By Susan Richard
New York (CBSNewYork) You know that dog with the green sweat band you’ve seen on subway and phone booth ads around town? His name is Dan, the city’s new poster dog for animal rescue, who is the real deal.
Dan was adopted in 2010 from the Manhattan location of what was then known as Animal Care & Control of New York City, the non-profit 501c3 open admissions organization contracted to provide animal welfare services to the city of New York. His adopter, Colby Webb, and a friend were volunteering at an animal welfare event when she spotted a stack of flyers featuring a photo of a puppy named Bobby, and a two year old pit bull mix named Dan. “We were so taken with their photos”, Webb told 1010 WINS, “we went outside and distributed the flyers for the next five hours instead of helping with the rescue event.” The next day she called the shelter and learned that while Bobby had been adopted, Dan had not, and so she went immediately to the Harlem location and adopted him.
Meet Dan in the latest edition of All For Animals, hosted by 1010 WINS Anchor Susan Richard:
Flash forward four years, when Dan was featured in photographer Sophie Gamand’s ‘Pit Bull Flower Power’ campaign, which gained international attention as it sought to dispel the negative stereotypes surrounding pit bull type dogs. (Click HERE for the Instagram link @SophieGamand.) Dan was such a great model, when Gamand was tapped to photograph the recent rebranding of the city shelters as Animal Care Centers of New York City, she suggested him as the poster pooch.
“We’re so excited to have Dan as our poster dog for this ad campaign, because not only is he a great ambassador for adoptions from the Care Centers, but he’s a pit bull. And when you look at him you don’t think the bad rap of pit bulls, you think, this is the most adorable dog with his sweat band!”, says ACC Executive Director Risa Weinstock.
Weinstock also explained the reason for the name change. “At the time, when we were first created in 1995, control was a very big part of what we did”. “Now”, she said, “we’re a multifaceted organization that provides so many services for the animals and the people of New York City, that we wanted to redefine ourselves”.
The new ad campaign also features a new slogan “Easy as ACC”, which Weinstock says is part of their concerted effort to increase the number direct adoptions from the city animal shelters, which, as an open admissions system, takes in some 30,000 cats, dogs and rabbits each year.
As for Dan, he’s just getting started. Webb told 1010 WINS Dan has been certified as a therapy dog, and will be visiting the city’s VA Hospital to comfort veterans suffering from PTSD. Dan is also the inspiration for the private 501c3 rescue organization Sav-A-Bull, which is both rescuing dogs and using various platforms to challenge the stereotypes that often stand in the way of these dogs getting adopted. That includes the book “41 Pit Bulls”, which Webb says illustrates the distinguished, gentle and artful nature of these incredible dogs. She calls it “a little book with a big job”. Learn more about the book at http://sav-a-bull-ny.org/book/.
Get info on adopting a pet from Animal Care Centers of New York City at http://www.NYCACC.org.
Check out Sav-A-Bull at http://www.Sav-A-Bull.org.
All For Animals is a production of Susan Richard/New Day Media and appears on CBSNewYork.com as a courtesy. For inquiries, visit AllForAnimalsTV.com.