It has recently come to our attention that there is some confusion and misinformation circulating via social media and email regarding our Wheels of Hope program. We have been sharing details since earlier this year with the animal shelters and rescue groups that utilize Wheels of Hope services. We’d now like to take this opportunity to provide the public with a greater sense of clarity about the future of the program and the transition ahead.
First, a little background: The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals was created more than 16 years ago as an umbrella organization of animal welfare in New York City, with the express mission to make NYC a no-kill city. Before the Mayor’s Alliance’s founding in 2003, the live release rate at NYC’s municipal shelter system, Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC), was less than 25%. Today, thanks to the programs and services created by the Mayor’s Alliance, coupled with the work and dedication of the more than 150 Alliance Participating Organizations, ACC’s live release rate is now above 90% for the third year in a row. We are proud of this tremendous success and the ecosystem of animal welfare we have created and sustained in NYC.
Each year since our ten-year strategic plan was completed in 2013, and since we accomplished our mission to make NYC a no-kill city, the Mayor’s Alliance has reevaluated our programs and how they serve the always-evolving landscape of animal welfare in NYC. Our most recent evaluation of our Wheels of Hope transport program and how it meets the current needs of our community revealed that transitioning this program to new administration now would be the best way to continue to serve NYC’s animals and the organizations that help save their lives.
Since 2005, the Mayor’s Alliance has provided free transport service via Wheels of Hope. This unique program has moved more than 100,000 animals to no-kill animal shelters and rescue groups over the years. As our number of transports has continued to decline each year due to the success in increasing adoption rates and decreasing shelter intake rates at ACC, and as ACC has garnered support to create its own in-house transport program, we feel the time is right to evolve Wheels of Hope. We have been thoughtfully and carefully arranging this transition over the past several months.
The Mayor’s Alliance, ACC, and Best Friends Animal Society are currently working side-by-side to develop solutions. Best Friends will be offering some short-term out-of-state transport for rescue partners, with the goal of supporting the transition time needed to build a long-term plan. In the meantime, the Mayor’s Alliance will continue to provide transport services outside of ACC’s programs, such as trap delivery and spay/neuter transportation for Certified TNR Caretakers.
We hope this information clarifies any inaccuracies you may have read recently in other online forums. We truly appreciate receiving so many messages of support and incredibly kind words about what Wheels of Hope has meant to the NYC-area animal rescue and shelter community for the past 14 years. It has been an honor and a joy to transport so many homeless NYC shelter pets to bright, happy futures.