Shelter takes dogs from Georgia, Lebanon


The Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has made its acceptance of animals an international cause.

The shelter welcomed 13 dogs from Lebanon on Monday, Aug. 3, one of several dog arrivals from far away this summer, according to a media release.

The dogs were brought to SQSPCA through a partnership with Animals Lebanon, a nonprofit group that improves the welfare of animals through comprehensive national animal protection and welfare legislation.

“We first partnered with Animals Lebanon in the winter of 2019, when (veterinarian) Sara Haddad and I traveled overseas — all expenses paid by Animals Lebanon — to bring traumatized dogs home to Otsego County,” SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes said in the release.

Linda Nealon, a volunteer who helps animals in crisis, paid for the transfers for the dogs from Lebanon, the release said.

“I feel tremendous empathy for the dogs arriving from Animals Lebanon. These dogs were rescued after being shot, dragged behind a truck and then hit by another car, and dumped onto the streets by families unable to care for their family pets anymore,” Nealon said.

With the Lebanese pound being devalued to almost nothing, people are starving and unable to feed their families, let alone their pets, so the circumstances there are dire, Nealon said.

“Animals Lebanon is a safety net, rescuing as many animals as they can and providing veterinary care. Their foster families are full and no adoptions are taking place in Lebanon due to the civil unrest and poverty,” Nealon said.

The shelter has also rescued several dogs from euthanasia recently, the release said.

On Wednesday, July 15, local dog advocate Kim Condon reached out to the SQSPCA, hoping the shelter would have space to help save Boomer and Wagner, both scheduled for euthanasia the next day, according to the media release; the dogs were being held at the Gordon County Animal Control Shelter in Georgia.

“The Gordon County Animal Control Shelter is in a sad and unfortunate position. Unlike us, they do not have the luxury to not euthanize due to space constraints,” Haynes said. “Being overwhelmed with dogs, and because Boomer and Wagner had been at their shelter the longest, they had no choice.”

Condon reached out just in time, the release said. With the SQSPCA’s commitment, she and a dedicated rescue network were able to pull Boomer and Wagner out of the shelter. After a seven-day hold in a Georgia boarding facility, the dogs were transported to the SQSPCA, where they are now available for adoption.

“Boomer is a 3-year-old American pit bull terrier mix. Wagner is an Australian cattle dog, also around 3 years old,” Haynes said. “Both are very friendly.”

The recent additions to the shelter are helping to fill the empty kennels, Haynes said. With the coronavirus pandemic causing states to shut down, including New York this spring and summer, adoptions are up significantly and few people are surrendering pets.

“We still have 15 empty kennels, even after waiving our surrender fees for the past several months,” Haynes said. “These dogs are suffering horribly, and the circumstances are right for us to take them in and find them loving homes.”

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