REFORM THE CACC NOW!
Mayor Bloomberg and Members of the City Council
Friends of Animals, In Defense of Animals, The Coalition for New York City Animals, People for the End of Animal Cruelty and Exploitation, The Humane Education Committee, The Shelter Reform Action Committee, United Action for Animals
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As concerned New Yorkers and taxpayers,
As caring advocates for animals and a better New York,
As members of rescue groups and animal welfare organizations,
As former New Yorkers, and visitors to your city,
We are appalled by the on-going horrific conditions, and lack of accountability to the public for those conditions, by the Center for Animal Care and Control (CACC). The recently released Comptrollers Report covering the period from January 1, 1999 to June 30, 2001, gives further clear evidence of the failure of the CACC to fulfill its contract and mandate. We therefore urge you, Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council, to begin at once a process leading to positive change and comprehensive reform.
The Center for Animal Care and Control, which has a contract with The
Department of Health to serve as the agency for animal control in New York
City, was set up as a not-for-profit, quasi city agency by the former mayor in 1995, when the ASPCA gave up its long standing contract with the city. The CACC is considered by many animal advocacy groups and experts to be an abysmal failure and has been the focus of City Council Hearings and countless media reports. In light of staggeringly high euthanasia numbers--over 43,000 in 2001 alone-- and concomitant low adoption numbers - less than 6,000 direct adoptions-- in the same period, the CACCs performance has been egregious. It is clearly time for a change and the time is NOW!
EUTHANASIA RATES: euthanasia, rather than innovative programs, prevails as the overriding solution to strays and overpopulation at the CACC. Since its inception in 1995, euthanasia numbers at the CACC have remained unacceptably high and virtually unchanged, while adoption numbers have remained stagnant and inexcusably low; statistics indicate that 76.7\% of animals taken in during 2001 were killed, up from 67.7\% in 2000, a hideous number to deal with in a so-called civilized society.
LACK OF INNOVATIVE ADOPTION PROGRAMS: direct CACC adoptions for 2001 represent only 10\% of intake. The public is forced to deal with a burdensome application process, poor screening and unanswered requests for information; there are no off-site or mobile adoption programs; there has been little or no effort to use media, billboards, or special events to increase adoptions.
NO VISIBLE OUTREACH PROGRAMS: there has been little or no effort to involve communities, organizations and the public at large in "Spay/Neuter", "Adopt Don't Buy" etc. programs, all essential to ultimately reducing kill numbers. Most of the general public is, in fact, totally unaware of the existence of the CACC.
NO EFFECTIVE PUBLIC EDUCATION or HUMANE EDUCATION PROGRAMS IN SCHOOLS, as mandated by law: with animal abuse and violence among children at epidemic levels, the very absence of such programs is reprehensible and represents a great disservice to the community.
NO SUBSTANTIVE VOLUNTEER PROGRAM: many volunteers and groups have been discouraged from participating or have left out of frustration and despair.
PROHIBITIVE ADOPTION FEES, DROP-OFF FEES AND FEES TO RESCUERS, make it increasingly more difficult to save animals. Fund-raising efforts by the CACC are minimal or insignificant. The recent increase in fees to the general public and rescue groups, is further evidence of an agency that is totally bankrupt, in every sense of the word.
PERSISTENT CACC VIOLATIONS OF CONTRACT WITH THE CITY: no shelter facilities or services are provided in the Bronx or Queens, two boroughs with very high numbers of abandoned animals, in spite of and in direct violation of local law passed in 2000.
NO PUBLIC INPUT OR ACCOUNTABILITY TO TAXPAYERS: the public is burdened by an unresponsive Board of Directors and staff, basically lacking in interest, ideas and shelter management expertise, but most of all, by the absence of an experienced and innovative Executive Director. This lack of outstanding leadership and support prevents our city from having a truly effective and exemplary shelter system.
REFORM IS OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE AND URGENCY!
New York needs:
a new organizational and Board structure, free of disinterested
political appointees, which includes members of animal advocacy
a new Executive Director, an advocate for animals with successful shelter or related experience, who can dialogue effectively with the animal advocacy and rescue communities and develop a plan to reduce kill numbers, increase adoptions and provide humane care for animals.
Progressive shelter and animal management programs exist in other cities. It is past time for New York City to give up its substandard conditions for homeless animals and look to successful shelter systems such as those in San Francisco and Maricopa County, AZ as role models. Animals in New York City shelters deserve more! New York taxpayers deserve nothing less!
The existing institutionalized impound and kill system in New York City, is a disgrace and embarrassment to all New Yorkers and to animal advocates everywhere; this archaic system has been allowed to continue as the status quo, unchallenged, for far too long.
We demand an end to the waste, inexcusable errors, and poor
management at the CACC!
We demand an end to the unconscionable killing of healthy, adoptable
animals at the CACC!
We demand an end to the lack of innovative leadership at the CACC!
We demand accountability, reforms and positive change NOW!
Friends of Animals
In Defense of Animals
The Coalition for New York City Animals
People for the End of Animal Cruelty and Exploitation
Humane Education Committee
The Shelter Reform Action Committee
United Action for Animals
For more information and documentation please visit The Shelter
Reform Action Committee's web site - www.shelterreform.org.