SYRACUSE The Central New York SPCA is looking for the community’s help to raise the money to construct more than three dozen new kennels to improve the health and safety of their large dogs, accomplishing the second phase of a project they call Kennels for Canines.
The first phase of the project was accomplished last year when the front kennels, which house the shelter’s small dogs, were replaced. The $120,000 project, funded entirely through community donations, replaced the chain-link doors with half-stainless steel, half-glass doors that include built-in food and water dishes the dogs can’t upend.
“We could have gone all glass, but we talked to some animal behavior specialists, and they said an animal in its environment, if they can see another animal, they’re going to be more reckless, more excited, more aggressive,” CNY SPCA Executive Director Paul Morgan said. “So it calms them down.”
The new kennel also has a tongue-in-groove ceiling with sound-reducing baffles as well as an upgraded ventilation system, which reduces the spread of airborne pathogens like kennel cough among the dogs.
“I think overall, it’s accomplished what the purpose is. It’s been a very positive thing,” Morgan said. “Basically, it’s to improve their living conditions.”
Now, the CNY SPCA is looking to make the same changes to the 42 kennels at the back of the shelter, which house the large dogs, including that arrive as strays and cruelty cases.
“We’re looking at about $200,000,” Morgan said. “Right now, since we started this campaign, which would have been around Thanksgiving, I believe, we’ve raised about $80,000 that we’ve received from the public. And we’re looking at different avenues like grants and so forth. We’re trying to get as much as we can from the public to support it. It’s been going pretty well.”
The organization receives funding from several streams, including fundraising events; surrender and adoption fees; bequests from animal lovers; contracts with municipalities to provide shelter to animals seized by their dog control officers and grants from charitable foundations. But the majority of its operating expenses are paid for by donations from the community. That’s why it found itself on the brink of closure a couple of years ago — those donations just weren’t coming in.