I think more needs to be said about this deal, which I (and others) have railed against, but none so eloquently as Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer here.
The vote to approve this deal is coming up and in order to drum up support for the deal that they apparently helped negotiate, I recently received this email from the ASPCA -
Let me be clear -- of course, I want the city to build animal shelters in the boroughs that currently do not have them. But the reality is that the city does not have to do this based on a recent appellate court's ruling (in re Stray from the Heart, Inc. v. Dep't of Health and Mental Hygiene of the City of New York, April 19, 2011) that a rescue group did not have standing to challenge the City's failure to open animal shelters in Queens and in the Bronx."
Who exactly does he think he's kidding? The whole "What can lil' ol' us do?" ain't fooling anyone who knows anything about the animal rescue business. The ASPCA has a LOT of pull, thanks to a huge and well-funded PR department (They helped kill Oreo's Law, for example) And just as they helped negotiate this deal behind the scenes, they can get together with their buddies at Maddie's Fund, Best Friends, and whom ever else (maybe talk to Hemsley's dog), and get these needed shelters financed.
3. They quoted the Stray from the Heart lawsuit... If the ASPCA agrees that the shelters are necessary, then why didn't THEY take up the lawsuit. With their powers, couldn't they do an inspection, and conclude that the existing shelters are dangerously insufficient? I would think that even the threat of such a lawsuit from the highly respected ASPCA would force NYC to do something to fix the situation.
4. Just as they helped facilitate this backroom deal, they can do another, basically threatening NYC that they will expose the freaking nightmare that is the NYC shelter system (and believe me, they know that it is a disaster) if they don't do something more drastic to help the animals (like, you know, build another shelter or two). All he'd have to do is get his buddies together and threaten to drop their funding if something isn't done. Heck, it wont be hard to Maddie's fund to threaten it, as the ACC routinely breaks their agreement not to kill for space.
5 - His statement that the problems are due to a "simple matter of insufficient funding from the city" is bullshit as well. Horrendous mismanagement (8 ED's in 8 years? 'nuf said) and a BOD that exists only to serve Bloomberg's interests are the real problem. Is the ACC underfunded? Yes, ridiculously so... but it wont be adequately funded until the main problem is fixed, and that's breaking off the ACC from the DOH (as Mr. Stringer suggests).
6 - Sayres isn't an idiot. He KNOWS what's going on between the walls at the ACC to the poor animals (Even Wikipedia knows). The question becomes why doesn't the ASPCA use their powers of enforcement to bring the real situation to light and maybe make revolutionary change rather than keep spinning the usual politically tinged pr about things getting better?
I think if they actually went in and documented what was going on, they'd have no choice but to take over... something they desperately wouldn't want to do (they had a miserable time running it thru 1995).
Anyway, I'm tired.
Long story short (I know, too late!), the ASPCA and Sayres are accomplices to this "deal" and the maintenance of the status quo (i.e. DOH oversight), which, as long as it remains, means death to way too many of NYC's animals.