Monday, May 24, 2004

ASPCA Announces Five Million Dollar Commitment to Mayor's Alliance for NYC'S Animals, Inc.

Bloomberg issues proclamation in support of initiative to reduce euthanasia and increase pet adoption

New York, NY – Monday, May 24, 2004 – The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) today announced a five million dollar funding commitment to the Mayor's Alliance for New York City's Animals Inc. Beginning in 2005, the ASPCA will fund one million dollars per year for five years to support the Mayor's Alliance, which aims to make New York City "no kill" in five years. A public-private partnership with the City of New York that was launched in 2002, the Mayor's Alliance brings together more than 60 non-profit animal care groups, including the ASPCA, the Humane Society of New York, Animal Care & Control of New York City and smaller rescue organizations.

ASPCA Chairman of the Board and CEO Hoyle C. Jones made the historic announcement with ASPCA President Edwin J. Sayres at the Mayor's Alliance for Animals annual adoption event in Central Park on Sunday, May 23, 2004. "Every day in New York City as many as 200 lost, sick, injured, or abandoned animals are taken to our city's shelters. By the end of every week, about two-thirds of them have been put to death simply because there are not enough homes. Last year, the total number of cats and dogs euthanized was 35,000," said Mr. Jones. "The ASPCA is committed to reducing euthanasia and working with the City of New York to reach the Mayor's Alliance goal to make NYC "no kill."

The concept of "no kill" began in 1990 at the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which Sayres headed from 1998 to 2003. "No kill" does not mean that there will no longer be animals put to death at animal shelters. Rather, the goal is to not euthanized any healthy, adoptable animals. According to the National Council on Pet Overpopulation, about 20 percent of the animals that enter shelters are too sick or dangerous to save and they will continue to be euthanized.

NYC Parks & Recreation Assistant Commissioner Ed Lewis and NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene Assistant Commissioner Allan H. Goldberg presented the ASPCA with a Mayoral Proclamation recognizing May 23, 2004, as "ASPCA/Mayor's Alliance Day" on behalf of Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "This unprecedented financial commitment from the ASPCA will significantly improve animal welfare in our city," said Mayor Bloomberg. "This commitment validates the public-private initiative that we established when we created the Mayor's Alliance and will enable the Alliance to attract additional private investment from foundations and individual donors to improve the private adoption and spay/neuter infrastructure that supports our public facilities. Leveraging private resources will help us reach our goal of having no adoptable cat or dog euthanized because it does not have a home."

Jane Hoffman, President of the Mayor's Alliance outlined how the funds would directly benefit animals. "The ASPCA grant will support and expand the Alliance's four core objectives: to increase the number of adoptions, decrease animal homelessness, raise public awareness of local shelter and rescue organizations and their adoptable animals, and strengthen existing efforts and resources," said Ms. Hoffman. "With the resources, expertise and leadership of the ASPCA behind us, the Alliance is poised to successfully attract additional private grants."

The Mayor's Alliance has applied for a 16 million dollar grant from the Maddie's Fund, which was created by Dave Duffield in 1999 of the computer firm PeopleSoft, in memory of his miniature schnauzer, Maddie. The California-based charity began with $240 million and is expected to raise $1 billion in the next few years, with the goal of creating a "no-kill nation." To be eligible for grants, communities must show they can eliminate killings of adoptable animals within a five-year period, a goal so ambitious it forces cooperation among city government, animal rescue groups and veterinarians: something the Mayor's Alliance is doing in New York City.

Since it's inception, the Mayor's Alliance has been bringing together the animal welfare community as it strives to develop creative approaches to raise awareness about pet adoption, and responsible pet ownership. The Alliance also promotes the importance of spay/neuter and dog licensing. Adoption events organized by the Alliance at city parks were responsible for the adoption of over 300 pets in 2003. Pet-ARK, an ATM-like kiosk that helps people locate pets for adoption from within the shelter system are in place at nine locations city-wide and on the Web.

The Pet-Ark was funded by PetSmart Charities and a grant from animal activist and ASPCA spokesperson Mary Tyler Moore and her husband, Dr. Robert Levine. "I want every New Yorker to know that there are thousands of wonderful and healthy, loving cats and dogs sitting right now in cages at shelters across this city waiting for someone to love them," said Mary Tyler Moore. "Don't go to a pet store - go to a shelter and adopt!" Moore thanked the ASPCA and the Mayor's Alliance for their efforts and also praised Ed Boks, Executive Director of the New York City Animal Care & Control who participated in the announcement.



Ruth Goldstein: (212) 876-7700 x4661

Brigid Fitzgerald: (212) 876-7700 x4662


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