East Northport – As a result of a new social media presence and innovative programs, the Town of Huntington Animal Shelter just completed one of its most successful weeks in years, placing seven dogs, including one who had been a shelter resident for two years.
A Massachusetts woman first noticed Stewy, a Great Dane mix, on the shelter’s Facebook page and began a correspondence with shelter director Jerry Mosca about the dog, who had been difficult to place during his two-year stay because of his size and strength. The woman met Mosca and Stewy in person last weekend. “She fell in love with the dog and took him home,” Mosca said. “She has been emailing me since then and sending me photos, showing me how well he has adapted to his new environment.”
Stewy’s stay at the shelter was the longest of any of the dogs adopted last week, but also on the list was Yoda, a pit bull mix who had been at the shelter for more than a year. And while Massachusetts was clearly the farthest someone came to adopt last week, other dogs moved to new homes in Hicksville, Centereach and Kings Park.
The Town has been at the forefront of instituting cutting-edge programs to help prepare dogs for adoptions, including working with shelter dogs to make sure they have basic obedience skills and instituting play groups to enhance socialization. The Town established the Facebook page to increase awareness of the shelter’s activities; created the not-for-profit Give A Dog A Dream Foundation as a vehicle to accept donations to assist the shelter in meeting dogs’ needs; and recently began a Dog of the Week program, choosing a dog each week for which the shelter’s adoption fees will be waived.
Persons interested in learning more about the Give A Dog a Dream Foundation or in donating to it should visit the Animal Shelter page on the Town’s website.