Focus Areas

Focus Areas

The Mayor’s Office of Animal Welfare oversees a variety of animal issues citywide but has four main focus areas that contain targeted initiatives to improve the lives and welfare of animals in New York City. The four focus areas are companion animals, working animals, wildlife, and the human dimensions of animal welfare.

Companion Animals

Companion animal initiatives will aim to drive down intake numbers at the City’s animal shelter by:

  • Improving pet-accessible policies in housing, eviction prevention, homeless services, and domestic violence services.
  • Promoting humane solutions for community cats.
  • Removing barriers to care for animal guardians in low income communities.

Read more about the Office’s efforts to keep people and pets together in our Fair Recovery & Animal Welfare page.

Working Animals

Working animal initiatives will encompass assistance animals, therapy animals, and carriage horses. The Office’s priorities for working animals include:

  • Improving service delivery to people with assistance animals.
  • Promoting therapeutic programs for vulnerable and underserved populations who can benefit from the human-animal bond.
  • Facilitating better enforcement of existing laws that protect carriage horses.


Wildlife initiatives will promote co-existence between people and urban wildlife by:

  • Continuing our non-lethal deer impact management program.
  • Promoting co-existence with urban wildlife through the City’s WildlifeNYC campaign.
  • Training first responders in appropriate responses to wildlife calls.
  • Building the capacity of the city’s wildlife rehabilitators.

Learn more about the City’s non-lethal deer impact management program.

Learn more about the City’s WildlifeNYC campaign.

Human Dimension of Animal Welfare

Human Dimensions of Animal Welfare initiatives will encompass animal advocates, animal guardians, veterinary professionals, and animal shelter workers. The Office’s priorities in this area include:

  • Being the liaison between all of these communities and City Hall.
  • Increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the animal advocacy movement and animal welfare professions.
  • Combating high suicide rates in the veterinary and animal welfare professions by extending the reach of the City’s free mental health resources to these communities.
  • Connecting vegan and vegetarian M/WBEs to City procurement opportunities to help us reach our meat reduction goals. 

Learn more about the Thrive in Your Workplace initiative that is being pushed out to animal shelters and animal welfare organizations.

Learn more about the City’s meat reduction goals and fresh produce promotion incentives in our OneNYC “Healthy Lives” and “A Livable Climate” volumes.

Learn more about the City’s commitment to expanding contracting and procurement opportunities for M/WBEs.