Nyack Animal Rescue Program’s Van Stolen, Used in Robbery

Van damaged, organization seeks vehicle donation

IMG_0952NYACK – An old van used by a Nyack animal rescue organization to pick up animals in hopes of finding them new homes was stolen and abandoned damaged after it was used in a robbery early Tuesday.

Clarkstown police say they are still looking for the man who is believed to have stolen the van from in front of the Dapper Dog pet grooming shop, 37 Route 59, in the Nyack Knolls Shopping Center and then used it during a robbery at the Mobil On The Run convenience store/gas station just a few minutes away at 116 N. Route 303, West Nyack – opposite Palisades Center mall.

A man driving the van stole $60 from the convenience store and clashed with the store’s clerk. The clerk was not injured, but was able to identify the vehicle that the thief drove off in.

IMG_0967Police said the West Nyack robbery took place about 3 a.m. The store’s clerk was in a rear area when he heard a noise at the cash register area. When the clerk went out front he spotted a man at the cash box for the store’s lottery machine.

Clarkstown police said the Dapper Dog van, used for the non-profit Hopeful Tails animal rescue program, was found abandoned at Nyack High School in Upper Nyack.

“I can’t imagine why anyone would want to take our old van,” said Gerry Tartaglione, owner of Dapper Dog, who has also long been involved with local, regional and national pet rescue efforts.

She said the old van used for the pet rescue efforts – and to haul away lots of trash created by the program and her pet grooming business – was left unusable by front-end damage. Now, any animals to be transported by the Hopeful Tails program must go into cramped personal vehicles.

Tartaglione explained that the lack of the van makes it difficult to transport the rescue animals and related materials. She is hoping to find someone with an old van that they would be willing to donate to Hopeful Tails.

“We are a nonprofit, so they can get a tax deduction for the donation,” said Tartaglione, noting that she doesn’t have the money needed to replace the van.

Tartaglione and her husband, Nick, are longtime Nyack business owners. Their pet grooming and pet supply business was for many years located at the corner of Route 9W and Route 59 in Nyack, and then they moved to larger quarters at the former florist shop on Route 9W a block south of Nyack Hospital. The business then moved to its current site in the Nyack Knolls shopping center.

As Tartaglione is busy with her pet grooming business, she also cares for rescue dogs and cats and tries to match them up with new owners. She has a special area in her shop to house the rescue dogs and kittens up for adoption have a prominent place at the entrance to the shop.

Tartaglione invited anyone who might be interested in adopting a dog or cat to visit the shop.

Republished: Nyack Free Press