For those that missed the article on the NY TIMES blog, here is the link:
Today I saw a thoughtfully crafted, in depth and accurate comment, concerning the NYC ACC, left by someone that read the article. YOU NEED TO READ IT!! This is a true picture of the NYC ACC. It does not get any clearer than this and if you have any doubts about how horrific the shelter is, this should help you make up your mind. Thank you to whoever left it….
Here is the real scoop: THE CITY’S HOMELESS ANIMALS NEED HUGE AMOUNTS OF HELP. Dogs are never walked in the city shelters, period, and cats are never taken out of their cages unless a volunteer does it. Staff wants to so there are always exceptions, but they generally have no time. The animals you see behind bars at the city shelter have close to zero chance of getting out for relief or enrichment without a volunteer’s contribution. This is not a problem of perception.
The animals in the adoption room are only a tiny portion of the animals there, in any of the shelters, and they may die without you ever knowing they exist. The shelters can no longer kill to make space, or they lose a hefty grant, so they have played with language to such an extent that it blows the mind.(http://www.shelterreform.org/HonestyIsNeeded.html) In addition to the always present “illness” umbrella, cats are euthanized for “behavior” based on normal cat preferences, including not liking their stomachs touched. Yes, you read that correctly. A cat who doesn’t want you to touch his belly 20 minutes after you meet him is ushered out of the adoption room, slapped with a “bad” behavior rating, and perhaps killed for it. Thank goodness I’ll never have to give up my cat.
Dogs are euthanized for behavior if they earn the grade equivalent of about a “B” on a test that has skewed so far from the original creator’s intent that it shouldn’t even be allowed to use the same name. Two or three men, none of them certified, handle and prod a dog in a space deemed too small to do so, and if the dog shrinks from them, acts dull, or is perhaps too hyper after being caged all day, the manifest reaction will be downgraded so they are eligible to be killed as a “temper” case. Rescuers, fed up with the uneven application of a test that not only condemns good dogs but also fails to identify behavior problems that are beyond the scope of a normal foster, have been asking for video footage of these “tests” to be available on request to qualified partners for years, only to be told that the shelter doesn’t have the technology. Because flip cameras don’t exist in the parallel universe that floats above 11 Park Place.
These are just the animals Urgent can report on. Animals who bite, are bitten, have scratched or been scratched are taken from CACC’s control, held by the Department of Health, and decapitated after a torturous quarantine period that can last from 10 days to weeks. They cannot be spared, or counted, or seen, unless a special petition is made for them which includes six months under costly medical supervision. A dog can jump up to kiss you, scratch you with his nails,and be seized by the city and killed after two weeks of hell without seeing the light of day once. Believe it.
Don’t take my word for it The proof is in the collective audit
Adopters, how long did you wait before you got help picking out your pet at CACC? How did the animals look when you got there? How many dogs were in dirty cages? How many cats were audibly sniffling? Did they have clean litter? How many volunteers did you see? How many workers? What kind of food did the animals have? Lift up the cage cards and look at the dog walking logs underneath, if they exist. When was that dog walked last? Was your animal sick when you brought it home? If you had to call back with questions, how long did it take you before you got an answer? Did you cry when you walked in, and have you cried since thinking about it?
Donors, have you gotten an acknowledgement of your generosity? Potential volunteers, how difficult was it to get a response when you reached out to help? When do you expect to be able to start?
Rescuers, how much debt are you in right now? Does it bother you that most of you are broke from boarding fees while the mayor stands up and says that there has never been a better time to be an animal in New York City? Compared to what, Bloomie—the drowning cages? http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/30/where-they-used-to-drown-the-dogs/
Workers, how many people do you think are needed to handle the shelter the way you think it should be handled? Does it hurt you to have to scrimp on care because there is no room in the budget to provide minimal service? How many hours do you log in that are unpaid or not paid as overtime? How much stress do you bring home to your family?
If the powers that be at CACC were doing all they could to stem the wound inflcited, ultimately, by the Mayor’s office, perhaps I would feel terrible for pointing all this out. They surely do have some saints and angels among them. People would be surprised to know that so many are fighting the tide and staying committed. But consider that they have the potential goodwill of hundreds of New Yorkers willing to help them, for free, and my sympathy quickly dwindles. They gave stewardship of free help and unchecked enthusiasm over to a manipulative volunteer coordinator who is milking our tax and donation dollars so she can live out her dream of being a secretary instead. Worse, this obscene sandbagging and lack of community outreach is sanctioned by Executive Director Julie Bank as the direction she wants to head in to make CACC “better than ever”. According to her, everything is on track for progress. How would she know? Ms. Bank has said on several occasions that she doesn’t walk into the shelters because it is “too traumatic” for her.
The shelters are too traumatic… for the woman charged with improving them. Anyone have a spare violin?
Shatter the insulated bubble of upper management’s apathy, urgent, and let the people know that there are hundreds of animals behind those walls who are helpless and completely dependent on us to wake up and get involved!!! Let’s tell Mayor and the Department of Health that this is OUR money, not theirs!! WE decide what services are important to us and what caliber of people should deliver those services. This is our city and these are our animals that we’ve put here with irresponsible breeding . Let’s own the problem and be able to sleep with a clear conscience.
Cinderella… Gone too soon.