Best Friends Blog
 

New foster care program launches in New York City

Calling all tri-state animal lovers!

We’re beyond excited to announce the launch of a new program that has the potential to save the lives of thousands of shelter pets — and help push New York City further toward the 90 percent save rate threshold to be recognized as a no-kill city.

Working alongside Animal Care and Control (AC&C) of NYC, Best Friends is currently accepting applications for anyone interested in taking a pet from a shelter into their home for long- or short-term foster care.

What does it mean to open your home and foster a shelter pet? A foster home is a safe place for a shelter animal to live until he or she finds a forever home. The pet may be fostered for a short amount of time (for instance, until space opens up in a rescue group) or for a longer period, until the animal is adopted directly into a permanent loving home. Either way, the time commitment is set before you take the animal into your home. Fostering is an incredibly rewarding experience for you, because you’re helping to save a life. But it’s also a big deal for the fostered animals because they are able to live in a home environment and learn valuable skills that will help them become more adoptable.

This Best Friends program has been developed alongside AC&C as an assessed need — something that can have a big impact on the lives of animals in New York City. There has been a lot of progress in the New York area in terms of saving animals’ lives, but there’s much more work to do, and we believe that a foster program will help free up needed space in the five-borough shelter system, which accepts around 30,000 animals per year.

The foster program’s size and success is only limited by how many people sign up. Don’t think you’re cut out to foster? Read this article posted on Petfinder.com to learn eight reasons why you can indeed foster a pet, even if you think you can’t.

If you’re interested in fostering a pet in the New York City area, click here to learn more.

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Gregory Castle
CEO
Best Friends Animal Society

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  • vegjoyce

    Bill, if the dog is on bite hold he literally is under
    Dept of Health ( DOH) regulations. Call them- the Veterinary Public Health dept within DOH- and ask to negotiate a release and continuation of the
    quarantine there. It is literally up to DOH now, not ACC.
    Email me at klinjoy@hotmail.com for a direct line to the right person
    at DOH.

  • Michele Timmerman Tisdale

    I would love to see best friends cone in and assist in kern county, California. We’ve lived here since 2005 and the euthanasia rates in this county are so high it’s sickening. Would love any help or support you could offer!

    • MelissaLMiller

      Hi Michele,

      Thanks for your note. We understand how difficult it can be to see so many animals in need both in our communities. Sadly, it’s an all-too-common situation — 9,000 healthy and treatable dogs and cats are killed in America’s shelters every single day. However, there are lots of ways you can get involved in your community to help save lives. As tax-paying citizens, you do have the right to question how your municipal shelter is being run. We have a number of resources to help both individual rescuers and organizations, which you can find here: http://bestfriends.org/Resources/For-Shelters-and-Rescuers/.

      Additionally, we have a number of California rescue partners doing great work throughout the state. You may want to check out some groups near you to see how you can get involved and help make a change: http://nmhpnetwork.bestfriends.org/Partners.aspx?state=CA.

      I hope that some of this information is helpful. Thanks for all that you do for the animals!

      Sincerely,
      Melissa Miller
      New Media Coordinator

  • Rowanshire

    How does fostering a homeless dog or cat translate into a No Kill Shelter system? I applaud the generous spirit behind this effort, but it does not take animals out of the system, it just relocates them. Lowering headcount by enacting legislation that makes spaying and neutering of all cats and dogs in NYC mandatory, and that makes backyard breeding a crime punishable by huge fines and removal of all animals from a persons home forever — that is what lowers headcount. Redirecting funds to no cost and low cost spay/neutering programs, and education programs for the public on the value of altering their pet so as not to add to what amounts to an epidemic of mass killing — that is what lowers headcount. These are the types of changes that will lead to a no kill shelter system, because less animals being bred and born in your city means less will be tossed away into what amounts to “death camps”, not shelters. You should be inoculating incoming animals with vaccines to prevent URI’s and KC. Instead you put healthy animals next to sick ones, and then when the healthy become sick you murder them. It’s disgraceful. Make intelligent, well informed decisions and enact thoughtful and progressive legislation, that will have a lasting, positive impact on lowering headcount and reduce the number of shelters needed. And remember what SHELTER means — a safe haven, a place where you have a chance at a new life. How we in this nation can put “KILL” and “SHELTER” together is beyond comprehension. The mass killings at the NYC ACC are an incredibly sad failure on the part of NY and our society in general…. and they are a cruel, daily reality for family pets that now find themselves homeless though no fault of their own. Their crime? Being born.

    • MelissaLMiller

      Hi Rowanshire,

      You are correct in stating that there is much more to achieving a no-kill community than a foster program. Ultimately, the goal is to reduce the number of animals entering a given system through economically targeted free and low-cost spay/neuter services, shelter surrender intervention programs, adoption follow-up programs, and progressive community cat programs. At the same time, maximize the number of animals leaving the system through high-volume adoption strategies, collaboration with rescue partners, and the transfer of animals to agencies in communities with a complementary high demand for the types of animals likely to be killed in the system.

      But we have to start somewhere. Our new tri-state area foster program will save lives – it’s offering an alternative for animals at-risk of being killed within the shelter and also providing new avenues for adoption through Best Friends’ marketing and adoption events (including our high-volume pet adoption events that we hold biannually in the area). We’re excited about our expansion in the NYC market and the lives we’ll be able to save with the help of the community.

      Thank you for all that you do for homeless pets.

      Sincerely,
      Melissa Miller
      New Media Coordinator

    • Bill

      Healthy next to sick is my concern for a dog on “bite hold” since June 30th. and no one doing anything despite two sanctuaries willing to take him.

  • Brenda

    Best Friends… This is such a wonderful and needed service in so many areas of the country, and New York City is very high on that list. For so long I’ve read the posts of so many animals (mainly dogs) needing homes from New York City, in order to avoid being murdered. New York and the AC&C certainly has it’s problems and frustrating, unneeded “political issues” so anything Best Friends can do to assist the animal population outside of that mess is very welcome. Thank you for stepping up and stepping in.

  • I’ve fostered few times in the past and it was a success story each time thanks to the time and effort the rescue has put in to make sure the dogs received enough exposure including social media, and more importantly, adoption events to find their new owners. Best Friends, seem to have less and less programs in NYC as of late. How will these animals be shown to public? Will there be actual events on the weekends where the fosters can bring their dogs to meet potential adopters? I’m sure that you will post pictures and stories of these dogs on your page, which is great, but that doesn’t seem to be enough for some of the dogs. I know I’ve seen posts about tank on your page before. Clearly his foster has not had much of luck finding him a home so far. Will there be new programs? I understand that each foster will determine the timeline but I much rather pass my fostered dog to his new owner, instead of another foster parent who also wouldn’t be able to adopt out. I would love to finaly take part in a Bestfriends program and this one seems promising; I just want to hear more about how these fosters will be exposed to public and what are you planning on doing to get these dogs to their final homes? Thank you.

    • MelissaLMiller

      Hi Ethan,

      Thanks for your note and for your interest in our new NYC foster program. All animals entering the program will be supported by Best Friends and will be available on the New York website (http://ny.bestfriends.org/foster-program), as well as eligible for Best Friends-hosted adoption events. If you have any specific questions about how the program and marketing will work, feel free to reach out to our team on the ground at kristia@bestfriends.org.

      In regards to our work in the tri-state area, we certainly haven’t decreased our programs! We have been on the ground in New York City for the past five years, hosting large-scale events such as pet super adoptions and Strut Your Mutt fundraisers, as well as numerous smaller adoption events. We also provide regular assistance to local animal welfare groups. We’re excited to be expanding our local work with our foster program in conjunction with AC&C.

      I hope this helps to answer your questions. Thanks for all that you do for homeless pets!

      Sincerely,

      Melissa Miller
      New Media Coordinator

  • Liz

    I recently started volunteering at AC&C. I am not into the politics or anything, I do realize that many people have many issues with them. I am just there to give the animals some love & care. The people I have met there all seem to genuinely care about & want to do anything they can to find homes for them. I applaud Best Friends for getting involved to help make NYC no-kill, I truly hope & believe it can happen.

  • Liz

    I recently started volunteering at AC&C. I am not into the politics or anything, I do realize that many people have many issues with them. I am just there to give the animals some love & care. The people I have met there all seem to genuinely care about & want to do anything they can to find homes for them. I applaud Best Friends for getting involved to help make NYC no-kill, I truly hope & believe it can happen.

  • marismet

    BEST FRIENDS — this is fantastic, great news! Thank you so much for helping both animal lovers and animals — thank you for connecting with ACC — I believe they’re trying to change their decades-old policy of euthanizing animals instead of adopting them out, whether to Fosters, Rescues or Forever Homes — ACC which is funded by govt of NYC needs to be part of the No-Kill Network and I genuinely believe they want to change their policy to true NO-KILL — We all need to work together so animals can have happy and healthy lives with people that love and care for them. Once again, BEST FRIENDS — thank you deeply — your dedication to caring for animals is relentless — may your work, whether in Utah or NYC, reverberate throughout the U.S. and beyond. You’re truly the best!

  • marismet

    BEST FRIENDS — this is fantastic, great news! Thank you so much for helping both animal lovers and animals — thank you for connecting with ACC — I believe they’re trying to change their decades-old policy of euthanizing animals instead of adopting them out, whether to Fosters, Rescues or Forever Homes — ACC which is funded by govt of NYC needs to be part of the No-Kill Network and I genuinely believe they want to change their policy to true NO-KILL — We all need to work together so animals can have happy and healthy lives with people that love and care for them. Once again, BEST FRIENDS — thank you deeply — your dedication to caring for animals is relentless — may your work, whether in Utah or NYC, reverberate throughout the U.S. and beyond. You’re truly the best!

  • aednyc

    Sadly, the issue that Bill is having is typical and not an isolated case. Bill, are you registered with any rescue groups? They can get an animal pulled. Going to the “shelter” and giving them the info for the animal you want to adopt is like pulling teeth. It takes hours. It’s too disorganized. The whole system is a mess. But I AM glad that there are going to be more foster homes. Especially for nursing moms and their babies.

  • CookieGugglemanFleck

    Who will take over the networking and marketing if the animals once they’re in a home? With the ACC’s track record at that and anemic fund raising, the foster families are going to need more support than what the ACC has shown they’re capable of so far.

    • MelissaLMiller

      Hi CookieGugglemanFleck,

      All animals entering the program will be supported by Best Friends. You can learn more about the program (and see our current available fosters!) here: http://ny.bestfriends.org/foster-program/available-animals.

      Thanks for all that you do for homeless pets.

      Sincerely,
      Melissa Miller
      New Media Coordinator

  • Bill

    I am also wary of ACC. Have been trying desperately to get a dog off hold at ACC. Intake on June 30th, still on hold, two sanctuaties have agreed to take him. A1005075 / Manny. Anyone home at Best Friends? I need help.

    • MelissaLMiller

      Hi Bill,

      As our New York team has the direct line to ACC, I would recommend reaching out to them to see if they can assist. You can reach them at contactnyc@bestfriends.org or 347-76ADOPT.

      Thanks for all that you do for homeless pets.

      Sincerely,
      Melissa Miller
      New Media Coordinator

      • Bill

        Melissa: Thank you for getting back. I have already contacted Tammy and Kristi previously. I just called the number you provided and got vm. I sent an email to the address you provided. I need help. Please help Manny.

        • Bill

          Melissa: Looks like another day has passed and Manny remains incarcerated. You mention a direct line to ACC. Can’t someone help? ACC is a city contractor and needs to be accountable. Can you advise me who to contact?

          • MelissaLMiller

            Hi Bill,

            Kristi, who you’ve mentioned you’ve already spoken to, is the best contact on our end for this. She will be back in touch with you to share the information she has learned about this dog.

            Thanks,
            Melissa

          • Bill

            Melissa: Great and thank you very much for supporting Manny.

          • Bill

            Melissa: Still no information from BF. Most disappointing that you have elected not to leverage your “direct line” to ACC to help Manny, and his champion who is a long time BF supporter and volunteer.

          • MelissaLMiller

            Hi Bill,

            As Kristi has mentioned to you, the dog you’ve inquired about is currently being held under a bite quarantine. Unfortunately, until that is no longer the case, there is nothing further that our team can do. We hope you can understand that, while we want to help, we do have limitations and cannot circumvent shelter policy.

            Thanks,
            Melissa

          • Bill

            Not asking to violate shelter policy, only some compassion for a dog on Bite Hold since June 30th. Most disappointing.

          • No one can pull an animal on DOH bite hold until the hold is released. Your fight is with the NYC DOH.

          • vegjoyce

            Bill, since Manny the dog is on a bite hold he now is under
            Dept of Health ( DOH) regulations. Call the Veterinary Public Health dept within DOH- and ask to negotiate a release and continuation of the
            quarantine there. See if that works. It is literally up to DOH now, not ACC.
            Email me at klinjoy@hotmail.com for a direct line to the right person
            at DOH.

          • Bill

            Manny is safe. Thanks Mayor’s Alliance, ACC, Glen Wild, DOH and everyone else who showed some compassion for him.

    • Kat

      Bill, call Reefuge Animal Rescue, NYC (google them) they can help you pull the dog. Speak to Michelle

      • Bill

        Kat: Thank you so much. I just emailed them and will call in the AM. So frustrating. ACC spending money to keep a dog that has a home. It just makes no sense.

        • Kat

          That’s ridiculous! Why?

          • Kat

            I know it’s none of my business…I was just curious..

          • Bill

            That is the frustration, no information. Hoping Best Friends can leverage their “direct line” to ACC and /or my city councilperson will come through.

          • Kat

            I hear you and I understand your frustration and desperation. But, a better avenue will be Michele. Call her or text 917.287.5869

          • Bill

            Kat: Thanks so much, I spoke to Michelle, very helpful.

          • Kat

            Bill, Im so glad!! Good luck and let me know when you bring Manny home!!!

          • aednyc

            Kat, it IS your business. It’s everyone’s business to know exactly what’s going on at the ACC. Without that knowledge nothing constructive will happen.

  • NYDogWhisperer

    This is not what I had hoped for. How about the two promised shelters in NYC? How about firing Risa Mengala Weinstock? How about taking the medical dept out of the picture and putting the ACC into a dept of it’s own with knowledgable people? More foster homes will not stop the killing. The 2 promised shelters and a revamp of the ACC will stop it! Let’s get this situation corrected! Best Friends…can you do this? They are heart sticking these poor animals daily. This has to stop. Barbaric ACC has to be revamped!

    • MelissaLMiller

      Hi NYDogWhisperer,

      Thanks for your note and for your care and concern for NYC’s homeless pets. Your questions regarding additional shelters and city staff need to be addressed with the city, I’m sorry but that’s just not something we can speak to. I can tell you, however, that Best Friends is excited about our new foster program that will help save more NYC animals. More animals out of the municipal shelter system means that many more will be in loving homes, whether they be temporary or permanent, and that’s our ultimate goal.

      Thank you for all that you do for homeless pets.

      Sincerely,
      Melissa Miller
      New Media Coordinator