FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
The Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals on Track for 'No-Kill' City by 2015
New York, NY – Wednesday, January 21, 2009 – In 2005, the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals began an ambitious ten-year initiative to transform New York City into a no-kill community - where no dog or cat of reasonable health or temperament is killed merely because he or she does not have a home. Today, as it embarks upon year five of the initiative, the Mayor's Alliance is well on its way to achieving that goal.
Founded in 2002, the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals is a coalition of approximately 140 animal shelters and rescue groups working with the City of New York to find homes for every cat and dog in the city who needs one. The project is funded by Maddie's Fund®, The Pet Rescue Foundation, and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) — one of the founding members of the Mayor's Alliance.
Evidence of the Alliance's success can be seen in the decreasing euthanasia statistics. In 2007, for the first time in New York City's history, euthanasia at municipal shelters fell below 50 percent, to 43 percent. When final numbers for 2008 are available next month, the euthanasia rate is expected to be 38 percent. That number is down from 74 percent in 2002 (the year the Mayor's Alliance was formed), when 31,908 of the more than 40,000 dogs and cats entering NYC's Animal Care & Control (AC&C) shelters were euthanized.
"We have a long way to go, but we're definitely making progress toward our goal," says Jane Hoffman, president of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals. "The current economic downturn puts additional pressure on our facilities, but we're determined to become a no-kill community and the Alliance has realized some impressive achievements along the way."
Among the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals successes:
Transport & Transfer: In 2008, the projected total of AC&C adoptions and transfer of animals to other organizations for adoption increased to 22,000 from only 8,643 in 2002.
Microchipping: Microchipping pets speeds their return to their rightful owners should they become lost, thereby reducing overcrowding at AC&C shelters. To raise awareness of the importance of microchipping and to make it as easy as possible for New Yorkers to microchip their pets, the Alliance offers free and low-cost ($25) microchipping clinics for dogs and cats, staffed by volunteer veterinarians, at adoption festivals and other animal events.
Increased Adoptions: Since the Maddie's Pet Rescue Project in NYC began, adoption numbers have increased steadily. Adoptions by AC&C and Maddie's Pet Partners (those Mayor's Alliance member organizations that participate in the Project) have increased from approximately 12,819 in 2003 to a projected 26,219 in 2008.
Capacity-building Grants: Helping Alliance members improve or expand facilities also has had a positive impact on adoptions. KittyKind, for example, received a capacity-building grant to update and expand its cat adoption center in PETCO Union Square — one of the city's busiest pet supply stores. Additional capacity has increased the organizations' ability to save more lives.
Spay/Neuter Initiatives: The Maddie's Spay/Neuter Project in NYC, funded by Maddie's Fund and administered by the Mayor's Alliance, provides low-cost spay and neuter surgeries for New York City pet owners who have a Medicaid card. In 2007, more than 6,500 surgeries were performed, while in 2008 over 10,000 were performed thanks to the project.
NYC Feral Cat Initiative: To help control and humanely reduce the city's tremendous feral cat population, the Mayor's Alliance created the NYC Feral Cat Initiative. This project funds trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs in neighborhoods throughout the city, providing training, advice, equipment, and hands-on-support by TNR coaches to increase the number and magnitude of local grassroots TNR efforts.
Strength Training: The Alliance routinely invites its participating organizations to attend training sessions on a broad range of relevant topics. For example, Dr. Louise Murray, Director of Medicine at the ASPCA's Bergh Memorial Hospital, conducted a presentation on preventing the spread of infectious disease in the shelter environment.
"These are just some of the successes that the Mayor's Alliance has achieved, thanks to very hard work on the part of all of our members and our partners in city government. To be successful as we move ahead, we'll continue to rely upon the integrated efforts of our participating groups and the generosity of Maddie's Fund and the ASPCA." says Hoffman. "With persistence and incremental progress, year after year, we will arrive at our goal — the day when no "Little New Yorkers" are killed simply because they don't have homes."
*Images and more information available upon request.
About the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals
The Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals, Inc., founded in 2002 and powered by Maddie's Fund, is a coalition of more than 150 animal rescue groups and shelters that are working with the City of New York to find homes for every cat and dog in the city who needs one. For more information about the Mayor's Alliance, its participating organizations and pet adoptions, please visit the Mayor's Alliance website at www.AnimalAllianceNYC.org.
About Maddie's Fund
Maddie's Fund®, The Pet Rescue Foundation, is a family foundation funded by Workday and PeopleSoft Founder Dave Duffield and his wife, Cheryl. Maddie's Fund is helping to create a no-kill nation where all healthy and treatable shelter dogs and cats are guaranteed a loving home. To achieve this goal, Maddie's Fund is investing its resources in building community collaborations where animal welfare organizations come together to develop successful models of lifesaving; in veterinary colleges to help shelter medicine become part of the veterinary curriculum; in private practice veterinarians to encourage greater participation in the animal welfare cause; and in the implementation of national strategies to collect and report shelter statistics. Maddie's Fund is named after the family's beloved Miniature Schnauzer who passed away in 1997. (www.maddiesfund.org)
Carrie Hyman, M. Silver Associates
Phone: (212) 754-6500 x245
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