By Michael Mullins
Published June 27, 2012
“As Pit Bull rescuers ourselves, we know that no breed is more unfairly maligned by ignorant media and false, disproven stereotypes,” said Latzer. “Other animals that have a very hard time in shelters – senior cats, senior dogs, black cats and black dogs – are also tragedies that people need to know about. These animals would make perfect companions for so many people, and we plan to make their plight known as well.”

Latzer continued, “In saving animals from NYC’s high-kill Animal Care & Control shelters, we found that rescue groups are left entirely on their own with no actual support from the city that depends on them to keep their adoption numbers believably padded. Our aim is to breathe fresh air and fresh interest into this neglected state of affairs, and take the message straight to everyday people.”

According to ACC, of the 20,008 animals adopted from city shelters in 2011, 14,172 dogs and cats were pulled by the over 225 animal rescue groups that comprise ACC’s New Hope program. These former city shelter animals would later be made available for adoption through the individual rescue groups. In the same year, 5,836 animals were adopted directly from ACC shelters while 8,151 animals were euthanized.

Both Latzer and Tanen have a history with the beleaguered city shelter system.

Latzer, a former ACC volunteer, and Tanen, the former ACC New Hope Liaison, were dismissed last summer in what many believe to have been an attempt by shelter management to control the flow of information coming from within the shelter to the public. The dismissals occurred weeks apart from each other and resulted in wide-spread public outrage with thousands calling for their reinstatement online to no avail.

As the former ACC New Hope Liaison, Tanen played a critical role in saving the lives of countless NYC shelter animals through her photography and advocacy on their behalf, while Latzer was known for donating approximately 30 hours a week to ACC's Manhattan shelter where he worked with some of the most troubled dogs according to colleagues. ACC would not comment on either dismissal.

Adopt NY isn’t the city’s first or only coalition of animal rescue organizations aimed at saving the lives of abandoned and rescued animals. Founded in 2002 the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, which is funded by Maddie's Fund, The Pet Rescue Foundation, and with support from the ASPCA, is a coalition of more than 150 animal rescue groups.

When asked if Adopt NY plans to work with The Mayor’s Alliance toward reaching their shared goal of a no-kill NYC, Latzer responded:

“There is no real voice for the concerns of rescue groups in this state, and this was never more evident than recently when Jane Hoffman, head of the Mayor’s Alliance, played an integral role in writing the Quick Kill Bill (A05449), which would give ACC the ability to kill any animal it wanted to without giving rescue groups the chance to save them. The rescue community was unanimously against this bill – so who is their real voice?”

In response to Latzer, Hoffman replied: "Despite what people seem to want to think I did not write NYS Assembly Member's Amy Paulin's Shelter Access Bill nor did the Alliance take an official position on the bill. I was however asked by several legislators to advise them on how the NYC coalition works." Hoffman continued, “As the single largest and longest running animal rescue coalition in the United States, The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, working with Animal Care and Control and local animal rescues, has helped to save the lives of over 220,000 shelter dogs and cats in NYC since 2003 and will continue to play a vital role in helping animals in need throughout NYC through its shelter animal transport program, adoption events and community outreach.” Hoffman also pointed out that many of Adopt NY’s member organizations also belong to The Mayor’s Alliance coalition, adding that she hopes in the future the two organizations can work toward their shared common goal of making NYC a no-kill city.

To learn more about Adopt NY and how you can help the coalition increase adoption and save the lives of NYC shelter dogs and cats, visit