(Staten Island, NY – October 26, 2022) Mayor Eric Adams, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) Commissioner Ashwin Vasan, NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner Thomas Foley and Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC) Chief Executive Officer Risa Weinstock joined Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella, District Attorney Mike McMahon and members of the community today to celebrate the opening of the new Animal Care Center in Staten Island. The $9.3 million project was managed by DDC for DOHMH and ACC.
The opening included a dedication of the facility’s lobby to the late Tommy Monahan, a Staten Island boy who tragically passed away in December 2007 at the age of nine trying to save his pets from a house fire.
“This new Animal Care Center on Staten Island is not just a place for animals to be cared for, it’s a place for community and to teach our kids how to make a difference in the lives of animals” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “ACC’s work to ensure no animal is left behind is essential to protecting animals across New York City, and our administration stands proudly behind them. As we open this new facility today, let us live as Tommy Monahan did: With love and compassion in our hearts for our four-legged friends.”
“Our pets do so much for our wellbeing and mental health,” said NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “In many ways they care for us, and we have a responsibility to care for them. This center will live up to the Tommy Monahan name as a start-of-the-art facility for animal care.”
“We’re very pleased to be able to dedicate the new shelter to Tommy Monahan, who dedicated his brief time with us to caring for animals however he could,” said NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner Thomas Foley. “Pets and small animals in particular became very important to New Yorkers throughout the pandemic and this new facility will provide for the animals that are now awaiting adoption and their future owners.”
“We are so proud to have partnered with the City of New York, Staten Island Borough Presidents past and present, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Department of Design and Construction and everyone who worked so hard to build this new state-of-the-art care center and we look forward to providing world class care to animals waiting for a home while also serving as a resource to the community of Staten Island pet lovers,” said Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC) Chief Executive Officer Risa Weinstock. “Together we are designing a bright future for NYC’s shelter animals and ensuring that every animal has a home, and every home that wants an animal also has the support and services it needs to have one.”
“It is an honor to have the Monahan family with us today as we celebrate the reopening of the center and dedicate the lobby in Tommy’s name. Many of us have waited years for this day to come, and we are proud to have this facility on Staten Island,” said Staten Island Borough President Vito J. Fossella. “It would not have been possible without the work of Commissioners Vasan and Foley who saw this project through. We also want to thank Mayor Adams for his support of the Animal Care Center on Staten Island. As an animal and nature lover, Tommy’s legacy will impact the lives of many future students and naturalists.”
“Tommy Monahan was a young hero who loved his animals deeply,” said Council Member Joseph Borelli. “His legacy will be preserved and honored by all of those will come here to rescue animals in the future.”
“Today, we remember Tommy Monahan's love for his pets by dedicating this new state-of-the-art facility's lobby in his name,” said NYS Senate Deputy Minority Leader Andrew Lanza. “I want to thank Mayor Adam's and his team for bringing this new Animal Care Center to Staten Island that will bridge adopted pets with their new families.”
“It is a fitting tribute that the shelter is named after little Tommy Monahan who selflessly ran into a fire to save his beloved pets,” said Congress Member Nicole Malliotakis. “This new and upgraded shelter is welcome news for animal lovers like me, but we hope these animals are quickly adopted or fostered so they only spend a short time here. As a dog owner and recent foster parent, I encourage people to come and see these available pets that need loving homes.”
“The formal opening of Staten Island’s Animal Care Center after a long and difficult process is welcome news for our borough,” said Richmond County District Attorney Micheal E. McMahon. “While our Animal Cruelty Unit has and will continue to prosecute those who prey on innocent animals on Staten Island, we cannot accomplish the mission of nurturing our animals in need alone. The opening of the Center marks the beginning of a real chance for these animals to get medical attention and a real chance at adoption into a loving forever home. Lastly, it is entirely fitting that the Center will bear the name of young Tommy Monahan who lost his life to save his pets that he loved so dearly.”
“It is great that little Tommy Monahan is being remembered in this way,” said Staten Island Community Board 3 Board Chair Frank Morano.
“Our family is deeply moved and grateful that Tommy’s legacy has not been forgotten,” said Thomas Monahan and Maria Monahan, parents of the late Tommy Monahan. “No doubt Tommy would be honored to have his name associated with a place dedicated to helping the animals he loved so much.”
The new 5,300-square-foot Animal Care Center has capacity for 71 animals including 50 cats, 15 dogs and guinea pigs/rabbits, and replaces an older facility at 3139 Veterans Road West to better serve the needs of sheltered animals in Staten Island. The state-of-the-art building is designed to house animals around the perimeter of the building while offices and service functions are located in the interior. The design maximizes the benefits of natural light for animals and people through its recessed clerestory court and translucent polycarbonate envelope.
The Center features two large dog yards, animal holding areas, medical rooms, separate entrances for admissions and adoptions, office areas, a reception desk and pantry for staff. The exterior includes a native garden, parking lot, new lighting and a gated loading and service area with a drywell system underneath to capture stormwater runoff. Work included the installation of new electrical, plumbing and mechanical ventilation systems that is projected to help the building achieve LEED Silver Certification for environmental sustainability.
ACC is a non-profit organization contracted by DOHMH to serve as the city’s open-admissions animal-shelter system. ACC finds placement for animals through direct adoptions from the public and through partnerships with hundreds of other animal welfare organizations. Before animals are adopted, ACC ensures that every animal is vaccinated and micro-chipped. ACC offers resources to reduce pet surrenders and help people keep their animal companions and reunites lost pets with their families. In 2021, the Center in Staten Island took in over 1,300 animals and placed over 1,100 in new homes.
The Animal Care Center in Staten Island is one of several animal adoption and shelter projects DDC is currently working on throughout the City, including new Centers in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx.
About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor Adams’ long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15.5 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative and environmentally conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit nyc.gov/ddc.