IGCA Rescue Upstate New York,
Boroughs & Beyond IG Rescue (NYC/Long Island)
Since New York is one of the larger states both by geography and by population in the Northeast, doing rescue can really vary based on location. Generally, the state has been shared with upstate and downstate regions who work together to accommodate many dogs needing to find new homes, and to handle a large volume of adoption applications received every year. Over the years the upstate region has been defined as beginning just North of the suburbs of New York City and goes all of the way until the Canada border near Buffalo. The downstate region has encompassed the five boroughs (Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island), the suburbs of NYC, and the counties of Suffolk and Nassau on Long Island too. Within the downstate region historically there have been a few rescue representatives, dividing up the counties of NYC, helping minimize transportation costs between the areas which are separated by toll bridges, or require mass transport to be used. The upstate region consists of the capital district area around Albany, and areas further north and west too where a network of volunteers help to move dogs across hundreds of miles often.
IG Rescue in downstate NY began around 1998 in the NYC area, and the upstate group had started accepting and placing dogs even before then. In addition, many IGCA breeders had also been involved in rescue activities much prior to the formation of IGCA Rescue in New York. Rescue in nearby New Jersey had been happening on an as-needed basis by an IGCA breeder who also helped place homeless IGs into new homes, and in 2001 the NYC rescue became more involved in placing dogs throughout New Jersey. IGCA Rescue is an approved New Hope Partner in coordination with the Animal Control Centers of NYC.
The downstate region (including parts of NJ and Eastern PA) once averaged about 35 dogs being placed into homes every year in the early 2000's. The upstate rescue places a dozen or two dogs a year too. The number of dogs needing rescue fluctuates every year in all areas, and even throughout the United States. Italian Greyhounds across New York State that come into the IGCA Rescue program typically come from owner surrender situations. A smaller percentage come from other shelters who either do not have space, the expertise, or a population who may be interested in adopting an Italian Greyhound. Many of the largest shelters within the state place Italian Greyhounds into homes directly. However, some shelters do prefer IGCA Rescue help with placements, take dogs who need specialized care, or that do not take well to being in a shelter environment. All dogs go into private foster homes across the New York so they can be sized up for personality type, housebreaking needs, medical needs, and a general understanding of what type of adoptive home they would do best in.
Within the metropolitan area of NYC, there are challenges not encountered as frequently in other areas. First and foremost, the majority of the population lives in apartments which means no fenced yards, dogs have to go out on a leash all the time, plus lots of people and commotion which can overwhelm some dogs. Shy or skittish dogs, or those who are easily spooked will not do well living within NYC. Many buildings do not allow pets or will try to evict you if your pet has separation anxiety, so rescue has to verify before every adoption that pets are allowed no matter if a potential home rents or owns their living space. Families who work 8 hours a day will likely need a dog walker to help care for their pets during the day, as getting around the city can be time consuming due to the number of people, traffic or delays in mass transport. Veterinary care within and around NYC is extremely expensive, and costs incurred by rescue are higher than in many parts of the country. (The cost to fix an broken leg in or around NYC easily exceeds $5000, and dental cleanings often start around $500 not including any extractions, x-rays or extras.) Finally, dogs using mass transportation within the city must be within carriers while riding the subway or train metro systems which service outlying areas of the city.
In the upstate area of New York, the distances are much larger than in the city. So, volunteers are needed to help foster, transport and help with other aspects of rescue. Within cities owners may rent apartments or homes and face similar housing challenges to NYC. However, in cities and the rural areas people need to have a fenced yard where the dog can exercise itself without being able to escape, or where other dogs or animals cannot gain access to the owner's property.
Pet restrictions really vary based on the city, or county, which a person lives within NY state. Some cities have a limit of 2 or 3 dogs per home, while in New York City there is not an official limit for private homes. However, some areas do have stricter regulations. In NYC there are condos and coops that are apartments that people own. Each building has rules and restrictions regarding pets. Some buildings do not allow pets at all, others might restrict the number of pets or size. And, other buildings do not allow pets to ride in the elevators, or have other restrictions even.
Overall, there are generally a lot of rules that need followed to own pets in New York. In Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island, pets are generally not allowed in public parks or on beaches, with some restrictions or exceptions. Boroughs & Beyond IGCA Rescue on Long Island supports the efforts of the LI Dog organization in opening up Long Island's public parks and beaches to allow on-leash dogs throughout the communities of Long Island. Pets are an important aspect of families, and public spaces in New York should be open to everyone to use including those of the four-legged variety.