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NYC Animals Shelters improved? Hardly. See the responses

Once again, Christine Quinn defies the will of the people and City Council and is trying to kill the law that was passed several years ago that would mandate shelters in the Bronx and Queens. This is reminiscent of what she did with term limits when she strong armed the City Council to defy the will of the people. She is good at that because it is evident that she does not respect the democratic process.

The City was sued about the lack of shelters with Stray from the Heart as the Plaintiff. The case was won, but appealed by the City. This is Quinn's solution. See her e-mail below and Zelda Penzel's response just below..

If you think this is acceptable, I ask that you take off your blinders.

The arrogance displayed by Quinn's announcement and the people involved should have us all questioning and demanding answers. NY Class has no business making policy about our shelter system. They have absolutely no expertise in this area and have not paid their dues. But they have supported Quinn's run for mayor. $$$$$$$$ That should be a huge red flag to everyone who cares about animal issues in this city.

from "Zelda" ,

Response to Quinn re Major Turning Point in Efforts to Improve NYC's Animal Shelters

Please send your own comments!!! (see 2 below in response to message from Quinn).

After demonstrations, exposes on TV, petitions, letters and meetings with city officials and their aides, the internet gone viral with all the messages about the killing of thousands of innocents, wallowing in filth and ill from lack of care at ACC, here it is at last! The band-aid we have been waiting for....to cover the gaping wound inflicted by a "could not care less about animals" Mayor, City Council, DOH/ACC Board and Executive Director of ACC (aided and abetted by the Mayors Alliance and the ASPCA and their hangers on who hope to profit from this deal)!

Activists turning up the heat all these months, surely did have an impact, so let's congratulate THEM for that!!! But this outcome, is only a first baby step!

The battle to save animals from daily destruction in the city slaughterhouses, is far from over and just pouring money into an archaic and rotten system will never solve the problem.

It's the failure in leadership! It's the lack of commitment to saving lives! It's the tunnel vision and prevailing belief system, stupid!

For anyone who read the press release and naively thought "ah progress at last, maybe we are having some impact," you need to read between the lines!

NOTE: This is barely a restoration of basic, humane services that were cut or never offered (with a few added "perks").... services that had been stripped down from the animal "care" part of ACC, which was nothing short of criminal behavior on the part of ACC and their co-conspirators!!

Now they are taking "bragging rights" about this great plan concocted by the same old "insiders", with no in-put from rescues or the animal advocacy community at large.

This deal is a sell-out, nothing more! A political arrangement that does not truly solve the problems facing animals in a broken and archaic shelter system run with a 20th century mindset.

If one were to consider the population of the Bronx and Queens compared with the largest cities in the US, Queens would be the 3rd largest city and the Bronx, the 6th largest, in the United States!!!!

And no more shelters in exchange for this deal????

A budget reaching $12 million in 2014, for THREE shelters, plus 2 receiving centers, for a system handling over 40,000 animals each year? You do the math! The recommended amount is $4-$8 per capita. Shame on Bloombucks and the whole crowd! No cigar here!

And the city is still left with a warehouse in Manhattan, an internment camp in Brooklyn, both on the fringes of the boroughs, where hardly anyone ventures to come if they want to adopt an animal.

Where do they expect to put all those animals that will now be picked up or dropped off at the receiving centers, many of whom, until now, have been left to roam and become strays? The 3 city shelters are already killing them as fast as they can, hundreds of animals each week.

And if Speaker Quinn thinks this will make her look like an animal advocate when she runs for Mayor....well LOL!

Zelda Penzel
Co-Founder, SOS:Save Our Shelter Animals
NY, NY

From: aed
To: speakerquinn@council.nyc.ny.us
Sent: Friday, August 12, 2011 4:38 PM
Subject: Re: NYC Council

Dear Ms. Quinn,

I suppose I received your email because I emailed my response to the recent new plan you have come up with regarding the ACC. It really does no good to keep sending out the same prepared email over and over to me. You didn't bother to read my response so I am going to include it here. Granted, it may be too much for you to read but I will hope that you can spare some bit of time to go over it. I do not stand alone in the view I've taken on this subject. There are many of us who find this "new plan" a complete sham.

This is what I wrote to Mr. Mancino:

Dear Mr. Mancino,

When I got the blanket email from Christine Quinn's office proclaiming a "Major Turning Point in Efforts to Improve NYC's Animal Shelters" I immediately felt inclined to take her up on the offer of emailing you with comments. Below you will see my comments interspersed in the Release from the Mayor's Office. I want to say upfront that I think it's pathetic that the very same people who created a slaughterhouse are the very ones patting themselves on the back for this lame attempt to appease the animal loving community. It's a small band-aid used to save a enormous gaping wound. Please read my comments below to understand how I and many others feel about this "Major Turning Point".

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Council Member Jessica Lappin, New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley, Animal Care & Control of NYC (AC&C), the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), and the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals today announced an agreement that will significantly enhance services and care for dogs and cats that come into the City’s animal shelter system. As a result of the agreement, the Health Department and AC&C will increase the number of staff in shelters and receiving centers, expand the number of days and hours that animals may be dropped off or picked up, and increase the rescue of stray, injured and abandoned animals.

Julie Bank has "fired" (if it's possible to fire an unpaid volunteer) 2 outstanding and caring unpaid volunteers. Agreeing to increase staff should start with reinstating these 2 amazing people: Emily Tanen and Jeff Latzer.

With legislation sponsored by Council Member Lappin, the City will commit to increasing its investment in the shelters over the next three years by nearly $10 million. This year, an additional $1 million will be invested, and by July 2014, the City’s annual budget for the shelters will exceed $12 million, 77 percent above current funding. The Health Department projects that once this funding increase has been fully implemented, shelter staffing will increase by as many as 100 personnel.

This year the Queens Library, with their lobbying efforts, got 25 million tax dollars for their budget. They are not waiting for 2014 for that money. How lovely that the books will be well cared for. Trees got saved from this years budget. I can only conclude that Adrian Benepe (Head of the Parks Dept.) arranged that. He's a member of the Board of the ACC as well but has never attended a meeting and refuses to give up his seat to someone who really cares about the animals. Yet the animals at the ACC have to wait until 2014 to get all the money that they should have and desperately need RIGHT NOW. Why is it taking so long to get that money?

“The overwhelming majority of pet owners in New York City are responsible and caring, but unfortunately, 40,000 dogs and cats enter our shelters each year because their owners cannot or do not care for them.” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Despite a difficult budget climate, we are committed to significantly improving the way animals are cared for while they await adoption. I want to thank Speaker Quinn, the Health Department, Animal Care & Control of NYC and our city’s leading animal welfare organizations for reaching this important agreement.”

While the animals wait for adoption the ACC should make an effort to get them adopted. No mention of that. They do nothing but provide the euthanasia list to rescue groups 12 hours before the killing starts. If the rescue groups can't save an animal it is killed. The ACC does little if anything to showcase these adoptable animals. But in this piece of "agreement" there is no mention of that and no requirement for that.

Ongoing conversations between the Bloomberg Administration, City Council members and community animal organizations culminated in today’s agreement, which focuses on how to best care for the City’s animals, continue to increase adoption rates and reduce euthanasia rates, and expand spay neuter programs to reduce the number of animals needing shelter – all in the most fiscally responsible way possible.

With the agreement, the Health Department will no longer have a legal obligation to build and maintain full-service shelters in every borough, only to maintain the existing shelters in Staten Island, Manhattan and Brooklyn.

AND THERE IT IS! This is the entire purpose of this sham - so they can save money by not abiding by the law they themselves created.

The elimination of the expense of building shelters in Queens and the Bronx, which would have cost the City millions in capital funds and annual operating costs, has allowed the city to re-evaluate how to provide needed services.

I wonder how long that "reevaluation" will take.

This agreement will result in increased care of animals at the shelters, expanded hours at receiving centers and increased services to the people and animals of New York City. As a result of the agreement, the Health Department will also, for the first time, require that free-roaming cats be neutered and issue rules regarding trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs to help control the City’s feral cat population.

This worries me. What exactly do they mean by issuing rules to control the feral cat population? Their TNR program really needs to be spelled out so they don't get away with killing off these colonies.

The Department will also work with the Council and advocates to increase dog licensing, which will make it easier for owners to find lost dogs as well as raise revenue to support the enhancement of the City’s animal services.

It should also include mandatory microchipping and the equipment to check for microchipped animals entering into the ACC facilities.

In addition to these programmatic enhancements, the Health Department is investing in capital improvements for animal care facilities. It has recently completed an award-winning design for a new shelter in Staten Island, has plans to improve the customer service area in the Bronx receiving facility and will continue to pursue a new animal receiving facility in Queens.

We all want to see this award winning design. How much will it cost? Is this the wisest use of money earmarked for the ACC? Could that money be used to upgrade existing facilities rather than building a new on in Staten Island? This leaves the most used, most crowded facilities - Brooklyn and Manhattan - still in dire need of money. Why put the money in the least used ACC building?

“We are steadfast in our commitment to improving the way the City cares for abandoned and homeless animals,” said Council Speaker Quinn. “The expansion of services in this legislation will better the lives of animals in the shelter system and help increase adoption rates so that more cats and dogs can be placed in permanent homes. Mayor Bloomberg, Council Member Lappin, the Health Department, AC&C and the City’s leading animal welfare organizations collaborated to reach this agreement, and I thank them for their hard work.”

Campaign rhetoric. Her track record is ZERO on every animal issue in NYC. Look it up.

“This is a great step in the right direction,” said Council Member Lappin. “It will make it much easier for New Yorkers to do right by their dogs and cats and will reduce the number of unwanted animals.”

“This legislation will increase the number of animals adopted by New Yorkers and improve shelter conditions for the thousands of animals that currently pass through the New York City animal shelter system,” said Health Committee Chair Maria del Carmen Arroyo.

In the year 2014 unless they forget by then.

“Over the last several years, the City, working with AC&C and its rescue partners, has greatly increased the percentage of animals that have been adopted from the City’s animal shelters,” said Commissioner Farley.
Not even remotely true. The rescue groups have increased the adoption of the animals, not the City, not the DOH and definitely not the ACC.

“With this agreement, we will be able to focus resources and provide even better services for the thousands of dogs and cats who come into the shelter system. Our highest priority over the long term,

There's another phrase they like - "over the long term". We're talking about animal's lives, not books, not trees. Animals are being killed EVERY SINGLE MORNING! There is no LONG TERM that should be accepted. This is a NOW OR NEVER situation.
though, is to reduce the number of animals that enter the City’s shelters, and to do that, we need to promote responsible pet ownership. For New Yorkers who own pets, especially cats that are allowed outdoors, that means ensuring that pets are spayed or neutered.”

What you need is to understand that nothing will help these animals unless active participation is implemented immediately. This means constant presence at block parties, street fairs, adoption events, vans at popular, crowded areas of the city, etc..... And since the present members of the Board of Directors has NO INTEREST in doing any of these things it's time to replace the board members with people who want to do these things. It amazes us that those in charge are unwilling to do what is necessary to get animals adopted and yet refuse to relinquish their roles to those who want nothing more.

Can you explain that to me, Mr. Mancino? Seriously, can you get back to me and explain that?

Sincerely,
anne davis
============================================================

On Fri, Aug 12, 2011 at 4:17 PM, wrote:

August 12, 2011

Dear Ms. Davis,

Thank you for sharing your concerns about the City's animal shelter system.

Ensuring that we have adequate resources to care for and protect lost and abandoned animals is deeply important to the City Council and me, and I greatly appreciate your care and concern for these special animals.

As you may have heard, this past month the Administration, the City Council, Animal Care & Control of NYC (AC&C), the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), and the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals announced a new plan that will fundamentally improve the way the City cares for abandoned and homeless animals.

A key part of this plan is the Administration and City Council's commitment to add nearly $10 million to the City's shelter system over the next three years, including $1 million this fiscal year. This badly-needed boost in funding will help restore and expand critical services, bettering the lives of animals in the shelter system and increasing their chance of being placed in loving and supporting homes.

In light of our current fiscal situation, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) will no longer be obligated to build shelters in the Bronx and Queens as required as part of an earlier five borough shelter requirement. Instead, the department will work with AC&C to improve services in the Bronx and Queens by expanding the hours of operations that dogs and cats can be accepted from 8 hours a day, 1 or 2 days a week, to 12 hours a day, 7 days a week; and by increasing van service to rescue stray, injured and abandoned animals. The existing shelters in Staten Island, Manhattan and Brooklyn will also receive additional staffing to strengthen their operations.

The City will also be required to issue a report providing key data on trends and the progress and quality of care at each full-service animal shelter and animal receiving center – data that will help us analyze and track the progress of these enhanced services.

The plan will be codified through legislation sponsored by Council Member Jessica Lappin, which will be introduced later this month. As part of this legislation, free-roaming cats will be required to be neutered and DOHMH will issue rules regarding trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs to help control the City's feral cat population.

Finally, the City Council and DOHMH will work together to increase dog licensing in all five boroughs. This will make it easier for owners to find lost pets while raising additional revenue to help support the continued enhancement of the City's animal services.

The City Council will be holding a public hearing on the legislation this fall. At that time, folks will have an opportunity to officially comment and weigh in on these proposed changes. We will be sure to notify you once the hearing has been set.

In the meantime, you can read more about our new animal shelter plan by clicking on the links below:
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/bronx/gimme_animal_shelter_R8Sprt6p0e...

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/07/27/nyc-animal-shelters-could-get-big...

Thanks again for sharing your concerns with me, Ms. Davis. I look forward to working with you to help better serve and save the lives of animals in New York City.

Sincerely,

Christine C. Quinn

Speaker

NYC Council

From: speakerquinn@council.nyc.ny.us
To: zpenzel@xxx.com
Sent: Friday, August 12, 2011 12:42 PM
Subject: Major Turning Point in Efforts to Improve NYC's Animal Shelters

August 12, 2011

Dear New Yorker,
We've reached a major turning point in our efforts to revamp the City's animal shelter system.

This past month, the Administration, the City Council, Animal Care & Control of NYC (AC&C), the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), and the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals announced a major new plan that will fundamentally improve the way the City cares for abandoned and homeless animals.

A key part of this plan is the Administration and City Council's commitment to add nearly $10 million to the City's shelter system over the next three years, including $1 million this fiscal year. This badly-needed boost in funding will help restore and expand critical services, bettering the lives of animals in the shelter system and increasing their chance of being placed in loving and supporting homes.
In light of our current fiscal situation, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) will no longer be obligated to build shelters in the Bronx and Queens as required as part of an earlier five borough shelter requirement. Instead, the department will work with AC&C to improve services in the Bronx and Queens by expanding the hours of operations that dogs and cats can be accepted from 8 hours a day, 1 or 2 days a week, to 12 hours a day, 7 days a week; and by increasing van service to rescue stray, injured and abandoned animals. The existing shelters in Staten Island, Manhattan and Brooklyn will also receive additional staffing to strengthen their operations.

The City will also be required to issue a report providing key data on trends and the progress and quality of care at each full-service animal shelter and animal receiving center – data that will help us analyze and track the progress of these enhanced services.

The plan will be codified through legislation sponsored by Council Member Jessica Lappin, which will be introduced later this month. As part of this legislation, free-roaming cats will be required to be neutered and DOHMH will issue rules regarding trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs to help control the City's feral cat population.

Finally, the City Council and DOHMH will work together to increase dog licensing in all five boroughs. This will make it easier for owners to find lost pets while raising additional revenue to help support the continued enhancement of the City's animal services.

We want to thank the Mayor, Health Commissioner Dr. Farley, and the folks at AC&C, ASPCA, the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals, and NYCLASS (New Yorkers for Clean, Livable & Safe Streets) for all of their hard work and input in developing this plan. Special thanks as well to all of the advocates and activists who have continued to fight and advocate for these animals. With this plan, we will be better able to provide abandoned and homeless animals in our city the quality care and support that they need and rightfully deserve.

The City Council will be holding a public hearing on the legislation this fall. At that time, folks will have an opportunity to officially comment and weigh in on the new shelter plan. We will be sure to notify you once the hearing has been set.

In the meantime, you can read more about this plan by clicking on the links below:

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/bronx/gimme_animal_shelter_R8Sprt6p0e...

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/07/27/nyc-animal-shelters-could-get-big...

Also, if you have any questions about the plan, please feel free to contact Joe Mancino in the Council's Human Services Division at (212) 341-0357 or jmancino@council.nyc.gov.
We look forward to working with you to help better serve and save the lives of animals in New York City. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Christine C. Quinn

Speaker

NYC Council

Maria del Carmen Arroyo

Chair, Health Committee

NYC Council

Jessica S. Lappin

Council Member

NYC Council


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