A Helping Paw From Global Strays

Wednesday, June 28, 2017
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It’s heartbreaking to see neglected or abused animals anywhere, whether its here in New York or all the way in Nicaragua. Global Strays has made it their mission to help dogs and cats in developing nations around the world. On June 21, they held their inaugural fundraiser, run by their founders Elizabeth Shafiroff and Lindsey Spielfogel.

This program began when Shafiroff (yes, she is the daughter of New York philanthropist Jean Shafiroff) recently traveled to Nicaragua and was “horrified with the treatment of the animals.” She could not sit by and do nothing, and so she and Spielfogel came together to to create Global Strays, the primary mission of which is to provide grants to animal welfare organizations in these countries. More specifically, this charity focuses on helping existing organizations expand their spay and neuter programs, as one of the main problems of these animals is overpopulation.

Global Strays concentrates on Nicaragua, as this is where Ms. Shafiroff first encountered the problem. Both she and Spielfogel make regular trips to Nicaragua to see the organizations firsthand, so they can decide which programs most need grants for food, medications and spay and neutering efforts. Despite this focus on Nicaragua, they are slowly expanding their charity to the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Saint Lucia. The long-term mission of Global Strays is to completely change the way animal adoption and care is done in these countries. “Pet parenting” as well as veterinary knowledge and neutering programs must be more common.

About 150 people attended the fundraiser on June 21, including Emcee Rita Cosby, Tomaczek Bednareck, Craig Dix, Lucia Hwong Gordon, Michele Herbert, Carl and Valeria Kempner, Rory Lipman, Dimitra Molossi, Maggie Norris, Sammie Jack Pressman, Victor de Souza, Betsy Spielfogal, Ike Ude, Martin and Jean Shafiroff, and of course Elizabeth Shafiroff and Lindsay Spielfogel. The proceeds went to Global Strays’ partner organization in Central America and Social Tees Animal Rescue Foundation.  


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by Kelly LaffeyPhotographed by Billy Farrall