NYC Animal Group Demands Retraction From New York Mag Over ‘Doggie Doom’ Article

nymag_021907.jpgEXCLUSIVE

The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals is furious over an article in this week’s New York magazine — Arianne Cohen‘s “The Doggie-Doom Disparity” — that it says contains “gross misrepresentations” and “inaccurate and sensationalist assertions” regarding the city’s animal rescue efforts. New York magazine denies any misrepresentations and stands by its story.

[SEE: New York mag’s response.]

In a letter to editor Adam Moss, the group’s president, Jane Hoffman, writes that she is “deeply disappointed … particularly since I spent substantial time with [Cohen] and the fact checker to be sure that they had the correct information. Contrary to Ms. Cohen’s inaccurate and sensationalist assertions, the New York City animal rescue community’s efforts are on track and making great progress.”

Writes Hoffman: “I would also like to correct the negative impression and misrepresentation conveyed about Mary Martin’s reasons for resigning. We are all very excited about the fabulous new position she will be starting in March working with a project funded by a major foundation to set up spay and neuter clinics in Los Angeles.”

This particular “misrepresentation” seems a bit overblown, in light of Cohen’s seemingly benign assertion: “[Animal Care and Control director Ed] Boks’s replacement, the well-liked Mary Martin, won’t be solving things either—she’ll be resigning in March. ‘New York City is a tough place to work,’ says Hoffman.”

It certainly is.

EARLIER:

  • Nicole Brown Family Demands Retraction From New York Mag Over Regan Article
  • New York Responds To Brown Family

    Hoffman’s letter to Moss:

    February 13, 2007

    Mr. Adam Moss, Editor-In-Chief
    New York Magazine
    444 Madison Avenue
    New York , NY 10022

    Dear Mr. Adam Moss,

    I am deeply disappointed by the gross misrepresentations made in Arianne Cohen’s “The Doggie-Doom Disparity” in the February 19 issue of New York magazine, particularly since I spent substantial time with her and the fact checker to be sure that they had the correct information. Contrary to Ms. Cohen’s inaccurate and sensationalist assertions, the New York City animal rescue community’s efforts are on track and making great progress as evidenced by the following:

  • The euthanasia rate of New York City’s homeless animals is at its lowest in history. In 2003, the first year of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals’ public-private partnership with the City of New York, over 31,000 of the 43,000 dogs and cats entering Animal Control were euthanized. By 2005, euthanasia was reduced to under 23,000 and by 2006, euthanasia was reduced to under 20,000. Therefore, less than half of the more than 43,000 cats and dogs taken in by the city’s animal control centers were euthanized in 2006; a major achievement over the previous years when nearly 70 percent of the cats and dogs were destroyed.
  • New York City’s public-private partnership efforts are setting, and being recognized, as a national model for community animal rescue efforts. Albuquerque, Philadelphia, and Tulsa now have animal alliances replicating the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals’ successful model and groups in Baltimore, Buffalo, Ohio, Texas and Long Island are getting ready to follow suit as well.
  • For the first time, New York City’s animal rescue community has been united towards the no-kill goal. The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals is made up of over 100 city animal rescue groups now working in collaboration on behalf of the city’s homeless animals. Just this month alone, we have organized an unprecedented effort to promote adoption with over 50 adoption events in all five boroughs and extended adoption hours at shelters as part of “I Love NYC Pets” month — www.iLoveNYCpets.com.

    As I explained in depth to Ms. Cohen and her fact checker, when the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals was formed in December 2002, we had hoped that we would immediately receive a 2003 grant from Maddie’s Fund — a pet rescue foundation funding national efforts to create no-kill communities. At that time, we made projections based on the foundation’s initial five-year funding plan when we proposed the 2008 date, as stated in our 2002 press release which Ms. Cohen refers to on our web site. By the time the Mayor’s Alliance’s grant began in 2005, Maddie’s Fund’s grant requirements had changed to a seven year funding cycle with a ten year strategic plan, thus our current projections of 2015.

    Furthermore, Ms. Cohen was advised by the Mayor’s Office and me that the Bloomberg administration was not involved in setting or communicating any timeline. And ASPCA President Ed Sayres’ reference to the year 2010 focused on ending euthanasia of healthy homeless animals, whereas our 2015 goal is to end euthanasia of healthy and treatable homeless animals. This distinction was communicated to Ms. Cohen and these target dates and objectives are published in our ten year strategic plan that commenced in 2005.

    I encourage you to peruse our latest progress report to the Maddie’s Fund which provides documentation for the facts in this letter. It is available online for your reference at: http://www.maddiesfund.org/projects/comm_proj_nyc_rescue.html. I would also love to tell you and your readers more about our other city-wide collaborative efforts including microchipping that helps return lost pets, spaying & neutering programs that reduce the number of unwanted and abandoned animals, and the Picasso Veterinary Fund which provides second chances to treatable animals with extraordinary medical needs in the city’s shelters.

    I would also like to correct the negative impression and misrepresentation conveyed about Mary Martin’s reasons for resigning. We are all very excited about the fabulous new position she will be starting in March working with a project funded by a major foundation to set up spay and neuter clinics in Los Angeles. We are looking forward to her great success and returning to NYC sometime in the near future to fund such clinics in NYC.

    I trust that you will help us to correct the misinformation in Ms. Cohen’s article and await your timely response.

    Sincerely,

    Jane Hoffman, President
    Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals