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The Town of Brookhaven responds to accusations from animal shelter volunteers

Feces-filled cages and urine-soaked blankets are just some of the concerns raised by volunteers at the Brookhaven Town Animal Shelter. The town Department of Public Safety, which runs the shelter, responded to the claims at a July town board meeting.

The volunteers are meant to support the shelter's full and part-time employees. They have been asking for more support from the town after a recent shakeup in leadership.

Darlene Gentz has been a volunteer for over a decade. She said conditions are unhealthy and unsafe, despite passing multiple county health inspections.

“The presence of mold, overflowing drains, unsanitary conditions, serious health risks to the animals and humans alike,” Gentz said.

Volunteers have also claimed the dogs are not being walked enough, and are sharing kennels that are only meant for one.

David Moran is deputy commissioner of the Public Safety Department. He said while issues are being addressed, some claims are being exaggerated.

“It’s that kind of ‘the sky is falling’ mentality that needs to be taken out of the shelter," Moran said. "We need to be focusing on the positive that is going on there, and there’s a lot of good there.”

The shelter had sustained minor damages after a recent rain event, which Moran said crews were able to clean up within a few days. That included the creation of a new volunteer lounge.

He also noted that at least 27 dogs were adopted this month.

Sabrina is host and producer of WSHU’s daily podcast After All Things. She also produces the climate podcast Higher Ground and other long-form news and music programs at the station. Sabrina spent two years as a WSHU fellow, working as a reporter and assisting with production of The Full Story.