A zoning decision in the town of Smithtown, Long Island, may end up closing down a hospice named “Angel’s Gates”, which is essentially for animals only. “Angel’s Gates” is located in a small residential home, and is run by owners Susan Marino and Vic LaBruma, who have been fighting the new zoning code decisions, which practically doesn’t allow the organization to stay located in the residential area.
However, a high-powered international law firm is working pro bono to help “Angel’s Gates” to help overturn the zoning code change.
In February, the town of Smithtown denied “Angel’s Gates” the right to stay despite protests by many supporters who demanded the hospice stay in its current residential location at 18 Josephine Lane.
Jaime Jackson, the lead attorney in the case for Angel’s Gates had this to say:
“We feel that these facts demonstrate that Susan and Victor have been unfairly targeted.”
Susan Marino, one of the owners of Angel’s Gates, is a former nurse. What happens at Angel’s Gates is Susan Marino and Vic LaBruna take care of dying and/or terminally ill animals, rather than terminating the animals via euthanasia. Also, they have added animal rehabilitation to Angel’s Gates.
Despite the good heart of Susan Marino and Vic LaBruma, many close neighbors have called the town asking for them to shut down the hospice due to excessive nose, abundant traffic from volunteers coming and leaving, and also large amounts of garbage.
What this case seems to boil down to is the comfort of the neighbors and zoning violations versus the good hearted and the well-being of terminally ill animals and giving them a place to stay while they live their last days on Earth. What will happen to this hospice is unsure as of right now while the law firm and the town of Smithtown come to a decision. As of right now, this is how the town of Smithtown sees this dilemma when it comes to zoning issues according to Newsday:
“[…] its original use was not in conformity and citing its not-for-profit status, its use of employees and the number of animals is excessive to regular family use.”
Hopefully the law firm representing Angel’s Gates and the town of Smithtown come to a decision in which everyone can be happy, and the welfare of the terminally ill or injured animals are also still in good hands.
Angel’s Gates currently takes care of over 200 animals. These animals include a wide variety of animals, usually domesticated animals, such as such as dogs, cats, and birds.
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