Most days, the staff of the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SQSPCA) works on premises, caring for and finding homes for abandoned, surrendered, and seized cats and dogs. Every now and then, though, the need arises to come to the rescue of an animal off site, as was the case on Thursday, June 13.
SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes works closely with law enforcement officials on animal welfare-related issues, most recently spearheading the formation of Otsego County’s new animal cruelty task force, PETS (Prevention, Education, Training and Systems). When the county’s 911 dispatcher took the call from a Town of Maryland resident — who reported that a cat was stuck to a bird feeder by a wire piercing its eye and may have to be put down – she reached out to Haynes, who immediately agreed to provide assistance.
“We are proud to work with first responders who care about animals, and on this day that was certainly the case,” Haynes said. “It would have been easy to end the cat’s life but, instead, a number of caring people jumped into action and saved the life of one very grateful cat.”
Allison Hungerford said she “grabbed wire cutters, a towel and a crate, and ran out the door” after getting the go ahead from Haynes.
“When I arrived, the cat was very scared, in shock and clearly in pain,” described Hungerford, a veterinarian technician assistant at the SQSPCA. “The birdhouse had been wired to a pole and she was standing by the pole unable to move, with a wire stuck in her eye.”
New York State Trooper David Schulte met Hungerford at the scene. He covered the cat with a towel and held her still while Hungerford cut the wire. Together they carefully placed the cat in a carrier and Hungerford transported her to Heritage Veterinary Clinic, which is just down the road from the shelter. Clinic staff were able to remove the wire successfully without causing trauma to the cat’s eye. They treated the cat with eye medication and antibiotics, and released her to the shelter later that afternoon.
“She should be just fine,” Hungerford reported.
“Birdie,” as the cat has come to be called, is a stray as far as anyone knows. Trooper Schulte knocked on the doors of neighboring houses to help determine if she belonged to anyone, but to no avail.
Hungerford is pleased to report that Birdie, who she describes as “shy, but sweet,” is doing very well. She has been spayed, vaccinated, treated for fleas, microchipped and is now up for adoption.
“Birdie is such a good example of the happy endings the animals at the Susquehanna SPCA are part of. Too often we hear about sad and tragic stories of animals being treated inhumanely, but here we have an interesting example of community teamwork and a resilient cat,” Haynes said. “Now Birdie just needs to find her forever home!”
To learn more about the Susquehanna SPCA and to meet Birdie and other 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.
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