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Jul 8, 2019 5:19 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Bideawee Opens Pet Adoption Pop-Up Shop On Main Street In Westhampton Beach

Ashley Farrell with puppies that are up for adoption at Bideawee's Pet Adoption Pop-Up on Main Street. JENNIFER CORR
Jul 9, 2019 1:20 PM

The Bideawee animal shelter opened a first-of-its-kind on Long Island, a pet adoption “pop-up shop,” on Main Street in Westhampton Beach on July 4, welcoming residents and visitors alike to interact with puppies and kittens up for adoption.

In the pop-up’s opening weekend, from Thursday to Sunday, five puppies were adopted, five more than what would likely be adopted if it weren’t for the pop-up, noted Ashley Farrell, a Corcoran real estate agent and Bideawee volunteer who helped the nonprofit shelter secure the storefront.

“I was here when they did the first adoption,” Ms. Farrell said. “A couple fell in love with this puppy, and when the adoption papers were signed, and they were walking out, the entire—oh, my gosh, I have goosebumps—the entire store started cheering and clapping. It was so amazing.”

Bideawee is a 115-year-old no-kill shelter that operates on Long Island and in New York City. The animals come from all across the country and even from around the world. The organization’s mission is to place the homeless cats and dogs in loving homes.

Though Bideawee does have a location on Old Country Road in Westhampton, there was a desire to increase exposure in Westhampton Beach Village.

Ms. Farrell became involved with the organization during her college days as a volunteer. Now, she covers Bideawee’s adoption fees as an added bonus when selling a home.

“I had a meeting with a couple of people from Bideawee, some higher-ups,” Ms. Farrell said. “The goal was to increase exposure for Bideawee in Westhampton Beach, and we went around with so many ideas, a lot that we’re doing, but one idea was a pop-up—and we ran with that.”

The CEO of Bideawee, Leslie Granger, added that Main Street would be a prime location, because it’s “where everybody really is.”

“There have been pop-ups in all different forms in the city, and since Bideawee has three different locations—New York City, Wantagh and Westhampton—I wanted to drive more awareness about adoption and more traffic to our adoptable pets,” Ms. Granger said.

It wasn’t easy for Ms. Farrell to find a landlord that would agree to having live animals in a retail space, but the search ended when Ms. Farrell came across 61 Main Street, managed by agent Steven Politis. He was sold when he went to Bideawee’s adoption center.

The space, which was once Kate & Hale, provides visitors with a different experience than they would have at the adoption center. Here, interaction is very encouraged.

“Typically, when you go to shelters, we’ll say, ‘Don’t put your hands in the cage.’ You can’t do any of that. But, here, you can interact immediately with the puppy. You can pick them up, you can play with them in the cage, you can play with them back here in the interaction area,” Ms. Farrell said. “The puppies are so young here, that we’ve picked puppies we know will interact well with public, young children …”

Ms. Farrell and the Bideawee team are looking forward to seeing the results of an adoption pop-up this summer. If all goes as planned, Ms. Farrell said that Bideawee will hopefully open the pop-up in the same space next summer, perhaps making it a more permanent structure in the future.

“Our job is not done until every single one has a home,” Ms. Farrell said.

The Bideawee Pet Adoption Pop-Up at 61 Main Street will be open Thursdays through Sundays through September 1. Hours are from 2 to 6 p.m. on Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays.

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