The Susquehanna SPCA is committed to bringing about a time when there are no more homeless animals and every companion animal will be guaranteed a loving home. We work to accomplish this goal through our spay/neuter, adoption and education programs.
• Alleviate the suffering of animals throughout Otsego County
• Promote humane treatment of animals
• Receive and care for stray, surrendered and homeless animals
• Maximize adoption of animals to proper homes
• Prevent cruelty to animals by lawful means
When the Otsego County SPCA was founded by Mrs. William T. Hyde and other prominent area citizens in 1917, it had no shelter building. The founders arranged for strays to stay with area veterinarians. In 1970 the organization’s Board of Directors voted to build the first dedicated shelter. Located in Pierstown, the building was completed in 1972. At that time the shelter was maintained entirely by volunteers who answered the telephones, fed and cared for the animals, and cleaned their cages.
In the early 1980s, the Better Exchange Thrift Shop (now the New Leash on Life Thrift Shop) was opened. It accepts gently used clothing and household items which are sold to generate revenue for the maintenance of the shelter and its animals.
In 1981, the Board renamed the organization the Susquehanna SPCA, and the organization rapidly outgrew the Pierstown shelter. Thanks to the generosity of Louis Busch Hager, the Susquehanna SPCA acquired the property on State Route 28, south of Cooperstown, where it is located today. An old motorcycle repair shop on the grounds was remodeled to become the new shelter. In 1995 and 2008, the Susquehanna SPCA expanded the building to accommodate an increasing number of strays and abandoned animals. Named for its benefactor, the building is known as the Louis Busch Hager Animal Shelter.
In the mid 1990s, the Susquehanna SPCA became a “no kill” shelter. Animals are not euthanized due to age, amount of time spent or space at the shelter. Animals are only euthanized in cases of non-treatable illness or extreme behavior problems that threaten the safety of other animals and people.
In November 2014, the Susquehanna SPCA changed its public name to the Susquehanna Animal Shelter. In 2018, the organization re-branded, reverting back to Susquehanna SPCA to coincide with the kick-off of the SHELTER US Capital Campaign.
Today, the Susquehanna SPCA accepts homeless or abandoned animals from across Otsego County and the surrounding area. Animals are treated for illness or malnutrition, vaccinated, and spayed or neutered before adopted to a loving new home.
Our Board of Directors:
Gaylord Dillingham, President
Kathy Clarkson, 1st Vice Chair
Laurie Zimniewicz, 2nd Vice Chair
Peter Gould, Treasurer
Jill Basile, Secretary
Thomas Huntsman, MD
Stacie Haynes, Executive Director
Sarah Wilcox, Development Director
Sara Haddad, Medical Coordinator/LVT
Erica Ylitalo, Operations Manager
Tania Puglia, Community Response Manager
Allison Hungerford, Communications Coordinator/LVT
Alicia Lasher, Office Manager
Gina Ulrich, Thrift Store Manager
Animal Care and Office Staff:
Susan Leonard, Shelter Manager
Samantha Ceresna, Adoption Counselor
Sarah Cummings, Adoption Counselor
Elizabeth Falk, Assistant Shelter Manager
Cay Franck, Special Events Coordinator