Story by Jennifer O’Connor
President of the Warwick Valley Humane Society Suzyn Barron lovingly cradled “Gilbert,” a gentle giant of a cat, in her arms while speaking to the Warwick Town Board at their meeting on Thurs., Apr. 13.
“Gilbert,” named after Gilbert the Great, was thrown from a vehicle and discovered on the side of the road. He sustained contusions and abrasions to his head. As a result of his injuries, he was unable to stand on his own. A veterinarian diagnosed him as having Traumatic Brain Injury. It’s been a long haul but ‘Gilbert’ is now able to hold himself upright.
“‘Gilbert’ is doing fine and he walks around the shelter all the time, but he would prefer to be in someone else’s lap. The only real issue with him is that he snores,” said Barron.
Unfortunately, ‘Gilbert’ is a victim of animal abuse in the community. Barron brought him to the meeting to raise awareness for the “Prevention of Animal Cruelty Month.” The Warwick Valley Humane Society has joined the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) national campaign, which is to “Go Orange” in support of the fight against animal cruelty.
“We joined forces with the ASPCA by hanging ribbons in Warwick and by wearing orange as often as we can to raise awareness for animal abuse and neglect. They go hand-in-hand, whether it’s intentional or unintentional – it still breaks the animal,” said Barron.
Barron then spoke about “Rocky’s Law,” which was passed two years ago in Orange County. This law established an animal abuser registry. Residents in Orange County who have been convicted of animal cruelty will be listed in an online registry. Those who are convicted will not be allowed to own a pet for 15 years, and repeat offenders will be barred from owning a pet for life.
“This past February we had a woman in Greenwood Lake who pled guilty and is now the third person on the registry for abusing her animals,” said Barron. “We have a lot of support from the community and have great cooperation from our Police Department. We really appreciate that.”
Later in the meeting, the Board passed a motion adopting a proclamation that April 2017 is “Prevention of Animal Cruelty Month.” The proclamation calls upon residents to treat any and all animals with kindness, consideration and respect, and to report the abuse, neglect and cruelty of all animals to law enforcement agencies or to the Warwick Valley Humane Society. The Humane Society’s confidential animal cruelty hotline is 987-7336.
Adopt a Pet & Make a Donation
The Shelter currently has 106 cats, 16 dogs, 15 rabbits, five doves and two roosters – all ready to be adopted. They are in need of rabbit pellets, canned ground cat food, medical supplies, bleach, paper towels, and paper plates. Monetary donations are greatly appreciated. Donations may be dropped off to the shelter, which is located at 48 Public Works Dr. in Warwick.
Upcoming Events at the Humane Society
Upcoming events at the Humane Society include a First Aid and CPR course for animal emergencies with First Aid and CPR, Inc. on Sat., Apr. 29 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Those who are 13 years old and older can take the course. Preregistration is required. The cost is $70.
A fundraiser will also be held for the Shelter by the Warwick Foot and Tea Spa called “Fore the Animals.” The golf outing fundraiser will be held on Mon., May 8 from 7:30 a.m. to 12 noon at the Mansion Ridge Golf Club, located at 1292 Orange Tpke. in Monroe. The cost is $130 and includes 18 holes, cart rental, continental breakfast, lunch, raffle and tricky tray. For more information call the Humane Society at 986-2473.