To the Editor:
Re “Protesting a West Side Pet Shop.” July 23: While I support the protests at the pet store on Columbus Avenue, the problem is systemic – much more than forcing one business to do the right thing.
As long as wonderful, healthy animals are being killed at NYC’s kill center - Animal Care and Control - no one should be breeding or selling animals – making money from suffering by adding more animals to the already overloaded system. This store could easily work with a rescue group and feature at risk animals for adoption. This good will would generate more business.
The Department of Health is the main culprit here. On the one hand, they oversee Animal Control and put more than $15M into this failed system that continues to kill cats and dogs because there are not enough homes. Creative ideas are not forthcoming from either of these pathetic institutions.
On the other hand, the DoH issues permits to pet shops allowing them to sell animals. So one hand kills; the other adds to the overpopulation. It is wrong and hypocritical. The first step should be to put a moratorium on issuing these permits. The second step is to stop the killing. Adoption is not the answer. Preventing the births in the first place is.
The DoH has spent a fortune on anti cigarette television advertising - but nothing on any kind of advertising directed at people to cover the importance of neutering cats and dogs to prevent illness and births; and responsible pet care. The newest TV ad features the new DoH Commissioner talking about her own experiences smoking. Exceptional vanity. Stop those unnecessary narcissistic ads and put that money into advertising to help reduce the killing at the ACC. Keep the other anti-smoking commercials.
If every time I see her face on TV, I could instead see a commercial addressing the cat and dog overpopulation crisis, maybe we would get someplace.
DoH: step up and do the right thing. The killing of so many cats and dogs at the Kill centers is morally reprehensible and on your conscience.
Elizabeth Forel / President
The Coalition for NYC Animals, Inc.