NEW YORK - Last week the Animal Care Centers of New York City announced that their shelters had reached critical capacity.
Now, Best Friends Animal Society NYC has granted the ACC $10,000 that will pay fund rescue groups that have space to take cats out of the shelter and into their own programs.
Best Friends has also pulled cats from ACC into their program and will continue to do so.
"We've just had a gigantic influx," says Adoption Supervisor Amy Wagner.
Best Friends NYC is also participating in the 'Clear the Shelters' program and throughout the month of August those wishing to do so can adopt a dog, cat, or kitten for $0. Puppy fees will be reduced to just $50.
The ACC is still offering $5 adoptions for adult cats and dogs to help mitigate costs.
"Once they do adopt, we offer vouchers to make it affordable for their first vet visits," adds Wagner. "We don't want anybody to be scared about financial situations."
Alexis Pugh, the Director of Life Saving Centers for Best Friends Animal Society, adds fostering or volunteering is a great way to be part of the solution.
"One thing that we know at Best Friends Animal Society because we track data across the country so closely, is that many shelters are struggling, just like the ACC of New York—where the number of animals coming in, is exceeding the number of animals that are going back out through adoption or foster. It doesn't require a permanent commitment, but you can help ease the strain of capacity issues like what they're dealing with at ACC right now."
The key to ending the cycle, however, is ensuring access to basic veterinary care says Will Zweigart the Executive Director of Flatbush Cats.
"The real problem is that 50% of New Yorkers who own pets cannot afford a basic vet visit and so every year we have the same issue where shelters are flooded with cats and dogs—and we're not able to rescue or adopt our way out of this."
Flatbush Cats is currently finishing construction on a brand new non-profit spay-neuter clinic in Brooklyn—aimed at addressing this issue.
"Once we can give New Yorkers and our community members access to the basic veterinary care that they need and their pets deserve, then a few years later, we won't have overcrowded shelters and we can give every animal the life they all deserve. "
The new clinic is expected to be open in the fall.