The Unwanted New York Dogs That Are Still Looking For Their Forever Homes

A New York shelter has waived all adoption fees on all dogs weighing over 45 pounds, in what they call operation "Clear The Shelters".

Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC) announced that they have waived adoption fees on all dogs over 45 pounds until August 31st, even though the fee waiver does not cover the NYC dog license fee of $8.50.

In a post shared on their TikTok channel, the animal shelter invited users to check out their dogs on the charity's website or at their location, to get a deal on their "new best furriend" before the offer ends. The shelter is trying to re-home the dogs who've been staying there longest, incentivizing their adoption by removing their fees.

The video that accompanies the announcement shows some of the dogs waiting to be adopted, and it starts with a message that says: "I've been here a while. Take a look at me first." Some of these dogs have been at the shelter for over 200 days, and while shelter workers do their best to make their lives comfortable, they must re-home as many as possible to make space for new entries.

Katy Hansen, director of marketing and communications at the ACC, told Newsweek that there is no space in their shelters, yet animals keep on being handed in. She said: "This is a problem across the nation right now and it has been steadily increasing since the beginning of the year, adoptions have gone down, but animal surrenders or keeps going on."

@nycacc

All ACC dogs over 45 pounds will be a part of "Clear the Shelters" and have their adoption fees waived until August 31st! The fee waiver does not cover the NYC dog license fee of $8.50. Visit our locations during adoption hours 12PM-5PM, or visit nycacc.app to browse all the dogs that are available to find your new best furriend! #nycacc #nyc #boroughbred #nycevents #nycfreeevents #shelterdogs #rescuedogs #adoptabledogs

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According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) approximately 6.3 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.1 million are dogs and 3.2 million are cats.

Approximately 4.1 million shelter animals are adopted each year, with 2 million of these being dogs, and 2.1 million being cats. About 810,000 animals who enter shelters as strays are returned to their owners. Each year, around 920,000 shelter animals are euthanized in the United States, including 390,000 dogs and 530,000 cats.

Shelters keep animals who struggle to be adopted for as long as they can, but the longer they stay, the harder it is to get them placed, and if there's no more room and the dog is medically sick and has a history of aggression and biting, that's when euthanasia happens, according to Hansen.

Among the 630 users who left comments under the viral TikTok video, which has received over 52,500 likes, most of them loved the dogs that the shelter is trying to re-home, while others were concerned about one detail.

One user pointed out: "all Pitbulls," and another said: "Mmmm interesting how they're all either pure Pitbulls or Pitbulls to some extent."

ASPCA says that dogs of many breeds can be selectively bred or trained to develop aggressive traits, and therefore the responsible ownership of any dog requires a commitment to proper socialization, humane training, and conscientious supervision.

But according to the website, despite best human efforts, there will always be dogs of various breeds that are "simply too dangerous to live safely in society," and the charity suggests addressing the issue by enforcing laws that hold dog owners accountable rather than breeds.

According to Hansen, the ACC do not label dogs by breed, and the main reason why large dogs like those in the video struggle to get adopted in New York is that landlords in the area have very strict pet policies, which very often don't allow large dogs.

She said: "The number one reason animals are getting surrendered in New York City is because landlords won't allow large dogs."

The most commonly adopted pets in New York are cats, and in terms of dogs, small ones are the most easily adopted in the area.

According to the dog advice website, Pawesome Advice, about 15 to 20 percent of dogs in shelters are Pit Bulls, and 80 percent of them are euthanized each year. The reason is that there is not enough space in shelters, and the adoption rate for this breed is significantly lower at only 4 percent.

Over 25 percent of Americans view Pit Bulls negatively, and this makes it three times as hard for them to be adopted as any other breed.

Other users on the social media platform jumped in to support and defend Pit Bulls. One user said: "They all have the sweetest puppy faces!! [I wish I] could take one home but my mom is terrified of anything that even remotely looks like a bully breed."

And another user answered: "Tell her there's no such thing as a bad breed or dog but only bad owners. Bad owners are what give these poor [babies'] the reputation they have."

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Pit Bull
A stock image shows a Pit Bull. A New York animal shelter have waived their adoption fees on dogs who've been there the longest, most of which, are Pit Bulls. Getty Images