NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — Changes are being ordered in the wake of allegations of animal abuse at the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter.
Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray unveiled an 11 point plan Monday focused on enhancing the level of pet care.
Murray said there will also be expanded efforts to increase pet adoptions.
A criminal probe is underway by the Nassau County District Attorney into how the shelter is run – however in a press release, Murray stated the probe was not the result of any reports of animal cruelty, neglect, abuse or mistreatment.
Last week, three volunteers had claimed they witnessed town workers beating some animals at the shelter and leaving others to die in cages.
The following are a part of the town’s progressive pet care agenda:
Full-Time Veterinary Services - The town’s shelter will begin interviews for full-time (40 hours per week) veterinary services to be retained for animal care and emergency animal medical services.
Behaviorist – Hempstead has commenced interviews to retain the services of an animal behaviorist. Behaviorists determine whether certain animals, which may evidence anti-social traits, are adoptable or may become adoptable after rehabilitative care.
Pet Rescue Liaison - The animal shelter is seeking to hire a liaison to pet rescue organizations. The liaison will be tasked with identifying particular animal breeds or types that specific pet rescue groups have the ability to integrate into healthy family living situations. Emphasis will be placed on hiring a person with credentials and contacts in the pet rescue community.
Volunteers Welcomed - Hempstead’s Animal Shelter will commence a volunteer program in the next couple of months. Volunteers will be screened and incorporated into a pet care schedule that will include pet interaction, exercise and companionship.
“We have never allowed the volunteers to come in on a regular basis before this so this is a significant change,” Murray told 1010 WINS.
Canine Corral Pet Play Area - Officials are looking into the construction of a canine corral, replete with pet friendly synthetic turf, to augment the 16 pet running exercise areas at the shelter. The corral would facilitate group play.
Intermunicipal Research Project - Town staff has begun studying pet shelter protocols, policies and procedures at other governmental and private shelters to develop a “best practices” program.
Greeters/Adoption Experts - Visitors to the shelter will now be greeted by personnel who will help identify the breed and/or animal type preference of prospective adopters and assist them in locating pets that best match the adopter’s criteria.
Educational Affiliation- Administrators have begun preliminary talks with an area institute of higher learning that may result in animal care/behaviorist students performing internships or related programs at the shelter.
Pet Adoption Promotional Programs - Hempstead officials will continue and expand highly successful pet adoption programs such as pet fairs, holiday and summer adoption promotions that feature the waiving of adoption fees and visits to schools and scouting groups.
Trap, Neuter, Return Program - Shelter officials are working to commence a trap-neuter-return program to stem unwanted pregnancies among feral cats.
Web Posting – Expanded internet posting of all shelter pets available for adoption has already taken place and will continue to be refined.
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