2009-12-30 / Columnists

Pets, Pets, Pets

by Joanne Anderson

The last day of the year and the decade is time for New Year’s resolutions and reflection. Dates shouldn’t matter but they do. Despite how shelter insiders promote them, some dogs and cats seem to linger in their runs and cages by no fault of their own. Hope fades. Lonely days and nights stretch on and on.

I am not trying hard enough. Therefore, in 2010, I resolve to find a home for the wonderful Pit mix “Roxy”, and one for “Phelps” the Retriever mix who swam the Babylon canal and a comfy lap for “Gumby”, the 3-toothed Italian Greyhound mix… also placement together for the eviction cats- “Winston and Penny”. Presently these are the local homeless pets that upset me the most.

Sometimes I get to be the rescue UPS delivery person. This year I moved at least 15 dogs and four cats from municipal shelters- most for Last Hope Animal Rescue, except an Afghan puppy to breed rescue. Only two of the dogs remain at the Last Hope Dog Center in Lindenhurst (after extended stays at Babylon Shelter) - “Phelps” since August; “Gumby” since November. Both were cooperative cases, having medical concerns addressed by the Town before Last Hope took custody. The shelter’s vets biopsied the aspirated lump on “Phelps’” leg twice as benign (even though it still turned out to be a mast cell carcinoma once surgically removed) while “Gumby” had all but three teeth pulled. My full Phelps adoption appeal is the 10/1/09 “Pets” Beacon online. Both dogs are happy and healthy, yet no potential adopter notices them. “Phelps” just blends in as a nondescript, middleaged brown dog while tiny “Gumby” loves people but would probably do better as an only pooch. To see them, visit www.lasthopeanimalrescue.org or call 957-0023.

“Roxy” bothers me even more because she is at Babylon Town Shelter since March. A brindle (another invisible color) Pit mix in Cage 25, fine with other dogs, “Roxy” does push-up SITS and DOWNS for biscuits. She was a model citizen during the Pet Fair at Tanner Park in September. A family there promised to adopt her. They never showed. Last week “Roxy” wore a Santa hat and jingle bells as the Beacon poster dog. Her festive headgear attracted no one.

I’d love history to repeat itself. Several years

ago before all shelter adoptees left spayed, “Roxy’s” brindle twin sat in the same cage. I named her “Muggles” when a Harry Potter movie premiered; then got permission to take her to a vet who helps Last Hope. The doc tor’s adult son is confined to a wheelchair. His son’s first grade teacher (at an amazing school where I interned eons ago) is their family friend. She adopted “Muggles” directly from the hospital. Now

if only her clone, “Roxy”, could be so fortunate.

“Winston & Penny” (#19850/51) are the last of nine cats and a Collie mix who lost their home in May due to an eviction. Both cats are about 4-5 years old, extremely friendly and bonded to each other. They wait patiently in a lobby cage at Babylon Shelter but have been upstaged by many kittens. “Penny” almost got adopted but she doesn’t seem to want to leave without her brother. It is hard enough to find a good home for one adult cat; two together is a real challenge. As part of my New Year’s resolution, I will reimburse shelter adoption fees for “Roxy” and/or “Winston & Penny”. Just contact me at the Beacon or Post.

Now for a tad of reflection: The “Pets” collection is a quasi-time capsule since I keep folders of each year’s articles going back to the column’s 1983 debut. I took a peek at what was happening in the pet realm exactly 10 years ago; then exactly 20 years back.

January 2000-at the start of the millennium- I wrote my “Y2 Spay” reasons, and about the new low cost pet neuter clinic for Brookhaven residents. Digging back further, 20 years ago, the 1990 New Year began with a report about racing Greyhound abuses- how a planned Army experiment to chainsaw discarded Greys’ legs to test a synthetic bone graft substance was stopped and how a Vermont track was bringing hundreds of ex-racers to a Massachusetts SPCA for euthanasia until that state doubled its fees.

At that time my friend Cathy Groves would contribute to “Pe t s”. The Grove s move d to Massachusetts years ago. Although Greyhound racing was outlawed in Vermont in 1995, the cruel sport persisted in MA. Cathy has been extremely active in the Grey2K movement to close dog tracks in her state. In a real victory for dogs, this past Election Day the ban passed on the MA ballot. Any remaining tracks in Massachusetts will be ordered shut down by tomorrow - Jan. 1, 2010 which just happens to be my birthday.

Closer to home and also on the horizon Jan. 2010: Babylon Town Shelter (643-9270) Lamar St. W. Babylon is about to launch an expanded volunteer program organized by the gracious Dr. Barbara Pezzanite CAAB (certified applied animal behaviorist). More about that soon.

Also Adoptable at Babylon Shelter: In the “Tale of Two Teddies”, a pair of Dickens dogs share a name. “Tiny Teddy” in the Puppy Room is an adorable 1 year old Chihuahua/Pom, good with kids and cats. He doesn’t “show well” because he tends to bark in his cage. However, he is a happy fellow when schmoozing with his public. “Big Teddy” is a mature Retriever mix in Cage 6 who could stand to loose a few pounds. Perhaps he could start that New Year’s diet and exercise plan along with you.

More Dogs: “Sky” Cage 26-American Bulldog pup; “Nicholas” Cage 5- older Shepherd.

More Cats: tabbies “Katie” & “Nancy” in lobbytheir

owner died.

**Babylon Shelter is closed Dec. 31 & Jan. 1 but is open on Sat. Jan. 2.

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