Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen, along with the hardworking dedicated staff of the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter, reported that during the town’s “Home for the Holidays” event, 187 cats and dogs found homes.
The Town of Hempstead placed 75 pets in forever homes with wonderful families through adoption, 89 through rescue partners or special placement, and successfully reunited 24 stray pets with their owners.
Adoption fees were waived from Nov. 21 through Jan. 6 to encourage adoptions, and all animals are vaccinated, neutered, and micro-chipped before leaving the shelter at no cost to the owners.
“I’m absolutely overjoyed that so many adorable pets were able to find a home for the holidays,” said Gillen. “Our staff and volunteers at the animal shelter were working so hard to find the right homes for our lovable pets and I’m thrilled that their hard work has paid off.”
To help spread the word about the free adoptions and the number of pets available at the shelter, the town partnered with broadcasting network TBS to produce a promotional video for the shelter. The video shows magician John Stessel playing some games with pups by hiding treats. Multiple national media organizations, including People Magazine, UNILAD and the Dodo, picked up the video and it quickly went viral from there.
The original post on the TBS YouTube channel has more than 1.7 million views.
“This partnership has been amazingly successful and has contributed greatly to our adoption efforts,” said Gillen. “I’m grateful that we’ve been able to get millions of people to see our animals and remain steadfast in my commitment to our Town’s furry, four-legged friends.”
Meanwhile, Gillen also announced that local residents should prepare to dispose of their live Christmas trees and wreaths in order to avoid potential fire hazards. On Wednesday, Jan. 9, Town of Hempstead Sanitation workers will be collecting discarded Christmas trees at residential homes. Residents can also dispose of their trees at the town’s Homeowner Disposal Area, located at 1600 Merrick Rd. in Merrick, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, Christmas trees are responsible for an estimated average of 210 reported home structure fires per year, resulting in an annual average of seven civilian deaths, 19 civilian injuries, and $17.5 million in direct property damage.
“The longer you keep a live tree in your house, the more of a fire hazard it becomes” said Gillen. “A dry tree can ignite a room in less than a minute and lead to one of the deadliest types of fires that can involve entire families.”
Residents can help the Town of Hempstead’s hard-working sanitation members to safely and environmentally soundly dispose of waste after the holiday season by following these guidelines:
Trees should be stripped of ornaments and lights and be placed at the end of the driveway. Trees should not be placed in the road or blocking the sidewalk. If over the course of the holidays, branches from the tree have fallen off, be sure to place them in garbage bags and leave them with your regular yard waste. The branches should be bundled and tied and leaves and grass clippings should also be bagged and weigh no more than 75 pounds.