New Animal Care Center Coming to Ridgewood

By Ana Borruto | [email protected]

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A rendering of the facility. Courtesy of Animal Care Centers of NYC.

New York City’s largest animal shelter network is launching its first-ever Queens location in Ridgewood — further expanding its mission to end animal homelessness in the metropolitan area. 

Animal Care Centers of NYC — a nonprofit animal welfare organization with four other locations — will soon open a brand new, over 50,000 square-foot full-service care center at 1906 Flushing Ave. and Woodward Avenue. 

At a Community Board 5 meeting on Wednesday, March 13, Risa Weinstock, chief executive director of Animal Care Centers of NYC, presented the renderings and information to the audience about what they can expect from this premier facility. 

“This is the first borough to get a shelter like this,” said Weinstock. “For us to be here is such a privilege.” 

The building is in the final stages of construction and is expected to be completed sometime in the spring, Weinstock said. One notable feature is a retractable roof that will allow the sheltered animals to enjoy the outdoors, while remaining in the confines of the space. 

Weinstock said the center can hold up to 72 dogs and 110 cats, plus it has the capacity for group housing and space for other pets, such as rabbits and guinea pigs. 

To honor the life of a longtime public servant, the facility will be named the Paul A. Vallone Animal Care Center after the former Queens’ District 19 representative and City Council member who passed away unexpectedly in January. 

During her presentation, Weinstock described Vallone as a “great friend” to Animal Care Centers of NYC who pushed for the project’s funding. 

“He loved animals, he was an advocate of our work, and he was really instrumental in getting a shelter built in Queens,” Weinstock said. “We’re really honored to carry his name, he meant a lot to all of us.” 

Risa Weinstock, president of ACC. Credit: Ana Borruto

Paul Sanders, senior administrator of Governmental and Community Affairs for Animal Care Centers of NYC, said the organization is an open admission shelter with at least 60 animals coming in daily. 

Three of the ACC locations are full-service care centers and the nonprofit has a Bronx Resource Center, as well as its headquarters in Manhattan near City Hall. 

On average, the Animal Care Center cares for over 20,000 animals annually throughout the five boroughs and they accept all animals regardless of behavioral or medical condition. 

All of the care centers offer the option to adopt or foster and have an admissions department that not only takes in animals, but enforces a surrender prevention program that is geared towards individuals who feel they can no longer take care of their pet. 

Before beginning the surrendering procedure, the admissions team will suggest alternatives to owners such as rehoming their pet on their own, allowing the pet to remain in its home during the placement process or providing assistance to owners so they can keep their pets. 

Sanders said there were a total of 382 pet surrender preventions recorded in January this year. 

“ACC believes the best place for any animal is in the home it knows and loves,” Sanders said. “We want to work with that person, work to keep that animal in their home, and we’ve been very successful.” 

The new Queens shelter will employ nearly 100 people, Weinstock said, and the organization is currently looking for volunteers. Positions that are available include veterinarians, admissions counselors, licensed vet technicians, adoption supervisors and several other roles. 

For those interested in volunteering for Animal Care Centers NYC, visit nycacc.org for more information and details on orientation dates.

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