CNY SPCA puts out the call

Mattydale shelter struggling to make ends meet; community response overwhelming

For over 115 years, the Central New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has provided food and shelter to area strays, adopted out pets to local resident and investigated allegations of animal cruelty. Its mission: to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.

But now, if donations continue to decline, the CNY SPCA will be forced to abandon that mission.

"Since January and February, all the way through March 2009, because of the economy and because of the lack of donations that have been coming in, the SPCA has been struggling," said Executive Director Paul Morgan. "We are a nonprofit organization. All the donations that we do receive come from the public, the generosity of the public."

Morgan said the current economic situation has hit the shelter hard.

"The biggest struggle right now that I can see is the economy," he said. "It's really tough, and I'm sure everybody's affected by it. That's a sad thing. It's not just us -- it's different organizations out there."

Because of the economic downturn, the shelter is making far less money than it spends.

"We have about $50,000 in the bank, cash-wise, that we have access to," Morgan said. "Since the market has been going down, we've probably lost over $100,000. We've gone through about $121,000 in January, February and March, and total revenue for that time is about $53,000. Total expenditures are about $150,000."

The SPCA has several streams of revenue, Morgan said, that cover its monthly expenditures of about $40,000 to $50,000. The organization contracts with several towns to house animals collected by the dog control officer. Towns pay the shelter to provide the animals with food and lodging until the owner is located; if the owner does not come forward or does not take the animal, it is adopted out.

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