Jane Hoffman Named to Alley Cat Allies’ Feline Forward Task Force

Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies, earlier this year named Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals president Jane Hoffman to her Feline Forward Task Force. The task force is composed of leaders in animal protection whose experience and breadth of knowledge in navigating challenging situations qualify them to help animal organizations either remain on or get back on track during these extraordinary times. 

“No one wrote the playbook for our field to survive a year like this,” explains Becky. “We’ve all prepared for disasters, but nothing as comprehensive and sustained as the COVID-19 crisis.” 

Most organizations whose mission is to save animals are adapting to shrunken operating budgets, extended closures to the public, furloughed employees and volunteers, and postponed fundraising events. An uncertain future looms large, causing great anxiety and concern.

It is with those organizations in mind that Becky created the Feline Forward Task Force. “We want to help our colleagues across the country adapt to new realities and reimagine ways to serve their communities and save the lives of animals,” Becky says.

The task force provides organizations with access to solid experience and proven new strategies for thriving in this difficult environment. “We are all being forced to find new protocols and new tools, some of which will take us into the future,” says Becky. 

Specifically, the task force can help organizations large and small address new challenges in a wide range of activities, including spay/neuter programs, adoptions and foster placements, budgeting, fundraising, events, social media, and numerous others.

Jane’s extensive background in animal protection spans more than three decades and includes the creation of the Alliance and its innovative, lifesaving programs, including the NYC Feral Cat Initiative.

“I am honored to be a part of the Feline Forward Task Force and join this impressive team of extremely talented, creative, and accomplished leaders in our field,” says Jane. “Once again Becky has demonstrated a keen understanding of the most pressing needs of the moment by creating this task force. I look forward to collaborating with my fellow task force members to seek solid solutions to the new challenges presented by the COVID-19 crisis.”

To learn more about the Feline Forward Task Force, its members, and how it is helping animal protection organizations, visit the Alley Cat Allies website.

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

Reimagined Mayor’s Alliance Website: A Resource for NYC Pet Owners and People Who Want to Help Animals

New Yorkers seeking pet-related resources and information will discover a reimagined source when they visit the Mayor’s Alliance website at AnimalAllianceNYC.org. As part of our new focus for 2020, while continuing our efforts to make NYC a model community for our non-human animal friends and family members, our website now provides a wider and more diverse range of resources for people who need help to care for their pets as well as for people who want to help animals. 

Need Help?

Are you looking to adopt from a shelter or rescue group? Need an after-hours emergency vet, or low-cost spay or neuter? Seeking resources to help improve your pets’ health and safety? Need to report animal cruelty, abuse, or neglect? Found an injured, ill, or orphaned animal? Find resources that can help you take positive actions in these and many other circumstances under our new Need Help section.

Want to Help?

Do you want to foster a pet, or volunteer at a shelter? Donate pet supplies or become a Certified TNR Caretaker? Maybe you’re looking for a job in animal welfare or want to start your own animal rescue or sanctuary? Visit our Want to Help section to find lots of ways you can support the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, NYC-area animal shelters and rescue groups, and other animal welfare efforts in NYC and beyond.

Keep Informed

Stay abreast of our activities here at the Mayor’s Alliance by visiting our blog, Out of the Cage! We regularly post new articles on our blog, so you can read the latest news and then scroll down to view our older articles and watch a video about what the Mayor’s Alliance has accomplished.

We hope you’ll visit our updated website often, and please share the link widely with friends, family members, and anyone you know who has pets or has an interest in animal issues. And be sure to follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Girl Scout Troop Teams Up with Mayor’s Alliance to Deliver Cage Comforters to Shelter Animals

The Girl Scout Silver Award is the highest honor a Cadette can achieve. It involves a team of Girl Scout Cadettes focusing on an issue they care about, learning the facts, and taking action to make a difference. So when the Cadettes in Troop 41425 in Clark, NJ, undertook their Silver Award project, they decided to create cage comforters for shelter animals. 

After completing nearly 100 cage comforters, the Cadettes reached out to the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals to help get them to shelter animals. In our role as connector within the animal welfare community, we were delighted to be their partner in this truly worthwhile effort. 

“Our girls love animals and worked on their Girl Scout Bronze Award several years ago by helping the local animal shelter with some landscape work,” explained Troop Leader Stephanie Kleczynski. “The girls wanted to learn a new skill this time around and decided on learning to sew. They still wanted to help animals and, after some internet research, we came across the Alliance’s cage comforter web page and, well, it was a perfect combination of their new skill and helping animals.

“We had hoped to offer an educational program as well when we presented our donation, but with Covid we knew that was no longer a possibility,” Stephanie continued. So instead of presenting the comforters directly to a shelter, the Cadettes presented them to Alliance President Jane Hoffman at a park in New Jersey where a safe, socially distanced outdoor setting was maintained.

Jane enlisted transport driver and photographer Joe Galka to accompany her to the presentation, where she bestowed upon each Cadette an Alex and Ani charm bangle bracelet featuring the Alliance’s logo charm as a thank you gift.

“We feel privileged to accept the donated comforters on behalf of the many animals these comforters will help make a little more comfortable while they wait for their forever homes,” said Jane. Upon her return to New York, Jane delivered the donated comforters to Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC)Animal Haven, the Humane Society of New York, and The Patricia H. Ladew Foundation

The shelters immediately put the comforters to good use, as demonstrated by the photos above of comfy kitties awaiting their forever homes. 

We extend a warm thank you to Troop Leader Stephanie and Cadettes Cassie, Eva, Julia, Nila, Sophia, and Taylor for sharing their talents and passion with some very appreciative Little New Yorkers!

Posted in Alliance Participating Organizations, Animal Care & Control of NYC, Cats, Pet Adoption | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Mayor’s Alliance Participates in First NYC Animal Careers Week

The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals joined representatives from more than a dozen animal welfare organizations for New York City’s first annual virtual Animal Careers Week held September 21-24, 2020. The event is a part of the City’s effort to build more intentional pipelines for students seeking careers in animal welfare, and create a workforce that reflects the racially and culturally diverse communities served in NYC. 

The career fair, presented in partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Animal Welfare, the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, and City University of New York (CUNY), reflects a broader Fair Recovery initiative announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio in April to re-start the economy and rebuild a fairer, more equitable community for all New Yorkers.

“The event was advertised broadly to all CUNY schools through their career offices, as well as specifically to their animal programs,” said Christine Kim, Senior Community Liaison for the Mayor’s Office of Animal Welfare of the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, who spearheaded organizing the career fair. “CUNY students are diverse, representative of all the different walks of life in NYC, and are embedded in their local communities throughout the five boroughs.”  

Through four days of online panel presentations, students gained exposure to a wide range of career options within animal welfare. They asked questions about specific roles, networked with the participating animal organizations, and learned about professional development opportunities, including internships, jobs, and volunteer positions offered by those organizations. The Q&A format gave students abundant opportunities to explore their individual areas of interest. 

Representatives from each participating group spoke about their organizations, their roles, and day-to-day activities, and answered questions from students about how to prepare for a career in animal welfare. Panelists also described their own personal journeys that lead them to their own particular career destinations. 

Steve Gruber, Director of Communications for the Alliance and a member of the Animal Planning Task Force for NYC’s Emergency Management, represented the Alliance at the event.

Breakout group panels featured presentations on specific areas of focus, including:

  • Direct Care and Veterinary Medicine, including behavior, shelter care, conservation, LVTs, vets, wildlife rehab;
  • Advocacy and Education, including policy, legislation, grassroots organizing, outreach, humane education; and 
  • Entrepreneurship & Management, including communications, human resources, operations, start-ups, and philanthropy. 

This premier event’s participating organizations included Animal Care Centers of NYC, Animal Medical Center, A2Px, ASPCA, BARK, Behavior Vets of NYC, Best Friends Animal Society, Bideawee, Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, Multicultural Veterinary Medical Association, NYC Bar Association Animal Law Committee, NYC Hip Hop is Green, NYC Parks, PAWS NY, School for the Dogs, The Humane League, Woodstock Farm Sanctuary, and World Animal Protection. 

In keeping with the Alliance’s new focus for 2020, we will continue to work with the City of New York to address animal welfare-related issues in our community.

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

How I spent my summer vacation: rescuing the cat on my block

We are happy to share this guest blog article from long-time Mayor’s Alliance friend and supporter Susan Richard.

1010 WINS (New York) If truth be told, I haven’t taken an actual vacation since 2007. That was the year I visited my sister for a week in Paris. She lives there. It was fun. There was no carb left behind and I saw the Mona Lisa. The painting was a lot smaller than I expected. She is definitely smiling.

I generally take vacation in individual days, usually to work on a video for my AllForAnimalsTV blog or for an acting role. But this year I decided to take a whole week at once. Between the stress from stay-at-home pandemic life, my cat Louie dying suddenly from complications from lung cancer surgery, and frankly the news (which is enough to make any of us want to crawl under a rock), I needed a break.

The orange boy on my block was a mystery. He seemed to be in very good shape and wasn’t put off by humans, but he wasn’t letting anyone touch him. He never hissed and did vocalize, but it seemed to be more of a mating call common to unneutered males. I named him Goose, after Captain Marvel’s orange cat. My super approved.

On the flipside, if he was friendly, he’d need to get along with my three cats, and if not, a foster home or shelter would need to be lined up. There was also the fact that he’d first need to be humanely trapped, which is a project in itself. I wasn’t about to do this all alone.

So, the daily feeding continued. I actually didn’t see him most days but could tell he’d been eating.

Cut to July, when my neighbor mentioned that there was a long thread about him on the website NextDoor.com. She also said someone had called the NYC Feral Cat Initiative. While I didn’t really want to join yet another social media site, I wanted to know what was going on. Having blogged about the NYC animal rescue scene for eleven years, I know the folks at NYCFCI. In fact, earlier this year I posted an AllForAnimalsTV video about the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals having transitioned FCI to Bideawee.

With all that in place, it was all systems go.

So… What happened? Well, now you need to watch the video to find out! (Hint: Goose has his own website and Instagram.)

To learn more about helping Community Cats in your neighborhood, please visit NYCFeralCat.org.

Posted in Alliance Participating Organizations, Cats | Tagged , , | Leave a comment