Bronx animal shelter on its last legs

Pedro Rosario (c), runs the Bronx’s only no-kill animal shelter that is in danger of closing next month. With him, volunteer Danielle Benbrahim and Senator Jeff Klein at the Fall Festival at Holy Cross School in Soundview on Sunday, October 19. Also pictured is Rufus, a mixed-breed dog available for adoption.
Photo by Edwin Soto

The only animal shelter in the Bronx may be shutting its doors.

New Beginning Animal Rescue, a no-kill shelter which is the only Bronx-based rescue organization with its own facility, will close in November unless significant funds are found.

Pedro Rosario founded the non-profit rescue group in late 2010 in connection with his for-profit animal boarding company, NYC’s Top Dog, just south of Westchester Square.

The animal boarding business cannot support the shelter, and for the past year Rosario has been digging into his own pockets and relying on small donations to keep the shelter, with it’s $8-10,000 operating costs, open each month. But Rosario said he can’t continue on that path much longer.

The lease on his building is up in November, and the renewal will probably include a rent increase.

“We can’t afford what we have now,” Rosario said.

He is hoping to place most of his animals, about 40 dogs and 20 cats, in homes before the shelter closes. The animals he cannot place will be brought to New York City Animal Care and Control Center, which does not have a no-kill policy.

“Sending them to ACC is a last resort,” said Rosario.

Rosario, who was invited to fundraise and showcase his dogs for adoption by Senator Jeff Klein, was joined by Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda and Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, at the senator’s fall festival at Holy Cross School in Soundview on Sunday, October 19.

“As the safe haven for hundreds of abused or neglected animals a year, New Beginning Animal Rescue is a treasure the Bronx cannot afford to lose,” said Klein in a statement. “We will do all that we can to ensure that this vital organization is able to keep its doors open for years to come.”

But the $350 raised at the event did not put a dent in the shelter’s expenses.

Rosario said he’s praying for an angel donor, someone who can cover at least half the shelter’s expenses in order to keep it open.

“Nobody else is doing what we do,” said Rosario.

While he’s searching for a solution in the next month, Rosario is hoping that Bronxites will come forward to take his animals into their family.

“We’ve got a lot of nice, healthy dogs ready to go home,” said Rosario. “They’ll be a special someone coming into your life and giving you love.”

To contact Rosario about adoption or donations, call (347) 691-3282, or email newbe‌ginni‌ngani‌malre‌scue@‌gmail.com.

Reach Reporter Jaime Williams at 718-260-4591. E-mail her at jwill‌iams@‌cnglo‌cal.com.

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