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July 1, 2002


Testimony by Mayor Bloomberg During Public Hearing on Local Law

"The bill before me today is Introductory Number 234, which was sponsored by Council Member Quinn at my request, and adopted along with the budget. The budget adopted on June 21st reduces spending across the board at all City agencies. Intro. 234 amends various provisions of the Administrative Code that govern the operation of the City's animal shelters to conform to the realities in the budget. In particular, it reduces the number of hours that the City's full service shelters must accept dogs and cats-from 24 hours, seven days a week to 12 hours a day, seven days a week. It also reduces the number of days the City's shelters must operate their adoption program-from 7 days a week to 5 days, which must include the weekends. This reduction in hours of operation reflects the public's actual utilization of the facilities.

"Now shelters must devote a minimum of six hours a day to the adoption program during those five days a week, further demonstrating the City's commitment to adoption as a means of reducing the demand for animal control services. In addition, the statutory 48-hour period a shelter must keep lost animals before it can euthanize them must consist of actual hours of shelter operation.

"This bill also extends the period of time the City has to build full service shelters in the Bronx and Queens from July 1, 2002 to July 1, 2006. The original legislation, enacted in 2000, put the City on a timetable that was overly ambitious at best given the complexities associated with the site selection process. The Department of Health has been actively engaged in the site selection process, but was unable to comply with the legislation as written. The City now has more realistic goals that will require site selection and completion of ULURP by July 1, 2004 and complete construction by July 1, 2006.

"Finally, I would like to note that the City is working with the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and animal care organizations to create the Mayor's Alliance for Animals that will facilitate a City-wide adoption network to coordinate and maximize animal adoptions efforts to reduce the demand for animal control. As I said earlier, the City remains committed to adoption as one means-the other being an aggressive spay-neuter program-of reducing the demand for control services. The City's participation in the Alliance will provide the care community (of which the Center for Animal Care and Control is also a member) with access to grants from private foundations. The Alliance will provide a responsible forum for the City to engage in discussions with the animal care community in a productive way. I look forward to working with the care community through the Alliance."

Contact: Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz
(212) 788-2958