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Shelter cat demands time in SQSPCA spotlight

Allie: ‘I want to get out of here, too’

Recent marketing efforts by the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SQSPCA) have fallen under scrutiny and long-time shelter resident Allie Cat is lobbying for her own 15 minutes of fame.

On March 3, SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes spent 444 minutes in a dog kennel. Haynes switched places for the day with Max, a 5-year-old pit bull terrier, to mark his 444th day at the shelter. The purpose of the exercise was to drive home to the public what an extended stay means for shelter dogs, and the importance of rehoming animals as quickly as possible. 

Ten days later, Max was adopted.

“I’m happy for Max,” Allie said. “Who wouldn’t be? It was a great strategy, and it worked. But this is my 200th day in a shelter and I’m hoping for a little attention now so I, too, can find my forever home.”

Allie was surrendered by her owner on September 20, 2020 to the Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC). While the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic was over, the virus was still spreading at an alarming rate in eight New York City neighborhoods according to the New York City Department of Health, and city shelters were overcrowded. Heating issues at the ACC Staten Island location made it unsafe to house animals there, prompting the transfer of Allie and nine other cats to the SQSPCA in November. All of Allie’s traveling companions have since been adopted.

What’s holding Allie back? Well … let’s call it catitude.

Perhaps country music singer songwriter Lee Brice says it best in his song, “Hard to Love.” The first two lines of the chorus could have been written with Allie specifically in mind — “I’m hard to love, hard to love, oh I don’t make it easy. I couldn’t do it if I stood where you stood.” The 7-year-old brown tabby is easily agitated, prone to hissing, swatting, growling and the occasional bite. But this was not always the case.

According to her intake paperwork, Allie lived indoors with three adults. Her behavior toward strangers was recorded as “shy for a few minutes,” and she had no bite or scratch history. Her energy level was described as low and she, herself, as “mellow, independent and aloof.” 

Allie is living proof that cats as well as dogs suffer from an extended stay in a shelter. At her initial medical behavior determination, Allie was rated by ACC with a color code of blue, “tense and nervous but mostly still.” She allowed all medical handling and petting and vocalized during the exam. But by the time of Allie’s transfer, after less than two weeks of confinement, ACC was recommending a home with experienced cat parents.

“The animal care staff does their best to make me comfortable, but I just haven’t adapted well,” Allie explained. “I lived a pretty quiet life before. The constant activity here is unnerving — dogs barking, different people in and out, cats coming and going. I’ve been here 200 days now, but I’ll never get used to it. And they wonder why I’m crabby.”
One SQSPCA staff member is undeterred by Allie’s defense mechanisms against shelter stress and overstimulation. Kathy Chicorelli is able to interact one-one-one with Allie without fear of injury. Mostly.

“Allie is easily aroused, but very social,” Chicorelli explained. “She rubs her head and body against me and lifts her tail up, meows, and enjoys treats. Allie is a contradiction in personalities, seeking attention but only allowing limited petting on the head and back before hissing or swatting. Her deterioration could very well be due to all the external stimuli.”

Allie’s biggest fear is that she will end up in a barn.

“Let’s face it — I’m not equipped to be a ‘working cat’ or to live outdoors. I’m overweight and slow, with a history of bladder stones. Unlike the young Turks who want to get out of the shelter, chase mice, and be on to their next great adventure, I’m just looking for peace, quiet and a comfy bed, preferably in a sunny window,” Allie said.

When asked about possible encounters with predators, Allie references Ralphie in “A Christmas Story.” Laying there like a slug would be her only defense. Cows? The heck with that, she said. She wouldn’t last a day. Power tools in a workshop? Worse than dogs.

SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes is grateful to Allie for helping her see things through the eyes of a troubled cat.

“Just as with dogs, shelters can be extremely stressful places for cats,” Haynes explained. “We have seen cats react negatively to the shelter in a variety of ways, including over-grooming, aggression and weight loss. These problems then reduce their chances of being adopted quickly and further lengthen their stay.”

It’s a vicious cycle, Haynes said.

Allie is currently the shelter’s longest feline resident at 200 days and counting. Her adoption fee has been sponsored as she not-so-patiently awaits her forever home.

### 

In operation since 1917, the Susquehanna SPCA is a 501c3 charitable organization committed to caring for homeless, surrendered, and seized companion animals and finding them loving, forever homes. For more information or to donate, visit www.sqspca.org

7th Annual Cider Run – April 2019

SAVE THE DATE! We hope you can join us for the 7th annual Cider Run being held to benefit the Susquehanna SPCA.

REGISTER HERE
Registration Form
Sponsorship Form
Waiver

This run/walk takes place in beautiful scenic Fly Creek, NY. Minutes from Cooperstown and the Hall of Fame Museum and the Farmers Museum. Featuring a 10K run, 5K run, and 5K walk & a kid fun run! Event will be held Saturday April 27th, 2019 at the Fly Creek Cider Mill with a start time of 10 a.m..

Runners, walkers, volunteers and spectators will gather to raise funds and awareness for the Susquehanna SPCA. The organization cares for homeless and abandoned animals in and around Otsego County, NY.

The kids fun run is FREE. 

The race features the traditional scenic 5k run and walking course as well as a challenging 10k course. Participation in either the 5K or 10K event will guarantee you a refreshing and delicious glass of hard (with valid I.D.) or sweet cider at the finish. Each course provides spectacular views of the mountains and valleys that surround the Fly Creek Cider Mill. The 10k presents an increased challenge and any runner will feel a sense of accomplishment when completing this course.

Special thanks to all of our sponsors!

Kelley M. Eckmair, Attorney at Law

Ilene Goulette

The Otesaga Resort Hotel

Reinhardt Home Heating

Sidney Federal Credit Union

Sportsfield Specialties

Susquehanna SPCA announces SHELTER US capital campaign, unveils new logo

COOPERSTOWN, NY – On November 21, the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) launched a $2,000,000 SHELTER US capital campaign to support construction of a campus that will house a new, state-of-the-art animal shelter and thrift store. The campaign announcement comes in conjunction with an organizational re-brand incorporating the shelter’s legal name with a fresh, new logo.

 

“To date, we have raised $680,000 of our $2,000,000 goal,” said Susquehanna SPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes. “We’re grateful for this jump start toward the final figure, but ultimately we will need help from our County, friends and neighbors to reach the necessary target amount.”

 

The project – buoyed by a $500,000 New York State Companion Animal Capital Fund Grant through the Department of Agriculture and Markets – will move the shelter and thrift store facilities 1.2 miles north of the current location on State Route 28 between Cooperstown and Oneonta. Workers are expected to break ground in the spring of 2019 with a target date of May 2020 for the move. Total project cost is anticipated to be around $2 million.

 

“We will be leaving behind a building originally designed and expanded over the years for various purposes, including a motorcycle shop, to move into a facility specifically tailored to our needs,” Haynes explained. The new site will still be easily accessible to visitors, adopters and shoppers, she said.

 

According to Haynes, the new facilities will improve the daily lives of sheltered dogs and cats by better conforming to guidelines established by the Association of Shelter Veterinarians. Upgraded features will include two entrances separating incoming animals from visitors and animals leaving for their new homes, a sterile surgery suite with safe recovery area, a fresh air ventilation system to benefit visitors as well as animals under shelter care, and more convenient parking.

 

Naming opportunities are available for gifts at levels from $5,000 to $1,000,000, including dog runs, catios, dog walking trails, surgical suite with recovery room and the campus itself.

 

As officials kick off the public phase of the SHELTER US capital campaign, the Susquehanna SPCA is simultaneously unveiling a new logo, highlighting a return to use of the organization’s original name.

 

“Our legal name, Susquehanna SPCA, clearly identifies who we are and our new logo represents exactly what we do at the shelter,” Haynes said. “We work on a daily basis to help animals in need and to prevent animal cruelty by providing care, addressing medical needs, ensuring the spay and neuter of dogs and cats to reduce unwanted pet populations, and by matching people with animals searching for homes.”

 

Haynes pointed out that, while affiliated with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, it is important to note that the Susquehanna SPCA is a private, independent nonprofit organization that receives no funds from the ASPCA.

 

“This year we are asking our supporters to consider a gift to the SHELTER US capital campaign in addition to annual gifts, which we depend upon for ongoing operations. Campaign gifts will make a positive difference for animals and families in our region for many years to come,” Haynes said.

 

“Multi-year pledges over the five-year span of the campaign are especially important in achieving our funding goals,” Haynes emphasized.

 

The re-branding and SHELTER US capital campaign are moving forward under the direction of the Susquehanna SPCA’s Board of Directors and Capital Campaign Committee.

 

Board Directors are: President Gaylord Dillingham, First Vice Chair Kathy Clarkson, Second Vice Chair Laurie Zimniewicz, Treasurer Peter Gould, Jill Basile, Merilyn Gould, Cory Moffat, Shannon Stockdale and Catherine Tuttle.

 

Capital Campaign Committee members are: Chair Gaylord Dillingham, Co-chair Cory Moffat, Elaine Bresee, Kathy Clarkson, Steve Gotwald, Peter Gould, Louis Hager III, Kevin Harris, Anne Keith, Langhorne Keith, Stephanie Patrick, Allison Pfister, Sue Silvernail, Carrie Thompson, Catherine Tuttle, Mike Virgil and Laurie Zimniewicz.

 

In operation since 1917, the Susquehanna SPCA is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization committed to caring for homeless, surrendered, and seized companion animals and finding them loving, forever homes. For more information or to donate, visit www.sqspca.org

COOPERSTOWN, NY – On November 21, the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) launched a $2,000,000 SHELTER US capital campaign to support construction of a campus that will house a new, state-of-the-art animal shelter and thrift store. The campaign announcement comes in conjunction with an organizational re-brand incorporating the shelter’s legal name with a fresh, new logo.

 

“To date, we have raised $680,000 of our $2,000,000 goal,” said Susquehanna SPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes. “We’re grateful for this jump start toward the final figure, but ultimately we will need help from our County, friends and neighbors to reach the necessary target amount.”

 

The project – buoyed by a $500,000 New York State Companion Animal Capital Fund Grant through the Department of Agriculture and Markets – will move the shelter and thrift store facilities 1.2 miles north of the current location on State Route 28 between Cooperstown and Oneonta. Workers are expected to break ground in the spring of 2019 with a target date of May 2020 for the move. Total project cost is anticipated to be around $2 million.

 

“We will be leaving behind a building originally designed and expanded over the years for various purposes, including a motorcycle shop, to move into a facility specifically tailored to our needs,” Haynes explained. The new site will still be easily accessible to visitors, adopters and shoppers, she said.

 

According to Haynes, the new facilities will improve the daily lives of sheltered dogs and cats by better conforming to guidelines established by the Association of Shelter Veterinarians. Upgraded features will include two entrances separating incoming animals from visitors and animals leaving for their new homes, a sterile surgery suite with safe recovery area, a fresh air ventilation system to benefit visitors as well as animals under shelter care, and more convenient parking.

 

Naming opportunities are available for gifts at levels from $5,000 to $1,000,000, including dog runs, catios, dog walking trails, surgical suite with recovery room and the campus itself.

 

As officials kick off the public phase of the SHELTER US capital campaign, the Susquehanna SPCA is simultaneously unveiling a new logo, highlighting a return to use of the organization’s original name.

 

“Our legal name, Susquehanna SPCA, clearly identifies who we are and our new logo represents exactly what we do at the shelter,” Haynes said. “We work on a daily basis to help animals in need and to prevent animal cruelty by providing care, addressing medical needs, ensuring the spay and neuter of dogs and cats to reduce unwanted pet populations, and by matching people with animals searching for homes.”

 

Haynes pointed out that, while affiliated with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, it is important to note that the Susquehanna SPCA is a private, independent nonprofit organization that receives no funds from the ASPCA.

 

“This year we are asking our supporters to consider a gift to the SHELTER US capital campaign in addition to annual gifts, which we depend upon for ongoing operations. Campaign gifts will make a positive difference for animals and families in our region for many years to come,” Haynes said.

 

“Multi-year pledges over the five-year span of the campaign are especially important in achieving our funding goals,” Haynes emphasized.

 

The re-branding and SHELTER US capital campaign are moving forward under the direction of the Susquehanna SPCA’s Board of Directors and Capital Campaign Committee.

 

Board Directors are: President Gaylord Dillingham, First Vice Chair Kathy Clarkson, Second Vice Chair Laurie Zimniewicz, Treasurer Peter Gould, Jill Basile, Merilyn Gould, Cory Moffat, Shannon Stockdale and Catherine Tuttle.

 

Capital Campaign Committee members are: Chair Gaylord Dillingham, Co-chair Cory Moffat, Elaine Bresee, Kathy Clarkson, Steve Gotwald, Peter Gould, Louis Hager III, Kevin Harris, Anne Keith, Langhorne Keith, Stephanie Patrick, Allison Pfister, Sue Silvernail, Carrie Thompson, Catherine Tuttle, Mike Virgil and Laurie Zimniewicz.

 

In operation since 1917, the Susquehanna SPCA is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization committed to caring for homeless, surrendered, and seized companion animals and finding them loving, forever homes. For more information or to donate, visit www.sqspca.org

 

DONATIONS TO SHELTER MATCHED DURING SAVE A LIFE CAMPAIGN

Staffworks Charitable Fund Opens Fundraising Campaign on Giving Tuesday

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y., November 21, 2018 – This holiday season, you can help save an animal’s life by donating to the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and having that gift matched dollar-for-dollar. The Staffworks Charitable Fund Save A Life Campaign is matching donations made beginning on Giving Tuesday, November 27, through December 31.

In addition to matching up to a total of $10,000 from individual donors, the Staffworks Charitable Fund is also awarding a $10,000 bonus to the organization that receives the largest number of donations from individual donors and a $10,000 bonus to the organization that raises the most money during the campaign.

Every organization participating in the Staffworks Charitable Fund Save A Life Campaign has the opportunity to receive a total of $30,000 from the Staffworks Charitable Fund.

“We are honored to be part of the Save A Life Campaign,” said Susquehanna SPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes. “Anita Vitullo is an extraordinary leader making a significant and positive impact on the lives of homeless animals in need. Our goal for this campaign is to raise a minimum of $10,000 so we can receive the full $10,000 match, making our total raised $20,000! With $20,000 we can schedule an estimated 100 spays or neuters through our local veterinarians,” Haynes explained.

The Staffworks Charitable Fund at The Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties was created by Staffworks founder and owner, Anita Vitullo, out of her concern for animals and her belief in their right to life. The Fund promotes humane communities by using company profits from branch office markets in central and southern New York to support organizations that provide care for at-risk animals.

“When you support or adopt from your local animal shelters and rescue organizations you are choosing to save an animal’s life,” Staffworks Charitable Fund Founder Anita Vitullo said. “We’ve invested more than $10 million to reduce animal suffering and help make connections between animals and people.”

To double the impact of your gift, visit www.savealifewithstaffworks.com and select Susquehanna SPCA. Online gifts can be made via MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express credit or debit cards. Gifts by personal check must be mailed to The Community Foundation, 2608 Genesee St., Utica, NY 13502 and should be made payable to The Community Foundation, with the name of the recipient organization indicated in the memo field.

About the Susquehanna SPCA

In operation since 1917, the Susquehanna SPCA is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization committed to caring for homeless and abandoned animals and finding them loving, forever homes. For more information, visit www.sqspca.org.

 

About the Staffworks Charitable Fund

The Staffworks Charitable Fund at The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties was established in 2006. In June of 2018, The Fund distinguished itself as the first Community Foundation $10 million fund with a living fundholder. Visitstaffworkscny.com for more information.

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Safety Tips for Dogs

Vacations and Holidays are a time of celebration and joy for us, but they can offer potential hazards to our pets. Read more for a partial list of things potentially dangerous to pets.

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