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Photo: Shutterstorck

Middle Village could soon be at the center of the effort to help care for pets in need after the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene applied to open a pet admission center on 69th Street.

The application, first submitted in February 2018, states that the proposed location at 66-78 69th St. would replace the current pet admission center on Queens Boulevard in Rego Park. The application is currently in the city’s land use review process and the next step is a public hearing that will be held at the regular meeting for Board 5 in April.

The requested site on 69th Street is a 1,400-square-foot commercial space within a three-story building with residential apartments above it. It was formerly occupied by Artistic Stitch, a custom apparel and signage company which relocated to Glendale several years ago.

The main reason for the move, according to the application, is that the 750-square-foot Rego Park location is “overburdened in terms of its ability to handle the current volume of animals.” The application further states that the reason the 69th Street location was selected was because of its square footage, its accessible location, it potential for renovation and its appropriate zoning district.

A number of renovations would be necessary to make the 69th Street location operational, according to the application. The space must have soundproofing, improved HVAC systems, a backflow preventer and other plumbing upgrades, improvements to street facade and inside walls, an ADA-compliant entrance and an ADA-compliant bathroom. The Rego Park facility would remain open until these renovations are completed and the new center is ready to open.

The center will continue to be operated by Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC), a nonprofit that has been operating city-owned animal shelters since 1995.

A spokesperson for the ACC described a pet admission center as “a facility that works with New Yorkers who may need to surrender their pet.” Hopeful pet owners cannot adopt directly from admission centers and they do not provide significant medical treatment, but there is a veterinary technician on site to evaluate the health of incoming animals as well as an admissions counselor to discuss options with pet owners in hopes of getting owners to keep their pets in their homes.

When animals are surrendered to the center it serves as a temporary holding location, and every night the animals that have been dropped off will be driven to the nearest full-service shelter. The admissions center will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The two ACC vans used at the location will occupy two parking spaces in an adjacent parking lot, the applications said.

In 2017, the ACC was responsible for preventing 2,531 family pets from being surrendered, returning 1,920 animals to their homes and allowing 7,010 animals to get adopted into new homes, according to its website.

The storefront at the corner of Metropolitan Avenue and 69th Street in Middle Village (photo via Google Maps)

The storefront at the corner of Metropolitan Avenue and 69th Street in Middle Village (Photo via Google Maps)

The next meeting for Board 5 will take place on April 11 at 7:30 p.m. inside the cafeteria at Christ the King High School. Members of the community will have a chance to comment on the proposal during the public hearing and can register in advance to speak during the hearing by calling the community board at 718-366-1834.




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