New York Daily News, September 14, 1994
Council is upset about pet killer role
by Ellen Tumposky
and Dick Sheridan
Daily News Staff Writers
City Council members howled loud and long yesterday, charging they had not been properly consulted about a plan to create a city agency that would kill 42,000 dogs and cats a year.
For more than a century, the grisly task of putting down stray, injured or ill pets had been part of the ASPCA's animal-control contract with the city.
But last year, the group informed officials that it was bowing out of the euthanasia business so that it could concentrate on humane activities.
Health Department spokesman Steve Matthews said the city had received only one serious bid to take over the contract, and that the bidder, a Las Vegas veterinary service, was judged too small to handle the job.
As a result, the city is creating a $5.3 million nonprofit corporation-the Center for Animal Care and Control-to fill the ASPCA's role.
Councilman Victor Robles (D-Brooklyn) said the Council was not adequately informed about the new agency.
Councilwoman Kathryn Freed (D-Manhattan) objected that the corporation will not be subject to oversight and fiscal scrutiny by the Council and will have no interest in the humane side of animal control.
"Its only reason for existing is to kill animals," she said.
Health Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, who will serve on the corporation's board, told a Council meeting that a public hearing on the new agency was held last month.
The corporation is scheduled to begin operations Jan. 1, but is being funded starting this month. In addition toHamburg, other board members will be Sanitation Commissioner John [Doherty], Deputy Police Commissioner Walter Alicea, veterinarian Jane Bicks and another mayoral appointee.