Good news for shelter animals in New York City: the chances of being rescued instead of being euthanized are significantly greater than before! More than 20,000 homeless cats and dogs were rescued from animal shelters across the city in 2013, according to the New York Daily News:
At the same time, the number of unwanted cats and dogs that had to be euthanized dropped by 30% - from 6,872 to 4,743, according to Animal Care and Control of New York City.
Officials attributed the numbers to an increase in staffing and services, the result of a boost in funding that has totaled nearly $5 million in recent years.
The changes can be seen throughout the system, said Executive Director Risa Weinstock. Cats are staying in kitty condos instead of cages, she said, and stressed-out animals are being calmed with soothing music. Potential adopters can get help at specialized areas away from the hustle and bustle of the shelter.
Previously, Animal Care and Control was subject to massive budget cuts, which required the organization to care for over 30,000 strays at three shelters on approximately half the budget it has now. But a hotly debated settlement with the city has allowed Weinstock to hire nearly 100 new employees to help care for animals, contributing to the sharp reduction in euthanasia rates.
Weinstock acknowledged, however, that the number of strays that have to be put down in New York each year -- approximately 5,000 -- is still too high. "We are looking into what we can do to keep driving that number down," she said.
If you're interested in adopting a pet from New York City Animal Care and Control, you can visit their adoption page online. You can also visit other city rescue groups, like Animal Haven, Pet Rescue or the ASPCA to adopt an animal in need. And if you have a story or photo to share about your rescue pet, we want to feature it here! Post a photo with the hashtag #MyRescue to see your rescue live on The Dodo.