Shelter Spotlight: Strong Island Animal Rescue League

by ELYSIAN Magazine

Who we are:

Strong Island Animal Rescue League was started in 2016 by Frank Floridia and Erica Kutzing with the goal to rescue everything they could. 

It started with cats and dogs. We focused a lot on trap/neuter/return to combat the feral cat population on Long Island and also helped struggling neighborhoods in our area where dogs ran loose or lived their lives on chains. 

We soon graduated to helping wildlife that found themselves in trouble because of human error. Deer stuck in nets, raccoons with jars on their heads, countless wildlife hit by cars. It was a growing need, and we quickly learned the safest ways to help the wild animals that call Long Island home. 


Our primary need:

We rack up enormous vet bills because our passion is with special needs animals and hospice care. We love taking the animals who aren’t easily adoptable, who have a limited future, and surpassing their life expectancy. With that comes veterinary care, including both general practice and specialty animal hospitals. 


Most memorable rescue story: 

The most thrilling rescue for our organization was when we received a call at night about a large buck (male deer) stuck in someone’s batting cage net. Both Frankie and Erica responded and found an 8-point buck – one that far outweighed the two rescuers – thrashing in panic. He was tangled so tightly in the ropes of the structure. Complete darkness added another element of danger, which made this rescue so memorable. 

Erica grabbed the net and slowly wrapped it around her hands to pull the massive animal toward her as Frankie used a sharp knife to try to cut the rope close to the buck’s antlers. Every second the buck rested was just him building up strength to deliver a powerful burst of fight that threw his two saviors around like rag dolls. At one point, he sent Erica flying to the ground. 

Using only the light from a flashlight you could see the steam coming from his hot breath as our team worked quickly and safely to free him. With that final snip of the rope, the buck was free. He stood for a second, gave one last puff of steam from his mouth like he was a dragon, turned and body-slammed a stockade fence, sending the lumber to the ground like it was toothpicks. 

We both stood in shock as we helped the biggest animal we had seen at the time and we were mostly unharmed.

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