So many Island Park cats need your help

Humane Society at risk of closure


The Long Beach Humane Society, which has been in operation since 1976, is at risk of closing amid a financial crisis worsened by the coronavirus pandemic.

“It takes a lot of money to run a nonprofit, especially this size,” volunteer Kim Boley said. “Believe it or not, we might look small, but I would say we have almost 400 cats a year. That includes medical, it includes food, it includes labor, litter, or other things we need. With Covid, unfortunately, fundraising wasn’t a possibility. Regardless of how we tried, it wasn’t. So our savings were tapped into.”

In 2020, the organization, now headquartered on Austin Boulevard in Island Park, suffered a steep drop in revenue from “gifts, grants, contributions, and membership fees,” as revealed on its federal tax forms, from $75,208 in 2019 to $10,750. Subsequent years saw a recovery, with revenue increasing to $53,759 in 2021 and $72,933 in 2022.

At this point, the nonprofit needs to raise $50,000 to stay afloat.

Its Kitty Cove, a shelter and adoption center in Island Park, which typically cares for 70 to 100 kittens and cats, currently shelters 30. At the end of December, the organization temporarily stopped accepting additional animals in order to cut costs.

“Some cats are residents, and you have to look at them and say, you know, at some point, are they going to lose their home?” Helen Aloi, the Humane Society’s director, said. “How do we stop that? So to stop something like that, and make sure that they have a home forever, we’ve got to slow down and stop taking and stop saving more lives. It kills us, but this is their home. Some of them are adoptable, some of them just want to stay here, and we’re going to make sure that that happens.”

The organization cares not only for cats in need, but dogs as well. The Austin Boulevard shelter does not house dogs, but volunteers help secure foster homes for dogs, temporary homes until adoptions can be arranged.

The group’s efforts extend well beyond Long Beach, to the Town of Hempstead and even Brooklyn and Queens — wherever a cat is in need. It rescues cats from kill shelters, giving them not only a second chance at life, but also the opportunity to find happiness with a loving family.

Volunteers emphasize the importance of spaying and neutering pets to help make a dent in the perennial problem of an uncontrolled population of strays, especially cats. The emphasis is on not only preventing the births of unwanted litters that contribute to overpopulation, but also ensuring animals’ well-being and alleviating the strain on shelters.

The organization will host its sixth annual Bowling for Kitties fundraiser on Feb. 25, at Maple Lanes in Rockville Centre. Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door, with all proceeds benefiting the Humane Society. In addition to bowling, there will be a silent auction, a 50/50 raffle and food and drinks available for purchase.

The shelter is open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays.

In addition to this month’s fundraiser, there are a number of ways to support the organization. Contributions of money or supplies can be made on its website,

The society welcomes corporate partnerships, which give businesses a chance to get involved with a meaningful mission in the community.

“Spay, neuter, vaccinating, deworming, antibiotics — it’s astronomical,” Aloi said of the cost of caring for unwanted animals. “A case of food four years ago was $11 and change, today it’s $21. And it’s just Fancy Feast. It’s not expensive at all. We use 400 pounds of litter a week — 400 pounds. That’s a lot. There’s just so much we can do, but the help of our neighbors would be amazing.”

Taking part in animal fostering, volunteering at the shelter and making connections on its social media can also contribute to its continued ability to save lives.

Community members who are interested in the organization’s updates can subscribe to its newsletter, which offers information on fundraising events, animals that are available for adoption and other updates.