Dear Animal Advocates, Concerned and Compassionate Friends,
There has been increasing public awareness vis-a-vis the unacceptable conduct, management and performance of New York City's Center for Animal Care and Control. With the just released Comptroller's Report giving concrete evidence of what many already knew to be so, the facts and the truth can no longer be withheld from the public. The Mayor and city officials need to know that people everywhere, find this to be unconscionable and unacceptable. The lives of innocent animals and the reputation of New York City are at stake!
We believe that this petition REFORM THE CACC NOW ! represents a clear and comprehensive statement of the many problems and issues; it attempts to address the concerns of animal advocates vis-a-vis the conduct and performance of the CACC and demands reform and positive change of an egregious situation.
take a moment to read and sign the petition
Forward this petition to as many individuals and groups as possible.
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of your participation...each and every one of you!
The sponsors of this petition wish to thank you and the animals will certainly thank you too!
Zelda Penzel, People for the End of Animal Cruelty and Exploitation/PEACE
Sandy Lewis, Friends of Animals/FoA
Barbara Stagno, In Defense of Animals/IDA
Elizabeth Forel, The Coalition for New York City Animals/CNYCA
Sheila Schwartz, Humane Education Committee/HEC
Gary Kaskel, The Shelter Reform Action Committee/SRAC
Julie Van Ness, United Action for Animals/UAA
PR02-06-038 Press Office
June 6, 2002 212-669-3747
Please click here to view the full report.
CACC has provided animal seizure, shelter and care services in New York
City since January 1, 1995. During the year 2000, CACC's total budget was
$8.3 million, all but $300,000 received from the City's Department of Health.
CACC operates three full-service shelters in Manhattan and Brooklyn and on Staten Island, and two receiving centers in the Bronx and Queens. During the year 2000, 60,877 animals - including 55,376 cats and dogs - entered into the
CACC shelter system. Of that 60,877, 14,270 (23.4 percent) were adopted, 677 (1.1 percent) were reclaimed by owners, 722 (1.2 percent) were still in the shelters at year's end, and 41,203 (67.7 percent) were euthanized. (Another 4,005 animals were in other categories, such as released to freedom or dead on arrival.)
The audit, which was performed in accordance with the Comptroller's audit responsibilities set forth in the City Charter, examined conditions under which animals were sheltered at CACC facilities and the level and success of CACC's animal adoption efforts from January 1, 1999 to June 30, 2001.
Auditors visited CACC facilities 15 times between February and April 2001, examined available records and walked through the shelters and centers to evaluate conditions.
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Main Points of the Comptrollers Report on the CACC
In some shelter wards, many animals were not provided with constant access to water, as evidenced by empty bowls in their cages.
Contagious animals were sometimes kept in the same wards as non contagious animals. The Staten Island facility did not have a separate ward for contagious animals.
At CACC's two larger shelters (in Brooklyn and Manhattan), cages were not consistently spot-cleaned, and animals were left in soiled cages.
Some animals in CACC shelters were accidentally euthanized. Of 42 employees at the Brooklyn shelter for whom we were able to review all relevant sets of documents, four (10 percent) were cited for actions that caused the euthanasia of owned or claimed animals between January 1999 and April 2001. Additionally, the audit found evidence that six more employees at the Brooklyn and Manhattan shelters were cited for such actions.
The audit also found documentation of 34 instances in which employees made the types of mistakes that could lead to accidental or inappropriate euthanasia of animals.
Animals were subjected to abuse and neglect. The audit found 13 instances of animal mistreatment. Six incidents took place at the Brooklyn shelter, and seven occurred at the Manhattan shelter between January 1999 and April 2001.
Animals also were provided with substandard veterinary care. Of the seven veterinary staff members at the Brooklyn shelter for whom auditors reviewed all documents, three (43 percent) were cited for poor veterinary care between January 1999 and April 2001. The audit additionally found evidence of five more veterinary staff members at the Manhattan shelter who were cited for poor veterinary care.
Most employees who mistreated animals were not dismissed.
CACC management and staff refused or delayed access to many documents (such as personnel files, logbooks and disciplinary action notices) and prohibited employees from being interviewed unless management was present. Additionally, only two of six members of CACC's Board of Directors would speak with the Comptroller's Office.
"We were unable to interview employees, such as kennel attendants, veterinarians,
adoption counselors, who could have given us first-person observations,"
Thompson said. "We were not able to review any managers' logbooks and notes-to-file
at the Manhattan and Staten Island shelters. These are documents that would
contain written accounts of incidents that occur at shelters, such as mistreatment
of animals, accidental euthanasia, and of employees failing to
perform their jobs properly."
"CACC does not provide humane conditions for all of the animals in its shelters, and has not made aggressive efforts to increase adoptions of homeless animals," Thompson said. "CACC seems to focus its efforts on pushing animals through the system without providing humane care for all New York City animals in need."
The audit determined that CACC has not significantly improved its adoption record over the last three years because of a number of factors. A survey by the Comptroller's Office found that the public is largely unaware of CACC and its adoption efforts. Further, CACC does not make aggressive efforts to improve public awareness, restricts off-site adoptions, discourages animal rescue groups from involvement with the shelter system, and limits the number of animals available for adoption.
The Comptroller also is concerned that CACC does not offer adoption services in Queens and the Bronx, and that CACC compounds a problem of under-funding by failing to aggressively raise money on its own and failing to recruit volunteers.
The audit also concluded that CACC's current contract with the Department of Health does not include specific and measurable performance requirements or standards. CACC currently is renegotiating its contract with the DOH to begin July 2002 and, in response to the Comptroller's Audit, the DOH reported that it would include specific performance measures to better monitor CACC's compliance, as well as increase its frequency of site visits to the
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