer at the shelter or a rescue. It is still about the animals and the more volunteers the better it is for them while in the shelter. If you can’t volunteer at the shelter you can help any of the many New Hope rescues
- Advocate by letting City leaders know that the public cares about these animals and insist that the city does more for these homeless companion pets
Key Government Contacts
The Mayor’s Office
Honorable William “Bill” de Blasio
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Mary Travis Bassett
Councilmen – Chairman of Health Committee
Animal Care and Control Contacts
Board of Directors and Officers
Patrick Nolan, Chairman
Elaine Keane, Treasurer
Jay Kuhlman, DVM, Secretary
Yonaton Aronoff, Director
Howard Hollander, DVM, Director
Louise Cohen, MPH, Director
Dan Kass, Alternate Director (Ex officio), New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Mike Dockett, Alternate Director (Ex officio), New York City Department of Parks and Recreation
Chief Robert Boyce, Alternate Director (Ex officio), New York City Police Department
Risa Weinstock, Executive Director and General Counsel
MeLissa Webber, Director of Operations
Lisa Hara Levin, DVM, Medical Director
Phillip Reid, Chief Information Officer
The above individuals may be reached by mail:
Animal Care & Control of NYC
11 Park Place, Suite 805
New York, NY 10007