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Council Member Holden Calls for Creation of Animal Welfare Council Committee

Council Member Robert Holden and Rocky, his office cat (Council Member Robert Holden’s office)

Jan. 20, 2021 By Allie Griffin

Queens Council Member Robert Holden is calling on the City Council to establish a committee to protect New Yorkers’ furry friends.

Holden, who represents Middle Village, Maspeth, Glendale, Ridgewood, Woodside and Woodhaven in the City Council, penned a letter Tuesday to Speaker Corey Johnson to call for the creation of a committee on animal welfare.

Matters of animal welfare currently fall under the jurisdiction of the City Council’s Committee on Health, but Holden argued that the committee’s focus is too broad.

He wants the Council to create a committee solely dedicated to protecting animals.

“While our city and country navigate the difficulties resulting from the novel coronavirus and the economic crisis, our animals have also suffered,” Holden wrote to Johnson.

He said the animal rights issues have often been forgotten even before COVID-19.

“Even before the pandemic, animal welfare-related policy had fallen by the wayside,” Holden wrote. “Therefore, I believe it is time that we have a standalone committee for animals.”

The council member is a longtime animal advocate and has a cat named Rocky as his official district office mascot. Rocky, who was adopted from a local Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC) shelter, even has his own Twitter account.

Holden also sent a letter to the CEO of ACC on Tuesday asking the animal shelter to bring back adoption events that it has suspended due to COVID-19.

“I ask that you reconsider your policy on not hosting adoption events and instead develop a strategy that helps give these animals a new home while keeping your staff safe,” he wrote.

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