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11/27/14 2:00pm
11/27/2014 2:00 PM

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTOOliver is awake (briefly).Before Oliver, a 2-year-old tabby, was adopted in 2012, he was a stray kitten doing his best to survive in an old barn behind a Southold church.

Now, the blue-eyed beauty is Mr. August 2015 in North Fork Animal Welfare League’s first calendar.

Photographed by volunteer photographer Katharine Schroeder of Cutchogue, the “Adopt Love!” calendar features portraits of cats and dogs that have been adopted from or are still waiting at NFAWL, which operates shelters in Riverhead and Peconic.

NFAWL director Gillian Wood-Pultz said the calendar, which is available for purchase at both shelters and at three local businesses, is selling well. All proceeds benefit the nonprofit group.

“They’re great gifts for Christmas,” she said. “Everybody needs a calendar.”KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTOCamo caught in mid-yawn.

Ms. Schroeder, a freelance photographer for Times Review Media Group, said photographing the animals, who were chosen using a lottery system after interested owners sent in pictures of their pets, was “very challenging but lots of fun.”

“Most of the dogs were so friendly they charged right at the camera, trying to lick either me or the lens,” she said. “I used treats and sound effects to get good expressions from them.”

Ms. Schroeder said one dog, a beagle named Bailey, liked having her picture taken so much that she led the photographer to various locations throughout the house and “posed and posed and posed. I never saw anything like it.”

Not surprisingly, getting the cats to cooperate was a bit trickier.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTOLayney.“Oliver falls asleep when he gets stressed or loses interest in something,” Ms. Schroeder said. “After taking only a handful of shots of him, he nodded off and there was nothing we could do to wake him up. Luckily, one of the shots was perfect.”

“Adopt Love!” is available for $10 at NFAWL’s Riverhead and Peconic shelters and at Groom and Gear in Mattituck, Dog Town in Southold and Harbor Pets in Greenport.

The calendar is also available for $15 (price includes shipping costs) at nfawl.org.

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Captions: One-year-old Camo (top, right) was adopted by the Schoenstein family in 2013 and is much more canine than feline, his owners say. Layney (middle, left), a 3-year-old pit bull mix, loves playing with the dogs in her neighborhood.

06/06/14 10:00am
06/06/2014 10:00 AM
Eileen Kreiling, manager of the North Fork Animal Welfare League's Riverhead shelter, with 4-year-old pitbull Benny, who has been at the shelter since February. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Eileen Kreiling, manager of the North Fork Animal Welfare League’s Riverhead shelter, with 4-year-old pitbull Benny, who has been at the shelter since February. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

When speaking about his work as an animal advocate in town government, Councilman James Wooten will often repeat a quote widely attributed to Mahatma Ghandi: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

On this front, Riverhead Town and Suffolk County governments have each made great strides over the past few years to better care for and protect animals: this in a state that consistently ranks near the bottom in the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s annual report on animal protection laws in the U.S. (more…)

02/10/14 4:13pm
02/10/2014 4:13 PM
FEral Cats in Riverhead

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Supervisor Sean Walter holds his new puppy, ‘Bandit,’ alongside Pam Green of Kent and Al LaFrance of SAVES, a North Fork feline humane organization.

The times are a-changin’ at North Fork animal rescue nonprofit Spay, Alter, Vaccinate, Every Stray — more commonly known as SAVES — as the organization announced a new president recently and will soon hand over operation of its adoption center at the Riverhead Petco.


12/27/13 4:00pm
12/27/2013 4:00 PM

CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | Chipper the dog resting at North Fork Animal Welfare League’s shelter in Calverton. The paralyzed animal was rescued about two weeks ago.

An abandoned, paralyzed dog recently found wandering the streets around town is being nursed back to health at North Fork Animal Welfare League’s shelter in Calverton.

A father and son found the 10-year-old border collie about two weeks ago shivering, emaciated and struggling to move due to a spinal injury that left his back legs paralyzed. They then wrapped the dog, now named Chipper, in a blanket and took him to the animal shelter.

Although the veterinarians there aren’t able to determine how long Chipper has been paralyzed, they believe he was someone’s pet because he’s sociable and neutered.

Gillian Wood, NFAWL’s executive director, said Chipper is able to move around using his front legs. Dragging his belly on the floor, the dog can drink from a water bowl, fetch treats and greet visitors. Unlike other dogs with similar injuries, she said Chipper is able to control his bowels.

“It’s hard to believe someone would just leave him,” Ms. Wood said. “He is a pretty special guy.”

In order to help Chipper with his recovery, NFAWL volunteer Scott Kessler has modified the shelter’s small rolling cart to help the dog move around. As Chipper continues to get healthier, Ms. Woods said her group hopes to find him a loving home.

“He doesn’t have a mean bone in his body,” she said. “He is as sweet as could be. That’s why we named him Chipper.”

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12/01/12 9:33am
12/01/2012 9:33 AM

GABBY GLANTZMAN PHOTO | The three-legged deer near an Orient home, with wood and wire tangled in its antlers.

It was a white-tailed deer, not a reindeer, but there was still holiday spirit aplenty when the North Fork Animal Welfare League got help from a local veterinarian in rescuing a three-legged buck whose antlers were hopelessly tangled in nylon ribbon, wooden posts and tomato cages at an Orient residence. The mess was attached to a nearby fence, trapping him.

“The poor guy, I figured if anyone deserves a second chance, he does,” said Dr. John Andresen, a veterinarian at Matittuck-Laurel Veterinary Hospital who helped to free the deer.

“He could still run around, but his head was tied to this long lead of tangled up fencing,” said NFAWL director Gillian Wood Pultz. She called Dr. Andresen, who has a keen interest in large animals, to come out with a tranquilizer gun so the rescue team to get close enough to remove the unwanted headgear without harming the animal or themselves.

“Once he was tranquilized it only took about 10 or 15 minutes to get him untangled,” Ms. Pultz said. Eventually the buck regained consciousness.

“That was a pretty traumatic experience and he needed to calm down, so we just let him be as he woke up and told the owners of the property to call us if he wasn’t up and moving around in an hour,” she said.

Dr. Andresen said he was only too happy to help save the deer.

“Initially, when I got out of vet school, I wanted to be a zoo vet,” he said. “But that’s not really practical because there aren’t many openings to do that, so it’s always just been an interest of mine.”

Ms. Wood Pultz described the rescue as “a good story because it had a good outcome. More often than not there are bad outcomes and we have to humanely euthanize the deer. Every year, we see deer that haven’t been tracked by hunters running around with arrows in them. Recently we had to humanely euthanize a fawn that was attacked by a dog and suffered a broken spine.”

Ms. Wood Pultz said traumatic injuries in deer are fairly common, but three-legged deer are less so and she knows of only one other, which has been living in Southold Town for years.

As for the Orient deer’s missing foreleg, she said the amputation appeared to be an old injury.

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09/16/11 1:47pm
09/16/2011 1:47 PM

DIANNE BOOTH COURTESY PHOTO | Chester a Hillcrest Stables in Calverton.

Four months ago, Chester, a horse rescued from Abess Farm in Calverton, was so emaciated his ribs were visible and his hair was falling out in clumps, officials said.

But today, Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals officials announced he is “spry and alert.”

The Suffolk SPCA also released a photo of the horse that shows a muscular animal with a beautiful, thick coat and a healthy mane.

He has been cared for at Hillcrest Stables on Middle Road in Calverton since his resuce.

“They literally nursed him back to health,” said Suffolk SPCA Chief Roy Gross.

Chester and two dozen horses and ponies — two of which were found locked in a barn with no food or water — as well as goats, a sheep and a pig were found underfed and neglected on the Roue 25 farm in April, officials said.

Authorities were granted access to the property by a law firm overseeing foreclosure proceedings there and charges were later filed against that farm’s owner, Marie Tooker, authorities said.

“I don’t ever remember seeing a horse in such poor condition; this is not your standard backyard cruelty case.” Chief Gross told the News-Review when Chester was rescued.

Chester’s story has been chronicled on a Facebook page, Chester Gets A Second Chance.

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VERA CHINESE PHOTO | Chester, shortly after his rescue in April.

09/13/11 2:26pm
09/13/2011 2:26 PM

When kayaker Jim MacDougall of Wading River found an injured swan near Indian Island County Park in Riverhead this July, he thought the bird had a branch sticking out its body.

He paddled a little closer and soon realized why the bird was barely moving — someone had shot an arrow through its torso.

The middle school music teacher trapped the usually aggressive animal between the bow of the vessel and his paddle without much conflict. He used his free hand to call authorities.

“He couldn’t even climb up onto the island, he was that injured,” Mr. McDougall said Tuesday from Indian Island. “I got him to that one spot. He was really calm.”

The bird, which was rescued under the County Road 105 bridge, was then brought to the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center of the Hamptons in Hampton Bays. At first, the prognosis didn’t look good. It couldn’t walk for weeks and though the arrow had missed all vital organs, caretakers suspected nerve damage.

Its rescuers didn’t even name him.

“We’d be too sad if he died,” said Virginia Frati, the center’s executive director.

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But on a sunny September day, nearly two months after it was found, the swan looked no worse for the wear. On Tuesday the bird, who had been completely rehabilitated, was carried to the Peconic Bay in a plastic bin, wrapped in a burlap sack.

Peaking its head out of the container to look at the swarm of reporters and photographers surrounding it, the swan was quiet and docile as it awaited its return to the wild.

The swan, estimated to be about a year old, was freed and it made its way to a marsh off Indian Island golf course. It was finally returned to the waterway, where it will most likely find a lifelong mate and live out the rest of its years.

“You see so many horror stories and so many bad things, people say ‘how can you [work for this agency]'” said Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Chief Roy Gross, which is still hunting the swan’s attacker. “This makes it worth it.”

Though this story has a happy ending, Chief Gross noted that two other animals cruelty victims were not so lucky. A turtle found with a nail hammered through its shell in Sag Harbor in July is not faring well and a sea gull that had been hit with a rock in Montauk had died.

He noted the incidents may be related.

The SPCA is still pursuing charges against whomever shot the swan, he said. Animal cruelty is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.

The Suffolk SPCA is offering a $14,750 reward for anyone with information leading to an arrest in the swan case and $16,000 in the turtle case. The agency is able to offer such a high reward due to a large amount of donations that poured in after photos of the swan ran throughout regional news outlets, horrifying viewers, yet at the same time motivating them to help the investigation along.

Though the swan returned to the wild nameless, Chief Gross had one suggestion for a moniker.

“We should call him Lucky,” he said.

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VERA CHINESE PHOTO | This swan, which was found with an arrow shot through its body in July, was completely rehabilitated and returned to the wild Tuesday.

07/16/11 9:35am
07/16/2011 9:35 AM

The Riverhead Kennel Club is hosting its 80th and 81st all-breed dog show & obedience trials Friday and Saturday at the Suffolk County Community College Eastern Campus in Northampton.

The show is dedicated to Blanche Y. Schoning, founder of Schoshire Kennels in Aquebogue. She acquired and began breeding miniature wire-haired dachsunds in 1964 and the kennel has produced over 100 champions since its inception. Ms. Schoning passed away in August 2010. The kennel is now owned and run by David Borders and Dwayne Early.

411 dogs participated in Friday’s show, with 84 breeds entered. For Saturday’s show,  there are 456 dogs entered of 93 breeds.

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BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Shoshire Kennels co-owner Dwayne Early of Aquebogue and his two-year-old long-haired Chihuahua Lady Gaga. She won 'Best of Opposite Sex.'