Health Department, Animal Care Centers of NYC Celebrate Council Passing of Uniform Land Use Review Procedure Application

The Bronx shelter is projected to open in 2024: the 47,000-square-foot facility will be located in the East Bronx and will have space for 70 dogs, 140 cats, 30 rabbits and 20 other types of animals

November 14, 2018 — The de Blasio administration, in collaboration with Council Speaker Corey Johnson, announced today that it cleared the final step to begin building the Bronx Animal Shelter. The Council approved the Administration’s land use application of the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), clearing the way for construction on the site to begin. The application was approved in conjunction with a number of commitments to improve the well-being of residents in the community.Projected to open in 2024, the 47,000-square-foot Bronx shelter will be located in the East Bronx and will have space for 70 dogs, 140 cats, 30 rabbits and 20 other types of animals. This investment will build upon the Mayor and Speaker’s commitment to have a fully operational animal shelter in each borough, a commitment signed into law in June.

“Our continued commitment to the Animal Care Centers of NYC have helped increase the adoption rates for shelter pets to record numbers,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This new Bronx facility is a win for the community, who will have access to a full-service shelter and increased opportunities for partnerships with youth and seniors.”

“I am thrilled that the Bronx will be getting an animal shelter, bringing us one step closer to the goal of shelters in all five boroughs as mandated by Council legislation,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. “I got my cat Mousse from the Animal Care Centers of NYC and I hope all New Yorkers will consider adopting if they are looking for a pet (and I hope if they do adopt they end up as happy as me and Mousse). The Council will continue to do all we can to help New York City’s animals in need.

“I thank the Mayor, Speaker Johnson, Council Member King, and the City Council for their hard work and commitment to opening this new animal shelter in the Bronx,” said Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “This new state-of-the-art shelter will give hundreds of animals the opportunity to be placed in loving and stable homes. It will provide counseling services to help people keep their pets and provide adoption services for people to adopt new pets. This brings us one step closer to having a full service shelter in every borough.”

“Today’s City Council vote clears the way to finally bring much-needed animal care services to the Bronx,” said Marco Carrión, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit. “As a Bronx native, I’m proud that this administration is able to fulfill the promise to bring a full-service animal shelter to the Bronx, while delivering additional community resources.”

The de Blasio administration has invested $98 million in the development and renovation of full-service animal shelters in all five boroughs. The Animal Care Center currently runs full-service shelters in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island and admissions centers in the Bronx and Queens. New York City operates one of the largest animal shelter in the country, taking in more than 30,000 animals every year.

In addition to housing the Bronx Animal Shelter, this location will also include a wildlife area to rehabilitate wild birds, academic partnership for youth, and enhanced senior services, including:

Wild Bird Fund

  • 2,800 square feet on the ground floor dedicated to Wild Bird Fund, which last year rehabilitated and re-released over 3000 sick, injured, or orphaned animals back to the wilds of NYC.
  • Large windows will allow the animals being rehabilitated to be viewed by the public.
  • Wild Bird Fund currently runs NYC's only wildlife rehabilitation center on the Upper West Side. The Bronx ACC location will act as a satellite to their current center.
  • Proximity to Pelham Bay Park makes it an ideal location for treatment of water fowl.
  • Wild Bird Fund will also provide bird education programming at schools and on-site. Includes field trips and bird releases at Pelham Bay Park.

Academic Partnership for Youth

  • Pre-Vet Program Pipeline will create shelter and wildlife medicine internships for high school students.
  • Internship will help students fulfill community service requirements for graduation.
  • The pipeline will help advance diversity in the veterinary profession. An external partnership with Multicultural Veterinary Medical Association will provide mentorship and financial support for students interested in pursuing pre-vet college programs.
  • Supplementary school curriculum and after-school programs.
  • Presentations crafted to help fulfill Sec 809 humane education laws.
  • Promote and strengthen social-emotional learning through humane education curriculum.
  • Evidence-based animal assisted therapy for children with Autism.
  • Afterschool reading programs to shelter animals which increases literacy and language skills.

Additional Community Investments

  • Creation of a new Beacon Program at Truman High School through a $3 million investment over 5 years
  • Changes to the facility to include more community space and expanded humane educational programming
  • Proposed improvements to traffic and roadway conditions
  • Evidence-based animal assisted therapy interventions for seniors
  • Collaboration with existing senior services

“As representatives, we in the City Council have a responsibility to fulfill our obligation to our constituents as best as we can, and today is a victory for the 12th District and for everyone excited to bring an animal shelter to the Bronx.  This was a decision that required education and sacrifice, as well as leadership.  So I say to my constituents and to all New Yorkers, today's vote allows us to comply with the law to create a Bronx animal shelter, as well as make much needed improvements to the 12th District.  Thank you to Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Johnson for your partnership in delivering on this mandate,” said Council Member Andy King

 “It’s inspiring to see the City taking swift action, following the passage of my legislation, to make a full service animal shelter a reality for the Bronx. Having animal shelters in every borough reflects our belief that all animals should be protected and given the opportunity to find a home,” said Council Member Paul Vallone, Chair of the Committee on Economic Development. “Now it is time to turn our sights to Queens to ensure that we finally receive a full service animal shelter with adoption, veterinary and educational services. The greatest city in the world deserves the greatest shelters in the world and we will continue working to make this a legacy we can be proud of.”

“ACC is thrilled to have the opportunity to expand our full complement of animal and community services to the Bronx,” said ACC President & CEO Risa Weinstock. “A new state of the art care center combined with our programmatic expansion will make NYC and in particular the Bronx, a model for animal sheltering nationwide.”

In 2017, more than 93 percent of all dogs and cats at City-operated shelters were placed either through adoptions to the public or through the adoption partner program. This historic placement rate puts New York City as a national leader in the placement of dogs and cats among shelters that publicly report data and have average annual intakes exceeding 30,000 animals.

In June, Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Johnson announced $3 million in additional funding for the Animal Care Centers of NYC, bringing the organization’s budget to a historic high. The additional funds will enable ACC to expand its medical and community pet services and purchase an additional mobile adoption van. The expanded services will promote adoptions and help New Yorkers who want to keep their pets.

ACC rabbits, cats and dogs available for adoption can be viewed online at http://nycacc.org/, or on ACC’s free mobile app (available on Google Play and iTunes).

“The Mayor and the Speaker and especially Councilman King should be congratulated for putting together a plan that will benefit the community. The beacon program at Truman High School will serve thousands of our community youth for many years to come. The many concessions Councilman King was able to arrange will improve the quality of life for all the residents of Co-Op city and the Bronx as a whole. Thank you Councilman King,” said Bob Bieder, Coop City resident.

“This new animal shelter will be a critical life-saving resource for pets and their owners in the Bronx. For too long, vulnerable Bronx animals have been transported to shelters in neighboring boroughs, which hinders reunions between lost pets and their owners and adds to the challenges at those facilities,” said ASPCA President and CEO Matt Bershadker. “We are grateful to the New York City Council and Mayor de Blasio for pledging to protect at-risk animals in every community in this city and look forward to supporting Animal Care Centers of NYC as it provides homeless animals with the dedicated care they need and deserve.”

“The Humane Society of the Unites States applauds the New York City Council, City Council Speaker and Mayor de Blasio for approving a full-service animal shelter on Bartow Avenue in the Bronx,” said Brian Shapiro, New York State Director for the HSUS. “There’s a great need for animal care services in Bronx County, and today’s vote brings the city closer to the goal of establishing fully operational shelters in every borough.”

“Voters for Animal Rights is thrilled that the City Council has approved the Bartow Avenue Bronx Animal Shelter. This was a true ‘Tail’ of Two Cities – after decades of advocating for a full service animal shelter, Bronx residents will finally have equal access to an adoption center, low cost veterinary care, free dog training, pet food pantry, pet lost and found services and surrender prevention counseling,” said Allie Taylor, Voters for Animal Rights. “We applaud Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Johnson, and the City Council.”

“The north Bronx has a unique concentration of wildlife habitat, and with the new Bartow facility, the Wild Bird Fund will be able to tend thousands more injured, ill and orphaned wildlife,” said Rita McMahon, Director of Wild Bird Fund. “The ACC and Wild Bird Fund have been partners for over a decade, and we look forward to the continued opportunity to work together to serve thousands more compassionate New Yorkers.”

“Our heartfelt gratitude for Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson for their compassionate leadership and for building a brighter future for our animals and generation of humans. Our appreciation for city council member Andy King and the rest of the city council for bettering animal and human lives. Our thanks to all the animal advocates for their time and political advocacy for the social movement of animal rights,” said Roxanne Delgado, of Bronx Animal Rights Electors. “This state-of-the-art animal shelter and veterinary clinic will be a beacon of compassion in the Bronx. Our Bronx homeless animal population will have a safe haven and a fair chance at finding a forever home. Our Bronx underserved pet parents will have access to low cost veterinary care and pet services for their animals. Our Bronx community of all ages will have a hub of work, volunteer and programming opportunities to build stronger bonds with animals and with each other.”

“All the concrete steps Mayor de Blasio and his Administration have taken towards creating a Bronx animal shelter are proof of their commitment to helping New York City’s homeless animals. There’s more work to be done, of course. But for the first time in NYC history, animal advocates have a real partner in the Mayor’s Office,” said Esther Koslow, President of the Shelter Reform Action Committee.

“The approval of the Bartow Avenue site for the new Animal Care Center shelter is a big win for all New Yorkers. It demonstrates the City’s commitment to providing its human and animal residents with a superior animal care facility — one that raises the bar on what an animal shelter can offer by featuring wildlife rehabilitation, special programming for seniors and special needs students, and pre-veterinary school opportunities,” said Jane Hoffman, President, Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals. “We congratulate Mayor Bill de Blasio and Speaker Corey Johnson for steering the process to this important juncture, and we look forward to the fulfillment of the City’s promise with the completion of the new facility.”

“We look forward to the sweeping changes this state-of-the-art Bronx animal shelter will bring to the entire system. We thank the mayor for standing with us to see this victorious day for Bronx residents, pets and endangered homeless street animals and all the council who voted to make New York City a national model for animal care and welfare. BASE now joins forces with Animal Care Centers of New York (ACC) to ensure this grand transition to our wonderful borough of the Bronx is smooth,” said Marion Keonig, BASE Co-founder.

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