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Islip, SPCA Join Forces to Find West Islip Dumpster Pooch a New Home

Those seeking to adopt Miracle will have to go through an application process.

The Town of Islip and the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals are collaborating on a unique adoption effort to ensure that Miracle, the pooch found in a West Islip dumpster a few days after Christmas, finds a good home.

The joint adoption plan, which is to be announced officially Wednesday at a press conference at the shelter, is all about finding the best family for Miracle and the most fair way to respond to the many calls from people looking to adopt her, said SPCA Chief Roy Gross.

“This dog’s been through hell and we want to help find her the best home possible. We’ve gotten many calls since the incident to adopt her,” he told Patch in a phone interview Monday.

Those interested in adopting Miracle will be asked to complete an application which will be reviewed by both officials at the town shelter and the SPCA. The two agencies will then choose the adopting family.

As Patch reported in late December an Islip Town animal shelter employee, Michael Papini, 30, was arrested for allegedly dumping Miracle and is facing a charge of animal cruelty. 

The Babylon resident was caught on surveillance video taking a large plastic garbage bag out of the back of a vehicle and throwing it into a dumpster behind the USA gas station, located at 410 Montauk Highway in West Islip, according to the SPCA.

Inside that bag was a female 1-year-old Lhasa apso, who was found alive in the dumpster the next morning, the SPCA said. The pooch, since named Miracle, was initially cared for by the Veterinary Medical Center of West Islip before she was released to the town shelter.

Papini has been suspended without pay from his job as a kennel attendant at the Islip Animal Shelter in Bay Shore, according to Islip Town spokeswoman Inez Birbiglia. 

Papini is charged with felony aggravated animal cruelty and several misdemeanors charges. He posted $500 bail on December 29 and is due back in court on March 14.

The animal protection group has had no luck finding a second dog, named Bailey, allegedly also dumped by Papini in Babylon. According to published reports, a woman who no longer could care for them gave the two dogs to Papini. She supposedly paid him to take them to the town shelter.

Bailey, a 5-year-old male cream colored poodle, was last seen on Cooper Street in Babylon Village, according to the SPCA. 

While Gross declined to comment on the specifics of how the dogs got into Papini’s possession, citing the ongoing investigation, he holds out hope that Bailey is safe and sound like Miracle.

“We can only hope for the best about Bailey and that maybe someone found Bailey and gave him a good home,” said Gross, noting there is still a $500 reward for information on Bailey’s whereabouts.

Those with information on Bailey's location should contact the SPCA at 631-382-7722.


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