Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sadie, rescued pit bull of Rational Animal Pit Ambassador namesake needs home!

As many of you know, Sadie Blackstar is Rational Animal's pit bull ambassador. Well, there is another Sadie who probably came from a similar background as our little Blackstar. A pit with somewhat distended glands under her belly, Sadie probably had puppies recently and was thrown away. She was rescued from the euthanasia list not the day of but the HOUR of what would have been her death. A couple I am friends with had seen her at the Brooklyn AC&C a few days prior and inquired with me last Saturday night. I was shocked, because I knew she was to be put down the next morning -- less than 12 hours from the time I learned they were interested in her. When I told them that she was to go down, they decided to foster her.

Through United Action for Animals, I was able to put a hold on Sadie; she was spayed Monday morning and I picked her up on Monday evening. Turns out the couple's landlord objected, even though he had said they could have a dog in their apartment not long before.

Thankfully, two roommates that live on the Upper East Side were able to step in for the couple, who are good friends of theirs, and foster Sadie. She is doing well, getting along with other dogs, even was fine around my cats.
Here is Sadie's Petfinder link and bio:

"Sweet Sadie is an American Staffordshire, about 2 years old and approximately 38 pounds. Can you believe someone dumped this adorable girl in a high kill shelter?? To make matter worse Sadie later found herself on the euthanasia list due to shelter over crowdedness. Thankfully she is now safe with her foster parents, but still needs a "furever" home. Sadie is great on a leash and terrific with other dogs (small and large). She is even fine with cats. Sadie is able to remain calm and collective amidst city noises and distractions, so she would be a perfect city/apartment pup. Sadie requires exercise and would be a great running partner for someone. Her sweet nature attracts many a dog lover at the park who also comment on her pretty face and loving eyes To meet Sadie, please contact United Action for Animals at 212-249-9178 or Our adoption fee is $150. Sadie is up-to-date with routine shots and spayed/neutered."

If you are interested in Sadie, contact United Action for Animals. Remember that a dog is a big responsibility and requires monetary resources as well as energy devoted to his/her life. Adoption is not an impulse buy- the process is exactly that -- a process. For the safety of the rescue group, the animals, and the adopters, an application and interview are pretty standard.

Please spread the word about Sadie, and always -- always! -- ADOPT, don't shop.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Exec Director of NYC Animal Care and Control to depart

The Executive Director of NYC Animal Care and Control, Charlene Pedrolie, will not be renewed in October, according to a New York Tails breaking news story.
Some rescuers and volunteers signed a petition, which was started by Laurie Bleier, Director of Brooklyn Animal Foster Network, which called for her firing or resignation. Bleier used to be heavily involved with Animal Care and Control, taking on the "Animals Didn't Do Anything" advertising campaign which used mug shots of dogs and cats at shelters to advocate for adoptions from AC&C. Though it remains unclear why, Bleier and BAFN no longer are a part of the community of rescuers that may pull animals from AC&C. Bleier has been outspoken, but it seems media have had a hard time getting rebuttal from AC&C, by the way this Brooklyn Paper article reads. On the other hand, Bleier has been accused of having a less-than-perfect track record according to other media.
The deal on Charlene is mixed, though, in my experience with rescuers and advocates in the city, she was not liked by many, but she did have a couple fans within AC&C, who I know. At this point, energies should be directed at the odd pairing of government entity and non-profit within one body that is NYC AC&C. Like changing the GM of the Mets, until the house is sorted out inside, doesn't matter who's at the healm.

The problem really lies in the job itself and the way AC&C functions -- which is as both a city-run entity AND a 501(c)(3) non-profit. That means that, although it is a high-kill shelter, the city, the top management, and staff are under pressure to paint a picture of functionality and improvement in order to get the desperately needed donations from the public. One group, Dogs in Danger, tried to post animals at AC&C that were on the euth list, and they succeeded until, the blog says, Pedrolie came aboard and said no, because it was bad for the AC&C image. Luckily the New Hope Program sends alerts out to hundreds of rescuers every day with animal pictures and their bios, in hopes that they can be saved. In addition, people on this email list cross post to outsiders, on social networks such as Facebook, and on Craigslist. It seems that the image issue concerning going public with the pleas for saving soon-to-be-euthanized animals has dissipated. I believe this is a good thing. If more of the public really understood what a crisis level we are at in terms of animal homelessness and euthanasia, they may opt to walk past the pet store and straight up to 110th Street to the Manhattan Animal Care shelter.

The key problem for AC&C is that the system is grotesquely underfunded, and I believe that this government/private non-profit contruct is at the crux. I have met at least one person who will not give money to a kill shelter. I think that is ludicrous. Any municipal shelter that must take in animals brought to it must euthanize -- it is a necessary evil. By neglecting the operations there by either not volunteering or not giving donations, hurts only the animals.

The ASPCA dumped the AC&C on the City in 1993, and the Department of Sanitation was the part of City government that took control. Power was transferred over to the Department of Health, however, as the City deemed it in better taste. DOH has had full control of the Board for AC&C as well as the appointment of Executive Director and other top management. The DOH oversees all, and many activists for shelter animals here in the city have taken issue with that, calling for a specific department for domestic animal and wildlife, apart from the DOH. Given that the animal shelters used to be controlled by Sanitation and moved to Health, this perhaps is a natural progression as the country learns just how critical the fight against overpopulation and neglect and cruelty is today.

At one point, a crew of proactive New Yorkers operated a reform committee called the Shelter Action Reform Committee, whose mission statement is "To improve conditions and accountability in the New York City animal shelter system through education, lobbying, legislative initiatives and legal action." It is uncertain whether or not the SARC is still active in its mission, but those who started it, including former President of United Action for Animals, Gary Kaskel, have moved on.

Stay tuned to New York Tails for more...never a dull moment!