Hempstead Town Hires New Animal Shelter Assistant Director

Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray and members of the Town Board have announced the hiring of Cynthia Iacopella as the new assistant director of the Hempstead Town Animal Shelter.

Iacopella was selected after an extensive nationwide search that was conducted by a committee of key Hempstead Town administrators, including Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby. The town's search committee also received expert consultation and guidance from renowned animal rights organizations.

"We are pleased to welcome aboard Cynthia Iacopella, who brings a wealth of experience to the Hempstead Town Animal Shelter," Murray said. "Her extensive background and expert knowledge of animal welfare makes Ms. Iacopella the right choice for the future of the animal shelter."

Iacopella joins Hempstead Town with more than 10 years of management experience at non-profit animal shelters, where she trained staff members and successfully developed and implemented new policies.

Iacopella will serve as the Hempstead Town Animal Shelter's assistant director while she completes the final three credits required for her Bachelor's Degree in Physical Anthropology from the University of California-Santa Barbara. Once Iacopella attains her Bachelor's Degree,a requirement for the director's position, the town fully intends on appointing her director of the Animal Shelter.

Iacopella earned an associate's degree in Wildlife Science and Education from Moorpark College and an associate's degree in liberal arts from Nassau Community College. She began her professional career in Southern California, working various positions at zoos and wildlife rehabilitation centers until she returned to New York to work for the city's Animal Care and Control.

Iacopella's resume includes about four years as director of Adoptions and Resident care at the non-profit Bideawee Animal Shelter in Wantagh. At Bideawee, she crafted and implemented policies and systems aimed at efficient and cost-effective operations. Iacopella also worked closely with financial, analytical and veterinary aspects of the shelter.

Prior to her leadership role at Bideawee, she served four years as the Care Center Director for Animal Care and Control of New York City (AC&C), where she managed staff in Staten Island that cares for an average of 5,000 animals annually. She developed new policies and programs aimed at enhancing efficient operations at the shelter. Iacopella previously had a role with AC&C as a Special Adoptions and Rescue Placement Coordinator. In that capacity, Iacopella was part of a management team of a shelter that averaged about 45,000 incoming animals a year. She spearheaded a companion animal rescue placement program for stray, abandoned and homeless animals that was credited for successfully lowering the euthanasia rates at AC&C.

Iacopella was also the Director of Shelter Operations for three years at the non-profit Animal Haven Shelter in New York City. There, she managed and trained all staff members and directed employees on proper medical care, housing and training of shelter animals.

Those who volunteered assistance to the town's search committee in its work to find a new director included consultation from Linda Stuurman of Last Hope Animal Shelter and guidance from the Shelter Services team of the Humane Society of the United States.

"I credit the town's search committee for their tireless work to find the best fit for someone to direct our Animal Shelter," Murray said. "I also sincerely thank the people who graciously volunteered their time to provide valuable guidance and assistance during our search."

All adoptions include spaying and neutering services, vaccinations and microchipping services. Hempstead Town also sponsors two free adoption periods each year when all fees are waived. To control the feral cat population, the town participates in a Trap/Neuter/Release (TNR) program. The program has recently been expanded to include town employees responding to feral cat colonies, trapping the cats and returning them to their habitat after veterinarian care.

Furthermore, the town has made it easier for residents looking to adopt by posting available pets on the town's website, via a Petfinder link. The shelter's Facebook page provides additional information on humane education programs, pet therapy and shelter visits to adoption events and more.

Iacopella will join Hempstead Town officials in the implementation a progressive pet agenda that focuses on the enhancement of pet care at the shelter and the furthering of aggressive pet adoption and placement efforts.

"I am eager to continue the successful programs and services already in place at the Hempstead Animal Shelter," said Iacopella, "and integrate new and exciting initiatives to improve on that excellence."

"Our goal is to ensure the best quality-of-life for the animals at our shelter and to find homes for them," said Goosby, who served on the town's search committee. "The new director will be instrumental in continuing our progress at the shelter and improving it even more moving forward."