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Hamptons-Based Library Promoting Animal Adoption Through Art

Nicole Barylski

Georgette is awaiting a forever home. (Photo: Dee McMeekan/ Dee is for Dogs.)

Montauk Library has partnered with Theresa Maritato of Theresa's Programs to present a creative, innovative program that will bring awareness to and potentially lead to a local shelter animal finding a forever home.

"'Adopt Me' Portraits is one of my favorite programs because it connects children and teens with their local animal shelter," Maritato explained. "Children and teens get to be creative, while making a difference in the community."

Rocco, who was adopted from the Town of North Hempstead, posed with his new family and his portrait painted by Alan at the Shelter Rock Library. (Courtesy Photo)

During the workshop on Saturday, January 27, children will be able to paint portraits of adoptable shelter animals from Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, Inc. (ARF) that they feel a connection with. All of the featured fur babies are currently awaiting adoption at ARF.

The completed masterpieces will be used at ARF to aid in the awareness of the animal's need for a permanent household. "Whoever adopts the animal gets to keep a personalized portrait of their new family member," Maritato said. "It's a win-win for all."

At least five ARFans, including cats Gingerbread and Nitro and dogs Jada, Apollo and Georgette, will serve as models.

"We are thrilled that Theresa is highlighting some of our adoptable animals, as well as bringing attention to the children who take her class about their community shelter and what we do here at the ARF Adoption Center," Jamie Berger, Director of Marketing & Communications at Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, shared. ARF rescues cats and dogs, and also offers care and refuge for residents as they await a forever home. Since its inception in 1974, the shelter has saved 25,000 cats and dogs.

The "Adopt Me" Portraits program has had tremendous success at other libraries across Long Island. "I can't tell you how much I love these portraits!" reflected Cheryl Noble Scholz of Babylon Animal Shelter. "Sometimes the kennels can be a little scary when the dogs bark when you walk down the aisle.
These pictures allow for a cheerful look at each dog's true nature."

"We hope to bring awareness to our community of all the wonderful animals that are available for adoption at ARF and all animals shelters, and also hope to teach the children participating in the program about animal shelters and how they can help," added Jacqueline Bitonti, Head of Youth Services, Librarian, Montauk Library.

Nitro is also awaiting a forever home. (Photo: Sole Riley)


There is no fee to participate in "Adopt Me" Portraits, but registration is required and space is limited. The class will begin at 2 p.m.

Additionally, ARF is hosting a Sharing the Love! Open House and Low Cost Clinic on Sunday, February 11 at the ARF Adoption Center (124 Daniels Hole Road, Wainscot). From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., low cost vaccines for FVRCP, DA2PP, bordetella, and rabies, and microchipping will be available for cats and dogs for $10. There is a $25 fee for each vaccine for unaltered animals.

Montauk Library is located at 871 Montauk Highway in Montauk. For more information, call 631-668-3377 or visit www.montauklibrary.org. For more information about Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, visit arfhamptons.org.


Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski




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