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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  

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