FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Amid Economic Challenges, the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals Remains On-Track for "No-Kill" City Goal by 2015
New York, NY – Tuesday, April 13, 2010 – Despite the lagging economy that continues to challenge rescue groups seeking to re-home animals and pet owners struggling to keep their pets, the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals has positive news: euthanasia at Animal Care & Control of NYC (AC&C) shelters is down, adoptions by AC&C and other Alliance Participating Organizations (APOs) are up, and transfers of animals from AC&C to its rescue partners are rising dramatically.
In 2005, the Mayor's Alliance began an ambitious ten-year initiative — Maddie's Pet Rescue Project in NYC — to transform New York City into a no-kill community, where no dog or cat of reasonable health and temperament is killed merely because he or she does not have a home. Now in year six of the initiative, the Mayor's Alliance is well on its way to making that goal a reality.
Founded in 2002, the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals is a coalition of approximately 160 animal shelters and rescue groups working with the City of New York to find homes for every cat and dog in the city that needs one. The project is funded by Maddie's Fund, The Pet Rescue Foundation, with support from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) — one of the founding members of the Mayor's Alliance.
Highlights of the Mayor's Alliance Progress
Fewer animals killed in 2009. Euthanasia at AC&C shelters was reduced to 13,620, or 33 percent of intake in 2009, down from 39 percent of intake in 2008. That represents a 57 percent decrease in euthanasia since 2003, the first year of operation for the Mayor's Alliance, when more than 31,000 animals were killed.
Adoptions are up. A key factor driving down the euthanasia rate is an increase in the number of adoptions. APOs have steadily increased their adoptions every year since 2003, reaching a new high of 28,483 in 2009.
Transfers rise dramatically. The number of cats and dogs transferred from AC&C to its no-kill New Hope Partners (the majority of which are APOs) jumped by more than 4,000 in 2009, to 17,641. Moving animals out of the city shelters quickly not only frees up space to reduce overcrowding but also improves the chances that animals won't get sick as a result of stress and exposure to so many other animals at the shelter. The Mayor's Alliance Wheels of Hope for NYC's Homeless Pets transport program, a lynchpin for the successful transfer initiative, transported approximately 7,000 animals out of AC&C shelters in 2009 to partner shelters and rescue groups for placement into permanent homes.
Free and low-cost spay/neuter surgeries soar. With intakes at AC&C shelters remaining fairly consistent since 2003 (41,712 dogs and cats were taken in by AC&C in 2009), an increase in the number of intakes has been held at bay as a result of a reduction in the number of animal births in NYC through increased availability of free and low-cost spay/neuter services. Spay/neuter surgeries performed by non-profit organizations, including the ASPCA, AC&C, Humane Society of New York, The Toby Project, and Bideawee, and private practice veterinarians that participate in the Maddie's Spay/Neuter Project in NYC, surged to 56,523, up from 43,709 in 2008. (The ASPCA Mobile Spay/Neuter Clinics alone accounted for more than 34,000 spay/neuters.)
Among other Mayor's Alliance programs that are driving down the euthanasia rate are the Picasso Veterinary Fund, which pays for lifesaving medical care for cats and dogs who arrive at AC&C shelters with injuries and other medical conditions that require treatment, and the NYC Feral Cat Initiative that, through trap-neuter-return programs, is humanely reducing the number of feral and stray cats entering the shelters
Jane Hoffman, President of the Mayor's Alliance, attributes the coalition's continued progress to the tireless efforts of its participating organizations and financial supporters. "We've made tremendous strides since 2005 as a result of hard work and collaboration by the rescue groups and shelters, including AC&C, and the dedicated financial support of Maddie's Fund, the ASPCA, and others. We'll continue to rely upon the support of these organizations as we move ahead, and we'll continue to urge our fellow New Yorkers to adopt their next pet from a shelter or rescue group, and spay or neuter any intact pets in their home."
For a more detailed view of the Mayor's Alliance Summary Ten-Year Strategic Plan and Progress Report 2009, visit the Mayor's Alliance website at www.AnimalAllianceNYC.org.
*Images and more information available upon request.
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