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"One can do much.  And one and one and one and one can move mountains. ~ Joan Ward-Harris

     The Compassionate Action Team (CAT) is a club for New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) employees who love animals and want to help them. CAT’s mission is to promote humane education of adults and young people and to mobilize the vast talents and energies of concerned NYCHA employees to help improve conditions for animals in New York City and throughout the world.

      The group will work to raise awareness among its members and others of various animal issues such as companion animal overpopulation and low-cost spay-neuter programs, the crisis in the food animal industry and the effects of meat production on the environment, animals and human health, easy ways to help animals, e.g. buying cruelty-free products that have not been tested on animals, etc.  Many people love animals but do not realize how their actions cause so much unnecessary suffering.

      The Club will also reach out to NYCHA’s Community Operations Department in an effort to help address resident/animal issues such as dog bite prevention, low-cost neutering programs, urban wildlife issues, humane projects for seniors, and humane education for youth.

      CAT will strive to make a kindler, gentler world by speaking out for the voiceless and developing and implementing programs aimed at raising awareness and helping the helpless.

 Current programs include: 

Friends of the CACC Animals

CAT works closely with the Center for Animal Care and Control (CACC) to provide volunteer assistance where needed.   The CACC is New York City’s municipal animal shelter.  It cares for approximately 60,000 animals each year.  The CACC is forced to kill thousands of healthy animals each year for a number of reasons:

         People are still allowing their animals to breed and there are too many animals in New York City and not enough adoptions. 

         People don’t take seriously their commitment to the companion animals who are totally dependent on them.  Visit one of the CACC’s shelters and read on each cage the reason why the animal was surrendered:  “No time,” “new baby,”  “too many,” “moving,” “soiled the house,” “litter box odor,” “getting married.”

         People continue to buy animals from pet shops and breeders rather than adopting from shelters.

       The CACC takes in about 200 animals a day and has the capacity to house 1,000 in its five shelters.  You don’t have to be a genius to see that at that rate animals have to die, but we can help.

Cage Comforter Program – This program recruits volunteers to sew small comforters for the cats, kittens and small dogs at the CACC as well as making cat toys.  Over the past three months, CAT members have produced over 600 comforters and almost 700 toys.  For more information on the program, click here.

Foster Home Program – Foster homes are needed for kittens and puppies who are too young to be adopted.  Eight weeks is the minimum adoption age since by law animals adopted from shelters must be neutered before they are released.  Babies too young to be adopted do not do well in the shelter environment.  They are more susceptible to viruses that older animals easily withstand and they also do not get the socialization they need to ensure their adoptability.   There is a small window of time in which kittens and puppies bond to people.  Foster homes can provide the loving attention essential to their happy and healthy development.  CAT believes that there are NYCHA employees who can fill this important role and help save innocent lives.

Vegetarian Awareness – 97% of the cruelty to animals in this country is against food animals.  Food animal consumption is one of the leading causes of death in the United States as a result of heart disease, cancers, etc. Food animal production is one of the leading causes of environmental devastation including the destruction of the rainforest.

Not all CAT members have to be vegetarians, but all should recognize and understand the consequences of eating animals.  They can also work to improve the lives and deaths of animals raised for food on intensive factory farms.  Pressure from humane groups have recently forced both McDonalds and Burger King to require the producers of their chicken, beef and pork to institute more humane factory farming methods thereby improving the existence of these animals.

CAT sponsors vegetarian information days and food sampling in recognition of World Farm Animals Day in October and the Great American Meat-out in March.

Planned programs include:

Make a Difference Day – each year CAT members will select a project in which its members will participate on Make a Difference Day.

Pet Supply Drive – Each year CAT plans to sponsor a NYCHA-wide Pet Supply Drive to benefit animal shelters in New York City.

Poster Contests  - Recognizing that humane education is key to improving conditions for – animals, CAT plans to sponsor a poster contest each year to commemorate “Be Kind to Animals Week.”  This is a great way to raise awareness among young participants, their families and all who view the artwork when it is publicly displayed.

Spay Day – Recognizing that companion animal overpopulation is a key reason for much of the misery and suffering among animals in New York City, CAT will sponsor activities or events to commemorate Spay Day in February each year.  This could include raffling off spay/neuter certificates, arranging for low cost or free neutering through various humane organizations.

Pet Theft Awareness and Pet Tag Day – CAT would like to raise awareness of the serious issue of pet theft that exists in New York City.  Many animals are stolen each year and later sold to laboratories or dog fighting rings.  There are some simple steps that people can take to protect their companion animals.

In addition, each year thousands of animals are lost and those lucky enough to end up in shelters cannot be returned to their families because they did not have identification tags.  CAT would like to provide tags to all NYCHA employees who share their homes with companion animals and would also like to sponsor microchipping events.

Compassionate Action Alerts – Never underestimate the power of writing letters, making phone calls, signing petitions in protest to cruelty.  Over the past few years there have been great strides in improving the lives of animals as a result of pressure put on the entities responsible for the cruelty.  CAT will notify members from time to time of these alerts and will provide pre-written letters to be signed and mailed.  This is a very easy way to make a big difference.

Informational Seminars – CAT will offer informational seminars with guest speakers or videos on a variety of animal issues.

Craft Fair – In order to raise funds to implement some of the above-mentioned programs, CAT will participate in planned craft fairs or will hold its own offering items for animal lovers and their companion animals.  CAT will rely on its members to donate hand-made items to sell.

      There are many ways we can make a difference.  We would like to hear your suggestions.  Please e-mail your ideas or contact one of the CAT officers if you would like to add something to the list of planned programs and if you would like to join this exciting effort.  We will be happy to send you a free informational packet.   We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

“Nobody  made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.” – Edmund Burke

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