Hempstead Animal Shelter in hot water over feral animals

(05/17/11) WANTAGH - Former volunteers are accusing the troubled Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter of failing to control the town's potentially dangerous feral animal population.

Gina Granito, of Wantagh, says a feral cat gave birth to four kittens in her backyard shed. When she called the shelter and asked officials to come pick up the kittens and have them spayed and neutered, Granito says she was told to trap the animals herself.

As News 12 Long Island has reported, former shelter volunteers Diane Madden and Lucille DeFina have been on a mission to reform the kill shelter. They say they have been banned from the facility because they uncovered animal abuse there.

During a Hempstead Town Board meeting today, DeFina and Madden complained the shelter won't send workers out to spay and neuter animals, and that no one is overseeing the facility.

The acting director of the shelter was reassigned to another position in March. The town says it's now searching for another director.

A spokesperson for the Town of Hempstead says volunteer programs won't be reinstated until a new director is chosen. The town also says the shelter doesn't have the resources to trap every single stray.

DeFina, however, disagrees, saying that the $7-million facility has the money "to do it all."

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