The Wheels of Hope Turn for Animals in Crisis

Maya, a cat rescued by the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals' Wheels of Hope transport program from the site of a deadly gas explosion, was ready to be driven to safety. (Photo by Jenny Coffey)

Maya, a cat rescued by the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals’ Wheels of Hope transport program from the site of a deadly gas explosion, was ready to be driven to safety. (Photo by Jenny Coffey)


Since 2005, the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals has transported 80,000 cats and dogs to partner rescue groups, adoptive and foster homes, spay/neuter appointments, and veterinary providers with our Wheels of Hope transport program. Our six transport vans run seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, to help NYC’s shelter pets and feral and stray community cats. This month, we are bringing you stories of organizations and individuals who are saving the lives of animals in New York City with the help of our Wheels of Hope. We hope you enjoy these Wheels of Hope: Tales from the Road!

Patricia lives with her cat Maya in an apartment building in East Harlem that was next to one of the two buildings that collapsed after a deadly gas explosion in March 2014. Patricia was at work at the time of the explosion and recalls worrying about being able to get back into her building to find Maya. When it was deemed safe to allow residents into the building, they were given 15 minutes to gather their belongs. Patricia remembers being shocked by the condition of the building. The hallways were pitch black. There was thick smoke everywhere and shards of glass covered the floors.

The door to Patricia’s apartment had been broken down and the conditions inside were no better. “I was overwhelmed,” says Patricia. “And I am asthmatic, so the smoke was getting to me. I needed help to find Maya and get her out of the building. Luckily, staff from the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, and their Wheels of Hope transport program were there.”

Perhaps as luckily, Maya had decided not to flee the chaos, but to take refuge in the bathtub, where an Alliance staffer found her. The Wheels of Hope (WOH) transport program got Maya into a carrier and drove her to one of several shelters offering short-term, temporary housing for animals displaced by the explosion.

It was several weeks before the building allowed residents to move back in. During that time Patricia stayed at a place that did not allow pets. She relied on WOH to help her find and transport Maya to a second animal shelter, where Maya was able to stay for the duration. When Patricia moved back into her apartment, WOH gave Maya one more ride — back to her home, and into Patricia’s loving arms.

Now Maya again greets Patricia every day when Patricia comes home from work. Relieved to have the whole experience behind her, Patricia declares, “The WOH was a major blessing!”

Keep the Wheels Turning for NYC’s Animals!

Our current Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals Wheels of Hope fleet has driven a combined 1,415,198 life-saving miles! Our oldest transport vans each have now logged more than 300,000 miles, and our maintenance costs continue to rise with each vehicle’s mileage. In order to sustain the incredible pace we have set for NYC’s animals, we now are in need of a new Wheels of Hope transport van.

This month, as we race to help even more animals find homes for the new year, please join our campaign to keep the Wheels of Hope reliably turning in 2015 and beyond. Your tax-deductible donation will help us continue to help others save precious lives and bring hope to the littlest New Yorkers in the new year. Donate now at

Keep the Wheels Turning for NYC's Animals


Cats, Events & Campaigns, Fundraising, Helping Pets and People in Crisis, Wheels of Hope/TransportPermalink

Leave a Reply