Last Hope nabs $4k grant to transport, tune-up at-risk pups

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Nonprofit Last Hope Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation last month secured a $4,000 grant from American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to help rescue eight pups from Kentucky and Georgia.

The Wantagh-based organization, which is dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of at-risk, stray and abandoned animals, obtained the grant in October in conjunction with the Subaru Loves Pets program.

The grant covered the costs of transporting the dogs to Last Hope and preparing them for adoption by giving them individualized veterinary care, the organization’s president, Linda Stuurman, said.

“This grant was major for our organization,” Stuurman said, “because it costs us roughly $500 to prepare each dog for adoption...and that just covers the basics. If the dog has a medical condition and we need to hold them for longer, then the cost goes up. So, this is a major help.”

The dogs were first transported to Long Island from shelters in Kentucky and Georgia, Stuurman explained. Some of these shelters included Walker County Animal Shelter and Forsyth County Animal Shelter, both in Georgia, and Bowling Green Humane Society in Kentucky. Last Hope then held the dogs for about two weeks to prepare them for adoption, unless additional medical care was needed. Standard preparation services included spaying and neutering, vaccinations and heartworm testing.

“We have an excellent team of volunteers and veterinarians, which is why we are able to get everything done in two weeks,” Stuurman said. “At Last Hope, we guarantee people that we will provide them with secure pets, and we do everything in our power to make sure these animals leave us safe and healthy.”

By mid-October the eight pups were ready to find loving homes. Last Hope held an adoption event on Oct. 16 at Hassett Subaru in Wantagh in an effort to re-home the dogs.

On average, the organization will find a home for one dog each day – which is equivalent to 365 lives saved throughout the year, said Last Hope’s event coordinator Denise McDermott.

“Last Hope also helps the community by offering various grants and taking in sick animals or connecting them with the proper veterinary services whenever pet-owners in the community reach out to us for help,” McDermott said.

Last Hope also operates a community outreach and awareness campaign to educate the public on Long Island’s overpopulation of cats and dogs and unwanted animals in shelters.

Dog coordinator Letty Canals said Wantagh and the surrounding communities support the nonprofit through donations and involvement in events. “The Long Island community is extremely dedicated to keeping their animals healthy,” Canals said. 

Stuurman noted that Last Hope offers a financial veterinary assistance program to help dog and cat owners who are facing financial hardships, in hopes that the owners will be able to keep their pets rather than relinquish or euthanize them because they can’t afford to care for them.

Last Hope Animal Rescue is currently seeking new volunteers. Individuals who are interested can email info@lasthopeanimalrescue.org or get additional information online at: www.lasthopeanimalrescue.org.

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