COOPERSTOWN – The Susquehanna SPCA fundraisers didn’t just meet the $100,000 challenge proposed by the C.J. Heilig Foundation.
They exceeded it.
On Sept. 16, the C.J. Heilig Foundation announced a dollar-for-dollar matching challenge grant of $100,000 to assist the SQSPCA in its Shelter Us capital campaign to help build a new animal shelter.
By the Friday, Nov. 1 deadline, donations and pledges generated by the Heilig match had topped $129,000, exceeding the goal and – with the match – bringing the SQSPCA $229,000 closer to its campaign target.
COOPERSTOWN – Six cats and three dogs were rescued from the Susquehanna SPCA Isolation Building and kennels this morning after overnight rains flooded the it with over 12 inches of water.
Executive Director Stacie Haynes was notified of the flooding around 6:30am by their landscaper Al Saltenberger. “I left as quickly as I could, but there was no cell phone coverage this morning and that delayed me being able to call in the staff until I reached the building,” said Haynes.
Before the rest of the staff arrived Haynes was joined by passerby Aaron Cleveland, a security officer at Bassett, who helped her move the frightened animals into dry and safe locations. “Last time we flooded we took steps to have mitigation in place.” said Haynes, “We put in gravel, put in rip-rap, and more. We have had no problems and felt really good about the work we did until today.”
The Susquehanna SPCA is just over the halfway point.
“We’ve received $1.9 million in our Shelter Us campaign,” said Stacie Haynes, executive director.
The campaign will help build the SQSPCA’s new shelter, which will have a groundbreaking ceremony at the new site at noon on Saturday, Aug. 24. (The acronym was changed from SSPCA to avoid confusion with four other SPCAs.)
Tweedie Construction, Walton, began the demolition on the first of the two houses on the site on Tuesday, Aug. 6, and within three hours, the abandoned house was in rubble.
“That site will serve as parking for the groundbreaking,” said Haynes. “We’ll take down the second house afterwards.”
Haynes debuted the plans in front of a packed house at the Town of Otsego Planning board the evening of the demolition.
“The SPCA isn’t just a volunteer organization, it’s a professional one,” said Randy Velez, Cooperstown. “There’s a professional level that needs to be maintained and the county depends on it.”
“I love the SPCA and the animals here and it needs to have a new building,” said Phoebe Needle, 9, the granddaughter of SQSPCA board chair and board member respectively, Gaylord and Nicole Dillingham.
The board approved the site plan and the special use permit.
“We want to build the best shelter we can build,” said Haynes. “This property has a safe location, better parking, and our volunteers won’t be walking dogs alongside Route 28.”
Consultant Barbara Carr has been assisting them in designing the shelter. “We’re so fortunate to have her at this critical time because she has helped build shelters,” said Haynes. “She can tell us what we have some wiggle room on and what we absolutely cannot cut.”
At the groundbreaking, visitors will finally have a chance to see full renderings of the proposed project, including a floor plan and artist rendering.
The ceremony will also include photographs with the shelter’s new mascots. “Everybody likes animals, but some people are more cat people or dog people,” she said. “So we found costumes for both!”
Visitors are also encouraged to bring shelter “alumni” – or any pet – for the photo booth. No furry friend for the booth? The shelter will have animals available to adopt, this month at half-price.
The new project goal has been raised from $2 million to $3 million, which will cover the costs of acquiring the new site, as well as demolition, work costs and constructing a building for the New Leash on Life Thrift Shop.
Anita Vitullo, New Hartford, Staffworks’ CEO, pledged to match donations up to $250,000 through October first, and the initial funding of $500,000 came through the state Companion Animal Capital Fund Grant through the Department of Agriculture & Markets.
The new shelter will allow them to expand their capacity for intake, care and adoptions. The shelter is currently struggling with an influx of kittens
Earlier this week, Haynes said, three kittens and a mother were trapped behind the Mirabito on Oneida Street in Oneonta. “A woman called us and said that she was from out of town and was leaving, but that she couldn’t sleep knowing that kittens were starving back there.”
Additionally, on Tuesday afternoon, two mother cats and two kittens were brought in suffering from severe flea infestations. “We have waiting list of 50 cats,” she said. “And that’s why we’re doing our ‘Study Buddy’ adoption program.”
The “Study Buddy” adoptions will go through the end of August and cut adoption fees for cats and kittens in half.
And with the groundbreaking planned, Hayes anticipates that they will be in the new space by next summer.
“One way or another,” she said. “We will be in our new building within a year.”
COOPERSTOWN – With adoptable animals, a pet photo booth and more, the Susquehanna SPCA will break ground on their new animal shelter building on Saturday, Aug,. 24
“We invite animal lovers, shelter supporters and volunteers from across the region to join us with their pets for an afternoon of fun as we celebrate this momentous occasion,” said SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes. “If you’re not familiar with our work, this is also a great time to come learn about our organization and see us in action.”
HARTWICK SEMINARY – It was a scene Stacie Haynes has seen play out before.
Two pigs, skinny and without food, water or hay, trying to eat the corpses of two dead pigs in a trash pile at a farm on County Route 18, Town of Pittsfield. “They were shivering and cold,” she said. “We got called out there at night in a rainstorm, and we seized them.”
Now playfully dubbed “Sonny and Cher,” the two pigs – one male, one female, approximately five months old – are at the SPCA with plenty of clean hay and shelter.
Susquehanna SPCA benefactor and Staffworks President Anita Vitullo, Clinton, above center, poses with SSPCA board members after announcing a few minutes ago that, dollar-for-dollar, she will match forthcoming donations to the “Shelter Us” fund drive up to $250,000. If fully realized, Vitullo’s contribution will bring the $2 million drive to build a new animal shelter to $1.75 million, only $250,000 short of its $2 million. Posing with her after the announcement at the current shelter in Hartwick Seminary are, from left, Jill Basile, Oneonta; Shannon Stockdale, Maryland; board Chairman Gaylord Dillingham, Springfield; Merilyn Gould, Morris; Executive Director Stacie Haynes, and Peter Gould, Morris. Inset, after introducing Vitullo, Haynes hugs her as the benefactor prepares to make the announcement. The new state-of-the-art shelter will be located on Route 28 next to St. Mary’s Cemetery. More details in this week’s Freeman’s Journal & Hometown Oneonta, on newsstand tomorrow afternoon. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Just arrived from a Beirut rescue, Bethoven affectionately licks foster dad Ian Laschell’s face a few minutes ago, as he and wife Wendy prepare to take their new pet home to Oneonta from the Susquehanna SPCA shelter in Hartwick Seminary. The Laschells had rescued seven dogs from Hurricane Katrina; the last died last year. SSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes and Licensed Vet Tech Sara Haddad, in photo at right, and the 13 dogs they rescued were picked up by shelter volunteers in three vans at JFK Airport in New York City this evening, arriving back at the shelter shortly before 9:30. As a half-dozen foster families waited, the dogs were checked, fed, walked and held in cages until they could be processed. Haynes and Haddad’s final adventure, a collaboration with Animals Lebanon, came in Qatar en route home, when they were separated from the animals and confined briefly while authorities checked the canines’ papers. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
COOPERSTOWN – Stacie Haynes, Susquehanna SPCA executive director, will depart for Beirut, Lebanon, tomorrow to work with Animals Lebanon on a goodwill mission to help share their best practices with the animal rescue organization.
In addition to offering assistance and sharing their best practices, Haynes will bring back as many as 13 dogs in need of foster and permanent homes. They include:
• Bethoven, 1, a male black lab, described as “very gentle with cats, dogs and people.”
•Star Shepherd, 4-month-old female, found chained on the side of the road.
•Sadie, 3, a female, very friendly with other dogs, although can be shy at first.
COOPERSTOWN – As many as 13 dogs will get a second chance as part of a sponsored goodwill mission to Beirut, Lebanon.
Stacie Haynes, Susquehanna SPCA executive director, and Sara Haddad, licensed veterinary technician, are embarking Thursday on the mission of mercy.
“We are honored to have been selected for this goodwill mission and are proud to share best practices we have learned and implemented here at the Susquehanna SPCA with an organization working toward the same goal on the other side of the world,” said Haynes.
COOPERSTOWN – The Susquehanna SPCA will partner with the Otsego County Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney’s office to look at creating a task force dedicated to combating animal cruelty in the county.
“In addition to having a system in place for when we do have animal cruelty cases involving animal seizures, we plan to educate and empower law enforcement and the public about the humane treatment of animals and what we can do if we suspect cruelty,” said Stacie Haynes, executive director of the Susquehanna SPCA, in a statement.