NYC Shelter Animals - City Hall Public Hearing

Please speak out for New York City's shelter animals at City Hall on Tuesday, April 24 at 10am at a City Council Health Committee public hearing  on the status of NYC's animal shelter system (Animal Care Centers) in addition to a newly proposed law, Intro 401, sponsored by Council Member Vallone, Council Member Brannan and Council Member Holden, requiring full-service shelters in all five boroughs, with facilities to receive lost, stray or homeless dogs, cats, and rabbits. 


If you can attend, we urge you to sign up to speak during the public comment period of the hearing to directly address the Committee with your thoughts. You will have 2-3 minutes to speak. If you testify in person, please bring 10 copies of your written testimony to leave with the Committee members.


You can also submit written testimony via email if you cannot attend in person. Email the testimony to [email protected] within 3 business days of the hearing. Include the date of the hearing, subject of the hearing, and committee.


This is an important opportunity to lend your voice to help ensure that the tens of thousands of dogs, cats, and rabbits that come through our city shelters every year have the best lives possible and that New Yorkers have easy access to adopting furry family members. 


The members of the Health Committee are:

Council Member Mark Levine, Chair

Council Member Keith Powers

Council Member. Mathieu Eugene

Council Member Alicka Amprey-Samuel

Council Member Inez Barron


To provide some background and information, we are sharing some talking points below to help inform your testimony. We hope to see you at the hearing! If you attend in person, please list NYCLASS as the group you are with when you sign up to speak. 


- Intro 401, would mandate full-service animal shelters in all five boroughs of New York City—in which 30,000 animals come through every year.

- Currently, both Queens and the Bronx lack full-service animal shelters and the corresponding medical services, adoptions, and field services they provide. The combined population of residents of Queens and the Bronx is nearly 3.6 million. Yet, the residents in these boroughs only have access to animal receiving centers, meaning that they must travel to another community, which may not be feasible or financially possible, or otherwise wait for a mobile adoption truck. This means they also cannot easily reunite with lost pets. 

- The lack of shelters in Queens and the Bronx leads the existing full-service shelters in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island to be severely overburdened as a result. These shelters are operating at capacity and therefore cannot maximize their efficiency, meaning animals and community members both lose out.

- In January, the de Blasio Administration committed to investing 98 million dollars into the development and renovation of full-service shelters in each borough, announced the location of the new Bronx shelter to be built and committed to upgrades to the existing Brooklyn Shelter. However, the new Bronx shelter is not projected to be open until 2024 and there is no location for a Queens shelter yet. It should be a priority that these shelters get built and operational as quickly as possible.

The Animal Care and Control Centers of New York City’s staff had a record-high 93% placement of animals in 2017, thanks in large part to the partnership with the New Hope animal adoption partner program now in place with numerous animal rescue organizations.

- New full-service shelters mean better, more humane care for the cats, dogs, and rabbits in our shelters, and they will help connect more New Yorkers to loving companions. It’s a win-win for animals and for New Yorkers.


For the animals,

Edita Birnkrant, Executive Director

Jill Carnegie, Campaigns Director

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