CONTINUED - The Origins of Urgent Part 2… Part III
By Michael Mullins
Published May 26, 2012
that assist with updates, writing, fundraising and advocacy,” says Pepp. “Each person brings something special and needed to the organization. Without them, and the dedicated rescues that take these animals in, Urgent would not be here today, and so many more adoptable animals would be dying, hidden away at ACC.”

Although she was not ready to offer specifics, Pepp added that in the coming months, DRDs’ website -, will also be undergoing significant changes to incorporate shelter cat adoption into its format.

Relations with ACC

As can be expected, DRD’s relationship with ACC, particularly Executive Director Julie Bank, has been strained to say the least.

In an interview with WPIX (Channel 11) last summer, Bank expressed some reservations about using social media to post ACC shelter animals. “We might have an animal in our care because the animal bit three people and they might be taking the situation and saying ‘what a really cute dog, they’d be great for kids.’ And you’re not given the exact information that’s really attached to the animal and then it could create some sort of a dangerous situation for the person that might be interested in adopting,” said Bank.

Though Bank’s statement was not directed at UP2 in particular, Pepp countered the executive director’s remarks in an online letter to Bank, in which she referred to the statement as “a complete fantasy.”

“Once a dog either bites a human or dog, or is bitten by another dog, they become Department of Health (DOH) cases, meaning they can't be adopted by the general public.” Pepp continued, “In fact, over 90 percent of DOH cases are killed the day after their hold is up without being seen on the public euthanasia list. So it is physically impossible for a person to do what you suggested, Julie, and come to the shelter to adopt a dangerous dog.”

Pepp is part of a growing chorus of animal welfare advocates who are critical of Bank’s management style as well as ACC’s symbiotic relationship with NYC’s DOH, which provides the shelter with the lion’s share of its budget.

In 2011, ACC’s total operating budget was approximately $9.2 million, of which $7.1 million, or 77 percent, was provided by the DOH. Additionally, ACC’s entire seven-member Board of Directors was appointed by the city and is headed-up by DOH Commissioner Thomas Farley.

In February, Bank’s two year contract as ACC executive director was renewed by the DOH for another two years.

As a result of their strained relations, Pepp refused to say which rescue organizations supply her with the euthanasia lists every day, fearing ACC would retaliate against those nonprofits.

To learn more about Urgent Death Row Dogs and how you can help them save animals scheduled for euthanasia visit And to receive daily alerts on Facebook of shelter animals facing next-day euthanasia, search Urgent Part 2 and Pets on Death Row to locate and like the nonprofit’s page. To save the life of a shelter animal that is on ACC’s euthanasia list email or
call 212-639-9675. BlkBx