Bideawee, one of the country’s oldest animal welfare and pet adoption organizations with locations in Manhattan and Long Island, today held a ribbon-cutting for the opening of its state-of-the-art new flagship in Manhattan’s vibrant Chelsea neighborhood. In celebration of Bideawee’s 120th anniversary, this new building — located at 152 West 24th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues) – replaces its founding midtown east location. The combined new indoor and outdoor space is a total of 9,000 square feet.
Leslie Granger, CAWA, President and CEO of Bideawee, made remarks at the ribbon-cutting, located outside in Bideawee’s newadjoiningdog enrichment park on the west side of the building. Also in attendance were New York State Senator Michael Gianaris, Deputy Majority Leader; Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal; and Alexandra Silver, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Animal Welfare, in addition to Bideawee Board members, staff, and supporters. A handful of adorable shelter dogs, currently residing at Bideawee’s new flagship, were also there to celebrate. Gianaris and Rosenthal were co-sponsors of the recent Puppy Mill Pipeline Bill, which was signed into law last year by Governor Hochul and bans the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits at retail pet stores starting in 2024.
The building — a former restaurant — has been transformed to accommodate the needs of the homeless animals Bideawee serves. The new building — more than 7,000 thoughtfully designed square feet – boasts an optimized layout for current best practices of animal care with an environmentally focused design.
Entering on the ground floor, visitors in the lobby will get a front row seat into the free-roaming cat mezzanine allowing all who enter to meet a furry friend right away. Also in the lobby, visitors can meet with an adoption counselor to discuss adding a pet to their family or stop by the Bideawee Boutique to purchase pet supplies and branded merchandise. Beyond the lobby lies the cattery featuring free-roaming communal rooms complete with perches and climbing apparatus as well as cat condos notable for their portals allowing multiple spaces for each kitten or cat and windows to the outside world.
The second floor houses plexiglass fronted kennels for puppies and dogs featuring large spaces, comfortable beds, and room for bonded pairs as well as individuals. Bars on kennels are banned in this new space, promoting face to furry-face time. Throughout the building there are several interaction rooms which will allow adopters a chance to meet and fall in love with their newest family members.
The third floor focuses on people, with flex-workstations for staff needed onsite as well as a multi-purpose room for organized activities such as volunteer trainings and meetings. This floor also houses onsite laundry and food prep facilities for both animals and people. In a strategic effort to focus on its animals first and foremost, senior management, including Bideawee’s President and CEO Leslie Granger, do not have offices in this building, intentionally dedicating as much space possible to its cats and dogs instead.
Finally, an enhanced veterinary suite comprises a full floor featuring new medical equipment such as an X-ray machine, new isolation wards as well as treatment and surgery rooms enabling the best possible care right onsite for all the animals in Bideawee’s care.
One of the most unique features of Bideawee’s new home lies just beyond the indoor space — an adjoining lot that has been transformed into an outdoor dog park. Fully fenced in and covered in cleanable artificial grass, this nearly 2,000 square foot multi-purpose enrichment space will provide room for exercise and training allowing resident pets to burn off energy as well as learn to sit, stay and other valuable tricks they will utilize in their new homes. This rare asset for a shelter located in the density of Manhattan was key to the selection of this site.
The news space will also boast a custom-built HVAC system partially funded by a grant from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. This state-of-the-art HVAC system provides 100% fresh air throughout the kennels and catteries for the best possible air quality for animals and the people who love them. In addition, a building automation system regulates temperature throughout the space while monitoring for potential emergencies, such as floods, and provides remote access ensuring immediate response to issues. The building’s north and west facing windows flood the spaces with natural light as well as allows glimpses of two kennels for dogs and puppies on the second floor to all who pass by.
Granger said, “We are so thrilled to open our doors and, as always, our hearts, to dogs and cats in need in this beautiful new facility. We have found creative means to utilize this new space in ways that far exceed our usage in our old headquarters. Our new home is meant to provide the best possible temporary housing for the animals we serve all while making it accessible for potential adopters to meet and connect with their future pets. Bideawee cannot stress enough the importance of all dogs and puppies getting sufficient training, both in shelter and in their forever homes. This new outdoor dog park provides an exciting opportunity for us to be able to start that training process. Additionally, it provides a safe and comfortable environment for our canines to run or relax outside the shelter walls. I would like to thank everyone who has helped us take this incredibly important step forward in our organization’s collective history and everyone here helping us celebrate today. I encourage everyone to stop in and take a moment to meet the sweet furry faces we get to see on a daily basis. We look forward to meeting our new neighbors and creating many more animal/human families for years to come.”
In order to fund its new home of 9,000 square feet (including both indoor and outdoor space), Bideawee has been holding a capital campaign to raise the building’s $7.5 million price tag. Currently halfway funded, the campaign will be going public in the spring. Those interested in participating in the capital campaign can contact Ilana Sarkozi at [email protected].
Bideawee, which means ‘stay a while’ in Scottish, has been finding loving homes for rescued animals since 1903. Bideawee’s mission is to create and strengthen the human-animal bond through best-in-class lifesaving and compassionate care for pets and the people who love them. In 2022:
· Bideawee found forever homes for more than 1,820 deserving animals.
· Bideawee’s volunteers and foster parents donated 42,038 selfless hours helping staff and the animals in our care.
· Bideawee placed 718 dogs and cats in foster care and has 373 new foster parents.
· Bideawee’s adoption centers performed 1,465 surgeries as well as cared for 1,837 private veterinary clients.
· Bideawee supported 755 families with compassionate end of life services for their beloved pets.
· Bideawee hosted seven webinars with 623 attendees from around the world and provided more than 1,071 spay/neuters for feral cats in NYC and Long Island.