UPDATE, 22 October 2008

David and Chiva are taking a break from the Tour de Dog but are sure to plan another ride in the near future. A sincere thank you to all of you who helped David and Chiva in countless ways. The Tour de Dog would not be possible without your support. THANK YOU!

View a Photo Documentary of Tour de Dog by Jason Houge

Tour de Dog is past states: Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ontario, and New York.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tour de Shelters in New York City

Denice and Jessica and Carrie of the Mayor's Alliance could not have set it up better. Chiva and I started the Tour de Shelter in lower Manhattan and worked our way north while visiting four animal rescue organizations along the way. The shelters were as diverse as the NYC population, and I have loads of information to share.

The first stop was one of the oldest humane organizations in the United States, Bideawee (which means "stay awhile" in Scottish).

Bideawee is a a non-profit, re-rescue organization that helps give abandoned, neglected, and homeless animals a second start to life. Bideawee's efforts are much deeper than rescue and adoption, however, and include some of the most highly innovative and successful learning programs in the world.

I was in awe when listening to Dr. Brennen explain Bideawee's Children Reading to Dogs Program. The reading to dog program's goal is to 1) strengthen the bond between children and pets and 2) help children improve their reading skills in a comfortable and non-judgemental setting.

Myself pictured with Dr. Brennen (VP of Program Operations & Chief of Veterinary Services) and Nancy Taylor (President and CEO) at Bideawee.

Another Bideawee program that highlights improving the human/animal bond is the highly acclaimed Doga, a partner Yoga class for people and their dogs. Once again, the purpose of the program is to strengthen the bond between human and animal. Bideawee staff members understand that if more people are better connected to their pets, the number of animals being neglected or surrendered will be reduced and thus lower the number of euthanasia procedures. I encourage you and your pet to learn more about Bideawee's creative and successful learning programs.

A child-made bandana seen at the Bideawee shelter. Rescue organizations across the country are house millions of animals that need good homes. If they do not find homes, they are euthanized.

Shiloh, a gray, loving pup at Bideawee was "love at first site" for Carrie. Dr. Brennen discusses the care and adoption requirements of Shiloh.

The second stop on the Tour de Shelter was The Humane Society of New York. Chiva and I were warmly greeted by Co-Executive Director Sandra DeFeo and were given a tour of the shelter.

The NYHS features adoptions but also provides full-service veterinary care to dog and cat owners with limited means. Located on Manhattan Island, working space is quite limited and expensive. To overcome this, NYHS staff have transformed the roof of their building to a play/exercise area for their animals.

Chiva and I pictured with NYHS staff members on the roof.

After the NYHS, Chiva and I made our way to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). The ASPCA was founded in 1866 and is the first humane organization of the Western Hemisphere. Although primarily known as a nation-wide animal welfare advocacy group, the ASPCA does have an excellent adoption shelter in New York City.

Amy Geduldig kindly showed me around the facility, and I was very impressed. First of all, the animal living areas are enclosed by glass. The glass not only improves the image of the cages, but it also makes for less noisy and therefore less stressful living. The ASPCA shelter was also the first place I heard classical music being played to relax the animals. I saw many volunteers actively running around the shelter attending to the many homeless animals.

A cat up for adoption at the ASPCA peers through the glass enclosing in New York City.

Last but not least was my visit to the largest pet organization in the Northeast, Animal Care and Control of New York City (AC&C). The organization rescues over 40,000 animals each year. I spent a couple days with staff members of the AC&C and will write a separate post to highlight my visit.

Thank you to everyone who helped make the New York City Tour de Shelters possible. I look forward to staying in touch.




Genericyclist said...

Yo! I have been posting your link on some forums and folks are intrigued. When/if you make it back to SLC give me a little heads up, I have connections in the sports/outdoors sections of a few local papers and get you a little pub...or a phone/e-mail interview could go down anytime.


Erica said...

Love reading the posts...looking forward to more!

tracy in dallas said...

Hi David and Chiva. You both are looking great. Glad you got some family time. Looking forward to more posts!

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