Thursday, October 14, 2010


This page is only periodically updated, for the most current news and more commentary please visit our Facebook page.

The Food Debacle Continues

The food debacle continues. While the AC&C maintains publicly that the animals have plenty of food and never go hungry, surrogates go begging for donations and staff will tell walk-ins exactly what they need. The AC&C's home page makes casual mention of the need for food; their donate page does not. Even AC&C's closest ally, the Mayor's Alliance, admits that the AC&C is running out of food.

In an agency so affected by budget cuts and with such a high percentage of spending on staff-related costs, we do not find it unreasonable that maintaining an adequate food supply would be difficult.

In times of crisis, a responsible shelter will embrace transparency and immediately detail to the animal-loving public exactly what is needed and how they may assist. If you ask for the help you need, people will help you. No judgment involved; it's hard to pay for animal food with non-existent money.

If a representative of the AC&C would care to contact us at and detail exactly what donations they need most to ensure the most basic aspects of animal care, we would be happy to spread the word and help you get what you need.

Don't let animals go hungry to maintain happy-face PR.

Revised Volunteer Policies Still Violate Volunteers' Legal Rights

The newly revised AC&C Volunteer Policy and Proceedure manual is out and we have replaced the old version in our document library with the newly updated version. AC&C has evidently made some claims that the new policy guidelines lift the grossly illegal gag order on volunteers, we note that they do not. To quote from the revised document, page 9:

"Volunteers are prohibited from distributing their personal information, or opinions in regards to AC&C volunteers, staff, animals, and/or policies to the public."


Section 6 on page 6 says that "AC&C may at any time, for whatever reason, decide to release a volunteer from their relationship with AC&C." - it should say “AC&C may at any time, for whatever reason NOT CONTRARY TO LAW, decide to release a volunteer from their relationship with AC&C." This includes not only the guidelines set forth in Section 1983 ( but covers other areas such as gender, race, and sexual orientation.

The policy detailed in section 4 on page 9 allows AC&C to terminate volunteers who have “philisophical” conflicts or disagree with any AC&C action. This demands that volunteers accept - and maintain silence about - possibly inhumane conditions and unnecessary killing in order to volunteer. This is a violation of Section 1983.

The policy detailed in section 5 on page 10 prohibits forming coalitions without agreement from AC&C, a violation of volunteers' first amendment rights to free association.

AC&C policy still illegally violates the rights of volunteers.

No Hope

A letter was released yesterday to New Hope partners detailing the type of deep service cuts that are inevitable when the budget has been slashed to the bone including reduction in field service hours, using the city's 311 service to answer the phone, and not picking up cats in the field that are healthy and not in immediate danger.

The cuts in field services are alarming from a public safety standpoint, but the other changes are expected and may even be positive. Leaving a message with 311 is better than an endlessly ringing phone that no one answers, and not picking up cats that aren't bothering anyone or in danger hopefully means that fewer will be executed.

However, the deep budget cuts do not bode well for the future of the AC&C. The letter details an enhanced fund-raising effort for the upcoming year; who would donate money to an agency so badly mismanaged?

The New York Daily News has also weighed in on the service cuts. Jane Hoffman may claim to be heartbroken, but we're sure she'll still claim that NYC is on track for No Kill by 2015 as she blows huge amounts of Maddie's money on... what, exactly?

Time to tear it down and start again. It's time for a new contractor.


Recently a cat named Hagin (A877521) ended up on the kill list in Manhattan; the stated reason was for temperament. The reason for Hagin's failing temperament grade was that he tensed and kicked when picked up by the scruff. That's it. He was otherwise friendly and solicited attention.

They're killing cats for this? This cat is a dangerous animal, a threat to public safety, because he does not like to be picked up by the scruff and has the nerve to kick? Because he failed a temperament test he will be considered "untreatable" for reasons of behavior; his death will not count - he will not be considered a savable animal because the AC&C is manipulating the Maddie's Fund definition of "treatable" that they have promised to abide by. These guidelines were never intended to excuse the execution of a healthy cat because he kicked when hoisted by the scruff.

Temperament tests on cats are a complete and utter waste of time and we know of no reputable organization that uses or recommends their use as part of a screening process for killing.

Monday, October 11, 2010

On Leadership

Nathan Winograd's article on shelter leadership should be required reading for every animal lover.


We are not generally fans of the on-line petition, but the words of Mary Jo Tobin are so accurate and so moving that we cannot help but affix our signatures and ask that you do the same.

A snippet from a recent volunteer newsletter

According to staff at the SI AC&C, you should think about placing that order more often.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Customer Service Tip: Answer the Phone

How many animals have died simply because no one answers the phone?

Approximately one week ago a rescue identified a dog on the nightly kill list that they wanted to save. Beginning first thing in the morning, they called... and called, and called, and called: the main switchboard, the direct line to the location, the New Hope hotline number. No one answered the phone, no one returned calls as they called again and again and again.

Finally, in the early afternoon, the rescue started contacting supporters in the city who might be able to help - they are located a significant distance away. A volunteer went to the shelter and pulled the dog, who was by some miracle still alive, and transported them to the rescue.

How many have died because manpower is so lacking that no one is available to answer the phone?

Two suggestions:

This is something that volunteers can easily do right now with minimal training. This one is a no-brainer; throw any willing volunteer in immediately. Even someone who does not know everything but can find out beats an endlessly ringing phone.

Secondly, the current kill list system is badly in need of overhaul, the sooner the better. Releasing a kill list the night before executions are to begin and then restricting those animals only to approved partner rescues makes no sense at all, especially when there is no reason not to adopt those animals to the general public. We are seeing kittens on the kill lists with absolutely nothing wrong with them, healthy and eating on their own; why do they need to go to an approved rescue only? This particular dog had no behavior problems and nothing wrong with him beyond a cough that the conditions of the AC&C caused that he was halfway through recovering from, we see no earthly reason why his adoption should be restricted to partner rescues only. The current kill list system is exceedingly labor intensive and hectic for all concerned and does not serve the interests of the animals.

Three days after his transport to rescue this dog met his adopter, and now that he's over his cough and neutered he'll go to his forever home tomorrow.

Great outcomes start by answering your phone.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Kill List Examples Posted

Today we're adding examples of the nightly cat kill list and dog kill lists to our download library. Some salient points:

This nightly email is intended only for approved New Hope partner rescues and the AC&C asks that it not be shared outside of those partners. We fail to see how they are any more qualified to step up to adopt the vast majority of these animals than the general public. Many of the cats on the kill list are there for upper respiratory infections, or lately for simply being too young for the AC&C to want to deal with. Dogs are on the list for simple kennel cough. There is simply no reason to restrict their adoption to New Hope partners. The AC&C maintains conditions that allow these diseases to flourish and then disposes of the results.

The AC&C likes to blame the public for the confusion surrounding the kill lists, but they are the cause. This list is released nightly at around 5pm and the killing starts the next morning at around 6am, with the adoption of some highly adoptable animals - like healthy kittens - restricted to a small list of partner organizations.

When your resources are scant it is wise to streamline your processes. Here's an excellent opportunity to do just that: open up the adoption of these animals and give more of them a chance to live, rather than killing them for diseases you knew they would get and did nothing to prevent.

Mayor Mike loves volunteers, except at the AC&C

We were very surprised to come across this AP article about Mayor Mike spearheading a nationwide campaign to use volunteers to solve local problems - he leads a coalition of 100 cities focused on recruiting people to perform service in their communities.

"The Mayor said volunteers are especially crucial when municipalities are having to trim spending and slash services."

That sounds a lot like the AC&C. Perhaps Hizzoner could speak to them about how crucial volunteers are.

You can contact the mayor's office here.

Latest AC&C Board Meeting

The Shelter Reform Action Committee has posted their notes from the latest AC&C board meeting. We don't think the board's plans to restrict the recording of their meetings is remotely legal and it does not bode well that they wish to work in secret. The meeting notes are worth the read.

Education Fund

We are not sure that this is a responsible use of resources in a time of crisis. While all of this sounds very nice on paper, the mind-boggling time and effort involved in developing volunteer guidelines suggests to us that an enormous amount of time and money will be spent developing these educational materials that could best be spent elsewhere.

"New Yorkers will learn that the animals at AC&C shelters are clean and well cared for by professional staff. AC&C will furthermore offer a variety of ways for animal lovers over 18 to connect with the healthy cats, dogs, and other animals in its care through a volunteer program." Given that the first part of that statement is utterly untrue and the second is wishful thinking - the volunteer program has been "open" for a month and has yet to graduate a single volunteer to "connect" with any animal - we would have to call the Public Education Fund by another name: the Image-Polishing PR Bullshit Fund.

Stop wasting our money on this crap. You will surely find less of a need for "education" when you lead by example.

When Nevada Humane Society went No Kill in 2006-7, they actually ELIMINATED several traditional humane education programs so that they could focus their efforts and resources on saving the maximum number of lives (their highest priority) - and those programs weren't just apple-polishing, self-congratulating PR. They went from LECTURING their community to INVOLVING their community.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

New Hope kill code: TOOYOUNG

We've received an interesting New Hope alert. Most of the document is fairly routine (well, for the AC&C), cats that need medical rescue, until you reach page 7, where you start seeing kittens. Reason they landed on the kill list? The New Hope code is TOOYOUNG. Adam, on page 7, is entirely capable of eating on his own at 7 weeks. He needs no special care. He's healthy and has no behavioral issues - but "TOOYOUNG" is valid reason to kill him. Jenny, on page 9, is too young to live at 8 weeks. Moby, on page 10, is too young to live at 5 weeks. The notes go on to explain that they are "too young to be adopted out". Huh? They're weaned, they're eating on their own, they're completely adorable - this is the perfect time to adopt them out. It doesn't get any better.

Too young to live. Hey AC&C, remember that paper you signed with Maddie's Fund where you guaranteed Zero Healthy Deaths? Is Too Young a new illness?

There's also the usual highly offensive notice to not share any of this information outside of New Hope partners - because only a New Hope partner qualifies or is qualified to take on the challenge of a healthy 8 week old kitten. God forbid the public get a hold of one.


Another perspective on the importance of volunteers. Part of Nevada Humane's turnaround was boosting their volunteers from 30... to 1300, in a year.

If AC&C is to give No Kill any more than mere lip service they might try to emulate some of the country's best shelters. Cost of beefing up your volunteer program? Done right, pretty much nothing. Value? Immeasurable.

Continuing to Grow

Nathan's article on the AC&C was picked up by the blog of the Chicago Post-Tribune.

The Word Spreads

The word spreads - this is a different article than the Daily News, but with a similar headline. They just can't resist the pun. The new volunteer rules are not, as Ms. Bank says, designed to "draw more helpers in the future". If anything, they are designed to keep volunteers to an absolute minimum while silencing the few that remain.

We are not here merely to criticize, we are eager to help. That is what animal lovers do. Open your doors and accept the help offered to you by so many in a time of crisis.


Today's tidbit is this notice from the AC&C's volunteer newsletter. It was evidently exhausting work shutting down the volunteer program for a full redesign all summer and doing a single round of orientations - only the first step in the long process volunteers must fight through in order to provide their help to the AC&C. It was so exhausting that the volunteer coordinator is taking a week off, which wouldn't be such a big deal except that she alone does all the orientation, screening, and approval of every volunteer in the New York City shelter system and nothing will be done while she is away.

The volunteer program is still at a standstill; although orientations have been done and applications have been taken, not a single new volunteer has started work under the newly re-opened program - mostly due to the previously documented mountain of hoops they must jump through to provide their help. While budget cuts have left the AC&C desperately understaffed, the one and only person empowered to recruit free labor in a time of crisis has put the project back on "hold", as it's been all summer. Meanwhile, we hear more and more of animals who never leave their kennel or crate because there are not enough people to take them out.

Enjoy your vacation.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Board Meeting

Shelter Reform Action Committee has posted notice of the next Board meeting of the AC&C, which is to be held Tuesday, September 28th, at 3PM. It will be at the 3rd floor boardroom in the headquarters of the Department of Health at 125 Worth St - give yourself a few minutes to get through the security screening. We'll see you there.


If there are any Mayor's Alliance members looking for foster parents who would like a plug, please feel free to post on our Facebook wall and we'll repeat the message! With the new barriers to fostering put in place by the AC&C, we can't imagine too many people will be fostering directly, but you can far more easily foster an animal through an Alliance-affiliated rescue and save a life.

Potential foster parents for AC&C must now:

- Attend an orientation.
- Submit an application
- Go to an interview and, if accepted, pay $25
- Attend a foster care class
- Complete "Power of a Picture/Story" Training
- Attend Bottle Baby Training (if fostering neo-natals)
- Attend classes specific to the species fostered:
...Behavior, Body Language and Handling class
...General Medical class
- Mentor with AC&C staff member/volunteer

Then you might be able to foster an animal. Months later.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

NYC AC&C's No Kill Lip Service

In an otherwise very good overview of the NYC AC&C's operations, AC&C's Volunteer Coordinator Elisabeth Manwiller strays from the facts when she goes into her discussion of No Kill during a volunteer orientation session.

According to her, every city needs not only No Kill rescue groups which are by her definition limited admission, they also need "full service" shelters - which are defined as shelters that kill.

First of all, there are not only open admission No Kill shelters in America, there is an open admission No Kill shelter in New York State - Tompkins County, in Ithaca.

If New York City has a stated goal of becoming No Kill - and that stated goal was repeated several times elsewhere in the presentation - perhaps they should stop calling it impossible and defend their killing as necessary, especially when other communities are doing it. You can't hit a stated goal while simultaneously calling it impossible, and you make it clear that you're merely offering lip service to the No Kill philosophy.

We the people - the people who fund you, by the way - demand better.

Perhaps you could start by streamlining the barriers to volunteering.

Download audio as .mp3 here.

Edit: welcome to our new blog readers! Our primary means of distributing information is via our Facebook group, please feel free to join us there!

AC&C Volunteer Orientation, First Round

So now that the first round of volunteer orientations is complete, we have a few thoughts on the process.

First, the good: the information presented at the orientations is, generally speaking, a good overview, well prepared, and well presented. We have no doubt that the volunteer coordinator, Elisabeth Manwiller, has genuinely good intentions.


In a time when the AC&C has suffered budget cuts and is drastically understaffed and overworked, it is unwise to put into effect a volunteer process so arduous that few are likely to see it through to the end - and a process so focused on classes and training drains precious resources that are desperately needed elsewhere.

Volunteering to do even simple things is now a multi-step project that involves multiple training classes (which will now need to be taught on a regular basis... by whom?), applications and interviews. Perhaps the best way to illustrate this is by example; let's say you're interested in coming in as a volunteer in the Manhattan shelter and socializing cats, and you can commit to a 4 hour shift one day per week. In order to do this, you'll need to apply to be a Cat Companion Level 1 volunteer. The steps you'll have to take are:

- Attend an orientation. Last night's was conveniently offered a mere 120 blocks or so from the Manhattan shelter.
- Submit an application
- Complete a half hour face to face interview. If accepted, a $25 fee will be due.
- Complete 4 mandatory classes: "Cat Behavior, Body Language and Handling", "Shelter Info and Kennel Cleaning", "General Medcial Class", "Bio Writing Class"
- Mentor with AC&C staff or volunteer.

If all goes well, the guidelines given by the volunteer coordinator indicate that you could be starting your duties as a volunteer in as little as "a month or two". Yes, that's a quote. How much training does one actually need to socialize a cat? We would imagine that if you have cats at home, you could probably be up to speed in a hands-on orientation offered at the shelter in less than an hour. Most of us have been through volunteer training in other shelter environments where you begin your duties in less than an hour.

This entire volunteer program has been created by, is supervised by, and is run by one person - a person who is taking a week's vacation now that the program has been introduced, so there will be no progress during that week. She alone does every interview and every orientation for all locations, and she has created a program that very few will complete and is in serious danger of collapsing under its own weight in a time when AC&C desperately needs helping hands.

In a time of budgetary crisis, the AC&C has spent their precious resources created training classes that they now must offer to volunteers on a regular basis prior to allowing them to volunteer. Here's a (not necessarily complete) list of those new classes:

Dog Behavior, Body Language, and Handling
Shelter Info, Kennel Cleaning and Dog Walking
General Medical Class
Bio Writing Class
Cat Behavior, Body Language and Handling
Rabbit Behavior, Body Language and Handling
Adoption Counseling
Breed Identification
Power of a Picture/Story

The coordinator continually brings up her dream of a "fully funded program" - and no wonder. With some funding, you could create a program that not only has a ton of hoops to jump through, they could be flaming hoops!

The AC&C is DYING for manpower and yet they have created a volunteer program that ensures that very few will ever get the privilege of helping them. It doesn't take 4 training classes to socialize a cat or walk a dog, and it doesn't take huge amounts of money to run an effective and open volunteer program.

This gets even more offensive when you consider fostering - foster parents are covered as well under the volunteer program. Potential foster parents for AC&C must now:

- Attend an orientation.
- Submit an application
- Go to an interview and, if accepted, pay $25
- Attend a foster care class
- Complete "Power of a Picture/Story" Training
- Attend Bottle Baby Training (if fostering neo-natals)
- Attend classes specific to the species fostered:
  ...Behavior, Body Language and Handling class
  ...General Medical class
- Mentor with AC&C staff member/volunteer

Then you might be able to foster an animal, months later. While the AC&C drowns the people struggling to meet these requirements in red tape, approximately 1/3 of animal intake goes to their deaths.

It's not too late. Simplify. Get the help you need. Take advantage of the help being offered to you by so many - there had to be at least 100 people at last night's orientation.

Do you really want to weed them down to 3?

You can download the listing of volunteer opportunities and prerequisites here.

Gothamist also takes notice

Animal Care Volunteers Told To STFU By Officials

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

New Hope stops placing behavioral cases?

Unconfirmed, but from a well-placed source: we hear that the New Hope program will no longer send notices to New Hope partners in an attempt to place dogs who fail the AC&C's behavioral evaluation (these dogs are also not offered to the public for adoption, making this a virtual death sentence). We need documentation to confirm this - if there's anyone who can, please send it to us at Check the info tab for ways to completely conceal your identity.

Make no mistake, the killing machine is ramping up. Sick? Dead. Fail an arbitrary, inaccurate and easily manipulated test? Dead. And all without risking their funding.

The secret is out

We were forwarded an email this morning containing the best kept secret at the AC&C - details of upcoming volunteer orientations (they're STILL not on the website). We encourage EVERYONE to attend if they can!

Brooklyn Volunteer Orientation Thursday, September 9th from 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Brooklyn Borough Hall Courtroom
209 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Staten Island Volunteer Orientation Saturday, September 11th from 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Greenbelt Recreation Center
501 Brielle Avenue (across from Sea View Hospital)
Staten Island , New York 10314
Cross Streets: Between Walcott and Rockland Avenues

Manhattan Volunteer Orientation Wednesday, September 15th from 7:00pm – 9:00pm
New York City Department of Health
125 Worth Street, 2nd Floor Auditorium
New York, NY 10013

Monday, September 6, 2010

For PR Only

Here it is folks, an open invitation by Director Julie Bank to volunteer at AC&C - a feelgood piece of PR, except that there is still NO CONTACT INFORMATION on the website for those who wish to volunteer, nor is there a list of dates for the required volunteer orientation. There is NO EXCUSE for publishing an open invitation like this that literally goes nowhere. You've drawn this out long enough. Fix it, AC&C - fast.

We strongly suggest that anyone with an interest in helping the animals of New York City email them at and register their interest and willingness to help.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Illness at the AC&C - why letting disease run rampant helps with funding

If one looks at the nightly euth lists it is easy to come to the conclusion that disease runs rampant and largely unchecked at the AC&C. Dogs routinely are executed due to easily treatable conditions like kennel cough, cats on the list for URIs. One reason, perhaps, that this is allowed to continue unabated turns up if... you follow the money.

It's no secret that Maddie's Fund gives large amounts of money distributed through the Mayor's Alliance. Starting in Year 5 of the grant, it became required for the AC&C to have an adoption guarantee for healthy animals - zero healthy deaths.

If they're sick, however, all bets are off.

It seems that Maddie's may have unintentionally created a disincentive for the AC&C to keep animals healthy.



You can find the grant application here, the Zero Healthy Deaths clause can be found on page 25.


Kerry Clair of Middletown, NY's Pets Alive says:

The other thing I believe is that they WANT uri's and other simple illness to run rampant. Remember- their either stats are for HEALTHY dogs. If the dog or cat has the sniffles they don't have to count that animal when they kill it. THIS IS A CRITICAL point.

And for anyone out there that does NOT know, URI (upper respiratory infection) is like a cold to you or me, and is EASILY treatable with a few days of antibiotics.

They let this go because they WANT all the animals they kill to have SOMETHING so that they do not have to mark them down as healthy.

Also remember that EVERY dog that you pull from the CACC comes WITH antibiotics. EVERY one! They come with their paperwork, and antibiotics. So they KNOW this and do nothing ON PURPOSE.
This is a key component.

We're looking for hard, specific data on how many animals are executed for specific conditions. Know anything?

NY Assemblyman Micah Kellner

NYS Assemblyman Micah Kellner is a true hero for the animals of New York City - he reacted to the news of the new "volunteer guidelines" by issuing a letter to Mayor Bloomberg and Health Commissioner Farley informing them that the guidelines were illegal and further wrote to City Comptroller John Liu asking for a meeting to discuss city oversight of an out of control de facto city agency.

Shelter Reform Action Committee

The entire Shelter Reform Action Committee website is an absolutely invaluable reference. They've been fighting the fight for a long time and the history and analysis provided there is top notch.

Of particular note lately are their pages on Julie Bank's tenure to date, their notes on the required August meeting of current volunteers, and an explanation of why the AC&C won't - and can't - use the explanation that they're killing for "space".

New volunteer manuals

The new volunteer manual and waivers, NDA, agreements and application are now available for download.

We are thoroughly appalled that the volunteer program was shut down for an entire summer so that a bureaucrat could concoct these new volunteer documents - overall a pile of overly restrictive, needlessly legalistic, rights violating drivel.

Volunteer program updated.

The volunteer program is (sort of) back, it has been announced and the manuals are available, but no new applications are being processed yet. You must now PAY $25 to be a volunteer for AC&C and sign an illegal waiver that denies you your First Amendment rights to free speech.

Nathan Winograd posted an analysis of the situation here and the No Kill Advocacy Center is looking for volunteers who have been terminated for exercising their right to speak.

Way behind!

We are WAY behind in posting here at the blog, but we'll be catching up today. Remember, you can always see the MOST current news at our Facebook group.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Suspending Access While Requesting Help

At the beginning of July, AC&C suspended recently approved "New Hope" rescue partners and put all new approvals on hold, while also suspending their volunteer program and beginning a major renovation project that would cut down on their available holding space during the "busy season in the sheltering world".

To shut down necessary and lifesaving programs in a time of great need to spend 8 weeks working on policy manuals is beyond irresponsible and a sure recipe for more killing.

Click images to enlarge.


Semantic Games

The games of semantics continue. Even use of the term "euthanasia" is a semantic dodge.

From today's email, sent to us by an NYC rescuer:

...Sent: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 9:52 PM

No one came forward. She was euthanized. I called and spoke with Jess Van Brundt.

Asked if rescue had come forward and she said no. I asked if the dog was still alive and she said, the dog is no longer with us. I said, "Was euthanized?" She said, "I can't answer that."

The answer is obvious. She's dead. RIP poor Polly.


Here is a link to Polly's listing.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ferals and Not Ferals

First, a note of explanation - it is typical when doing Trap/Neuter/Release of feral cats to "ear tip" (remove a small portion of the tip of the ear) a cat that has already been altered so that one can tell at a distance if a given animal has been altered or not - truly feral cats can be VERY difficult to get close to. Truly feral cats also aren't too keen on petting. Although an "ear tip" typically indicates a feral cat, friendly and socialized behavior would be a clear sign that a cat is not feral - and shelter personnel should know the difference. There seems to be a lot of confusion at the AC&C as to what constitutes a feral cat - we have previously posted a video of a cat marked as feral who was clearly friendly and socialized.

An email from a cat rescuer about an incident at the Manhattan AC&C this past Thursday 8/12:

A young couple brought in a cat for intake. They said they had found the cat in Williamsburg. i noticed that the cat had a very light ear tip, and was very friendly. So, EITHER this cat was tnr'd and was a part of a colony and the trapper put her back outside even though she was friendly OR this cat was trapped by someone and then ultimately adopted and then dumped outside. Both scenarios are plausible, but it is more likely that the cat was owned because she was VERY CLEAN and very friendly and playful, totally used to being petted and held, and was rolling on her back in the carrier (none of my friendly indoor cats even do that). So, anyway, as they are taking her in, some director/manager/supervisor walks up and starts petting the cat... she then yells THIS CAT HAS AN EAR TIP. SHE NEEDS TO GO BACK OUTSIDE. SHE'S PART OF A COLONY, WE'RE PUTTING HER BACK ON THE STREET.

I let her go on like this for a good minute and then i interjected, "Actually, that is not the only explanation. it is more believable that someone trapped this cat, realized she was friendly, had her LIGHTLY ear tipped, as you can see, and then adopted her out...and that the adoptive home dumped her out in the street." She ignored me and kept on saying how the cat needed to go back out in the street. HOW NARROW-MINDED. She is clearly not a trapper or a rescuer. I AM. I have done this work for almost 7 years. I have adopted out DOZENS of ear tipped cats that do not belong out on the street, because sometimes when you trap a friendly cat, you make the decision to rescue it after it's been fixed and ear tipped, and often the trapper will request that the ear tip is LIGHT because they are aware that the cat is friendly. This woman was acting as though there is ONLY ONE explanation for this, and there is not. She was pompous in her false knowledge. i do not know what will happen with this cat. They named her Iggy. this person was clearly in charge, and if she has her way, and she was very pushy about it, the cat will be dumped out into the street as opposed to being put up for adoption or rescued through New Hope because she knew it all.

Would you perhaps suggest to trappers/rescuers that a new protocol should be implemented... that when we end up adopting out an ear tipped cat, that we should get him/her microchipped with the rescuer's name on it... this way, if the adopter ever dumps the cat out or in a shelter, the cat can be properly identified, and not just assumed that it is a FERAL that is a part of a colony and should be PUT BACK OUT ON THE STREET. I am not sure how this person at the shelter who is in a position of power couldn't figure out what i was telling her, but i am not surprised. Often these people are not rescuers and trappers and have very limited knowledge about animals, even though they have been commissioned to make decisions regarding their welfare.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


We do not generally post listings of specific animals, but when this came down the wire today we thought that the heartfelt and articulate plea of the person writing this captured so well what we feel.

It is faces like Peter's that haunt us.

Click to enlarge.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Rozz the Rooster

How appropriate that today's tip to the NYC Sunlight Coalition involves a rooster, an animal that crows at the sign of first light, from a source who opened by reminding us that AC&C kills other animals, too.

AC&C made last-minute contact to a New Hope rescue group saying that Rozz the rooster was about to be put down. Although this group doesn't usually deal with farm animals, they reached out through their personal network and managed to secure a home for the rooster in a New England sanctuary. They could not arrange transport for the rooster until Saturday, August 14, but the AC&C's response was "No, he has to leave the shelter before then."

What happened to only killing healthy and treatable animals as an absolute last resort? The rescue group that arranged for the rooster to be saved only heard about him today - is five days of food, water, and cage cleaning for a small bird that can be kept temporarily in a small space really too much to ask so he can go to a guaranteed life-long home? Why does AC&C not have a list of farmed animal sanctuaries in the northeast rather than reaching out - at the very last minute - to an all-volunteer rescue group to make their calls for them?

The all volunteer, non-funded organization will take the rooster for the next five days if necessary, despite not having an appropriate place to keep him. It shouldn't be necessary to save his life.

NYC AC&C Stats

We thought they were gone, turns out they've just been shuffled around on the website a bit. As always, click to enlarge.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

New Group - No Kill NY

News of a new group, No Kill NY, landed in our email box today. We're planning on attending the meeting. Click the image to enlarge the invitation.

Manhattan AC&C Cat Kill List 8/7/10

Ever seen a kill list? Here's some excerpts from yesterday's cat kill list (8/7/10) - note the request, once again, to not share any of the information. Most of these animals were highly adoptable. There were 22 cats & kittens on yesterday's kill list. Please click on images to enlarge.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Cats & Temperament

Did you know there is no generally accepted temperament test for cats? Most reputable shelters consider temperament evaluation for terrified cats in a shelter environment pointless and inaccurate, which doesn't stop AC&C from doing it! Meet Hans, who was scheduled to die back in 2009 for being aggressive and feral. Does he look like either to you? (Hans was pulled before his date with the needle.)

Friday, August 6, 2010


ASK AND YE SHALL RECEIVE: A tipster very kindly passed us an example of a New Hope partner email that has two VERY important items: it CLEARLY STATES in the header that crossposting is forbidden and it concludes with the phrase "Call for this boy TODAY!!!" - I guess the codes are still under development! We pray that this cat's life was spared - although forbidding anyone from sharing information about him isn't a very good way to achieve that. Click to enlarge.


Ben Franklin

"We must all hang together, else we shall most assuredly hang seperately." - Benjamin Franklin

We can't do this without YOU, the rescuers of NYC. You know the problems. You know the issues. You have the info. MAKE IT PUBLIC. - if you request anonymity, you will get it. Join us.

AC&C Changes Terminology

CHANGES TO AC&C E-MAILINGS TO NEW HOPE PARTNERS! AC&C is getting a little more PR-wise. Today's top tipster writes to tell us that NYC AC&C is getting careful with their terminology - listings sent out to New Hope partners for consideration will not say anything about euthanasia or state that the animal is on a euth list. Our tipster writes that the phrase "SAVE HIM TODAY" (or her, I suppose) is the new code for: this animal is on tonight's euth list.

Can anyone provide us with a New Hope listing that contains this terminology? (We'd LOVE to see some internal emails explaining the change, as well!) Please send it to!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Brooklyn AC&C Spreads Deadly Strep Zoo Outbreak

In January of 2009, Brooklyn AC&C suffered an outbreak of Strep Zoo, a highly contagious and deadly disease that spreads quickly among dogs. They, of course, didn't know it, even when their dogs were dying in their kennels (44 of them) - but one of their New Hope partners did after 6 dogs pulled from Brooklyn AC&C got violently ill. The response from Brooklyn AC&C was... nothing. They did not stop adoptions. They did not treat their residents. They did not warn adopters. They did not inform their New Hope partners. They carried on, business as usual, adopting out sick and dying dogs - not even returning phone calls from their New Hope partner who was warning them about the outbreak in their midst.

The receiving shelter spent more than $14,000 to treat every dog in their care and clean up Brooklyn AC&C's mess.

Nathan Winograd Articles

We're big fans of Nathan Winograd and his recent articles on the situation at NYC AC&C make great reading. WARNING: links may contain graphic photos.
We'd like to open the discussion by calling attention to the new header on animal listings sent out to New Hope partners of the AC&C. New Hope partners are the shelter's list of "approved" rescues and ONLY New Hope partner rescues may pull an animal from AC&C, despite the number of animals dying on a daily basis - they are also not approving any new rescues for the list and have recently revoked the access of recently approved rescues.[Side note: We at the NYC Sunlight Coalition STRONGLY support Oreo's Law and the principle of open shelter access.]

What they seem to be saying to their New Hope partners (although it's tough to read their confusing syntax) is: don't network these animals, don't share this information. This is for your eyes only.

We believe that available animals from every shelter should be shared, crossposted, publicized and listed in as many adoption-friendly forums as humanly possible and fail to see any good reason not to do so. To not pursue every available avenue of promotion - especially ones that cost nothing - is nonsensical.

Please click image to enlarge.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Welcome to the NEW blog of the NYC Sunlight Coalition! We'll be using this space as a permanent home for documents exposed by our readers as well as commentary. Please see the sidebar for information on how to submit documents to us.

Our main base of operations is our Facebook page, although important data will ALWAYS be posted in both places!