Susquehanna SPCA adds matching grant

Haynes

The Susquehanna SPCA has a new matching challenge grant for its fund raising efforts for planned construction and upgraded facilities.

The C.J. Heilig Foundation recently announced a matching challenge grant of $100,000, according to a media release from the SQSPCA. From now through November 1, the foundation will match every new donation or pledge up to $100,000, for a total of $200,000 that will go toward the $3 million campaign goal.

The SQSPCA Board of Directors, SHELTER US Capital Campaign Committee and staff have been raising funds since last fall in support of the new facilities. In February 2018, the shelter received $500,000 in state funds to upgrade its facilities, and a $250,000 matching grant from the Staffworks Fund in April.

New facilities will better conform to guidelines established by the Association of Shelter Veterinarians, SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes said. Formerly an old motorcycle repair shop, the current shelter doesn’t have adequate ventilation, and because of limited space, its surgery suite is also used for intake, grooming and overflow for shelter cats.

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 and more parking that will be more convenient for visitors, according to the release.

SQSPCA’s new location, including the New Leash on Life Thrift Shop, will be 5088 State Highway 28, 1.2 miles north of the shelter’s current location on state Route 28 between Cooperstown and Oneonta.

Originally, when the SQSPCA planned to build behind its facility, the fundraising goal was $2 million. However, plans were scrapped after environmental tests revealed it wouldn’t be feasible to construct more buildings on the site, Haynes said. In addition, property that was better suited to the shelter’s needs became available, an opportunity the SQSPCA couldn’t pass up on, she said.

Since the SQSPCA has to account for costs incurred by purchasing the new property and associated demolition and infrastructure costs, among other things, the fundraising goal was bumped up to $3 million.

Haynes said the challenge grant has come at a very important time, as getting over the last fundraising hump will be the toughest.

Haynes said people will be able to see construction at the new site, with demolition of the second house on the new property being done next week.

Shweta Karikehalli, staff writer, can be reached at skarikehalli@thedailystar.com or 607-441-7221. Follow her @DS_ShwetaK on Twitter.

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