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Bill for full-service animal shelters in all 5 boroughs approved by City Council

A similar bill passed in 2000, but it was repealed several years later despite the anger of animal advocates.

Melissa Arbitman, an animal behavior assessor, holds Josh,

Melissa Arbitman, an animal behavior assessor, holds Josh, who came to an Animal Care Center in Manhattan this May. Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

History repeated itself at the City Council on Thursday, and that was good news for some four-legged New Yorkers.

The City Council approved a bill that requires full-service animal shelters in all five boroughs. A similar bill sponsored by former City Council Speaker Peter Vallone passed in 2000, but was repealed several years later despite the anger of animal advocates.

The current bill was championed by City Councilman Paul Vallone, the former speaker’s son.

“You’ve got 25,000 animals that pass through our shelters every year and over half are coming from the Bronx and Queens,” said Paul Vallone. “This will give them a much better chance of being adopted.”

There are currently only small receiving centers in Queens and the Bronx, and these locations do not have adoption or veterinary services.

The previous law was repealed during former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration because city officials said the government could not afford to build two new shelters. As a concession, the city increased its funding to Animal Care Centers of NYC, the nonprofit that runs the animal shelter system. But advocates have said the additional funding was not enough to care for the city’s stray and homeless animals.

A City Hall spokeswoman said Mayor Bill de Blasio supports the newly passed bill and pointed out plans are already in the works for a full-service Bronx shelter.

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