Stray Animals in New York City

In an interview with Nisa, a sophomore in the NYC iSchool, she talks about her helping animals without a home aka stray animals. “I have a backyard and stray cats go there all the time… I feed them and give them blankets if it’s cold or raining.” People like Nisa are trying to end the issue of stray cats and dogs in New York City.

Stray animals are animals that roam around on it’s own without any human supervision. They depend on the area and environment around them to survive. Over ten thousand stray cats and dogs are scattered around the five boroughs of New York City. Stray animals such as cats and dogs can be found outside of abandon houses, parks, neighborhoods, and just about anywhere that has an open area. Some reasons why stray animals have become strays is having a previous abusive owner, the animal may have gotten lost, and much more.

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Along with stray animals, feral animals have been a problem as well. North Carolina State University has made research stating,” Feral animals are animals that were once domesticated but has now reverted to the wild.” Organizations have brought awareness to this issue of stray animals around different parts of the country and city of New York The Humane Society is an organization that fights for the protection of animals of all kinds through different types of programs They have rescued over ten thousand animals each year. The Humane Society has also done research on stray and also feral cats..

On a video about specifically feral cats, Bryan Kortis, Executive Director of Neighborhood Cats stated,”originate from lost or abandoned cats whose former owners did not get them neutered.” This does not only apply to feral animals, but stray cats and dogs too. The overpopulation of these feral/ stray cats and dogs are not only putting a harm to the animals themselves, but to humans too. Some harmful things stray dogs can carry is fleas (when untreated can cause many irritating symptoms like an allergic reaction), heartworms (which affects the heart, lungs, and possibly death i not treated early enough), and many more. Diseases that stray dogs and cats can carry may also be very deadly such as distemper (which is fatal to about 90 percent of stray animals) and parvo (can cause death within days from symptoms like weakness and vomiting.) Another way stray dogs/ cats can be a harm in society is being in the streets and causing disruption like being in front of a car in the highway.

That can lead danger to both the human and the animal. A veterinarian in New York City named Dr. Aine O’Connor talked about how stray animals can be a danger in society and the consequences for that. Dr. O’Connor stated,” ..

.sick or injured stray animals are often brought in to us by local Animal Control Officers. In general, if an animal is very sick (it has been hit by a car and has multiple broken bones or internal injuries, for example) it will often be euthanized so that it does not suffer.” Consequences for having a stray animal in the streets is them being severely injured and maybe even put down because their injuries are so bad. Humans can catch deadly diseases (as said above) by these animals. There have been many solutions to these problems such as Trap-Neuter- Return.

Trap- Neuter- Return (TNR) is a solution that many organizations such as the NYC Feral Cat Initiative has used. TNR consists of capturing the stray/ feral animal, taking it to a center to be neutered, and (if the animal is not friendly enough) sent back to it’s original habitat, where the animal will be monitored by humans. If the animal is friendly to humans however, they will be put up for adoption. Because of TNR, according to an article from, it states that “.

.. Animal Care and Control (ACC) have plummeted 74 percent since 2005 (from almost 32,000 dogs and cats per year to just over 8,000), giving New York the lowest rate of euthanasia per capita of any major U.S. city.

” New York City is continuing to find a way to fix the amount of stray/ feral animals around the city. If you ever see a stray animal around, be very careful with it but also consider trying to save it since it might need help. Stray animals may be dangerous but they need a home.