Ed Boks Takes Over
At NYC Animal Care And Control
by Sherry Morse
Edward Boks, from Maricopa County, Arizona,
is the new executive director of New York City Animal Care
and Control (NYCAC&C), a non-profit agency which also handles
animal control for New York City.
Mr. Boks was pastor of Grace Chapel of Phoenix
from the early 80s to the mid 90s. Prior to coming to New
York on a full-time basis, he worked part-time for NYCAC&C
at the same time as he was serving as the executive director
of the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control, the largest
pet adoption agency in the United States. Maricopa County
is also the home of the first municipal no-kill shelter.
Mr. Boks is a pioneer in the philosophy of
"no kill" shelters as a means of animal control. In Maricopa
County that philosophy resulted in the lowest animal euthanasia
rate and highest pet adoption rate in the county's history.
Although Mr. Boks had vowed that he would
not leave Maricopa County Animal Care and Control until the
shelter was entirely "no kill", he said that the New York
position would provide more visibility for the idea.
Currently Maricopa County euthanizes less
than 10,000 healthy, adoptable pets each year along with 17,000
ill or aggressive animals that cannot be adopted.
Boks hopes to replicate some of the Maricopa
County programs in New York where the animal care and control
problem faces many of the same challenges as did Maricopa
County when he took over the directorship there five years
As part of Boks' new tenure in New York, NYCAC&C
changed its name (it was formerly the Center for Animal Care
and Control) and formally announced its initiation of a new
philosophy to create a no-kill community and its mission to
promote and protect the health, safety and welfare of the
pets and people of New York City.
Boks hopes that over the next five years New
York City will become a "no-kill community."
That does not necessarily mean that no animals
will be euthanized.
Boks says, "The good definition of no-kill
is to get to the place where we use the same criteria when
deciding whether or not to euthanize a shelter animal as we
use when deciding whether or not to euthanize our own pet
- when it is a loving decision and not a pragmatic business
decision based on whether we have enough space."
Currently nearly 30,000 of the approximately
50,000 animals received by NYC AC&C are euthanized each year.
As one of NYC AC&C's efforts to avoid euthanizing
pets, it will become the first shelter group nationwide to
use the Pet-Ark which will link all regional shelters to help
increase adoptions and the number of lost pets reunited with
Mr. Boks hopes to further reduce the number
of animals euthanized by promoting a discount spay/neuter
program to reduce the animal population, increasing adoption
numbers by introducing a sliding scale of adoption fees, and
decreasing the number of animals taken to shelters.
He also hopes to clean up, and perhaps move,
the city's adoption centers which were found to be inadequate
in a June 2002 report by the city comptroller's office, so
they become more appealing to people looking for a pet.
Mr. Boks knows he faces a long road to achieve
all of his goals, but reminds us that, "This is a community
crisis and it's going to take a community to solve it."
© 2003 Animal News Center, Inc.