NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- New York City could be increasing its investment in animals shelters by nearly $10 million over the next three years if a new plan is approved by City Council.
The agreement, announced Wednesday by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Speaker Christine Quinn, Councilmember Jessica Lappin, Health Commissioner Thomas Farley, Animal Care & Control of NYC, the ASPCA and the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals, could pave the way for the city's budget for the shelters increasing by 77 percent, or $12 million. That includes $1 million this fiscal year.
The plan would absolve the city of its legal obligation to have full service shelters in all five boroughs.
"There will be a bill introduced in August and in September, there will probably be hearings and then there will be a vote on the bill -- which we hope for the welfare of the animals passes," Jane Hoffman, president of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC Animals told 1010 WINS' Susan Richard.
1010 WINS' Susan Richard Reports
In addition, the plan would expand receiving center hours in the Bronx and Queens to 12 hours a day and 7 days per week. Currently those boroughs do not have full-service shelters and the receiving centers are open for 8 hours once or twice a week.
Furthermore, the plan would restore service to pick up stray, injured or abandoned dogs and cats 12 hours a day, seven days a week. The service had been cut due to budget issues.
The plans would also issue rules to register trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs for the control and eventual reduction of feral cat populations. It would also require that all owned free-roaming cats be spayed or neutered to reduce the number of unwanted and feral cats.
If approved by City Council, the move could also create about 100 jobs at the shelters.
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