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Brookhaven animal shelter hopes new program boosts dog adoptions

Eloise Campbell of Middle Island brought her 6-month-old

Eloise Campbell of Middle Island brought her 6-month-old Shih Tzu, Cosmo, to receive a free microchip at the Town of Brookhaven Animal Shelter on April 1, 2012. Photo Credit: Michael Cusanelli

The Town of Brookhaven Animal Shelter plans to implement a program to make dogs more adoptable.

The shelter learned how to run the canine play-group program during the "Dogs Playing for Life" seminar it hosted Wednesday for several other animal shelters across Long Island.

Aimee Sadler, founder of the program and the director of training and behavior for the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation, led the demonstration.

It featured dogs playing with each other in confined areas and showed how a better environment can alleviate stress, improve quality of life and thus allow the canines to be more adoptable, said Ashley Boyd, director of the Brookhaven facility.

The Town of Brookhaven Animal Shelter currently has 94 adoptable dogs, most of which are pit bulls.

The Dogs Playing for Life program has been introduced in more than 50 shelters in the United States and Canada, town officials said. Sadler couldn't be reached for comment.

Brookhaven Town Councilman Dan Panico, who attended the program, said he hopes the program will help people who want to adopt a shelter dog make a selection.

"I think the program works," Panico said. "One issue every animal shelter deals with is adoptions, and when people go to a shelter, it's hard for families to discern the true personality and temperament of the dog."

Dog adoption fees at the town shelter range from $5 to $10. The town also issues licenses for spayed or neutered dogs adopted from the shelter for $7.

It cost the town $2.4 million to run the shelter in 2014, officials said. The shelter has 18 full-time employees and 22 part-time employees.

Anyone interested in adopting a dog should visit the shelter at 300 Horseblock Rd. or call 631-286-4940.

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