State inspectors give Brookhaven animal shelter ‘unsatisfactory’ rating

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets inspected the shelter three times over the past three months. Each time, inspectors gave the shelter an “unsatisfactory” rating.

Rachel Yonkunas

Oct 12, 2023, 9:37 PM

Updated 192 days ago

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Rotted ceilings above kennels, mold and exposed wires are some of the persistent problems state inspectors found at the Town of Brookhaven Animal Shelter.
The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets inspected the shelter three times over the past three months. Each time, inspectors gave the shelter an “unsatisfactory” rating.
The inspections were prompted by months of complaints from volunteers about unsafe and unsanitary conditions where the animals are kept.
On July 10, inspectors from the Suffolk County Department of Health Services’ Bureau of Public Health Protection found sewage overflowing from a floor drain in a hallway between dog pens. They issued a sanitary code violation and said the issue was cleaned up the next day.
However, on July 20, state inspectors found drains clogged with feces and debris. They noted “several inches” of standing water on top of the drains. They also found rotted ceilings due to water damage throughout the shelter and missing ceiling tiles that exposed ducts and wiring.
State inspectors returned one month later and found many of the same problems. On Aug. 22, they said the drainage problem was corrected, but found ceilings above kennels, where the dogs spend most of their time, still were not fixed.
Inspectors again noted rotted ceilings due to water damage, exposed wiring and ducts and holes above the dog run that were covered with duct tape and plastic bags.
The problems persisted during a third state inspection on Sept. 29. Inspectors, however, noted that the shelter was currently in the process of fixing moldy ceilings.
Team 12 Investigates asked town officials about these repeat violations. A Town of Brookhaven spokesperson said they have since fixed a leak in the roof, added three dehumidifiers, replaced ceiling panels, repainted and sanitized the area, and increased shelter staff.
“Over the past few months, the town has hired eight new employees that are working in the shelter, including for the first time ever a medical staff, which includes a full-time veterinarian, a full-time vet technician and part time vet technician,” said town spokesperson Jack Krieger.
Krieger maintains that the shelter no longer has issues. He did not immediately have answers to Team 12 Investigates’ questions about how the town maintains accountability at the shelter or how many animals are currently living there.
State inspectors will return to the shelter in approximately 30 days to ensure the deficiencies are corrected.


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