Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals and Humane Society of New York Team Up to Offer FREE Spay/Neuter Clinic for Rabbits

(Photo by David Lagville)

(Photo by David Lagville)

Free spay/neuter surgeries for rabbits will be provided by appointment on Saturday, April 5, 2014, at the Humane Society of New York Animal Clinic

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 – New York, NY – Easter bunnies are not a happy bunch. Nor, in many cases, are the families that acquire them.

Taking care of rabbits and socializing them takes a lot of time and effort — something parents who buy the cuddly pets for their children do not always realize. Nor are they always aware of their new pets’ prolific breeding habits. Suddenly there are litters of baby bunnies and new owners quickly start to feel in over their heads.

Many end up releasing their new pets outdoors, unaware that domestic rabbits cannot survive in the wild. Other owners give the pets up to animal shelters like Animal Care & Control of NYC (AC&C) and its rabbit adoption partner, NYC Metro Rabbit, the adoption program of Rabbit Rescue & Rehab. These organizations alone take in roughly 600 rabbits each year, making rabbits the third-largest animal shelter population after cats and dogs.

(Photo by Anna Bongiorno)

(Photo by Anna Bongiorno)

One way to cut back on the buyer’s remorse and resulting abandonment of rabbits is to make sure that the animals are spayed or neutered before or soon after they are brought home.

Anyone adopting from a rescue group or shelter receives a rabbit who already has been spayed or neutered. And now, even New Yorkers who have bought “intact” rabbits from pet shops can have their new pets spayed or neutered at no cost through the FREE Rabbit Spay/Neuter Clinic being offered jointly by the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals and the Humane Society of New York.

The free clinic will be held on Saturday, April 5, at the Humane Society of New York Animal Clinic (306 East 59th Street, between 1st and 2nd Avenues). Appointments must be made in advance by calling (212) 752-4842, and rabbit owners will be asked to bring their rabbits in for a free check-up a few days before the surgery. More rabbit spay/neuter clinics are planned; New Yorkers can check the Alliance website for information about future clinics.

   

   


(Photo by David Lagville)

(Photo by David Lagville)

Adopt a Rabbit!

Jane Hoffman, president of the Alliance, encourages New Yorkers who are considering adding a bunny or two to their families to adopt from rescue groups and shelters instead of buying rabbits from pet stores.

“Adopting offers many advantages,” explains Hoffman. “Like all New York City shelter animals, shelter rabbits are spayed or neutered before they are given to their adopters. And adoption counselors are terrific at matching people with pets and providing guidance on how to care for rabbits, which is very different from caring for cats and dogs.”

Among the many places New Yorkers can adopt rabbits are the Humane Society of New York; the Manhattan location of Animal Care & Control of NYC (AC&C); Petco’s East 86th Street and Union Square stores, which have rabbits and adoption counselors from NYC Metro Rabbit; and Brooklyn’s Sean Casey Animal Rescue.

   

   

   


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

The Humane Society of New YorkAbout the Humane Society of New York
Since 1904 the Humane Society of New York has been a presence in New York City, reaching out to animals in need when illness, injury, or homelessness strikes. Open 7 days a week, today its hospital and The Vladimir Horowitz and Wanda Toscanini Horowitz Adoption Center help more than 38,000 animals annually. HSNY’s adoption Center provides safe haven — with no time limit — for rescued animals while permanent adoptive homes are found. The clinic provides low-cost and funded veterinary services, including critical care for animals who would otherwise have nowhere to turn for life-giving help. To support the community, HSNY offers a range of free and low/cost spay/neuter options to protect animals’ health and prevent pet overpopulation. www.HumaneSocietyNY.org

Media Contact

Alix Friedman, LAK Public Relations, Inc.
Phone: (212) 329-1412
E-mail: afriedman@lakpr.com

Posted in Alliance Participating Organizations, Animal Care & Control of NYC, Events & Campaigns, Pet Adoption, Pet Care & Training, Press Release, Rabbits, Spay/Neuter | Leave a comment

A Reunion Between Rescued Dog and Rescuer

Nicky, a Pit Bull mix, and Doug Halsey enjoyed their reunion six years after Doug pulled Nicky from the city shelter and obtained funding from the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals Medical Fund to get the dog's broken jaw repaired. (Photo by Tara Canty)

Nicky, a Pit Bull mix, and Doug Halsey enjoyed their reunion six years after Doug pulled Nicky from the city shelter and obtained funding from the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals Medical Fund to get the dog’s broken jaw repaired. (Photo by Tara Canty)

It had been six years since they’d last seen one another, but Nicky remembered Doug Halsey. The beautiful black-and-white Pit Bull mix enthusiastically greeted Doug, who now runs Ready for Rescue, an Alliance Participating Organization. Then he sat down by Doug’s side, mouth open, panting gently with excitement.

The fact that Nicky can open his mouth at all is due in large part to Doug’s caring and timely intervention in the dog’s life. As a volunteer at the time for A Cause for Paws, Doug received an e-mail from the New Hope program of Animal Care & Control of NYC (AC&C) about a dog that had been found on a Bronx rooftop who couldn’t open his mouth. No one had any idea how long Nicky had been in this condition. It was clear, however, that the dog had been hit with a blunt instrument and left to die. Luckily, someone called the police and Nicky was taken to AC&C’s Manhattan shelter, where Doug first met him.

“His jaw was locked shut so he could only stick his tongue out a little to lap up kibble and water,” Doug recalls. He pulled Nicky from the shelter and placed him in a foster home with Garo Alexanian, another long-time animal rescuer and caregiver. It was Garo, says Doug, who first suggested they see if it were possible to get the dog’s jaw repaired. Doug contacted the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals to see if Nicky qualified for financial assistance from the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals Medical Fund, a special fund that pays for lifesaving medical treatment for sick and injured animals awaiting adoption. Nicky was deemed an appropriate recipient and was taken to NYC Veterinary Specialists (now BluePearl) for surgery.

When Nicky first arrived at the city shelter, his jaw was so badly damaged he couldn't open his mouth.

When Nicky first arrived at the city shelter, his jaw was so badly damaged he couldn’t open his mouth.

“The initial diagnosis was extremely poor,” Doug remembers. “The vet was wonderful but had never done this kind of surgery before. She couldn’t even move Nicky’s mouth a quarter of an inch while he was under anesthesia.” The vet, according to Doug, wound up essentially rebuilding Nicky’s jaw. She cut out a section of Nicky’s cheekbone and then re-hinged the jaw.

The surgery was successful and, during post-operative care, a visit from Doug coincided with Nicky’s first open-mouthed yawn. Doug vividly remembers that emotional moment. “It was incredible,” he says. He quickly adds, chuckling, “His breath was unbelievably bad!”

When he was well enough to be released, Nicky returned to foster care with Garo. Shortly thereafter, Cathie Xenakis and her family, who were looking for a second dog to be a companion to their German Shepherd Abby, paid a visit to Garo. They initially wanted another German Shepherd, but the entire family, including Abby, found Nicky irresistible. “Out comes this dog,” recalls Cathie, “his face is crooked and he’s underweight but his tail is wagging. He’s as happy as can be. He was such a happy mess I fell in love with him!”

The Xenakis family adopted Nicky and whisked him off to their home in New Jersey, where the young dog continued to thrive. According to Cathie, “he grew up and grew out.” In the time he’s lived in his loving and nurturing home Nicky has gained more than 20 pounds and he now also boasts a sleek and shiny coat.

Happy and healthy — and handsome too! Rescued dog Nicky has come a long way from being abandoned on a rooftop in the Bronx. (Photo by Cathie Xenakis)

Happy and healthy — and handsome too! Rescued dog Nicky has come a long way from being abandoned on a rooftop in the Bronx. (Photo by Cathie Xenakis)

Nicky is an integral member of the family, having instantly formed bonds that have deepened over time. “He and Abby are like siblings,” says Cathie. The two spend their days together, playing and cuddling. But Nicky is also very much a “people dog,” Cathie says, laughing. “He’s such a goofball sometimes. When you come home he just runs around because he’s so happy.”

A happy Nicky is just who greeted Doug on Doug’s recent visit. And, while Nicky clearly remembered Doug, Doug has never forgotten Nicky either.

Nicky and his situation had such an impact on Doug that, at Ready for Rescue, which he founded in 2009, he has made rehabilitating injured and sick animals a main focus. “Nicky was the first animal I helped who needed special care,” he states. “He is the dog that inspired me to do the work I do today.”

Posted in Alliance Participating Organizations, Animal Care & Control of NYC, Dogs, Pet Adoption, Pet Fostering, Picasso Veterinary Fund | Leave a comment

A Senior Dog’s Second Chance

Life has been going swimmingly for Sam, a senior Bullmastiff, since he was rescued and adopted. (Photo by Matt Mitch)

Life has been going swimmingly for Sam, a senior Bullmastiff, since he was rescued and adopted. (Photo by Matt Mitch)

When Sam arrived at the Brooklyn Animal Care & Control of NYC (AC&C) shelter, he was already a mature Bullmastiff around six or seven years old. He was also clearly the victim of poor owner care. The dog was extremely thin, had lost most of his hair, and had a skin infection. His claws had not been clipped and his teeth were in need of work.

What seemed like a low point for Sam actually proved to be a turning point. AC&C immediately called the American Bullmastiff Association Rescue Service and Andrea Kelly, who has since gone on to head the non-profit Bullmastiff Rescuers, Inc. (BRI), had Sam pulled from the shelter the same day he arrived.

“Sam was a mess; he was covered in calluses,” recalls Andrea, who placed Sam with first-time foster dad Matt on his Pennsylvania farm. The bond between the two was instantaneous. “Sam was there for all of 12 minutes before Matt decided he was going to adopt him,” says Andrea.

In spite of their years, Sam (left) and Maxine still have enjoyed helping around the farm. (Photo by Matt Mitch)

In spite of their years, Sam (left) and Maxine still have enjoyed helping around the farm. (Photo by Matt Mitch)

Sam quickly recovered and thrived under Matt’s care. According to Andrea, when Matt first adopted Sam, he thought, because of the dog’s age, that they would have one or two years together at the most. That was more than six years ago. Now, about 13 years old, Sam is a beloved fixture on the farm. He has the energy and spirit of a much younger dog, and contrary to the behavior of most of his breed, he even loves the water and enjoys a good swim.

Sam has plenty of canine company to keep him active, too. Matt has fostered a number of other dogs over the years, including a Bullmastiff named Maxine, who BRI pulled from the Brooklyn AC&C shelter earlier this year. Maxine, also a mature dog, was found tied to a fence on New Lots Avenue in Brooklyn. After being alerted about her by AC&C, Andrea called the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals and requested that the Alliance’s Wheels of Hope transport Maxine from Brooklyn to the kennel where she spent the next two weeks clearing up her kennel cough. Then Maxine moved to Matt’s farm, where, before she found her forever home, she spent hours palling around with Sam. The two played and lounged together, and rode around the farm with Matt.

Sam (middle), in the company of Matt's other cute canines, has managed to stay younger than his 13 years. (Photo by Matt Mitch)

Sam (middle), in the company of Matt’s other cute canines, has managed to stay younger than his 13 years. (Photo by Matt Mitch)

There is an expression, “every dog has his day.” For a dog like Sam, those days are his senior ones. And they are not merely days, they are years and years that are healthy and full of love and companionship. As Andrea correctly points out, Sam’s story is the perfect example of the pleasures and rewards of adopting a senior dog.

   

Senior Pets: All They Need Is Love
To read more about the life-changing experience of opening your heart and home to a deserving senior, check out the Senior Pets: All They Need Is Love blog, Facebook, or Twitter.
Posted in Alliance Participating Organizations, Animal Care & Control of NYC, Dogs, Pet Adoption, Wheels of Hope | Leave a comment

Alliance Responds and Rescues Pets Stranded by East Harlem Explosion

Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals staff, Debbie Fierro (shown) and Jenny Coffey, were assisted by FDNY firefighters in rescuing cats and other pets stranded in apartments near the East Harlem explosion site. (Photo by Jenny Coffey)

Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals staff, Debbie Fierro (shown) and Jenny Coffey, were assisted by FDNY firefighters in rescuing cats and other pets stranded in apartments near the East Harlem explosion site. (Photo by Jenny Coffey)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

This time, an explosion rocked East Harlem. Two buildings collapsed and hundreds of families were displaced on Wednesday due to a gas leak. On Thursday, the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals stepped in* to help pet owners rescue their beloved animals from the adjacent buildings.

Each family was given only a few minutes to fetch what mattered most: their pets were top of the list — dogs, cats, and even fish. Animal Care & Control of NYC and the ASPCA offered supplies and the Alliance’s Debbie Fierro of the Wheels of Hope program and Jenny Coffey of the Helping Pets and People in Crisis program stepped in to help pet owners, one by one, gain access to destroyed apartments to make sure no animals were left behind. Con Ed remained nearby measuring possible gas leaks to make sure the building remained safe.

Inside the building, the collateral damage was devastating: the debris, the shattered windows, and the stench. Debbie and Jenny were instantly reminded of the Alliance’s response following Superstorm Sandy to help pet owners in the Rockaways. With strong determination and flashlights, the Alliance team searched for each animal and found them hiding and clearly traumatized by all they had gone through.

While some families had already found friends able to foster their pets, Animal Haven, a private animal shelter in lower Manhattan, offered a safe refuge for the remaining pets, giving each animal a safe place to go temporarily and each pet owner the time to make arrangements for their special companions.

Jenny Coffey from the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals finally found Paris hiding in a closet on Friday, March 14. (Photo by Debbie Fierro)

Jenny Coffey from the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals finally found Paris hiding in a closet on Friday, March 14. (Photo by Debbie Fierro)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Today Jenny and Debbie from the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals continued their intensive response to help displaced pet owners in need up in Harlem. Yesterday, many pets were retrieved, but others remained in danger because pet owners couldn’t find them during the limited building access. Certainly it is understood that the loud explosion and the sounds of smashing glass scared many of these animals, and some searched for secret hiding places. Today, the Alliance team gained access again, looking specifically for several cats, including Fritz and Paris. After careful inspection, Paris was found in a closet and Fritz was lifted from under a bed.

The day was completed by transporting a group of rescued animals by the Alliance’s Wheels of Hope. We coordinated with a number of Alliance Participating Organizations (APOs) to accept these animals for temporary care, and nearly a dozen animals have already been taken to The Humane Society of New York and Animal Haven. Today, dogs Spuds and Rosie went to Bideawee for a brief stay; turtles Bonnie and Clyde went to Sean Casey Animal Rescue, and a parakeet named Pepe went to a special foster home for birds arranged through the Alliance. Fritz and Paris will be spending the weekend with the Alliance, and we hope that all of these precious animals will soon be reunited with their families.

Your Donations Make This Possible!

It is through your generous donations that we can continue to provide these life-saving services for New York City’s vulnerable pets and the people who love them. Please consider making a one-time gift or setting up a monthly donation to provide ongoing support so we can always be ready to step in to help. Thank you!

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* The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals responds to disasters in New York City in collaboration with our partners on the Animal Planning Task Force (APTF) of the NYC Office of Emergency Management (OEM).

Posted in Alliance Participating Organizations, Animal Care & Control of NYC, Cats, Dogs, Helping Pets and People in Crisis, Safety/Emergency, Wheels of Hope | 2 Comments

Winter Weather Hazards Threaten Cats (and Dogs)

A raised feral cat feeding station with a roof can help keep food from freezing or being buried by snow. (Photo by Krista Menzel)

A raised feral cat feeding station with a roof can help keep food from freezing or being buried by snow. (Photo by Krista Menzel)

New York City is wrapping up an extremely cold and snowy winter, which made staying warm and safe challenging for everyone, but especially so for the city’s stray and feral community cats.

When the temperatures plummet and the streets turn cold and wet, an outdoor cat seeks the warmest shelter it can find. Unfortunately, that sometimes happens to be under the hood of a car next to the engine, or somewhere beneath a car, frequently on top of a tire. In either of these places a cat is well hidden from view and at great risk of injury or worse when a driver starts his or her car.

Not surprisingly, cats will seek out cars that have been recently parked, since their engines are still warm. It is a good idea, though, for all drivers to bang on their car’s hood and wait for a bit to see if a cat has chosen their vehicle as a place to get warm. According to Jane Hoffman, President of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, “With the current freezing temperatures, we need to be extra vigilant about the welfare of animals living outdoors — especially feral cats, who are forced to find inventive ways to stay warm. Taking 30 seconds to check for cats before starting your engine can mean the difference between life and death.”

The Deputy, a feral cat who was injured by a car engine, had to be euthanized. (Photo by Sheila Massey)

The Deputy, a feral cat who was injured by a car engine, had to be euthanized. (Photo by Sheila Massey)

Earlier this winter, at least one feral cat, The Deputy, was not so lucky. The Deputy had been taking refuge under the hood of a car parked in Washington Heights, unbeknownst to the car’s owner. When the owner started his engine, The Deputy’s left front paw was caught and severely injured. He escaped but developed an acute infection in his entire leg. When he was finally able to be brought to a veterinarian for medical treatment, it was determined that The Deputy’s injuries were too severe to be treated, and he was euthanized.

To protect the community cats in her care and to try to minimize their attraction to cars in cold weather, The Deputy’s caretaker, a long-time feral cat caretaker, has always provided the cats with winterized shelters. A winterized feral cat shelter is a small, well-insulated structure that is raised off the cold ground. A small shelter will trap a cat’s own body heat and help the cat stay warm. To intensify the warmth, a shelter’s inner walls and floor can be covered in Mylar or another substance that will reflect body heat back to a cat. Straw also retains heat and can be used to line a shelter floor. Caretakers should make sure to use straw and not hay. Straw is hollow and an excellent source of insulation and bedding when stuffed into a winter shelter. Hay is feed and could attract wildlife. According to Mike Phillips of the Mayor’s Alliance’s New York City Feral Cat Initiative and Co-founder of Urban Cat League, a shelter shouldn’t be level and should also have drainage holes in the bottom at the lowest point in order to allow any water that does find its way inside to drain out. Learn more about winter feral cat shelters that you can either make or purchase.

Feeding stations for community cats should also be raised off the ground during the winter to prevent food from freezing. Water should be placed in the sun in thick, deep, plastic containers that will help prevent it from freezing. As an alternative, caretakers might consider investing in solar-heated water bowls, such as the ones made by Solar Sippers.

Even when cats stay clear of car engines, they, and dogs, face another deadly danger in connection with automobiles — antifreeze poisoning. Ethylene glycol, the main ingredient in this liquid used to help keep a car’s engine from freezing, has an aroma and a sweet taste that dogs find appealing. In addition, both cats and dogs can accidentally ingest spilled antifreeze when they lick or drink something on the street or in a home where antifreeze is kept. Antifreeze poisoning can be fatal and should be treated immediately. According to the ASPCA, within 30 minutes of ingesting the liquid, a cat or dog typically appears lethargic, uncoordinated, and disoriented. If left untreated, the symptoms increase to include vomiting, mouth and stomach ulcers, kidney failure, coma, and death.

To help avoid antifreeze ingestion, don't let your dog drink out of puddles on the street.

To help avoid antifreeze ingestion, don’t let your dog drink out of puddles on the street.

At the end of 2012, manufacturers, in response to the number of pet fatalities tied to antifreeze ingestion, voluntarily agreed to add a bittering agent to the formula. However, the ASPCA and other animal welfare organizations do not believe there is enough research available at this time to prove this is a successful deterrent. Pet parents and concerned animal lovers are encouraged to use an antifreeze that does not contain ethylene glycol. Antifreeze made with propylene glycol apparently has a more bitter taste that makes it unpalatable to cats and dogs.

Pet parents are advised to keep whatever type of antifreeze they do use out of reach of pets and to make sure to clean up any spills right away. In addition, dogs should be restrained from drinking out of puddles on the street. If anyone suspects their pet may have ingested antifreeze they should immediately seek veterinary care or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435.

Antifreeze is not the only hazard to look out for when walking a dog. The huge amounts of coarse salt spread on city sidewalks to prevent slipping and to help melt ice and snow can irritate the pads on a dog’s paws. Dog booties are now available in a variety of sizes and styles to protect a dog’s feet. If a dog won’t adapt to wearing booties, a pet parent can apply petroleum jelly, olive oil, or Musher’s Secret paw wax to protect the bottoms of their dog’s feet. In addition, after each walk a dog’s paws should be thoroughly cleaned to remove salt and any encrusted ice or snow.

Dogs willing to wear them should have coats or sweaters to help protect them against the cold and windy weather during a walk. Cold air can also dry a pet’s skin, causing it to become itchy or flaky. Pet parents should consider using a humidifier during the coldest months, and should also be aware of drafty and cold places on the floors of their homes and be sure not to position pet beds or food bowls in those areas. Generally, puppies and senior dogs are more sensitive to cold weather than adult dogs are. During the most severely cold days, they should only be taken out for very short amounts of time. Indoors they should have a cozy, warm place to sleep.

PetCarePhoto-WinterThreats03Alert: Stray Voltage Danger!

One other unfortunate cold weather hazard city pets and their owners face is the potential of shocks from stray voltage. There are thousands of miles of electrical cables right underneath NYC sidewalks. Some of those cables are frayed or defective. If snowmelt and/or salt used to de-ice a sidewalk penetrate down to the cables, there is the risk that a pet or person walking across the sidewalk will receive a shock, which might be strong enough to be fatal. Pet owners are advised to exercise caution and be aware of their surroundings. Avoid manhole covers, sewer caps, metal gratings, Con Edison repair sites, and all overhead scaffolding at constructions sights.

If you suspect your dog is receiving a shock, do not touch your pet or the ground. Instead, immediately make an about face and, using the leash or other non-conductive object, maneuver your pet away from the area. If you travel forward, the voltage might increase. Then call 911 to report the danger.

   

   

Even though Staten Island Chuck has seen his shadow, guaranteeing New Yorkers more winter weather, if pet owners and caretakers take some extra precautions, they, and the animals in their care, will soon be enjoying the dog days of summer.

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Feral Cats & TNR, Pet Care & Training, Safety/Emergency | Leave a comment