Will Shut Down, Dismantle All Sanctuaries As Winter Approaches

Sickening Animal Cruelty Marks Andrew Cuomo's RIOC

Updated 5 weeks ago David Stone
Geese too injured to fly cared for at the Southpoint WFF Sanctuary.
Geese too injured to fly cared for at the Southpoint WFF Sanctuary.
© David Stone/Roosevelt Island Daily

In a sickening act of animal cruelty, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp. (RIOC), headed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, set a firm date of October 24th for shutting down and dismantling all Island animal sanctuaries. According to RIOC chief counsel Gretchen Robinson, no negotiations on terms were ever acceptable.

From Difficult To A Horror Story Under Haynes & Robinson

When Susan Rosenthal headed RIOC, the ride wasn't always smooth, but there was no question of her having blood in her veins. She cared, even when she disagreed. Rosenthal was emotional, a trait we could use more of these days.

Her departure drained all the blood and warmth out of RIOC, the consideration and the virtue. 

The state agency's never been well-aligned with community interests and animal cruelty impulses have been served up before, but since an internal coup, grounded within the legal department, rolled Shelton Haynes into acting president/CEO, the cluelessness accelerated, the harshness heightened.

Backed by a passive board of directors, RIOC no longer seems to recognize any boundaries for vindictiveness and community antagonism.

Shy and hard to see, one of three injured opossums under WFF care.
Shy and hard to see, one of three injured opossums under WFF care.
© David Stone/Roosevelt Island Daily

Chief Counsel Gretchen Robinson Announces Animal Death Sentences

Here is the complete text of an email sent to legal counsels for the Wildlife Freedom Foundation, last evening, September 25th, from Robinson. 

Shelton Haynes, titular head of the agency, was copied.

"Thank you for your response. As I have repeatedly said, we cannot change/negotiate any material terms to the agreement. Therefore, since Ms. Ceruzzi is refusing to sign the agreement, we will move forward with the closure of the cat sanctuaries at all current locations (Southpoint Park, Octagon, Pony Field, and Lighthouse Park). Ms. Ceruzzi will have 30 days from the date of this email (October 24th) by which to dismantle any personal property belonging to WFF, including all wildlife and feral cats. If by that date Ms. Ceruzzi has not removed all personal property and relocated the animals from those locations, RIOC will cause the cat sanctuary locations to be closed; and will also cause the removal and relocation of the animals on its own." 

"Damn, baby, that's cold!" - Kirby on the television series Frasier.

No wiggle room, after fifteen years of mutual support, no compromise...

WFF's response, although Cuomo, Haynes and Robinson are unlikely to care...

"WFF desires to enter into an agreement with RIOC, but the agreement must be on reasonable terms.

"The RIOC' proposed License agreement overreaches in numerous areas and is well beyond what any reasonable party could agree to. Not to mention that the coercion that RIOC is placing on WFF by, among other things, threatening to evict the cats and...all wildlife...by 10/24 (particularly with winter approaching) is not going to help and it will result in greater difficulty in coming to a reasonable agreement."

Infant, abandoned bird nursed at the sanctuary.
Infant, abandoned bird nursed at the sanctuary.
© David Stone/Roosevelt Island Daily

In short, RIOC's tossed a non-negotiable agreement at WFF, well aware that it's unreasonable on its face. 

Hardball all the way with RIOC's cold hearted crew.

As we've reported, this action smells like revenge for WFF's strong support of environmental protests in Southpoint.

But isn't it about as pathetic as you can get when the weight of New York State powers up against a small nonprofit devoted to animal care?


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