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Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
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Susquehanna Animal Shelter

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.”

 

SSPCA’s PETS Team Rescues Cat ‘Birdie’, Speared Through Eye

SSPCA’s PETS Team

Rescues Cat ‘Birdie’,

Speared Through Eye

Staffer Showed How Trained Personnel
Can Respond In Emergency, Director Says
Recuperating “Birdie” purrs for its benefactor, PETS team member Allison Hungerford.

MARYLAND – Birdie the cat, stuck to a bird feeder with a wire piercing its eye, was rescued June 13 by the county’s new animal cruelty task force, PETS (Prevention, Education, Training and Systems), the SSPCA announced today.

It was feared the cat would have to be put down but, with care and treatment at the Hartwick Seminary shelter, it now seems Birdie will be fine.

“We are proud to work with first responders who care about animals, and on this day that was certainly the case,” said Stacie Haynes, SSPCA executive director.

Two Pigs Seized From Pittsfield Farm

Neglected Pigs Seized

From Pittsfield Farm

Stacie Haynes, executive director, Susquehanna SPCA, feeds the two five month old pigs seized last night from a farm in Pittsfield. According to Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr., a neighbor heard noises coming from a barn on County Highway 18 in Pittsfield and, upon inspection, found two dead pigs. Further inspection located the two living pigs without food, hay or water, and the neighbors reported it to the Sheriff’s Department. The investigation into animal cruelty is ongoing. (Jennifer Hill/AllOTSEGO,com)
Susquehanna SPCA Raises $95K In Staffworks ‘Save-a-Life’ Campaign

Susquehanna SPCA

Raises Over $95K In

‘Save A Life’ Campaign

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.

COOPERSTOWN – Raising more than $75,000 in donations as part of the Staffworks “Save a Life” campaign, the Susquehanna Animal Shelter was one of the top performers of the fund drive, receiving an additional $10,000 towards their capital project on top of the $10,000 in matching funding for a total of $95,949.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28

‘Cat Tails & Cocktails’ Fundraiser

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FUNDRAISER – 6 – 10 p.m. Celebrate end of 2018 with Superheroes in Ripped Jean at ‘Cat tails & Cocktails’ event. Semi formal wear encourage, award presented to best dressed. Tickets, $30 found at Underground Attic, Peter Clarks Student Rentals, My Father’s Place. Covers admission, 2 drinks, hors d’oeuvres, raffle ticket. My Father’s Place, 5690 St. Hwy. 7, Oneonta. 607-441-3227 or visit www.facebook.com/superheroesirj/

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