Hello and welcome to my first “5 Favorite New Yorkers” of 2015.
As always, these choices are based on this dog’s opinion of each candidate’s dog friendliness, canine advocacy, good-eggishness, and general New Yorkitude.
In no particular order and without further ado…
Albert the Dog’s 5 Favorite New Yorkers for January
1. The New York City Council: My People don’t always approve of the city government, but last month, the City Council voted 49-2 in favor of legislation to outlaw pet stores in the city from buying animals from brokers and from breeders who have violated the Animal Welfare Act. As reported by the ASPCA, this legislation is “designed to prevent pet stores in New York City from obtaining puppies from some of the most unscrupulous puppy breeders—a.k.a. puppy mills—in the nation.”
While it doesn’t solve the problem of unethical dog breeding, we think this effort, led by council member humans Mr. Corey Johnson and Ms. Elizabeth Crowley, is a step in the right direction. Also passed was legislation to ban pet stores from selling rabbits, which are often abandoned to shelters or left in parks where they are unable to fend for themselves. Finally, the City Council also voted in favor of legislation requiring pet stores to spay/neuter all cats and dogs sold.
2. Scott Cacciola: Mr. Scott is a reporter for The New York Times whose job is to cover the New York Knicks, a team of humans whose job is to try to put a ball through a hoop more times than the other team does. This sounds like the kind of thing I would do for fun, or at most, for a few duck jerky treats. But apparently some humans get paid millions of dollars to do this.
Despite the fact that their job is probably a lot more fun than say, working in a coal mine or trying to prevent the spread of Ebola, the Knicks, having jettisoned some of the higher-paid humans from their roster, are currently so bad that they may end up setting an NBA record—and not in a good way (their win-loss record at the time of posting is 5-35). They exhibit a level of enthusiasm and commitment to the task matched only by me at bath time. So spare a thought for Mr. Scott, whose job has become so joyless that the Times solicited suggestions for higher-level basketball games—perhaps at the high-school or college level—for its “beleaguered reporter” to cover.
Perhaps Mr. Scott should just switch to another sport and cover the Puppy Bowl, which is coming up soon. Meanwhile, the Knickerbockers may want to look into signing this prospect, who at least demonstrates better dribbling skills than their current lineup.
3. Christina Ha and Emilie Legrand: Ms. Christina and Ms. Emilie are the co-founders of Meow Parlour, New York’s first cat café. Contrary to my initial assumption, this is not a place where you can go to eat sandwiches and quiche made out of cats. Instead, it is a place where humans can go to hang out with adoptable cats from KittyKind rescue while eating pastries and drinking tea. You can read more about it here.
I can’t imagine why anyone would want to spend their free time brushing cat dander and croissant crumbs off their trousers, but apparently there are many misguided humans out there who find cats appealing. So despite my reservations, I think the founders of Meow Parlour should be applauded for their efforts to help get these unfortunate individuals off the streets. I guess it’s nice that they’re helping the cats get adopted, too.
4. Julie Hecht: Ms. Julie is a canine behavioral researcher based in New York. She tweets @DogSpies and blogs at Scientific American. Her recent post on how humans try to initiate play with dogs, and how that may affect whether or not dogs get adopted, is informative and thought-provoking.
There you have it! If you have nominations for February, please let me know in the comments or by e-mail.
Photo credit: D. Shankbone, Wikipedia Commons