My Site Title
Shelter Reform Action Committee (SRAC)
ShelterReform.org: Everything you ever wanted to know about the AC&C, but were afraid to ask.
                  SUGGESTED LETTERS OR E-MAILS TO SEND TO
               NYC and NYS ELECTED AND APPOINTED OFFICIALS


                                     TO THE NYC COMMISSIONER OF HEALTH


TO:  Thomas Farley, M.D.
    Commissioner, NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene
    125 Worth Street, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10013
    Tel: (212) 788-5261, Fax: (212) 964-0472
    TFarley@health.nyc.gov

RE:
Failure to Create Full Service Shelters in the Bronx and Queens                

Dear Dr. Farley:

I am disappointed and angry.  You approved the Department of Health’s (DOH’s) appeal from the September
2009 court order finding that the DOH had violated the 2002 amendment to the Animal Shelters & Sterilization
Law by failing to create full service shelters in the Bronx and in Queens.

The DOH has had 10 years to create those shelters.  

Do the right thing: withdraw the DOH’s appeal, and create full service shelters in the Bronx and Queens now.  
No more excuses.  No more delays.

Sincerely,

[Your name, address, and group affiliation, if any]




                                         SUGGESTED MESSAGES TO THE MEMBERS
                                           OF THE AC&C BOARD OF DIRECTORS

There are 7 directors on the AC&C Board.  Three of them represent these City Departments: Health, Parks, and
Police.  They are called “ex officio” directors.  In effect, the Mayor appoints them.

The 3 "ex-officio" board members from the City are:

THOMAS FARLEY, M.D
Commissioner, Department of Health
e-mail: tfarley@health.nyc.gov

Adrian Benepe
Commissioner, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation
The Arsenal, Central Park, 830 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10021
Tel:  800 201-Park; Dial 311 for all Parks & Recreation Information
Benepe occasionally attended board meetings, but for the past several years, has sent a designee.   
Demonstrates little or no interest in improving the plight of shelter animals. To e-mail Comissioner Benepe, go
to http://www.nyc.gov/html/mail/html/maildpr.html  [You’re limited to 150 words or less, so you may have to
divide your message into 2 or 3 messages to him.  Or you can send him a letter.]

Lt. THOMAS J. SWANSON
Representative for NYPD Community Affairs.
The AC&C offers no information regarding Lt. Swanson, nor a direct contact for him.  However, we found this e-
mail address for him:  thomas.swanson@nypd.org    

There are 4 "independent directors," who are all selected by the Mayor’s Office.  

JAY KUHLMAN, DVM
Gramercy Animal Hospital
37 East 19th Street
New York, NY 10003
Tel. 212-477-4080; fax (212) 254-7497
sjkuhlman@aol.com
A veterinarian. Genuinely cares about the plight of shelter animals but has never publicly protested the DOH’s
stewardship of the ACC or the actions and inaction of his fellow board members.

John M.B. O'Connor
212-363-0868
joc@jocnewyork.com
Former partner at JP Morgan Partners and now CEO of J.H. Whitney Investment Management in Manhattan.  
Was ACC's treasurer for four years. A blood sport hunter and ACC's most hostile board member to animal
welfare issues.  His concern is not to embarrass “his friend,” Mayor Bloomberg.

BRUCE DONIGER
Appointed in Oct 2004. President and CEO of The J.E. & Z.B Butler Foundation, a non-profit that benefits at-risk
youth and individuals with special needs. AC&C's Treasurer.   
E-Mail:  bbdoniger@yahoo.com


PATRICK NOLAN
Appointed in March 2007 to fill a nine-month vacancy and now apparently a
permanent member of the Board. A VP of Marketing at Penguin Group publishing in Manhattan. He remains an
unknown entity.   
His office e-mail: Patrick.Nolan@us.penguingroup.com


                                                                     SUGGESTED MESSAGE

TO:  [Name of AC&C Board Member]

RE:  
Your Duty to the City’s Homeless Animals

The Mayor or the Department of Health (DOH) appointed you to serve as a Director on the AC&C Board.  As a
Director, you have a fiduciary duty to serve the AC&C and its animals.  Yet, you have demonstrated that you’re on
the Board to ensure that nothing embarrasses either the DOH or Mayor Bloomberg.

For example, you have never objected to the Department of Health’s failure – for ten years – to create full service
shelters in the Bronx and in Queens.  Nor have you ever objected when the DOH continues to underfund the
AC&C.   

You cannot serve two masters.  By protecting the Mayor and rubber-stamping the DOH, you have breached your
fiduciary duty to the AC&C and its animals.

Either fulfill your obligation to the AC&C and its animals, or resign and let true advocates for homeless animals
take your place on the Board.

Sincerely,

[Your name, address, and group affiliation, if any]



                                                            SUGGESTED LETTERS TO YOUR LOCAL
                                                        ELECTED OR APPOINTED REPRESENTATIVES

To see elected officials who represent you, go to the League of Women’s Voter’s website:  http://www.
lwvnyc.org/TRY.html

TO:         [Name and Office of your Elected Representative]

Re:        New York City’s failure to provide full service animal shelters

Dear [NAME OF ELECTED REPRESENTATIVE]

“Shelter” is defined as something that covers or affords protection.  But can anyone call the buildings run by the
New York City’s Animal Care and Control (AC&C) “shelters”?  These former factories are overcrowded, poorly
designed, and disgracefully understaffed.  The Department of Health (DOH), which effectively controls the
AC&C, has a long history of cynically underfunding the City’s animal shelter services.  Our two largest boroughs
– the Bronx and Queens – don’t even have their own full-service animal shelters.  (If they were cities, each
would be in the top 10 largest cities in the U.S.)

As a consequence, the AC&C is forced to euthanize thousands of adoptable animals every year because there
is simply no room or enough staff to care for the over 43,000 homeless animals who pour into these buildings
every year.

As a taxpayer and voter, I ask you to tell the City Health Commissioner, Dr. Thomas Farley, to withdraw the
DOH's appeal from a September 2009 court decision finding that the DOH had violated the City Animal Shelters
& Sterilization Law requiring full service animal shelters in the Bronx and Queens by 2006.

I ask you to demand that the New York City Council convene a special oversight committee to investigate the
DOH’s 10-year refusal to create those shelters.

While animals do not vote, I do!

Thank you.

Sincerely,

[your name, address, and group or affiliation, if any]


TO MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG  

To:          Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
            City Hall
            New York, NY  10007
            Tel: 212 788 3000, Mayor’s Action Line 212 788 9600
            mbloomberg@cityhall.nyc.gov

Subject:  
Animal Shelters for the Bronx and Queens

Dear Mayor Bloomberg:

In 2002 you received an extension until 2006 for the DeparTment of Health (DOH) to create full service animal
shelters in the Bronx and in Queens (Animal Shelters & Sterilization (“Animal Shelters Law”).  It’s now 2010, and
still there are no shelters.  As a consequence, every year 43,000 homeless animals are jammed into already
overcrowded buildings.  Thousands of adoptable animals continue to be euthanized every year because of the
DOH’s defiance of the law.

Your office appoints people to the Board of Animal Care & Control (AC&C) who owe their allegiance to you and
the DOH, but not to the AC&C and its animals. For years they have sat by and rubber-stamped the DOH’s
refusal to comply with the law to create those shelters.
Please do the right thing, Mayor Bloomberg:
  •         Order the DOH to withdraw its appeal from the September 2009 court decision that found the DOH
    had violated the Animal Shelters Law and requiring that those shelters be created without delay.
  •         Appoint true animal advocates to the AC&C Board, not people chosen for their undivided loyalty to
    you and/or the DOH.

We’re the greatest City in the world, But you wouldn’t know that from the way we treat our most vulnerable city
residents: homeless companion animals.

You could turn this all around.  

(Your name, address and group name or affiliation if applicable)



                                               SUGGESTED LETTERS TO REPRESENTATIVES
                                                      ON THE NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL

To find out who represents you on the City Council, go to http://council.nyc.gov/html/members/members.
shtml

Also, don’t forget to write these 3 key members of the Council:

Christine Quinn
Speaker New York City Council
City Hall, New York, NY 10007
http://council.nyc.gov/d3/html/members/home.shtml
(In 2002, Speaker Quinn headed the Health Committee which agreed to Mayor Bloomberg's request for an
extension until 2006 to build the Bronx and Queens shelters; since then, she’s given Bloomberg and the DOH a
free pass to ignore the law.  She has proved herself to be no friend of companion animals or their owners. She
scored a miserable 13% on the New York League of Humane Voters' "Humane Scorecard" for 2009.)

Joel Rivera, (Democrat, Bronx)
Chair, New York City Council Health Committee
250 Broadway, NY, NY 10007
e-mail: rivera@council.nyc.ny.us
(Even though Councilmember Rivera represents the Bronx – which does not have a full service animal shelter –
he apparently doesn’t care.  He has a failing grade on the New York League of Humane Voters “Humane
Scorecard.”  Unfortunately, he heads the committee that is responsible for coordinating with the Department of
Health.)

Letitia James (Democrat, Brooklyn)
Chair, New York City Council Contracts Committee
250 Broadway, 10007
Phone: 212-788-7081
Fax Phone No.: 212-788-7712
ljames@council.nyc.gov
(Councilmember James has replaced Robert Jackson as head of the Contracts Committee, which is a good
thing for animals.  In 2009, she scored 88% on the New York Leave of Human Voters' "Humane Scorecard."  
When Kathryn Freed headed the Contracts Committee, she spearheaded an investigation of the AC&C's
compliance with the DOH contract for animal care and control services.  It was a damning indictment of the
dysfunction imposed by the DOH upon the AC&C.)


                                           SUGGESTED MESSAGES/LETTERS

To:            [Name of Council Member]

Subject:   
Full Service Animal Shelters in the Bronx and in Queens.

Dear Council Member:

In 2000 the City Council passed a law requiring the Department of Health (DOH) to create full service animal
shelters in the Bronx and in Queens by 2002. In 2002, the Council granted Mayor Bloomberg’s request for an
extension until 2006 to have those shelters up and running.  
See Animal Shelters and Sterilization Act, Local
Law 26 of 2000, §§17-801-7-808 (“Animal Shelters Law”).

It’s now 2010, and still there are no shelters in the Bronx and in Queens.  Every year over 43,000 homeless
animals are jammed into already overcrowded shelters in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. As a
consequence, Animal Care and Control (AC&C) is forced to euthanize thousands of adoptable animals every
year because there simply is no room to house and properly care for these animals.

As a voter and taxpayer, I request that the Council immediately convene an oversight hearing to investigate the
DOH’s delay and defiance of obeying the Animal Shelters Law and what has happened to the monies you
reserved for those shelters. In September 2009, Supreme Court Judge Marilyn Shafer observed:  [The city has]...
blatantly failed to comply with the mandatory requirements of the Act, which unambiguously requires shelters in
each borough, not in 3 out of 5, open 24 hours per day, not 12 or "as needed."  

Judge Shafer sees the problem.  Why don’t you? While animals don’t vote, I do.

Sincerely,
[Your name, address, and group affiliation,