The Mayors Alliance for NYC’s Animals, Inc., founded in 2002 and sponsored by Maddie’s Fund, is a coalition of more than 100 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 that needs one. The Alliance and its partners intend to achieve the goal of having no dog or cat of reasonable health and temperament killed merely because he or she does not have a home.
To achieve that goal, the Alliance, a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit corporation, has formed a public-private partnership with the City to develop creative solutions to deal with issues of animal care and control. The Alliance brings together groups large and small to work together on a wide range of programs ranging from adoption to microchipping.
Every year over 40,000 animals enter the New York City animal shelter system. Of those, some 22,000 were euthanized last year, many simply because there was no room to keep them and no homes to be found for them.
This reflects the urgent need to increase the number of animals adopted by private individuals and families; to increase spaying and neutering programs to ensure that fewer animals give birth to unwanted offspring; to encourage microchipping so that lost animals can be returned to their homes; to promote fostering; and other programs that enhance the quality of life for the region’s animals.
The Mayor’s Alliance is engaged in numerous programs with its Alliance Participating Organizations (APO’s), other animal care institutions and the City of New York.
- Adoption: the promotion and facilitation of heightened levels of adoption of cats and dogs by working with more than 100 animal welfare organizations, including the City’s Animal Care and Control agency and shelters throughout the boroughs of New York; specifically working with Big Apple Pets to create a simple, highly visible ‘one-stop’ system of adoption through the ‘Pet Ark’ website
- Maddie’s Spay and Neutering Project, a low-cost spaying and neutering program for cats and dogs in New York City in order to help reduce the number of homeless animals in the city by decreasing the number of unwanted canine and feline pregnancies
- The Picasso Veterinary Fund, providing financial assistance for urgent medical care needed by animals taken into the New York City shelter system, in conjunction with the Veterinary Medical Association of New York City
- Fostering: the promotion of fostering, or temporarily housing for abandoned or unwanted pets while permanent homes can be arranged
- Microchipping: the promotion of improved identification (through the painless implantation of a tiny identification device) for pets in order to help find lost or stolen animals
In addition, the Alliance engages in special events ” including five major events designed to heighten awareness of programs ” fundraisers, public education and other activities on behalf of New York City’s animals.
At the same time, City Hall supports the Alliance by making non-financial agency resources readily available, including the use of billboards to promote spaying and neutering, providing parking permits for participating groups to park mobile adoption vehicles throughout the city and utilizing City Parks as adoption event venues.
When Mayor Bloomberg was first elected, the Animal Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association presented the administration with a report on opportunities to improve policies regarding animals.
In December 2002, City Hall and the Mayor’s Alliance signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding with the goal of creating, by 2015, a ‘no-kill’ New York City, meaning that no animals would need to be euthanized. The City’s unique approach was to create the Mayor’s alliance to draw on an extensive coalition of community and rescue groups already in operation.
Led by Jane Hoffman, now president and chair of the board of the Alliance, the outcome of that report and the Mayor’s positive response to it was the formation of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals and a historic agreement to create a ‘no kill’ New York City by the year 2008. A separate agreement was reached with the City’s Animal Care and Control (CACC) to establish how the agency would work with animal rescue groups and shelters. The result was that the Alliance functions as the liaison between city government and the animal rescue community, including some 100 animal welfare organizations throughout the boroughs of New York.
A 15.5 million dollar grant, awarded jointly to the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals and the Veterinary Medical Association of New York City (VMA NYC), was received (to be paid out over seven years) and used to increase animal adoptions and fund low-cost spay and neuter surgeries for low-income New Yorkers’ companion animals. The VMA NYC utilizes its network of participating private veterinary practices to provide low-cost neuter surgeries to low-income New York City residents as well as urgent care, including surgery, under the Picasso Veterinary Fund.
Maddie’s Fund, also known as the Pet Rescue Foundation, is a $240 million family foundation established in 1999 to help communities throughout the U.S. eliminate the unnecessary killing of healthy and treatable homeless animals merely because they do not have homes.
For further information about the Mayor’s Alliance and its participating organizations, please visit the Alliance web site at www.AnimalAllianceNYC.org and its adoption web site at www.BigApplePets.com.
For additional information about Maddie’s Fund, please visit their web site at www.maddiesfund.org.
Information about the Veterinary Medical Association of New York City (VMA NYC)is available at www.vmanyc.org