NYCACC Policy: Kittens Die

NYCACC has been falsely reporting on paper for several years that they do not kill healthy animals, but recently they’ve stepped up the PR offensive and now lie directly to the public as well, claiming on their web page that “There has not been a healthy animal euthanized in our care in years.

While researching two recent blog postings I came across the listing for Mimie, a frightened 8 week old kitten in the Brooklyn shelter. Her face struck me, the way she looked into the camera.


Later that evening, I ran across her brother, Oreo. Oreo is from the same litter, also 8 weeks old.


I wrote about Mimi late on the evening of June 28th. On June 29th, she and her brother were executed. They were entirely normal and healthy kittens, eating on their own and separated from their mother who were never offered to the public for adoption because it is ACC policy not to do so – ACC policy is that kittens under 8 weeks or weighing less than 2 pounds are not made available to the public.

Meanwhile, demand from the public is very strong for young kittens and they command top adoption fees. Don’t take my word for it; let’s hear from NYCACC spokesman Richard Gentles:

A healthy two-month old kitten moved to our adoption ward at noon could very well be adopted by 1pm that same day — so even in the midst of kitten season, you won’t always see cats less than one-year old available.

Richard claims that kittens fly out the door so fast they can’t always make sure they’re available, and yet these two healthy infants were killed.

This doesn’t make any sense at all – morally, financially, PR. It is a disaster for the shelter in every respect and an utter failure of leadership to kill animals who likely would have been adopted to the public that day if they were ever actually offered to the public for adoption.

Mimie and Oreo will not be reported in shelter statistics as healthy animals euthanized – that might risk a grant that helps to fund the ACC and other rescues in NY. Since NYCACC gets to make up its own definition of unhealthy or untreatable, they have decided that if you’re a kitten under 2 pounds or less than 8 weeks old, you have a “major health condition” that only euthanasia or rescue by a New Hope group can cure. In their demented world, being a kitten is actually an illness where most shelters see it as an adorable asset. This attitude isn’t just morally indefensible, it’s operationally incompetent: adopting these animals make you money and killing them costs you money.

Changing this policy is a no-brainer. I have some ideas but I’m going to throw this one open to the floor: we need to publicly request a very specific change to end a very stupid policy. What do YOU think is the best way to go about it?

This entry was posted in Cats, New York City, NYCACC, Shelter Stuff. Bookmark the permalink.
  • A full investigation of NYC ACC needs to be initiated….it is an outrage the atrocities that they are committing against our animals…I am totally sickened by the conditions and treatment of all the animals in their care and the ACC disregard of compassion and humanity for animals who should be getting a safe haven not a death sentence…and what about all the sickness??? Healthy animals are getting sick there…obviously someone is not doing their job and should be held accountable…if the ACC cannot do a job right then shut them down….

  • The press needs to do an expose on this horrible organization; show the taxpayers where there money is going!

    • Been done… many, many, many times. City comptroller, too.

  • db

    Agree with all of you. HOW DO WE MAKE IT HAPPEN?

  • Nathan Winograd needs to do a full investigation and a report that needs to be made public…..the key is to get public support behind wholesale changes here otherwise it will never happen.

  • db

    What do you think needs to happen to change this? It breaks my heart to see all those beautiful kittens who never had a chance to grow up.
    I do believe that the people who allow this to happen will have to answer for this someday, but I am tired of animals dying NOW.

  • elizabeth mcmahon

    How about a petition to the NYC Public Advocate, presented to him (Bill de Blasio) at the time of a scheduled meeting. I’d say someone from PoDR should be there, as well as Kay Smith from Urgent Part 2 – Death Row Dogs, you, John, Esther Koslow of Shelter Reform Action Committee and Harris Bloom. Maybe a head from a rescue. Pets Alive doesn’t seem to be afraid of being vocal. Maybe Toni Bodon from Stray From the Heart, who filed the lawsuit against NYCACC (she’s a lawyer, and I believe so is Esther). But I hope it would go far beyond just kittencams. Maybe Micah Kellner could be invited to join as well. But meetings are needed. And any press out there would be excellent. I so wish WABC would do followup pieces to the 3 Sarah Wallace did in late 2010. Nina Penada now does her “Investigative” pieces.

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  • Camille

    I ask this every night!! Why are they killing healthy kittens? Thank you for writing this!!!

  • I would like to see Julie Bank pts 🙂

  • Paula

    I volunteer at a shelter here in CA, if kittens come in weighing under 3 lbs and a foster cannot be found they are killed because they do not way enough to be spayed and neutered and the shelter wont keep them untill they are, so sad.

  • We must stop the killing of animals just to get them out of our hair.  baba  I have written to the President of the USA and Mayor of NYC.  something must be done.  Even facebook is banning our right to speak out.  Is this a free country or what?  baba