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Hempstead Animal Shelter sent 4 dogs to FL trainer with a history of animal violations

According to Florida Court Records, animal control officers investigated Michael Breitsprecher for having, a “U-Haul box truck loaded with 20+ dogs in crates and no ventilation” and added that “dogs were in distress when the sheriffs arrived.”

Rachel Yonkunas

May 29, 2024, 9:47 PM

Updated 24 days ago


The Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter paid an out-of-state animal rescue to take in long-term shelter dogs, but Team 12 Investigates uncovered troubling details about that rescue’s owner and operator.
Town officials said their decision to allow the shelter to use taxpayer funds to transfer dogs to various rescues was all about giving these animals a new “leash” on life. The Hempstead Animal Shelter spent years trying to find forever homes for four longtime shelter dogs—Wally, Lenny, Dexter and Tucker—but adoptions never happened.
In February, the shelter paid a Florida rescue, called PawsEver Home Inc., to take the dogs and give them a better life. Animal advocates quickly raised concerns.
“The concern is that rescues are not regulated,” said Diane Madden, an animal activist in Nassau County. “There were some real red flags with this organization.”
Unless animal rescues engage in nine or more pet adoptions per year, they do not have to register in New York, and because there are no national laws that govern these entities, standards of care vary state-by-state.
Team 12 Investigates uncovered that Hempstead’s Animal Shelter may not have been authorized to send dogs to PawsEver Home.
In August, the Town Board passed a resolution that allows the shelter to use taxpayer dollars to send animals and resources to certain rescues. It outlined a list of 144 rescue organizations that the shelter was permitted to provide resources to “for rehabilitating animals for eventual adoption” and PawsEver Home is not on the list.
In fact, the rescue didn’t even exist when the list was created.
PawsEver Home was incorporated in Florida back in December, just three months before the Hempstead Animal Shelter transferred dogs to their care.
When asked why the town chose Paws Ever Home, town spokesperson Brian Devine said their vetting process included “careful scrutiny of references from other rescues, fosters, adopters and veterinarians” who worked with the organization and sang their praises. He also said that the “rescue’s owner and operator is a highly regarded trainer.”
Team 12 Investigates began looking into the owner of PawsEver Home, Michael Breitsprecher, and uncovered 13 animal infractions against him.
According to Florida Court Records, animal control officers investigated Breitsprecher for having, a “U-Haul box truck loaded with 20+ dogs in crates and no ventilation” and added that “dogs were in distress when the sheriffs arrived.”
Another report stated a woman “hired him to train her dog Gizmo, which died in his care.”
Other citations against Breitsprecher include operating illegal animal boarding facilities without permits, violating dangerous dog regulations and hindering animal control investigations.
Paws Ever Home’s Vice President Alex Hernandez Zuleta, also has an animal infraction against him for operating a board and train kennel with Breitsprecher without required permits. According to the citation, there were more than 17 dogs boarded in the home.
Team 12 Investigates brought these citations to the attention of the Hempstead Town Supervisor’s Office.
In a statement, Devine said “While we are appreciative of all the good work they have done to help these dogs and more, going forward, the Town will reevaluate its professional relationship with PawsEver based on new information that has come to light in recent days.”
Supervisor Don Clavin declined an on-camera interview.
Animal advocates said the town’s vetting process should have caught the rescue’s troubled past.
“Why are those dogs abandoned in that location and the question is, are they qualified?” asked Madden. “I couldn’t get any answers into whether there are any training certifications or what their history is other than a negative history.”
Team 12 Investigates has also learned that the Town of Hempstead is looking to privatize the animal shelter. According to the town’s Request for Proposals document, the Town is looking for a qualified contractor to assume operation of the shelter—providing care, humane treatment, vaccinations/medical care and veterinary services to animals housed there.

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