Surrendered or rescued, the Town of North Hempstead Animal Shelter will take in dogs from all throughout the town.
The shelter’s mission states, “The animal shelter serves the community by enforcing town codes pertaining to responsible dog ownership. We respond to assistance calls from residents, reunite lost dogs with their owners and help find new homes for the stray and abandoned dogs in our care. The animal shelter provides an example of humane ethics and compassion for our community.”
While the mission statement seems a bit bare bones, the shelter is anything but. Upon walking into the shelter, one is greeted by local volunteers who take time out from their days to greet locals and potential adopters, go through the adoption process with them and tell them about the dogs up for adoption.
When walking further into the shelter, one may find a room where a staff member is playing with a dog. A quick chat with Office Manager and Education Program Coordinator Genna Tudda, who has been working at the shelter for about nine years, can tell you everything you need to know—the staff truly love what they do.
Whether the dog is a rescue or surrender, the shelter holds the dog for 10 days, and within those days, the dogs see the vet, are behaviorally evaluated, and then on the 10th day, they go up for public adoption. It is first come, first serve adoption, but families have to be approved.
The animal shelter’s five-acre grounds offer a full agility course complete with hurdles, weave poles and more, a gated nature trail so the dogs, with their handlers, can enjoy a lengthy walk and a “real life” room where the dogs are taught skills.
While the shelter is included in the town’s budget, much funding is provided by The Shelter Connection, a nonprofit organization working with the town to facilitate the adoption of shelter dogs, and to provide shelter dogs with obedience and socialization training.
“We have a fully fenced in nature trail,” said Tudda. “We just did that this year. We set it up kind of like a dog park entrance to make it a little safer. It’s 100 percent fenced in and there are trails that wind around. The Shelter Connection paid for this to get done and the agility equipment, so they really help. Their major goal is to supplement the town’s budget to increase the quality of life for the dogs while they’re here.”
All adoptions cost $57 and include every up-to-date vaccine, for the dog to be micro-shipped, spade/neuter, the dog’s health records, a leash and collar and a toy of the dog’s choosing on the way out.
The Town of North Hempstead Animal Shelter is located at 75 Marino Ave., Port Washington, and is open Monday through Friday (except holidays) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 311 within the town or 516-869-6311 outside of the town. To see dogs available for adoption, visit: www.theshelterconnection.com.
—Additional reporting by Marco Schaden and Sydney Rosenthal; additional information provided by North Hempstead Animal Shelter