It may have been raining cats and dogs on Sunday, but Saturday was a good day to go home with one.
Last Chance Animal Rescue hosted two of their weekly pet adoption events in Patchogue on Saturday, where cats and kittens were on display at the local Petco while dog adoptions were taking place a few minutes away at Fantastic Gardens. Between the events, there were nine cats and 10 different dogs looking for new homes.
“We host our events at any place that is happy to welcome us,” said Lynn Pozmanter, 59, the Adoption program director for Last Chance.
More than 15,000 pets have found new homes through Last Chance since 2008. Last year, their adoptions totaled to 300 for cats and 400 for dogs. These animals come from shelters in South Carolina, where they otherwise would have been euthanized had they not been rescued.
The nonprofit is entirely run by just under 80 volunteers, which includes coordinators, transporters, and fosters. Every two weeks, transporters help move the animals from overcrowded animal shelters in South Carolina to foster homes in Suffolk County. They then stay with a vetted foster owner until they find a home.
“A lot of them are adopted within the week they arrive,” said Ally Tyrell, 25, an event coordinator for Last Chance from Selden. “But sometimes, the cats will be in foster care for much longer; we’ve had cats wait almost a year with their foster before they were adopted.”
The adoption fees for adult cats are lower than those of kittens to encourage people to take in the older animals.
“People want kittens,” said coordinator Jordyn Valente, 30, from Ronkonkoma. “Sometimes the biggest challenge is getting the older cats adopted.”
Cat adoption fees range from $125 to $150, and for dogs, it is $600 or $300 for senior dogs, which are seven years or older. The rescue even offers a special “senior senior” pricing for anyone 65 and above adopting a senior dog, which is only $200. This cost helps cover spay and neutering, vaccinations, and microchips that the animals come with upon adoption.
The rescue helps animals with all kinds of different conditions and disabilities find homes. It is sustained almost entirely by donations from anyone who is looking to chip in. The volunteers, who dedicate many hours of their time to the rescue, help ensure that funds primarily support the nourishment and shelter of the foster animals.
“We are always looking for new volunteers,” Tyrell added. “The more help we have, the more foster animals we are able to get into new homes.”
Layne Groom is a reporter with The SBU Media Group, part of Stony Brook University’s School of Communication and Journalism’s Working Newsroom program for students and local media.