News of Otsego County

Animal Shelter

SQSPCA Animal Shelter Dreams Coming True

SQSPCA Animal Shelter

Dreams Coming True

SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes discusses progress on the shelter with Lane Construction Project Manager Rick Bliss, left, and architect Andrew Schuster. (Jim Kevlin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – At the Susquehanna SPCA’s new shelter, not only will you be able to see the difference, you’ll be able to smell it too.

“Dogs communicate through smell,” said Andrew Schuster, principal architect with Ashley McGraw, Syracuse. “To keep stress levels down, every dog will have a separately ‘exhausted’ kennel to ensure odor privacy, so that you don’t have a lot of barking.”

The new shelter is rapidly rising on the new campus on Route 28, across from Kevin’s Royal Ford.

“When I walked in there, I almost cried,” said Stacie Haynes, executive director. “To be able to see something tangible after all these efforts and all their support – in some ways, it’s hard to believe!”

Ground-breaking was in August 2019, and completion is on track for late April.

“There have been some delays on the supply side due to COVID,” said Haynes. “But where they can’t work on one project, they work on another.”

Walls have been put up and trusses have been placed on both the shelter and the thrift store; the elaborate plumbing network was installed before the slab was poured. Each pen has its own drainage system for easy cleaning and waste removal. Drains are also in place
for surgical sinks, laundry and bathrooms.

“It’s a challenge to approach this building in designing it for animals,” said Schuster. “Most building codes are designed for people, so trying to determine, for instance, where to place toilet fixtures, is a bit of a challenge!”

Schuster, whose firm specializes in sustainable buildings, said he paid special attention to insulation and air tightness to minimize mold and prioritize air circulation and quality.

“Normally, HVAC is a third of the cost of a project,” said Rick Bliss, project manager for William H. Lane Construction’s Cooperstown office. “But with this building, it’s half our cost.”

“It will be a very healthy place to visit,” said Haynes. “Especially during a pandemic.”

In addition to the reduction in odor, the pens will also be two-part, separated by a “doggie door.”

“This gives dogs an opportunity to relieve themselves someplace other than their living space,” said Haynes.

In the event that the shelter takes in multiple animals at a time – for instance, Haynes says, a dog hoarding case – the doors can be closed, dividing the kennel in two.

The room will also have windows to let in natural light, with the lower sill high enough so dogs can’t see any squirrels that may go running past.

“That will also cut down on barking,” said Schuster.

The SQSPCA set a $5 million goal in its “Shelter Us” campaign, and so far, has raised $4.6 million towards the goal.

“The idea is to enter our new building without debt so that we have more resources to put towards our animals,” said Haynes. “Having a mortgage and having to allocate some of our budget: That is Plan B.”

The closure of the thrift store at the height of the pandemic put a strain on the budget, but Haynes said she was touched by the ongoing contributions to their fundraising efforts.

Carpenters’ Union Pickets New Shelter

Carpenters’ Union

Pickets New Shelter

Ian Williams, Horseheads, right, representing the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, answers reporter LIbby Cudmore’s questions this morning while manning an informational picket in front of the new Susquehanna Animal Shelter, now under construction on Route 28, Index. With Willilams are Mark Hopper, Wells Bridge, center, and Bob Wilmott, Oswego, from the union office in Syracuse. The union is seeking to ensure union labor is used throughout the project, Williams said. (Jim Kevlin/
Shelter Seeks Foster Family For Puppies, Mom

Susquehanna SPCA Seeks

Foster For Puppies, Mom

A surrendered dog gave birth to six puppies overnight at the Susquehanna SPCA, and now the shelter is looking for a foster family to take in the mother, Jasmine, and her brood until the puppies are old enough to be adopted out. According to Becca Daly, communications coordinator, the ideal foster would be a quiet home, with no other pets or young children, and would be able to bring the dogs back to the shelter as necessary for medical appointments and checkups. Also, they should have experience with owning dogs but this isn’t a definite requirement. If you think you can learn quickly and will be able to get care advice from a site like this UK dog blog then you will be able to apply too. If you’ve owned dogs but not puppies then it would be worth educating yourself on the best ways to care them as well.

Daly, at right, said the dogs, including Jasmine, are all in good health and will be available for adoption after the puppies are weaned, usually 8-10 weeks. Executive Director Stacie Haynes said that the owners did not tell them Jasmine was pregnant when they surrendered her last week, and when she came in this morning, she found the new puppies. The puppies don’t seem to be suffering from any medical conditions either but regular check-ups will be needed, just to monitor their weight and other basics. Once the pups are older, they will be able to be adopted to other homes. To volunteer, call (607) 547-8111 ext 100. (Jim Kevlin/


Susquehanna Valley Animal Shelter Receives 5 Star Donation

Susquehanna Animal Shelter

Receives ‘Share Love’ Grant

As part of Subaru’s Share The Love program of community giving, Five Star Subaru today donated $9,822 to the Susquehanna Animal Shelter, which serves the county from Hartwick Seminary. Here, Five Star proprietor Ben Guenther presents a check to SAS board member Peter Gould, Executive Director Stacie Haynes, and board members Jill Basile and Merilyn Gould at the Oneonta car dealership. (Ian Austin/


Posts navigation

21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103