Warwick Humane Society hosts candlelight vigil at Railroad Green

| 15 Feb 2012 | 08:58

Ceremony serves as a reminder of shelter’s role on the community Warwick — The Warwick Valley Humane Society hosted its second annual candlelight vigil on Saturday night, Aug. 20, at Railroad Green in the Village of Warwick. The event was again held in celebration of International Homeless Animals’ Day. In 1992, the International Society for Animal Rights (ISAR) introduced Homeless Animals’ Day and Candlelight Vigils as an innovative educational vehicle to inform society about a pet overpopulation problem that overwhelms animal shelters. To begin the ceremony, Suzyn Barron, president of the Warwick Valley Humane Society, introduced Supervisor Michael Sweeton and Mayor Michael Newhard. Newhard read a proclamation naming this day as International Homeless Animals’ Day. He then thanked the humane society for all its beneficial services. Sweeton told the audience that the Town of Warwick had also issued a proclamation and he complimented the society for its service to the town including the fact that its staff is always available around the clock for any sick or injured animal. Sweeton also explained that for more than four years the Town of Warwick has supported the successful Spay, Neuter, Return (SNR) refund program for cats managed by the humane society. 30 dogs, 182 cats To begin the candlelight vigil Barron invited Gina Walker, a longtime volunteer, to light the main candle. Walker told the story of how she and her husband, John, had adopted two dogs, Sugar and Spice, who had previously lived their entire lives in a sanctuary. Both dogs, along with other canines in the audience, were wearing glow sticks. Small, battery operated candles were then distributed and Councilman Floyd DeAngelo, the society’s liaison with the town, spoke about the organization’s need for community support in the form of monetary donations, canned cat food, especially “pate” and feline or equine pine pellets as liter. That evening Barron, who is also a professional singer, sang two verses of a song called “At the Same Time,” with a few lyric changes for the ceremony. Barron explained that the Warwick Animal Shelter is currently packed to beyond capacity with dogs, cats, kittens and rabbits and that the shelter will not destroy healthy, adaptable animals to make room for an unwanted pet. “The shelter is currently housing 30 dogs in a shelter built for no more than 19,” she said. “We have 182 cats and kittens when 40 would be the appropriate number in our current building. And the pet surrender waiting lists are endless.” Barron thanked everyone for participating in the vigil and asked them to mark their calendars for next year, same time and place. “Please spread the word,” she said. “Spay and Neuter!” Overpopulation of dogs and cats has long been an issue for the Warwick community and the Humane Society and the Shelter utilizes a surrender list so as space becomes available, it can take the next pet in. Essential information The Warwick Valley Humane Society’s shelter, just off Kings Highway, has a large selection of pets, many of whom are housebroken. Shelter personnel collect a history of each pet and assess its health and temperament in order to make the best adoption matches possible. Fees are usually much less than the purchase price of an animal from a pet store or breeder and all pets are vaccinated, de-wormed, and spayed or neutered. For additional information call the Warwick Valley Humane Society Animal Shelter at 986-2473 or visit www.wvhumane.org.