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SPCA features pop-up Cat Café, cat adoption specials

June is national Adopt a Shelter Cat Month and, in celebration, the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SQSPCA) will host a pop-up Cat Café on Saturdays in June and feature free adoptions of senior cats through the end of the month.

For a $10.00 suggested donation, java lovers can enjoy cats, coffee, and croissants at the SQSPCA shelter from 10 a.m. to noon June 8, 15, 22, and 29 while visiting with felines of all ages. The adoption fees for senior cats aged 6 years and up are being waived for the month of June, also in honor of Adopt a Shelter Cat Month.

“We’re always trying to find new and refreshing ways to get people into the shelter to interact with our cats,” said SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes. “These pop-up Cat Cafés are not intended as adoption events, per se, and there’s no pressure to take a cat home. We’re just hoping to give our available cats and kittens more exposure.”

“If you just want to stop by, have a cup of coffee and spend time with some cats, you’re invited to,” Haynes added.

Adoptable cats at the shelter range in age from 8-week-old kittens to “senior citizens” 10 years and up. While the kittens are hard to resist, Haynes is quick to point out that more mature cats make great companion animals as well.

“June has been designated as national Adopt a Shelter Cat Month because this is typically a time of year when animal shelters are overflowing with cats and kittens,” Haynes said.

“We have many sweet, wonderful senior cats who might otherwise be overlooked because – let’s face it – kittens are just so darn cute. We’re hoping that by waiving their adoption fees, we can give these seniors the advantage they need to find their forever homes,” she added.

The SQSPCA is located at 4841 State Highway 28, Cooperstown. In 2018, the shelter cared for just under 800 surrendered, stray, and seized animals, and kicked off a capital campaign to build a new state-of-the art facility that will improve the animals’ living conditions, decrease their length of stay, and increase the shelter’s capacity for care.

The Staffworks Fund Matching Challenge Grant doubles all donations to the SHELTER US campaign now through October 1.

“This gift is a challenge grant,” Haynes explained. “That means every new cash gift or multi-year pledge we generate through October 1 will be matched by the Staffworks Fund, up to a total of $250,000.”

To learn more about the Susquehanna SPCA and to view available animals, stop by the shelter Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. or visit www.sqspca.org. For more information on upcoming events and volunteer opportunities, call (607) 547-8111.

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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

Open house to highlight thrift store Boutique with special adoption discounts

Savvy shoppers from Otsego County and beyond who love a good bargain have probably checked out the overflowing racks and shelves of the New Leash on Life Thrift Shop a time or two, but they might not be familiar with the Boutique.

Regular patrons of the store, however, know exactly where to head for name brand items, designer clothes and accessories, and higher end vintage pieces. On any given day, one might expect to find a Badgley Mischka dress, Lenox vase, Nardelli handbag and fine Portuguese candlesticks in the Boutique, all at incredibly low prices. 

“The Boutique at New Leash on Life is a lovely little nook in our thrift shop where we showcase name brand, new, specialty, and extraordinary items,” said Manager Sara Lucas. “Our finest items are found in the Boutique, but our store is a treasure trove through and through.”

On Friday, May 31 and Saturday, June 1, the New Leash on Life Thrift Shop will host an open house to highlight the Boutique, featuring refreshments for all customers plus special adoption discounts for shoppers making Boutique purchases.

“If you spend $10 on Boutique items, you’ll receive a coupon worth 10 percent off the adoption of a dog or cat at the Susquehanna SPCA. Spend $20 and receive a 20 percent coupon, and so on up to $50,” Lucas said.

While items sold in the Boutique are not generally subject to discounts, the New Leash on Life Thrift Shop features weekly specials and – every Wednesday – shoppers 60+ enjoy 50 percent off all purchases from the main store.

Donations to the thrift store and the Boutique, including brand new merchandise as well as gently used apparel, home goods, and non-clothing items, can be dropped off Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call Lucas at (607) 547-9462.

“We thank all of our donors for their generosity and kindness,” Lucas added. “We could not do it without each and every one of you.”   

All profits from the New Leash on Life Thrift Shop go to the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), located right next door. In 2018, the Susquehanna SPCA cared for just under 800 surrendered, stray, and seized animals, and kicked off a capital campaign to build a new state-of-the art facility. Donations to the SHELTER US campaign now through October 1 will be doubled through the Staffworks Fund Matching Challenge Grant.

“This gift is a challenge grant,” explained Susquehanna SPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes. “That means every new cash gift or multi-year pledge we generate through October 1 will be matched by the Staffworks Fund, up to a total of $250,000.”

To learn more about the Susquehanna SPCA and to view available animals, stop by the shelter Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. or visit www.sqspca.org. For more information on upcoming events and volunteer opportunities, call (607) 547-8111.

SHELTER US Campaign Kicks into High Gear

Susquehanna SPCA announces Staffworks Fund Challenge Grant

COOPERSTOWN, NY – The Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SQSPCA) has announced a new $250,000 challenge grant from the Staffworks Fund.

Made in support of the SQSPCA’s $2,000,000 SHELTER US capital campaign, the challenge – once met – will generate $500,000 toward construction of a campus that will house a new, state-of-the-art animal shelter and thrift store.

SQSPCA Board President H. Gaylord Dillingham welcomed assembled representatives of the local press and SQSPCA Board and Capital Campaign Committee members on Tuesday, April 30 at a special media event to officially kick off the challenge. Executive Director Stacie Haynes provided a brief campaign update before introducing Anita A. Vitullo, Staffworks founder and president.

“I am thrilled to report that the Staffworks Fund of The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties has generously pledged $250,000 to our SHELTER US Campaign,” Haynes said. “But there is a catch.”

“This gift is a challenge grant,” she continued. “That means every new cash gift or multi-year pledge we generate – starting today through October 1 – will be matched by the Staffworks Fund, up to a total of $250,000.”

“If you donate $5, the Staffworks Fund will donate $5, and the shelter gets a total of $10. If you donate $50,000, the Staffworks Fund will donate $50,000, and the shelter will get $100,000,” Haynes explained. “And so on, until we reach $250,000.”

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. Total project cost is anticipated to be around $2 million. Current SHELTER US donations are just over $1.2 million, not including the Staffworks Fund challenge grant.

Among the factors which ultimately compelled Vitullo to make her generous $250,000 pledge to the SQSPCA were the energy and tenacity of Haynes and the organization’s supportive, working board. Vitullo also applauded the shelter’s no-kill policy, aggressive spay/neuter program, active community outreach and volunteer initiatives, and spirit of collaboration.

Vitullo also praised Haynes for her recent work in spearheading the Otsego County Animal Cruelty Task Force, which she described as instrumental in the shape of this community in the future of the care of animals.

“I applaud your vision,” Vitullo said.

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.

“A gift of this magnitude from a respected philanthropic leader in animal advocacy is further validation that the Susquehanna SPCA is a good investment for folks who believe in helping animals in need,” Haynes said.

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

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.

Haynes lauded Vitullo as both a supporter of the SQSPCA and a personal mentor.

“This is a woman who truly cares,” Haynes said of Vitullo. “Anita has already made a tremendous positive impact on animal welfare across our region. Through this investment, she will continue to build upon a truly powerful legacy.”

In operation since 1917, the Susquehanna SPCA is a 501c3 nonprofit organization committed to caring for homeless, surrendered, and seized companion animals and finding them loving, forever homes. The SQSPCA is a privately funded, state inspected animal shelter practicing “no-kill” philosophies. Private donations, grants, fundraising and the New Leash on Life Thrift Shop are the shelter’s only source of income. For more information or to donate, visit www.sqspca.org

In 2005, Anita A. Vitullo established The Staffworks Fund at the Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties.  The sole mission of the Staffworks Fund is supporting nonprofit organizations that care for at-risk animals. Today, Staffworks has assets of more than $13,000,000 at The Community Foundation. One hundred percent of Staffworks Inc. profits provide the financial support for the Staffworks Fund. Staffworks Inc. was founded by Vitullo in 1997 and has nine offices serving central New York State.

Cider Run Will Feature Sleeping Beauty; Race-Day Registrations Welcome

FLY CREEK, NY – Area road racing, running, and walking enthusiasts will gather at the Fly Creek Cider Mill this Saturday, April 27 for the seventh annual Cider Run.

This year’s event is being underwritten by Cooper Kia and features a 10K run, 5K run, 5K walk, and kids’ fun run, with proceeds to benefit the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). The scenic courses provide spectacular views of the mountains and valleys that surround the Fly Creek Cider Mill, and participation includes a refreshing pint of cider at the finish.

In operation since 1917, the Susquehanna SPCA is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that cares for homeless, abandoned, and seized animals in and around Otsego County.

“The Cider Run is one of our largest fundraisers of the year. Cider Run sponsors and participants represent a significant piece of the puzzle that enables our dedicated staff and volunteers to provide necessary support and medical care to animals in need,” said Susquehanna SPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes.

Race fees for adults and kids are $30 and $20, respectively. The fun run is free for any child who is not up to running the 5K, and participants will receive a Noah’s World water bottle. This year, pre-race entertainment will include a special interactive appearance by Hill City Ice Queen character Sleeping Beauty from 8:45-10 a.m.

“Families are sure to enjoy meeting Sleeping Beauty, a story book favorite of both young and old alike. Strollers and of course dogs are welcome. Please just do not bring your furry friends into the Fly Creek Cider Mill store,” Haynes added.

The event will be held rain or shine. This year’s sponsors are: Golden Delicious: Cooper Kia; Red Delicious: Morris Garage; Empire: Alpine Awards & Engraving, Benson Agency Real Estate, Community N.A., Cooperstown Family Chiropractic, J. Chappel Design & Photography, Noah’s World, Three Hour Farm; and, Honey Crisp: Kelley M. Eckmair Attorney at Law, Ilene Goulette, The Otesaga Resort Hotel, Reinhardt Home Heating, Sidney Federal Credit Union, and Sportsfield Specialties.

Cider Run participants can register online until April 25 at www.sqspca.org or race day starting at 8 a.m. Start time for the 10K Run, 5K Run and 5K Walk is 10 a.m. The kid’s fun run is scheduled for 9:30 a.m.

To learn more about the Susquehanna SPCA and to view available animals, visit www.sqspca.org. For more information on upcoming events and volunteer opportunities, call (607) 547-8111.

Susquehanna SPCA announces busy spring schedule

Fairs, flings and fun runs are among the community events the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SQSPCA) will host or take part in as the weather turns warmer.

Saturday, April 13 begins with a volunteer appreciation event from 10 a.m. to noon at the shelter. Volunteers and fosters are invited to stop by for coffee, donuts and other goodies in observance of National Volunteer Appreciation Week. Later that same day, Lisa Brown will lead Cat Yoga at the First Baptist Church, 21 Elm St., Cooperstown, beginning at 2 p.m. The suggested donation is $10, and all proceeds go to the shelter. Call (607) 547-9371 for more information.

Preparations for the seventh annual Cider Run, set for Saturday, April 27 at the Fly Creek Cider Mill, are well underway. This year’s event features a 10K run, 5K run, 5K walk, and kids’ fun run, with proceeds to benefit the SQSPCA. Registration, sponsor, and waiver forms can be found at www.sqspca.org and route maps are available at https://www.flycreekcidermill.com/cider-run-7th-annual. The Cider Run will be held rain or shine.

Other events coming up include:

  • Friday, April 19 and Friday, May 17: Volunteer Orientation, 6 p.m. Susquehanna SPCA, 4841 St. Hwy. 28, Cooperstown.All are welcome; RSVP not necessary, but appreciated. Kids under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Attendees will receive a guided tour of the facility, learn about shelter operations and explore the different types of volunteer positions available.
  • Saturday, April 20: OH-Fest XIII Street Fair, 1-5 p.m. Main Street, Oneonta. Inflatable rides, arts and crafts, food trucks, live music, AND adoptable dogs and kittens!
  • Saturday, April 20: Online Kitten Foster Orientation & Information Session, 10 a.m. Kitten season has arrived! Learn all about fostering and find out whether or not it is a good fit for you. For further details and to register, visit www.sqspca.org/foster
  • Tuesday, April 30: Animal Yoga, 6:30 p.m. Hunt Union, SUNY Oneonta. De-stress and relax with the SQSPCA. Canine/feline participants to be determined.
  • Saturday, May 18: Rotary Club of Cooperstown Spring Fling, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Clark Sports Center, 124 Co. Rd. 52, Cooperstown. Adoptable dogs and kittens; vendors of arts, crafts, food, and drink; live music; more.
  • Wednesday, May 22: Otsego County Department of Health Rabies Clinic, 4-6 p.m. Susquehanna SPCA, 4841 St. Hwy. 28, Cooperstown.Free for Otsego County dogs, cats and ferrets. Call the DOH at (607) 547-4230 for information and to register.
  • Saturday, May 25: Pet Day Fair at Heritage at The Plains at Parish Homestead, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 163 Heritage Circle, Oneonta. Details to be announced.

Community members can also meet and greet adoptable companion animals outside of the shelter environment on Saturdays from 12-2 p.m. in the YMCA lobby, 20-26 Ford Ave., Oneonta and from 12-4 p.m. on Sundays at Brandow’s Feed & Seed, 4119 NY-7, Oneonta. Volunteers will share the animals’ characteristics, background information, and any important health concerns as they assist in finding them forever homes.

To learn more about the Susquehanna SPCA and to view available animals, stop by the shelter Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. or visit www.sqspca.org. For more information on upcoming events and volunteer opportunities, call (607) 547-8111.

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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

Susquehanna SPCA ‘March Matchness’ competition gets underway

In the spirit of March Madness, it’s cats versus dogs as the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) hosts its very first “March Matchness” event from now through the final game of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Kicking off on 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.

Susquehanna SPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes said March Matchness is inspired by the success of the Cooperstown Central School boys’ basketball team, which recently won its first Class C state title.

“And if you’re thinking of adding a companion animal to your life, this is a fun way to support the shelter as you find the right match,” Haynes added.

The Elite Eight will go head-to-head March 23-29, followed by a match-up of the “Final Fur” from March 30-April 6. Donations to determine the overall champion will be tallied April 7-8.

The winner of March Matchness will be announced on April 9 via a live Facebook stream. The champion will enjoy special treatment including trips and prizes, and their adoption fee will be waived. In the event that a competitor is adopted during March Matchness, there are four alternates waiting to sub in on each bench.

The Canine Conference first team is Eli, Hamilton, Kahlua, and Reese, with backup from Bella, Ragnar, Rocco, and Stella. Representing the Feline Conference are Buck, Buttercup, Magnus, and Olivia; Emmett, Festus, Pickle, and Zin are waiting in the wings.

To meet the March Matchness team members in person, visit the shelter Tuesday-Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. Photos and information on all 16 animals can be found at https://sqspca.org/available-animals/.

Donations toward March Matchness can be made at the shelter, by mailing in a check, or online through the website, www.sqspca.org. Donors should be sure the name of the animal(s) they are supporting is included with their donation.  Stop by, check out the website or call (607) 547-8111 to learn more.

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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

Susquehanna SPCA staff selected for international goodwill rescue mission

Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Executive Director Stacie Haynes and Licensed Veterinary Technician Sara Haddad are taking a sponsored trip to Beirut, Lebanon this week to provide professional development to an animal advocacy group, Animals Lebanon. On their return, they will bring back up to 13 stray dogs rescued by the group after being found in distress.

Animals Lebanon, the sponsoring organization, is a nonprofit group that improves the welfare of animals through comprehensive national animal protection and welfare legislation. They provide nationwide public assistance for companion animals while rescuing and improving the conditions of captive endangered wildlife.

“Animals Lebanon is a volunteer project of Dr. David Chico, veterinarian for the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets,” Haynes said. “He travels to Beirut and volunteers for them several times a year, providing medical care to animals and guidance to organizers.”

“I serve on the board of the New York State Animal Protection Federation (NYSAPF) and on a task force with Dr. Chico. The task force is working to develop legislation that will standardize animal shelter operations statewide,” she explained.

Haynes was recommended for the trip to assist Animals Lebanon by NYSAPF Executive Director Libby Post, whose organization advocates on behalf of New York’s animal shelters, humane societies and animal welfare groups.

“We will be bringing up to 13 dogs home to Otsego County. These dogs have a zero percent chance of getting adopted where they come from,” said Haynes. “This is not because of their health or behavior, but because culturally, dogs are not accepted into homes.”

“All of the dogs are friendly but they do have special needs,” added Haddad. “Most have been through a traumatic event – they have been beaten, shot or poisoned.”

The Susquehanna SPCA’s goal is to place these dogs directly into foster homes or into foster homes as quickly as possible. Between the prolonged transport and the stress of a new kennel, they may have a tough time adjusting otherwise.

“Taking the shelter out of the equation should help these dogs settle much more quickly,” Haynes said.

Interested individuals willing to foster should contact Rebecca Daly, Susquehanna SPCA Communications Coordinator, at (607) 547-8111, extension 100.

“We are honored to have been selected for this goodwill mission and are proud to share best practices we have learned and implemented here at the Susquehanna SPCA with an organization working toward the same goal on the other side of the world,” said Haynes.

“This is an opportunity we could not pass up, and a win-win for everyone. Sara and I are making this journey to share our expertise and we are returning with dogs that are very much in need, at no expense to the shelter,” she clarified.

To learn more about the Susquehanna SPCA and to view available animals, visit www.sqspca.org. For more information on upcoming events and volunteer opportunities, call (607) 547-8111.

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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

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