Gothamist covers ECC rescue of slaughterhouse duck
January 25, 2014
Categories: Poultry | Rescue | Wildlife


On January 21st, Gothamist featured the work of Empty Cages and one of our newest friends: "A plucky duck escaped her dinner plate fate last week by fleeing the Bushwick poultry market where she had been confined. The handsome brunette is believed to have broken free from her cage at Doubau Live Poultry on St. Nicolas Avenue, seeking refuge behind a nearby building amidst "garbage and dead Christmas trees" for nearly a week before animal rescue group Empty Cages Collective were tipped off to the refugee's hiding place. "The duck was starved and dehydrated when we finally got to her," the non-profit tells us. "But she should make a full recovery." Instead of the cramped, hectic and deadly atmosphere of the slaughterhouse, the duck will live out her days at the Indraloka Farm Animal Sanctuary in Pennsylvania, a farmed animal sanctuary run by a group of vegans, naturally. There she'll frolic in the fields free from fear with the likes of Lucy the flightless goose and Sheba the pea hen. Quite the upgrade!"

Rats Make Great Friends!
August 21, 2013
Categories: Adoptables


Adopt, never shop.  Learn more about bringing a rat into your home and helping to save a life.

Become a monthly donor!
April 1, 2013

You can now become a monthly donor and help Empty Cages Collective continue our live saving work. It's as easy as clicking the button below!

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Meet Miriam in our February Newsletter!
February 14, 2013


There's so much going on at Empty Cages this month, we could barely fit it all in one newsletter.  But we tried, and you can read all about it here.

Open Hearts, Empty Cages: Kiki!
June 16, 2010
Categories: Empty Cages

Kiki was one of three tiny kittens rescued from a feral cat colony in Fort Greene. One of our dedicated volunteers feeds the feral and abandoned strays on this block and found the litter by surprise when she was doing her daily feeding and watering of her colonies. 

Kiki and her siblings were quickly rescued (and their feral mother trapped, vaccinated, spayed and returned) and brought to Empty Cages Collective. Once they were spayed/neutered and vaccinated, the babies were ready to head home! A wonderful woman named Morgan decided she liked Kiki best! Kiki has adjusted wonderfully to the good life, loves her new big brother Bear and sleeps with her new family every night. Congratulations Kiki!

Saving Bubba!
May 30, 2010
Categories: Rescue

Bubba the little baby pigeon was brought to Manhattan Animal Care & Control by a member of the public. He was scheduled to be killed since none of the other pigeon rehabilitators was calling ACC back--and ACC wanted him out by the end of the day. Luckily for him, ECC rescued him from ACC and is currently caring for him! He will be released back into the "wilds" of Williamsburg, Brooklyn very soon! Please contact ECC if you are willing to be an emergency contact transporter to help with picking up animals from places where they are in trouble or to help with transport to and from our veterinarians. This is an important job that we always need help with! (Photo by Jessica Bruah).

You'd be nuts to pass up adopting Acorn!
April 20, 2010
Categories: Adoptables

Acorn is a nine-month old cutie who was rescued as a sick stray from the streets of Crown Heights. He's feisty and funny, he loves the culinary arts, and he's as healthy as can be... but he's still a little shy around strangers. Acorn needs a patient guardian and a quiet home to warm up to the good things life has to offer. Can you bring Acorn out of his shell?

Open Hearts, Empty Cages: Carrol & Isis!
April 18, 2010
Categories: Empty Cages

Carrol, aka Miel, was rescued from the mean streets of Greenpoint. She was found under a log sick and terrified, but not wanting to leave her perceived safe space. Carrol was the most recent target of a nearby neighbor who has made it her personal mission to kill the neighborhood's cats by capturing them and sending them to NYC Animal Care & Control to be killed. The odds were against Carrol making it to her next birthday, so Empty Cages Collective (ECC) quickly intervened.

Within a few days with ECC (with love, food and medication) her fear evaporated and she became a loving cat ready to find a home to share with a loving human roommate or two.

Carrol quickly became a favorite at the ECC shelter space, as volunteers loved to pet such a fluffy, adorable kitty. And Carrol enjoyed the space far more than when she was hungry and scared out in Greenpoint, fighting for survival and avoiding run-ins with people that think strays and abandoned kitties should be at Animal Care & Control rather than on the streets. And while ACC might keep cats sheltered from the elements, they are far more at risk of death there, in a kill shelter space. But thankfully Carrol was found and rescued before she would have to suffer that fate.

After a longer than expected stay at the ECC shelter space, Carrol was finally adopted at the end of February. Isis and Jim came to see her and fell in love with her. Her transition to her new home began a bit rough as she spent a bit of time hiding under the bed, overwhelmed by her new quarters. But she adjusted quickly and now follows her human living companions all over the house and talks to them often. In fact, on a recent long trip to the vet Carrol was calm and collected; though, understandably, she was very happy to be home when it was all over.

Isis said that it took about a full month for Carrol to be fully comfortable with her new home, but they can tell she now knows she scored well to have have such a loving home. She enjoys when friends come to visit as she gets to showcase her very sweet curious nature. And when she is not making new fans she has taken to claiming her favorite spot on the couch and in her favorite chair.

Carrol is now in the arms of a stable and loving home. What better place could there be for such a wonderful and loving cat?

Help make it possible for other cats to transition to permanent homes by DONATING to Empty Cages Collective so we can work to assist other cats to find as loving a home as Isis and Jim have given to Carrol.

Adopt Basketball!
April 13, 2010
Categories: Adoptables

Her name is Basketball, and she's ready to play... and win your heart. Basketball is a beautiful orange tabby - a healthy, voluptuous young lady who was pulled from NYC Animal Care & Control's kill list. She's energetic yet laid-back, she's a slam-dunk mouser, and she loves to cuddle. In short, Basketball is the perfect house cat - she just doesn't have a house to call her own. Can you adopt Basketball?

Open Hearts, Empty Cages: Mercury The Hen Finds Home Down South
March 22, 2010
Categories: Empty Cages

Mercury (right) with her good friend Doodle at Chocowinity Chicken Sanctuary in North Carolina

ECC Volunteer Staff Member Kelly with Mercury During a Dust-bathing Session
Some people don't look at chickens as a high priority for rescuing or deserving of compassion and care, with billions being killed each year for "food" and millions suffering to produce eggs in the US alone. Others are exploited, tormented, and killed in cock fighting and humiliating rituals like kaporos.

At Empty Cage Collective (ECC), we recognize chickens as the smart, funny, sentient beings they are, and if we can give them a helping hand or a better life, we will certainly try. The fact is, chickens are just as worthy of ethical and just treatment as any cat or dog. For one especially sweet and lucky hen named Mercury, life is now what it is supposed to be. Dusting, foraging, and living with her rooster friend Doodle at Chocowinity Chicken Sanctuary in North Carolina.

Mercury was found abandoned in a cemetery in Queens. She may have escaped a local live market where birds languish until being slaughtered for human consumption or was abandoned by someone who was "using" her for eggs and no longer had any use for her. Regardless, when ECC found out about Mercury's plight we agreed to take her into protective custody in order to provide temporary care and housing until a long-term home or sanctuary was found for her.

A volunteer staff member with Empty Cages Collective, plus 4 other native North Carolinans, happened to be taking a van down for the holidays and couldn't think of a better traveling companion than Mercury. After the 9-hour drive, Mercury and the humans couldn't be happier to reach their home. Once she arrived, it was like Mercury had always been there. She immediately covered her shiny black feathers with fresh dirt (dust bathed), started pecking for worms, and got to work removing debris from her new house. Seeing this picture, you would not believe she had ever come so close to something horrific happening to her. Her new roommate, Doodle, who was rescued after falling off a slaughterhouse-bound truck, fell in love at first sight and followed her everywhere. His natural chicken instincts were not as strong as Mercury's (he seemed a little lost until her arrival), but now he has grown into a strong protector, making sure nothing harms his beautiful hen.

We only wish all animals traditionally thought of as "food" were so lucky.