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2010-12-22 / Columnists

Pets, Pets, Pets

Warning- the following is not jolly: “Home for the Holidays” is a seasonal campaign in many animal shelters. For an unwanted pet, prolonged life in a cage is never pleasant; and to us humans since the concept of homelessness is more heart wrenching at Christmas. Tragic too, are the countless surplus animals in New York City shelters and throughout the country facing an hourglass. They will be put death because they are not chosen fast enough. They will never reach their pup potential or show off their cat charisma. Rescue organizations have special “Home for the Holidays” promotions or adoption days in hopes that a caring adopter might notice each overlooked pet. For example, Hempstead Shelter is doing free adoptions until Jan. 15. On Long Island where most municipal shelters have open-ended stays now, certain pets may be lingering months, even years, with no prospects of a forever home. The hopelessness is even more poignant this time of year. Impounded dogs and cats may not know it is Christmas, but we do. The idea of being left behind has always bothered me. It stems from my childhood. After the holidays my mother would point to the trees still on the lots and remark that no one gave them a home; or she’d read Hans Christian Andersen’s story of the Little Match Girl frozen to death in the snow, inches from people celebrating. Hence, I can’t shake the image of the dogs and cats in the pound while everyone is making merry. Although Babylon Town Shelter animals are the dearest to me, they will not have much chance to find a home by Christmas. The shelter is closed Thursday Dec. 23 until Monday Dec. 27 because of this year’s Town calendar. (The next week the shelter is shut New Year’s Eve until Tues. Jan. 4.) Adding two truncated weeks to the shortest hours of any LI municipal shelter (M-F 10 to 3: 30; Sat. 10 to 2:30) leaves Babylon Shelter pets a narrow window of adoption opportunity. For decades, animal advocates have put expanded Babylon Shelter hours at the top of our wish list. Other Town shelters may have shortened holiday weeks but Babylon’s hours always make it difficult for working people to visit.

December 22, 2010, AMITYVILLE RECORD • 13 Therefore, the rest of this “Home for the Holidays” column will be a photo gallery, sampling the buried treasure waiting for you at Babylon Town Shelter (631-643-9270) Lamar Street W. Babylon. Check out Petfinder NY275 online for more pictures and additional choices. Then please come meet the hidden gems. First three fabulous felines:

“Charlotte” #20499 in the lobby is all decked out in her satin dress with no place to go. This 4-year-old semi-longhaired calico was surrendered because the other cats in her household bullied her. She is spayed, FeLV/FIV negative and a purring doll. “Oreo” #20501 in C-10 and his brother “Mac” #20502 in C-9 are both 1 ½ years old and were dropped off by family in October when their owner was deployed to Iraq. The boys need not be adopted together. They are big mushes. Now the dogs- a tiny Chihuahua and five “Rein Pits”:

“Blanco” #93663 is an older Chihuahua about five pounds who wandered by Delaware Avenue in Lindenhurst. Typical to his breed, he entered in October as Cujo but now loves to be held. At times he is protective when in someone’s arms. However, he is quickly adding more people to his circle of friends. “Jade” #93733 found in Wyandanch is a recent addition to the Pit plethora. She is a sweet, and crouches down in her cage patiently trying to summon you to take her outside.

“Davy Bruno” #93520 hails from Straight Path in Wyandanch. He is Mr. Mellow in the kennel and a rocket when playing outdoors. He knows enough to put on the brakes so not to soar into his favorite humans. “Louie” #93668 is a small Pit picked up in Lindenhurst who really bonded with the staff. Louie gets along with other dogs. He suffers from the curse of brindle. This color seems to be invisible to potential adopters, especially when brindle decorates a Pit.

“Brownie” #93150 is a long timer. Another Wyandanch waif from February, she grew up at the shelter where it was discovered she limped. The vet said she had a luxating patella (kneecap) in a rear leg. She never let this stop her zooming, and now her limp is barely noticeable. Now if only someone would notice her.

“Lydia” #93376 is self-reliant and can serve herself dinner. She was discovered in Wyandanch in June. She loves to play with toys. She will love you.

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