Daily News, Friday, December 11, 1998
Mary: Do Moore for city crittersBy LISA REIN
Daily News Staff Writer
Actress Mary Tyler Moore -- appalled by the crowded, unsanitary conditions in a city animal shelter -- has made a face-to-face appeal to Mayor Giuliani to reform the troubled system. Moore and her cardiologist husband, Robert Levine, joined forces with Broadway superstar Bernadette Peters for a 40-minute powwow with Giuliani at City Hall last month.
The stars hoped to draw much-needed attention -- and money -- to the troubled Center for Animal Care and Control. The system is under flre from animal advocates for excessive pet euthanasia, shoddy management and limited funding.
Moore said her appeal to Giuliani was prompted by a visit last month to the center's Manhattan shelter on E. 110th St after the death of her beloved golden retriever, Dash.
It was Moore's first trip to a pound -- and what she saw horrified her.
"It's the standard of living conditions and dying conditions," she said. Dogs and cats in the shelter are stacked into tiny cages on dirty wards. They sleep eat and go to the bathroom in the same space. Few are bathed or exercised.
The agency, which runs five shelters, kills about 40,000 pets a year -- some, 48 hours after they come into a shelter. Relatively few are adopted.
Moore said she asked for the meeting when she ran into Giuliani at a charity event. She said she offered to spearhead a fund-raising drive to raise private dollars.
"I began to see this as a do-able thing, making life better for the animals," Moore said, describing Giuliani as "very receptive."
She said her goal is to save pets' lives by increasing adoptions and giving owners incentives to spay and neuter their animals.
"She had some suggestions about how to improve the system," said Giuliani chief of staff Bruce Teitelbaum. "The mayor said, 'They sound like reasonable ideas. Let's sit down with her and her staff and analyze them.' "
Moore has dispatched a researcher to visit shelters in San Francisco and Las Vegas, which have reduced killings and put a premium on adoptions.
Peters, who is in rehearsals for the Broadway revival of "Annie Get Your Gun," declined comment.