RSVP, Inc. is a 501c3, non-profit animal rescue group serving Eastern Long Island, New York since Jan 6, 1996. Originally founded as the “Riverhead Shelter Volunteer Program” their goal was to improve conditions at the Riverhead municipal shelter and reduce the needless suffering of companion animals. They realized that in order to make a significant difference, they needed to focus on the source of the problem – and encourage responsible pet care and sterilization in the low income neighborhoods where most of the animals were originating. Determined, these ladies drove their van into targeted areas, which consistently produced high numbers of abused, neglected, un-neutered and/or unwanted pets that ultimately landed at the Riverhead facility. The results have been amazing. Most of the families approached were receptive to the help offered. While many rescue organizations will offer spay/neuter programs, very few will actively seek out those who will not ask for help, although they need it most. RSVP is the only rescue group on the east end of Long Island offering this unique and vital service.
The core group has changed over time and the small band of passionate advocates has operated “under the radar,” overshadowed by some of Long Island’s more popular and financially endowed rescue groups. When these widely known organizations are over capacity, they will frequently recommend RSVP, Inc. to pet owners needing assistance. Sometimes less is more.
RSVP, Inc. is there for those with no where else to turn and is run entirely by volunteers.
Cooperative Spay/Neuter & Community Outreach
In 1999, RSVP began a cooperative spay/neuter outreach program that focused on working within the most economically depressed communities. These neighborhoods had the greatest need for pet education, emergency and routine veterinary care and spay/neuter services. Here, in these targeted areas, dogs are bred both intentionally and indiscriminately for money.
RSVP remains committed to reducing pet-overpopulation, and low-cost and free services are available to all. Owners need only select a participating veterinarian, RSVP will arrange a voucher, and the owner can make an appointment at their convenience. Transportation is also available if needed.
Besides the important spay/neuter and vet services, RSVP promotes responsible pet ownership and focuses on those dogs that are used for protection and/or live outdoors 24×7. With the cooperation and approval of the owners, the animals are visited regularly and provided with basic comforts, including dog houses, straw in winter and some TLC.
TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return)
RSVP volunteers are also active in the community, addressing the feral, stray and abandoned cat population. We offer “hands on” support, providing supplies and services:
– spay/neuter appointments
– medical attention for sick/injured cats
– socialization/adoption for kittens
– re-homing for non-ferals
– outdoor shelters and feeding stations
– cat food for colony caretakers
Rescue & Adoption
All dogs rescued by RSVP have a sad tale to tell. Unlike some rescue organizations that selectively accept “adoptable” dogs, RSVP has a history of taking dogs that have been saved from situations of neglect, abuse or are at risk in over crowded municipal shelters. RSVP recognizes these dogs as victims of circumstance. Our team of volunteers goes the extra mile to rehabilitate and re-home these forgotten pets which are society’s outcasts. RSVP is a particular advocate for pit bulls and pit bull mixes. Many have never known the life of a beloved, companion pet. Although these dogs often take longer to place in a good home, RSVP believes all dogs in need deserve love, compassion and the chance to be saved.
RSVP, Inc. is a proactive, grass roots animal welfare organization dedicated to improving the lives of companion animals while enhancing the communities in which they live by providing low-cost and free spay/neuter assistance, rescue & adoption services, pet care education and continued oversight and support as needed for responsible pet ownership.