Sunday, January 29, 2012

Stop the Killing – Another Brick in NYC ACC’s Wall

I make no attempt at hiding my dislike (to put it mildly) of New York City’s Animal Care & Control.  I’ve written a number of posts concerning the problems there, as well as No Kill New York’s fight to bring change to the NYC ACC.

A few days ago, I learned about a new problem – one that earns the ACC, it’s director Julie Bank, the remainder of the Executive Staff, the Board of Directors, the Mayor’s Alliance, and the Mayor (they are ALL responsible for what goes on there), yet another brick in their Wall of Shame.

This is Gloria.  I first heard her story at YesBiscuit!  Gloria was abandoned at an ASPCA mobile clinic in Queens, presumably in late December 2011.  The ASPCA brought her to the pound.  She arrived at NYC ACC on 12-29-2011 and was examined (presumably by a veterinarian) on that day.  She had a second veterinary exam on 1-15-12, when she was placed on the kill list for having a cold.  After being rescued by Pets Alive, a vet exam revealed she had a severely broken leg that had to be amputated after being left untreated during her 3 week stay at NYC ACC.

As word spread, animal lovers and activists cried foul loud and clear.  They demanded an investigation of ASPCA’s role in the incident.  It was unthinkable they would have turned an injured animal over to the ACC without basic treatment or informing ACC of the problem.

On Friday, the Pets Alive Blog posted an update, including the news that the ASPCA investigated the incident, realized they had made a mistake by following the then current protocols to the letter, rewrote the protocols to insure this type of incident will not happen again, and apologized. 

Here is the press statement that is being released by the ASPCA in response to Gloria:

The ASPCA has conducted an internal investigation into why Gloria, a stray cat with a broken leg who was abandoned in front of one of the ASPCA’s mobile spay/neuter vehicles, was transferred to NYC AC&C.

Our staff followed our regular procedure of sending stray animals left with us to NYC AC&C since that is where people who have lost their pets go to look for them.  At the time Gloria was admitted to AC&C, we notified its staff that Gloria had a broken leg and needed treatment.

The bottom line is that we failed Gloria, and we are grateful that Pets Alive saved her. Our strict adherence to regular procedure was clearly contrary to our mission in this case, and we deeply regret that we did not alter protocol to treat Gloria immediately instead of relying on AC&C to do so. We are implementing new procedures to prevent this from happening again.

We thank Pets Alive for stepping up to provide Gloria with the surgery and care she needed. The ASPCA is awarding a grant to Pets Alive to fund the cost of Gloria’s surgery, medical care, and convalescence and to continue its work saving more animals.

Notice the sentence in bold and underlined (my emphasis).  NYC ACC was told Gloria needed medical treatment, and they did absolutely nothing.  Her broken leg was not noted during her TWO (2) medical evaluations.  They let her suffer for 3 weeks, and then put her on the kill list after she caught a cold (very typical for any animal who spends more than a day or two at the ACC).

As John Sibley notes in his blog post, the ASPCA made a mistake (which they’ve since addressed) while the ACC demonstrated total incompetency. Like John, I have issues with the ASPCA, but appreciate their coming clean about what happened with Gloria.  It’s encouraging to see there are still at least a few people there who care.  Sadly, I doubt the ACC will investigate the incident, take any action, or even make any comments.  That just isn’t their style.

The links below are other posts I’ve made about NYC ACC, as well as two other blogs that write about the ACC. 

Please like and follow No Kill New York's page on Facebook - -   to keep up with ongoing efforts to bring about change. Be sure to read their 44 days of action plans in the Notes Section. Some are informational, and give food for thought and/or links for reading. Some ask you to send an email, fax or letter.  I have some letters you can copy/paste in the notes section on my Facebook page (just please be sure to do a quick edit to change state name and otherwise personalize it a bit).

If you are horrified and/or appalled by what is happening at NYC ACC, then please take action. It only takes a few minutes per action plan.

Stop the Killing – Wall of Shame: NYC ACC

Stop the Killing – Why Everyone Should Join the Battle for No Kill New York

The Battle for No Kill New York Has Begun

Stop the Killing – Speak Out

Why I Am Fighting Against NYC ACC

My Letters re: Reforming NYC ACC

In Dogs We Trust (John Sibley’s blog, which has articles about the ACC)

Shelter Reform Action Committee (SRAC) Blog - Everything you ever wanted to know about the AC&C, but were afraid to ask.

I Love New York(ers)

NYC reader Anne Davis recently exchanged pleasantries with the Mayor’s Alliance and shared in yesterday’s Open Thread [on the YesBiscuit blog].  I wanted to bring it up to make sure everyone sees it.  I think it gives valuable insight into some of the reasons why the NYC pound needlessly kills healthy/treatable pets.  Everything that follows is from Ms. Davis’ comment:

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