The city plans to spend $5 million to open a “premiere” adoption center for dogs, cats and rabbits in Manhattan.
Animal Care and Control, a nonprofit that oversees animal welfare for the city, currently places animals for adoption through its three full-service centers in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island. But the new center will be a standalone operation.
“It will really create a great experience for people seeking to adopt,” said Risa Weinstock, the executive director of Animal Care and Control. She said the center was in its planning stages and no opening date had been set.
The proposed center was announced Friday by the AC&C and the Department of Health. Funds for the center are earmarked from $8 million in capital funding that will also go toward expanding the city’s current fleet of mobile adoption vans and modernizing its Brooklyn Care Center.
The organization — which also shelters small mammals, reptiles, birds and any other sick or injured animals — took in 34,000 animals in 2014, officials said. AC&C adopted out more than 6,000 dogs and cats last year, and over 15,000 were placed with partners and other welfare organizations.
Not every animal that arrives at AC&C is made available for adoption, Weinstock said. “Not every animal is perfectly suited for a home,” she said. “The goal is to place as many animals as possible.”
Natalie Reeves of Big Apple Bunnies, an animal welfare group, praised the move.
"We are thrilled that the city is pledging more funds to build a new adoption center for homeless animals, although we wish that the new facility was going to be located in a more trafficked part of the city," she said in an email. She added, "Overall, it's a great improvement over the status quo."