Thursday, August 6, 2009

"Buddy, Can You Spare Some Leashes?" (Reply) New York City




Abagale has left a new comment on your post "Messengers of Bad News":
I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Reply: Thank you for your supportive comment and for caring about animals.

Some regular readers might wonder why I have not been writing lately about the shelter situation in NYC or recent rescues.

Contrary to what might be presumed, there is, in fact, much going on, but most of it is under the radar screen and cannot be written of at this point.

City shelter Intake numbers, as well as Euthanasia stats, unfortunately rise dramatically during the summer months. That is especially true for cats and kittens this time of year and tragically, is to be expected.

What is not to be expected however, is the "sanitizing" (denial) way our city shelter officials (or PR people) apparently have chosen to respond to and deal with the problem.

In recent weeks disturbing and misleading press statements have come to light which give many of us familiar with shelter realities pause for great concern.

Without going into details, suffice it to say it is not unlike the "marshmallow fluff" way Michael Vick was dressed up, "handled" and his words carefully scripted in order to look and sound good to the public.

Situations like these cause one to wonder if our country isn't in fact mostly being run by PR Agents and "handlers" these days rather than competent, responsible people capable of dealing with and communicating tough realities?

Its no small wonder that so many millions of Americans are on medications these days for "depression."

We don't know who and what to trust or believe anymore.

Yesterday, I was at the Manhattan shelter with Carrie, one of our foster volunteers to pick up a sweet, Shepherd mix dog named "Adidi" (Pictured above)for rescue.

While there, we noticed water pouring down from the sides of the two-story building as if construction or repair workers might be installing a swimming pool on the second floor of the Manhattan animal shelter!

For more than one year now, the entire second floor of the Manhattan "shelter" has been closed for so-called "renovations." ("Renovations" have been occuring on this building since the day it opened in the early 90's.)

Two spanking new Manhattan high rises on the Upper East Side have been built in less time than that.

I put "shelter" in quotes because the fact is that the building located at 326 East 110th street in Manhattan was never built as an animal shelter in the first place!

It was some kind of windowless warehouse before being purchased by the city in the early 1990's to serve as an "animal shelter" when the ASPCA got out of its Animal Control contract with the city of New York.

It seems, killing tens of thousands of pets a year wasn't good for the ASPCA's "PR image."

For sure, the decision to get out of Animal Control was indeed fruitful for the ASPCA's "image" as it has gone on to raise hundreds of millions of dollars, while not having to worry over picking up the city's grungy strays (although the ASPCA likes to use these animals in tear-jerking commercials in order to raise even more money!)

Let's hear it for great PR firms!

It is a fantastically strange twist of irony that the organization that does not officially deal with "strays" (ASPCA) raises millions of dollars off the misery of these animals while the shelter (AC&C) whose official duty IS to take in strays seems to deny the very existence of these animals!

"Intake is down!" "Euthanasia is down!" (though not true for cats). "....not euthanizing healthy animals for space!" (The latter statement represents not only "spinning" of the truth but downright mangling of it.)

The gut wrenching pictures (of downtrodden strays) are thus presented by the state of the art organization with its fancy buildings, millions of dollars in assets and slick PR firms, while the marshmallow, "Disneyworld" fluff is presented by the City shelter system with its run down, disease-producing, decrepit buildings and hundreds of "strays" and dumped pets in its shelters any day of the year.

Last week, the city Animal Control shelters were scrounging around for dog leashes. This, while millions of donation dollars continue to pour into the large, lucrative, well heeled organizations such as represented by the ASPCA and North Shore Animal League.

Dare Animal Control to ask the wealthy shelters to "spare some leashes?"

Or, perhaps some buckets to collect the raging waters pouring down the sides of of the 110 th Street "swimming pool?"

Or, to borrow singer, Sarah McGlaukin to sing the true woes and miseries of those thousands of animals entering -- and dying in our city Animal Control shelters.

******

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