By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – In five years directing the Susquehanna SPCA, Stacie Haynes has never once had someone bring in a bird.
Now, she has 30 of them. Lady Gouldens, to be precise.
“We need volunteers ASAP to either foster them or come in and tell us how to take care of them,” she said. “They’re these absolutely gorgeous birds, but we have no idea how to take care of them, and want to get them into their proper homes.”
The finches – as well as a dog, a cat, two mini-horses, a mallard duck, two chinchillas and a hedgehog – were surrendered by a homeowner after the animals’ owner moved out of their shared Schenevus residence.
“When the owner left, she was unable to take the animals with her,” said Haynes. “The homeowner works long hours, and was unable to provide these animals with the care they each require.”
The owner first reached out to the shelter last week, and Haynes worked with Sheriff Richard Devlin as part of the PETS task force, and determined the animals needed to be surrendered by the homeowner.
“This is a great example of how being proactive got these animals into a situation where they could be safe and adopted out to people who can care for them,” she said. “This way, we’re not coming back in a month after they’ve been neglected or perished.”
The two mini-horses were adopted from the scene, but the other animals all came back to the shelter, where they will soon be put up for adoption.
All but the duck came willingly, giving the volunteers a little bit of a chase.
“The duck is tame!” she insisted. “We’ve had geese and turkeys before, so we weren’t intimidated. But any animal, no matter how tame, is going to be a little freaked out when a van rolls up.” She did note that the dog and the hedgehog are elderly, and their eventual adoptee will need to get them proper veterinary care.
But she stressed that the animals were not purposefully neglected, and that the homeowner surrendered them willingly. “These animals all require different kinds of care,” she said. “It’s a full-time job keeping up with these animals, and he did the right thing by reaching out to us and saying he needed help.”
She continued, “If more people did this, we wouldn’t end up with barns full of dead cows. This is a great example of how we can help when people reach out to us.”