ACC Cats Quarantined for H7N2 Virus Receive Care, Monitoring at ASPCA Temporary Shelter

(Photo by ASPCA)

(Photo by ASPCA)

   

National, local agencies take part in massive operation to care for hundreds of cats exposed to H7N2 virus.

Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC) to resume operations within two weeks.

Wednesday, January 12, 2017 – New York, NY – In coordination with the New York City Health Department (DOHMH) and Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC), the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) — with funding provided by Maddie’s Fund® — has established a temporary quarantine shelter in Queens to care for hundreds of cats exposed to the avian flu virus, H7N2. Last week, more than 450 cats from ACC shelters in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island were transported to the temporary shelter by ACC and the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals. The cats will be quarantined at the facility until ongoing lab tests, conducted by the Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, show they are healthy and no longer contagious — likely 45 to 90 days.

ASPCA responders as well as volunteers from other agencies are providing ongoing daily care while veterinary experts closely monitor the cats during the quarantine period. While some of the cats are showing mild flu-like symptoms such as sneezing or runny nose, others are doing well and settling in at the temporary shelter.

“I thank our partners at the ASPCA, ACC, Mayor’s Alliance, and Maddie’s Fund for their unwavering commitment to providing the best care for these cats. This unprecedented effort was made possible by their support. We continue to urge New Yorkers who have adopted cats from ACC shelters to be on alert for symptoms in their pets and take proper precautions,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett.

(Photo by ASPCA)

(Photo by ASPCA)

H7N2 is a type of avian influenza virus (bird flu) that sometimes mutates and transfers to mammals, such as cats. The Health Department reports that most infected cats have experienced only mild illness, and no other animal species at ACC have tested positive for H7N2.

The Health Department investigation of the H7N2 virus confirmed that the risk to humans is low. There has been only one cat-to-human transmission associated with this outbreak; there have been no cases of human-to-human transmission. Under the Health Department’s guidance, the ASPCA has implemented strict protocols to ensure the safety of the responders and cats. These include decontamination training and personal protective equipment for all individuals in direct contact with cats from this population.

“The ASPCA rapid response team has been nothing short of incredible,” said ACC President & CEO Risa Weinstock. “Within hours they were coordinating groups from across the nation to work with our staff to ensure the best care is provided to those cats in quarantine.”

“Responders from the ASPCA, ACC, and other agencies are working around the clock to safely monitor and care for these cats,” added ASPCA President & CEO Matt Bershadker. “Once the cats are healthy and no longer contagious, we’ll do everything we can to help them find homes.”

(Photo by ASPCA)

(Photo by ASPCA)

ACC has hired a professional cleaning company to service all facilities and they will resume cat adoptions once the cleaning process is complete.

New Yorkers who adopted a cat from an ACC shelter between November 12 and December 15 should continue to monitor their cats for flu-like symptoms, including sneezing, coughing, runny nose, and runny or red eyes. If such symptoms are present, these owners should take their cats to a veterinarian and inform them that the cats may have been exposed to H7N2. This will allow the veterinarians to make arrangements to prevent exposure to other cats in the clinic.

The sheltering and quarantine operation has been made possible by the generous funding from the ASPCA and Maddie’s Fund, a family foundation established by Dave and Cheryl Duffield to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals. Maddie’s Fund has also committed to providing grant support to defray veterinary costs incurred by eligible rescue groups that received cats from ACC and treated them for symptoms associated with the virus, medical care to the ACC cats that are in quarantine, testing and retesting of all affected cats, travel expenses for the shelter medicine intern teams, as well as thorough cleaning of three ACC shelters.

(Photo by ASPCA)

(Photo by ASPCA)

“This has been an amazing collaboration,” said Dr. Laurie Peek from Maddie’s Fund Executive Leadership Team. “I have been impressed with the ACC’s efforts to save these cats. Multiple agencies have pulled together to respond quickly and effectively to this outbreak, setting a new precedent on dealing with outbreaks in shelters. This type of collaboration — that puts animals and community welfare first — represents the best of the animal welfare movement. We are immensely proud to work with the ASPCA, ACC, University of Wisconsin’s Shelter Medicine program and all the partners on this response.”

Agencies assisting with veterinary and daily care at the shelter include: ACC; Cat Depot (Sarasota, Fla.); Coastal Humane Society (Brunswick, Maine); Florida State Animal Response Coalition (Bushnell, Fla.); Humane Society for Greater Savannah (Ga.); Longmont Humane Society (Longmont, Colo.); Mayor’s Alliance for NYC Animals; San Diego Humane Society (Calif.); Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine (Madison, Wis.); The Animal Support Project (Cropseyville, N.Y.); Washington State Animal Response Team (Enumclaw, Wash.); and Wayside Waifs (Kansas City, Mo.).

(Photo by ASPCA)

(Photo by ASPCA)

ASPCA Photos & Video
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Media Contacts

Katy Hansen, Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC)
Phone: (646) 847-4653
E-mail: khansen@nycacc.org

Kelly Krause, ASPCA
Phone: (646) 784-2098
E-mail: kelly.krause@aspca.org

Emily Schneider, ASPCA
Phone: (646) 291-4575
E-mail: emily.schneider@aspca.org

Julien Martinez, New York City Health Department (DOHMH)
Phone: (347) 396-4177
E-mail: pressoffice@health.nyc.gov


ASPCAAbout the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC)About Animal Care Centers of NYC
Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC) is one of the largest animal welfare organizations in the country, taking in nearly 35,000 animals each year. ACC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that rescues, cares for and finds loving homes for animals throughout the five boroughs. ACC is an open-admissions organization, which means it never turns away any homeless, abandoned, injured or sick animal in need of help, including cats, dogs, rabbits, small mammals, reptiles, birds, farm animals and wildlife. It is the only organization in NYC with this unique responsibility. For more information, please visit nycacc.org, and be sure to follow NYCACC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

New York City Department of Health and Mental HygieneAbout the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
With an annual budget of $1.6 billion and more than 6,000 employees throughout the five boroughs, we’re one of the largest public health agencies in the world, serving 8 million New Yorkers from diverse ethnic, cultural and economic backgrounds. With over 200 years of leadership in the field, we’re also one of our nation’s oldest public health agencies. Our work is broad ranging. You see us in the inspection grades of most every dining establishment, the licenses that dogs both great and small wear in open park spaces, the low to no-cost health clinics in your neighborhoods, and the birth certificates received for newborns. The challenges we face are many. They range from obesity, diabetes and heart disease to HIV/AIDS, tobacco addiction and substance abuse, and the threat of bioterrorism. The New York City Health Department is tackling these issues with innovative policies and programs, and getting exceptional results. nyc.gov/health

Maddie's FundAbout Maddie’s Fund®
Maddie’s Fund® is a family foundation created in 1994 by Workday® co-founder Dave Duffield and his wife, Cheryl, who have endowed the Foundation with more than $300 million. Since then, the Foundation has awarded more than $187.8 million in grants toward increased community lifesaving, shelter medicine education, and pet adoptions across the U.S. The Duffields named Maddie’s Fund after their Miniature Schnauzer Maddie, who always made them laugh and gave them much joy. Maddie was with Dave and Cheryl from 1987–1997 and continues to inspire them today. Maddie’s Fund is the fulfillment of a promise to an inspirational dog, investing its resources to create a no-kill nation where every dog and cat is guaranteed a healthy home or habitat. #ThanksToMaddie. maddiesfund.org

Mayor's Alliance for NYC's AnimalsAbout the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals®
The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals® is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity that works with more than 150 partner rescue groups and shelters to offer important programs and services that save the lives of NYC’s homeless animals. The Alliance is supported entirely by donations from foundations, corporations, and individuals and receives no government funding. Since its founding in 2003, the Alliance has remained committed to transforming New York City into a community where no dogs or cats of reasonable health and temperament will be killed merely because they do not have homes. AnimalAllianceNYC.org

Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary MedicineAbout the Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine
The University of Wisconsin-Madison Shelter Medicine Program is committed to saving animal lives while improving animal health and well-being in shelters through shelter outreach and support, education and training, and the development of knowledge in the field. uwsheltermedicine.com

   

(Photo by ASPCA)
(Photo by ASPCA)
(Photo by ASPCA)
(Photo by ASPCA)
(Photo by ASPCA)
(Photo by ASPCA)
(Photo by ASPCA)
(Photo by ASPCA)
(Photo by ASPCA)

Photo by ASPCA

Photo by ASPCA

Photo by ASPCA

Photo by ASPCA

Photo by ASPCA

Photo by ASPCA

Photo by ASPCA

Photo by ASPCA

Photo by ASPCA

   

Posted in Alliance Participating Organizations, Animal Care & Control of NYC, Cats, Press Release | Leave a comment

Wheels of Hope Turn to Reunite Sadie and Sunny

The Alliance's Wheels of Hope program helped to make sure that Sadie and Sunny were not separated by domestic violence.

The Alliance’s Wheels of Hope program helped to make sure that Sadie and Sunny were not separated by domestic violence.

As we approach the end of another year, we have been reflecting upon the ongoing impact of our key initiatives and the ways in which your steadfast support has helped us save the lives of more than 300,000 homeless pets since we began in 2003. Your compassion has continued to turn New York City into a better place for animals, and we thank you.

Today, we want to share a story illustrating how your generosity helped one special cat remain with her owner this year, despite difficult life circumstances.

When Sunny adopted Sadie, a 10-year-old black cat, from Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC) a few years ago, she never imagined her life would change so dramatically that she’d have to consider saying goodbye to her feline friend.

Earlier this month, Sunny (whose name has been changed for her safety) became a victim of domestic violence. Forced to flee New York City immediately, Sunny was devastated when she found out that she couldn’t bring her cat on the bus, and that the pet deposit at her new location would be too high to pay. Devastated, Sunny brought Sadie back to ACC, preparing to say goodbye.

At ACC, Sunny was offered help through their Intake Counseling Program, aimed at helping to keep pets with their people through challenging situations like Sunny’s. Through collaboration with several organizations, a new plan emerged.

Via the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals’ Wheels of Hope transport van program, Sadie safely traveled over 500 miles to be reunited with Sunny in their new home.

Thanks to your contributions, our Wheels of Hope kept turning for Sadie and Sunny. They were able to be reunited for the holidays, despite circumstances that would have otherwise torn them apart.

Don’t let New York City pets like Sadie become victims of circumstance. Support more life-saving rides on the Wheels of Hope in 2017 with a tax-deductible one-time or recurring gift to our year-end Out of the Cage Challenge today.

With your help, we will be able to sustain the dramatic impact we have made, and keep saying YES to the New York City animals who will need our help in the new year.

Save a Life. Donate Now.

Help Us Get NYC's Shelter Pets Out of the Cage

Posted in Alliance Participating Organizations, Animal Care & Control of NYC, Cats, Events & Campaigns, Fundraising, Helping Pets and People in Crisis, Pet Adoption, Wheels of Hope | Leave a comment

NYCFCI and NYPD Collaborate to Help Community Cats in Brooklyn

The NYPD and NYCFCI joined forces this summer to Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) community cats who were living and breeding in an NYPD parking lot in Brooklyn.

The NYPD and NYCFCI joined forces this summer to Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) community cats who were living and breeding in an NYPD parking lot in Brooklyn

Brian Hull is the Vice President of the Tenant’s Association at the Kingsborough Houses where he lives in Brooklyn, and is friendly with officers of the NYPD Housing Bureau’s Police Service Area, PSA2, located there to police the development. He also happens to be a Certified Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) Caretaker. So, earlier this year, when a couple of feline-friendly officers told him that they needed to do something about the cats and kittens who had been living in a parking lot at PSA2 and who some officers had been feeding, Brian turned to the NYC Feral Cat Initiative (NYCFCI) for help.

The NYCFCI’s Kathleen O’Malley contacted one of the officers, Greg Paratore, who she found out did not know about TNR. When she explained how TNR is the proven, humane way to control the community cat population, permission was quickly obtained for the cats and kittens to be trapped, neutered/spayed, and returned to the parking lot, or, if determined to be friendly enough, put into foster homes to await adoption.

Kingsborough Houses resident and Certified TNR Caretaker Brian Hull helped trap the NYPD parking lot cats and kittens so they could be transported to veterinary clinics for examinations, spay/neuter, and vaccination.

Kingsborough Houses resident and Certified TNR Caretaker Brian Hull helped trap the NYPD parking lot cats and kittens so they could be transported to veterinary clinics for examinations, spay/neuter, and vaccination.

Permission was also granted for the cats’ pre- and post-surgical holding space to be located on PSA2’s property. When Kathleen explained that a holding space needs to be quiet, safe, enclosed, and climate controlled, an empty trailer located at the back of the property was initially determined to be a suitable location. Now, a back stairwell in the main building serves that purpose.

Several trappings have now taken place, which Officer Paratore participated in. The first batch of kittens was trapped in July and sent to the ASPCA’s Glendale clinic for their spay/neuter surgeries. They also received fecal and ringworm tests from Murray Hill Pet Hospital before being turned over to the NYCFCI’s Mike Phillips, who took charge of the kittens’ socialization process.

When they were ready to be adopted, the kittens were sent to The Patricia H. Ladew Foundation to await their forever homes. Several more kittens from subsequent trappings have also gone to The Ladew Foundation, and several of those have since been adopted.

Kitten Friday was found with a tail injury, so she spent several weeks at the vet for treatment and observation. The clinic staffer who is fostering her plans to adopt her.

Kitten Friday was found with a tail injury, so she spent several weeks at the vet for treatment and observation. The clinic staffer who is fostering her plans to adopt her.

One of the kittens in the colony was obviously missing all but the very bottom of her tail. When she was trapped, she was first sent to The Humane Society of New York for evaluation and treatment. Friday, as she has now been named, spent several weeks at One Love Animal Hospital in Boerum Hill, where Kathleen reports, “The vet wanted to see if the tail stump would heal on its own, and it is healing nicely,” so the tail didn’t have to be amputated. For her part, Friday is still recovering, but is reportedly perky and playful and charming the staff. In fact, Friday is currently staying at the home of a One Love staffer who plans to adopt her.

In a 5:00 a.m. trapping that took place the week before Labor Day, Kathleen, with Brian’s help, was able to use a drop trap to get six of the colony kittens still at large. The four females and two males they trapped were about four months old and feral. Unsocialized kittens over two months of age require a lot of effort to tame, and even then they may never be cuddly pets, so the plan was to have these kittens spayed and neutered and returned to the colony. But Brian felt one of the males, Lennon, showed signs of wanting to interact with humans, so Kathleen decided to try fostering and socializing him. She described the handsome longhair tabby as initially being “slightly shut down” and “frozen, out of fear.” However, during the very first night at Kathleen’s house, he allowed himself to be petted and he even meowed, apparently for company, in the middle of the night! After two weeks of socialization, Lennon was a purring lap cat, ready to be put up for adoption on Petfinder. He quickly found a forever home in Astoria with Geri Wee. Geri, who works for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, renamed the kitten Biden.

An NYPD officer from PSA2, Dustin Morrow, and his girlfriend, Alissa Field, adopted Keanu, who is now named Taco.

An NYPD officer from PSA2, Dustin Morrow, and his girlfriend, Alissa Field, adopted Keanu, who is now named Taco.

Not all the trapped kittens were part of the original colony. Keanu and his littermate Scully, according to the officers, wandered onto PSA2’s property one day. The kittens were most likely abandoned and were drawn to the location by the smell of cat food. They, too, were trapped and neutered. Scully went to The Ladew Foundation and has since been adopted. An officer from PSA2, Dustin Morrow, and his girlfriend, Alissa Field, adopted Keanu, who is now named Taco.

Going forward, the officers, including Officer Paratore who is now a Certified TNR Caretaker, will be on the lookout for any other cats or kittens that might wander onto the property. And, with the NYCFCI’s guidance and help, a better feeding station and winter shelters for the colony’s remaining cats will be erected to replace the current setup, which has uninsulated shelters and is also too close to a public sidewalk for the cats’ safety.

Thanks to the collaboration between a local Certified TNR Caretaker, officers at PSA2, and the NYCFCI, a colony is being TNR’ed, friendly felines are being placed in foster homes and adopted, and the remaining colony cats will enjoy a better quality of life. “This,” says Kathleen, “is a great example of things working exactly the way they are supposed to.”

   

The NYPD and NYCFCI joined forces this summer to Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) community cats who were living and breeding in an NYPD parking lot in Brooklyn.
The NYPD and NYCFCI joined forces this summer to Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) community cats who were living and breeding in an NYPD parking lot in Brooklyn.
The NYPD and NYCFCI joined forces this summer to Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) community cats who were living and breeding in an NYPD parking lot in Brooklyn.
One of the NYPD parking lot kittens, Friday (nursing under tailpipe), was missing part of her tail, so she was given special veterinary care after she was trapped.
Kingsborough Houses resident and Certified TNR Caretaker Brian Hull helped trap the cats and kittens in the NYPD parking lot so they could be transported to veterinary clinics for examinations, spay/neuter, and vaccination.
Kitten Friday was found with a tail injury, so she spent several weeks at the vet for treatment and observation. The clinic staffer who is fostering her plans to adopt her.
Kathleen O'Malley from the NYC Feral Cat Initiative of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals cuddles with Lennon the kitten. Lennon was adopted and renamed Biden.
NYPD parking lot kitten, Keanu, was adopted and renamed Taco.
Kathleen O'Malley from the NYC Feral Cat Initiative of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals cuddles with Keanu the kitten. Keanu was adopted and renamed Taco.
NYPD parking lot kitten, Keanu, was adopted and renamed Taco.
An NYPD officer from PSA2, Dustin Morrow, and his girlfriend, Alissa Field, adopted Keanu, who is now named Taco.
NYPD Officer Greg Paratore built a feeding station and new winter shelters for the cats and placed them discreetly in a corner of the parking lot...just in time for the cold weather! (Photo by Greg Paratore)

The NYPD and NYCFCI joined forces this summer to Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) community cats who were living and breeding in an NYPD parking lot in Brooklyn.

The NYPD and NYCFCI joined forces this summer to Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) community cats who were living and breeding in an NYPD parking lot in Brooklyn.

The NYPD and NYCFCI joined forces this summer to Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) community cats who were living and breeding in an NYPD parking lot in Brooklyn.

One of the NYPD parking lot kittens, Friday (nursing under tailpipe), was missing part of her tail, so she was given special veterinary care after she was trapped.

Kingsborough Houses resident and Certified TNR Caretaker Brian Hull helped trap the cats and kittens in the NYPD parking lot so they could be transported to veterinary clinics for examinations, spay/neuter, and vaccination.

Kitten Friday was found with a tail injury, so she spent several weeks at the vet for treatment and observation. The clinic staffer who is fostering her plans to adopt her.

Kathleen O'Malley from the NYC Feral Cat Initiative of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals cuddles with Lennon the kitten. Lennon was adopted and renamed Biden.

NYPD parking lot kitten, Keanu, was adopted and renamed Taco.

Kathleen O'Malley from the NYC Feral Cat Initiative of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals cuddles with Keanu the kitten. Keanu was adopted and renamed Taco.

NYPD parking lot kitten, Keanu, was adopted and renamed Taco.

An NYPD officer from PSA2, Dustin Morrow, and his girlfriend, Alissa Field, adopted Keanu, who is now named Taco.

NYPD Officer Greg Paratore built a feeding station and new winter shelters for the cats and placed them discreetly in a corner of the parking lot...just in time for the cold weather! (Photo by Greg Paratore)

   

Posted in Alliance Participating Organizations, Cats, Feral Cats & TNR, Pet Adoption, Pet Fostering, Spay/Neuter | Leave a comment

Sooty Says Thanks for the Second Chance…So Cute!

   

Thanks to your support of our Wheels of Hope program, thousands of NYC’s homeless pets got out of the cage this year. The vast majority of the pets the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals transports are cats and dogs, but occasionally, we get the opportunity to help a feathered friend.

Sooty the parrotlet had been down on his luck in the Big Apple, but found a safe place to perch and a new friend named Blue with Dr. Christina Abramowicz and Celestial Wings: Delaware Exotic Bird Sanctuary. Here he is showing off some of the cool tricks he has had the opportunity to learn because supporters like you gave him a ride…and a second chance!

Join the Out of the Cage Challenge today and help the Alliance save the lives of more homeless shelter pets like Sooty in New York City!

Don’t want to start your own fundraising page, but still want to help? Donate to Sam the Alliance office cat’s fundraiser to help him reach his goal!

Learn More & Get Started Save a Life. Donate Now.

Help NYC's Shelter Pets Get Out of the Cage

Posted in Events & Campaigns, Exotic Pets, Fundraising, Pet Adoption, Pet Fostering, Wheels of Hope | Leave a comment

Will You Help Get NYC’s Shelter Pets Out of the Cage?

   

(Photo by Krista Menzel)Want to Do Good This Holiday Season?

This year, we are asking you to rally your friends, family, and networks to support the life-saving work of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals. By becoming a fundraiser in our Out of the Cage Challenge, you not only will help New York City’s shelter pets, but also give your friends the opportunity to feel good about doing good this holiday season.

Starting a fundraiser is easy to do, and it’s fun! We’ll even give you all the tools you’ll need to make a difference. With your help, we can move NYC’s homeless pets out of the cage and save their lives.

What Is the Out of the Cage Challenge?

We’re launching the Out of the Cage Challenge, a new campaign to raise critical funds to prevent the euthanasia of homeless shelter pets in New York City. Every year, approximately 30,000 pets are surrendered to Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC). Due to constant influx, overcrowding, and limited resources, unless these pets are adopted or moved to no-kill animal rescue groups to await new homes, they are at risk for illness and euthanasia. That’s where the Alliance’s Wheels of Hope program comes in, providing life-saving transportation for these animals out of the cage and into new lives.

By participating in the Out of the Cage Challenge, you will give thousands of homeless pets a second chance by helping them get out of the cage. Your support will directly impact their lives by providing the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals with the funding necessary to transport these animals to new homes or no-kill animal rescue organizations via our Wheels of Hope vans. This holiday season, we want you to be a part of this life-saving effort!

(Photo by Krista Menzel)Thinking of Giving an End-of-Year Gift to the Alliance?

Use your gift to plant a seed! First, join the Out of the Cage Challenge campaign, then donate your end-of-year gift to your own fundraiser and share your campaign link with your family and friends. By sharing your compassion for homeless pets, you will exponentially increase your impact on the lives of NYC’s animals!

Learn More & Get Started

Help Us Get NYC's Shelter Pets Out of the Cage

Posted in Animal Care & Control of NYC, Cats, Dogs, Events & Campaigns, Fundraising, Pet Adoption, Pet Fostering, Wheels of Hope | Leave a comment