Our Mission and History

The Animal Alliance of Greater Syracuse is a public-private partnership formed in association with the City of Syracuse. Our goal is to unite local organizations to create humane solutions leading toward the day when there are no more homeless pets.

In January 2010, a group of Central New York animal welfare advocates came together  to address  concerns regarding a feral cat caretaker who was being harassed by the town where, for a number of years, she had quietly maintained a feral cat colony, practiced TNR, and cared for her community’s stray and feral cats.  A quarrelsome neighbor, in retaliation for a non-related issue, had singled out the caretaker and had goaded the town into placing the caretaker on trial, where she was subsequently fined and told to end her caretaking activities.

Out of this situation grew a realization that, as individuals concerned with local animal welfare issues, we needed to join forces, not only to advocate for the “bullied” caretaker, but to work toward the larger goal of ending the crisis for homeless animals in Central New York.  The group has been meeting weekly since that time. Our membership has grown and our objectives have expanded.

As members of the Animal Alliance of Greater Syracuse, our goals include a significant reduction in the number of homeless animals on our streets and in our local shelters as well as an end to the euthanasia of these animals.  We aspire to a community response to animal cruelty in accordance with NYS Agriculture & Market laws as well as greater compliance with licensing and nuisance laws.  As we work in respectful collaboration with one another, we also seek to educate our community so as to bring a more enlightened and responsible attitude toward the companion animals in our area.

In undertaking the first steps to forming an alliance of area animal welfare groups, agencies, and individuals, we looked to three primary models:

  • The “Asilomar Accords”, a framework for cooperation developed nationally and collaboratively among shelters, animal control facilities, rescue groups, and animal welfare/humane groups.
  • The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, a collaborative effort of NYC-area rescues, shelters, animal control, and other parties interested in addressing the needs of companion animals in the city.
  • Animal Services of Calgary, Canada, a model founded on a number of principles representing a dramatic paradigm shift from the standard Animal Services approach.  The Calgary model operates from the perspective that the objective of municipal-level legislation should be to establish community standards and create a framework for maintaining those standards, with a goal of changing behavior rather than punishing citizens and seizing animals.   This is achieved through a combination of constant, positively structured public education, a trust-based model with the citizenry, no-kill goals, and the highly innovative “My License is My Ticket Home” program.  “It’s not about enforcement, it’s about compliance.” – Bill Bruce (Calgary Director of Animal Services)

In emulating these successful models, we feel that the CNY Syracuse area can one day become a shining example of progressive animal welfare. This cannot be achieved, however, by one person or one group, or even a number of disparate groups.  It will take all of us working in partnership, in a spirit of respect and cooperation, putting aside petty differences to create this vision for the animals.

AAGS is a 501(c)3 tax exempt non-profit organization. Donations to AAGS are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.                                   next

6 thoughts on “Our Mission and History

  1. Can you help with a stray old male cat with no teeth? He needs medical attention..my sister has been feeding him but he is getting extremely thin and sleeping all the time.
    He lives between her garage and the neighbors garage. He really needs help before it gets colder at night.


  2. Thanks for the reply. How to you plan to advertise the Clinic and its services so that as many people as possible learn about it?


  3. The Animal Clinic you’re planning to build….what about a mobile animal clinic to reach the humans/animals who don’t have reliable transportation?


    • Cheryl, we did consider that. We decided against it, however, because a mobile clinic cannot handle the volume that a stationary clinic can. And we need to be able to fix as many animals as possible every single day. We are, however, concerned about those who don’t have reliable transportation. That is why, once the clinic is running successfully, we plan to offer transportation to those who need it, within a certain radius of Syracuse.


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