Willowbrook Park

The Daily Plant : Monday, February 24, 2003


Tired of coming home to an empty house? Perhaps you and your family are looking for a little furry companion to keep you on your toes. Instead of going to the pet store or a fancy breeder, open your heart to a New York City animal that is desperately looking for a home. For the first time, Parks & Recreation has partnered with the Center for Animal Care and Control (CACC) to provide all Parks & Recreation employees with the opportunity to adopt a stray or abandoned pet. Commissioner Adrian Benepe recently welcomed a brand new kitten from the CACC into his family and decided to launch a series of Pet Adoption Days at Parks.

"My family adopted a beautiful ‘Tuxedo’ cat with great black and white patterns and a magical spirit," said Commissioner Benepe. "We are so happy to have Kicia (Polish for ‘kitten’) and I want to encourage all Parks employees who are looking for a pet to adopt from the CACC. You will save a life and enrich yours. Thanks to the efforts of the Urban Park Rangers, we will be offering pet adoption events in each borough."

Director of the Urban Park Rangers, Sara Hobel, has also been known to welcome a stray animal or two into her own home. To date, Director Hobel and her family are the proud caretakers of a large Flemish Giant rabbit, five cats, a lizard, two horses, and a frog – all of which were adopted. "I’m not sure who will benefit more from this new initiative, the Parkie or the pet," said Director Hobel.

Commissioner Benepe will kick-off Pet Adoption Day at the Arsenal Gallery on Tuesday, February 25 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. The CACC, in partnership with the Urban Park Rangers, will have over a dozen cats and dogs "on lease" that are ready for adoption. If an on-site animal doesn't capture your heart, the CACC will also have catalogs you can search through to find the perfect pet.

From the infamous "Damon the Caiman" to pythons to less ferocious kittens, pups and bunnies with floppy ears, the Urban Park Rangers rescue over 400 animals each year that have been abandoned in City parks. The Rangers offer the following information if you see a stray or abandoned animal.

  • If you spot a possible stray animal in the park call Central at 1-800-201-7275.
  • Provide the responding officer with the animal's description and exact location.
  • For your safety and the animal's well being, do not handle the animal in any way.
  • If deemed necessary, Central will dispatch a Ranger to the site for a capture/rescue.
  • Dogs and cats are transported to a nearby CACC facility, while injured wildlife are taken to a wildlife rehabilitator.

The Center for Animal Care and Control (CACC) is a not-for-profit organization that rescues, cares for and finds homes for homeless and abandoned animals in New York City. The CACC has a facility located in each borough and annually accepts more than 56,000 stray, abandoned and unwanted animals. For more information about CACC, call 1-888-SPAY-NYC or visit www.nycacc.org.

An adoption day has been scheduled in the Bronx on Wednesday, March 12 at Hunts Point Recreation Center, and one in Staten Island at Willowbrook Park on Wednesday, April 23. Pet Adoption events will also soon be held in Brooklyn and Queens. At all venues, CACC cats and dogs will be on site for immediate cuddling and adoption. For more information about pet adoption in each borough, Parkies can contact the Urban Park Rangers at 212-360-2774.

Remember a rabbit or dog or cat may look cute, but owning a pet is an important responsibility. Make sure that you research what type of animal will best fit into your life before making the decision to adopt.

Written by Jocelyn Aframe. Luke Gebhard, Sarah Kay, Yvonne McDermott & Rich Simon

contributed to this article.



Please make an appointment to participate in the annual Parks Blood Drive on Thursday, February 27 and Friday, February 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. For an appointment, contact:

Arsenal Hedi Piel (212) 360-3442

Arsenal North Luke Gebhard (212) 360-2776

Arsenal West Tarice Harris (212) 830-7814

Manhattan Borough Veronica Llanos (212) 408-0221

Central Park Conservancy Nadiege Jean (212) 310-6635

Volunteers are needed for sign-in and canteen duty, so if you can’t donate blood, you can volunteer your time. For more information call (212) 360-3442.


Hamlet: "The cat will mew, and dog will have his day."

William Shakespeare


Directions to Willowbrook Park

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