February 26, 2010
Edwin Sayres, President & CEO
Hoyle C. Jones, Chairman
ASPCA Corporate Offices
520 8th Avenue, 7th FloorNew York, NY 10018
Mr. Sayres and Mr. Jones,
I would like to commend the ASPCA for all its work saving animals from cruelty and neglect. I am a monthly donor to your organization and receive regular emails about the work ASPCA is doing to further its mission to promote ethical and kind treatment of animals.
Unfortunately, last year I had mixed experiences with your organization. I called my local ASPCA because of concerns I had for several junk yard dogs that were being kept in a muddy tire repair shop lot. They immediately sent one of their officers to investigate. When I called back in a week I was able to get an update on their findings. According to New York City law the conditions the dogs were living in was not considered inhumane. They had shelter (though it could not be seen from the street) and they had food. It didn’t matter that there were many of them in the small space filled with old cars and tires or that it was dirty. I didn’t appreciate the view of the law and thought perhaps I could do something about it. The first organization that came to mind to contact was the ASPCA. Was I surprised when I called to get information on what I can do as a citizen to change the law and no one was able to assist me? I was even told by one department that they didn’t answer those types of questions.
Last winter I saw four or five kittens wandering about my neighborhood. One little black one had a broken leg. I called the ASPCA to see if they could scoop them up and take them to the pound. Again, I was taken aback when the person who answered the phone told me that they didn’t have the resources to go out looking for stray animals, especially cats that are small creatures. This surprised me because your website states “In New York City, the agency under contract to perform the job of animal control, including the management of stray animals, is the Center for Animal Care and Control, Inc. (CACC). CACC will pick up stray animals and bring them to city shelters.” I thought perhaps this person was confused and didn’t know what they were talking about. I called back two days later and someone else told me the same thing. Still in disbelief I made a third attempt and another much nicer person, apologized and said they can’t do that. They do not come out to the boroughs looking for stray animals. One suggestion made was that I trap the animals myself and drop them off at a shelter.
I understand resources are slim but it is very distressful to watch those kittens grow up only to see two get run over by cars and the others barely surviving in the bitter cold. I am asking you directly as President & CEO and Chairman of the world’s largest animal welfare organization, what can a concerned citizen do to change the laws in New York that says as long as an animal has food and shelter they are well cared for. They do not need any interaction of any kind and can be chained up all day long. Also, what can an individual do to help stray animals in their area if the local ASPCA won’t assist?
I look forward to your reply.
Thank you for your time.