The SQSPCA currently operates in a retrofitted motorcycle repair shop that is more than 50 years old. The building is significantly undersized for our needs, deteriorating rapidly, and is prone to flooding due to low elevation and drainages on the property. The current building does not properly meet the Association of Shelter Veterinarians (ASV) guidelines for industry best practices. Animals accepted into our current facility face health risks due to a lack of sterile medical areas, inadequate ventilation and difficult-to-clean housing areas.
On November 21, 2018 we launched our SHELTER US Campaign to fully resolve these issues and to meet modern shelter guidelines. A $500,000 competitive grant from New York State jump started the project. To date, we have successfully generated over $4,598,726 toward our SHELTER US Campaign – nearly 93% of the funds needed to complete the $4,965,143 project.
Moving forward, a state-of-the-art, 10,697 square-foot facility will replace the deteriorating shelter building. We believe this new shelter will house at least 20,000 animals over the next 30 years, and many more after that. The new SQSPCA facility will provide the following key improvements, allowing us to fully meet the ASV guidelines for the first time:
- Improved dog housing conditions for 340+ dogs each year with upgraded conditions that increase natural dog behavior by providing separate areas for rest and feeding away from areas for defecation. We will also have quiet areas for dog isolation/quarantine and surgery ICU.
- Increased capacity for optimal cat housing: In 2019, we accepted 448 cats, however many were housed in cages in high traffic areas including our lobby or hallways. Our new facility will have dedicated areas for isolation/quarantine, surgery ICU, arrival holding, two community cat rooms with outdoor catios, and two rooms with viewable individual cat condos. These conditions will lower stress among cats, resulting in increased comfort and reduced rates of preventable illness.
- Sterile surgical suite with dedicated entrance, recovery, prep and radiology areas. This will allow us to provide necessary medical procedures for our 800+ shelter animals each year, including spay/neuter and dental surgeries, and to provide 600+ low-cost spay/neuter surgeries for publicly owned animals each year.
- Improved traffic flow to ensure separation of animal populations. A dedicated intake/surrender entrance will ensure that animals with unknown health conditions do not encounter healthy animals ready for adoption.
- Multipurpose room for community education programming, volunteer training, board meetings and indoor dog behavior training.
- Improved ventilation system that will decrease the risk of airborne disease transmission and decrease smells from animal containment areas.
- Decreased flood risk by relocating out of designated flood zone to a hilltop location.
We hosted a groundbreaking ceremony in August 2019. After a mandated delay due to COVID-19, the project resumed during summer 2020 and our subcontractors completed the complex underground utility systems and specialized drain system. In October 2020, they raised the steel support structure and added panelized exterior walls. Between November 2020 and March 2021, we will complete the remaining work including the roof, HVAC and other mechanical systems, plumbing fixtures, interior finishing, kennel enclosures, cat condos, and sterile surgical areas. We anticipate moving into the new facility in April 2021.
We are thrilled to have fundraised nearly 93% of the needed funds for our SHELTER US Campaign and to be more than halfway finished with the construction process. A larger, modern facility will enable us to advance our position as a leader in the protection of animals as we improve shelter conditions, decrease animal stress and disease, and increase our capacity to assist our community with outreach efforts.
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