The following is the complete text of the press release issued by City Council Member Kathreen E. Freed on September 17, 1997
Kathryn E. Freed
City Council Member, 1st District
51 Chambers Street, Rm. 429, New York, NY 10007
Phone: (212) 788-7722, Fax (212) 788-7727
September 17, 1997
Contact: Kim Dixon (212) 788-7722
Freed Supports Referendum on Shelter Reform
As Chair of the New York City Council Contracts Committee and long time animal activist, City Council Member Kathryn E. Freed announced her support today of a referendum to give voters the chance to establish a new City Department of Animal Affairs.
The required signatures have been colleced to add a referendum to the ballot this November, to create a new city agency responsible for an animal shelter system for lost, abandoned and stray animals. Currently, these functions are the responsibility of the Center for Animal Care and Control (CACC) a not-for-profit corporation established and controlled by the City. TheCACC board members are appointed by the Mayor and its sole source of income is derived from the City and its contracts with the City Department of Health. The report cited [below] revealed gross inadequacies in the ability of the CACC to carry out these duties, specifically citing an alarming euthusania rate and mismanagement at all levels.
The current contract requires CACC to fulfill the following services: provide for the spay and neutering of animals before their adoption; enlist the aid of volunteers; conduct community outreach and education about animals; humanely care for shelter animals; and promote the adoption of animals. The report was based on a report by the City Council entitled "Dying for Homes: Animal Care and Control in New York City." The title summarizes the main point -- the center's euthusania rate is 71% -- or 120 animals per day -- and no systems are in place to decrease this rate. Moreover, the 17% adoption rate is well below the 24% national average and does not reflect the fact that the majority of these adoptions are done by the ASPCA, the North Shore Animal League and animal rescue groups. The CACC fails to adequately educate the public about the services it provides, which in part explains the low adoption rate. Additionally the CACC has failed to adequately utilize volunteers. Finally, the CACC has ignored offers from other organizations who have offered help to the agency. For copies of this report, call the Council's Contracts Committee at  788-7016.
Council Member Freed stated today, "The need for the passage of this referendum is clear, the City lacks an over all effective and humane policy for animal care. As the Center for Animal Care and Control has been given the opportunity and failed to carry out its responsibilities to care for the City's animals in-need, I support the ballot referendum to give New York Citycitizens a chance to correct this situation." Freed continued, "The current rash of bite cases and even the rabies epidemic that we are experiencing is directly related to the City's failure to have an adequate agency to control our animal population." She urges the public to support this referendum. To show your support or for more information, call the Shelter Reform Action Committee at  886-3700.