Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My visit to AC&C-Manhattan

Last night I visited Animal Care and Control - Manhattan to see it for myself, visit with the dogs and talk to some of the staff. I was really pleasantly surprised at how happy and well-cared for the dogs seemed despite their circumstances. Maybe that's just because the unhappy ones were stashed out of sight. I had made a list of dogs I wanted to visit and half were presumably in what one employee described as "the sick ward." Although I had trouble imagining that half of the dogs were ill, I chose to assume that they were all being taken care of.

When a man came in looking for "Milo" who he'd seen on the website and asked the employee is he was still there, the man replied "Yes" while shaking his head "no." It seemed like a defense he'd picked up over time to tell people the dogs they were looking for were either no longer around or waiting to be put down. It seemed like a cruel joke and he apologized, saying to the man, "Sorry, I was just trying to be cheerful. I really don't know unless you have an ID number."

(Save Whitney here.)

After some prodding questions about how long the dogs stay and where I could find the ones at risk, I was told that "well it could be anywhere from 3 days to 2 months," and "I don't know anything about that." I was confused but realized something very sad was going on here. All of the dogs had been admitted within the last few days; they had so little time to be found  and rescued. These dogs who looked so happy and full of life had to be put down regularly, and the staff who clearly knows a lot about this process, was simply not able to talk about it anymore.

Most of the dogs I saw had been picked up off the street so they didn't seem to mind their spacious warm cages, food, water and friendly visitors. One (named Bear) was even being adopted on the spot. I remarked at how cute he was and his new owner said triumphantly that Bear was coming home with him. This made me really happy as I quickly did the math in my head and realized that at least 2/3 of these great dogs would probably find homes.

Not surprisingly, all but 2 of the dogs in the whole place were pit mixes. It was like heaven for me as I walked through wishing each and every one of them could come home with me. They wiggled their bums and wagged their tails, their eyes brightened up and they licked my hands through their bars. Some jumped and romped around seeming to say "Please pick me!" I felt sad for the ones who looked too tired or scared to even try to sell themselves; they had been worn down by the constant barking or constant visitors or the brusque nature of the employees who couldn't possibly comfort them all.

One dog was being admitted while I was there. He was a tiny tiny white pit mix named Lex. When the employee tied him up to the wall while he went to ready his cage, the dog shook and quivered by the wall. I knelt down to hold him and he jumped into my arms and licked my face all over. This lucky guy was destined to find a home, I thought. He was the smallest adult pit mix I'd seen and so charming.

Here are a few pictures I was able to take of Lex, along with a few I got of his neighbor, Tyson. Lex and Tyson are exact opposites- and show the diversity of this great breed. Tyson was 70 pounds and probably mixed with a Great Dane, while Lex almost looked like a 30 pound white bunny rabbit. Somehow their outward appearances can change so much, but their dispositions could not be more similar. Both were wiggely waggely mushes.

(Lex is not yet on the ACC website)
(I could barely get a good picture of Tyson- he was jumping and wiggeling so much!) Save Tyson here.
These are some of the other dogs I saw, Whitney, Angelica, and Rexxi. All as sweet as could be- especially Rexxi-truly a cat in a dogs body who purred and rubbed herself against the bars seeking scratches)


  1. I was there the other day adopting a rabbit and I found it a heartbreaking place to be. I made a point of going around and seeing the dogs and I could barely stand it. I was really really surprised to see how many pit bulls/mixes were there. Like you said, I think all but two were pitties. I wanted to break them all free and take them home with me. There was one that I can't get out of my mind, he had an enormous mastiff-type head and looked so sad in his cage. Poor boy really looked like he needed a hug. Thanks for getting the word out about them!

  2. Thank you so much for reading & posting. (I am really trying to get the word out as much as I can- Before I adopted my own pit mix (thinking she was a lab mix) I didn't know anything about this breed or how in danger they are.)
    And Good luck with your adorable new Bunny!

  3. I think that this is a wonderful thing that your doing. I myself recently rescued a pit mix from here too (Bella) who now is Macy and let me tell you she is the light of my life,truly a wonderful dog. I never owned a pittbull before but from this point on in my life that is all I will do is rescue. Keep doing what you are doing so people see that pits are wonderful dogs. I haven't been there but I can only imagine, Macy was pulled off the tbk list with help from Bobby with Ruff House Rescue.


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