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!