2018-02-14 / Political Page

Call For Full-Service Animal Shelters in All Boroughs


NYC Council Member Paul Vallone has reintroduced his bill that would mandate full-service animal shelters to be built in Queens and the Bronx. He is seen here with Judge Peter Vallone, Jr., NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson, former Council Member Mark Weprin, and supporters. NYC Council Member Paul Vallone has reintroduced his bill that would mandate full-service animal shelters to be built in Queens and the Bronx. He is seen here with Judge Peter Vallone, Jr., NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson, former Council Member Mark Weprin, and supporters. NYC Council Member Paul Vallone has reintroduced his bill that would mandate full-service animal shelters to be built in Queens and the Bronx. In 2000, the City Council, led by then- Speaker Peter F. Vallone passed a law that required the city to establish full-service animal shelters in all five boroughs, particularly Queens and the Bronx which, to this day, lack these shelters. Local Law 59, passed in 2011, eliminated the legal requirement to build these shelters in Queens and the Bronx, leaving them only with “receiving centers” which do not provide many of the services that full service shelters do.

Council Member Vallone said, “Receiving centers are not enough! They do not provide shelter or medical care for homeless animals, nor do they provide a place to recover lost pets before they’re euthanized. Most importantly, since animals brought to these receiving centers in Queens must be transported to a full service shelter in the other boroughs, their continued absence places insurmountable pressure on the existing facilities which already operate at maximum capacity. In the end, homeless animals are the ones that face the consequences of this pressure as many otherwise healthy pets are lost to euthanasia.”

Since the introduction of his bill during the 2014-2017 legislative session, much progress has been made through Vallone’s advocacy. In 2016, he secured $10 million in capital funding from Mayor de Blasio for the land acquisition and design necessary for two new state-of-the-art full service shelters in Queens and the Bronx. Earlier this year, Mayor de Blasio announced that the administration would be moving forward with the construction of a Bronx shelter and gave its location.

Vallone said these are great first steps, but he will continue advocating and pushing legislation until a full service animal shelter in Queens becomes a reality. With the support of City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and the commitment shown by the Mayor’s administration, this reality may be right on the horizon.

“Throughout the last four years, Speaker Johnson and I have fought to make full-service animal shelters a reality for Queens and the Bronx. I applaud the administration for moving forward with the new Bronx shelter as it reflects their commitment to this important issue,” said Vallone, who is Chair of the Committee on Economic Development. “I look forward to continuing to work with our Speaker to bring a full-service animal shelter to Queens. If it were its own city, Queens alone would rank as the nation’s fourth largest and it is unacceptable that no animal shelter currently exists (here).”

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