Local folks said that they had fun bowling for a cause at on Feb. 4. Families flocked to Levittown Lanes for a charity bowl-a-thon benefitting Last Hope Animal Rescue.
Through its many programs, Last Hope volunteers said that they are attempting to reduce the cat and dog overpopulation problem on Long Island, encourage responsible and affordable pet ownership and transform the public image of the typical pound animal. The group has a dog and cat adoption center on Beltagh Avenue in Wantagh, and Outreach Coordinator Joanne Anderson noted that many of their volunteers hail from the Wantagh-Seaford area.
Janet Brasco and Gerry Walsh founded Last Hope in 1981 and began saving abandoned and abused pets by fostering them in their homes. Over the course of three decades, Last Hope gained the support of more than 600 volunteers who rescue, nurture and place more than 600 cats and 250 dogs in homes each year.
All animals Last Hope takes in receive medical care, spaying/neutering and necessary vaccines before they go to new homes. Leaders explained that Last Hope dogs come from Long Island town shelters, and cats are also taken in from alleys behind shopping centers and under decks.
Outreach work is also vital to Last Hope’s mission, Anderson said. To reduce pet overpopulation, Last Hope helps owners undergoing hard times with free spay/neuter for their pets. The group also hosts free rabies vaccine and trap/neuter/return clinics, and has altered more than 18,000 cats through their “fix-a-feral” program.
The organization also houses and supports pets with disabilities and special needs. Proceeds collected from the bowl-a-thon will be used to care for these animals, Anderson said.
Folks from Wantagh, Seaford and Massapequa came to the event, as well as residents of Suffolk County communities. They bowled for two hours, purchased raffle tickets and won prizes, entered a 50/50 drawing and ate pizza.
For more information about Last Hope, visit www.lasthopeanimalrescue.org.