Opinion

(Editor's Note: Rebecca Beal is a former Wantagh resident who owns Petite Paws, a pet sitting service. She sent this letter in response to Bideawee President and CEO Nancy Taylor's letter regarding the adoption center closing.)

I haven't yet written to you but have had many colleagues, friends and associates write to you, all of whom got your form letter about the closing of Bideawee.

So many hearts are pulling together to try and stop this awful event from happening and I just hope that you physically read my letter. I guess I'm hoping beyond all hope that there is some power, some place in your heart and the board's hearts that overpowers all the financial and corporate reasons for closing Bideawee.

Bideawee is a non-profit organization. Therefore, it should be without profits and run on donations. When donations are down, those who run such an organization should band together to fundraise, have events that make, not spend money. Reach out to the community, reach out to volunteers. And it seems, this mission, this ideal, has been lost. No one ever even asked.

So many changes seem to have happened over the years. I have lived on the same street as Bideawee since I was born and visited every weekend with my parents and then regularly as an adult. I remember how simple and humble Bideawee used to be and see how the humane not for profit shelter has become so corporate in recent years. It's sad. Corporations and non-profits are polar opposites. Putting the two together is a paradox.

I've been involved in rescue for many years and everything I've seen in terms of animal welfare has shown me that the Bideawee I knew, in Wantagh, was a one of a kind place. It is a no-kill, with truly and sincerely caring staff and volunteers, a clean and healthy environment - a happy place, a caring place. A place where people and animals can turn to bring animals to be safely re-homed and not euthanized.

A few days ago, after visiting Bideawee, I went to the Hempstead Town shelter right next door. In there I saw an overcrowded, very full shelter of rows and rows of dog after dog. Some almost seemed to know they weren't in a happy place. It appeals to your sentiments when you see it for yourself. I thought to myself, those pets who won't now go to Bideawee will come here and push these homeless animals to their death. It will happen faster and faster now.

The lives of these animals rest on the shoulders of those who do nothing to help them. The closing of Bideawee's Wantagh shelter is only a death sentence to these animals. Those who voted to close the shelter have signed many animals' death certificates now and for the future to come. There is literally no where else for the communities' animals to go. Though the animals now in the Bideawee shelter may be safe from this, future animals from the community who are found stray, abandoned or are surrendered by their owners will have only one place to go, and stand only half a chance at life.

If I could buy the Wantagh shelter myself, I would, simply to save the animals. But I alone, am only one. With the power you and the board hold in your hands, you have much more means than I do.

I'm praying for a miracle. I'm praying I don't see our communities' animals robbed of a chance at life. I'm praying those who actually have the means to save them, actually do save them.

Do something. Please. Now. No matter what it is, find a way. When you are an animal advocate, an animal lover and a humane person, that is what you do.

Please. You joined Bideawee for a reason. I would hate to think it wasn't for the animals.

Rebecca Beal


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