10/21/14 8:00am
10/21/2014 8:00 AM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO  |  Dr. Jennifer Cabral combs a 5-month-old pup, named Tailpipe, for fleas at North Fork Animal Hospital in 2013.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Dr. Jennifer Cabral combs a 5-month-old pup, named Tailpipe, for fleas at North Fork Animal Hospital in 2013.

The North Fork Animal Welfare League will be holding its first event at Calverton’s Henry Pfeifer Community Center later this month, with a free spay and neuter clinic at the location.

Available for cats and dogs, the event should service close to 70 animals, said shelter director Gillian Wood-Pultz.

“Spay/neuter is the only 100 percent effective method of birth control for dogs and cats and the most efficient tool for reducing pet overpopulation available,” she said via email. “Studies show that spayed and neutered pets live 20 percent longer on average than unaltered pets.”

NFAWL took over operations at Riverhead Town’s dog shelter last year, and with financial support from Riverhead Move the Animal Shelter, will be moving to the town’s Henry Pfeifer Community Center in the future after Town Board members voted 3-2 recently to OK the move.

The spay and neuter clinic will take place on Oct. 29 and Oct. 30. Appointments are required; call 566-8870 to set up a time.

10/01/14 4:30pm
10/01/2014 4:30 PM
Gillian Wood Pultz (right) and another African Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW) volunteer prep a satellite clinic to administer rabies vaccines to dogs in the city of Voi, located in southern Kenya. (Courtesy photo)

Gillian Wood Pultz (right) and another African Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW) volunteer prep a satellite clinic to administer rabies vaccines to dogs in the city of Voi, located in southern Kenya. (Courtesy photo)

Most people look forward to spending their precious vacation days enjoying rest, relaxation and the occasional cocktail, but that’s not the case with North Fork Animal Welfare League director Gillian Wood Pultz.

Twice a year since 2010, Ms. Wood Pultz has boarded a plane to Mexico to help spay and neuter 1,600 animals in just six days.

But this year, she decided to take her efforts even further away — about 8,000 miles, in fact — to Africa.

Armed with a sleeping bag and mosquito net, Ms. Wood Pultz flew from Mexico to Kenya on Aug. 19 to volunteer with the African Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW), which had been working to stop the Kenyan government from using what Ms. Wood Pultz called an inhumane euthanasia practice in an effort to control the spread of rabies.

“The Kenyan government decided that in order to keep rabies at bay in humans, it had to reduce the population of stray dogs,” Ms. Wood Pultz said. “ANAW got involved and started a vaccination campaign.”

Gillian Wood Pultz said the highlight of her trip was helping children and families learn how to better care for their dogs, which included a tutorial on belly rubs. (Courtesy photo)

Ms. Wood Pultz joined a group of helpers from around the globe to vaccinate nearly 2,000 animals against rabies in just five days, sleeping on the roof of a building with other volunteers in order to save money.

The vaccinations replaced the Kenyan government’s use of strychnine, a form of poison that had been used to kill hundreds of stray dogs until March, when ANAW stepped in, according to the Kenya Society for the Protection and Care of Animals.

“It’s an oral poison, and it is a really harsh form [of euthanasia] — a horrible way to kill dogs,” Ms. Wood Pultz said.

NFAWL, which operates shelters in Riverhead and Southold towns, donated medical supplies and about 400 soon-to-expire vaccines that otherwise would have been thrown out, she said.

To help instill animal welfare, Ms. Wood Pultz said, “it is hugely important that everyone works together. We need cooperation and collaboration locally, nationally, and globally.”

She said her mission in Kenya went well beyond simply vaccinating animals.

“We want to change the way owners think of their animals,” she said.

Ms. Wood Pultz explained that dogs are treated as agricultural animals in that part of the world and frequently used to protect homes and herd cattle.

“Dogs are not considered pets. They are not allowed in the house,” she said. “It was so clear to me that they just didn’t know they were supposed to pet their dogs; they really weren’t sure.”

Ms. Wood Pultz said she set out to change that mindset.

“We started teaching the kids to rub their dog’s tummy,” she said. “One here, another there — and then, all of a sudden — all these kids had their dogs rolling in the field on their backs, wagging their tails.

“All you need is one of them to really get it and it can change an entire community,” she said.

[email protected]

Second photo credit: Gillian Wood Pultz said the highlight of her trip was helping children and families learn how to better care for their dogs, which included a tutorial on belly rubs. (Courtesy photo)

05/25/14 12:00pm
05/25/2014 12:00 PM
Shoshire Kennels co-owner Dwayne Early of Aquebogue and his two-year-old long-haired Chihuahua Lady Gaga last year. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

Shoshire Kennels co-owner Dwayne Early of Aquebogue and his long-haired Chihuahua Lady Gaga last year. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

The rolling purr of a cat or sloppy kisses of a dog are a simple signs of affection that can go a long way for people, providing pet owners with a sense of companionship and something to look forward to when coming home to an otherwise empty house. (more…)

05/15/14 3:32pm
05/15/2014 3:32 PM
The Suffolk County Legislature passed a measure regulating the tethering of dogs. (Credit: Freephotos.com/pexlo)

The Suffolk County Legislature passed a measure regulating the tethering of dogs. (Credit: Freephotos.com/pexlo)

The Suffolk County Legislature voted unanimously Tuesday to strengthen protections for man’s furry friend by changing how dogs can be restrained outdoors.

If signed into law by the County Executive, pet owners could no longer secure their dogs outside to a stationary object for longer than two hours in any 12-hour period, according to the legislation sponsored by Legislator Lou D’Amaro (D-Huntington Station). (more…)

05/14/14 11:37am
05/14/2014 11:37 AM
After he was missing for six months, Charlie was reunited at home in Mattituck with Kayla and Greg Masem and 18-month-old Wyatt. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

After she was missing for six months, Charlie was reunited at home in Mattituck with Kayla and Greg Masem and 18-month-old Wyatt.
(Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

After escaping from her Mattituck home in November, 5-year-old Charlie heard her name for the first time in six months on Friday.

With a wagging tail and lots of kisses, the settler/pointer mix was undeniably happy to be finally recognized by someone, anyone — in this case, a staffer at the Southold Animal Shelter.  (more…)

05/01/14 6:00am
05/01/2014 6:00 AM
Cats of all ages are looking for loving home at the NFAWL animal shelter in Peconic. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

Cats of all ages are looking for a loving home at the NFAWL animal shelter in Peconic. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

Ever think about adopting a pet, but weren’t sure if you could find the right animal to complete your happy home? Well now is your chance.

North Fork Animal Welfare League is taking part in a nationwide pet adoption event — teaming up with the nonprofit Maddie’s Fund foundation and hundreds of other shelters — to find homes for 10,000 animals.  (more…)