The ASPCA's cruelty intervention efforts in New York City are focused in three main areas: animal hoarding, emergency veterinary care for underserved communities and resources for domestic violence survivors. Referrals are made for pet owners with mental health, financial or structural barriers that prevent them from providing necessary care to their pets. The ASPCA works with clients to find the best possible resolution for the animals involved.
Animal hoarding is a widely misunderstood, complex public health issue that affects the animals and humans involved. Collecting animals is a symptom of underlying issues that cannot be appropriately addressed without also focusing on the needs of the hoarder. Hoarding situations may go unreported for fear that the people will get in trouble or that the animals will be taken away, however, early intervention allows for the best possible outcome for the animals and humans involved. Without intervention, animal hoarding situations will worsen, putting an increasing number of animals at risk.
Animal hoarding interventions are most effective when utilizing a collaborative approach between service agencies. Long term monitoring is crucial in these cases. The ASPCA has a team dedicated to working with clients in New York City to find the best possible resolution for the animals involved, including:
In addition to helping the animals involved, the ASPCA links animal hoarders to social service agencies that can provide counseling, deep cleaning, subsidized meals and case management.
The ASPCA encounters a variety of animal hoarding cases:
ASPCA team members work to build trust and cultivate relationships with animal hoarders, providing veterinary care, spay/neuter operations and removing animals when appropriate. Cases remain open and the team actively monitors the situation once it has been stabilized to ensure that no new animals are brought into the home and that the animal hoarder stays connected to other resources.
Emergency Veterinary Care
The ASPCA has a grant program in place to provide life-saving veterinary care and other resources to low income pet owners in New York City. By partnering with the local veterinary community, the ASPCA makes grants directly to service providers on behalf of the animal in need, preventing surrender or euthanasia. Grants are made to cover the cost of diagnostics and treatment of acute, one-time medical conditions and injuries. The ASPCA provides comprehensive wellness packages that include vaccines, micro chipping and spay/neuter procedures. Pet owners referred to this program typically want to keep their pets and can provide basic care, but are unable to afford the costs of emergency care and treatment.
Typical conditions include:
The program is geared toward pet owners receiving public assistance, and situations are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Many of the illnesses and injuries treated with this funding are preventable, but low income pet owners lack resources to treat them. In addition to providing a safety net for animals in need, the ASPCA takes proactive initiatives to prevent these conditions.
One in four women will experience some form of domestic or intimate partner violence in their lifetime. In a recent survey of women in a domestic violence shelter in Ohio, 42.5% reported an abusive partner harming or threatening to harm a pet. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 25% to 45% of battered women stated that their pet was a barrier to them leaving an abusive situation, as they could not take their pet with them to a domestic violence shelter.
The ASPCA works with domestic violence survivors in the New York City area to provide options for a safe escape from dangerous situations: