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Bobbi and the Strays looks for new home

A Queens non-profit that comes to the aid of stray animals is in need of its own rescuer.

Bobbi and the Strays, headed by Ozone Park resident Bobbi Giordano, is looking for a new home after its lease at the Vetport at John F. Kennedy International Airport expires in 18 months.

"We need space," Giordano said. "We are a very poor shelter. We have to constantly do fund-raising."

The non-profit houses dogs and cats that it has rescued at the Vetport, a no-kill shelter where volunteers care for the animals until they find someone to adopt them.

"This is the only no-kill shelter in Queens," said Giordano, who founded Bobbi and the Strays in 1998 but has been rescuing animals since she was 9. "We really need a shelter here."

Bobbi and the Strays was recently named a finalist out of 1,000 entries in a contest run by the animal Web site Zootoo.com.

The organization will receive at least $5,000 for being named a finalist and is eligible to win a $1 million makeover of its headquarters should they come away with the top prize.

But Giordano said the makeover could not be done at the Vetport because Bobbi and the Strays does not have a long-term lease there.

Last week Bobbi and the Strays was notified by Zootoo that it has until the end of the month to find a new location or it will not be considered for the makeover, Giordano said.

She said Bobbi and the Strays would still be looking for a new home despite its standing in the contest.

The organization also has space that was donated at the Shops at Atlas Park, but Giordano said that location would not be big enough to house all the animals.

Giordano said her non-profit is run on a shoestring budget and is finding it difficult to find an affordable building for the animals.

Bonnie Folz, a volunteer with Bobbi and the Strays, said the group is seeking corporate sponsors to help subsidize a new headquarters or a building owner who wants to donate space.

Anywhere between 5,000 to 10,000 square feet would be sufficient, she said.

"Finding something affordable is getting quite rough," Folz said. "We need help. We need donations."

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.

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