CNY SPCA puts out the call

The shelter also has a $70,000 annual contract with the county for cruelty investigations. That money also pays for education programs for the public, as well as low-cost spaying and neutering programs for those who qualify.

Finally, the organization has two bequests that help subsidize operations. For one, the board can use it however they like; for the other, they cannot touch the principal and can only use the interest money.

Unfortunately, because of the downturn in the stock market and some high-risk investments that didn't pay off, those bequests are losing money.

But the biggest chunk of the agency's funding comes from donations from the public, and donations have dropped about 70 percent since this time last year. As a result, the shelter has had to cut costs.

"In order to save money, we've cut product, and it's very difficult to do that when you're dealing with living, breathing things," Morgan said. "These animals need vaccinations and stuff like that, which is expensive. That's where our biggest expense will be."

In fact, Morgan said about 65 to 70 percent of the shelter's budget goes toward animal care, while the rest covers administrative costs, including office salaries and supplies.

The shelter has also cut employees, laying off some and reducing others from full-time to part-time.

Surprisingly, adoptions are up, but it's not enough to offset the cost of running the shelter.

"More people are coming in and adopting, but the fees aren't high enough for us to get by," Morgan said. "But after giving all of these animals the vaccinations they need, after spaying and neutering, after the normal day-to-day care we provide, we barely break even."

Morgan said the SPCA has considered raising fees, but they are reluctant to do so. Right now, the shelter charges $140 for dogs and $90 for cats; that fee covers spaying or neutering and the animal's first veterinary visit.

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