80,000 Shelter Animals Saved by Wheels of Hope Transport Program

Keep the Wheels Turning for NYC's Animals

Help is Now Needed to Keep those Wheels Turning.

Monday, December 22, 2014 – New York, NY – Neither rain nor snow, nor sleet nor hail can stop the Wheels of Hope program from saving the lives of thousands of animals in NYC shelters anxiously awaiting new homes. But a bad transmission just might.

Wheels of Hope, a lifesaving program run by the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, is the only animal transportation program in New York City that offers free passage for shelter and rescue animals. The program supports the daily transfer of cats, dogs, bunnies, and other animals from Animal Care & Control of NYC (AC&C) shelters to partner shelters and rescue groups that will find new homes for the animals.

Since 2005 — 365 days a year — the fleet of six Wheels of Hope vans has transported more than 80,000 animals from AC&C facilities to rescue groups and shelters that have the resources to care for them and find them new homes. Logging more than 1.4 million life-saving miles to destinations near and far, Wheels of Hope ensures that these animals get a chance to start a new life.

The two oldest transport vans have each logged more than 300,000 miles. Soon it will be no longer economically feasible to keep them on the road. The Alliance needs to acquire a new van now.

Jane Hoffman, President of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, said, “We estimate that together, these two aging vans moved almost 4,600 kittens, puppies, dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, and others to safety last year alone. Losing them from the fleet will leave a gaping hole in our ability to save the lives of homeless pets.

“As a private, non-profit charity that receives no government assistance, the Alliance needs the public’s help to fulfill our mission. Each contribution — no matter the size — will make a difference in the life of a furry, four-legged New Yorker who deserves the chance for a new start in life. Please help us keep the Wheels of Hope turning,” Hoffman added.

Nancy Skluth said that her non-profit organization, Labs4rescue, has been using the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals’ Wheels of Hope transport program for years to transport rescued Labrador Retrievers and Lab mixes.

“Without Wheels of Hope we would have no way to get our dogs from the shelters to foster homes, vets, or their forever homes,” commented Skluth.

Loren McAuley of Rebound Hounds ResQ, a non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and rehoming of shelter animals, reports that Wheels of Hope drivers routinely go the literal “extra mile” and drive animals to foster homes even if they are hours away from New York City. McAuley recalled Shane, a scared, emaciated, mangy puppy who was pulled from AC&C and delivered by Wheels of Hope to a loving foster home in New England.

“There is no doubt that Wheels of Hope saves lives every single day,” said McAuley. “We, truthfully, would not be saving as many dogs as we do without it!”

To find out how you can help, please visit bit.ly/TurnWheels.

Learn More Save a Life. Donate Now.


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. We are supported entirely by donations from foundations, corporations, and individuals and receive no government funding. Since our founding in 2003, we have remained committed to transforming New York City into a no-kill community by 2015, meaning that no dogs or cats of reasonable health and temperament will be killed merely because they do not have homes. www.AnimalAllianceNYC.org

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Posted in Alliance Participating Organizations, Animal Care & Control of NYC, Cats, Dogs, Events & Campaigns, Fundraising, Pet Adoption, Pet Fostering, Press Release, Rabbits, Wheels of Hope | Leave a comment

The Wheels of Hope Turn for Feral Cats and Their Caretakers

Wheels of Hope helps New York City colony caretakers like Anna Falzon trap and transport feral and stray community cats to be spayed or neutered. (Photo by Marybeth Festa)

Wheels of Hope helps New York City colony caretakers like Anna Falzon trap and transport feral and stray community cats to be spayed or neutered. (Photo by Marybeth Festa)

   

Since 2005, the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals has transported 80,000 cats and dogs to partner rescue groups, adoptive and foster homes, spay/neuter appointments, and veterinary providers with our Wheels of Hope transport program. Our six transport vans run seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, to help NYC’s shelter pets and feral and stray community cats. This month, we are bringing you stories of organizations and individuals who are saving the lives of animals in New York City with the help of our Wheels of Hope. We hope you enjoy these Wheels of Hope: Tales from the Road!

Anna Falzon manages 15 colonies of feral cats in the Rockaways, an area of New York City hit extremely hard by Hurricane Sandy a few years ago. In her work she also encounters friendly cats and works to get them off the streets and into forever homes. Anna often has a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) project underway that involves eight to twelve cats. “The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals’ Wheels of Hope transport program has been a total blessing in my life, and in the cats’ lives as well,” she says. “Without this service I could not TNR as many cats.”

Because Anna manages so many colonies she often doesn’t have the time to transport the cats herself. That’s where she has found the Wheels of Hope to be a time-saving partner. She recalls many times they have come to the rescue, including, “One time, I needed a feral cat transported to a sanctuary in Upstate New York, and they delivered the cat for me, safe and sound.”

“The staff are a group of wonderful people, always there to help and always kind and understanding. I am ever so thankful for them!”

(Photo by Anna Falzon)

…and They Turn for Charlie

Hi! My name is Charlie and I am a feral cat. I was once a neighborhood Romeo, impregnating all the female cats on the block.

When I was trapped for TNR I was not so thrilled about it, but the people on the block were very happy! I guess I’m okay with it now. So, I want to thank my trapper and feeder, Anna, and especially the Wheels of Hope van that transported me to and from the clinic to get neutered. This wonderful service made the experience easy not only for Anna but for me, too. Thank you!

Love, Charlie

(Photo by Anna Falzon)

   

   

Keep the Wheels Turning for NYC’s Animals!

Our current Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals Wheels of Hope fleet has driven a combined 1,415,198 life-saving miles! Our oldest transport vans each have now logged more than 300,000 miles, and our maintenance costs continue to rise with each vehicle’s mileage. In order to sustain the incredible pace we have set for NYC’s animals, we now are in need of a new Wheels of Hope transport van.

This month, as we race to help even more animals find homes for the new year, please join our campaign to keep the Wheels of Hope reliably turning in 2015 and beyond. Your tax-deductible donation will help us continue to help others save precious lives and bring hope to the littlest New Yorkers in the new year. Donate now at http://bit.ly/TurnWheels.

Keep the Wheels Turning for NYC's Animals

   

Posted in Cats, Events & Campaigns, Feral Cats & TNR, Fundraising, Spay/Neuter, Wheels of Hope | Leave a comment

The Wheels of Hope Turn for Foster Animals

Kate has been providing temporary foster care for shelter dogs like Axl for over three years. (Photo Kate Kober)

Kate has been providing temporary foster care for shelter dogs like Axl for over three years. (Photo Kate Kober)

   

Since 2005, the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals has transported 80,000 cats and dogs to partner rescue groups, adoptive and foster homes, spay/neuter appointments, and veterinary providers with our Wheels of Hope transport program. Our six transport vans run seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, to help NYC’s shelter pets and feral and stray community cats. This month, we are bringing you stories of organizations and individuals who are saving the lives of animals in New York City with the help of our Wheels of Hope. We hope you enjoy these Wheels of Hope: Tales from the Road!

Kate Kober has been fostering shelter dogs for more than three years. For the last year or so, all the dogs she has fostered, beginning with Old Fezziwig, who came to her on Christmas Eve, have come from Animal Care & Control of NYC. And, Fezzi, handsome Axl, and all the rest have been brought to her home in Pennsylvania by the Mayor’s Alliance of NYC’s Animals Wheels of Hope transport program.

“The program makes rescue partner transport such a breeze,” says Kate. “Wheels of Hope eliminates the initial hassle of figuring out how and where to get a dog from. It is truly a great help.”

Keep the Wheels Turning for NYC’s Animals!

Our current Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals Wheels of Hope fleet has driven a combined 1,415,198 life-saving miles! Our oldest transport vans each have now logged more than 300,000 miles, and our maintenance costs continue to rise with each vehicle’s mileage. In order to sustain the incredible pace we have set for NYC’s animals, we now are in need of a new Wheels of Hope transport van.

This month, as we race to help even more animals find homes for the new year, please join our campaign to keep the Wheels of Hope reliably turning in 2015 and beyond. Your tax-deductible donation will help us continue to help others save precious lives and bring hope to the littlest New Yorkers in the new year. Donate now at http://bit.ly/TurnWheels.

Keep the Wheels Turning for NYC's Animals

   

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

“Community Cats” is Recommended Reading for TNR Caretakers

Formerly stray and found living in a community cat colony, foster cat Moo Shu gives this book two paws up! (Photo by Evon Handras)

Formerly stray and found living in a community cat colony, foster cat Moo Shu gives this book two paws up! (Photo by Evon Handras)

by Evon Handras, Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals

In Community Cats: A Journey Into the World of Feral Cats, Anne E. Beall engagingly narrates her introduction to becoming the new caretaker of three TNRed feral cats — Eloise, Allie, and Duke — who she dubbed “The Rat Pack.” The trio came to live in her back yard in urban Chicago as part of the Cats at Work program created by Tree House Humane Society as an effective solution to the serious rodent problem typical in most densely populated cities.

What began as a progressive and creative solution to a rat problem lead Beall to write a fascinating, in-depth, and insightful book describing every step of her journey into the world of feral cats and their bonds with each other and their caretakers. Her descriptions of the human-feline bonds which we, as caretakers, have experienced ourselves are beautifully chronicled. She recounts the rewarding experiences and major challenges that comprise a caretaker’s work, which she perceptively describes as “a cross between social worker, animal trapper, and community organizer.”

Beall’s engaging writing style, range of knowledge, and significant scientific research work in tandem to create an intelligent and thoughtful argument supporting Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) as the most humane and effective solution to improving the lives of feral cats and the communities in which they live. Her discussion of her findings on prevailing public perceptions and attitudes underscore the importance of educating others in our communities about TNR, citing 70 percent of her survey respondents as being unfamiliar with issues around feral and stray community cats. On a promising note, she reports that the majority of those respondents expressed support for TNR as spay/neuter programs after being informed about them.

Beall treats her readers to a fascinating look at the complex nature of cats and their close relationships with each other and the humans (and neighboring dogs) with whom they bond. She describes the challenges of outdoor colony care through harsh Chicago winters, the time and effort that goes into completing a successful and safe relocation, neighbor relations in a range of communities, the vacuum effect that results when cats are removed from an area, and many other topics that arise when working with community cats.

Whether you are a veteran caretaker or a novice, or simply someone who cares about the cats who share your community, Community Cats can be an enjoyable and enlightening read.

Community Cats has 166 pages and is available in both paperback and Kindle editions.

Learn More Buy Now


Evon HandrasAbout the Author
Evon Handras, a former music business professional, joined the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals as Director of Administrative Services in 2007. She currently works with the Alliance’s NYC Feral Cat Initiative program, and also is active in Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) of the community cats in her home borough of Queens. In addition to her work on behalf of the animals, she still engages her passion for music by occasionally moonlighting as a DJ specializing in classic soul music.

Posted in Cats, Feral Cats & TNR | Leave a comment

Donations Provide for Pets in NYC Domestic Violence Shelters

Urban Resource Institute shelter employee, Junior Pilgrim, accepts URIPALS pet supplies and equipment from Jenny Coffey and Debbie Fierro from the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals on November 10. (Photo by Ann Michitsch)

Urban Resource Institute shelter employee, Junior Pilgrim, accepts URIPALS pet supplies and equipment from Jenny Coffey and Debbie Fierro from the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals on November 10. (Photo by Ann Michitsch)

Animals often present a major barrier to seeking support and assistance for victims of domestic violence, and fear for the safety of pets in violent households can cause abuse victims to remain in dangerous situations. As part of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s AnimalsHelping Pets and People in Crisis program, the Marion Dougherty Safe Haven Fund was created specifically to support victims of domestic violence and allow NYC families to seek refuge without having to leave their animals behind. This can mean the difference between life and death for both humans and pets.

The Marion Dougherty Safe Haven Fund was created in 2013 in memory of legendary Hollywood casting director, Marion Dougherty, who was forced to leave her pets behind when escaping a domestic violence situation in the 1970s. Thanks to Marion’s legacy and your valued contributions, victims of domestic violence in New York City won’t have to make the same difficult choice that Marion did.

In May 2013, the Alliance began a partnership with Urban Resource Institute (URI) and its People and Animals Living Safely (URIPALS) program. URIPALS is the first program for victims of domestic violence in New York City — and one of the few offered nationwide — that offers co-sheltering for families and their pets. The number of URI pet-friendly living spaces available to people fleeing domestic violence in New York City underwent a significant expansion this year, inspiring more victims to leave abuse, keeping more people and beloved pets out of harm’s way, and reducing the number of animals forced into NYC’s already overcrowded animal shelters.

Thanks to your support of our Marion Dougherty Safe Haven Fund during October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we exceeded our matching grant goal and raised thousands of dollars to provide pet care equipment and supplies for URI domestic violence shelters that now accept pets. In October and November, we were happy to make our first deliveries to URI, including crates, cat condos, scratching posts, pet beds, litter and litter boxes, dog and cat food and treats, toys, collars, leashes, and more. Your support is providing the resources necessary to allow an even greater number of families with pets to take advantage of these co-sheltering units and move toward new lives together in safety.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer supplies to outfit the pet-friendly units at Urban Resource Institute,” says Jenny Coffey, LMSW, consultant to the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals. “Co-sheltering offers a solution for pet owners facing domestic violence and we are happy to partner with URI as they work to respond to this issue. This is a triple win for all: families can access safety with their beloved pets, animals do not have to be uprooted, and an overwhelmed animal sheltering network can make room for the truly homeless animals.”

Rita Garza, URI Senior Vice President of Marketing, Communications & Development, reports, “URI is so grateful for the ongoing support of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals. Since launching the URIPALS program in May 2013, the Alliance has been instrumental in providing animal welfare education to the staff and clients, much-needed pet supplies, and critical support to the families.”

Help us bring more pet supplies to NYC domestic violence shelters in the new year with a donation to the Marion Dougherty Safe Haven Fund: http://bit.ly/GiveMDSHF

Learn More Save a Life. Donate Now.

Videos About Domestic Violence and Pets

On November 19, Jenny Coffey, LMSW, consultant to the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, appeared on NBC 4 New York to talk to Contessa Brewer about domestic violence and how it specifically impacts individuals and families who have pets.

On October 14, Rita Garza, URI Senior Vice President of Marketing, Communications & Development, spoke at the 2014 Purina Better with Pets Summit about domestic violence, pets, and URIPALS’ groundbreaking work in a presentation called Reinventing Shelters for Humans and Pets (Segment: 38:20–01:07:30).

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Events & Campaigns, Fundraising, Helping Pets and People in Crisis, Pet Care & Training