ASPCA, Police Team Up to Help Queens Pet Owners

ASPCA, Police Team Up to Help Queens Pet Owners

 Butter waits in line with his owner, Kendall Hawkins, of Jamaica, to receive a free dog house.  Photo courtesy ASPCA

Butter waits in line with his owner, Kendall Hawkins, of Jamaica, to receive a free dog house. Photo courtesy ASPCA

Queens dogs in danger of being left out in the cold during this frigid winter recently landed some help from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the nonprofit New York Cares and the NYPD.

The three organizations partnered to launch “Operation Gimme Shelter,” a pilot program to provide free dog houses to at-risk pets, which comes in the wake of an increased number of reports to the NYPD about dogs left outside without property shelter during a winter with brutally cold temperatures and record-breaking snowfall.

Working on such cases together, the ASPCA has learned from the NYPD that many pet owners lack the resources or knowledge to provide appropriate housing for their pets. As an attempt to help animals in need, the “Operation Gimme Shelter” is designed to connect at-risk pets in Jamaica’s 113th Precinct with appropriate dog houses.

“The ASPCA recognizes that providing free dog houses and support can be effective means of creating a better environment for these animals,” said Allison Cardona, director of the ASPCA Cruelty Intervention Advocacy program. “Much of what we do involves building trust so pet owners understand that our goal is to help both them and their animals.”

New York Cares Executive Director Gary Bagley echoed this sentiment.

“New York Cares is excited to team up with the ASPCA and NYPD to provide these important shelters to Queens residents,” said Bagley, whose volunteer organization provides numerous services to city residents, from reading to children to providing job training, serving meals to the homeless, and donating coats to those in need. “This partnership will help us to continue to provide holistic and innovating support to communities throughout the five boroughs.”

In addition to the free dog house, pet owners will receive identification tags, one bag of free dog food, behavioral support for their pets, and educational materials. The ASPCA will also provide information on the group’s free and low-cost spay, neuter and veterinary services.

Earlier this year, the ASPCA announced it was partnering with the NYPD to provide enhanced protection to animals throughout the five boroughs. As part of this partnership, the NYPD takes the lead role in responding to all animal cruelty complaints in the city, while the ASPCA expands its direct care support for animal cruelty victims, including medical treatment, behavior assessments and rehabilitation, and housing and placement.

To report animal cruelty in any of the five boroughs, the public is encouraged to call 311 or submit a complaint online at


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