The 49th Precinct is joining together with the ASPCA to hold a ‘Pet Party in the 49th’.
The precinct, which like all NYPD commands, handles animal cruelty complaints, is co-hosting the event at Bronx Park East and Lydig Avenue on Saturday, November 15.
The party is from noon to 3 p.m. and will include a mobile unit from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), said Detective Victor DiPierro of the 49th Precinct Community Affairs office.
“We are doing this because of an increase in complaints we received over the past several months at our community council meetings regarding cruelty to cats and other animals,” said DiPierro. “We are just trying to do something proactive for our community here to show them that we do indeed care about these complaints.”
The event will include free vaccinations and microchips (for identification) for cats and dogs, as well as Halo brand pet food and blanket giveaways, all while supplies last.
In addition, there will be information about preventing animal cruelty, said DiPierro. There will also be material about pet care and disaster preparedness.
Vouchers to spay and neuter pets, as well as vouchers for large outdoor dog houses, will also be distributed, the detective said.
Everything at the event is free, he added.
“We are hoping that people take advantage of this free service that the ASPCA is providing on this particular day at those hours,” said DiPierro. “If anybody has any questions they can call me at my line, community affairs, (718) 918-2025.”
A spokeswoman for the ASPCA stated in an e-mail that the event is only for residents of the 49th Precinct. The 49th Precinct and Community Board 11 have the same boundaries.
“We are excited to partner with the NYPD and the 49th Precinct to provide a critical resource to pet owners in the area at no cost, as well as provide information to residents that can help prepare them and their pets in the event of a disaster or emergency,” said Colleen Doherty, manager of the ASPCA’s Cruelty Intervention Advocacy program.
Bernadette Ferrara, a local advocate for animals and one of the founders of the Bronx Animals Shelter Endeavor (B.A.S.E.), an effort calling for an animal shelter in the borough, said that the 49th Precinct needs to be more helpful to the volunteer rescuers who are taking care of feral cat colonies.
These rescuers, she said, often suffer abuse by property owners while doing what they believe is helpful to the community.
While she seemed receptive and supportive of the actions that will take place at the Pet Party overall, she was critical of the response the 49th Precinct has shown for animal-related complaints and 911 calls that do not involve dogs.
She said a “point person” is needed at the NYPD to reach out to regarding animal issues in the area.