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(Photos by Krista Menzel and Mark McQueen, phoDOGraphy.com)

Alliance Transfers Lifesaving Animal Welfare Programs and Shares Plans for the Future


Mayor's Alliance for NYC's AnimalsThe Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals was created in 2003 as a New York City 501(c)(3) non-profit animal welfare umbrella organization. Our mission was to transform NYC into a no-kill city, where no healthy or treatable cats and dogs are killed simply because they do not have homes. Before the Alliance’s founding, the live release rate at NYC’s municipal shelter system, Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC), was under 25%. In 2005, having secured a Maddie’s Fund grant, we launched our ten-year strategic plan.

Today, thanks to the programs and services created by the Alliance, coupled with the work and dedication of the more than 150 Alliance Participating Organizations that collaborated in our mission, ACC’s live release rate in 2019 is above 90% for the third consecutive year.

Having accomplished our mission to make New York City a no-kill city, the Alliance reevaluated our programming to adapt to the evolving landscape of animal welfare in NYC. After creating an ecosystem of animal welfare in NYC and sustaining the tremendous success it created, in 2019 we thoughtfully and carefully transitioned our key programming to other nonprofit partners. The Alliance will continue to think critically about our role in NYC as the capacity-builder, as the connector, and as a hub for NYC animal welfare, and how to best transition those roles in the future.

Our Roles Going Forward:

  • We will maintain our website to serve as a self-help desk for NYC residents who want to help animals, or who need help.
  • We will continue to provide limited services, resources, and guidance to local animal rescue groups and shelters.
  • We will continue to work with the City, thinking critically and strategically to address animal welfare-related issues in our community.
  • For years, the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals has been called upon many times to act as a consultant, advisor, and mentor in municipalities nationally. This will be an ongoing and increasing need in the years to come, and we will continue to be available in this capacity in the future.


(Photo by Krista Menzel)
Wheels of Hope

Between 2005 and May 2019, the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals provided free transport for shelter animals from Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC) via our Wheels of Hope program. This unique program transported up to dozens of animals at one time within a five-hour radius of New York City, moving more than 130,000 animals to no-kill animal shelters, rescue groups, and other safe havens over the years. As the number of transports declined because of our collective success in increasing adoption rates and decreasing shelter intake rates, the Alliance made the strategic decision to transition our Wheels of Hope to another organization poised to fund and operate an animal transport program to meet future community needs.

In May 2019, Best Friends Animal Society assumed the Wheels of Hope drivers, transport coordinators, vehicles, and all Wheels of Hope assets.

(Photo by Mark McQueen, phoDOGraphy.com)

Several times each year from 2010 through 2018, the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals presented Adoptapalooza — our signature mega pet adoption extravaganza — in Union Square Park and other locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. These free public events featured between 300 and 500 wonderful cats, dogs, and rabbits for adoption from 20–40 NYC-area shelters and rescue groups. Each Adoptapalooza also featured additional activities, including advice on pet care, training, and grooming; product giveaways; microchipping; dog licensing; pet photographers; dog performances; and other fun activities for the whole family — two- and four-legged alike.

After finding homes for more than 17,000 animals at Adoptapalooza events over the years, in May 2019, the Alliance transferred Adoptapalooza — including its volunteers, event equipment and supplies, and online presence — to Rock & Rawhide.

(Photo by Krista Menzel)
New York City Feral Cat Initiative

Since 2005, the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, through its New York City Feral Cat Initiative (NYCFCI), supported the efforts of organizations and individuals who work to help feral and stray community cats through Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), with the goal of humanely reducing the population of community cats in NYC.

The NYCFCI’s support services include free TNR certification workshops; free specialty training workshops, such as bottle-feeding, taming kittens, shelter building, and neighborhood relations; free loans of traps, dividers, and cages; free transport of traps and cats to and from clinics and holding/recovery space via the Alliance’s Wheels of Hope vans; free community outreach materials, advice, public education, and resources via phone and email help desks and its website; and help building relationships among members of the TNR community, local businesses, schools, and scout troops, and with NYC government and other entities, including the NYPD and NYFD.

The NYCFCI’s reach has grown nationally and internationally. Through in-person and webinar sessions, NYCFCI representatives have demonstrated for community leaders and cat caretakers in other cities and countries how to manage their community cat populations through TNR.

In 2019, the Alliance transferred its NYCFCI assets — including personnel, training and outreach materials, and physical equipment and supplies, including a transport vehicle — to Bideawee, an organization that possesses tremendous capacity, both fiscally and organizationally, to take the program to the next level.

Video: Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals Celebrates Success of Key Initiatives

This video offers a glimpse into the Alliance’s programs, which over the years helped to save more than 350,000 lives and increase NYC’s live release rate to more than 90%. We offer our heartfelt thanks to 1010 WINS Anchor and All For Animals TV Host Susan Richard for capturing the Alliance’s success on film, and for featuring the Alliance and other NYC animal welfare organizations, programs, and events for the past decade!