Cabana and King Sweeney Announce Bilingual Initiative at Hempstead Town Animal Shelter

Published On: 2018-07-26 19:04:14

Issued by: Town Clerk Sylvia Cabana and Council Member Erin King Sweeney

Hempstead Town Clerk Sylvia Cabana and Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney proudly announced that they worked together in a bipartisan effort to enhance communications at the Hempstead Town Animal Shelter by replicating all public documents and information in Spanish. The Town Clerk and Councilwoman were joined by Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Councilman Anthony D’Esposito, Councilman Dennis Dunne, Receiver of Taxes Donald X. Clavin and animal advocates at the announcement.

“Nearly 20 percent of Town of Hempstead residents identify themselves as Spanish,” said Cabana. “It is so important that we do everything we can to ensure that this population is offered the same opportunities as those who speak English.”

“This initiative has the potential to increase adoptions at the shelter, which is a benefit to everyone,” noted King Sweeney. “Those who speak Spanish may have been hesitant to go and adopt a pet from the shelter previously but now, with language barriers torn down they may be more likely to come and adopt a new member of the family at the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter. I would like to commend Town Clerk Cabana who, along with members of her staff, personally translated these documents.”

Last month Cabana and King Sweeney also rolled out a bilingual reading program that they are bringing to local libraries, schools and camps.

Dozens of documents and information sheets were translated. Documents about what to do if your pet is lost, adoption applications and surrender forms are among those that will now be offered in Spanish and English.

“I represent a very diverse district and I am so pleased that my constituents who may speak limited English will now have greater access at our town animal shelter,” said Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby.

U.S. Census information has shown that the Spanish speaking population is one of the fastest growing in the Town of Hempstead. The Town of Hempstead is the largest Township in the United States, with nearly 800,000 residents.

“I have had the pleasure of working with our local animal advocates a great deal recently and I am happy that our board has been able to listen to their thoughts and ideas and come up with solutions such as this to help all our residents,” said D’Esposito. “As someone who is half Puerto Rican, I am especially appreciative of Town Clerk Cabana and Councilwoman King Sweeney’s efforts to make our animal shelter more accommodating for everyone.”

“My mother was from Puerto Rico and several communities I represent have large Spanish-speaking populations so I know how beneficial these translated documents will be for our residents,” added Councilman Dunne. “I really believe we will see more people coming to our shelter once word gets out that our paperwork is now available in both Spanish and English.”

 “This initiative will provide better communication that can potentially save lives while increasing adoption opportunities," said animal advocate Valerie Lampe.

  “I’m pleased to support this important initiative of the Town Clerk, which continues to build upon our shared goal of making the Town of Hempstead as transparent and easily accessible as possible,” said Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen.

 “All elected officials in the Town of Hempstead agree that we want to do right by our residents and the animals in our care at the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter and I am so pleased that my language skills and my role as Town Clerk has enabled me to move forward with this initiative,” concluded Cabana.