This program was created by New Yorkers for New Yorkers who want to help their fellow animal lovers in need. Like many members of the animal rescue community,  Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition (BBAWC) was concerned about animals and pet owners that would likely need assistance due to the incredible destruction brought about by the COVID-19 virus. BBAWC wanted to prevent responsible pet owners from having to turn their animals into shelters because of an inability to provide food and care because of unemployment or hospitalization. With the tremendous outreach by New Yorkers to foster and help animals affected by the destruction, BBAWC saw an opportunity to facilitate a community partnership among animal lovers and pet owners in need. BBAWC hopes that this citywide initiative can continue after the virus response is over to allow New Yorkers who are not ready for a lifetime commitment with a particular animal to become aware of foster opportunities in their neighborhoods with local rescue organizations.

BBAWC was founded in 2007 as a cooperative that provides individual animal rescuers with medical, foster and adoptive support such as was otherwise found only in traditional shelters. In 2016, we created our community adoption and rescue space, Brooklyn Cat Cafe, one of a few cat cafes in the country, and the only one in greater New York City, run by a 501c3 animal rescue. Brooklyn Cat Cafe has introduced the general public to animal rescue and facilitates rescue and adoptions. The cafe has functioned as a community space where friendly felines oversee classes, films, and other fun events.