News of Otsego County

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

susquehanna spca

PETS Task Force’s First Case: Pittsfield Pigs

PETS Task Force’s First Case:

Rescue Pigs From Pittsfield Farm

Stacie Haynes, executive director, Susquehanna SPCA, feeds two pigs, nicknamed Sonny and Cher, that the SSPCA rescued from squalid conditions in Pittsfield. (Jennifer Hill/

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.

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)
Animal Cruelty Task Force Meets, Renames Self PETS

Animal Cruelty Task Force

Meets, Renames Self PETS

The county’s new Animal Cruelty Task Force, renamed PETS, met today, comprising, from left, District Attorney John Muehl, county Sheriff Richard J. Devlin, Jr., Susquehanna SPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes Christine Schneider of Leatherstocking Veterinary Group, SSPCA Vet Tech Sara Haddad,  and Joan Puritz of Oneonta Veterinary Clinic. (Ian Austin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

SSPCA’s Haynes believes that education is the key to preventing animal cruelty.

COOPERSTOWN – PETS, Stacie Haynes said, are the county’s tools for combating animal cruelty.

“PETS stands for Prevention, Education, Training and Systems,” said Haynes, Susquehanna SPCA executive director. “That is the new name we have given the Animal Cruelty Task Force.”

The group, which formed in February, met this morning at the county Sheriff’s Department offices to agree on goals.

Most cases of animal cruelty, said Haynes, are people who find themselves overwhelmed. “They’re not intentionally torturing an animal, they just end up in unfortunate circumstances.”

DOUBLE YOUR DONATION: SSPCA Benefactress To Match Gifts Up To Total Of $250,000 


SSPCA Benefactress To Match

Gifts Up To Total Of $250,000 

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

SSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes hugs Anita Vitullo after the benefactress praised Hayes in announcing the $250,000 matching gift. (Jim Kevlin/

HARTWICK SEMINARY – When it comes to taking care of animals, Stacie Haynes never gives up.

“Stacie approached me multiple times about fundraising,” said Anita Vitullo, Staffworks president and Susquehanna SPCA benefactress. “She was tenacious! But I was happy to help.”

On Tuesday, April 30, Vitullo and Haynes announced a $250,000 gift to the $2 million “Shelter Us” campaign to build a new expanded shelter building on the lot across from Smith Ford on Route 28, south of Cooperstown.

But there’s a catch.

“This gift is a challenge grant,” said Haynes. “Through Oct. 1, any grant given to us will be matched. If you give $5, she’ll give $5, and we get $10. And if we can generate $250,000 in donations, we get $500,000 towards our capital campaign.”

Donations can be made online, by mail or, ideally, in person. “We love when people stop in to bring a donation and tell their stories,” said Haynes. “And then when they come visit in our new building, they can see the difference their donation made.”

The new shelter will have a surgical suite, separate entrances for adoptions and surrenders, and rooms where potential families can meet and play with animals to find the best fit for their pet.

SSPCA Benefactor Offers $250K, But We Must Match It

SSPCA Benefactor

Offers $250K Match

For New Donations

Public Share Would Put $2 Million

‘Shelter Us’ Target Within Reach

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/


Will Your K9, Cat Choice Win ‘March Madness’ At Susquehanna SPCA?


Will Your K9, Cat Choice

Win ‘March Matchness’

At Susquehanna SPCA?

Animal Shelter Sets Up Own Bracket

COOPERSTOWN – It’s cats versus dogs as the Susquehanna SPCA hosts its very first “March Matchness” event from now through the final game of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

Kicking off tomorrow (Saturday, March 23), the shelter competition will loosely follow the men’s tourney schedule. The Susquehanna SPCA champion will be announced on Tuesday, April 9.

March Matchness begins with the Elite Eight – four competitors in both the Canine and Feline conferences. Through each round of play, the public is invited to donate toward an animal, or animals, of their choice. Every dollar donated is equivalent to one point, and a winner will be chosen at the end of each “game” based on points earned.

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