With its funding goals reached, Long Beach Humane Society in Island...

With its funding goals reached, Long Beach Humane Society in Island Park, shown Wednesday, is again "preparing to have kittens to come in," the director said. Credit: Jim Staubitser

Felines can again take shelter at the Long Beach Humane Society’s Kitty Cove after more than $100,000 in donations poured in over the past six weeks, according to the organization.

Last month, Newsday reported that the shelter had stopped taking in animals due to dwindling finances. At the time, its director, Helen Aloi, said the shelter needed to raise $50,000 to replenish reserves tapped during the pandemic before it could afford to resume accepting cats.

“The outpouring of help was more than I have ever expected,” Aloi said Tuesday. “This year is going to be an amazing year for animals that are homeless, because they will always have a home with us and they will move on to their forever homes. That’s the goal.”

The organization takes in cats to its shelter, and cats and dogs can be housed at temporary foster homes. Most cats come in through other animal shelters to relieve crowding, though some are dropped off directly at the shelter. Although people who adopt cats and dogs from the organization generally pay a $200 suggested adoption fee, the costs of caring for animals — including food and veterinary services — exceed that, according to the organization.

The shelter’s cat population usually ranges from about 70 to 100 cats, but since it stopped taking in new animals in December, the number had fallen to 27 this week.

Most of the money came from two large donations, said treasurer, Lisa Alter. The first was $25,000 from the Manes Peace Prize Foundation, founded by orthopedic surgeon Harvey Manes, of Plainview. The second was $50,000 from a foundation that requested anonymity, Alter said.

Theresa Fahey Baumann, a supervisor at Kitty Cove Long Beach Humane Society,...

Theresa Fahey Baumann, a supervisor at Kitty Cove Long Beach Humane Society, on Wednesday. Credit: Jim Staubitser

In normal years, the organization gets donations of $500 or $1,000 from individuals, she said.

“We’ve never received these kinds of donations before,” Alter, who has volunteered at the organization for about 15 years, said Wednesday. "These are very large numbers.”

Manes said he learned about the organization’s financial troubles from Newsday’s reporting and was spurred to donate.

“They take care of the cats, they feed the cats, they try to find homes, they try to find people to adopt and that’s an important thing,” Manes said.

A lifelong cat lover, Manes said the animals are “a very calming influence on people.”

In addition to the large donations, a recent fundraiser raised $10,028, Aloi said.

Alter said that two individuals committed to matching that fundraiser’s haul, which would raise the total donations and fundraising since Jan. 21 to $120,342. That total also includes thousands of dollars of smaller donations made by individuals, she said. In 2023, the organization raised about $87,000 through donations and fundraising, Alter said. 

In 2020, during the first year of the pandemic, the shelter's revenue from ordinary gift, grants, contributions and membership fees dropped to $10,750 from $75,208 in 2019, according to the nonprofit’s publicly available tax forms. As giving fell during the pandemic, the organization tapped into its reserves to close deficits, tax records show.

With their funding goals reached, “We’re preparing to have kittens to come in," Aloi said. 

On Wednesday, the shelter took in its first kittens since December — four left on their door in a box.

In addition to money, they’ve received hundreds of pounds of cat food, Aloi said.

“Any donation helps us immensely,” she said. "It all helps to save a life."

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