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SQSPCA partners with CNYVOC in reduce, reuse, recycle effort 

SQSPCA Thrift Shop Manager Natalie Wrubleski hands off donations to UCD Housing Manager Scott Zoeckler, who oversees the Clothes to Homes Program.

COOPERSTOWN, NY: March 28, 2022 – It is common knowledge that profits from the New Leash on Life Thrift Shop are used to care for animals housed at the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SQSPCA). The store is one of the shelter’s main sources of income. 

What many may not realize is that Thrift Shop Manager Natalie Wrubleski is always looking for ways in which the store can assist other community organizations. Her latest partnership is with Utica’s Clothes to Homes Program, which is run by the Utica Center for Development (UCD). 

Clothes to Homes accepts all unwanted textile items, and nothing goes to waste. According to the UCD website, “All donations are separated and sorted through by our staff and volunteers. Useable items are distributed throughout our area to assist those in need.” Unusable items are recycled. 

“The New Leash on Life Thrift Shop depends entirely on donated merchandise for its inventory of clothing, housewares, and other assorted items, and our community is very generous, for which we are extremely grateful,” said SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes. 

“Sometimes we have a surplus of inventory, or we receive textiles that we can’t re-sell, so this new relationship with Clothes to Homes is a win-win for both organizations,” Haynes said. 

“We particularly don’t like to see things go to waste. Clothes to Homes recycles unusable textiles in addition to providing clothing to those in need in their community, and we applaud these efforts,” added Wrubleski. 

Proceeds from Clothes to Homes help build more affordable housing for area veterans through the Central New York Veterans Outreach Center (CNYVOC), a division of UCD. 

UCD Housing Manager Scott Zoeckler and coworker Julio Rodriguez are excited to be making regular stops at the New Leash on Life Thrift Shop. 

“Our textile collection has been active for about a year,” said Zoeckler, who also oversees the Clothes to Homes program. “We quickly realized that people have an abundance of clothing to donate, and we found buyers in Canada for unusable clothes and textiles. Our staff sorts through donations – wearable items are provided to the community at no charge and the things we can’t distribute are baled and sold to the recyclers.” 

Zoeckler said UCD is currently restoring the former YWCA on Cornelia Street in Utica, the second floor of which will become affordable housing for veterans based on HUD guidelines thanks in part to the Clothes to Homes program. 

In addition to the SQSPCA thrift store, the Clothes to Homes truck also makes pickups in Cobleskill and Middleburgh and the CNYVOC collects textiles Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Veteran’s Center at 726 Washington Street in Utica. CNYVOC serves veterans in eight counties and also has facilities in Delaware and Jefferson counties. 

The SQSPCA’s New Leash on Life Thrift Shop is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; donations are accepted Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. The thrift store and shelter are located at 5082-5088 State Highway 28, Cooperstown. 

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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 primary source of income. For more information or to donate, visit www.sqspca.org 

SQSPCA celebrates February miracle

Mom, puppies doing fine after unexpected arrival

Candy and her pups.

March 1, 2022 – Just before midnight on February 10, a 6-year-old Siberian husky named Candy arrived at the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SQSPCA). Her journey to Cooperstown was a long one, beginning more than 500 miles and some seven hours away in Ohio, with a brief stopover in Buffalo for a bathroom break and to change vehicles. Candy traveled with 10 other dogs, all retired breeders deemed by puppy mill owners to have outlived their usefulness.

“We have developed a relationship with Furever Friends Dog Rescue of WNY, a nonprofit group that saves retired dogs from puppy mills in Ohio that would otherwise be killed,” said Executive Director Stacie Haynes.

“Furever Friends does not have a brick-and-mortar shelter. These are dogs they were unable to place. We can usually adopt them out in a matter of days,” Haynes explained.

Before they can be sent to a new home, however, these dogs must be spayed or neutered. On February 18, one week after her medical intake, Candy was sedated, prepped for surgery, and on the operating table. That is where this story takes an unexpected turn.

“Medical Coordinator Sara Haddad rushed into my office to report there was an issue. Upon opening Candy up for her spay, the veterinarian had found a tiny puppy. We were shocked to learn that Candy was pregnant,” Haynes said.

Puppies and kittens, unlike human babies, develop in their own amniotic sacs. Each placenta is anchored to the mother’s uterus, providing nutrition and removing waste. Returning to the surgical suite, Haddad learned that the puppy had never fully developed and had died in the womb. Not long after, three more puppies – larger than the first – were discovered.

Haddad reported back to Haynes that, upon initial examination, it was thought these puppies had died in utero as well.

“We were very sad, of course, and the discovery came as quite a surprise,” Haynes said. “Puppy mills do not release dogs if they are pregnant, and Candy was very skinny when she arrived, showing no signs whatsoever that she was carrying a litter.”

Then, in what Haynes describes as “a complete rollercoaster ride,” a member of the medical team detected slight movement in the amniotic sacs. The three, larger puppies were still clinging to life.

“It was all hands on deck,” said Haynes.

The SQSPCA team immediately went to work on the pups, freeing them from the amniotic sacs, administering oxygen and stimulating their tiny bodies to help them recover from the effects of the anesthesia. Staff spent hours keeping the puppies alive and warm, bottle feeding them when they were finally fully awake. Because mom Candy was recovering from surgery, a member of the animal care staff took the litter home for the night in an incubator, continuing with bottle feeding every two hours and checking on their condition regularly.

“Wonderful mother that she is, Candy accepted the puppies the next day,” Haynes said. “All three survived and are thriving with their mom in a quiet, comfortable foster home,” she added.

The puppies – two males and a female – appear to be a cross between a Siberian husky (mom) and an Australian shepherd (dad). This Friday, they will be two weeks old.

“When I shared our experience with friends and family, they insisted this is a story that needs to be told,” said Haynes. “Our work at the shelter has many ups and downs of which the public is largely unaware, running the gamut from rehoming cats and dogs, to saving livestock in distress, to providing hospice care to animals too sick or badly injured to survive.

“This is a big win for our staff that helps make the losses more bearable,” Haynes added.

As for Candy – retirement may have been delayed a bit but she is taking it all in stride, enjoying a life finally free of confinement as she raises her last litter, Antonio, Bruno and Luisa.

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. For more information or to donate, visit www.sqspca.org 

SQSPCA adoptions free this week

Food donations in lieu of adoption fees most appreciated

December 6, 2021 – The Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SQSPCA) will be holding a “Home for the Holidays” event this week, during which all adoptions are free of charge. A sudden influx of surrendered animals and a lengthy waiting list for incoming cats were the impetus behind the promotion.

“We have many friendly dogs and cats of all sizes, shapes, ages, colors and breeds to choose from,” said SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes, “all of which are deserving of the love and companionship that come with a fresh start in a new home.”

Prior to this event, animals will be spayed/neutered (unless delayed for health reasons), microchipped, tested for Heartworm/Lyme or FeLV/FIV, dewormed, and will receive flea treatment and basic grooming.

Haynes said a donation of food in lieu of adoption fees would be much appreciated during the “Home for the Holidays” special, though not required.

“Dog, cat and/or kitten food – dried, canned or a combination thereof – would help us prepare for what we expect will be a very busy month of intakes if our waiting list is any indication,” Haynes said.

Tops on the shelter’s food “wish list” are dry kitten and cat food, canned dog food, meaty dog treats and canned cat pâté.

Available dogs and cats can be viewed on the SQSPCA website at https://sqspca.org/available-animals/ and on Facebook. Regular adoption fees, ranging from $125-$250, are being waived in hopes of clearing space in the shelter for new arrivals. Other fees may apply.

“In order to accommodate folks who can’t make it to the shelter during regular business hours, we will be extending our work day on Wednesday, December 8. That day only, we will be open from noon until 7 p.m.,” Haynes added.

On Tuesday, December 7, Thursday, December 9 and Saturday, December 11, shelter hours are noon to 5 p.m. The hours on Friday, December 10 will be noon to 3 p.m. this week.

Appointments to meet animals are advised to avoid wait times by calling 607-547-8111, but walk-ins are also welcome. The SQSPCA is located at 5082-5088 State Highway 28, Cooperstown.

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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. 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 primary source of income. For more information or to donate, visit www.sqspca.org

2021 Staffworks Save A Life Campaign

November 29 – December 31

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y., November 30, 2021 – The 2021 Staffworks Save A Life Campaign will be matching donations to the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SQSPCA) November 29 through December 31.

This year, the Save A Life Campaign has 33 participating animal welfare organizations located in 11 counties in New York State and Pennsylvania.

Campaign Match:

Up to $25,000 for each participating organization.

Since 2014, the Save A Life Campaign has raised over $6 million for non-profit organizations caring for at-risk animals in our regional communities.  

“We are so grateful to Staffworks and the Save A Life Campaign for this opportunity to once again leverage donor contributions into additional funds, based on the success of our own fundraising-efforts,” said SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes.

“Our goal this year is $160,000. Staffworks will match the first $10,000 dollar-for-dollar. After that, we receive $500 for each additional $5,000 in donations, up to $160,000,” Haynes said. “The Save A Life Campaign has greatly boosted our year-end totals, which has in turn helped us improve and expand our services. We’re hoping for the same results this year.”

Anita Vitullo, founder of the Save A Life Campaign stated, “Organizations that provide direct care and support services for homeless and abused animals, spay/neuter programs and pet food pantries do not receive state or federal funding and rely on community donations. The Campaign provides an opportunity to increase the impact of donations with a substantial match to make a positive difference for animals in need throughout our regional communities.”

During this Campaign, you can maximize the impact of giving, visit https://savealife.staffworkscny.com/organizations/susquehanna-spca or mail checks to SQSPCA, 5082-5088 State Rt. 28, Cooperstown, NY 13326.

About the Susquehanna SPCA

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. 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 primary source of income. For more information or to donate, visit www.sqspca.org

About the Staffworks Fund

Staffworks Inc profits support the Staffworks Fund established in 2005 at The Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties. Over $20 million in Staffworks funds support nonprofit organizations that provide direct care and services for animals and people in Central and Southern New York and Pennsylvania. Since inception, the Staffworks Fund has donated over $7 million to 72 organizations. For more info visit, staffworkscny.com.

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SQSPCA installs pop-up thrift shop in mall

November 10, 2021 – Beginning this Thursday, November 11 and extending well into December, the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SQSPCA) is hosting a pop-up thrift shop in the Southside Mall. Proceeds from the temporary installation will benefit several area animal welfare groups.

“Our decision to hold the pop-up shop is two-fold,” said SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes. “First and foremost, the community has been so very generous with donations that we find ourselves with no room for incoming merchandise.”

This prompted Thrift Store Manager Natalie Wrubleski to think outside the box, Haynes said, resulting in the pop-up solution.

 “We also wanted to be able to share the wealth with other like-minded organizations. The only stumbling block we could think of was finding the personnel to staff the pop-up. That’s where our partners come in,” Haynes continued.

For a split of the proceeds, the Delaware Valley Humane Society, Heart of the Catskills Humane Society, and Super Heroes in Ripped Jeans will assist the SQSPCA in recruiting volunteers to cash out customers and mind the store.

“People are shopping for a cause when they purchase items from the pop-up thrift shop this holiday season,” explained Haynes. “All of these organizations share missions similar to ours and we have a common interest in helping homeless, abandoned, and abused animals.

“We saw an opportunity to partner with these groups to benefit companion animals throughout the region, and we jumped at the chance to do so,” Haynes added.

The SQSPCA Pop-up Thrift Shop will be open Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. through December 19. Credit/debit card and exact cash payments will be accepted. Merchandise will include clothing and accessories, housewares, Christmas decorations, toys, and much more.

The SQSPCA is open from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Appointments to meet animals are advised, to avoid wait times, but walk-ins are also welcome. To view available animals or to donate, visit www.sqspca.org. The shelter is located at 5082-5088 State Highway 28, Cooperstown.

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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 primary source of income. For more information or to donate, visit www.sqspca.org

SQSPCA ribbon cutting, open house set for July 17

June 25, 2021 – On Saturday, July 17, the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SQSPCA) will host a public celebration at 5082-5088 State Highway 28, Cooperstown to mark the completion of its state-of-the-art animal shelter and adjoining campus. 

Following an organizational rebranding, the launch of its SHELTER US capital campaign, and just under three years of intensive fund-raising, the SQSPCA is poised to move into the brand-new shelter building in mid-June. 

“The official ribbon-cutting ceremony will start at 10:45 a.m. on July 17,” said SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes, “but the public is invited to stop by any time throughout the day to help us commemorate this historic moment in the shelter’s history.” 

The SHELTER US project – buoyed by a $500,000 New York State Companion Animal Capital Fund Grant through the Department of Agriculture and Markets – is relocating the shelter and thrift store facilities 1.2 miles north of the current location on State Route 28 between Cooperstown and Oneonta.  

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 convenient parking. 

The open house will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., including guided tours of the new facility and light refreshments. Those wishing to attend the ribbon cutting and/or open house are encouraged to RSVP via online registration form at sqspca.org/open-house by July 10. 

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. For more information, or to donate, visit www.sqspca.org or call 607-547-8111. 

SQSPCA reaches $5 million SHELTER US campaign goal

Ribbon cutting at new site set for Saturday, July 17 

May 10, 2021 – Following an organizational rebranding, the launch of its SHELTER US capital campaign, and just under three years of intensive fund-raising, the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SQSPCA) has reached its $5 million campaign goal and is poised to move into a brand-new shelter building next month. 

“Our vision is becoming a reality,” said SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes. 

The SQSPCA’s multi-million-dollar campus is possible thanks to a hugely successful capital campaign led by Haynes, the SQSPCA Board of Directors and the SHELTER US Capital Campaign Committee chaired by Anne Keith. 

“Foundation grants, matching challenges and a tremendous outpouring of private donations allowed us to reach what seemed like an insurmountable goal,” Haynes said. “We are incredibly thankful for the business, community and foundation support we receive, not only for this project but for the shelter’s general operating expenses as well.” 

The SHELTER US project – buoyed by a $500,000 New York State Companion Animal Capital Fund Grant through the Department of Agriculture and Markets – is relocating the shelter and thrift store facilities 1.2 miles north of the current location on State Route 28 between Cooperstown and Oneonta.  

“To accommodate this move – including property purchase, demolition, asbestos abatement, site preparation, and upgraded equipment – the price tag to design and construct a new, state-of-the-art animal shelter, thrift store and campus is coming in at right around $5 million,” according to Haynes. 

“Thanks to the assistance of an incredible group of volunteers, including Rotary Club of Cooperstown members, the contents of the thrift store have already been moved to the new retail location,” Haynes said. “We anticipate we can begin relocating the animal shelter in just a few weeks.” 

The New Leash on Life Thrift Shop will conduct sales online via Facebook until the store is ready to reopen. The shelter transition will continue through the month of June as staff settles into the state-of-the-art facility and adjusts to the cutting-edge equipment. Interior finishes, site work and landscaping is ongoing. 

“The official ribbon cutting ceremony and open house at the new location are set for Saturday, July 17. Please save the date,” Haynes urged. 

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 convenient parking. 

“The new shelter and all the improved amenities are much needed and are very exciting, but they come at a considerable price tag,” Haynes said. “Our ability to meet and surpass the capital campaign goal represents a tremendous vote of confidence from the community in our abilities for which we are extremely grateful. 

“We’re more than ready for any challenges that lie ahead,” she added.  

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. For more information or to donate, visit www.sqspca.org  

Address

5082-5088 State Highway 28
5082-5088 State Highway 28
Cooperstown, NY
Cooperstown, NY
13326
13326

Visiting Hours

11am -5pm every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday
11AM -5PM Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays & Saturdays
11am -7pm every Thursday
11AM-7PM Thursdays

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