Meet Bindy

This is the story of Bindy, a petite Pit Bull mix who came into the shelter scared and unsure of the world. Bindy was picked up as a stray, running the streets, but we knew where she had come from, and knew why she was running.

DSC_0070 (Bindy’s first day out. Look at that face. <3)

Bindy was used for breeding. She was overbred and kept outside and ignored. She came to us skinny and scared, two things we were eager to fix. When I went to go photograph her for the first time, an instant sadness came over me. She was so unsure of every single thing around her. George had taken her out with me and we both just pitied this dog for never having the life she deserved. With some time she began to warm up. It  was evident she wanted to trust us and wanted to be happy.

DSC_0060 (When I was uploading these pictures a little later that day, I saw this and seriously melted. Before I even posted it anywhere I sent it to my boyfriend with her story and the question “Who could ever hurt this dog?” And that question is one I still ask every single time I see her.)

In effort to get her to feel more comfortable, we tried getting her to play with different toys. She met them all with that same unsure reaction – one of confusion and anti-trust. At one point though, after many attempts, George showed her a squeaky toy. The noise made her curious and interested.

It was then that Bindy learned how to play. George would press the toy down with his fingers to make it squeak. She followed the motion. He did it some more and then gave her a chance. She stared at it for a bit, not sure what to do to make that noise happen. He showed her again. Pressed down – squeak. It was at that moment that it all clicked. Bindy went up to the toy and pushed down with her nose the same way George did with his fingers. The squeak startled her and excited her at the same time. Laughing the whole time, we repeated this for a while until she finally got the confidence to continue on her own.

DSC_0444 (It took Bindy a while to realize it was okay for her to play and for her to take the toy in her mouth and walk around with it. She kept looking at us for a look of approval, or really, disapproval. But with some constant reassurance, she got it.)

There was such a sense of pride knowing we gave this dog even the slightest bit of happiness. George and I would crack up every time she pushed it on her own. Such a simple thing but in all actuality, this was most likely the best day of this dog’s life.

A week or two later, we took her out again, this time with Liz. She had gained a little weight and a little courage, and we wanted to get some new photographs to show the progress she’d made. But what was supposed to be a short photo session ended up with us basically throwing this dog a party with tennis balls. We couldn’t help ourselves. They were making her so happy. It started with one. Then one from each person. Then one of each color. It basically ended with George sitting by the toy chest just throwing every single tennis ball we own. Bindy was beyond thrilled, not knowing which one to go after first. Her face screamed “BEST DAY EVER” for a good half hour before we started to clean up. Check out the photos below for proof.

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Bindy has been socialized by everyone at the shelter now. And though she does have her issues, she has gotten so much more comfortable with people. We found that she does need a home without other animals – something to be expected after remembering her past. We’d also feel more comfortable putting her in a home without small children just because she is still a little hand-shy and unsure of some things. But with those restrictions aside, Bindy would make a wonderful pet. She just wants someone to love – someone who will treat her like family – someone to take care of her, keep her inside, feed her, and love her and, of course, throw the occasional tennis ball for her.

If you’re interested in adopting Bindy, please contact us at (631) 224-5660 or message us on facebook - www.facebook.com/islipanimals.

If you can’t adopt, please share her story and help find her the forever home she always deserved.

Please remember that Bindy’s story is not uncommon. Dogs are often overbred, abused, ignored, or mistreated every day. If you see something, please reach out to your local township, shelter, or police. Together we can give more dogs a better chance at a happy ending, the same way we have for Bindy.

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For Those Non-Pit Bull People

Though we all love our Pitties at the shelter, we understand that not everyone wants to adopt a Pit Bull. For those of you who think shelter’s only have Pits for adoption, here’s us proving you wrong! Adopt one of these dogs today!

Updated 3/23/14

DSC_0754 Carmen – Chihuahua mix.

DSC_0013 Chelsea – St. Bernard.

941851_10152427971318135_1814406337_n Midnight – Black Lab mix.

hans outside Hans – Rottweiler.

Mark Mark – Shepherd/ Husky mix.

 

DSC_1102 Astro – Black Lab mix.

1610085_652021034844895_1677921067_n Howie – Terrier mix

1795748_652027458177586_2089763059_n Goliath – Bulldog mix

1901126_665877803459218_887459648_n Gizmo – Chihuahua mix

10014753_10202034036116082_1689012996_o Lucy – Australian Shepherd mix

We get new dogs in daily, and a lot of the time, they’re not Pit Bulls. But – they get adopted quick. Sometimes before I can even get pictures of them. So be sure to keep checking in with the shelter!

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The Black Dog Bias

I’ve written entries in the past that explain that, most commonly, our shelter proves the black dog bias to be untrue. Well, today, surprisingly, I write to say we have found our shelter filling up with black, or at least predominantly black dogs and cats left in their cages, waiting for homes.

Black Dog Bias is a term used that suggests that in a shelter or rescue setting, black pets are most commonly overlooked and not adopted. People feel uncomfortable and uneasy when seeing a black pet in a shelter setting and so they continue directly past the animal to look at other more eye-inviting animals.

We don’t usually have this problem at the shelter. On occasion we do shelter numerous black cats, but typically we don’t have a problem with adopting our black pets out. Our more common issue is the brown/tan pets. We usually have so many in a similar brown color that they get overlooked and the black ones, or white, or even grey ones stand out more just because they’re one in million, so to speak.

As I was updating all of our pages and animal profiles, I noticed that for the first time since I’ve worked there, we really have a very high percentage of black animals for adoption. I hope you consider adopting one of these beauties that have been overlooked and are in desperate need of a home.

Dogs -

Astro

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Astro is handsome young man. He is a Black Lab mix who is only about a year old. He’s been with us since November 2013. He would do best in a home without small children and without cats.

Bindy

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Bindy is a sweetheart who was treated very poorly by her previous owner. She is a petite Pittie who is about 3 to 4 years old. She has been with us since December of 2013.

Bubba

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Bubba is a gorgeous male Rottweiler purebred.  He’s roughly two years old. He has been with us since December 2013. He gets along with dogs and people, but is unsure of cats.

Carmen

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Carmen is a female Chihuahua mix. She is between four and five years old. She has been with us since December 2013. She needs to go to a home without children or other animals.

Hans

hans outside

Hans is a handsome male Rottweiler purebred. He is roughly two to three years old. He has been with us since August 2013. He would do best in a home without small children.

Mark

Mark

Mark is a unique looking Shepherd/ Husky mix. He is about a year and a half old. He has been with us since September 2013. He needs a home without small children.

 

Midnight

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Midnight is a cutie. She is a Black Lab mix who is about 2 years old. She has been with us since November 2013. She is learning commands and how to walk nicely on a leash. She needs a home without other dogs and with older children.

 

Pierce

pierce

Pierce is a cute Shepherd mix. He is between 6 and 7  years old. He has been with us since September 2013. He gets along with dogs and people but needs a home without cats.

Potter

Potter

Potter is an adorable Pointer mix. He is only about a year old. He has been with us since September. He is part of the Canine Good Citizen training program and knows his basic commands and how to walk nicely on leash. He gets along with people and dogs but needs a home without cats.

Robyn

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Robyn is a cute American Staffordshire Terrier mix. She is about 2 to 3 years old. She has been here since December of 2013.

Cats -

Jasmine

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Jasmine is a pretty girl who is roughly 10 years old! She is declawed. She just wants a home to be lazy in. She has been with us for a couple of weeks now.

Nyx

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Nyx is a curious girl who is now about 10 months old. She’s growing up here! She’s been at our shelter since November 2013.

Yvonne

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Yvonne is a beautiful girl who has waited much too long for her home. She is about 6 years old. She has been here since early May 2013.

If you’re interested in adopting any of these sweet animals, please contact us via Facebook or call us at 631-224-5660.

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Finding Humanity in Animal Oriented Companies

As you all know from my constant posts, the shelter is always looking for donations. We prefer to use our allotted budget on medical expenses, because we feel saving lives is the biggest and most important part of any animal shelter or rescue. By asking the public and outside organizations and companies for donations, we save what money we would have spent on things like food or cleaning supplies and then can use that for medications, surgeries, and wellness products.

Part of my job, or what I’ve made part of my job, is continually looking for companies who are willing to donate to the shelter. I’ve contacted numerous companies from food companies, pet med companies, to even hotels for their old towels and sheets. I don’t always get a response – actually, I hardly ever get a response- but when I do get a response, they are almost always automatic. You never get to deal with a real person and they more often than not deny your request for donations.

When I reached out to 1-800-PetMeds I was sure they would be like all the other companies, where I would not get a response, or if I did it would be just an automatic email back explaining that someone will review my request, and then I’d never hear back from them. I was pleasantly surprised when I received an email back from them, within only a short time, eagerly wanting to help and to donate a care package.

Not only did they donate to us that initial time, but since then, their representative has contacted me numerous times, even added me on facebook, and keeps in touch with me. Whenever she is able to donate, after less than a week of when she contacts me, we receive that beautiful white box with their logo on it. (THANK YOU, DANA!)  This week we received another donation from them, full of goodies for our animals.

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It is so refreshing to be able to work with a real person, representing a company that really does care about the welfare of animals  - not just pets but all animals. I only wish that more companies could be like 1-800-PetMeds and donate to the animals who need it the most – the homeless beauties in shelters and rescues who have been neglected and denied these products their whole lives.

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Thank You Note

There are often times when I begin to lose hope in people. It’s not hard to do. The animal industry can be an on-going reminder of how cruel some people can be.

But it seems as though every time I begin to question myself and my choices to do what I’m doing, someone steps up and I am reminded that there is still good in this world. There are people who always leave me with faith in humanity. This post is for them, a thank you from me.

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Saturday was our second annual Holiday Toy Drive. The amount of people who came together to make this happen was astonishing. Before the event even took place, we had people reaching out to us wanting to donate. We had donations from all over the country, from our previous adopters, from Town employees, from our volunteers, from our families, our friends, and from total strangers.

There is a certain gratification that comes with seeing all your hard work come together. Even before the event began, I started seeing our flyers posted in different publications, throughout town and in different shops, and all over social media sites. We received packages from amazon from our followers who couldn’t make the event, some more than we could have ever asked for or expected (the Blam family in particular, who were beyond generous, donating Kuranda beds and Kong toys.) We had people donate snacks and treats to the staff. (Andrea, Cheddar’s new mommy, your donuts and pastries made us all the happiest people ever. We all love a nice baked good, haha) and we had so many people, even kids, telling us how excited they were to come down and stuff those stockings.

The day of the event, I was riddled with stress and fear that it would be a disaster, since as soon as I got in my car at 8 am it began to snow. I thought for sure no one would show up because of the weather and road conditions. But by the time I got to the shelter and started setting everything up, one by one the Live.Love.Bark volunteers started showing up, donations in hand, and ready to work!

As we were setting up the lobby and going over the game plan, we had people knocking on the door, waiting to donate. “Hopefully that’s a good sign” I thought to myself. And it was! When 11 am came rolling around, we had a line of people waiting in the snow to come in and donate. And that line was pretty consistent all day long.

As you’ve probably read in our statuses and in the press release posted on our facebook page and on the Town’s website, we raised over 200 gallons of toys. We also raised food, bones, laundry detergent, dish soap, food bowls, collars and leashes, and more! We’re so grateful to have raised sooo, soo much this year thanks to everyone who donated to us.

We’d like to send out a special thank you the following people:

Selena and her family, for collecting donations from friends and family and making sure every stocking had at least one goody bag in it.

Beth, for making and donating the cutest blanket for our Brock. He loves it!

Kim and her family, for always donating and being there to support our shelter.

Noelle and her family, for coming to all of our events and passing on the importance of donating and adopting to their adorable son.

Sue S., for donating literally ever single time we ask for help, for showing up to all of the events, and for being all around an awesome person. Thank you for donating to both the animals, and to humans working the events!

My own family, for always being at these events, and donating, and being supportive. To my mom who made that Shelter Alumni scrap book for Joanne and the shelter, and to my dad who always lets me use his truck to go back and forth to these events.

And of course, thank you to all of the volunteers who worked the event! None of this would have happened without you all!

(I’m probably forgetting a bunch of key people, but you all know who you are, so if I did, know we’re so thankful for you, and it’s nothing personal, I just have a bad memory! lol)

It is because of these people -everyone who donated, shared our flyer, collected donations from others, or supported us in any way – because of them, total strangers, coming together to make a difference, that I continually regain faith in humanity, and have hope that together, we really can make a change for these animals.

We’d like to wish all of you a very happy holiday season and a very happy new year. We look forward to seeing you at our next event! :)

 

 

 

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A New Leaf for Islip Animal Shelter

I’ve been waiting some time to write this entry. I’m thrilled to finally be able to announce that Islip Animal Shelter and Adopt-a-Pet Center will now be working exclusively with a new group of volunteers: the extremely dedicated individuals who make up Live.Love.Bark Dog Rescue Inc.

Myself and a group of other animal lovers and pet professionals joined together after the shelter parted ways with the last volunteer organization, to discuss what it was the shelter animals really needed (other than homes, obviously.) It took a very short time to realize that what they needed was us. We have worked together over the past couple of months to create an organization that revolves around training, promoting and fundraising.

Of course, being the President of this organization, I’m bias. But, for those who have met me, I think it’s pretty evident how dedicated I am to these animals. I spend my days off at the shelter, I spend my nights answering messages and comments on our facebook page, updating photos, working on our Pinterest page, our Petfinder page, this blog page, etc. I’ve planned a ton of events for the shelter so far (some of which I paid for out of pocket,) and I’m stoked to keep doing that, only on a larger scale now.

I think I can speak for the other members of Live.Love.Bark as well. My other directors, Jen and Sue, along with our group of regular volunteers, have dedicated so much time to this shelter. Jen, a professional dog trainer, has worked with our shelter to help evaluate dogs and has trained dozens of volunteers on her days off. Sue, who adopted her boy Jake from our shelter years ago and more recently adopted Willow, the cat, from us, has been at the shelter every weekend working with our dogs, helping them learn how to behave. We are all volunteers, donating our time and efforts. We do not get paid to be there, or to care.  We truly love these animals and will go above and beyond to do everything we possibly can to see them get into homes. We’re so looking forward to doing this on a regular basis and seeing our hard work pay off with every adoption.

Live.Love.Bark Dog Rescue Inc. is proud to say that in the last few months the organization was able to sign 501C3 paperwork and has raised enough funds through various fundraisers to begin working directly and exclusively with the shelter. The goals are to evaluate dogs and train those who show potential and those who are most commonly overlooked. Through the Canine Good Citizen program, attention is brought to a group of dogs who are trained to behave and mind their manners in a public setting. They learn the basics like sit, down, stay, and come, as well as how to react around a group of people, other dogs, or if around distractions. A trained dog is much more appealing than a dog who seems chaotic in the shelter, and because of this their chances for adoption raise much higher. Who doesn’t want a dog who knows all the tricks already?!

We encourage you all to check out the Live.Love.Bark website and to “like” the group’s page on Facebook. And of course, keep checking both the Live.Love.Bark’s sites and the shelter’s sites to find out about upcoming events and donation drives!

I can speak for both the shelter and the rescue when I say that everyone is excited about this union and we’re ready for great things to come from it. We hope to see all of you at each of our events, and would love to help you find your next pet!

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Another year ending

Another year is ending and as we close this chapter, we’re preparing for our second annual Holiday Toy Drive.

Our first drive was so successful, we’ve all been eager to repeat it. Last year’s drive started with me buying Christmas stockings for a select few dogs who had been at the shelter for a long period of time – an attempt to make it seem more like home for them. After hanging a few though, the thought popped into my head, that this could be a great way to get people down to the shelter.

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So, $100 less richer, I decorated and hung the 80+ stockings  I bought for each animal on each cage. I figured, even if there was only one toy in each stocking, it’d be a success. Never did I expect what the event actually turned out to be.

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Last year’s event saw more than 125 families walk through those runs, donating over 80 gallons of toys! (THAT’S A GALLON A STOCKING!) We also raised collars, leashes, and over 400 pounds of dry food. We couldn’t have asked for a better turn out!

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It was touching to see the kids down there, excited to pick out specific toys for each animal’s stocking. And of course, as always, it was so wonderful to see our former adopters down there, and hear stories of our shelter alumni!

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The best part of the day though, was that with so many people walking in and out of the shelter, we had a couple of bonus adoptions, leaving us with 5 dog adoptions and 2 cat adoptions and with five other applications pending. Our biggest and greatest success of the day – King Kong, finding his forever home!

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We are only now starting to run low on toys from last year’s drive. This year, we’re hoping to do just as well, if not better! If we can raise enough toys to last all of 2014, we can save a nice part of our budget to spend on more important things, like saving lives!

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 We’re excited to see everyone and can’t wait to fill these stockings! Please be sure to share our event flyer with all your friends and family!

toy drive

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