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Hempstead Town Animal Shelter passes surprise state inspection

Kittens await adoption at the Town of Hempstead

Kittens await adoption at the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter. Credit: Newsday, 2010 / Thomas A. Ferrara

The Hempstead Town Animal Shelter recently passed all aspects of a surprise state inspection despite recurring allegations of animal mistreatment and past investigations into its operations.

A Department of Agriculture and Markets inspector went to the shelter Feb. 7 and found that it met all 30 requirements, according to a report from the agency obtained by Newsday at Tuesday’s town board meeting.

The inspection found that the dog shelter services and dog control officer services, which represent the bulk of shelter operations, were “satisfactory.”

Inspections look at a variety of issues, including whether the shelter provides a clean environment, provides veterinary care when necessary, handles dogs safely and keeps proper records. Each standard reviewed is assigned a “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory” rating.

“We are proud that New York State has recognized the hard work of our staff in providing excellent care for the animals at the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter,” Town Supervisor Kate Murray said in a statement. “The Town of Hempstead is dedicated to maintaining an outstanding shelter for the animals and their future adopting families.”

In the past 2 1/2 years, animal advocates have accused the shelter of mistreating animals, and the district attorney’s office and other groups have investigated the facility’s operations, but found no criminal abuse or neglect of animals.

The animal shelter was the subject of a state comptroller audit last year that found it has spent more money than other town shelters, improperly managed overtime and kept shoddy records.

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