The Central New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (CNY SPCA) is in the running for a $1 million makeover, but it needs your help to get it.
The SPCA has entered a national contest sponsored by Zoo Too, which runs a website for pet lovers on which people can post photos of their pets, share stories and connect with others. The organization marketed the contest to shelters across the country and is gathering votes to determine who deserves the makeover.
Stephanie Woyciesjes, education director for the CNY SPCA, said the shelter received a starter kit from Zoo Too last fall and decided it was something in which they’d like to participate.
“We thought it would be a nice New Year’s project,” Woyciesjes said. “It’s a way to get the community involved in helping the shelter.”
Woyciesjes said some 500,000 shelters across the country are in the running for the big prize. She said the CNY SPCA just needs to make it into the top 20.
“In order to get the $1 million makeover, you’ve just got to get into the top 20,” she said. “Then a committee from Zoo Too will tour those top 20 facilities and give the prize to the shelter with the most need.”
Even if the CNY SPCA isn’t picked for the top prize, making it into the top 20 guarantees the shelter at least $5,000.
And helping the shelter out is easy — there’s no cost involved. All people have to do is log onto the Zoo Too website, zootoo.com/makeover, select the CNY SPCA and rate or review pet-related products and services. Each rating increases the shelter’s chances to win. Voting is open until March 31.
The CNY SPCA certainly has great need. The facility was built in the early 1950s. This past September, the front end was redone; before that, the last significant renovation, the construction of the Rosamond Gifford Humane Education wing, took place in the mid-1970s.
All of those renovations were done with grant money, something Woyciesjes wants people to remember.
“We’re not spending the money we bring in through donations on these renovations,” she said. “All of that money goes to the care of our animals. The renovations are paid for through grants like this one from Zoo Too. It’s a way to update our facility without spending money.”
If the CNY SPCA wins the contest, it will update its kennels, improve its ventilation system and perform other necessary updates.
In the meantime, Woyciesjes encourages members of the public to come and check out the facility.
“Come see what we’ve done and what we need and maybe adopt a family pet,” she said. “Then just take a few minutes and help us by going to the Zoo Too site. It’s such a simple thing, and it gives us a chance for $1 million to help our animals.”
For more information on the CNY SPCA or the Zoo Too makeover, visit cnyspca.org.
Sarah Hall is the editor of the Eagle Star-Review and the Baldwinsville Messenger. The 2012 winner of the Syracuse Press Club's Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award, she has been with Eagle Newspapers since 2006. She is a Liverpool native.