North Fork humane group planning cat shelter in Calverton

TIM GANNON PHOTO | Farmer Rex Farr looks over the land he plans to lease to the North Fork Animal Welfare League in Calverton. He and his wife already run an animal rescue operation.

The North Fork Animal Welfare League is hoping to built a cat shelter and spay/neuter clinic in Calverton, not far from the existing Riverhead Town dog shelter.

The facility would be built on land owned by Rex and Connie Farr on Youngs Avenue.

The couple owns an organic farm there and has been rescuing pets and farm animals and keeping them on the property for years.

The shelter would only be about 1,500 square feet and would be located on about an acre of land fronting Youngs Avenue that the Farrs would lease to the Southold-based North Fork Animal Welfare League on a long-term basis.

Gillian Pultz, the League’s executive director, said the organization has funds that were specifically donated for use on a capital project that can be used for this type of facility.

“The current project in the planning process is primarily a cat shelter because Riverhead Town doesn’t provide shelter for cats, but it will have the capacity for spay/neuter surgeries as well,” she said.

The League — a humane group formed in 1963 — has operated Southold Town’s animal shelter since 1980 under contract with that town, and Southold’s shelter does accommodate both dogs and cats, Ms. Wood said.

A cat shelter, which is something some animal advocates have urged Riverhead to establish over the years, would not require a lot of space, Ms. Wood said.

Riverhead’s animal shelter on Youngs Avenue, across from the town landfill and adjacent to Crown Sanitation, has come under criticism over the years, and animal advocates have urged the town to contract with a private organization such as the North Fork Animal Welfare League to operate it.

Those plans have stalled somewhat in recent months, but Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter said he’s still hopeful the League will eventually take over the operation of Riverhead’s shelter.

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Read more in Thursday’s News-Review newspaper.

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