Conditions at NYC pound are of ‘grave concern’: state senator

Conditions at NYC pound are of 'grave concern': state senator

The squalid and neglectful conditions that endanger dogs at the Brooklyn arm of the New York City Animal Care Center are inexcusable and of “grave concern,” Sen. Monica Martinez told the agency in a letter.

“On several occasions, I have been made aware of allegations at your facilities and the most recent, published in the New York Post, that are of grave concern — such as consistent lack of water and unsanitary conditions,” Martinez wrote in the Tuesday letter addressed to Risa Weinstock, ACC’s CEO, referencing a recent Post investigation.

“I understand the difficulties that come in running multiple shelters in multiple boroughs, but that is no excuse for substandard care for these animals in the shelter’s possession.”

The letter comes a few weeks after The Post published an investigation into poor conditions at the East New York facility. Current and former workers came forward and said dogs were left in filthy cages filled with urine and feces and often had no access to water.

The bulk of the allegations were backed up with photo and video evidence contained in a New York State Attorney General whistleblower complaint the agency declined to investigate, according to the complainant.

The Animal Care Centers of New York City branch in Brooklyn
The Animal Care Centers of New York City branch in BrooklynWilliam Miller

Martinez, a Long Island state senator who is now a lame duck after losing her reelection bid to Republican Alexis Weik, is the Chair of the Senate Domestic Animal Welfare Committee and is often contacted by advocates for help rectifying issues.

“I urge you to thoroughly investigate these claims and ensure all animals are treated humanely. As the city’s only open admission municipal shelter system, Animal Care Centers of NYC has a duty to protect and care for the thousands of animals that are admitted,” Martinez wrote.

In response to the letter, an ACC spokesperson sent a vague statement that was nearly identical to the response they provided for the original report.

“ACC takes tremendous pride in the work we do to serve the people and pets of New York City. From helping keep families together with their pets throughout the public health emergency, to expanding our community of animal welfare advocates, we remain steadfast in our mission to end animal homelessness in NYC,” the spokesperson wrote in the email.

The agency declined to say if they will follow Martinez’s request to investigate and rectify the issues.

A current worker who spoke to The Post for the original report said conditions haven’t changed since the story came out.

While animal control officers are spotted “just hanging out,” dogs continue to languish in their own waste and without water, the worker said.

That worker, along with two former volunteers, said the primary reason for the neglect was poor management and oversight.

In a recent audit of the facility, city Comptroller Scott Stringer noticed the same problem and also reported seeing dirty cages and pups without water. In a long list of recommendations, Stringer said there should be a log of spot checks of each room and managers need to oversee those checks and log them to ensure the dogs are in sanitary and safe conditions.

Those recommendations were communicated to ACC over the summer and still, nothing has changed.

“Still no logs on doors,” the worker said.