New York, NY

[For today’s News Bit and the Running Totals, click here.]

New York City is the largest city in the United States, with an estimated 2013 population of over 8,400,000. The municipal shelter in New York is Animal Care & Control (ACC), which takes in about 30,000 animals per year. ACC has three shelters and two receiving stations, one in each of the five boroughs. The director of New York City’s Animal Care & Control recently announced that the city had an 81% live release rate in 2014.

New York City has an unusual – possibly unique – approach to increasing the shelter’s live release rate. Instead of a single non-profit, or group of non-profits, that work with the shelter as we see in most large cities with high live release rates, New York has a large consortium of rescues that pull animals from the shelter. A non-profit, the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, is an umbrella group that acts as a liaison between the city and the rescues and also provides an interface to manage the transfer of animals. Jane Hoffman, an attorney, has been the President and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Mayor’s Alliance since 2003.

Prospects for further improvement in 2015 are looking hopeful. The city has announced an $8 million capital-funding grant that will be used to build an adoption center at Animal Care & Control’s Manhattan location, remodel the Brooklyn shelter to help cut down on disease transmission, and buy more adoption vans.

New York City is counted in the Running Totals as an 80% to 90% community.

Tompkins County, NY

Tompkins County is located in the south central part of New York state just below the Finger Lakes. The population of the county is about 102,000, plus approximately 20,000 non-resident students who attend college in Ithaca, the county seat.

The Tompkins County SPCA (TCSPCA) has contracted with the county and with several cities and towns within the county for animal control and sheltering services. The towns include Caroline (population 3300), Danby (3300), Enfield (3500), the city of Ithaca (30,000), the town of Ithaca (20,000), Lansing (11,000), Newfield (5200), and Ulysses (4900). TCSPCA’s animal control does not pick up stray cats unless they are injured or in distress.

The shelter accepts owner surrenders from the county but asks owners to make an appointment and may require a wait of “several days.” If it is an emergency situation, the shelter will accept the animal immediately.

TCSPCA has had a series of notable directors. The well-known author and activist Nathan Winograd started as director of TCSPCA in mid-2001. He was followed by Abigail Smith, who headed up the shelter until accepting a job as director of the Austin Animal Center in 2011. Smith was replaced at TCSPCA by Jim Bouderau, who took over as shelter director in May of 2011.

The shelter has reported a live release rate of 90% or more since the calendar year 2002 report, with one exception. In the transition year of 2011 TCSPCA was just below 90%, with a live release rate for the year of 89.3%. In 2012 the live release rate was back up to 92%, with an intake of 1853 dogs and cats. In 2013 the live release rate was again 92%, with an intake of 1822 dogs and cats. If owner-requested euthanasia and animals who died or were lost in shelter care are included with euthanasias, the live release rate was 91% in 2012 and 90% in 2013.

The shelter adopted out 1430 animals in 2013, which is an excellent rate of 14 adoptions per 1000 people. They have taken in 60 dogs from California since last August because they had more demand for dogs than supply.

Tompkins County, NY, was originally listed by this blog on May 10, 2013, based on its 2012 statistics. This post is a revision and update with 2013 statistics.

Erie County, NY

Erie County, on the western edge of New York state and bordering Lake Erie, has 919,000 residents. Buffalo, the county seat, has 261,000 people. Maddie’s Fund started a project in 2009 to increase live outcomes for shelter animals in the county, and the project is slated to run through September 30, 2014.

The project has enlisted a coalition of six agencies. The lead agency for the coalition is the “SPCA Serving Erie County” (SPCASEC), a private, independent organization,  which takes in strays impounded by county animal control agencies and accepts owner surrenders. The shelter has a waiting list for cat surrenders. The other members of the coalition are the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter and four private rescues: HEART; Second Chance Sheltering Network; Black Dog (Second Chance); and Ten Lives Club.

Maddie’s Fund reported that the coalition achieved a live release rate of 82% for year 3 of the project, the fiscal year ending on September 30, 2012. SPCASEC has posted calendar year statistics on its website for itself and for the county for 2012. The SPCASEC live release rate for calendar year 2012 was 82%, and the county coalition live release rate was 85%. These figures do not include owner-requested euthanasia or animals who died or were lost in shelter care. Total intake for the county for 2012 was 15,261 animals.

Erie County is counted in the Running Totals as an 80%+ community.

Southampton Area, NY

Southampton, New York, is a city of about 57,000 people located in east Long Island. In 2009, the city stopped funding its animal control department. The citizens rallied to help the animals and formed the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation, also known as the Southampton Animal Shelter (SAS), a 501(c)(3) organization that took over management of the shelter. SAS has provided animal control and sheltering for the city since January 1, 2010. The shelter takes in strays and accepts owner surrenders from its jurisdiction.

In a 2011 newsletter that is no longer available online, SAS listed the communities it serves as “Eastport, Speonk, Westhampton, Westhampton Beach, Quiogue, Quogue, East Quogue, Hampton Bays, Southampton, Southampton Village, Watermill, Bridgehampton, Sagaponack, Wainscott, North Sea, Noyack, Sag Harbor, Sag Harbor Village, Northampton, North Haven, Riverside and Flanders.” That is 21 communities with a total of over 40,000 people.

The shelter has a Training and Behavior Department that has developed a group socialization program for its dogs with the help of noted behavioralist Aimee Sadler. The shelter also offers group and private lessons for dogs, and puppy training classes. Southampton is a member of the Center for Shelter Dogs program run by the Animal Rescue League of Boston, and uses the center’s Match-Up II system for behavior evaluation for its dogs. They offer low cost spay-neuter. The shelter supports TNR for community cats.

The shelter reports a 94% live release rate on its website.

The Southampton cities are counted in the Running Totals as 90%+ communities.