By Leah Chiappino
Save-A-Pet Animal Shelter is looking to expand its reach to the Berkshire Mountains in western Massachusetts where the organization plans to open a sanctuary.
The Port Jefferson Station-based animal shelter is due to close on a 20-acre property that contains a barn, house and space for a veterinary facility this month, according to shelter president Dori Scofield.
Starting around the holiday time, the sanctuary will be open to older or disabled dogs and cats that have had a difficult time finding a home. The sanctuary’s first residents will be three dogs currently residing at the shelter from Mexico who were hit by cars and are now paralyzed. However, they will still be available for adoption.
In the spring, Scofield hopes to welcome farm animals, such as pigs and goats that have been “faced with slaughter, factory exploitation, auctions, and whose lives have been wrought with fear and loneliness,”
The facility won’t just benefit animals. The shelter president said Save-A-Pet has plans to use the sanctuary to “provide an educational program where people can experience the individual personality of each animal, to become kindred spirits and therefore begin to understand the changes we must make in our own lives to stop the exploitation of animals for food and consumer products.”
The organization has fundraised what they need to make a down payment through a capital campaign and has mortgaged out the remainder of the cost. However, Scofield says the sanctuary still “desperately” needs funds.
“I am nickel and diming my way through this just like I did with Save-A-Pet,” she said.
Scofield is looking for volunteers to provide services such as plumbing, electrical work and carpentry to assist in some capital repairs needed on the Massachusetts property. They are also looking for veterinary assistants and volunteers willing to care for the animals at the property, while building a staff of volunteers in the Berkshires.
“Everything we have at Save-A-Pet we will need there,” she said.
Save-A-Pet will be hosting an Uncorked Love fundraiser at Madrian The Wine Bar at 209 Main St. in East Setauket set for 7 p.m., Nov. 7. Tickets are availble at Save-A-Pet located at 608 Route 112. All proceeds will go to the sanctuary.