The mayor's executive order suspends longstanding shelter guarantees for families with children as the city braces for an influx of migrants.
The emergency center will provide temporary shelter in giant tents on an island off Manhattan.
There have been steep rises in people living in temporary accommodation since Covid hit.
“Take a moment to let that sink in… 319 animals are snoozing on couches instead of sitting in kennels,” the organization wrote on Facebook.
One North Carolina shelter is trying to adapt so it can keep serving up to 150 meals a day during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Don’t relax. Don’t get complacent,” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said.
The "psychological and emotional impact is forever," the official said.
Maintenance of the shelter system, which once entailed federal funding to stock shelters with food and water, ended decades ago.
Shelter pets were flown out of Florida to make way for abandoned animals in the wake of Irma.