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PR- 055-05
February 9, 2005


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Dr. Thomas Frieden, Rich Avanzino, President of Maddie's Fund, and the Veterinary Medical Association of New York City (VMANYC) today announced the award of a $15.5 million, seven-year Maddie's Fund grant to increase animal adoption in New York City.  The grant will be used to further the goals of Mayor's Alliance for New York City's Animals.  The grant will help increase the number of adoptions, decrease animal homelessness, raise public awareness of local shelter and rescue organizations and strengthen the Mayor's Alliance shelters' and rescue groups' current efforts and resources.  The Mayor was also joined by Jane Hoffman, President of The Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals and Ed Sayres President of ASPCA.

"This grant will help the private shelter and rescue organizations in the City increase adoptions and decrease the demand on the City shelter system to unnecessarily euthanize healthy and treatable companion animals," said Mayor Bloomberg.  "It will make New York a more humane City.  I want to thank Maddie's Fund for their generous grant and congratulate the Mayor's Alliance and VMANYC for all their work in procuring this grant.  This effort represents the best that can be achieved when both private and public sectors work together."

Approximately $9.5 million of the Maddie's Fund grant will be spent to increase pet adoptions, and $6 million will be allocated to provide subsidies for spay and neuter surgeries for pets of low-income New Yorkers. The spay/neuter program will be administered by the VMANYC, which partnered with the Mayor's Alliance in applying for the grant. The VMANYC expects its member veterinarians to perform 14,000 spay/neuter surgeries in the first year alone. The Alliance aims to increase above-baseline adoptions and decrease the number of dogs and cats euthanized in New York shelters by 2,800 in the first project year.  The grant provides about one-third of the total amount of money needed to fund these core programs over ten years. Additional funding will be raised from other sources, including individual contributions, corporate sponsorships, and foundation grants.

"New York is the most influential city in the world," said Maddie's Fund President Avanzino.  "As such, helping New York save all of its healthy and treatable shelter dogs and cats has ramifications far beyond its borders. This project will be a beacon for the nation and the world."

"Transforming New York City into a no-kill environment is a tremendous challenge for everyone involved - the shelters and rescue groups, New York City's Animal Care and Control, and the citizens of our great city," said Mayor's Fund for NYC Animals President Hoffman. "Now, powered by Maddie's Fund's financial support and its demonstrated faith in New York's ability to tackle the difficult challenges ahead, we are confident that New York will succeed in becoming a no-kill city in the foreseeable future."

"The ASPCA is the oldest animal welfare organization in America - Our mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States," said ASPCA President Sayres.  "We offer national programs in humane education, public awareness, government advocacy, shelter support, and animal medical services and placement. Our New York City headquarters houses a full-service animal hospital, behavior center, adoption facility, and Humane Law Enforcement Department.  Thanks to the ASPCA's lead grant of $5,000,000 to the Mayor's Alliance - New York's animals will benefit from a much larger grant from Maddie's Fund.  We are honored to help the animals we see everyday and honored to work with the Mayor's Alliance and with Maddie's Fund."

The Veterinary Medical Association of New York City is one of the oldest veterinary associations in the U.S., having been founded in 1894. Currently, it has some 260 members in private practice and/or working at not-for-profit veterinary institutions located within the New York Metropolitan area.

The Mayors Alliance for NYC's Animals, established in 2002, is a coalition of 65 animal rescue groups and shelters that are working with the City of New York to find homes for all of the City's homeless cats and dogs.

Maddie's Fund, the Pet Rescue Foundation is a $200 million family foundation established in 1999 to help communities throughout the U.S. eliminates the unnecessary killing of healthy and treatable homeless animals merely because they do not have homes. The foundation was created by Dave Duffield, founder, Chairman and CEO of the Silicon Valley-based software giant PeopleSoft, and his wife, Cheryl, in honor of the beloved family Miniature Schnauzer, Maddie, who passed away in 1997.

For more information on animal adoption call 311 or visit


Edward Skyler/ Jordan Barowitz   (212) 788-2958

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