Today’s news:

New ‘Safety Net’ for Brooklyn pets in crisis

The increase in the number of animals up for adoption in Brooklyn may have less to do with the flagging economy than with the sheer mass of the borough, according to an official with Animal Care and Control of New York City.

“Brooklyn is a big borough,” said ACC Director Richard Gentiles. “We have seen this all along,” he added, noting that he has not seen “a huge spike” in the number of pet surrenders.

The number of cats an dogs given up for adoption is up close to 10 percent in January 2009, compared to last year for the same month, according to ACC.

According to reports, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has estimated that up to 1 million cats and dogs nationwide are at risk of becoming homeless as a result of the economic downturn.

ACC has teamed with the Humane Society to create a program called Safety Net, which offers a host of services to owners so they don’t have to give up an animal when tough times hit. The program offers low cost boarding services, legal services, and even food to qualified owners. Information on the program is available through the ACC’s website,

Gentiles said his not−for−profit agency is facing potentially damaging budget cuts of its own. “Our concern now is to bring in enough money to offset those cuts,” he said “That’s why our fundraising is critically important. We don’t want to impact the care to the animals.”

ACC’s Brooklyn facility is located at 2336 Linden Boulevard.

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