Angel's Gate is a residential non profit home for special needs animals whom are terminally or critically ill or physically challenged and come to live out their days in peace, dignity, and love.
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We Won!

We Won!September 19th, 2007:
The Honorable Arthur G. Pitts, Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, issued his decision on our appeal of the Town of Smithtown's refusal to issue us a certificate of prior use permit . The Town had changed it's zoning code last year to exclude animal hospices (i.e. Angel's Gate) from residential neighborhoods, in essence to force Angel's Gate to move away.

Judge Pitts found " Clearly, the record before the Court establishes that prior to the amendment of the town zoning ordinance, the petitioner's use of their property was legal and accordingly, the petitioners are entitled to a pre-existing use permit. ....the findings of the ..ZBA (Zoning Board of Appeals) denying the petitioner's application was arbitrary and capricious without regard to the facts presented ...."

What this means is that Angel's Gate may remain in it's home of 14 years and we can continue to serve our community.

We, Susan and Victor, want to send our heart felt thanks to our Attorneys at LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae LLP and especially Ms. Jamie Jackson, Esq. who made our appeal to the Supreme Court; to Dan Dillon Esq. who early on came to our aid and represented us to the ZBA; to all our volunteers who "kept the faith" and to all our well wishers who sent donations, signed petitions, attended meetings and protested on our behalf and who prayed for us.

This past year has been one of great anguish, tension and strain. It has drained our energies and resources but there was never a doubt that we would stand up for our rights, for the animals in our care and that we would prevail.

October 16,2007:
The following letter was published in Newsday today:

Angel's Gate caregivers: angels

Upon reading "Animal hospice gets reprieve" [News, Sept. 25], I was relieved to learn that a State Supreme Court judge ruled in favor of letting Angel's Gate in Fort Salonga remain. It's sad that the selfless couple who care for these animals have to fight so hard just for the right to keep them.

As a society, we benefit from companion animals in myriad ways. They're even used to comfort patients in nursing homes and hospitals, to provide independence for the disabled and to help protect us, and they serve in our military. Yet when animals are ill and need our help, there is little to be found.

Domesticating animals means making them dependent on us. This comes with responsibility. But far from acting responsibly, we allow them to breed to the point where millions of healthy cats and dogs are euthanized in shelters or die on the street every year. Meanwhile, Angel's Gate caregivers have spent years providing a home for animals with special needs. They are to be praised, not harassed.

Meryl Bissick

Ms. Bissick's point about our responsibilities toward domesticated animals is excellent . We are of course grateful for her support.

October 9,2007:
The Smithtown Town Council voted 4 to 1 to have the Town Attorney file an appeal of the State Supreme Court's ruling. Victor LaBruna read a brief statement to the Council after their vote today, pointing out that they are continuing to try to work around the law even though they know that targeting us is an illegal use of the Town's code and that have known from the start that we were within our rights to have a hospice for animals in our residence. Click here to see his complete statement.

If you would like to help you can write and/or call:

Mr. Patrick Vecchio -
Smithtown Town Supervisor
Smithtown Town Board
99W. Main Street
Smithtown NY 11787
Tel (631) 360-7600

Yvonne Lieffrig Smithtown Town Attorney
99 West Main Street
P.O. Box 575
Smithtown, NY 11787
Tel (631) 360-7570
Fax (631) 360-7719

or Email:  
Supervisor Patrick Vecchio
Joe Darrow
Council members: Patricia Biancaniello; Thomas McCarthy; Edward Wehrheim; Joanne Gray, at

Please cc a copy to Victor LaBruna at:
Thank you for your loving support.

Susan Marino

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