2016 was a tremendously successful year for Kent Animal Shelter in Calverton, who had a recording breaking number of pet adoptions - with 1,064 adoptions total, an 18 percent increase from 2015.
"The adoption numbers keep increasing every year because the shelter is partnering with more animal rescues to save pets in crisis situations. Kent is partnering with the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, Society for Companion Animals out of Dallas Texas, The All SATO Rescue out of Puerto Rico, The Grand Bahama Humane Society, The SOI Dog Foundation, Barks of Hope also out of Puerto Rico, Saving the Animals of Rowan County, Kentucky, Potcake Place out of Turks and Caicos," said Pamela Green, Executive Director of the Kent Animal Shelter. "We work hard every day to get the word out to our growing network of pet loving friends and followers, highlighting the plight of these animals."
All of the adopted pets were spayed/neutered, microchipped, vaccinated, and vetted. So, not only were these furry friends guaranteed loving and safe homes, but they were also able to be a part of the greater effort to reduce pet homelessness through excess litters. Overall, the Kent Animal Shelter wellness clinic performed 3,708 spay/neuter surgeries in 2016.
"When one cat or dog can have one or two litters each year, and each of those pets can in turn have litters, the problem compounds very quickly," said Green. "A big reason for pet homelessness is unwanted litters so a big part of the solution is pet sterilization. We're grateful to PetSmart Charities for not only recognizing the reality of the situation but giving us resources to help deal with it."
The Calverton-based shelter is already off to a great start in 2017. Once again, for the fifth year in a row, Kent Animal Shelter was awarded a PetSmart Charities grant that will allow them to continue to offer an on-site clinic that provides low cost pet sterilizations for Long Island pet owners. These efforts are part of the larger campaign to against pet homelessness in our region.
Shona was among adopted Kent residents. (Courtesy Photo)
"Over the years, I have seen the shelter consistently grow in it's ability to reach out to greater numbers of animals in crisis situations," explained Dr. Charles Timpone, Board President of the Kent Animal Shelter. "Although the mission is the same, the dynamics of the organization have evolved significantly to achieve the ultimate goal of saving as many lives as possible."
In February, Kent Animal Shelter will address "kitten season" by offering its "Beat the Heat" special for $20 spay surgeries for female cats. During the spring, animal shelters often receive the largest arrival of unwanted litters, which makes it difficult to find homes for the influx of kittens. The PetSmart Charities sponsored campaign helps prevent unwanted litters by making the cost of spay and neuter surgeries even more affordable.
"Female cats can have as many as three litters a year, and kittens can breed as young as four months old," noted Green. "Most people don't want to see their cat get pregnant over and over again, so hopefully our 'Beat the Heat' campaign will serve as a gentle reminder to cat owners to sterilize their cats before they go into heat this year."
In addition to preventing unwanted litters, spaying a female cat before its first heat cycle can improve the health of the animal because it can decrease the risk of certain reproductive cancers and infections.
The procedure is safe for kittens as young as eight to ten weeks old, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. To take advantage of the offer, make sure to mention the "Beat the Heat" campaign when you schedule the appointment. The "Beat the Heat" campaign is based on availability.
Kent Animal Shelter is located at 2259 South River Road in Calverton. For more information, call 631-727-5731 or visit kentanimalshelter.com.