A home for furry friends

New Islip Town Animal Shelter officially opens

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On Oct. 22, the ribbon was officially cut for the new Town of Islip Animal Shelter in Central Islip.

The previous shelter had been located at 210 South Denver Avenue in Bay Shore since 1964. That facility housed up to 90 dogs, 70 cats and 20 other small-breed animals.

“It served us well for so many years, providing a safe and nurturing space for dogs and cats and many other species until they are adopted into their forever home,” Town of Islip supervisor Angie Carpenter said at the ribbon cutting. “Even though the environment was less than it could have been, I have to take this opportunity to thank the staff who never complained. They went about doing the good work that they do, never complaining. So, it really makes it that much more special that we’re able to deliver this incredible new facility to them.”

The new shelter, located at 200 South Technology Dr. in Central Islip, is 3,000 square feet larger than the old shelter, ADA compliant, and features energy-efficient lighting. Commissioner Marty Bellew said construction on the facility began about a month before COVID hit and was completed during the pandemic. When visitors walk in, they enter into a large entryway with four viewing rooms with puppies and kittens. The facility features 82 indoor-outdoor kennels, with separate kennels for aggressive dogs or dogs that have to be quarantined. There is also a veterinary suite on site. 

The shelter will also operate as a TNR (Trap Neuter Release) Clinic. The program is a humane way to help minimize the stray cat population. At the ribbon cutting, NYS assemblyman Phil Ramos shared a personal story of what the shelter and its staff means to him.

“A few years ago, my dog Rocky, a little chihuahua, had gotten lost, and I remember the stress that that caused my family,” Ramos said.

After contacting Carpenter and the shelter staff, Ramos and his family were reunited with their pup after one of the dogs in the shelter was identified as Rocky. 

“I wish the staff could have been there to see my family crying at seeing that photo and what it means to everybody,’’ Ramos said.

The event featured a “Parade of the Pooches,” with adoptable dogs strutting down a red carpet for their chance in the spotlight. A mural by artist Meghan O’Reilly was also unveiled in front of the shelter, with cutouts able to be taken out so that visitors can get a cute photo with their head in the mural. n

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