Council blasted for nixing Queens animal shelter

TimesLedger Newspapers
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

Photo gallery

Holly Leon holds her dog Beast during the rally. Photo by Christina Santucci
Possum, a Collie from Bayside, takes part in a protest outside Animal Care & Control's Receiving Center. The group blasted a recent City Council bill, which no longer requires an animal shelter to be built in Queens, as well as Animal Control's euthanasia policy. Photo by Christina Santucci
John Wortmann, a Councilman from Port Jervis, passes around a petition to Kevin Phillips. Photo by Christina Santucci
Singer and songwriter Kylie Edmond performs as people walk by. Photo by Christina Santucci
MiG Ayesa performs during the protest. Photo by Christina Santucci
Protestors Holly Leon (l.) and Renee Polgar hold pups (l.-r.) Beast, Sprout and Jackie. Photo by Christina Santucci
Allison Kohmann protests with her pup Hazel, who was adopted from a Manhattan shelter. Photo by Christina Santucci
Julian Perez (l.) holds Hazel and Carrie Gouldsbrough holds Sofia Lauren. Photo by Christina Santucci
Liz Raab of Bayside holds her pup Possum. Photo by Christina Santucci

More than 30 men and women staged a protest in Rego Park Saturday against a September City Council law that no longer requires an animal shelter to be built in Queens. Protesters also slammed the nonprofit Animal Care & Control’s policies on euthanizing animals.

“The [New York] Animal Rights Alliance of America is determined to hold city officials’ feet to the fire,” said protester Jerilyn Piccirelli.

Members of the alliance, many wearing red shirts and some with dogs in tow, lined the corner of Horace Harding Expressway near 92-29 Queens Blvd. in Rego Park, where the AAC, which operates the city’s animal shelter system, has a receiving center. A receiving center takes in found animals to be sent to pounds elsewhere in the city.

The center was not open the day of the protest, but alliance members sang songs and held up signs reading “Stop the Killing Now” and “Stop Killing Man’s Best Friend.” Some pictures were of sick or killed animals and others showed AAC Director Julie Bank with devil horns.

The AAC did not respond to requests for comment by Tuesday evening press time.

Kay Riviello, who co-founded the alliance, said members came out against a bill passed Sept. 21 that undid a 2000 law that were required the city to build shelters in Queens and in the Bronx in exchange an increased funding to AAC and increased hours of operation for receiving centers such as the one in Rego Park.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg championed and signed the bill, which passed with 46 votes. Queens Councilmen Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria), Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans), Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) and Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) voted against the measure.

Riviello said increasing receiving centers’ hours was not sufficient to serve the more than 2 million people in Queens.

“All we have is a pound in Manhattan and Brooklyn,” Riviello said. “It’s an overtaxed pound.”

She suggested Queens should have its own adoption center and shelter system.

In addition to protesting the September bill or law, others said ACC kills animals unnecessarily.

Renee Polgar, who runs the Facebook group Pets on Death Row, claimed many animals that have gone through AAC have been killed because they supposedly were too young, were sick or had a poor temper, but some animals with those classifications were adopted by individuals and are now healthy, happy pets.

“They’re killing perfectly healthy animals every single day,” Polgar said.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4564.

Posted 12:28 am, November 17, 2011
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

Reader feedback

Margot Casalena from Queens,NY says:
Thank you Ms Henely for your coverage..
I am with the NY-ARAA & I am one of the 75 Protesters from the 11/12/11 Protest against the NY-ACC in Rego Park, Queens. I have been with Kay & this group since day one, and we are growing stronger in numbers everyday...We at NY-ARAA are not backing down from this one!!!..We want Mayor Bloomberg, Julie Bank & Christine Quinn to hear us, loud and clear!! We demand that 0655 be repealed & true no- kill shelters be built in Queens & the Bronx.. Open 24 hours a day/7 days a week and ensure full service animal care including full time veterinary service.. A TRUE NO- KILL SHELTER NOW!!..We at NY-ARAA will never give up the fight for the voiceless....."Animals will never have justice til animals have rights" .....Our goal and our dream is to make sure this becomes reality...Thank you to all the NY-ARAA activists/friends who attended at Queens and all the other 24 facilities..See you at the next one. :)
Nov. 19, 2011, 1:55 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

CNG: Community Newspaper Group