2016-10-13 / Columnists

Pets, Pets, Pets

Fall is a great time for festivals and fundraising. Pet rescue folks know this too. This “Pets” will profile four LI organizations with upcoming events this autumn. You can fill your dance card by attending all of these FUNdraiser activities. Here goes:

*On Sun., Oct. 16 from 12 to 3 p.m., Shelter Link is having a Chinese auction at the American Legion Hall in Islip, right behind Islip Town Hall on Montauk Hwy. There will be between 60 and 70 gift baskets/gift certificates at two prizes levels. The baskets, restaurant and business courtesy prize raffles will be $1 each; six for $5. The high-end prizes such as tickets to off-Broadway plays, a spring Yankee game or the NY Philharmonic, are $2 each; three for $5.

Shelter Link works with Babylon Town Shelter. Shelter Link volunteers walk and socialize the dogs. They try to get many of the Pits outside for attention and exercise each day. Besides playing in the shelter yard, the dogs are leash-walked around the fenced-in sump adjacent to the shelter. Experienced volunteers work on basic commands with the dogs.

Goldens dressed as carousel horses at the 2015 Bark Fest. Goldens dressed as carousel horses at the 2015 Bark Fest. To increase the dogs’ exposure, Shelter Link takes Babylon Shelter dogs to off-site adoption events at places like Petco, Tanner Park and grooming shops. Shelter Link arranges the Babylon Shelter appearances on “Dog Day Fridays” aired on News 12 too.

Shelter Link provides feral cat spay/neuter assistance, mostly to Islip residents because Islip Town’s been so reluctant to offer a feral program to taxpayers. Shelter Link was the driving force behind meetings and pleas to the Islip Town Board. Finally there is a drafted plan which should be starting soon.

* On Sun., Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Long Island Golden Retriever Rescue (LIGRR) will be at a Psychic Fair held at LaQuinta Inn & Suites, 10 Aero Rd., Bohemia. LIGRR will have raffle baskets.

LIGRR is also having a Comedy Night at Governors, 90 Division Ave., Levittown. Tickets are $20 in advance. Contact ligrr@yahoo.com.

“Never Miss a Golden Opportunity” is the unofficial motto of LIGRR, a proactive group whose mission is to improve the quality of life of Golden Retrievers that are neglected, abused or abandoned. Intervention is also offered to owners who can no longer care for their Goldens, while veterinary care and loving adoptive homes are provided for homeless Goldens, no matter whether the dog is a pup or a senior.

LIGRR has expanded their rescue efforts beyond the LI/NY Metro area to include Goldens airlifted from Turkey. For a brief time owning a Golden Retriever was considered a status symbol in Turkey, but now hundreds have been abandoned to fend for themselves as street dogs.

* On Thurs., Oct. 27 from 6 to 10 p.m., Last Hope Animal Rescue will be hosting a 35th Anniversary Gala at the Coral House, 70 Milburn Ave., Baldwin. The night will include a cocktail hour, dinner, dancing, DJ, Chinese auction, live auction and silent auction. We will be honoring Bill Abbott, CEO & president, Crown Media Holdings; Janine Dion, founder and executive director of Pet Peeves; Joe Greco from LI Vettes and Elizabeth Rye, investigator,

Nassau District Attorney’s office. Tickets are $85 per person, and available via PayPal at lasthopeanimalrescue.org.

I am the designated auctioneer again, and feel it’s important to engage bidders by interspersing light commentary about the items. Otherwise, you drone on into oblivion. We will be placing family Disney World passes, fine jewelry, a $200 gift certificate to Carmines in NYC and other treasures up for bid.

The Last Hope Adoption Center is in Wantagh next door to Hempstead Town Shelter. Besides placing approximately 900 cats and dogs each year in responsible homes, Last Hope has several community outreach programs. To decrease the overpopulation of feral cats on LI, Last Hope has a Fix A Feral voucher program, halving the price of spay/neuter at participating vets. We also hold free mass TNR (Trap/Neuter/Return) clinics where vets and vet techs volunteer their talent and time. At the start of 2016 we added a proactive approach. Last Hope distributed 350 free vouchers for ferals, trying to curtail the number of litters born before kitten season began in April.

Last Hope holds two free rabies vaccine clinics each year, and offers other low cost shots. We have a veterinary assistance program for pet owners facing hard times which subsidizes routine and special needs vet care. Pets benefiting from the fund included a Sheltie who received heart surgery and a Chihuahua who had orthopedic repair.

*On Sat., Oct. 29 from 1 to 4 p.m., Nassau County SPCA invites dog owners to the 4th Annual Bark Fest Pet Costume Contest & Parade near the Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre, Eisenhower Park, East Meadow. Judging begins at 2:30 p.m. The costume creativity is stupendous. Last year there were Golden Retrievers as carousel horses, a Poodle Pope, a Pug as the Mad Hatter and hundreds more. Prizes are awarded. Admission is free, but participants are asked to bring a donation of pet food to stock a pantry for owners in need.

Nassau SPCA was quite busy this summer seizing hundreds of pets and exotic animals in several hoarder cases. The agency works closely with the Animal Crimes Unit from the Nassau DA’s office. Together they enforce animal protection laws. Similar cooperation does not exist in Suffolk. Nassau SPCA has a court advocacy program where they invite members of the community to attend court proceedings of animal abusers like the couple responsible for disfiguring “Miss Harper” the Pit pup without a leg or ear. The SPCA Animal Cruelty Stoppers Program offers rewards leading to the arrest and conviction of dog fighters and other animal tormentors.

Babylon Shelter Beauties for Adoption (631-643-9270) Lamar St., W. Babylon: “Dina” and her sister “Christina” snuggle in a lobby cage while waiting for someone nice to choose them. “Ally” is a mystery. She was found with a recent spay incision and leg shaving for IV but no one has claimed her.

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