Reshaping the Landscape of Animal Care and Protection

a dog getting an exam

Two of the biggest challenges facing dogs and cats across the country are a lack of accessible, affordable veterinary care, and the limited scope of rehabilitation programs for animals who are victims of cruelty.

The ASPCA’s new initiatives in New York City aim to address these two distinct challenges by leveraging our strong connections to the city, along with our expertise in animal care and protection, to help animal victims of abuse and to bring high-quality basic veterinary care where needed to animals living in poverty.

The ASPCA has been an integral part of New York City since our founding here as the nation’s first animal welfare organization in 1866. Our long history and strong local presence provide a unique opportunity to assist animals and pet owners across the five boroughs, and to turn our local successes into models that create nationwide change for animals.

Beyond the direct impact in New York City, our efforts in the region will serve as a foundation for the development of new methods of treating and rehabilitating animals medically and behaviorally. We’ll then share these learnings with the veterinary and animal sheltering communities to improve animals’ lives nationwide.

There are three major elements of the ASPCA’s Initiative:

Improving Access to Basic Veterinary Care

The cost of veterinary care is rising, while 22 million dogs and cats nationwide are living in poverty.

The ASPCA will build a network of ASPCA Community Veterinary Centers across New York City to help people in the city’s most underserved communities access resources to care for their pets. We’ll work to provide pet owners with access to basic veterinary care, including preventive care, spay/neuter surgery and outpatient medical treatment for common conditions. The Community Veterinary Centers will also treat homeless dogs and cats being cared for by animal rescue organizations, expanding our services to the animal rescue community.

Our Community Veterinary Centers will have a direct impact on tens of thousands of animals each year. Additionally, the Centers will yield critical insights into more efficient diagnostic and treatment protocols. Once proven, these new protocols will be shared with the animal welfare community and veterinary professionals, helping to make basic veterinary care more affordable and accessible nationwide.

The first ASPCA Community Veterinary Centers are scheduled to open in the Bronx and Brooklyn in 2020, followed by Manhattan in 2021.

 Addressing the Complex Needs of Animal Cruelty Victims in Shelters

Our groundbreaking partnership with the New York City Police Department (NYPD) positions us to continue to lead the field in responding to animal cruelty, caring for animal victims, and tackling the root causes of cruelty in order to prevent it.

To expand on these efforts and help even more animals, we will build the ASPCA Recovery and Rehabilitation Center in the Hudson Valley, set to open in 2021, to care for, rehabilitate and rehome canine victims of cruelty and neglect. The new facility will more than double our capacity to care for the animals helped through our partnership with the NYPD.

Many dogs who are rescued through the partnership have behavioral and medical challenges as a result of the abuse and neglect they’ve suffered, which can limit their chances for adoption. At the ASPCA Recovery and Rehabilitation Center, we’ll evaluate how to most effectively resolve these problems in victims of physical and emotional trauma and severe neglect. These new tools will be shared with the animal welfare community through the ASPCA Learning Lab Program.

In addition, we’ll explore new ways to help behaviorally- and medically-challenged cats at our New York City facility, and share insights to better address the complex needs of animal cruelty victims housed in shelters around the country.

Optimizing Animal Care Facilities

With a strong network of ASPCA Community Veterinary Centers and a dedicated facility for long-term rehabilitation of animal cruelty victims in place, we will renovate the ASPCA Animal Hospital to maximize our capacity and optimize medical services.

This will enhance our ability to provide critical inpatient care to animal cruelty victims as well as to owned animals from low-income households who require hospitalization, advanced diagnostic testing, and complex surgical and dental procedures.

These patients will be referred through the ASPCA Community Veterinary Centers, partner veterinarians, Animal Care Centers of NYC, ASPCA Community Engagement efforts and our partnership with the NYPD.

Finally, the renovation of our facilities will provide more training space, so we can offer enhanced extern and intern programs and launch a shelter medicine residency program. These programs will provide hands-on training across our many disciplines, as well as the ability to conduct groundbreaking, observational study, and further connect and share knowledge and expertise within the fields of animal welfare and veterinary and forensic sciences.