A Better Shelter was inspired by the desire to ameliorate municipal animal shelters. Our mission is to expand services, improve quality of care, reduce taxpayer costs and address the root cause of animal overpopulation, neglect and abuse.
In 2014, several Long Island advocates united to improve local municipal shelters through privatization, beginning with the Brookhaven Animal Shelter. This is a trend that had already begun. Three (3) Eastern Long Island municipalities have contracted with a non-profit, 501c3 animal welfare organization to manage their shelter.
1980 - Town of Southold (North Fork Animal Welfare League)
2009 - Town of Southampton (Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation)
2013 - Town of Riverhead (North Fork Animal Welfare League)
The Brookhaven shelter is particularly challenging. It is nearly as big as these three (3) shelters combined, with approx. 150-200 animals and an annual budget of $2.25M. Of that, $2M is for employee salaries and benefits. Privatization could increase services, reduce tax payer costs and implement programs to address the root cause of animal overpopulation, as opposed to simply dealing with the symptoms.
If successful, privatizing the Brookhaven Animal Shelter could be a watershed event, with other Long Island towns following suit.