Cash-Strapped NYC Will No Longer Look For Lost Pets

Animal Care & Control Will Not Search Its Facilities

Updated: Nov. 13 11:20 a.m.

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Budget cuts are putting your pets at greater risk if they are lost in New York City.

Animal Care and Control will no longer take reports of lost pets, and staffers at shelters will no longer search the facilities for missing animals.

Animal shelter volunteer Laurie Daniels takes care of “Misty,” a stray dog brought in as a stray two days ago.

It’s possible this affectionate canine is loved by an owner desperately looking for her.

But now, in our city with its thousands of lost dogs and cats, getting them back to their homes just got harder.

“There’s a very good chance if their pet is lost they wont be able to find them,” said Jane Hoffman, president of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals.

The budget for Animal Care and Control was slashed by $1.5 million in the past two years, and now a change in policy:

Staffers will no longer accept reports of lost and found pets.

“They have homes and who knows? They may be destroyed in a matter of days and that is tragic,” said Jessica Mawhirt of Battery Park City.

Frantic owners used to call Animal Care and Control directly to have city workers search the three main facilities, but that’s no longer part of the workers’ job description.

As a result of these budget cuts the owners of lost pets must come to city shelters in person, including one in Manhattan, and the others in Brooklyn and Staten Island.

The Department of Health, which oversees Animal Care and Control, said there is one exception:

“Animal Care and Control will continue to perform searches for disabled people who cannot physically come to the shelters to search for their lost pets,” the department said in a statement.

While the Animal Care and Control Web site continues to be updated, Hoffman showed Carlin many of the listings that have no photos and those with images can be difficult to make out.

Hoffman said now, more than ever, all owners must license, microchip and keep collars with IDs on their animals at all times. With those identifying clues, Animal Care and Control will still try to get your pet home.

Without them, you’re likely on your own.

Hoffman said, by law, an unclaimed animal can be adopted out or euthanized after as little as 48 hours, although it usually takes longer than that.

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  • dianne

    the CACC is in a financial mess !! the city slashed its budget to ribbons. Everybody gives their money to the aspca with their sappy commercials and tug at the heart strings. Nobody gives to the CACC cause they kill animals hellllllo ASPCA sends their unwanted there to do the dirty work. they take in hundreds of animals no money , no food , no care what are they to do???? instead of everybody who thinks they know the answers volunteer there for a day or give a donation and maybe one day they can go no kill. food , vet care supplies and people to take care of them costs alot of money!

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  • Matt

    These failures are partners with the multi-millionaire ASPCA. Need I say more?

  • Erik4

    Jane Hoffman sounds like another cold,heartless Bloomberg employee.Bloomberg always hires the coldest people for positions that deal with lives.Wether it is the homeless head Seth Diamond having the pets of homeless people taken away on Christmas day,or Jane Hoffman talking about the within-48-hours killing of loved pets like its nothing.

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  • skippy777

    pets today; humans tomorrow

    • Deb Sanford

      Instead of spending all the money on killing stray animals put it into finding them homes or their lost owners. What an ass backward state we live in. Do you people enjoy killing?????

  • skippy777

    california and new york: the new face of american communism…both states are billions in debt and the state leaders like it that way….both tie for dead last in state that is worst for new business; california is rated dead last in quality of its government schools; both states just rejected all republicans who promised to clean up the mess. hispanics, both government and private sector unions, and liberal politicians will assure failure….

  • skippy777


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  • Lindsey Sutphin

    I think some sort of recovery fee could be implemented. Mistakes happen, but even so it’s the owner’s responsibility and I would think the owner wouldn’t mind paying a fee to whoever picked up and fed their pet while it was missing.

    Also, what about an online database for all the shelters? I’m sure they have to record all animals taken into the shelter, what if they computerized the system to automatically make a simple online entry of species, breed, size, date taken in? If you are looking for a lost pet, you could narrow down which shelters to call by that info.

  • Ellen

    I agree with AuntChristine’s comment. Surely there could be a volunteer-staffed Lost and Found program implemented at NYC Animal Control.

    The way you treat animals predicts the way you treat people.

    A city should never default to a policy that puts members of their family (human or animal) in lethal danger because protection is not in the city’s budget.

    • Kala

      If the people really treated their own animals well they wouldn’t get lost in the first place. It’s not everyone elses’d responsibility to find a dog YOU LOST>

  • Jeff The Concerned

    YOUR pet…
    YOUR responsibility!
    Illegal immigration is a REAL issue.
    This is not.

    • Deb Sanford

      Jeff, I agree illegal immigration is an issue but these animals cannot choose what happens to them. In a perfect world there would be no lost or stray dogs. You are in the wrong news article, this is a REAL issue.

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  • 1Fr0zenmigra

    OK< so New York is hurting for money? How about we remove those persons who are present in the United States illegally? It is very simple. You (New York) can save billions. NY can also catch those persons who are illegally collecting welfare and other social services they are not entitled to.

    You simply send out letters to all those receiving welfare and demand they appear in person (those able) re register for services. The US Border Patrol and Customs along with ICE will be present to ask each and every person as to their rights to be in and remain in the United Syayes legally. This stops all the cries of racism. You see, when everyone is asked, there is no racism.

    The Illegals will leave the state. They will move to another state where they do not check.

    This will free up BILLIONS of tax dollars from welfare, medical care costs and education costs for illegals and their children.

    Concerned Taxpayer

    • Pouteria

      This will free up BILLIONS of tax dollars from welfare, medical care costs and education costs for illegals and their children.

      billions means at least two so at a minimum there are 80,000 illegal immigrants families each sucking $25,000 from the taxpayer tit. Remarkable….at 2.5 illegals per family that means one in every 100 new yorker you pass on the street is illegal.

      bet if we get rid of them the employers will have to pay a decent minimum wage, right?

      • 1Fr0zenmigra

        California spends some 10 BILLION on illegal immigrants. Housing, medical, WIC, Jail expenses, education……….I am pretty sure the number in BILLIONS is well over 2 billion for NY. New York is a city of sanctuary for all illegals. Illegal aliens are not a race, they come from all countries…so, it is NOT racism to ask for their removal from the State and the country. Services for Americans should be the last thing to be taken away…..Start with some laws and policies that will remove the illegals from the state. Cut their $$$$$$$$$$$$$ and you will see them flee….look at Arizona…it worked there….Fire all Polictical leaders who cater to the Illegal aliens. Help Americans. Stop cutting services for Americans.

  • valarie

    Of course, if they deported all the illegals and stopped all payments and services to these criminal aliens then they would have time amd money to bring your pet back with a platinum collar stuffed with diamonds.

    • 1Fr0zenmigra

      Who cares about how they bring a pet back, so long as it is alive…….I do care about the education of the children, the costs for free health care for the illegals, the expense for their time in jails…….What part of criminal activity do you not understand? These people come here, in violation of the law……march in our streets demanding their rights…and who suffers? Americans. Services are being cut around the country for Americans. WHy not start removing services for criminal illegal aliens? How about that? Start removing their free medical, education and other social services? Yeah, I would like to see families be reunited with a pet than to have illegals staying in New York or any other state.

  • valarie

    Hellloooooooo…microchips…cost 50 bucks or so and pennies to maintain. Get it? Got it” Good. If you can’t afford a frickin’ microchip, you shouldn’t have an animal.

    • Philip B Kirschner

      I am disbled, and save up for luxary. I also save up for services that my service dog needs.

  • For All the Pets

    There is no question this is truly a tragedy. But it is important to also note that the budget cuts are not made by AC&C staff (e.g. Julie Bank) but by the city’s Department of Health, which has been progressively slashing AC&C’s budget year after year.

  • Evan W.

    Look people, ACC doesn’t have a choice in these cuts — what services are cut or by how much — it is all decided by the Dept. of Health. If you want to affect change, go after the DOH, not ACC.

  • Jasonn

    How about some retired folks who are animal lovers stepping up to volunteer at those facilities to fill in the budget gap? Just sayin’….

    • jk

      accept there is no money for this
      Don’t go after DOH spend your time going after your lost pet.

  • peterj

    So the budget was slashed by 1.5 million. New york state lost far more than that when they raised tobacco taxes to ridiculous levels. Unforseen consequences.

  • Hillary Clinton

    So stuupid. Lost your dog? Get another from the pound. What’s the big deal.

    Oh, yeah, go ahead and tell me how they are the same as kids

    • Dave

      Same thing your parents said the first time you ran away. Too bad you found your way home.

    • Steve

      better than most kids most of the time

    • Julie Nanni

      sounds like something Hillary would say. Heart like a lump of coal

  • torabora

    Do they charge for dog licenses? I betcha they do. Therefor they have a fidiciary DUTY to take reasonable steps to find the owners of lost pets.

    • poochieu

      Agreed! I pay for my dogs’ licenses every year and have done so for 20 years. What am I paying for? If my dog is lost and so is his tag because he’s running in the street shouldn’t they still help me? I paid for the license which includes a tag in case my dog is lost or stolen… it isn’t my fault or my pet’s fault if the tag is lost while the dog is lost. Thanks for doing nothing for NYC’s responsible dog owners if their dog loses their tag while lost in the jungle of NYC. Here’s hoping they actually check dogs for microchips at this point.

  • Bill

    Cut them from the payroll.

  • AnneP

    Okay, you cut the services, but not the jobs of those administering the services that no longer exist?

    • John

      it’s important that NYC makes traffic worse by cutting major streets in half to give lanes to irresponsible bikers that can’t handle normal bike lanes. it’s also important that the city spends obscene amounts of money on being the pot arrest capital of the world, when there are so many other problem the police department could be dealing with.

      it’s important that the city spend money of harassing people who run sites like craigslist, so they remove their adult services sections where there are thousands of other sites that do the same exact thing.

      it’s important that our mayor has more NYPD officers working as his personal security than the president has secret service agents.

      it’s important that the city take 1 or more patrol cars from every precinct so the NYPD can put on a show by driving around in huge caravans, because having all our cops in one place to put on a show prevents terrorism and saves us money.

      can’t you see how important these things are? we simply don’t have enough money!!!

    • shivers

      Excellent point…and one that our government hopes that we don’t notice…they reduce and reduce services that are already well paid for until our lives are so uncomfortable and we “scream” for higher taxes…most people never notice thoughg that the government never gets smaller…service just gets worse and more expensive…now if this was a business…they would be out of business….

  • Leslie

    Bet they have enough time and money to kill your pet.

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  • Mike G

    Question. Are the actual paid workers at the shelters union members? If so, does that factor in as to why they discourage volunteers coming in and doing work for free? I honestly don’t know, just asking.

  • Dave

    Mayor Mike found billions to buy all the waterfront property in Manhattan(and most of Brooklyn to make parks. Did he give a rats ass about all the workers making a living on the piers? Any company with half a brain is running out of the city because of the Layers of BS, Taxes, and new regs. that only the third term King of NY would think is good.
    PS, how about the state MTA TAX that as soon as it was put into law the State took and used in the general fund(nothing going to the MTA so they need to cut service).
    New Yorkers voted in a new group of the same Dems. to keep the money flowing to NYC.
    We are freeking doomed.

  • Fritz

    New York city dwellers are extremely lazy, they don’t do anything for themselves. Consequently they know how to do very little, except complain and whine.

  • Anon

    Charlie Rangel seems to have access to a lot of Taxpayer dollars, why not NYC Animal Care & Control?

  • hps

    If YOU LOSE YOU PET look FOR IT.. Start at the pet shelters.. HOW LAZY are NYERS??

  • WeMadeAmistake

    These lost dogs should unionize and band together in a class action lawsuit against the taxpayers and demand restitution from New York taxpayers. Then demand retirement pensions for themselves and include all of those illegal pets that come into the city. After that, these collectivist lost pets should demand higher wages for being pets and they should demand from Obama to be the 112th crony Obama donor organization to receive a waiver from ObamaCare.

  • walter12

    Bloomberg as driven out the tax-paying middle class citizens with his sky high taxes on everything and his crazy leftism. Give the illegal Mexicans in NY a little less free money, that may help some.

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