NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) Animal Care and Control of New York on Saturday will mark the launch of an overhauled adoption program with “Petacular” events at its three shelters.
“We always did adoptions, but we want to do it better”, newly appointed Executive Director Risa Weinstock told 1010 WINS, “Our goal is to get as many animals out of the shelter to forever homes as possible”.
AC&C has an ongoing New Hope program in which animals are relocated in partnership with more than 150 other shelters and rescue organizations affiliated with the non-profit Mayor’s Alliance For New York City’s Animals, but AC&C has struggled with direct placements.
“We have a tremendous rescue community”, says Weinstock. “Last year they took over 15,000 animals from us. The reality is they can’t take every single animal, and so what AC&C needed to do was look inside and say how are we going to get as many animals placed. The onus is on AC&C to do an excellent job in adoptions. We understand there’s lots of places where you can adopt a pet and so we want people to think of AC&C first.”
As an open admissions shelter, AC&C is required by law to accept every one of the more than 30,000 animals it receives each year, and Weinstock concedes that potential adopters are often discouraged by the sight of someone surrendering a pet or a police or animal control officer bringing in a stray.
She also says a lack of designated staffers has resulted in mismatches in the past.
“A lot of people come in with big expectations and big hearts. They want to take home a shelter animal and then it just doesn’t work out. We want to prevent that.”
As part of the revamped program, Weinstock says AC&C has hired eleven full time adoption counselors. New signage is in place directing potential adopters to specially designated areas. In Manhattan, adoptions will take place on the second floor, and Brooklyn will have a new adoption office. At those locations, the public will be able to interact with cats in glass-enclosed meet and greet rooms, and the dog meet and greet room in Manhattan is also being renovated.
The program kicks off Saturday with “Petacular” events at all three shelters. At the Manhattan Care Center between noon and 3 p.m., best selling author Ken Foster will be signing copies of his book ‘I’m Good Dog: Pit Bulls, America’s Most Beautiful And Misunderstood Pet”, an artist will be on hand to do caricatures of people and their new pets, adopters will get special goodie bags and the adoption rate will be lowered to $20.13. The adoption rate and the goodie bags are available at the Brooklyn and Staten Island care centers Saturday as well.
The locations are as follows:
Manhattan: 326 E. 110th St.
Brooklyn: 2336 Linden Blvd.
Staten Island: 3139 Veterans Rd. West
Get more information and view adoptable cats, dogs and rabbits at www.nycacc.org.