Christine Drakatos wasn't allowed to have cats as a kid.
"Everyone in my house was allergic to them, so we couldn't have them," Drakatos said.
But in her native Astoria she still found a way to make cats without homes, her own.
"I used to rescue cats in the alleyway and take them home, nurse them back to health, and then put them back out again," Drakatos said.
That was only the beginning for Drakatos. Now she dedicates her life to rescuing abandoned, abused, and stray dogs and cats all along the Rockaway Peninsula.
Drakatos is the founder of the non-profit "Brat Rescue."
Since 2008, she has rescued and found homes for hundreds of pets from abusive owners and those dumped on the streets.
She also feeds dozens of feral cat colonies.
Drakatos responds to animals in need 365 days a year.
"My safety is the last thing I think of. It's the animal, getting it safe, and getting out of there real quick. That's what I focus on," Drakatos said.
Drakatos' mission is supported mostly with money from her own pocket.
But she also relies on a small network of foster families to help rehabilitate dogs to get them ready for adoption, like Dino.
Drakatos found him sick, roaming the streets of Far Rockaway.
"She's pretty remarkable. Not many people would do what she does and she does it day in and day out in all kinds of weather, she's really like I said, she's a warrior. And she does it for animals who don't have a voice, you know, who can't help themselves," said Mollie Traversa, Dino's adopter.
The long-term goal for Drakatos is to open a permanent facility so she can open her doors and her heart to more animals in need.
"I go home bruised and battered, just like the dogs that I rescue. I feel a connection with these animals - they're taken for granted. These animals are broken. They need someone to stand up for them. And this is my goal," Drakatos said.
So for being an advocate for the city's four-legged friends, Christine Drakatos is our New Yorker of the Week.