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HOW TO DEAL WITH HOMELESS ANIMALS

I HAVE A CAT THAT NEEDS A  HOME

If you FOUND the cat or kitten  POST SIGNS written in LARGE LETTERS in the area  where the animal was found.  Put up signs in the supermarkets and in the local pet stores.  Check signs that are already posted for lost pets which match the animal you have found.   People who lose animals frequently post signs at their local supermarkets or pet supply stores.  Put a PICTURE of the animal, if possible, on the sign.  If the weather is wet or rain or snow is expected place your sign in a plastic refrigerator bag before you tack it to a telephone pole, tree or sign post.

There is a PET LINE telephone number for lost pets which you can call  to find a match for the animal you found..  The telephone number is 1(800)564-5704.  Also, try Save a Pet Animal Rescue, Inc. (516-246-5189).

If you live in Smithtown, call the Smithtown Animal Shelter. This is a very good, no kill, animal receiving institution but often has a waiting list.   The telephone number is 360-7575. It is located at 410 E. Main Street, Smithtown.  You will have to offer proof of residency in Smithtown.  For areas other than Smithtown check your phone book for the numbers of Animal Shelters near you.  Be sure to ask for the policy that is used in dealing with the animals.  Bide-a-wee  (516-325-0200) on Old Country Road in  Westhampton is a high quality institution but often has a waiting list.  Long Island Humane (516-378-4340) 2 Rider Place in Freeport is another possibility

Some Pet stores will showcase animals that are seeking homes.   Inquire at your local pet store.

Confine the cat in a safe area such as a bathroom.  Use a cat litter box ( torn up newspapers  will serve in an emergency, ) which all cats instinctively know how to use.  Make fresh water and food available.  (Not milk or cream.)  Cat chow readily available in supermarkets and 7 Eleven or other small food stores will do for the short term.  Sardines or tuna fish, chicken liver or scrambled eggs are usually acceptable in the absence of  prepared cat foods.

I HAVE  A DOG THAT NEEDS A HOME

Try calling Pet Line at 1(800)564-5704. Post LARGE LETTERed SIGNS where you  found the dog.   Check any tags on the dog.   Local vets may be able to help you identify the owner from the rabies or heart worm tags. Of course, if there is a name and address on the tag identifying the owner, call them directly. As with a lost cat, POST SIGNS as well in supermarkets (ATTACH PICTURES), and check the local PET STORES for listing of lost animals.  Secure the dog in a garage, a shed or in your home. Be sure to have water available for the dog. The condition of the dog can suggest if the animal is a stray with no responsible owner although a deteriorated condition could mean the dog has been lost for a long time. A lack of tags could mean that the collar has been lost or that the animal is a stray. If the dog is injured seriously and needs immediate attention bring the dog to the Emergency Animal Hospital on Horseblock Road for evaluation. The Emergency Animal Hospital will charge you a fee +/- $59.00 for seeing the animal.

AN ANIMAL IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD  IS BEING ABUSED OR NEGLECTED

How to handle a situation of a neglected or abused animal depends upon the exact circumstances. If there is indication that the animal is not EATING enough due to a poor economic situation, and if you are on good terms with the owner who is possibly a neighbor, a discussiion of inexpensive alternatives to buying costly prepared dog or cat food could be offered. Cook up a brew using water in which vegetable and/or meats have been cooked as vitamins and flavor are obtained in in this way. Feed the animal pasta, add potatoes or vegetables with boiled eggs for protein.  Boullion cubes add flavor.   Boiling up the carcasses of chicken, turkey, ducks;  beef, lamb or pork adds flavor and fat to the liquid.  ALWAYS REMOVE BONES FROM THE FOOD OFFERED TO ANIMALS.   Even large bones can splinter in the digestive track of a dog and cause trouble.   Chicken, duck or turkey bones can perforate the bowel or cause obstruction..

WATER can save an animals life. Both winter and summer a dog needs water.   A dog needs a cup of water for each 8 pounds of body weight every day.

If the neglect or abuse is in the area of excessive production of puppies or kittens, there is a free spaying service at the Brookhaven Pound. Call 286-4940 for information.   If you can, offer transportation for the trip to the veterinarian.  The dog or cat needs to fast from midnight the night before the spay or neutering surgery.  Call the owner to see if they are able to properly confine the animal before the scheduled date of surgery.  Placing the dog or cat in a small room, a bathroom could be used, is one place to confine the animal before surgery.

If the animal is being used in dog fights, call the SPCA or the police. But remember that any way that the abuse can be stopppd short of calling in the authori\ties is desirable as the people who abuse a cat or dog can easily get another animal to abuse once the animal currently being abused is removed. Maintaining good relations with the persons involved while stopping the neglect or abuse can sometimes be more useful than trying to bring in the authorities. 

If  dogs are barking continuously or are barking in a distressed fashion, it is important to find out exactly what the situation is. Some animals are barking because they are lonely. Their owners can be at work and simply unaware that their animal is being noisy. If the animal sounds distressed it can be acutal mistreatment or neglect or it can be a hyperexcited dog reacting to a racoon going by. Know as much as possible about the situation before you act.

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The information on this website is not a substitute for the advice and treatment of a licensed professional.