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September 18, 2018

Oswego County Humane Society Settles Into New Home


OSWEGO, NY – The cat is out of the bag; or basement at least in this case. After years of being in the basement of the Oswego YMCA Armory, the Oswego County Humane Society has found a new place to dwell.

The group has recently relocated to 110 W. Second St. The new site offers more visibility and more parking.

Dickens, the  OCHS "office cat," sits on his perch to check out a visitor to the office recently.

Dickens, the OCHS “office cat,” sits on his perch to check out a visitor to the office recently.

“We are above ground with more modern clinic and office space and nothing will mildew,” Jo Piersma told Oswego County Today during a recent tour. “When we were in the basement at the Armory, we had a dehumidifier running just about all the time.”

It cost nearly $5,000 to move everything and make renovations for the clinic area.

“Those ugly yellow cabinets we got from an estate sale – but they serve their purpose,” Piersma said, adding there is still some equipment they hope to acquire in the future.

“We’re applying for grants from the ASPCA to upgrade some of this equipment and add some equipment that we don’t have now,” she said. “It cost a ‘pretty penny’ to put in new floors – but they are cleanable.”

Prior to surgery, the cats now have their own private waiting and recovery room.

“We do all of our foster cats, with the exception of those who are pregnant,” Piersma said. “About 60 percent of the cats that we do are from low-income families.”

The OCHS now has a more modern spay / neuter clinic area. Nearby is a prep and recovery area for the animals.

The OCHS now has a more modern spay / neuter clinic area. Nearby is a prep and recovery area for the animals.

The statistics from last year, as of December 17, their most recent board meeting, show a total of 607 cats spayed or neutered at the clinic. 371 were cats
from low-income families through the SNIP program. A total of 350 cats were adopted out and 28 dogs.

Dickens is the current “office cat.”  He was in a foster home but didn’t really care for other cats.

“He wouldn’t let any of the other cats sleep on the bed with him,” Piersma said with a laugh. “So, he needs to be in a home without any other cats. He’s pushy with other cats, but very friendly with people.”

2000 was when they formed their first board of directors.

“Our first office back in 2001 or 2002 was in the ‘pink building’ (currently owned by Warren and Lisa Shaw) over across the river. We were on the second floor there for several years. Then we moved to the YMCA Armory building (basement) in 2007. That’s when we established our in-house spay / neuter program. We needed the space for that; it was an ideal space for that because we had the huge sinks and everything. But, it was a little chilly,” she said. “So we knew that we needed to move out of that space eventually. We were lucky to have found this space. There’s pretty good parking all around us, it’s more accessible. But what we don’t have here is adoption space.”

“We’ve become a pet partner with Pet Smart (on Route 104 East) and they will host our adoption days. It will be smaller, they are a smaller store. Pet Smart doesn’t sell any cats or dogs, they haven’t for years. So, we’ll be their pet adoption partner,” she continued.

No date has been set for an adoption day.

“It takes a lot longer for an older cat to be adopted. One thing we want to work on this year is just getting better in finding homes for older cats,” she added.

One of the organization’s first fundraisers will be the Faux Fur Ball, scheduled for January 31 from 6 p.m. to midnight at The American Foundry, 246 W. Seneca St.

The event will feature a wine social hour with a cash bar, a three-entrée buffet dinner, a silent auction with a lot of “necessities” to buy, and a scratch off lottery raffle. The dance band, The Billionaires, will be there to entertain.

Admission to the event is $60 per person or $110 per couple. Tickets can be purchased online at www.oswegohumane.org

All proceeds go to benefit the animal welfare programs of the Humane Society.

“We used to have the barn cat boogie, the 5K run and walk, but we just decided we needed to have an event in the winter,” Piersma explained. “We’re hopeful that we’ll continue to do well here. We want to expand our clinic.”

Funds are tighter now at the new location.

Costs have increased by about $500 per month. OCHS is looking for ways to increase revenues.

“One new initiative is our monthly giving program. In order to meet the increased costs of the rent and utilities for the new space, we are encouraging donors to become ‘Constant Companions’ by pledging a monthly gift. It can be a
small amount, even $10 per month adds up over a full year,” Piersma said. “The program helps us fund our work with regular income and helps donors budget their charitable giving.”

The Oswego County Humane Society can be reached at:

Phone: (315) 207-1070.

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.oswegohumane.org

Because People and Pets Are Good for Each Other!

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