The Irving and Phyllis Millstein Foundation for Animal Welfare, Ltd. (The Millstein Foundation) has selected The Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons (ARF) as the recipient of a three-year grant that will focus on extricating dogs from overpopulated areas or situations where it is a challenge to care for them and transporting them back to ARF where they will be given medical care (if necessary) and then await their forever home.
“We are so grateful for the years of support from Irving and Phyllis Millstein, which is now being continued through their Foundation,” Jennifer DiClemente, ARF Director of Development, expressed. “To honor their legacy, this grant will make a huge difference in the lives of hundreds of dogs that come to ARF for a new start. The latest group of Millstein rescues will be arriving at ARF on Monday, March 11th.”
The first group of “Irving and Phyllis Millstein Rescues,” from South Carolina, arrived at the ARF Adoption Center on Monday, January 14. The 22 dogs, which included terriers, hounds, and shepherd mixes, have already been medically cleared by ARF’s veterinarians and made available for adoption.
Irving and Phyllis Millstein, who were both avid animal lovers, were long-time supporters of ARF. Irving passed away in 1998, and Phyllis passed away in 2009, but their local legacy continues on as ARF is one of the principal beneficiaries of their estate in Amagansett. Through the Millsteins’ generosity, ARF has been able to make vital upgrades at the ARF adoption center in Wainscott, and now will be able to aid and find loving homes for even more animals in need.
In addition to transportation costs, the Foundation’s grant to ARF will assist with medical expenses ARF’s partners encounter when getting the animals ready for travel, including vaccinations, health certificates, and microchipping.
ARF also recently joined forces with several local animal rescues, including the North Fork Animal Welfare League (NFAWL), Kent Animal Shelter, and Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation (SASF), to take part in a major lifesaving endeavor. The local organizations facilitated the rescue of 28 homeless dogs and puppies from Puerto Rico through the Humane Society of the United States’ largest spay/neuter project to date, The Spay-A-Thon in Puerto Rico.
“Many of the dogs physically on the ground still need placement,” relayed Gillian Pultz, executive director of NFAWL. Along with Veterinarios Internacionales Dedicados a Animales Sanos (ViDAS), who is renowned for leading large spay/neuter clinics in underserved communities, Pultz has been spearheading the MASH-style recovery wards. “Groups from around the world are working together to prevent unwanted litters from being born, but we’re also working together to give animals’ fresh starts in loving homes whenever possible,” she explained.
When London-based Wild at Heart, another Spay-A-Thon partner, reached out to Pultz about some at-risk dogs, she knew NFAWL had to get involved. “Dogs are being picked up from dangerous areas and Wild at Heart is getting them vetted. The organization is able to provide short-term foster care, but the adoption opportunities in Puerto Rico are very limited at this time,” Pultz said. “People are bringing animals off the streets, of the 28 dogs we were able to bring to Long Island, 12 of them were brought into a Spay-A-Thon clinic by a concerned citizen.”
Dr. Christine Asaro, DVM, ARF’s medical director, was among volunteers that traveled to Puerto Rico to lend a helping hand during The Spay-A-Thon. “Working with ViDAS and being a participant in the Puerto Rico Spay-A-Thon for the first time was both humbling and gratifying,” Dr. Asaro reflected. “We are excited and looking forward to the combined efforts of our local organizations to help animals in need, namely those of Puerto Rico. Together we can achieve much more than if each of us acts alone!”
Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation has had a longtime presence in Puerto Rico. “Working together on the Spay-A-Thon is stopping the problem at its source by preventing pet overpopulation but it’s also wonderful to save the animals in need when we can,” Kate McEntee, director of adoptions of SASF, noted. “The wonderful ability to work together has paved the way for these dogs to literally come off the streets, where life is tough and survival is not a given, to living in a home in the Hamptons.”
Overall, The Spayathon for Puerto Rico, an island-wide spay and neuter campaign, has brought together 26 organizations.
“Kent Animal Shelter is proud to join the life saving efforts of NFAWL, SASF and ARF to re-home these dogs that were living in crisis situations with little hope of survival,” Pam Green, director of Kent Animal Shelter, expressed. “The collaboration and monumental efforts put forth by these humane organizations provides a solution to end the suffering and a path filled with hope for these misfortunate animals.”
Through the group’s collective efforts, they are hoping to safely spay and neuter over 30,000 dogs and cats during four free, high-quality, high-volume spay and neuter clinics that will take place between June 2018 and May 2019.
“The animal welfare agencies of the East End of Long Island will continue to work together to help as many at-risk animals as possible,” Pultz concluded. “Together, we are able to save so many more lives, and that’s what it’s about.”