Only Bronx animal shelter at risk of closing

New Beginning Animal Rescue founder Pedro Rosario with recently abandoned Samantha, a one-year-old pit bull terrier mix. The only shelter in the Bronx is in danger of closing for lack of funds.
Photo by Jaime Williams

The Bronx’s only animal shelter is running out of time and money.

New Beginning Animal Rescue, the only Bronx animal organization with its own facility, is in danger of closing in a matter of months.

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

For the first year or two, Rosario said the company was able to support the non-profit rescue group by boarding dogs for other rescue groups, but in the past year business has slowed.

Several months ago the shelter, which has a no-kill policy, ran out of money, and it has been in a precarious situation ever since. Donations have helped keep the shelter afloat until now, and Rosario said there is enough to stay open for two more months.

Beyond that, Rosario doesn’t know what the shelter’s fate will be. He’d like to see it prosper and continue to serve the community, but he’s afraid he’ll have to shut his doors.

Long term solution

Rosario said that while all donations are helping in the short term, he is looking to a long term solution through a private sponsorship or public funding. In order to keep the shelter open for the foreseeable future, he said he needs consistent help to cover his $10,000 a month operating costs.

The shelter has three employees, down from five, and ten volunteers who care for the dozens of animals that Rosario and others rescue and try to place for adoption.

Rosario said the dogs they take in are found in the street, are surrendered by owners, or are rescued from NYC Animal Care and Control centers before they are euthanized.

City shelter needed

There is currently no Animal Care and Control center in the Bronx, and Rosario said the presence of one would help the animal situation in the borough. But he feels there also needs to be a private no-kill shelter, which he is struggling to provide. If it were to close, some animals would be given to other rescue groups, Rosario said, but others would have to go to Animal Care and Control.

And without the shelter’s services, “There’d be more animals on the streets,” he said.

Helping students

In addition to saving animals, Rosario’s shelter also helps students from local schools who intern there. Rosario said that working at the shelter gives the kids an idea of how to treat animals gives them something productive to do after school..

“It takes kids off the street,” he said. “They come here, interact with the animals, get school credit and they learn something.”

Rosario, who has worked with animals his entire 19-year career, wants the chance to continue to help both animals and people.

“We’re here for the community,” he said.

For information about donating or adopting, visit or call (347) 691-3282.

Reach Reporter Jaime Williams at (718) 742–3383. E-mail her at

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