NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer is calling for a complete overhaul of the city’s Animal Care and Control, calling the conditions at city shelters “shameful.”

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Stringer says he wants a total restructuring of the city’s AC&C program, saying current conditions are unsafe and unhealthy.

“We’ve seen shameful conditions at city shelters,” he said. “There have been reports of overcrowding, animals living in their own waste and, quite frankly, otherwise healthy animals being put down because they are given a strategy as to how we deal with animal control.”

“We should bring people onto a board that care about animals, that have fundraising expertise and understand strategies about animal care and to throw out this old model which is quite frankly, a national disgrace,” he added.

Stringer said what’s needed is a public partnership on the order of the Central Park Conservancy, with a new board of animal lovers and experienced fundraisers to raise money for better facilities and services.

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“When Central Park was in a state of disrepair and neglect, a new Central Park Conservancy was founded in 1980, and today, because they were smart about putting people with real fundraising ability and park expertise, this conservancy pays 85 percent of the budget that’s raised independently of city funding,” Stringer said.

Stringer along with assembly members Linda Rosenthal and Micah Kellner and other animal advocates, are urging supporters to sign an online petition demanding changes to the AC&C. So far, the petition has received more than 2,200 signatures.

“It’s no secret that the New York City shelter system is broken,” said Kellner in a statement. “Not only are their facilities outdated and overcrowded, but with only one true full service shelter, they don’t even comply with the law. For the sake of saving thousands of innocent animals, it’s time to put animal care and control out of its misery.”

For more information or to sign the online petition, visit

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