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Cider Run format continues to evolve to encourage participation, social distancing

Cyber event extends participation dates; adds tracking app and race ‘swag’ option

April 21, 2020 – To further encourage participation, organizers have opted to extend 2020 Cider Run event registration and walk/run dates from Saturday, April 25 through Saturday, May 2.

In keeping with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention for Cruelty to Animals (SQSPCA) had announced last month that the format of its popular annual road run had been changed to a virtual event this year only, to ensure social distancing while offering a welcome social diversion.

“The 2020 Cider Run is moving from the Fly Creek Cider Mill to your favorite outdoor (or indoor) running spot,” SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes said during a live Facebook announcement. “Cider Run participants can run, walk, skip, or jog wherever they like. Around the house, in the woods, through the neighborhood, on the treadmill — anything goes!”

This week, the Cider Run Planning Committee has made additional adjustments to the event format in order to facilitate increased remote participation by allowing runners and walkers more flexibility.

“Because we want to make the Cider Run as convenient as possible for folks, we are following the model of fellow successful races and extending the virtual run for a full week,” Haynes explained. “You only have to walk or run once for us, but now you can select a day that works best for you between April 25 and May 2 to do so.”

According to Haynes, registration for the virtual run will still take place on itsyourrace.com.

Now, participants can download the ITS YOUR RACE mobile app and registration fees have been further reduced, giving participants the option to purchase commemorative #RunnersStayStrong race T-shirts, bibs and wrist bands.

“The ITS YOUR RACE app will give you the ability to track and upload your time,” Haynes added. “With this app, you do not need a bib.”

Virtual run participants are invited to share videos and photos of their experience throughout the day on the Cider Run Facebook page, Haynes added. The Cider Run Planning Committee will be monitoring the online activity and on Monday, May 4 winners in various categories will be announced.

Haynes continues to put out a call for serious competitors to remain part of this year’s virtual Cider Run.

“We hope the diehard runners will still participate with us,” Haynes said. “Our shelter needs your support now more than ever and we hope this event gives everyone — the serious athlete as well as the family of five — something to look forward to during this stressful and uncertain time.

“It can be as serious or as silly as you want it to be,” she said.

In addition to helping care for the homeless dogs and cats housed at the shelter, profits from this year’s event will also go in part toward adoption sponsorships. For every 50 Virtual Cider Run participants the adoption fee will be waived for one dog or cat, helping to move the animals into their new home faster, Haynes said.

To register for the eighth annual Cider Run, visit https://theciderrun.itsyourrace.com/register/. The cost is now $15 for adults and $5 for children.

Haynes thanks 2020 Virtual Cider Run sponsors for their continued support of the event. This year’s sponsors are: Ashley McGraw Architects, D.P.C.; Benson Agency Real Estate, LLC; Brandow’s Feed N Seed Inc.; Community Bank, NA; Crossroad Morgans/Ilene Goulette; Feil Collision Works LLC; Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard; Heritage Veterinary Clinic; Home Town Hauling & Recycling; Kelley M. Eckmair; Morris Garage; Mostert, Manzanero & Scott, LLP; Noah’s World; Paraco Gas Corp.; Sportsfield Specialties, Inc.; Staffworks; Three Hour Farm; Upstate Companies I, LLC; and Valley Veterinary Associates.

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

Cider Run adopts virtual format amid Coronavirus concerns

Haynes: ‘Anyone can participate, anywhere’

March 18, 2020 — In keeping with current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 2020 Cider Run is moving from the Fly Creek Cider Mill to your favorite outdoor (or indoor) running spot!

The Susquehanna Society for the Prevention for Cruelty to Animals (SQSPCA) is changing the format of its popular annual road run on Saturday, April 25 to a virtual event this year only, to ensure social distancing while offering a welcome social diversion.

“Cider Run participants can run, walk, skip, or jog wherever they like,” said SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes. “Around the house, in the woods, through the neighborhood, on the treadmill — anything goes!”

Haynes made the official announcement Wednesday live on the Cider Run Facebook page, prompted by the uncertainty of how the Coronavirus might affect gatherings and sporting events moving forward.

“Registration for the virtual run will still take place on itsyourrace.com,” Haynes said. “The fee schedule remains the same, but since some of the perks are not practical given this year’s virtual format, we are offering 30 percent off for runners who enter the code “VirtualRunFun.”

Virtual run participants are invited to share videos and photos of their experience throughout the day on the Cider Run Facebook page, Haynes added. The Cider Run committee will be monitoring the activity and on Monday, April 27 winners in various categories will be announced.

“These categories are still being developed, based on the unique virtual aspects of this year’s events,” said Haynes. “In addition to who runs the farthest, there will be prizes for things like most scenic route, who runs or walks with the most dogs, best musical accompaniment during the race, etc. Fun, interactive things like that.”

Haynes also put out a call for serious competitors registering prior to the virtual run announcement to remain part of this year’s event.

“We hope the diehard runners will still participate with us,” Haynes said. “Our shelter needs your support now more than ever and we hope this event gives everyone — the serious athlete as well as the family of five — something to look forward to during this stressful and uncertain time.

“It can be as serious or as silly as you want it to be,” she said.

Those registering prior to Wednesday’s announcement will receive a special thank-you gift from the SQSPCA, where proceeds from the Virtual Cider Run will be put to good use.

In addition to helping care for the homeless dogs and cats housed at the shelter, profits from this year’s event will also go in part toward adoption sponsorships. For every 50 Virtual Cider Run participants the adoption fee will be waived for one dog or cat, helping to move the animals into their new home faster, Haynes said.

To register for the eighth annual Cider Run, visit https://theciderrun.itsyourrace.com/register/. The cost before applying the discount code is $25 for adults and $15 for children.

Haynes ended by giving thanks to the 2020 Virtual Cider Run sponsors: Staffworks; Ashley McGraw Architects, D.P.C.; Benson Agency Real Estate, LLC; Brandow’s Feed N Seed Inc.; Community Bank, NA; Crossroad Morgans/Ilene Goulette; Feil Collision Works LLC; Heritage Veterinary Clinic; Home Town Hauling & Recycling; Kelley M. Eckmair; Mostert, Manzanero & Scott, LLP; Noah’s World; Sportsfield Specialties, Inc.; Three Hour Farm; and Valley Veterinary Associates.

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

SQSPCA Adoptions, Surrenders By Appointment Only

March 15, 2020: The Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SQSPCA) respects the need to limit social interactions given the CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. In keeping with current recommendations, starting today and until further notice, the shelter will be closed to the general public and volunteers, and staffing will be limited.

Animals up for adoption are still available. Folks interested in adding a pet to their family should do their “visiting” online through the SQSPCA website, www.sqspca.org, and Facebook. Once serious adopters decide on a dog or cat they are interested in, they can call (607) 547-8111 to schedule an appointment to visit that animal and to learn more about the animal and the adoption process.

Stacie Haynes, Executive Director of the SQSPCA, said, “The Free Over Three adoption weekend we just had was successful, but we do still have many sweet and deserving animals available for adoption. It is really important we continue to clear the shelter to the extent possible so we can keep up with hyper disinfecting protocols and take in animals when folks are in crisis and can no longer care for their pets.” 

Those needing to surrender animals can call the shelter and arrange to do so, Haynes added.

With limited visitation to the shelter, SQSPCA staff will be working hard to increase content on their informational platforms so interested adopters and fosters can learn full details on all animals via the Internet. Visiting animals in person is typically the preferred method to adopt but, given these unprecedented times, shelter staff will adapt to ensure no animals are left behind.

Haynes added, “While adopters and fosters are needed now more than ever, so are financial contributions. As we live our lives day-by-day, donations to non-profit organizations may not seem like a top priority, but please consider that animal shelters often receive little to no government support.

“We rely solely on the generosity of businesses and individuals. If we lose their support during this difficult time, it could adversely impact animals who are most in need. Donations can be made easily and with proper social distance online at sqspca.org/support/make-a-donation/,” Haynes said.

It is important to note that the shelter is still scheduling the surrender of animals by the public as needed, and continues to take names for fosters in the event of an emergency. Those interested can call the SQSPCA Monday-Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

SQSPCA Thrift Store Moves To Online Sales Temporarily

March 15, 2020: The Susquehanna SPCA’s thrift store, New Leash on Life, continues to take steps in line with public safety recommendations while simultaneously ensuring the store can provide vital revenue to the animal shelter during this trying time.

In keeping with current CDC recommendations, the New Leash on Life Thrift Shop will be closed to public visitors from now until further notice. Stacie Haynes, Executive Director of the Susquehanna SPCA, wants to make sure folks understand this does not mean the store is closed for business.

“The revenue brought in through the thrift store is absolutely essential to shelter operations as we care for hundreds of animals in need annually,” Haynes emphasized. “It is imperative that we find creative ways to keep this important revenue stream open,” she said.

While physical shopping is temporarily suspended, Thrift Store Manager Sara Lucas will be selecting items daily to sell on Facebook Marketplace. Additionally, as the weather cooperates, there may be outdoor sales which will be announced at a later date, Haynes added.

According to the CDC, “Transmission of coronavirus in general occurs much more commonly through respiratory droplets than through fomites [objects or materials which are likely to carry infection]. Current evidence suggests that novel coronavirus may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials.”

Given this information, the items selected to be sold on Facebook Marketplace will have been at the thrift store a minimum of 72 hours and will be thoroughly disinfected before being transferred to the customer.

Haynes wants the community to be aware that “during these unprecedented times, we have to be sure animals are not forgotten and one way to do that is to support the thrift store, which in turn provides direct support to homeless and abandoned animals.”

Although the New Leash on Life Thrift Shop is closed to shoppers and volunteers for the foreseeable future, staff is still accepting donations of merchandise. Call (607) 547-9462 to schedule an appointment.

SQSPCA suggests including pets in preparedness plan amid COVID-19 concerns

Shelter announces adoption special, emergency foster program

March 11, 2020 – With the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on the rise worldwide, it is important for Otsego County residents to include their pets in preparedness plans.

The Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SQSPCA) joins the Humane Society of the United States and The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement in suggesting community members create a preparedness plan that includes their pets in the event Otsego County is impacted by the virus that causes COVID-19. In addition to preparations typically recommended for any natural disaster threat, individuals with pets should identify family members or friends to care for pets if someone in the household becomes ill and is hospitalized.

Make a preparedness plan for your pets:

  • Identify a trusted family member or friend to care for your pets if someone in your household becomes ill or is hospitalized.
  • Research potential boarding facilities to utilize in the event boarding your pet becomes necessary.
  • Have crates, food, and extra supplies for your pet on hand in case moving them becomes necessary or if the disease spreads in the community and it becomes necessary to reduce social exposure.
  • All animal vaccines should be up to date in the event boarding becomes necessary.
  • Ensure all medications are documented with dosages and administering instructions. Including the prescription from the prescribing veterinarian is also helpful.
  • Pets should have identification including a collar with current identification tags and a registered microchip.

The SQSPCA recommends staying diligent in preparations, but not overreacting to COVID-19 concerns. By creating a preparedness plan ahead of time for the unlikely event it becomes necessary to put such a plan into motion, community members can do their part to ensure animal service resources do not become overwhelmed and their pets are spared unnecessary stress. Community members who are eager to help offset the potential impact of COVID-19 on pets are encouraged to inquire about fostering.

In the meantime, the SQSPCA has put together a preparedness plan of its own, including an adoption special this Friday and Saturday designed to free up space in the facility.

“Our Emergency Preparedness Foster Program will have two components,” said SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes. “Part one of the program will depend upon volunteers who sign up to assist as a foster home in the event the shelter staff are quarantined and unable to come to the shelter to care for the animals.

“In such a case, we will ask that fosters take the animals into their homes for up to three weeks or until enough staff are able to return to the facility,” Haynes explained.

“Part two of the program will involve recruiting volunteers who would be willing to take animals in from homes where folks have fallen ill and have no family or friends to help care for their pets. Again, this could be a commitment for up to three weeks,” Haynes said.

Volunteers can sign up to assist with one or both parts of the program. To register as an Emergency Preparedness Foster Program volunteer, please call the shelter at (607) 547-8111, extension 108, or e-mail [email protected].

“Don’t be alarmed if you call on Thursday, March 12 and don’t get an answer,” added Haynes. “The shelter will be closed all day for an emergency planning session.”

Then – on Friday, March 13 and Saturday, March 14 – the SQSPCA reopens with a “Free Over Three” adoption promotion. Adoption fees for all cats and dogs three years and up will be waived in order to reduce shelter populations if COVID-19 concerns become a reality.

“As additional cases of the coronavirus continue to be confirmed in New York State, our intent is to decrease the number of animals in the shelter should COVID-19 impact our staff’s ability to care for them,” Haynes explained.

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association states that there is no evidence that companion animals can be infected with or spread COVID-19. This is also the view of the World Health Organization. As this is a rapidly evolving situation, people with confirmed COVID-19 should avoid contact with other people as well as pets.

About the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

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

About the Humane Society of the United States

Founded in 1954, the Humane Society of the United States and its affiliates around the globe fight the big fights to end suffering for all animals. Together with millions of supporters, the HSUS takes on puppy mills, factory farms, trophy hunts, animal testing and other cruel industries, and together with its affiliates, rescues and provides direct care for over 100,000 animals every year. The HSUS works on reforming corporate policy, improving and enforcing laws and elevating public awareness on animal issues. More at humanesociety.org.

About The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement

Incorporated in 1970, The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement develops strong leaders, promotes stands of practice and cultivates collaboration to advance the animal welfare profession with a united voice. The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement is committed to raising the level of expertise for all professionals in animal welfare and animal care and control, as they believe the impact of their work will save more animals’ lives.

Feline Low Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic Set for Next Month

COOPERSTOWN – To heighten awareness of the importance of spay/neuter services, and in celebration of World Spay Day, the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is excited to announce that it will host a feline low cost spay/neuter clinic on Wednesday, March 11.

“The last Tuesday of every February is World Spay Day,” explained Susquehanna SPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes. “We want to help animals in need beyond the walls of our shelter and raise awareness about the importance of spaying and neutering cats to reduce unwanted populations. This is a perfect opportunity to expand our services while helping offset the price of these procedures.”

Haynes went on to say that the timing of the clinic is especially crucial, given that kitten season is just around the corner.

“The height of the feline breeding season typically takes place from March through October and many shelters, including ours, experience the bulk of their cat and kitten intake during these months,” Haynes said.

The March 11 feline low cost spay/neuter clinic has 40 spots available. Appointments will be filled on a first call, first serve basis and can be secured by calling the Susquehanna SPCA at (607) 547-8111, extension 102.

Openings for male cats will outnumber those for females, Haynes cautioned, in order to facilitate the number of procedures in the allotted time.

The fee per cat is $60 and includes a spay/neuter with sedation, dewormer, rabies and distemper vaccinations, flea treatment, a nail trim, and an ear clean. To learn more about the Susquehanna SPCA, visit www.sqspca.org.

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

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