Syosset Teen Helps Feline Friends

Rachel Haft was honored by the Golden Paw Society.

A Syosset youngster put her paws to work this summer and helped some furry friends in need of a home.

The Golden Paw Society of Huntington held its annual Golden Gala fundraising event in Syosset recently, honoring individuals who have made a difference in the lives of shelter cats on Long Island. This year, one of the four honorees was 13-year-old Rachel Haft of Syosset. The organization presented Haft with a plaque thanking her for her contributions to the cause of caring for shelter cats.

For her bat mitzvah project, Haft decided she wanted to raise funds to support the Golden Paw Society’s Shelter Run Program, in which volunteers visit municipal town shelters and rescue cats that have been there for an extended time or are having trouble adjusting to shelfter life. These cats are the ones most in danger of being euthanized.

Haft with one of her rescued kittens

For each animal that is rescued, the volunteer incurs medical, food and care expenses totalling at least $100. Haft’s goal was to raise $1,800 to save the lives of 18 cats. The Golden Paw Society worked with Haft and created a separate page for her on their website so that funds could specifically be channeled to this cause/fundraiser. To date, Haft’s mitzvah project has raised more than $2,100 for the Shelter Run Fund, allowing for 21 cats to be rescued.

Haft had the opportunity to visit the Golden Paw Society adoption center earlier this summer. She was able to see the organization firsthand and interact with the current “residents” of the adoption center and delivered a bag of homemade catnip-filled toys, known as “happy socks,” for the felines.

Haft made about two dozen socks in preperation for her visit to the adoption center. She hopes to visit again the near future.

Haft took on the responsibilities of caring for shelter cats.

The Golden Paw Society is a organization dedicated to the rescue of cats who have been in municipal shelters for an extended period of time and/or who exhibit a dire need of removal from the shelter setting. The society is committed to finding forever homes for the cats they rescue.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to Haft’s project may still do so by visiting her web page at Visitors to her page can also see photos of some of the cats whose lives were saved because of the funds raised thru this project.

And anyone interested in adopting a cat from The Golden Paw Society should email


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Steve Mosco, former editor-in-chief at Anton Media Group, is a columnist for Long Island Weekly's food and sports sections. He fancies himself a tastemaker, food influencer and king of all eaters.


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