Success in 2013 Raises the Bar for 2014
In January, Bentley, formerly known as Butter, became the first rabbit adopted from AC&C in 2014. Bengi and Rockster were among the first dog adoptions, and Ferb, Fulton, and Lolita among the very first cats. They’re just some of the thousands of wonderful animals in NYC who will find forever homes this year, as we continue to build on last year’s progress in increasing adoptions and raising awareness.
AC&C's ace adoption team achieved record success with 6,146 adoptions to members of the public in 2013, up more than 1,300 from the previous year. The team has set its sights on dramatically exceeding this number in 2014! Nearly 15,000 additional animals were placed with other shelters and rescue groups through AC&C’s indispensible New Hope program last year, and many lost pets were reunited with their owners.
Intakes were up in 2013 compared to the previous year, with AC&C—doors open to any animal in need—taking in more than 31,000 animals in 2013, almost 29,000 of which were cats and dogs. In 2013, our live release rate for cats and dogs was 82%, which means that 82% of these animals were adopted, placed with New Hope partners, or returned to their owners. (Live release rate excludes owner-requested euthanasia). There’s clearly more work to do to find homes for so many animals. Everyone can help by getting the word out about adoptions, and helping friends and neighbors to seek resources before surrendering pets.
Last year was one of growth and progress at AC&C, as both our staff and services expanded. Midway through 2013, we launched our newly designed adoption program, featuring full-time adoption counselors dedicated to matching people with pets and providing guidance about responsible pet ownership. We had multiple adoption promotions, including specials focusing on pit bull mixes, senior pets, and adult cats, and our dogs, cats, and rabbits continued to be featured in various media outlets.
AC&C animals made headlines in 2013, too -- in particular two fantastic felines, Arthur and August, aka the subway kittens. The 68 small breed dogs AC&C took in after a Staten Island house fire were also in the news. Another big case last year was the group of dogs at the center of a dogfighting ring in Brooklyn. They—and their puppies—have been placed with adopters and New Hope partners.
In 2013, we launched our New York’s Kindest awareness campaign, celebrating AC&C adopters, volunteers, and donors, and encouraging more New Yorkers to get involved. We embarked on a great partnership with HeARTsSpeak to improve our animal photography, and we received a grant from the Petco Foundation for a new transport vehicle, which will greatly aid our New Hope program.
In 2013, new, updated signage was added to our various facilities,
and we introduced brand new dog kennels and cat condos to several animal rooms.
Meanwhile, our Behavior team grew, and worked with the Rescue Animal Mp3
Project to implement soothing music for the animals in our care.
There’s a lot in store for 2014, which has already seen important developments. Our new Medical Director, Dr. Lisa Hara Levin, joined AC&C at the beginning of the year. The construction of our brand new Staten Island Animal Care Center is underway, and our new fleet of Field vans and transport vehicle will debut soon. We’re gearing up for another round of the New York’s Kindest campaign beginning in March (be on the lookout for subway platform, phone kiosks, and digital ads!) and we’re continuing to partner with HeARTsSpeak to present our animals in the best light.
We’ve already hosted adoption promotions this year, urging
people to “make
adoption your New Year’s resolution,” and "score a touchdown by adopting an all-star cat, dog, or rabbit" on the day of the Big Game. While some took advantage of the promo on Super Bowl Sunday, others tuned in
to Animal Planet to watch the Kitty Half-Time Show during Puppy Bowl X. The
incredibly cute special included 26 adorable kittens adopted from AC&C!
Thank you to our many adopters, volunteers, donors and all those committed to making 2014 an amazing year for NYC animals. Together, we will make NYC a better place for all its residents, two-legged and four-legged alike.