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North Fork-Based Animal Shelter Hosting "An Evening Of Comedy"

Nicole Barylski

Tinkerbelle, a 2-year-old Chihuahua mix, was recently rescued after being abandoned in an apartment that her owners had vacated and brought to Kent Animal Shelter where she awaits her forever home. (Courtesy Photo)

Kent Animal Shelter, who is currently celebrating its 50th birthday, is hosting An Evening of Comedy at Hotel Indigo in Riverhead on Friday, May 4 in support of the East End's homeless animals.

"What better way to save the life of a homeless animal than to come out for a fun evening of comedy?" Pam Green, who has served as Director of the Kent Animal Shelter since 1985, asked.

Comedians from Laughter Saves Lives will provide the chuckles and amusement during the yearly comedy show, which will take place from 7 to 10 p.m.

The Calverton-based animal shelter was founded in 1968 as a private not-for-profit sanctuary for homeless pets. "The mission has remained the same, but growth has been tremendous," Green added.

The Shelter, which rescues and finds homes for over 700 dogs and cats each year - like Tinkerbelle, a 2-year-old Chihuahua mix, who was recently brought to Kent after being abandoned in an apartment that her owners had vacated, is completely dependent upon donations, grants and service fees for its operation.

In addition to saving animals that reside on the East End, Kent is a member of a global network of humane organizations working to liberate animals in crisis situations - such as pets trapped in disaster areas, high-kill shelters, puppy mills, and those suffering from neglect, cruelty, or abandonment. They also provides a cat retirement home where pet owners can plan ahead, making financial arrangements for lifetime care.

Reducing the area's homeless pet population is one of Kent's missions. The Shelter built a spay/neuter clinic in 1974 that currently offers one of the lowest cost, highest quality sterilization surgeries on Long Island. On a yearly basis the Shelter spays or neuters over 4,000 pets, which in turn reduces homeless pet populations by millions. They are able to do so through grants funded by PetSmart Charities, ASPCA, Pet Peeves, and other organizations.

The Shelter is looking to expand its reach even further with new kennels that would have state-of-the-art drainage, soundproofing and ventilation. "I hesitate to say because the years have presented many setbacks as far as updating and expanding our shelter facility, however, the shelter has reached an agreement to purchase a nearby parcel of land contingent on its ability to build kennels on it," Green noted.

Currently, Kent is using cinderblock kennels that have been in place since 1968 - which the Shelter says are "inefficient and archaic." Kent began fundraising efforts many years ago, but as the kennels are situated next the Peconic River, previous attempts to rebuild on its existing property have been opposed by the Pine Barrens Society. The land the Shelter is interested in is not located within the core of the Pine Barrens area, but it would need a special use permit from the Town of Riverhead.

Later on in the year, Kent will present its annual fall dog walk at Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard. They are planning another fundraising special event that will be announced later in the year.

An Evening of Comedy will also include snacks, a cash bar, Chinese auction, and 50/50. Tickets to An Evening of Comedy are $30 in advance and $35 at the door.

Laughter Saves Lives was founded by former New York City Firefighter, John Larocchia. The not for profit is dedicated to keeping the memory of FDNY members who lost their lives on September 11th alive while raising funds for charities, and also offer aid to First Responders with financial hardships due to an unforeseen tragedy or illness.

Hotel Indigo is located at 1830 West Main Street in Riverhead. For more information, call 631-727-5731 or visit www.kentanimalshelter.com.

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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