PUBLIC LIVES; Saving Animals Is Ex-Pastor’s New Mission by Nora Krug Nov, 26, 2003
A MILD allergy to cats does not keep Edward Boks from playing with kittens — or from working with hundreds of them as the new executive director of the nonprofit organization that handles most animal care and control for New York City.
In July, Mr. Boks (rhymes with ”cloaks”), a soft-spoken former pastor, came to New York from Maricopa County, Ariz., to take over the agency, New York City Animal Care and Control, which he says is in dire need of reform.
In June 2002, a scathing report by the city’s comptroller’s office concluded that agency, under a previous name, had failed to provide humane conditions for the animals in its shelters.
Mr. Boks’s plan to solve the problem centers on an ambitious agenda: to drastically cut the number of animals that are euthanized, and even turn the organization’s five shelters into ”no-kill communities” over the next five years. That does not mean, he is quick to point out, that no animals would be euthanized. Rather, it is a philosophical shift.
”The best definition of no-kill is to get to the place where we use the same criteria in deciding whether or not to euthanize a shelter animal as we use when deciding whether or not to euthanize our own pet — when it is a loving decision and not a pragmatic decision based on whether we have enough space,” he explains.