Friday, November 15, 2013

Finding a Home in Westchester

Yale alumni and friends (above last May, 2013) will return to SPCA of Westchester for Day of Service, May 10,2014. Susan Kaminsky (far right, above) is supporting its Homeward Bound program. (Kaminsky photos)

Yale Day of Service, the 2013 edition, has come and gone, but Yale alumni continue to be involved in service projects that were singled out and highlighted last May.

One popular community destination for Yale Westchester, participating in the Day of Service the past four years, has been the SPCA of Westchester in Briarcliff. Months after Day of Service, Susan Kaminsky '86, who has led the Yale volunteer group at SPCA, is spearheading support for SPCA's Homeward Bound program in November.

Yale alumni and friends at the SPCA shelter in Briarcliff in May
Veterinarian students at Mississippi State Univ. in Starkville, Miss., started the Homeward Bound Project in 2007.  In the South, students and participants in the program identify healthy and adoptable dogs in high-kill shelters.  The dogs  are transported to shelters in the Northeast, including SPCA in Briarcliff. After they are spayed or neutered and receive microchips and vaccines in Westchester, they find a home with residents in this area. When the dogs arrive, "they are readily and happily adopted," says Kaminsky, who wants to "give these dogs a second chance."

The Homeward Bound Project has transferred almost 2,500 dogs the past six years. Almost all have been adopted.  Kaminsky, extending the timetable of Day of Service involvement to a year of service, is raising funds to defray costs of animal transport, spaying or neutering, microchips and vaccines (about $100 total/dog). SPCA spends about $30-40,000 annually in the program.

Kaminsky has a milestone birthday soon. To celebrate, she has set a goal to save, transport and arrange adoption of 50 dogs at SPCA and hopes other Yale alumni will support her birthday drive.  (Nov. 24 is the target date, but the campaign will accept donations until Dec. 11. SPCA of Westchester, of course, will gladly accept contributions throughout any calendar year.) Yale alumni who want to contribute can do so by clicking PUPPY TRANSPORT.

And Yale alumni can also save the date for next year's Day of Service (May 10, 2014), when Kaminsky and team will return to SCPA for another eventful, successful day of caring for the animals and sprucing up the shelter.


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