Slide Show: Riverhead shelter dogs receive a vet visit

01/21/2011 2:29 PM |

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Buster, a 50 lb. lab/doberman mix available for adoption at the town shelter, gets evaluated by a Dr. Lachhar and vet tech Dan Lorenz Friday morning.

A local veterinarian visited dogs at the Riverhead Town Animal Shelter on Friday, providing medical care animals at the facility don’t routinely experience.

Dr. Mandip Lachhar of the Animal Hospital of Riverhead examined the 14 dogs at the shelter and said not one of them had a serious physical health problem. However, Dr. Lachhar said, many appeared to have minor skin irritations. Two of the dogs were brought to Dr. Lachhar’s office for additional evaluations this week. The dogs were also treated for worms.

Previously, dogs at the shelter only saw a vet on an emergency basis and to receive the rabies vaccine, according to Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter. Mr. Walter’s secretary, Carol Sclafani, is also a licensed veterinary technician and has visited the dogs on Fridays in recent weeks. She said she alerted Mr. Walter to the lack of regular vet visits.

Mr. Walter said the town will continue to use the vet’s services once or twice a month. Initial visits will cost $28 per dog. He said the Town Board will meet with Dr. Lachhar at today’s public work session in Town Hall to discuss a schedule.
“It is the goal of this administration to provide the best possible health care to the animals housed under our roof and today we take an important step in making sure the dogs get the care that they are deserving of, once and for all,” Mr. Walter said in a statement.

The shelter drew criticism recently after a pit bull mix named Bruno was put down despite efforts from shelter volunteers, other animal activists and Town Councilman Jim Wooten to buy more time for the animal, which an animal control officer and a vet had both deemed aggressive. Mr. Wooten, the town board’s liaison to the shelter, has championed efforts to privatize the Youngs Avenue facility and, in recent weeks, to hire a shelter director.

The town shelter is currently run by the Riverhead Police Department. Police Chief David Hegermiller has said getting dogs adopted should not be the function of a town police department,

Still, he has said the shelter’s adoption numbers, when compared to how many dogs have been killed, are quite good, given the shelter’s limited budget and tiny staff, which now includes only one animal control officer.

Chief Hegermiller said the shelter took in 209 dogs in 2010 and only euthanized eight.

Southampton Town’s animal shelter, which was privatized in January 2010 and runs on a $1 million annual budget, has a full-time veterinary technician on staff to treat the 54 dogs, 92 cats, one rabbit and four hamsters in residence there, according to director Donald Bambrick. All animals that come to the Southampton shelter are fully vaccinated and de-wormed after five days there.

Mr. Walter has said he believes the Riverhead shelter cost about $240,000 to run last year.

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See our slide show of the shelter’s adoptable dogs below

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44 Comment

  • The problem with shelters is Ive been to Kent twice and took a dog home both times.

  • they all need a home:{

  • its a simple formula a county wide school system one superintendent Each building has a principal –who hires and fires and does his budget – there could be a parent board at each building that was elected and worked with the principal – state teaching and learning standards would be the same if the students dont do well its on the principal to make the changes cant do it fire him anf get one that can- and the buying power of the county would allow for savings for mass purchases , eliminate the Wicks law -which requires q school district to be its own Gen. Contractor at “prevailing Wage ” which is political speak for union wage
    if a new facilty is sought and the cost is a county cost thus elimnating rich vs. poor districts , also a county district could allow for “vouchers and Magnate schools so parents could actually choose whats best for their children – but all this is heresy – so get ready to pay and pay and pay – without a drastic change and some out of the box thinking we are screwed

  • Keep slashing Andy… Now lets slash teachers and administrators. No more sacred cows. It’s refreshing to watch a Democrat try to act like a responsible Republican. Let’s hope it actually happens.

  • Being a long time NOFO resident, grew up there my entire life and went to Mattituck H.S. and am proud to have had the privilege of growing up there. Although, I’m currently living on the South Shore of Island at present. I just wanted to say this about the current school budget cuts, now while I’m sympathic to all concerned with these cuts. You all should consider yourselves lucky that all you’re losing is a combined 1 million dollars, be thankful that’s all, as it could much,much more ! Sacham H.S. District lost over 16 million, Longwood H.S. District lost 8 or 9 million, Brentwood School District lost about 8 million and William Floyd School District lost around 7 or 8 million from their budgets. So count your blessings, you got off cheap compared to the rest of Suffolk County School Districts and you should be happy that’s all they took from you.

  • Mr. FRS Jr.

    Teachers do have to worry, as do all public employees. The only way to absorb the large cuts in state aid is by eliminating positions, tenure or not tenure, thousands of teachers will lose their jobs state wide, count on it!!

  • riverhead hs employs 5 principals and 5 curriculum directors and half of the 9th graders cant read or are marginal – no one minds paying for something that works something is radically wrong with this system
    being grateful that we arent being “punished ” more harshly in our individual districts is a sign of how convoluted our thinking is becoming- i dont think we should lower our -expectations think of ourselves as “lucky ”

  • What a wonderful service Dr. Lacchar is providing!

  • What a wonderful service Dr. Lacchar is providing!

  • I wouldnt open the sites in REACTIONS. they are viruses.