Four Corners: Dogs – From Rescuer to Walker

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York THE GROOMERIf doing what one loves for a living were a contest, Olimpia Anzalone would be a top contender. For the past 13 years, she’s trimmed, styled, washed and dried, on average, more than a dozen doggies, daily, at her Northport shop Olimpia’s Dog Grooming Parlor. “These guys are my other family of animals that I’ve known through the years since they were puppies,” Anzalone—who has dogs, cats and birds at home—says, while drying a fluffy, freshly groomed, white Samoyed. “I’m happy to come to work every day.” She also grooms cats and sells pet clothing, costumes, supplies and even freshly baked food for animals. Anzalone prides herself on helping clients understand why sometimes their dogs need a “smoothie”—having their coat shaved to get rid of badly knotted fur—and explaining how to keep their pets well-coifed between monthly appointments, which run from 90 minutes to three hours. “It’s basically like a child going to the dentist for the first time sometimes with dogs, so you got to put on good face and make sure that it’s a happy atmosphere,” she says. “After they get to know us, they love us. The dogs come running in!”THE WALKERFor pet sitters such as Tiffany Elliot, the dog days are every day. After her last job cut her hours two years ago, she founded Tiffany’s Pet Sitting & Dog Walking, serving her hometown of Massapequa and surrounding areas—and business is howling. “I’ll take care of ’em like my own,” says Elliot, jingling a janitor-esque keychain of clients’ house keys while walking Blueberry, her sweater-wearing Beagle. “It’s a lot of fun, I’ve always liked dogs.” Unlike city dog walkers who juggle 10 leashes, Elliot visits one pup at a time, and sometimes a cat, rabbit or lizard, too. Most clients are commuters who work in the city and can’t take Fido for a walk during the day, but she sees a spike during summer and school vacations when families go away. Conscious of canine loneliness, well-behaved client-dogs spend time in Elliot’s home, as long as they pass the personality test. It’s not all petting, treats and fetch, either. She’s pet-sitter insured, trained in canine CPR and has references to vouch for her trustworthiness. The fresh air, exercise and generally easy-going company proved unplanned perks. “This is the type of job where even if I’m sick…they don’t care what you look like.”THE RESCUERMatching families with a new four-legged furry friend is all in a day’s work for Lisa LaValle, a volunteer with Last Chance Animal Rescue, a Southampton-based nonprofit animal adoption agency. When she’s not fostering dogs that need to be socialized or coordinating child volunteers as heads of the group’s Rescue Rangers Program, LaValle is shuttling between PetSmart and Petco stores that host adoption events each weekend on eastern Long Island. “We’re just a small group of dedicated volunteers trying to make a difference,” says LaValle, whose daughter also works with the group. Since it was established in 2008, Last Chance has found homes for more than 6,000 dogs and cats rescued from being euthanized in rural shelters. Each animal is vaccinated and spayed or neutered before adoption. Applicants are also screened first. It can be heart-wrenching work at times. “Some come to us broken and scared and some come happy and healthy,” LaValle says, recalling a Puggle—a beagle-pug crossbreed—named BossMan, that she wrapped in an Islanders shirt because he was shaking “like a leaf” before finding a new home. But the good days outweigh the bad. “I feel like we put families together,” she says.THE INVESTIGATORAfter responding to countless cases throughout the past 30 years, Roy Gross, chief of the Suffolk County SPCA says that dogs are the most frequent subjects of abuse, neglect and abandonment investigations, followed by cats and horses. The worst of the roughly 3,000 cases annually was a dog so emaciated it couldn’t stand when officers found the pup in a foreclosed home. “This dog stood up and fell right over it was so weak,” he recalls. Once the animal was nursed back to health, an officer adopted him and named him Justin, “Because he was found just in time,” Gross adds. Justin’s Law, a Suffolk law that established the nation’s first animal abuse registry four years ago—it still hasn’t been set up, however—was named after the mutt. Gross, who spent two months at Ground Zero with his therapy dog, Cody, assisting search-and-rescue canines, notes that his officers can’t simply seize animals from homes on a whim—unless blatant abuse is caught in the act. He also reminds people that the nonprofit agency is funded by private donations and relies on anonymous tips via 631-382-SPCA. “An animal cannot pick up a phone and call us,” he says. “We are the voice of the animals that can’t speak for themselves.”last_img read more

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Deficit now stands at £10bn at UK’s largest pension fund

first_imgThe Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) has seen its funding decline to 83%, equivalent to a £10bn (€12.7bn) deficit, despite outperforming its benchmark last year.The UK’s largest pension fund saw its deficit continue to increase, with funding down by 6 percentage points since 2014, during which time assets increased by more than £8bn to £49.8bn.However, neither the absolute deficit figure nor the funding ratio were as bad as reported in 2013, when USS calculated an £11.5bn shortfall – equivalent to 77% funding. A return of 1.6%, nearly 2.4 percentage points above its benchmark, was praised as “exceptional” by CIO Roger Gray, while emphasising the fund remained focused on delivering strong returns over the longer term. “On a five-year basis,” the fund’s annual report said, “returns have also been very good, with 1.1% annualised outperformance contributing an additional £2.2bn above the scheme’s strategic benchmark.”The report added that investments generated income of £1.2bn over the course of the last financial year, although some of the gains were undone by losses from its derivatives holdings and equity portfolio, resulting in net returns of around £700m.Chief executive Bill Galvin also warned the UK’s vote to leave the European Union would have a “substantial” impact on the fund, specifically on the universities acting as its sponsors, due to the potential changes to free movement and EU research funding.“As an institutional investor,” Galvin added, “we are invested in more than 100 countries worldwide, and we will need to review the implications of any proposed constitutional changes for areas such as tax, counterparty exposure and investor protection.“There will be much contingency work to do as negotiations proceed.”Galvin also highlighted that new governance structures in place since January last year, with trustees agreeing an appetite for risk, had allowed the fund to be more nimble.He cited the acquisition of Moto Hospitality as one of the cases where USS had put the new flexibility to good use.USS acquired Moto in October 2015 for an undisclosed sum, only to sell a 40% stake to CVC Capital a few months later.The fund has also launched a defined contribution section, a move agreed as it seeks to control its deficit and cap pay accruing under its current defined benefit (DB) scheme.last_img read more

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Iowa State Patrol: Traffic stop nets 431 lbs of marijuana

first_imgADEL, Iowa (AP) – A California man has been arrested after a traffic stop along Interstate 80 southwest of Des Moines turned up more than 430 pounds of marijuana, the Iowa State Patrol said.A trooper stopped a sport utility vehicle on suspicion of a traffic violation Wednesday night and searched the SUV after smelling a strong odor of raw marijuana coming from inside the vehicle, television station KCCI reported. The search uncovered three large duffle bags containing 258 pounds of THC edibles and five large duffle bags containing about 173 pounds of high-grade marijuana, the patrol said.The 32-year-old driver from Los Angeles was arrested on suspicion of several drug violations. The patrol said he was taking the marijuana to people he knows in Indiana, where he used to live.last_img

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CONIFRMED! Brendan Rodgers appointed Celtic boss

first_img Brendan Rodgers has been out of work since October 1 Celtic have appointed Brendan Rodgers as their new manager, the Scottish Champions have confirmed.The former Liverpool boss replaces Ronny Deila after agreeing a 12-month rolling contract.His first task will be to guide the Hoops through the qualifying stages for the Champions League but he will also have to fend off the challenge presented by Rangers on their return to the top flight.Rodgers said: “I am absolutely delighted to be named Celtic manager. This is genuinely a huge honour for me. I have followed Celtic all my life and to be given this fantastic opportunity and to be part of such a truly great football club is a dream come true.“I will give my new role everything I have and do all I can to bring our supporters exciting, entertaining and winning football.“The club has been in magnificent shape in recent years and has collected silverware regularly during this time. My objective now, of course, is to continue this work, to keep us at the top and again make our mark in Europe.“I know what a magnificent support Celtic enjoys and I can promise our fans one thing – that I will be doing everything I can to give you a team that you can be proud of and a team that delivers.“I can’t wait to be in Paradise with our team and our fans as we all get to work.”last_img read more

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