To the editor:
After decades of animal advocates’ efforts for a Bronx animal shelter and veterinary clinic, everything finally lined up perfectly — the city has the funding, the location, and a passed local law that mandates full-scaled shelters in all five boroughs.
On Sept. 26, the City Planning Commission approved the site selection of the property located at 2050 Bartow Ave., and was scheduled for city council review Oct. 9. City council approval was required, and the council historically yields the wishes of the council member of the district of the proposed development.
Councilman Andy King has made his opposition quick clear through his inflammatory comments in the community board meetings.
What Councilman Andy King didn’t disclose at the community board meetings is that he has been lobbied for more than a year for this site by a developer who proposed a 30-story building. amNewYork reported this developer paid more than a quarter-million dollars in lobbying fees related to the potential development at the Bartow site. Councilman King hasn’t voiced any opposition to the planned hotel at 2300 Bartow Ave.
The Bronx surrenders the most animals in the city and overburdens the other shelters. This results in less space, less time, and less care for the animals throughout the city. Bronx residents have no low-cost veterinary services and often travel outside the Bronx for pet care. In fact, despite Co-op City’s no-pet policy, it has the highest concentration of animals, including service/emotional pets in a localized area, and is in need of such a clinic.
No alternative site has been proposed as promised by any of those in opposition. For those who couldn’t attend the Oct. 9 hearing, they can email their city council members and Speaker Corey Johnson.
We as the city council’s Bronx delegation to stand up for the proposed Bartow site and not permit any more delays and cost the Bronx this opportunity for a full-scale animal shelter, and low-cost veterinary clinic.
The author writes on behalf of Bronx Animal Rights Electors.