Animals

Photo courtesy of Kent Animal Shelter

MEET SHEA!

Waiting patiently at Kent Animal Shelter is Shea, a gorgeous 4-year-old calico with the sweetest personality. She is a smaller sized cat even though she is full grown but she has a huge heart! If you are looking for a cute, petite cat with a wonderful personality, then Shea is the girl for you! Lets find this sweet girl a home! Shea comes spayed, microchipped and is up to date on all her vaccines.

Kent Animal Shelter is located at 2259 River Road in Calverton. The adoption center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day. For more information on Shea and other adoptable pets at Kent, visit www.kentanimalshelter.com or call 631-727-5731. 

 

It’s that time of year again. Sweetbriar Nature Center, 62 Eckernkamp Drive, Smithtown will hold its annual Wildlife Baby Shower on Sunday, May 20 at 1 p.m. Come celebrate nature as it comes alive in the spring with beautiful flowers, vibrant green leaves, and, of course, baby animals. Sweetbriar takes in hundreds of orphaned animals a year. A Sweetbriar rehabilitator will show you how baby animals are cared for by their parents in the wild and here at the nature center.  A cake to celebrate will be shared with all to celebrate the occasion.

Please bring donations to help them feed their wildlife.

How you can help ……. wish list:

  • CHEERIOS
  • APPLESAUCE-NO SUGAR
  • TUNA IN WATER
  • AD/CANNED FOOD
  • DRY CAT FOOD
  • DRY DOG FOOD
  • CANNED CAT FOOD
  • CANNED DOG FOOD
  • WEE WEE PADS
  • RUG SKID PADS
  • ALMONDS
  • WALNUTS
  • DISH DETERGENT
  • LAUNDRY DETERGENT
  • VINEGAR
  • FACECLOTHS
  • OLD TEE SHIRTS
  • SPONGES
  • LARGE ZIPLOCK BAGS
  • LARGE TRASH BAGS
  • TOLIET PAPER
  • PAPERTOWELS
  • GRIT
  • OATBRAN CEREAL
  • OATMEAL
  • LIDS OF PEANUTBUTTER JARS
  • PUPPY FLEA SPRAY
  • VETWRAP
  • TRIPLE ANTIBIOTIC OINTMENT
  • ZIP TIES
  • WATER BOTTLES
  • SHREDDED WHEAT

Admission is $10 children, $5 adults, discounts available for scouts. For more information, please call 631-979-6344.

 

Photo courtesy of Kent Animal Shelter

MEET WALDO!

Where’s Waldo? He’s waiting for you at Kent Animal Shelter! This handsome boy is a 9-month-old Saint Bernard with lots of love and energy. He is so sweet and is looking for an active household to run and play for the rest of his days! Why not drop by and say hello? Waldo comes neutered, microchipped and is up to date on all his vaccines.

Kent Animal Shelter is located at 2259 River Road in Calverton. The adoption center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day. For more information on Waldo and other adoptable pets at Kent, visit www.kentanimalshelter.com or call 631-727-5731. 

 

The Miller Place-Mount Sinai Historical Society dog walk will raise funds to repair and restore the windows on the historic William Miller House. File photo by Kevin Redding

The Miller Place-Mount Sinai Historical Society is hosting its first Bark and Biscuit Walk May 19 to raise money to repair and restore the windows on the historic William Miller House. The house received a new roof at the end of last year, beginning of this, thanks to help from a local comic book-enthused resident, Jack Soldano.

The walk, which will start at North Country Road Middle School, located at 191 North Country Road in Miller Place, will begin at 10 a.m. and move west along the Miller Place Historic District to Landing Road, around to Cordwood Landing Road and then back to the middle school. The route is 1 mile each way.

Rules to follow will be that all dogs must remain on a leash and under the supervision of the handler at all times and all handlers must be 12 or older. There will be biscuits for the dogs and treats for the handlers.
McNulty’s Ice Cream Parlor in Miller Place is creating special ice cream for the pooches.

The historical society asks all attendees arrive at the middle school at 9:45 a.m. Registration is $20 per pet. Forms can be found at www.mpmshistoricalsociety.org.

Photo courtesy of Kent Animal Shelter

MEET JESSE!

Just look at those beautiful brown eyes! This handsome boy is Jesse, a 2-year-old lab mix who was rescued from a high kill shelter in Texas and is now waiting for a new home at Kent Animal Shelter. Jesse had a rough start in life and because of this has tested positive for heartworm. He is currently undergoing treatment and is on the road to a full recovery! He just can’t wait to live the good life with a family and home of his own. So hurry up and come down to meet him today! Jesse comes neutered, microchipped and is up to date on all his vaccines. 

Kent Animal Shelter is located at 2259 River Road in Calverton. The adoption center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day. For more information on Jesse and other adoptable pets at Kent, visit www.kentanimalshelter.com or call 631-727-5731. 

Resident Sherle and recreation therapist Nicole Hopper pose with the center’s new therapeutic pet. Photo from Gurwin Jewish

COMMACK: The votes are in and tallied for the Gurwin Jewish Nursing & Rehabilitation Center’s bunny naming contest. As a result of a social media contest, Gurwin residents revealed today the new name of their adopted pet therapy bunny, now known as Nelly Furwin.    

In the few short weeks he’s been at Gurwin, Nelly has endeared himself to both staff and residents alike. “Spending time snuggling and stroking his soft fur provides a source of comfort and happiness and induces a sense of nurturing,” said Dawn Lettau, director of therapeutic recreation at Gurwin. “A daily dose of Nelly is the ideal prescription to improve overall mood. Thank you to all who participated in our contest to help give our furry friend the perfect name!”

If it wasn’t for the side effects, corticosteroids would be a magic bullet. Stock photo
Getting to the source of the itch

By Matthew Kearns, DVM

My last column introduced the seasonal allergies that our pets can suffer from, also known as atopic dermatitis. This second part of the two-part article focuses more on the treatment of atopic dermatitis. The treatments we will discuss only focus on systemic medications. It does not include supplements, topical creams/powders/sprays, medicated shampoos/conditioners, etc. I’ll make sure to cover that in the future. 

Now, if we remember from the first part of the article, atopy is defined as, “a genetic predisposition to develop a sensitivity to allergens (proteins in the environment).” The body develops antibodies against these allergens (primarily IgE) and, once a threshold is reached, the IgE antibodies trigger signals to certain white blood cells called basophils and mast cells to release inflammatory chemicals into the system (primarily histamine). This release of histamine triggers all the itch and secondary skin and ear infections that frustrate both pet owners and veterinarians. What is out there to help with the problem?

Antihistamines

Antihistamines block the histamine receptors on nerves, vessels, muscle cells and the lining of stomach and small intestine. They are readily available without a prescription and safe so they can be an excellent first choice. Unfortunately, antihistamines do not block the release of histamine from basophils and mast cells but rather block the receptors on the cells of the organs they affect.  

Now, you can’t block every receptor with medication so it very much depends how severely the individual pet responds to an atopic, or allergic, reaction. Pets with mild allergies will do well with antihistamines. However, pets with more severe forms of allergies either do not respond well or respond temporarily to antihistamines and eventually need a stronger medication.

 Corticosteroids 

Corticosteroids, glucocorticoids, or “steroids,” as they are sometimes referred to, are all cortisone derivatives. Systemic cortisone medications are prescription only. However, corticosteroids are inexpensive and very effective at treating atopic diseases. They block the production of all cytokines (mediators of inflammation) and, if it wasn’t for the side effects, would be a magic bullet. Short-term use is relatively safe and very beneficial. Side effects include drinking/urinating more, eating more and panting. 

However, long-term side effects include gastrointestinal upset/possible ulcers, a suppressed immune system, diabetes mellitus, liver damage, pancreatitis, thromboemboli (blood clots), increased risk of urinary and other types of infections, lethargy and, sometimes, aggression. 

We, as veterinarians, try to transition patients with chronic, recurrent skin and ear problems to other, safer long-term medications.

Immunomodulators 

These prescription medications are more effective than antihistamines and safer to use long term than corticosteroids. Medications like Atopica (cyclosporine) and Apoquel (oclacitinib) block a specific receptor and prevent specific cytokines associated with the allergic itch. These are newer medications with minimal side effects and safe to use long term but are more expensive than antihistamines or corticosteroids.

Biologic therapy 

This is the newest kid on the block. Biologic therapy uses the body’s immune system to target cytokines, or chemicals that induce inflammation. Cytopoint (lokivetmab) is a once monthly injection that induces your dog’s immune system to produce antibodies against a specific class of cytokines called interleukins. Interleukins have been linked to the itch in allergic or atopic dermatitis.

Multiple factors play into what medication we choose: severity, age of pet, pre-existing disease and cost of medication. I hope pet owners will start the discussion with their own vet as to which medication is best for their pet.  

Dr. Kearns practices veterinary medicine from his Port Jefferson office and is pictured with his son Matthew and his dog Jasmine.

Photo courtesy of Kent Animal Shelter

MEET TINKERBELLE!

Little Tinkerbelle was left behind in an apartment alone while her owner went on vacation. Now this 2-year-old, female Chihuahua mix is looking for a new home where she will get the love and attention she deserves. She’s extremely sweet and ready to start living the good life with you! Tinkerbelle comes spayed, microchipped and is up to date on all her vaccines. Please come meet her at Kent Animal Shelter today!

Kent Animal Shelter is located at 2259 River Road in Calverton. The adoption center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day. For more information on Tinkerbelle and other adoptable pets at Kent, visit www.kentanimalshelter.com or call 631-727-5731. 

Update: Tinkerbelle has been adopted!

Smithtown Animal Shelter. File photo by Rachel Shapiro

The former director of the Smithtown animal shelter is suing the town, her former co-workers and Councilwoman Lisa Inzerillo (R) who she claims were personally hostile in their actions toward her.

Rocky Point resident Susan Hansen, who served as the supervisor of the Town of Smithtown’s Animal Shelter and Adoption Center for under two years, filed a lawsuit April 25 in United States District Eastern Court. Hansen is claiming her First and Fourth Amendment rights were violated when she was arrested for alleged criminal trespassing at the shelter after she was suspended as director in February 2017.

Former Town of Smithtown Animal Shelter Director Susan Hansen. Photo from Sue Hansen

“They caused criminal proceedings, including arrest and prosecution, to be instituted against Hansen, not for any legitimate concerns to seek justice, but rather for collateral and malicious purposes,” reads the lawsuit.

Hansen, who supervised the town’s animal shelter from August 2015 until February 2017, was arrested for allegedly criminally trespassing at the facility during a volunteer orientation session Feb. 18, 2017.

Upon arriving at the volunteer orientation, Hansen said she was informed by her former co-workers that she was not allowed to be in the building and willingly left. She was later arrested by Suffolk County police March 10, 2017.

The criminal trespassing charges against Hansen were later dismissed upon the Suffolk County district attorney’s request.

Hansen claims she began being harassed by Inzerillo shortly after she was elected to the town board in 2016. Hansen said the councilwoman, who serves as co-liaison to the shelter, inappropriately criticized her management style in front of visitors during a Feb. 11, 2016, tour of the facility. This continued through several emails and confrontations, according to the court records, before Hansen had an attorney reach out to former Supervisor Pat Vecchio to address the situation in January 2017 — weeks before she was suspended.

Inzerillo said she had no comment on the lawsuit, stating that she had not yet been served the papers or a chance to read it. Smithtown Town Attorney’s office had no comment on the pending litigation.

The lawsuit also alleges that the town purposefully “hamstrung” Hansen’s work by not giving her the necessary funds and staffing to improve the heavily criticized conditions at the animal shelter.

“They caused criminal proceedings, including arrest and prosecution, to be instituted against Hansen, not for any legitimate concerns to seek justice, but rather for collateral and malicious purposes.”
– Court Records

“Long after Hansen’s departure from the animal shelter, independent animal rights advocates were expressing their opinions that the animal shelter was not being run properly, thus, it is more likely than not that Hansen was correct that conditions at the shelter (which were abysmal long before Hansen arrived) were caused by upper management’s failure to assist the animal shelter …,” reads the lawsuit.

Hansen had taken over the shelter from former director George Beatty, who stepped down in June 2015, after more than 30 years. His resignation came after heavy criticism from Smithtown residents who alleged he was doing an inadequate job and the conditions animals lived in and how they were cared for at the shelter were unacceptable.

It cites the town increased the shelter’s budget by 14.6 percent in 2017 once Hansen was gone.

As of April 30, town spokeswoman Nicole Garguilo confirmed the town has spent $76,086.10 on upgrades to the shelter since February 2017. These upgrades include renovating the former director’s offices into a meet-and-greet area, a complete renovation of the veterinary office, new dog beds and replacement of the cat condominiums. The town has also promoted two part-time animal control officers to full-time positions, according to Garguilo, accounting for some of the budgetary increase.

The town does have plans to replace the water main leading to the town property — also the site of the firematic training grounds and senior citizen center — to improve service. This would allow for future installation of a fire sprinkler system in the animal shelter, Garguilo said. There are also plans to construct a TNR building to house its trap, neuter and return program in 2019.

MEET DESI!

Looking for love? Look no further than Desi, waiting patiently for her furever home at Kent Animal Shelter. This gal is a 1½-year-old Catahoula mix who needs a family to love and spoil her. Desi is a high-energy dog that would benefit from a fully fenced yard. She comes spayed, microchipped and is up to date on all her vaccines. Please come meet her today! 

Kent Animal Shelter is located at 2259 River Road in Calverton. The adoption center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day. For more information on Desi and other adoptable pets at Kent, visit www.kentanimalshelter.com or call 631-727-5731. 

 

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