Coming off its most successful year ever of aiding homeless and surrendered animals, and those seized by law enforcement, the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is seeking sponsors and selling tickets for its first Helping Paws Fashion Show and Benefit to be held on Thursday, June 8 at The Otesaga Resort Hotel.
The SQSPCA’s intake numbers have been increasing every year since 2015 and, in 2022, the shelter cared for a record number of animals—just shy of 1,500. This year’s numbers are already slightly ahead of last year’s, with 541 intakes thus far including the feline low-cost spay/neuter clinics. While animals cared for and rehomed by the SQSPCA are predominantly cats and dogs, 2023 intakes to date have also included bearded dragons, rabbits, guinea pigs, horses, hamsters, a cockatoo, and 15 parakeets.
COOPERSTOWN—The Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is seeking sponsors and selling tickets for its first Helping Paws Fashion Show and Benefit, to be held on Thursday, June 8 at The Otesaga Resort Hotel.
Following cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at 5 p.m. and remarks by SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes at 5:30, models will strut the catwalk in The Otesaga’s ballroom bedecked in fashions from a number of local apparel and accessory stores, including Kate’s Upstate, Lake Classic Outfitters and the SQSPCA’s own New Leash on Life Thrift Shop, among others.
Multiple Animal Welfare Organizations Assist Law Enforcement in Rescue of More Than 35 Dogs
NEW BERLIN—The Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has put out a call for donations of blankets, towels and dog crates as staff works with law enforcement on the scene in New Berlin, where more than 35 dogs have been found living in deplorable conditions. SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes said a law enforcement official from New Berlin reached out to her this morning for assistance when State Police discovered the dogs while responding to a call at the New Berlin location. Haynes said a number of animal welfare partner organizations are already on site, assisting the SQSPCA in the rescue of the dogs, including the Chenango SPCA and Delaware Valley Humane Society. Representatives from the Cortland County SPCA, Herkimer County Humane Society and the Animal Shelter of Schoharie Valley are on route as well. Haynes said the SQSPCA expects to take most of the dogs, thus the need for the items listed above as well as for food for dogs of all ages. “We’re still here and we’re still finding dogs,” Haynes said at 12:45 p.m. It is unclear at this time whether the dogs have been seized by law enforcement or surrendered. The physical condition and health of the dogs is being assessed by shelter medical staff. The shelter is located at 5082-5088 State Route 28 just south of Cooperstown. Donations can be left outside the shelter on the shelf or at the front desk.
For years, a good Samaritan watched two horses living in a pasture visible from his property, offering to help in any way he could when their owner eventually passed away last fall. One of the horses, a stallion, was sold and reportedly did not survive the winter. The second horse, a malnourished blind mare, found her way to the good Samaritan’s home, where she was fed and nursed back to health over the winter months.
As the kind-hearted man prepared to sell his farm and realized he would be unable to keep the mare—whose name is Buttercup, and who the good Samaritan later discovered to be pregnant—he sought help in turn from the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Employees and officials at the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals believe deeply in education because, the better educated we are, the better we can serve our animals and our community. Promoting the humane treatment of animals through education is, of course, part of our mission. At the same time, our professional staff is dedicated to continued education in order to remain up-to-date on animal welfare industry standards and best practices. One way we do this is by attending conferences.
I write this article today from the airport, as I am on my way to New Orleans with five members of my team for the Humane Society of the United States Animal Care Expo. This is only our second year attending and we are grateful to the C.J. Heilig Foundation for making the trip possible. We returned to Otsego County last year both motivated and inspired as a result of this incredible opportunity. We learned more about how we can help animals—and our community—beyond the walls of the shelter, and how we can work and think differently in order to keep people and their pets together, which many folks do not realize is part of the SQSPCA mission. The Animal Care Expo is also an excellent opportunity to connect with new animal care colleagues, many of whom are experts in the field.
COOPERSTOWN – Thirty-one days. That’s how long the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SQSPCA) has to raise $100,000.00 in order to earn an additional $25,000.00.
“Promise for Parkie,” the SQSPCA’s special year-end annual fund campaign, kicked off on Giving Tuesday, November 29. Traditionally the Tuesday after Thanksgiving since its inception in 2012, Giving Tuesday is a national day of giving back to good causes.
Now through December 31, shelter supporters Beth and Gary Glynn will donate an additional $5,000.00 to the SQSPCA for every $20,000.00 raised, up to $100,000.00.
Legislators and representatives of animal care organizations throughout the region gathered at the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SQSPCA) on Wednesday, August 17 to collectively urge New York State Governor Kathy Hochul to sign the Puppy Mill Pipeline Bill.
SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes spearheaded the effort, which brought together members of the New York State Animal Protection Federation (NYSAPF), the national ASPCA, state and local officials, and shelter workers in support of the bill, which — if signed into law — would ban the sale of puppies, kittens, and rabbits in New York’s pet stores.
“As I speak to you, I’m on my way to Buffalo to pick up dogs that need to be rescued,” Stacie Haynes, Executive Director of the Susquehanna SPCA said.
“The puppy mill pipeline bill has been around for a while; we are really fortunate the Assembly and Senate both back the bill. It seems like a no brainer but there are lots of politics and other things involved,” Ms. Haynes said.
“We are hoping to apply some extra pressure now by having a press conference at the shelter soon. Libby Post is the executive director of the New York State Animal Protection Federation and she was instrumental in getting this legislation passed in the assembly. We will also hopefully have Senator Oberacker here, they have all supported the bill. We are so grateful to them.”
Thanks to a grant from the John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold Foundation, Otsego County’s only farm animal rescue program is poised to take things to the next level.
The Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SQSPCA) Farm Friends Program began as an offshoot of the Otsego County Animal Cruelty Task Force, an ongoing partnership between the SQSPCA, the Sheriff’s Department, the District Attorney’s Office, and local veterinarians since 2019.
The SQSPCA hosts an animal cruelty hotline, assists with cruelty investigations, and houses and/or finds temporary housing for animals that have been seized from cruelty situations.
The Farm Friends Program and its “Here To Help Hotline” were established in January of 2021 to prevent hardship from escalating to cruelty.
“After two years of patchwork solutions to address an ever-increasing number of situations involving farm animals, we began to analyze our farm animal cruelty data to develop a more proactive approach. It became clear that we — the SQSPCA — are receiving these cruelty calls because there are simply no farm animal rescue or farm relief organizations in this rural and low-income region,” explained SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes.
It was organized chaos at the Susquehanna SPCA (SQSPCA) animal shelter on Sunday as children came to read Christmas stories to the dogs in the kennels.
Children hung stockings and ornaments on the dog homes as the excitable canines vied for their attention. The kids excitedly bounced around from dog to dog, all as part of an effort to socialize the furry friends while simultaneously helping the children with their reading skills.
Three young boys climbed right inside the kennels with the dogs to read the stories. Amber the bulldog cuddled up next to Vincent Moscatello, 9, as he read “All the Colors of Christmas” to her. Matteo Basile, 9, read “One Starry Night” to Petunia, a heavyset bulldog, while Declan Artale, 9, sat inside the kennel to pet her. The bulldogs seemed to relax and settle into the stories.
“This campaign greatly boosts our year-end totals and helps us improve and expand our services,” Stacie Haynes, SQSPCA executive director, said. “We are so grateful to Staffworks for this opportunity once again to leverage donor contributions into additional funds,” Ms. Haynes said. “Community donations help us keep the shelter running.”
To help in this fundraising effort, go to www.sqspca.org.
OTSEGO — Hundreds gathered outside the Susquehanna SPCA’s new facility in Cooperstown for a ribbon cutting ceremony Saturday, July 17, which they say would help better service the needs of animals who are homeless and in need of caring adoptees.
In spite of the humidity — one young woman apparently fainted during remarks from State Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-Maryland — the crowd was lively and enthusiastic, some bringing their own dogs to the ceremony.
Stacie Haynes, who as executive director has been at the forefront of this whole project, told the crowd this has been her “dream job” and joked she “hasn’t been home since.”
“I’m a dreamer and optimistic by nature,” Haynes said, but never imagined she’d be “standing on a multi-million dollar campus.”
Haynes thanked the “Shelter Us” capital campaign, which was largely responsible for raising the money necessary to build and open the facility, calling them an “all-star group.”
The Shelter Us Capital Campaign was able to secure a grant from the New York State Animal Capital Fund from the Department of Agriculture and Markets in order to move the facility to state Route 28 near Cooperstown.
ONEONTA — City Hall was packed with more than 50 people Wednesday, July 14, as four women received the Trailblazer Award, two for 2020 and two for 2021, for being “pillars of support” in the community.
The women who received the award were Stacie Haynes of the Susquehanna SPCA, former Oneonta Mayor Kim Muller, Oneonta High School teacher Cathy Lynch and City Judge Lucy Bernier.
Mayor Gary Herzig presented the awards.
Haynes thanked everybody in the room for the “very meaningful honor.”
“One way we can really bring people together is with animals,” Haynes said. “This really is an honor and I’m so grateful.”
Herzig said Muller was the “true definition of a trailblazer” and said when visiting state legislators, “they just want to know how Kim’s doing.”
He also called Muller a pioneer in environmental issues. “This was before being an environmentalist was cool.”
“It’ll come as no surprise that being a trailblazer is hard,” Muller said. She said being a trailblazer required a “tenacity and willingness to take risks.”
Muller said she was the youngest woman at the time to serve on the county board. She said some of the men would caucus in the men’s bathroom, so one day she decided to follow them in. Her story drew cheers from the crowd.
She called being mayor, “incredibly rewarding. It was an adventure and it was fun.”
Lynch founded the Students Against Destructive Decisions at Oneonta High School and Herzig said she “exemplifies everything we want in a teacher and person who looks after our young people.” She was also founder of the Sunshine Committee and sent valentines to every senior during the coronavirus pandemic.
Lynch said she was happy to be a part of the group of women who had won the award. “I don’t really think I fit in there, but I try,” Lynch said. “I’ve been very lucky because Oneonta is my home.”
Bernier said she was “very honored” and “very humbled to receive” the award and also “a little embarrassed. I don’t think I deserve it.” She said “leveling the playing field” has “been my emphasis” regardless of race or legal representation.
“I don’t know if I succeeded but that’s what I try to do,” she said. “If you forget someone’s humanity, it’s like they’re moving through some machine. … I don’t want to be a part of that.”
Bernier she she believes women working the frontlines during COVID, whether nurses or grocery workers, were “unsung heroes.”
“I accept this award for them as well,” Bernier said.
The names of those who won will be written on a plaque in city hall to remain indefinitely.
For instance, Lladro porcelain art figurines, imported from Spain since 1953 for adoring U.S. fans, can bring several hundred dollars, according to Sara Lucas, manager of SQSPCA’s “New Leash On Life” Thrift Shop.
For a relative song, you can pick up almost mint Gucci and Coach handbags – and Jimmy Choo’s, which new can retail for more than $2,000.
And from time to time, knock-out paintings are available and snapped up. But that’s not the whole story.
The thrift shop, which temporarily closed its doors last Friday, April 2, also has everyday clothes, pots, pans, glassware, suitcases, desks … you name it.
Temporarily, for two reasons: One, Lucas will shortly be launching a virtual thrift shop using Facebook Marketplace. Check the SQSPCA’s web site, and keep on shopping.
Two, when the SQSPCA’s new Susquehanna Animal Shelter opens in late spring or early summer on Route 28 at Index, a half-mile north of the current shelter, a larger and more streamlined thrift shop will open in the building next door.