About Us






TNR in the News

Your Colonies





Contact Us

Facebook Twitter YouTube

Out of the Cage! The Blog of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals

Save a Life. Donate Now.

Adopt a Cat!





Pets NYC's Gene King and Maria Barney (with Lloyd) have combined efforts to perform TNR in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood. (Photo by Mike Phillips)

Pets NYC's Gene King and Maria Barney (with Lloyd) have combined efforts to perform TNR in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood.

Photo by Mike Phillips

NYC Eartips: Summer 2008

Urban Cat League and Pets NYC Team Up in Hell's Kitchen

by Mike Phillips, President, Urban Cat League

Pets NYC owner Gene King and store manager Maria Barney have made helping feral cats and domestic strays in their neighborhood a priority while running a business in the street-smart Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan.

For years, Maria has been the driving force behind the Pets NYC adoption operation. Working for animals all her life, Maria did Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) before it had a name, and she has done careful adoptions of countless strays. Maria's judgment of prospective adopters is spot on. Her special knack is matching formerly feral kittens with just the right family who will successfully go the distance to bond with them.

The store has never sold animals of any kind, choosing instead to only adopt out rescued animals since it opened 20 years ago. This role expanded quickly when Urban Cat League lost use of its mid-town sanctuary in 2007. Without hesitation, new owner Gene King offered to hold Urban Cat League's large collection of TNR equipment in the store's basement. Gene had already embraced all the work Maria had been doing for years, but together they agreed to merge efforts with Urban Cat League.

For a TNR project involving the cats living nearby on the railroad track, Gene offered the store's basement as the recovery space.

In June, Pets NYC received a certificate from In Defense of Animals in recognition of its community service to the cats and dogs of New York City.

The official Urban Cat League Adoption Center for friendly strays and socialized feral kittens, Pets NYC (formerly METRO PETS), is located at 594 9th Avenue (between 42nd and 43rd Streets). The store hours are 10:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. The Adoption Center does not take in cats or kittens from the public. All animals for adoption come from Urban Cat League TNR projects. To learn more about Urban Cat League, go to www.UrbanCatLeague.org.

About the Author

Mike Phillips is the founder and President of Urban Cat League. He began his work for animals as a cage cleaning volunteer with Beingkind in New York City. Within six months he was the Volunteer Coordinator and enrolled in veterinary technician school. He has worked as a veterinary technician in the Intensive Care Unit at the ASPCA's Bergh Memorial Hospital and was the supervising veterinary technician in their Adoption Center in Manhattan. He helped start the first TNR training workshops in New York City when he was the President of Neighborhood Cats. As the President of Urban Cat League, he taught the first kitten socialization workshops in the city. His tried-and-true taming techniques are featured in Tough Love: Socializing Feral Kittens, a video used by animal shelters around the world.