Category: News

Pet Connection Adoption Day 2016

Pet Connection Adoption Day At the Animal Hospital
Sponsored by Healthy Pet Center

What an incredible success for the animals! This year, TASP added a new feature to our big white tent: Kitty City! Seven beautiful local cats displayed their charms for the public, and ALL SEVEN were adopted to terrific homes! Couldn’t have done this without the help of our treasured volunteers and of course, none of this would have been possible without the opportunity provided by Steve Caporizzo’s Pet Connection, Healthy Pet and The Animal Hospital. In spite of the heat, the event management made sure humans and animals alike were all safe and comfortable. Just an incredibly inspirational day!

ASPCA Funds Construction of Canine Training Yard for The Animal Support Project

RPI’s Acacia Fraternity Joins TASP on Project Funded by ASPCA

Training Yard buildStudents from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Acacia Fraternity provided the manpower this month, helping The Animal Support Project (TASP) erect a secure 2,000 square foot outdoor canine training yard. The yard, constructed primarily from welded steel kennel panels obtained through a grant from The American Society for The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), will be used for humanely treating behavior in TASP program dogs through positive training and controlled behavior modification methods.

According to TASP President, Melinda Plasse, “TASP’s experience with companion animal crisis intervention indicates that problem behavior is a huge contributor to canine surrenders and euthanasia. We don’t expect to create lambs out of lions here, but of those who do have the potential, we intend to create clearer-thinking, more manageable pets who will have developed the emotional skills to live successful lives in the community. We are thrilled to have the Acacia Brothers onboard for this project, and we look forward to their further involvement during the actual operation of the yard.”

The ASPCA grant was awarded as part of a continuing commitment to Brooke, a dog rescued by TASP from ASPCA’s Hurricane Sandy Temporary Emergency Boarding Facility in Brooklyn, NY. In addition to Brooke, the training yard will offer a legacy of support to TASP program dogs needing behavioral adjustment in order to adapt to home and family life. ASPCA Behaviorists and Crawmer’s Animal Training of West Sand Lake, NY, will provide guidance to TASP volunteers operating the yard program.

For more information, please visit

About The Animal Support Project

The Animal Support Project, Inc. is a 100% volunteer 501.c.3 charitable organization dedicated to proactively reducing the suffering of all species of companion animals through crisis intervention. Through TASP’s combination of field response, public awareness, mentoring and spay/neuter initiatives, hundreds of animals each year are spared the stress of being surrendered to a shelter or euthanized. Equally important, the owners of these animals are enlisted in the process whenever possible, helping them become a part of the solution and part of a more humane community.

Dog Yard Build Dog Yard Build Dog Yard Build Dog Yard Build

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Jacob Goes Home Video

Fate uncertain for 15 former fighting pit bulls

Fate uncertain for 15 former fighting pit bulls

Originally published: March 28, 2013 11:41 AM
Updated: March 28, 2013 8:58 PM


Most of the 15 pit bulls sat nameless in cages outside the shelter.

Some of the animals, seized in January and simply labeled evidence while awaiting the outcome of a criminal dogfighting case, were scarred, had open sores and visibly shook. Unlike non-fighting dogs named Oreo, Egypt or Sunny also housed at the North Hempstead-run shelter in Port Washington, the pit bulls have been deemed unavailable for adoption and face an uncertain future.

Though vets check the dogs weekly, shelter director Sue Hassett said, no date has been set for their release, and experts say the path to recovery is winding and uncertain.

“Until the court clears them, they’re kind of in limbo,” she said. But “they’re hanging in there; this is probably the best they’ve ever had it” since police recovered them from an alleged dogfighting ring in a New Cassel woman’s backyard.

The Nassau County district attorney’s office declined to comment on case specifics.

On a cold morning last week, some of the dogs, from 6 months to several years old, paced their steel cages. Some were loud, others quiet during the outdoor break.

Based on history, according to animal and legal experts, the dogs’ outcomes may vary, too.

“They’re like fine athletes; they’re in training to fight and that’s what their job is,” said Sandra DeFeo, executive director of the Humane Society of New York. “If they’re trained to kill . . . do you want them?”

John Byrne, a Nassau district attorney spokesman, said in an email that the office “has worked closely with leading experts . . . to assess these animals and to provide them with the best possible future.”

However, “many fighting dogs cannot be safely adopted due to the barbaric training they’ve been subjected to,” he said. “. . . We anticipate that these animals — all victims of horrific abuse — will not be available for public adoption.”

Professional handlers, recalling past dogfighting cases, told tales of triumph and tragedy.

“The older dogs, once they are accustomed to fighting, it is very difficult to rehabilitate [them],” said Roy Gross of the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “It can be done, but it’s very costly; it’s very time-consuming.”

Often, “these animals get euthanized; they’re not safe to put out for adoption.”

But Melinda Plasse, president of upstate Cropseyville-based The Animal Support Project, said “that used to be the norm. . . . We have a lot more data that helps us understand there is hope for these animals.”

She cited the breakup of a dogfighting ring last year, involving 50 pit bull mixes in a Bronx apartment. Most were adopted, including Mona Lisa, 4. She was cared for first in a shelter run by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, then a foster home upstate.

Eventually, after four months of training, she got better.

“The shorter you can make the sheltering, the better,” Plasse said. Otherwise, “They’re living an institutional life; it’s like putting kids in reform school.”

The Animal Support Project Inc. PARTNERS WITH MACY’S

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The Animal Support Project Inc.


The Animal Support Project Inc. PARTNERS WITH MACY’S



Macy’s helps local charity raise funds and awareness for important cause

Macy’s will partner with The Animal Support Project Inc. to invite customers to participate in Macy’s eighth annual national “Shop For A Cause” charity shopping event on August 24, 2013. Customers can purchase shopping passes from The Animal Support Project  Macy’s “Shop For A Cause” is a unique one-day-only shopping event created to support local charities’ fundraising efforts, which has helped raised more than $46 million for charities across the country since 2006.

“Over the past eight years, Macy’s annual ‘Shop For A Cause’ has raised more than $46 million for local and national charities, providing our associates and customers an opportunity to give back to those organizations that touch their hearts each and every day,” said Martine Reardon, Macy’s chief marketing officer.  “Giving back is a key component of Macy’s culture. We are honored to offer our customers an easy and convenient way to make a positive difference in their communities and in the lives of others, while enjoying great savings at Macy’s.”

Macy’s has provided The Animal Support Project Inc. with shopping passes to sell for $5 each. The Animal Support Project Inc. will keep 100 percent of every shopping pass it sells. The more The Animal Support Project Inc. sells, the more money it will raise!

By purchasing a shopping pass The Animal Support Project Inc., customers support animals and their owners while enjoying a day of spectacular discounts, entertainment and special events at Macy’s. Pass holders will receive special discounts on most regular, sale and clearance purchases all day, but some exclusions apply.

For more information about Macy’s “Shop For A Cause,” visit To purchase a shopping pass from The Animal Support Project Inc., contact, or click the button below. Once payment is made one of our volunteers will email you the coupon for you to print.


About Macy’s

Macy’s, the largest retail brand of Macy’s, Inc., delivers fashion and affordable luxury to customers at approximately 800 locations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam, as well as to customers in the U.S. and more than 100 international destinations through its leading online store at Via its stores, e-commerce site, mobile and social platforms, Macy’s offers distinctive assortments including the most desired family of exclusive and fashion brands for him, her and home. Macy’s is known for such epic events as Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks® and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®, as well as spectacular fashion shows, culinary events, flower shows and celebrity appearances. Macy’s flagship stores — including Herald Square in New York City, Union Square in San Francisco, State Street in Chicago, Dadeland in Miami and South Coast Plaza in southern California — are known internationally and leading destinations for visitors. Building on a more than 150 year tradition, and with the collective support of customers, employees and Macy’s Foundation, Macy’s helps strengthen communities by supporting local and national charities giving more than $70 million each year to help make a difference in the lives of our customers.


July 21, 2013
Location: 2 Rocking Horse Lane Slingerlands NY 12159 (grounds of The Animal Hospital)
Phone: 518-456-0852

This is going to be an exciting day for all! We are planning on having up to 30 rescue groups and shelters in attendance. Many have indicated that they will reduce their adoption fees for this special day. Don’t miss your opportunity to find that special pet and give them a second chance at life. All who adopt or fill out applications to adopt (and are approved), will receive a complimentary canvas tote bag filled with pet related items, a souvenir Pet Connection key chain and a certificate for $75 in free health care at The Animal Hospital to offset the adoption fee. Pet Connection will also be donating $50 towards the adoption fee. We have a supply of bags that will be available for purchase on that day and in the future at The Animal Hospital for $15. All proceeds go to Pet Connection. In addition to finding forever homes for these pets, PLEASE consider bringing pet food donations and towels/blankets (new or used) to help the local shelters.

This event will be catered by our good friends at Creo’
, and Bountiful Bread

Additionally, there will be live music all day courtesy of Vinnie Leddick
from the Sagamore Hotel. This will also be your opportunity to tour a state of the art veterinary hospital. You’ll be able to see the Laparoscopic surgery suite, meet the doctors and staff and observe a Golden Eagle housed in their flight cage. This is a rare chance to see the amazing care your pet will receive with the compassionate staff. All who take this tour will receive a gift bag including a certificate for a free exam to any new client at the hospital. Local vendors will again be on site offering advice and coupons for services. In addition to the raffles to help raise money for Pet Connection, there will also be a grand prize raffle (free to enter to all who attend our event). Local businesses have already donated over $6,000 in raffle and auction items!
I also want to thank CW Whalen & Sons
for supplying large tents to protect us from the sunshine or rain. They were awesome during my Backyard BBQ’s this season! By the way, if the weather is bad (needs to be raining pretty hard), the rain date is July 21st. I hope to see all of you there! It’s going to be a fun day and we will help so many pets in need. Please remember, that you do not need to be looking to adopt to come out and support the cause. There is even a chance that Elisa Streeter will stop by with her dog to share in the fun with us!
For directions to The Animal Hospital, along with updates on our event, please go to:

See you July 21,
Steve Caporizzo!

Press Release – Two Hurricane Sandy Dogs Find New Homes

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July 5, 2013

                                                                                                Media Contact: Melinda Plasse




             Two Hurricane Sandy Dogs Find New Homes with Help From

ASPCA and The Animal Support Project


Cropseyville, N.Y.—- The Animal Support Project (TASP) announced today that after months of behavioral rehabilitation, two dogs found in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy are moving on to new homes. A generous grant from the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) enabled TASP to rehabilitate Brooke and Pluto, two New York City dogs lost during Hurricane Sandy last fall. At this writing, the first of the two dogs has already begun the next chapter of his life with a new, loving family in Scotia, N.Y.

Following Hurricane Sandy, TASP assisted with daily care at the ASPCA Emergency Boarding Facility in Brooklyn, N.Y., which was established in November to provide temporary sheltering for animals displaced by Sandy. During the operation, TASP volunteers recognized the potential of Brooke and Pluto, two dogs that remained unclaimed when the boarding facility closed in February.

“NY City’s stray pets endured tremendous hardships during and after that hurricane. Given that reality, the ASPCA’s Emergency Boarding Facility in Brooklyn provided the bridge to a new, secure life,” said Melinda Plasse, President of The Animal Support Project. “ We at TASP are proud to partner with the ASPCA, enabling Brooke and Pluto to enter that new life well equipped both physically and behaviorally.”

Thanks to the generosity of ASPCA, TASP was able to afford the behavior training and medical care necessary to make Brooke and Pluto adoptable. They start their new lives with a year’s worth of ASPCA pet health insurance, thanks to ASPCA’s commitment to the animal victims of Hurricane Sandy.

“The ASPCA was thrilled when The Animal Support Project volunteered to take in Brooke and Pluto, two dogs that have been through a great ordeal,” said Dr. Dick Green, director of disaster response for the ASPCA’s Field Investigations and Response team. “We are happy to see these dogs finally move on to new, well-deserved homes through the tireless effort of TASP.”

Disaster response is just one component of TASP’s mission to support animals and their owners through tough times. As an ASPCA Field Investigations & Response Partner, TASP expands its disaster response and recovery capabilities to assist even more animals and the people who treasure them.

For more information, please visit

About The Animal Support Project

The Animal Support Project, Inc. is a 100% volunteer 501.c.3 charitable organization dedicated to proactively reducing the suffering of all species of companion animals through crisis intervention. Through TASP’s combination of field response, public awareness, mentoring and spay/neuter initiatives, hundreds of animals each year are spared the stress of being surrendered to a shelter or euthanized. Equally important, the owners of these animals are enlisted in the process whenever possible, helping them become a part of the solution and part of a more humane community.

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Brooke’s Training Videos

Below are some of Brooke’s Training videos

ASPCA Grant Logo

ASPCA Grant Enables TASP Volunteers to Attend Training in Nashville.

In early May, a generous stipend from ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) helped TASP send two volunteers, Donna Farnsworth and Debbie D’Angelo, to four days of intensive training and networking sessions at the annual Humane Society of the United States Animal Care Expo.  In addition to meeting with experts from all the major national animal welfare organizations including ASPCA, HSUS, RedRover and PetSmart Charities, Debbie and Donna attended seminars on fundraising, sheltering, and the latest veterinary and spay/neuter approaches. They visited the Expo Trade Fair, where they sampled all the latest technologies and products offered to animal welfare workers, and on their own dime, they purchased and donated to TASP, a complete video copy of the entire event’s seminars. Because of their efforts, all of our volunteers can now share in the information from Animal Care Expo. On opening day of the event, Debbie and Donna attended a day-long session on keeping pets with their owners through outreach. This topic is the foundation of The Animal Support Project’s mission and we are so proud to know the national groups are recognizing the value of that approach!  Having the ASPCA and TASP assist with the cost of sending these two wonderful ladies to this year’s Animal Care Expo enables us to remain on track with our approach to serving our community with all the latest techniques and technology as we perform our mission, without cutting into our direct-care budget of funds used for our daily operations.  We are proud and so grateful to receive ASPCA’s assistance!


Dogs rescued from NYC being trained, prepped for adoption locally

Published: Monday, June 03, 2013

By Andrew Beam – The Troy Record

CROPSEYVILLE — The Animal Support Project has a 2-year-old pit bull up for adoption after it was found without a home during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

The Animal Support Project, a 501c3 charitable organization which regularly tries to prevent pets from being placed in animal shelters, has had to play a different role after two pit bulls were found displaced due to the damage done by the hurricane to New York City.

According to Melinda Plasse, president of the Animal Support Project, her organization was called down by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to help run an animal shelter in Brooklyn.

“The shelter was closed down and they contact all the known owners for the animals where the owner may either surrender their pets or make arrangements to have them go into foster care, or have them go to a friend’s house,” Plasse said. “It’s not always the case the owners come back.”

Leftover from the shelter, which was called the Emergency Boarding Facility for New York City Pets Displaced by Hurricane Sandy, were then 8-month-old Pluto and 2-year-old Brooke. Through a grant from the ASPCA, the Animal Support Project was able to take over the dogs and look for new owners for them.

The grant included funding for the cost of training the pets, foster care and boarding the animals. The ASPCA also offered to sponsor the first year of insurance costs for the animals on behalf of the new owners. Plasse said this was negotiated by her organization because pit bulls can be more difficult to adopt out.

Pluto has already found a home, though, much to the organization’s surprise. Plasse said the pets were not ready for adoption at the time but were brought to the Mohawk Honda Pet Connection in March where many in attendance fell head over heels for Pluto.

“We took him and Brooke more for fun because they’re not really ready for prime time,” Plasse said. “Everyone fell in love with Pluto.”

It came on the heels of Pluto just graduating from obedience training and his recovery from hip surgery as he came to the shelter with a previous injury. Plasse said Pluto didn’t heal properly and was lame on his left hind leg. He went through surgery and was rehabilitated all under the grant from ASPCA.

Brooke, who recently graduated from obedience training but will be continuing to take more classes, is now being groomed for adoption. Plasse said the dog will continue to be in foster care until she is adopted. When a family does express interest, Plasse said there will be an initial home visit to make sure it is a good fit for Brooke.
“We have an in-depth approach,” Plasse said. “We are going to make sure this animal is going in the right home. We are waiting for the right home for her.”

Those interested in Brooke can contact the Animal Support Project at 518-727-8591.

Andrew Beam may also be reached at 270-1294.