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Co-op City Barks at Proposed Animal Shelter

Bill Morris in Building Operations on June 21, 2018

The Bronx

Bronx Shelter
June 21, 2018

The residents of massive Co-op City in the Bronx have sent a loud message to the de Blasio administration about its plan to build an animal shelter near the co-op that would have space for 70 dogs, 140 cats, 30 rabbits and assorted small animals and birds: Not In My Back Yard. 

Community Board 10, responding to the wishes of the 14,000-unit co-op, rejected the city’s proposal to build the borough’s first full-service animal shelter at 2050 Bartow Avenue, am New York reports. “This was not an acceptable site,” says Matthew Cruz, the district manager of Community Board 10. “Co-op City residents were against the site chosen by the mayor’s office, and our board voted accordingly.” 

Among other concerns, Co-op City residents said the planned $60 million shelter, which includes adoption and veterinary services, would further congest an area that already suffers from heavy vehicle traffic. The city’s Department of Health counters that the Bartow Avenue site is ideal for the shelter because it is near public transportation and has off-street parking. The full-service shelter would also bring about 100 permanent jobs to the neighborhood. 

Roxanne Delgado, whose Bronx Animal Rights Electors group supports the shelter, says the borough is overdue for such a facility. “The Bronx has over 1.4 million residents and doesn’t have a full-service animal shelter,” Delgado says. “It’s a necessity in a civilized society.”

The Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will offer feedback on the plan next. Then the city’s Planning Commission will review the proposal before a vote by the full City Council, which tends to defer to the local council member when voting on proposed developments. Councilman Andy King, whose district includes Co-op City, has told the Bronx Times that he would not support a plan that his constituents oppose.

Co-op City is not known as a pet-friendly complex. The co-op has a no-pets policy – with the lone exception of service or emotional support dogs.

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