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Jan 20, 2010 10:34 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Foundation rejects volunteer's application at animal shelter

Jan 20, 2010 10:34 AM

All Southampton resident Pat Lynch says she wants to do is walk orphaned dogs looking for permanent homes at town’s animal shelter, which, as of January 1, is now being run by a private not-for-profit.

But she was denied that unpaid opportunity when the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation, which took over operations of Hampton Bays shelter, rejected her volunteer application earlier this month.

Ms. Lynch, who was similarly rejected as a volunteer dog walker in 2004 when the town ran the facility, believes that the recent denial was done in retaliation for a lawsuit she filed against Southampton Town that same year. Ms. Lynch sued Southampton Town in 2004, charging that officials had violated her First Amendment rights when they dropped her as a volunteer in February of that year, saying it was based on her public criticism of the shelter and its operation. In February 2007, a federal jury awarded Ms. Lynch $251,000 in damages. Later that year, U.S. District Judge Arthur Spatt, the judge presiding over the case, reduced the damages to $50,000 and awarded Ms. Lynch an additional $71,000 to cover her attorney’s fees. The town appealed the decision, but it was upheld on appeal in December 2008.

When reached this week, Susan Kelly, the personnel director at the shelter, declined to explain why the Ms. Lynch’s volunteer application was denied by the foundation.

Don Bambrick, a town employee who still serves as supervisor of the animal shelter, said he could not comment on Ms. Lynch’s situation because he is not involved in the volunteer program. “The foundation is keeping track of the volunteers,” he said.

Ms. Lynch, a freelance journalist, said she is very hurt that she was not allowed to volunteer because she supported the privatization of the shelter and the people who now run it. She even adopted a dog, Kramer, from the shelter before Christmas.

“I am very, very angry, disappointed and hurt that I was used this way,” she said.

Ms. Lynch said earlier this week she wasn’t sure if she was going to seek legal action against the foundation for denying her latest volunteer application. “It’s so upsetting and hurtful,” she said.

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I am wondering how can she Sue them in good conscious? Protecting herself while taking money away from the Shelter. Lady, all you care about is yourself.
By wondering (63), Southampton on Jan 28, 10 6:37 AM
1 member liked this comment
Perhaps they have read the Press and her unending, complaining, ranting letters. No surprise, why would you want to have her volunteer. Clearly she has an agenda.

Perhaps she can go walk dogs at the Bide-a-Wee.

I supposed we will all be subjected to 100s more of her letters complaining again. UGH.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Jan 28, 10 10:29 AM
1 member liked this comment
Let's see if I got this right. She volunteered when it was the Town's. Griped constantly about everything. Wanted total control over where dogs ended up (see story above about Francis and accompanying comments)...Sued and picked the taxpayer's pockets.. Didn't contribute ONE DIME of her settlement money back to the animals that she loves so very much, And now she expects the Foundation {bless each and every one of you} to roll out the red carpet for her to do it again to them??? Take a hike lady! ...more
By dogtired (29), north sea on Jan 28, 10 12:29 PM
2 members liked this comment
WOW - talk about your toxic personalities! I say: Take your ill-gotten settlement money Ms. Lynch and start your own foundation. You can be in charge, declare yourself head dog-walker and spew your venom in any direction you choose.
By pupdaddy (12), North Sea on Jan 29, 10 11:10 AM
1 member liked this comment
Forget about her. She would end up walking the dogs and tripping . There goes another law suit.
By LongIslander (43), HAMPTON BAYS on Jan 29, 10 10:39 PM
1 member liked this comment