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Oct 15, 2019 2:39 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

The Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation Adoption Van Visits Westhampton Beach

Jeffrey Bohn and Jessica Matheson visiting the SASF adoption van in Westhampton Beach and meeting Baylee for the first time. RACHEL VALDESPINO
Oct 16, 2019 11:59 AM

Volunteers from the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation packed a stable of adoptable animals into the shelter’s adoption van and took a trip to Westhampton Beach on Saturday in an effort to find new homes for the dogs and cats.

Volunteers Carol Bauhs, Lory Werner and Derek Gerson set up shop at the Westhampton Free Library from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., greeting people and introducing them to some of the shelter’s residents. Visitors were able to interact with the dogs and cats, and fill out adoption applications for the animals of their choice.

“I retired in August of 2010, and I started to volunteer that September,” Ms. Bauhs explained. “My favorite thing is when I meet a shy dog, and they’re absolutely terrified of everything and everyone, and I make them feel love for the first time — and they get a home.”

Ms. Werner has been a volunteer at the shelter for a decade. She and Ms. Bauhs both helped to put together the SASF’s annual fundraiser — the annual summer event held at the Boardy Barn in Hampton Bays that raises money every year to support the shelter and clinic.

“This is where I met two of my best friends — volunteering. What I find most rewarding is when a dog or a cat that you’ve fallen in love with finds a home,” Ms. Werner said.

One of the stars of the afternoon was a 12-week-old puppy named Baylee. She is an Australian cattle dog mix that gets along with children, other dogs and friendly cats.

“Baylee the puppy was rescued by Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation from an overcrowded shelter in the South,” explained Director of Adoptions Kate McKentee. “The shelter was able to save the puppies and five other dogs from this rescue mission. SASF’s first responsibility as the town shelter is to our town’s strays and owner surrenders, but when we have empty kennels and space to help, we always do.”

SASF rescues animals from other shelters on Long Island, the Animal Care Centers in the city, overcrowded shelters in the South, from the streets of Puerto Rico, and recently from No Dogs Left Behind — an organization that saves dogs from the meat trade in China.

“We are happy to announce that Baylee is getting adopted, and her five siblings are already in their forever homes,” Ms. McKentee said.

The Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation has already found homes for 616 animals since January 1, including dogs, puppies, cats, kittens, small pets and even some chickens.

SASF hosts a wide variety of events throughout the year to help raise money and find homes for the animals. This month’s schedule includes: a movie night in which visitors can bring their dogs and purchase snacks; Wag-O-Ween Spooktacular, a Halloween event that includes a pet costume contest and pumpkin painting; and Pizza for Pit Bulls, a pit bull-themed afternoon that was created to educate the community about the breed.

“We’re celebrating National Pit Bull Awareness Day with an event dedicated to today’s most misunderstood breed. It’s important for our shelter to help educate the community and show them how sweet, loving and resilient pit bulls can be,” said Adoption Coordinator Venessa Herdter. “People are welcome to bring their dogs down to the shelter to help celebrate.”

For a $5 donation, attendees will get a slice of pizza and a soda. A “Pittie Parade” is planned for the pit bulls at the shelter, and they will be socializing with visitors. “We’ve had small businesses across the country that support our cause, and the breed, donate items for us to raffle off,” Ms. Herdter said. “We’ll also have merchandise for sale, including two new SASF T-shirts, one of which featuring one of our adoptable dogs, Hayley. We’ll even have a ‘Kiss a Pit’ kissing booth.”

The event will be held on Saturday, October 26, from noon to 3 p.m.

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