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Pet Matters… aka Pets Matter



Free Rabies Vaccination Clinic Offered By Suffolk County

Suffolk County Offers Free Rabies Vaccination Clinic

The Suffolk County Department of Health Services (SCDHS) and the Town of Brookhaven will offer free rabies vaccinations for dogs, cats and ferrets on Saturday, April 28, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Brookhaven Animal Shelter located at 300 Horseblock Road, Brookhaven, NY. The clinic is available to all county residents, however, the quantity of vaccine is limited and available only while supplies last. All dogs must be on leashes and all cats and ferrets must be in carriers. 

Rabies, a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the central nervous system, is seen most often among wild animals such as raccoons, bats, skunks and foxes, but any mammal can be infected with rabies. Pets and livestock can get rabies if they are not vaccinated to protect them against infection.

New York State and Suffolk County laws require that all dogs, cats and ferrets be vaccinated against rabies. Vaccinating pets not only provides protection for the animals but also acts as a barrier to keep the rabies virus from spreading between wild animals and people.

Although no raccoons have tested positive for the rabies virus in Suffolk County since 2009, three to six percent of the bats that are tested annually are positive for rabies.    

The Suffolk County Department of Health Services recommends the following precautions to protect your pets and your family from possible exposure to rabies:

To keep bats from getting into buildings:

  • Make sure windows have screens, chimneys are capped, and electrical and plumbing openings are plugged;
  • Avoid leaving unscreened doors and windows open to the outside;
  • Seal all openings to the outdoors that are larger than 1/2 inch; 

Report all animal bites or contact with wild animals to the Suffolk County Department of Health Services at (631) 853-0333 weekdays, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  Animal bites or contact with wild animals can be reported to the Department at (631) 852-4820 outside normal business hours. If possible, try to contain the animal so that it can be tested.

For more information about the rabies vaccination clinic, call Brookhaven Animal Shelter at (631) 451-6950

For more information on rabies, visit the New York State Department of Health website athttp://www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/rabies/rabies.htm, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website athttp://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/rabies/.



Four Adoptable Dogs Enter Smithtown Animal Shelter

As part of Smithtown’s initiative to assist local shelters with overcrowding and to welcome more prospective families, the Smithtown Animal and Adoption Center welcomed four recently relocated dogs in need of loving “Furrever” homes. All four canine companions were previously guests at the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter. Prior to relocation, the dogs were medically and behaviorally vetted. Each have been given a healthy bill of health and are considered to be highly adoptable.

“This is a no brainer for us. We’re saving the lives of so many more dogs this way by reducing the population of neighboring shelters. We’re giving more Smithtown residents the chance to find that perfect soul mate, new family member or best friend for life. I want to especially thank our incredible team of animal control officers, veterinary and behavioral specialists who have worked so hard to ensure the success of this program. And I want to encourage all Smithtown residents to come down and visit with these lovable pups and our cats… all who deserve a second chance at a permanent home.” - Councilwoman Lisa Inzerillo

The relocation initiative is designed with two primary objectives in mind. First and foremost, to find loving homes for healthy, adoptable dogs who might not get the same chance elsewhere due to overcrowding. And secondly, to increase public awareness about the Smithtown Animal Shelter.  This in turn leads to many beneficial resources including new volunteers, repeat adoptions or visitors, word of mouth campaigns, charitable donations and foster homes. The Smithtown Animal & Adoption Center is able to successfully orchestrate this controlled program while maintaining the annual budget at no expense to the quality of life, health or care of the animals.

WillowRoxyOreoOreo is a 9 month old mantle Great Dane/Pitbull mix. This sweet and playful pup is great for all loving homes. He is the quintessential family dog.  

Willow is a two year old Pitbull mix who is a great family pet. She is a whole Rexbody wagger, guaranteed to give you the best welcome home greeting daily. Willow is okay with some dogs but not cats. She would love some kids to call her own.

Roxy is a three year old Rottweiler/Shepherd mix, housebroken and good with dogs. She is calm yet playful and walks very well on lead. Roxy would do best in a home with kids over 15 years old.

Rex is a two year old blue nosed Pit who knows how handsome he is. Great with other dogs, but not a fan of cats. Rex is a sweet, fun boy. He is housebroken and would do well in a home with kids over 12 years old.

In late fall 2017, Councilwoman Lisa Inzerillo came up with the idea to pursue a relocation initiative when she came across a desperate Facebook post via the Babylon Animal Shelter page. A large quantity of dogs were rescued from a fighting ring, leaving the Babylon shelter inundated with no space (as the Babylon shelter was currently in the process of building a state-of-the-art facility to house more animals). After a vigorous effort by the Town Attorney, Public Safety director Chief John Valentine, Deputy Chief Kevin McPadden, the team of Animal Control Officers, Veterinary & Behavioral Specialists and with the support of the Babylon Animal Shelter, five dogs were relocated to Smithtown. Four were immediately adopted out. Loki a 3-4 year old Lab/Shepherd mix is eagerly awaiting to find the perfect family to call his own. The biggest victories were in finding perfect homes for three of the shelters canine guests who resided in the shelter for years.

Did You Know:

  • According to the ASCPA, Relocation programs can be essential to stopping needless euthanasia of adoptable animals due to shelter overcrowding.

  • The Smithtown Animal & Adoption Center will gladly coordinate a meet and greet at your family home to help integrate the new family member with other animals and the home itself.  

  • Interested residents who wish to meet with these and other dogs or cats at the Animal & Adoption Center, should allow for at least one hour to visit.


Smithtown Receives State Grant For Animal Shelter


The Town of Smithtown’s Animal and Adoption Center has been awarded $168,750 for the construction of an additional building at its current shelter.

Smithtown is one of 14 animal shelters and humane societies across New York State to be selected for Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s first of its kind statewide grant initiative.  

New York State Companion Animal Capital Fund (2017-18 New York State Budget) is the first state-funded program in the nation geared towards financing improvement projects at animal shelters across New York. Funding for the program totals close to $5 million and is designed to improve the care and health of rescued animals to increase adoption rates for dogs and cats.

The Smithtown Animal & Adoption Center was chosen for this competitive grant funding based on both the need and the readiness of the project. The grant money will go toward the construction of a new trap, neuter, return or release building (TNR). The building will provide needed space for the intake of animals, isolation and trap-neuter-return areas.

Currently the shelter is managed under the umbrella of the dept of public safety. Both Chief John Valentine and D.C. Kevin McPadden oversee operations, with two supervisors who run the shelter. Dr. Zollo is the resident vet. 

“This is a real testament to the work we’ve been doing. These grants were awarded to shelters specifically that have made strides to improve the treatment, training and medical care of all our animal guests. Building a TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release) structure will give strays & rescued animals a state-of-the-art facility to comfortably isolate and medically assess them for adoption, spay/neuter release programs. We can better protect them from infections, increasing their chances at healthy and happy lives.”  - Chief John Valentine, Director of Public Safety 

The $168,750  represents 75% funding  of total project cost of $224,999.96. Town matching share is $56,249.99 construction expected to begin Spring 2019.

There are approximately 3 adoptable dogs and 3-5 additional dogs expected this week. The new dogs will be assessed by the behaviorist, doctor and then will receive training, medical/vaccinations before putting up for adoption. There are on average about 30 cats.  

“I would like to thank and commend our incredibly devoted staff and Public Safety department. They never stop looking for ways to improve the quality of life for our four-legged visitors. This grant will help us to keep our adoptable pets healthy and humanelyand effectively control the free-roaming cat population through our spay/neuter & release program.” - Councilwoman Lisa Inzerillo, Liaison to the Smithtown Animal & Adoption Center. 

The Smithtown Animal and Adoption Center underwent a recent Inspection. Report performed by NYState Agriculture and Markets Law Division of Animal Industry.



Dog Food Recall Potential Pentobarbital Contamination

FDA Alerts Pet Owners About Potential Pentobarbital Contamination in Canned Dog Food Manufactured by The J.M. Smucker Company, Including Certain Gravy Train, Kibbles ‘N Bits, Ol’ Roy, and Skippy Products

What is the Problem and What is Being Done About It?

The J.M. Smucker Company has initiated a withdrawal of certain canned dog food products from its Gravy Train, Kibbles ‘N Bits, Ol’ Roy, and Skippy brands due to the potential for pentobarbital contamination. The firm is withdrawing all lots of these products that were manufactured from 2016 through the present. The FDA is issuing this notice in order to make pet owners aware of the firm’s action.

The withdrawn products were distributed to retailers nationwide.

The list of withdrawn products the firm provided to the FDA include:

  • Gravy Train with T-Bone Flavor Chunks, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 7910052541
  • Gravy Train with Beef Strips, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 791052542
  • Gravy Train with Lamb & Rice Chunks, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 7910052543
  • Gravy Train with Chicken Chunks, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 7910034418
  • Gravy Train with Beef Chunks, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 7910034417
  • Gravy Train with Chicken Chunks, 22-ounce can, UPC 7910051645
  • Gravy Train with Beef Chunks, 22-ounce can, UPC 7910051647
  • Gravy Train Chunks in Gravy with Beef Chunks, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 7910034417
  • Kibbles ‘N Bits 12-can Variety Pack – Chef’s Choice American Grill Burger Dinner with Real Bacon & Cheese Bits in Gravy, Chef’s Choice Bistro Tender Cuts with Real Turkey Bacon & Vegetables in Gravy, 12 pack of 13.2-ounce cans, UPC 7910010377, 7910010378
  • Kibbles ‘N Bits 12-Can Variety Pack – Chef’s Choice Bistro Hearty Cuts with Real Beef, Chicken & Vegetables in Gravy, Chef’s Choice Homestyle Meatballs & Pasta Dinner with Real Beef in Tomato Sauce, 12 pack of 13.2-ounce cans, UPC 7910010382, 7910048367, 7910010378
  • Kibbles ‘N Bits 12-Can Variety Pack – Chef’s Choice Homestyle Tender Slices with Real Beef, Chicken & Vegetables in Gravy, Chef’s Choice American Grill Burger Dinner with Real Bacon & Cheese Bits in Gravy, Chef’s Choice Bistro Tender Cuts with Real Beef & Vegetables in Gravy, 12 pack of 13.2-ounce cans, UPC 7910010380, 7910010377, 7910010375
  • Kibbles ‘N Bits Chef’s Choice Bistro Tender Cuts with Real Beef & Vegetables in Gravy, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 7910010375
  • Kibbles ‘N Bits Chef’s Choice Bistro Tender Cuts with Real Turkey, Bacon & Vegetables in Gravy, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 7910010378
  • Kibbles ‘N Bits Chef’s Choice Homestyle Tender Slices with Real Beef, Chicken & Vegetables in Gravy, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 7910010380
  • Ol’ Roy Strips Turkey Bacon, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 8113117570
  • Skippy Premium Chunks in Gravy Chunky Stew, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 79100502469
  • Skippy Premium Chunks in Gravy with Beef, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 7910050250
  • Skippy Premium Strips in Gravy with Beef, 13.2-ounce can, UPC 7910050245

The FDA has become aware of reports of other products also subject to withdrawal. The FDA has requested clarification from Smuckers regarding the status of these other products.

Pentobarbital is a barbiturate drug that is most commonly used in animals as a sedative, anesthetic, or for euthanasia. The FDA’s preliminary evaluation of the testing results of Gravy Train samples indicates that the low level of pentobarbital present in the withdrawn products is unlikely to pose a health risk to pets. However, any detection of pentobarbital in pet food is a violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act—simply put, pentobarbital should not be in pet food . The FDA is investigating to learn the potential source and route of the contamination.

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DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officer Highlights Suffolk County

Duck ID is Key - Suffolk County
On Jan. 20, ECO Sean Rockefeller responded to a complaint of duck hunters shooting too close to homes near the Bayport Marina. Upon his arrival, ECO Rockefeller observed three individuals hunting just off the shore in a small boat. One of the three hunters appeared to throw two ducks into the weeds. ECO Christopher Amato was called to assist and the officers approached and interviewed the trio. The ECOs asked what the hunters threw into the weeds. The hunters confessed that they had killed one Scaup over their limit, as well as a second bird they could not identify, after ECO Amato retrieved the birds. The ECO returned with both discarded birds, a Scaup and a Pied-Billed Grebe, which is a protected, non-game species. The three hunters were charged with taking ducks over the limit, one hunter was charged with unlawfully taking a protected bird, and two were charged with failing to wear a personal flotation device (PFD). All of the summonses are returnable to Suffolk County First District Court on March 7.

A Shot Leads to Arrest - Suffolk County
On Jan. 21, ECO Tim Fay was en route to assist ECO Christopher Amato with a violation in the town of Brookhaven when he heard multiple shots coming from nearby woods. A quick call to ECO Amato confirmed the shots were not related to his work, so ECO Fay entered the woods to determine the origin of the shots. A short distance away, he observed a man with a long gun going into a trailer parked at a construction yard. ECO Fay identified himself and asked the man what he was shooting at. The man stated he was shooting his .22 caliber rifle in a sand pit. ECO Fay explained to the man that it was a crime to possess a rifle afield on Long Island, secured the rifle, and went with the man to the sand pit to see where he was shooting. DEC Dispatch determined that the man had an active arrest warrant out of New York City and multiple felony convictions. Investigator Kevin Cummings and ECO Amato responded to ECO Fay’s location to assist as ECO Fay arrested the man for possessing a rifle afield on Long Island and criminal possession of a weapon, both misdemeanors. The defendant was processed for the arrest and held overnight at the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department. The following morning, he was transported to Suffolk County District Court for arraignment and then picked up by the NYPD on the outstanding warrant.


DEC Agent Tickets Hunters For After Hours Hunting

Late Hunting for Geese - Suffolk County
On Jan. 17, ECO Tim Fay responded to a call of waterfowl hunters shooting toward a house in Yaphank. ECO Fay arrived at 5:03 p.m. and spoke with the complainant. Just then, he heard another shot ring out from behind the house. To get to where the hunters were set up, ECO Fay had to drive around the river and travel through the marsh, so ECO Landon Simmons was contacted for assistance. While ECO Fay was working his way through the woods to locate the hunters, more shots were fired, now well beyond sunset. ECO Fay finally made contact with the hunters a few minutes later. “Why are you still hunting almost a half hour after sunset?” he asked. The young waterfowl hunters stated they thought they could hunt Canada Geese until a half hour past sunset, which is illegal. The ECOs issued tickets for discharge of a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling, hunting after closed hours, and failure to sign duck stamps.