Here we are, a year further along in the pandemic, and yes, some things have changed for the better. Yet many challenges remain. Having adapted to the ups and downs of the ongoing crisis, the Alliance has continued to strive to be a consistent and reliable source of information and guidance for New York City pet owners.
This year we responded to hundreds of requests for information about low-cost spay/neuter services. Finding a source for free or low-cost spay/neuter has continued to be a challenge because of COVID-related program changes at non-profits that offer the surgeries. Similarly, waitlists for veterinary care at most facilities that serve lower-income pet owners have become the norm.
Through our information phone line, emails, and our website, the Alliance has helped hundreds of pet owners connect with service providers they need to care for their pets. And we applaud our non-profit colleagues and partners for attempting to keep affordable spay/neuter and other vet care available, albeit less than pre-pandemic levels.
The Alliance continued in 2021 to evolve and define our role as a capacity-builder, a connector, and a hub for NYC animal welfare. In addition to connecting pet owners with resources for medical care, we guided them toward sources of pet food, legal assistance, and surrender prevention programs. We delivered donations of pet food and pet supplies to shelters, rescue groups, and pet owners.
We continued to serve with our valued partners on the Animal Planning Task Force at NYC’s Emergency Management. As one of the APTF’s original members, we continued to work with our colleagues to seek and institute solutions to the challenges imposed upon pets and their people by the evolving health crisis and other adverse circumstances.
We advocated for animal friendly legislation by testifying before City Council. Just last week, our efforts in concert with our partners in the Lights Out Coalition helped to gain a victory for migratory birds with the passage of legislation that will reduce light pollution in New York City and save the lives of thousands of birds each year.
Our successes this year have only been possible because of our wonderful supporters who believe in our work and share our commitment to New York City’s animals. Since our founding in 2003, private support has fueled our success, as the Alliance receives no government funding.
As we draw to the close of 2021 and look ahead to the promises of a new year, we invite you to join our efforts to make New York City a better community for companion animals, homeless animals, community cats, and the people who care about them.
To our friends, supporters, and animal lovers in NYC and beyond, thank you for all you do for the animals. The Alliance staff wishes you, your family and friends peace, good health, and happiness in the new year.