Paws Unite People owner pleads for donations to keep shelter open
An East Patchogue shelter is in danger of closing after rescuing hundreds of animals and people over the past five years.
Paws Unite People has doubled as a place where animals who faced abuse are given a second chance and a nonprofit that provides humanitarian aid to Afghan refugees.
The shelter is currently paying for temporary housing for a group of Afghan veterinary professionals evacuated following the Taliban takeover in August 2021.
"Everybody calls us when they need help," said Paws Unite People Owner Meredith Festa.
Now, Festa says her shelter faces closure due to a lack of funding.
Paws Unite People is in financial trouble because it lost a private grant recently. Another grant won't go into effect until the end of January.
"I have to make it to the end of January, and I can't do both. So, do we close the shelter so that people stay alive or do I let babies die and women get forced into marriages and go back to Afghanistan?" Festa said. "I don't even want to make that decision."
She says it costs $12,000 a month to run the shelter and another $25,000 a month to house 230 people.
Festa is pleading for donations so she can continue to help both animals and people.
"Just because an animal is abused doesn't mean you give up on it - just because a person's country fell to a terrorist regime doesn't mean you give up on them," Festa said.
To donate to Paws Unite People, click here.