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stacie haynes

Former Mayor, SQSPCA Director Named As Oneonta Trailblazers

Former Mayor, SQSPCA Director

Named As Oneonta Trailblazers

Haynes
Muller

ONEONTA – Former Mayor Kim Muller and Susquehanna SPCA executive director Stacie Haynes were announced as the winners of the 2020 Trailblazer Awards, Mayor Gary Herzig announced this evening.

The annual awards, given in honor of Women’s History Month (March), the Woman Trailblazer Award recognizes a woman in the Oneonta area who has enhanced the visibility and importance of women through her employment, volunteering and community engagement.

OUR Stacie Haynes Among Top 10 U.S. Animal Defenders

OUR Stacie Haynes

Among Top 10 U.S.

Animal Defenders

Animal Legal Defense Fund Singles

Out Local Director For List Of Best

Stacie Haynes

HARTWICK SEMINARY – Stacie Haynes, Susquehanna Animal Shelter executive director, has been named one of America’s Top 10 Animal Defenders by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, based in San Francisco for serving on “the front lines of enforcing animal protection laws.”

These animal protection heroes will be honored this week, National Justice for Animals Week.

Here’s is the citation: “Stacie Haynes serves as the executive director of the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SQSPCA). In February 2019, Stacie worked with her local district attorney and county sheriff to form the Otsego County Animal Cruelty Task Force.

19 DOGS RESCUED IN FRANKLIN

Dog Fighting Suspected

19 DOGS SAVED

FROM ‘TORTURE’

IN FRANKLIN

Just 24 hours after being rescued from horrific conditions in Franklin, a young pit bull is happy to get some affection from Stacie Haynes, executive director of the Susquehanna SPCA. (Libby Cudmore/AllOTSEGO.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

One rescued dog had a staple in her nose that was allegedly left in so long, the skin began to grow around it.

SIDNEY – Erin Insinga, shelter director, Delaware Valley Humane Society, described the scene of a rescue in Franklin as “like something out of a horror film.”

“I have never seen animals in such conditions of pain, torture and neglect,” she said through tears. “These dogs were stacked like pieces of furniture in a dark room.”

Cages were soaked with vomit, urine and feces. 19 dogs – 17 pit bulls and two German shepherds, ranging from 9 weeks to six years old – were emaciated, dehydrated and covered with wounds old and new.

“Based on what we saw and what our veterinarians said in their exams, we believe these animals were the victims of dog fighting,” said Stacie Haynes, executive director, Susquehanna SPCA.

Shelter Raises $236K, Benefactor Adds $30K

$3.3M Raised To $5m+ Goal

Shelter Raises $236K,

Benefactor Adds $30K

Staffworks founder Anita Vitullo, left, presents Stacie Haynes, executive director of the Susquehanna SPCA, with a check for more than $95,000 at the end of the Staffworks “Save a Life” campaign. With Haynes are Becca Daley, SSPCA communications coordinator and Alicia Dicks, director of the Community Foundation.

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN – Stacie Haynes couldn’t believe the size of the check Staffworks founder Anita Vitullo handed her.

“I just about fell out of my chair,” the Susquehanna SPCA executive director said. “Last year we got $95,000 and I was nervous that we wouldn’t beat that!”

The Save-a-Life campaign offers shelters a matching donation of up to $10,000, and this year, Vitullo added some extra incentives – an extra $10,000 for every $100,000 raised, with a maximum of $20,000.

In all, the animal shelter raised $236,420, making it eligible to receive a total $30,000.

“People care so much and they really stepped up,” she said. “We had three ways people could donate; to the Emergency Medical Fund we set up after we got Zoe, the Save-a-Life fund and our Capital Campaign.”

In thanks for everything that Vitullo has done for the shelter, Haynes announced the Welcome & Adoption Center will be named for the Staffworks founder.

“Anita alone has helped us leverage an incredible amount of money,” said Haynes.

Last December, Vitullo offered a $10,000 matching grant, which spurred $75,000 in donations, and at the awards presentation in January 2019, she gave an additional $10,000 “high performers” grant to the shelter.

Vitullo’s generosity continued. In April, she announced the “Shelter Us” campaign, which would match contributions up to $250,000, adding $500,000 to the coffers. “These sorts of financial contributions make a huge difference,” Haynes said.

Although the SQSPCA’s original goal was $2 million, additions to the planned project have pushed the fundraising goal to $5 million, of which they now have $3.3 million.

“We’ve had a lot of support, and we’re so grateful,” said Haynes. “But it’s always challenging. We’re trying to raise money for our capital campaign, but also we need to raise funds for our annual operations, keeping the lights and heat on and the animals fed.”

Additionally, changes to the design and location of the shelter have added costs. “We changed the location of the shelter and decided to build a new thrift store,” she said. “And we’re adding a community room.”

The community room was inspired by both necessity and generosity. “We’ve had kids who, for their birthdays, instead of presents, ask people to donate to the shelter,” she said. “And they want to have their parties here or just sit and visit with the animals, and we don’t have a space.”

Similarly, staff meetings and trainings are held in the lobby of the cramped former motorcycle shop.

“We want people to be able to come here and for us to be able to show our appreciation,” she said.

Haynes anticipates a March groundbreaking for the new shelter, and is in conversations with several people and organizations about possible campaigns. But she also encourages anyone who wants to donate to feel free to come by the shelter and drop off a donation in person.

“We love it when people come and bring donations directly to us,” she said. “That way we can show them the behind-the-scenes of the shelter so that when we build the new one, they’ll be able to see the difference their contribution made.”

“It’s a lot of work,” said Haynes. “But a lot of people have helped get us here.”

SQSPCA Awarded $266K In Annual ‘Save-A-Life’ Campaign

SQSPCA Awarded $266K At

Annual ‘Save-A-Life’ Campaign

Staffworks founder Anita Vitullo, center, presents Stacie Haynes, left, executive director of the Susquehanna SPCA, with a check for more than $266,000, raised through Staffworks annual Save-A-Life campaign, at an awards ceremony held in Utica this afternoon. At left is Alexis Izzo, SQSPCA communications director. Vituallo pledged to match the first $10,000 a shelter raised, with an additional $10,000 for every additional $100,000 raised, up to $20,000. In all, the SQSPCA received $30,000 from Staffworks, raising $236,000 from donors.
SEE FULL STORY IN THIS WEEK’S
HOMETOWN ONEONTA & THE FREEMAN’S JOURNAL
Everyone Wants Fair Deal For Animal Shelter, County

EDITORIAL

Everyone Wants Fair Deal

For Animal Shelter, County

Drop The Threats, Negotiate An Agreement

Given successes like Zoe’s rescue (she’s seen here with SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes), the Susquehanna Animal Shelter has high community support, making it an ideal time, not to threaten unilateral action, but to negotiate support from the county board. (AllOTSEGO.com photo)

The issue’s been hanging out there for a while: What role should the Otsego County Board of Representatives play in funding the Susquehanna Animal Shelter?

Schoharie County’s contribution is $75,000 a year to its shelter. Delaware County splits $88,000 among two shelters. Until now, Otsego County has contributed nothing.

The county has been allocating $5,000 a year. It is not a donation, but a fee for services, which seems like the better way to go.

At its Nov. 26 public hearing on its 2020 county budget, county representatives were advised the Susquehanna SPCA, using cost-accounting data developed by a volunteer, Cooperstown’s Richard Sternberg, plans to “unilaterally” begin charging what it has determined its true costs are.

In a situation with a lot of moving parts, doing anything “unilaterally” is not the best way forward.

For one thing, everyone seems to agree abused animals have to be taken care of, and that county government should pay for costs incurred.

County Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr., whose department out of necessity, drops animals seized in cruelty cases at the Hartwick Seminary shelter, said “the welfare of animals is both our priorities.”

County Board Chairman Dave Bliss, R-Cooperstown/Town of Middlefield, also buys into the general concept. “The board wants to take care of its responsibilities,” he said in last week’s newspaper.

So the issue isn’t that the county pay for costs incurred. It’s simply how much (and, perhaps, to whom)?

The shelter’s annual operating budget is over $700,000. Last year, with the 103 starving animals seized on that Garrattsville farm and 56 Lhasa Apsos surrendered in Milford, Sternberg estimated the county received some $70,000 worth of services.

(Remember, that’s the year-to-year “operating budget,” separate from the $3 million that’s been raised to build a 21st-century animal shelter on Route 28 at Index. Two different pots of money.)

Averaged out with Sternberg’s guidance, SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes estimated the county’s annual cost at about $40,000 a year, some 5 percent of its total expenses. That includes caring for dogs dropped off by the sheriff’s department, or when a shelter team responds to a call through the county’s 911 system.

When County Treasurer Allen Ruffles returns in January from his National Guard deployment in Djibouti, he should review those figures and come to a common understanding about the value of the services provided.

Under the state Ag & Markets Law, law enforcement – locally, mostly the sheriff’s department – is required to respond to animal-abuse complaints. When deputies remove an animal, they have to take it someplace.

The Susquehanna Animal Shelter has been the preferred option, but it doesn’t have to be.

As Bliss explains it, if the county wanted to contract for services, it would be required to go out to bid, and other shelters – Oneonta’s Superheroes in Ripped Jeans, for instance – could bid, as could individual veterinary practices. Or the county could set up its own pound.

Clearly, acting “unilaterally” may have unintended consequences all around.

The Susquehanna Animal Shelter has a lot going for it.

Under Haynes, it’s been a first-rate operation, evident most recently in bringing the heart-rending case of Zoe, the
German shepherd discovered chained last month in the Town of Exeter with a chewed-off leg and large tumor in her shoulder. Zoe was seized, treated and is now in a new home in the Butternuts Valley.

Successes like this have raised the shelter’s profile, and pet owners are aware of and likely to use its services.

People – that includes members of the county board – want to back a winner, to support excellence, so Susquehanna SPCA, in its current incarnation, is in a position of strength.

Still, it’s determine to do what it believes in. As Haynes put it in last week’s paper, “We have a moral obligation to do what we do. We’re never going to stop doing what we’re doing.”

Admirable, but it weakens the shelter’s bargaining position. It takes the county board off the hook: It can be assured, regardless, our Zoes will be taken care of regardless.

So it only makes sense to cool off the rhetoric. Get the numbers. In an $11 million local tax levy in a $120 million budget, $40,000 is smidgeon. It’s there somewhere. Still, the county board shouldn’t just give away money because somebody asks for it. Fee for service is the way to go.

Demanding will get us nowhere. Let level-headed representatives on both sides sit down, figure out what’s fair and mutually agreeable.

Zoe Is Cancer Free

Zoe Cancer-Free,

Cornell Tests Find

Zoe has been declared cancer-free by the Cornell University Hospital for Animals.

COOPERSTOWN –  Zoe, the dog rescued from Exeter Center after she chewed off her own leg, has been declared cancer-free by veterinarians at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals, executive director Stacie Haynes reported just moments ago.

“According to the pathology report, the complete surgical excision is expected to be curative,” said Haynes. “They believed it was just a fatty mass, which is common in dogs her age. Zoe is cancer-free.”

$5K Raised For Zoe As Biopsy Results Await

$5K Raised For Zoe

As Biopsy Results Await

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to AllOTSEGO.com

Zoe takes a rest in her new Butternuts home.

COOPERSTOWN – At first glance, you wouldn’t know Zoe was a miracle.

“When I went to visit; she was jumping and playing like any normal dog,” said Stacie Haynes, Susquehanna SPCA executive director. “If you didn’t look at her leg, you wouldn’t think she was any different.”

Just two weeks ago, the 9-year-old German shepherd was found chained outside of 605 County Highway 22, just northwest of Exeter Center, without food or water, having chewed off her own leg in an attempt to reduce the pain from an 11-pound tumor on her shoulder.

In a high-risk surgery on Thursday, Nov. 21, veterinarians at Cornell University Hospital for Animals were able to remove the tumor and are awaiting the results of the biopsy.

“If it is cancerous, the vets believe she’s a good candidate for radiation or chemo,” said Haynes. “And people have donated more than $5,000, so we can afford her care.”

Surgeons also removed Zoe’s leg at the shoulder, but Haynes said the dog will learn to navigate just fine on three legs. She was shaved and given stitches, but now sports a Cornell t-shirt to keep her warm and prevent her from biting the stitches.

Dr. Christine Schneider of the Pittsfield Vet Clinic “has been taking care of her since we got her, and she’ll be able to go up and take out her stitches when the time comes.”

On Tuesday, Nov. 19, Zoe’s owner, Carl K. Prichard, 59, was charged with her abuse.

Though Haynes believed Zoe was intended to be a guard dog, but wouldn’t have been a very good one: Even after undergoing the ordeal, she’s been friendly, with “no standoffs or growling.”

Zoe On The Mend After An 11-Pound Tumor Is Removed

‘A THANKSGIVING MIRACLE’

Zoe On The Mend

After An 11-Pound

Tumor Is Removed

Dog Cared For At Butternuts Farm;

Biopsy Will Determine What’s Next

Media darling Zoe undergoes her first interview (with Peter Eliopoulos of WTEN, Albany) at the Susquehanna Animal Shelter this evening.  The stitches are visible on her left shoulder.   (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes recounts the harrowing day Zoe spent at Cornell University Hospital for Animals.

HARTWICK SEMINARY – “A Thanksgiving Miracle” arrived at the Susquehanna Animal Shelter a few minutes ago.

That’s how Zoe, 9, the German shepherd who was found with a front leg chewed off in Exeter Center last week, was described by SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes  as the two arrived back from the Cornell University Hospital for Animals shortly before 6 p.m.

“She’s so nice,” said Haynes.  “It’s like incredible.”

At the hospital in Ithaca earlier today, veterinarians told Haynes that Zoe’s condition was “risky.”  A CT scan had shown the fatty mass in the dog’s left shoulder was so close to key arteries an operation might kill her.

“We might lose her,” the doctor told Haynes.

Susquehanna SPCA Exceeds Grant-Matching Goal

$100K Goal, $129K Raised

Susquehanna SPCA Exceeds

Grant-Matching Challenge

The Susquehanna SPCA is $229,000 closer to its goal of building a new animal shelter – shown here in the most recent artist’s renderings – by exceeding a $100,000 challenge grant match by the C.J. Helig Foundation.

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.

Water Woes Return To Susquehanna SPCA
All Animals Safe, But Cleanup Could Take Days

Water Woes Return

To Susquehanna SPCA

The kennels and the isolation buildings were both flooded, a scene that met the staff of the Susquehanna SPCA this morning. 

By IAN AUSTIN  • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Neil Maney. Phil Simmons Pump & Well Service, lowers a water pump into the flooded septic tanks of the SPCA alongside Kenny Palmatier, Walter Wyble and Phil Simmons. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

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.”

Ground Broken, And $2M Raised, For New Shelter

CLICK TO DONATE TO ‘SHELTER US’

Ground Broken,

And $2M Raised,

For New Shelter

With Success, ‘Shelter Us’ Finds $3M

Will Be Needed, And Sets New Target

Turning golden shovels at today’s noontime groundbreaking on the new Susquehanna SPCA animal shelter on Route 28 at Index are, from left, “Shelter Us” committee member Anne Laing, benefactress Ann Vitullo, benefactress Jane Forbes Clark, “Shelter Us” campaign chair Gaylord Dillingham and shelter Executive Director Stacie Hayes. Behind them, from left, are volunteer Sue Leonard, and board members Peter Gould, Kathy Clarkson and Corey Moffat. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Better Exchange Thrift Store Manager Sara Lucas sets up panels showing artist’s renderings of the prospective animal shelter, on view for the first time today.

INDEX – There was plenty of good news, high spirits and benefactors aplenty at today’s groundbreaking on the new Susquehanna SPCA shelter on Route 28.  Plus a new goal to strive for.

First, it was announced the $250,000 matching grant from Staffworks President Anita Vitullo has been met, contributing $500,000 total to the $2 million original goal.

Second, it was announced the $2 million goal has been met, but also that an expanding vision has required a new goal — $3 million – with four years to meet the new target.

“We’re here to do it once and to do it right,” Susquehanna SPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes declared in announcing the new goal to an upbeat and applauding crowd.

Razing Makes Way For Animal Shelter

Razing Makes Way

For Animal Shelter

SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes and Rick Bliss, Lane Construction’s Cooperstown manager, confer Tuesday, Aug. 6, as the site of the future animal shelter on Route 28 was cleared. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

by LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to AllOTSEGO.com

INDEX

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.”

 

Otsego Planning Board Approves SPCA Shelter Plan

Otsego Planning Board

OKs Animal Shelter Plan

Phoebe Keel, 9, stood up at the Town of Otsego Planning Board meeting this evening to voice support for the new Susquehanna Animal Shelter during a public comment on the site plan in Fly Creek. “I love the SPCA and the animals here and it needs to have a new building,” she said.  Keel is the granddaughter of SQSPCA board members Nicole and Gaylord Dillingham, who also chairs the Shelter Us fund drive.  She is visiting from California for the summer. The board unanimously approved the site plan. (Jennifer Hill/AllOTSEGO.com)
DETAILS IN THIS WEEK’S FREEMAN’S, HOMETOWN
Groundbreaking Ceremony Planned For New Animal Shelter
CLICK HERE TO DONATE TO CAPITAL CAMPAIGN

Groundbreaking Ceremony

Planned For Animal Shelter

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.”

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