The city’s homeless cats and dogs are getting some long-awaited digs in the Bronx, officials announced on Tuesday.
A new $60 million Animal Care Centers of NYC facility with shelter, adoption and veterinary services will be constructed on city-owned land on Bartow Avenue. In addition, the outdated Brooklyn shelter is set to get a $27.3 million upgrade.
It’s all part of a larger plan to create full-service animal shelters in all five boroughs. Animal advocates have complained for more than 15 years that the city never followed through on pledges to upgrade its three aging facilities or to create shelters in the Bronx and Queens.
In 2016, Mayor de Blasio outlined capital funding for shelters in the Bronx and Queens. The 47,000 square-foot Bronx facility, which will go through a community approval process, is set to open in 2024.
“The planned improvements at Animal Care Centers of NYC build on our commitment to New Yorkers and their animals,” said city Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett.
The Bronx site will include space for 70 dogs, 140 cats, 30 rabbits and 20 animals from other species as well as ACC offices.
In addition, the ACC and Health Department unveiled new statistics showing a record high number of animals were placed in 2017 through adoptions to the public or by animal rescue groups — 93.2 percent of all dogs and cats. That breaks down to 12,669 cats and 5,836 dogs.
ACC, a nonprofit contracted by the city to handle stray animals, takes in roughly 30,000 dogs, cats and other animals annually. It is the only shelter in the city required to take in any stray or unwanted animal that comes through its doors.
New welcoming centers could help it compete for potential adopters currently drawn to boutique centers in the city run by other nonprofits.
“We have become the go-to resource for New York City animal related issues — from pet adoption to rescue to help with keeping pets and families together,” said Risa Weinstock, the CEO of ACC. “We are excited to bring that level of service to the Bronx with the addition of a new facility.”