All For Animals TV #52: Town Of Huntington Cat Shelter

All For Animals TV (Huntington, NY) With no cages and enclosed outdoor spaces to find the perfect spot in the sun, an animal shelter in Huntington, Long Island is the cat’s meow.

Not to mention the photos of Cher, Mariah Carey and Marlon Brando… all with some fabulous felines.

Recently, the Town of Huntington was looking for new management for its municipal cat shelter, and chose the operators of Little Shelter Animal Rescue & Adoption, a private, no-kill rescue organization that’s been operating on six wooded acres in Huntington since 1927.

Little Shelter assumed operations in January and immediately launched a makeover of the existing town facility, including a new kitchen, a paint job and some cool photos of celebrities with cats.  The rennovation, like the entire operation, won’t cost Huntington residents a dime. “Little Shelter and the Town of Huntington Cat Shelter are (both) funded soley through donations. We don’t receive any government funding”, Executive Director David Ceely told 1010 WINS. “What’s terrific about that, is that the program that the town of Huntington has through Little Shelter, is at no cost to taxpayers.”

In addition to the cage free environment, the Town of Huntington Cat Shelter also features “catios”, outdoor enclosures where the cats can play, climb on tree branches or sleep in the sun, while remaining safely sheltered.  The free roaming environment and controlled outdoor access helps to reduce the stress many shelter cats experience in a cage.  The animals are separated by age, with kittens under a year, adults and seniors housed in separate rooms.

As part of their agreement with the town, the cats housed in the shelter must be from Huntington and generally arrive either as owner surrenders or through the town’s 24 feral cat colonies, which are managed by Little Shelter through its TNR (trap-neuter-return) program.  “Feral cats will often have babies if they’re not fixed, and we need to make sure those babies are safe. So, we’ll spay and neuter those cats to go back to the colonies to be cared for, and then we’ll take the kittens, socialize them and find them loving homes”, says Ceely. Ferals are unsocialized cats who would not do well in a home environment. Little Shelter is currently caring for 129 such cats in its managed colonies.

While the cats are all from Huntington, Ceely notes that adopters need not be. In fact Little Shelter boasts several celebrity adopters, including music icon Gloria Estefan, New York Live host Sara Gore and Tony nominee Sheryl Lee Ralph, who was the original Deena Jones in Broadway’s Dreamgirls. Get details on the adoption process HERE.

Little Shelter, which houses both cats and dogs, is affiliated with the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, the not-for-profit umbrella organization whose programs aim to reduce euthanasia at Animal Care Centers of NYC.  Little Shelter was the first group on Long Island to become an Alliance Participating Organization, and frequently pulls at risk animals from the city shelters.

Learn more about the Town of Huntington Cat Shelter HERE.

Learn more about Little Shelter HERE.