More than 40 local residents joined Hope for Hempstead, a local shelter-reform advocacy group, on June 30 to protest the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter in Wantagh. The group has held several protests of the shelter in the past year, and last week’s rally followed what the group claims was a “cover up” by the town.
Derek Donnelly, Hope for Hempstead’s director, said that the Animal Shelter recently dumped a mother cat and three 7-week-old kittens at a Lynbrook location with no food or water, after being taken from the property of a Levittown family — who expected the cat and kittens to be returned to their home.
“This family did the right thing, took them to the town to have them to the shelter to have them neutered and spayed,” Donnelly said, “and they were just left on the street.”
Barbara Zwart, of Levittown, said she had been caring for the cat and her four kittens for several days, before deciding that they needed to be spayed and neutered. She said she tried to catch them on her own, to take them to the shelter, but eventually contacted the shelter to catch them as part of its Trap, Neuter and Return Program, which spays and neuters feral cats, and returns them to the location where they were trapped. The shelter took the cat and three of its kittens on Wednesday, June 22, and came back to trap the fourth kitten on June 24, she added.
“They told me and my neighbor that the cats would be back on Monday,” Zwart said.
However, Zwart said, when she called the shelter on Monday, June 27, to find out when the cats were coming back, she was told that the shelter only had the kitten that was take in last — the cat and three other kittens couldn’t be located. Zwart said she received a call back from the shelter about 20 minutes after that conversation, and told that the cat and three kittens had been taken to Lynbrook by mistake.