Thursday, May 10, 2012

Article on Our Founder/President!!


Or read here....

Queens Native turns Personal Tragedy into Campaign for Animal Welfare
By Michael Mullins
Published May 10, 2012
In July of 2010, Queens native Harris Bloom, 44, launched Stewie to the Rescue, a nonprofit dedicated to helping local animals in need while honoring the memory of his beloved dog Stewie, who was tragically killed by a car in November of 2008.

According to Bloom, two of the nonprofit’s primary goals are to make sure that no pet is ever relinquished to a NYC kill shelter due to the expense of their medical care, and that no rescue group is ever prevented from saving an animal’s life because of a lack of funds when a foster family or adoptive family is available.

ClrBx2Stewie to the Rescue's logo.
Bloom’s commitment to animal welfare is best illustrated in his willingness to not only fundraise for his own charity, but other charities as well, particularly area rescue groups. In the past two years, Bloom, an accountant by day who is also a writer and stand-up comic, has held approximately 50 comedy benefits for local animal welfare organizations, convincing fellow comedians to join him on stage and donate their time and talent to help animals in need.

Harris Bloom the Advocate

For many in NYC’s animal community, Bloom is best known, however, for his witty, no-nonsense approach when addressing Animal Care and Control’s Board of Directors at its annual meeting.

In the world of animal welfare and animal rights, few would argue that women are the dominant force behind most initiatives and most progress. The gender gap is perhaps nowhere more apparent in NYC than at ACC’s Board of Director (BOD) meetings, where every year, animal loving residents, overwhelmingly women, gather to have their questions unanswered and concerns seemingly ignored by an all male board which oversees the Northeast’s largest animal shelter system.

Despite this, Bloom, meeting after meeting, tends to arguably draw the loudest applause and most supportive cheers from the predominantly female public when speaking to the BOD. Video excerpts from Bloom’s address have gone viral on You Tube, courtesy of The Shelter Reform Action Committee. (Click here for video clip).

In an interview with The Companion, Bloom explained his opposition to ACC and why he’s fighting for reform.

“The main problem [with ACC] is the structure. [It] is "managed" by the Department of Health (DOH). Under this system, the budget will never be sufficient as there's no way that Bloomberg, or any non-animal friendly mayor, will allocate any more than the bare minimum that he can get away with toward animals instead of humans. Because of this conflict of interest, the BOD will only appoint executive directors who will not "rock the boat" as they don't want the mayor (or themselves) embarrassed by how this city treats its homeless animals.”

Bloom continued, “Other problems include the lack of shelters in Queens and The Bronx, two boroughs who both have populations higher than all but about twenty cities in the U.S., and the need for marketing – most New Yorkers don't even know that the ACC exists, or that you can foster an animal to make sure it's a good match…

“NYC should end its ownership of the ACC. They should give whatever budget they do now to an outside party to run it, with inflationary increases. I guarantee they can find someone willing to take on this task, as I would bet an outside non-profit would also do a much better job at fundraising. They certainly couldn't do a worse job when it comes to alienating the rescue community... An ideal system would be somewhat akin to the success we've seen with the Central Park Conservancy and their upkeep, maintenance, and beautifying of one of the city's most famous landmarks.”

Contracted out by the DOH to manage NYC’s animal control services, ACC is technically an independent nonprofit; however, in the eyes of many in NYC’s animal welfare community, the two organizations are viewed as one, and for good reason.

ACC’s entire seven-member BOD is appointed by the city and headed-up by DOH Commissioner Thomas Farley. Also, ACC receives the lion’s share of its funding directly from the DOH. In 2011, ACC’s total operating budget was approximately $9.2 million, of which $7.1 million, or 77 percent, was provided by the DOH. As a result of ACC’s symbiotic relationship with the DOH, few in NYC’s animal community can determine where one organization begins and the other ends.

The Origins of Stewie to the Rescue

On November 26, 2008, while playing a game of catch in Riverside Park during the park’s off-leash hours, something apparently “spooked” Stewie, causing the pup to run away from Bloom and out of the park. Bloom raced after his best friend, but was unable to catch him. Stewie was just over four-years-old at the time of his death.

The following June, Bloom, via a Craigslist ad, fostered and eventually adopted a Pit Bull named Kilo, a former ACC shelter dog who had been pulled by DakodaLove Rescue. Following a visit to ACC’s Manhattan Shelter, Bloom decided to take an active role in helping NYC animals in need. Initially, Bloom raised funds for DakodaLovethrough his comedy acts, which led to his joining the rescue group’s board and eventually helping it become a corporation. In time, however, Bloom wanted to go in a different direction and following his wife Josie’s suggestion, began his own nonprofit. The rest is history.

Since adopting Kilo and launching Stewie to the Rescue, the Bloom family has grown to include a baby girl named Zadie, the couple’s first child, and a Cockapoo (Cocker Spaniel –Poodle) named River. Bloom found River in September of 2010 abandoned in a carrier on 101st Street and Riverside Drive, just two blocks from where Stewie was hit by the car.

To learn more about Stewie to the Rescue and purchase tickets for Bloom’s upcoming animal welfare comedy benefits visit Upcoming comedy benefits include a May 21 show at Gotham Comedy Club in lower Manhattan to benefitStewie to the Rescue and The Toby Project, as well as June 6 show, also at Gotham, and
a June 9th show the Elks Lodge in Boonton, New Jersey.BlkBx

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Meet The Rescuers! Part Two, w/Lori Carpino of Heavenly Angels!

Welcome to our second edition of our smash hit series, Meet The Rescuers, where I talk to some of NYC's (and beyond!) movers and shakers in the animal rescue world (Who cares about the other world?). Today's Q and A is with Lori Carpino, who runs Heavenly Angels Animal Rescue!

How many years have you been rescuing animals and why did you start?

Its been about 6 yrs I've been doing rescue, I started out as a volunteer at ACQ , then became manager.

I've always loved animals, a lot more then I've ever liked people. I've been through a lot in my life and almost lost it twice. I believe strongly in second chances , rescuing to me is like breathing, I have a very strong connection with animals and have been able to rehab dogs that looked like they would never be able to find homes. In the 6 yrs I've been rescuing I've placed about 2000 dogs/cats in homes. 

Dunno if you wanna answer but what happened at ACQ and why did you move it to Heavenly Angels?

I took over ACQ because my previous boss got tired and I had not been working full time the year prior to me taking it on. It became too much for him and I needed to just do my own thing.

How many employees do you have? Volunteers? Do you also have fosters?

We have 2 employees, about 10 full time volunteers and about 20 more volunteers that help when they can, as well as fosters. In addition, we have many high school students who do internships with us as well. 

Cats and dogs? Anything else?

We have guinea pigs and an occasional rabbit as well as dogs/cats.

How many pets do you have? What kind?

I have 11 of my own dogs. 2 pitbulls, 6 chihuahuas, a dachshund , a shih tzu, and a JRT/Doxie mix.

How do you choose which animals to pull?

So many people ask me how I choose, really I don't know, I guess depends on the space we have first. I'll take any little dog , old or young, mean or nice. I love Pits and Chihuahuas , which is mostly what we have at our place.

What do you do when you're not rescuing animals?

Running an actual facility is full time for me , I work 7 days a week . There really is never a time I'm not rescuing LOL.

What's your favorite TV show?

I hardly ever watch TV.

Favorite books?

Desperation by Stephen King.

Favorite movies?

I am a horror movie lover, prefer zombies over vampires.

Fast moving zombies or slow... And most importantly, do you consider 28 Days Later (and it's sequel) a zombie movie or not?

Yes I would consider both zombie movies. Either speed is ok , but fast movers give me chills, they're super skin crawling scary.

How would you spend all the free time you'd have if you never got into rescue?

I honestly don't know what I would do if I wasn't rescuing, probably catch up on sleep. :) 

Where are you originally from?

I was raised in Tribeca NY, but now live in Brooklyn.

Tell us something about you that most people don't know...

Most people don't know that I majored in Forensic Psychology and have an affinity for Serial Killers and their behaviors. 

Do you have favorite serial killers?

Charles Manson and Richard "The Night Stalker" Ramirez.

I love that you bothered to write his nickname're obviously a big fan. And I'm now officially a little scared of you. Thanks for your time!

You can LIKE Heavenly Angels on Facebook by clicking HERE

You can check out their website HERE.

Harris Bloom