BY LYNN EDMONDS
New animal shelters in Queens and the Bronx could double the number of animal adoptions from city shelters, animal advocacy group NYCLASS predicted.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in his budget last week that he allocated $10 million for the design, land acquisition and some construction costs of new animal shelters in the two boroughs.
The animal shelters will need additional funding for construction and operating costs in the future. The location of the Queens shelter, which could house hundreds of animals at a time, is yet to be determined.
Previously, Queens and the Bronx lacked animal shelters. Queens residents had to travel to Brooklyn or Manhattan if they wanted to adopt a pet or pick up a lost pet, though Queens does have an emergency drop-off site for owners that could no longer take care of their animal, located at 92-29 Queens Blvd. in Rego Park.
Last year, 7,153 animals were adopted through the city’s animal shelters. But by 2018, when the new shelters are up and running, that number could go up to 15,942, Allie Taylor, Executive director of NYCLASS, said “Building these two new shelters will mean better, more humane care for animals, and equal access to pet adoption for new Yorkers, both here in Queens and across our cities,” Taylor said. “We believe that the greatest city in the world deserves a first-class, world-class shelter system.”
Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) praised the funding allocation.
“This is a tremendous fist step towards accomplishing a victory for animals and pet lovers throughout New York City – especially in the Bronx and Queens,” he said.
Councilman Barry Grodenchik (D-Oakland Gardens) also expressed excitement.
“As a pet lover, I know the joys that an animal can bring to a family. I’m proud to welcome Queens’ first full service animals shelter which will allow residents of Queens to adopt in their own backyard,” he said.
Vallone added that he was working to see an educational component for children in the new shelter’s programming.
“Children are the future,” he said, adding that he wanted to “teach our children the ability to really take this cause on and make it their own.”
Reach Lynn Edmonds at (718) 357-7400 x127, firstname.lastname@example.org or @Ellinoamerikana