Shelter Scene December 2018

By MaryLou Garrett

Wintertime is particularly hard on dogs. They are stuck inside most of the time.  Our dog walkers don’t visit as often and we don’t let our dogs out for long walks. Using their own best judgement our Pitties many times refuse to go digging in their heels and not cooperating.

Our kennels are not small, there is a guillotine door we leave open most of the time and a swinging door they can use to go in and out as they want. On really brutal days we have to close the guillotine doors to keep the cold out.  This is when we have to pay attention to the dogs are how mentally they are handling the change. Dogs showing signs of agitation are brought into the office area as much as possible.

Adoptions go down as no one wants to potty train a dog in zero weather or walk them at home.

We are planning a Shelter Walk Around to give friends, potential adopters, and walkers a chance to walk around the Shelter and see the dogs. This will be in January- date to be chosen. No big celebration, just some coffee, hot chocolate and cookies. Staff will be available to answer questions.

I have not forgotten the cats and kittens. They will also be available to be seen, held and brushed. They just don’t have as difficult time as the dogs.

I thought we have had a large amount of owner- surrendered dogs this season. In the past 10 weeks we have had 14 dogs turned in for numerous reasons, moving, new baby, and more. I looked up last year’s owner surrendered number. We had 20 dogs turned in the whole year. So we are way ahead of the average when you add in the Dog Control Officers dogs it makes for a very full Shelter. We have 28 kennels. This sounds like a lot until you factor in the Pitties who cannot have a dog next to them as they fight through the wire in the outside kennel area. This limits the space available.

We have had Christmas stockings taken by school classes, businesses and individuals. This gives everyone a chance to help in a really fun way. The stockings are very large and have a picture of either a dog or cat on them. We had 60 of them and most were taken and filled. Thank you to everyone who participated.

In case you have not seen Facebook, please help find LuLu, here is what happened. She is an owner surrender and had been with us about a month. Great girl most likely a lab Great Pyrenees mix. She weighs 104 pounds and has very light yellow fur.  Well, she was adopted on Wednesday morning and taken to her new home in the outskirts of Berne. She started a walk with her new owner, slipped her collar and off she went. She does have a chip that is registered to the Shelter.  She has been seen several times now in the area where she was lost. I think everyone in the area is aware of the incident, numerous people have Facebooked our article and picture.

Mary, our Shelter manager and I went to Berne last Saturday. We walked around with Mr. Collins her owner, called her name with no results. Mr. Collins is feeding her and has seen her nearly every day but she eats and runs. We left some hot dogs in her dish. This is a treat for her so let’s hope she wants more and decides to go in the house.

We have had some wonderful dog adoptions this last two weeks. Eight dogs have gone to really good homes.

The first board meeting of the New Year will be on January the Shelter at 6:30. The public is always welcome to attend.

Have a very Merry Christmas and New Year.



By MaryLou Garrett

I told you about Hercules the Dachshund/Papillion who was having surgery on Sept. 28th. The surgery went well, he now has healed and the cone has been removed. He was not happy with the cone and was very bad tempered during the whole episode. We also think he was in pain prior to the surgery and of course after the procedure was done. Hercules found his forever home and is doing very well.

While he was waiting to have his surgery he managed to get out under his kennel door and escape. Luckily for us he appeared at the front door of the Shelter to be let in.

Staff was greeted by an adorable Dachshund mix left tied to the picnic table out front. He was hiding under the table in the pouring rain. A note was attached to the outside bench saying he was found running on the off ramp of I-88. The writer indicated they were traveling and were told we were near so they brought him over. He is currently in foster care with the option to adopt. Two days later a woman came to the Shelter asking if we could help. She had found a Schipperke on the off ramp of I-88. She could not keep her safe. She is adorable and was adopted within days. She had been spayed already so just needed the necessary updates on shots. For a few days we were worried it would become a habit of someone leaving dogs on I-88, a very bad choice of locations but we have not had any more.

Mary B. and I did go to the event at Rotterdam Mall on Sept. 28th sponsored by the Daily Gazette. We met many cat rescues from all over, got to share ideas on care, adoptions and mutual problems with the population of stray cats all over. We felt better about our multitude of kittens and cats. We had them in every room at the Shelter. We are continuing to get calls to bring in kittens. We have a good supply of foster homes who really stepped up to help. It is very difficult to adequately care for new born kittens when we have so many. I don’t know everyone’s name but a giant THANK YOU to all of you. We continue to work at bringing in all the strays we can before the cold sets in. If you can foster a Mom and litter of kittens let us know. We will supply the food you just need to supply the time and love it takes to give them a good start.

While I am on that topic we had two kittens walk into the Shelter parking lot one day this month. They had followed a couple of dog walkers. We left them out front for a while hoping they would go home as they had flea collars on. No such luck, we later brought them in, put them on Facebook but so far no one has claimed them. It is scary when kittens come in on their own- we don’t have enough now.

We went to the two day affair at HBH, Heather Brooke Hill, in Carlisle on Oct 6 and 7th. This has become a yearly event for us. Mary Ballard, Shelter Manager and I went on Saturday. Wendy and Jess Lindsey took over for us on Sunday. We took kittens which were a big draw, along with our shirts and baked goods. A big THANK YOU to our bakers for really going overboard. We had cookies, breads and candy apples to sell. We tried a new easier way to announce our sale. We put it one Facebook and in the Shelter Scenes.  We took in around $800, which includes over $200 in donations.

We received a call from the DCO in Blenheim asking us to assist him in bringing in two large stray dogs. Staff generally does not go out to get the dogs but off they went bringing back two St. Bernard mixes. They were covered in fleas and ticks and very dirty. We named them Duke and Duchess. Duke weighs in at 110 pounds and his delicate partner weighs 140. We have them on Facebook but so far not a peep. Generally we received comments about having seen them or know who they belong to. Not a word so they are ours now. They need to be checked by our vet at Howes Cave Animal Hospital. They are both very friendly and well behaved. If you like big dogs please contact us. I am thinking they would do best being adopted together but need homes where they can run and play.

Our Annual meeting was held on October 17th at the Shelter. Our Officers and two of our Board members were up for election.

Elections of officers and one Board member were held. Mary Sagendorf and Mike West, the nomination committee presented the list of those intending to run. There were no nominations from the floor.

Officers for 2018-19 are:

President: Mary Lou Garrett

Vice Pres.  Cyndi West

Secretary:  Erynne Ansel-McCabe

Treasurer:  Judy Sirena

Board Member: Maggie Jackson-Pryor

Just a reminder, we now have the t-shirts, sweatshirts, etc. at the Shelter for sale. Stop in anytime and purchase one, they will make great Christmas gifts too. Speaking of Christmas- we will be having our stockings ready the first of December. Many school classes, organizations and individuals come in to take a stocking to fill. This really fills the food pantry and helps with the budget.

Grapevine Farms will be holding a benefit for the Shelter on Nov.16th from 6-8. All purchases will be 20% off with a portion of the proceeds going to the Shelter. This will also include the wine cellar purchases. Thank you to them for their continued support.

We are once again asked to decorate a tree at the Festival of Trees at the Power Authority. We have done this for a number of years and look forward to being there. If you have not attended the display do so. There are a large number of trees decorated by different groups in the County. They also have many interesting displays. It will be held for the month of Dec. It is a beautiful drive to the power authority. Last year I saw an incredible bald eagle on the way down. Thanks to the Power Authority for inviting us.

Several years ago the Board discussed rescuing dogs from high kill Shelters in the South. We learned of many local shelter doing it and Steve Caporizzo. from the Channel 10 Pet Connection has had many of the Southern dogs on his show. Our priority is to the county dog control officers and to county residents bringing in strays or dogs they are unable to keep. There have been, however, many times when our shelter has space for 3-6 dogs. We investigated several shelters in the south and have been bringing up dogs who were to be euthanized. We have brought up many litters of puppies. These dogs have been checked by a vet, and spayed or neutered depending on age or sex. When the transport arrives at the Shelter they can go in the main kennel and up for adoption. Mary Ballard our kennel manager posts their pictures on our Facebook before they arrive, potential adopters can get an application at the shelter or on line. This enables them to be approved before the dogs are here. With prior approval the dog can be adopted earlier, however, we are careful about what dog or puppy goes to whom. An example would be a large active dog probably should not go to a family with small children. Our staff works with families to make sure the adoptions will work.

Dogs brought in by the dog control officers have no medical history and need to go in the isolation area for 5-10 days. This is also true of some of the private admits who are not up to date on their vaccines. Many of DCO’s bring the dogs in immediately on pick up so we always need to have an open kennel in the isolation area. Our isolation area is small, and we are working to update it, we have not turned away any dogs. I will say, however, there are times when private admits are asked to wait for a while depending on the breed and its needs.

We have managed to save a number of dogs and puppies who would have been euthanized.

We continue to have an abundance of kittens coming in. Usually by this time there are not as many needing to be brought in. We are thankful for our foster families who take a litter and nurse them until they are eating on their own or just to take a mom and litter and keep them for several weeks to socialize them. Our dog walkers are wonderful. That is so important giving them exercise and socialization. Thank you to all who come week after week.


By Mary Lou Garrett

This has been a very good month at the Animal Shelter.

Mr. Nibbles, our old Chow was adopted. He has been at the Shelter for 10 months. He is 10 years old, deaf and his eye sight isn’t good. He is just a nice old dog that has had a very difficult life. He was adopted two weeks ago by a couple who said they too are getting old, their hearing and eyesight aren’t what they used to be so Mr. Nibbles was perfect for them. We have received pictures of Mr. Nibbles at home. He is looking spiffy. We had given him several baths but his new owners took him to the groomers. He is a new dog and looks so happy. Thank you to the adopters.

Luna, a pittie, came to us a years ago last April or 506 days ago. It is hard to adopt out our pits as they need to be the only dog. She had six puppies who were cute as could be and were adopted quickly but no one wanted Luna. Well, she now has a home. Her picture is shown with this article. Thank you to the adopters for giving her a chance. She is a loving, sweet dog.

Our student workers are now in college or back at high school. Some will work weekends and holidays when they can. We thank them for their work with the dogs and cats.

We have two dogs needing homes, a Rottweiler named Maggie and a labradoodle, male named Diesel. The rotti is adorable but the labradoodle will need someone to help him calm down a bit. Both are good natured but will need homes with older children because of their size and energy level. We also have many other dogs needing homes and a multitude of cats and kittens. We continue to have a long list of people who need to bring their cats and kittens in.  We are working as hard as we can to get them all homes. This seems to have been a really bad season for stray moms and kittens.

We continue to take applications for our low cost spay/neuter program. We have had almost 80 applicants approved. We also try to give free food to those folks who are overwhelmed with large populations of felines.

A huge thank you to Cathy Stevens who has been invaluable to us by working with our staff and evaluating our dogs. She will be working with staff to help them work with the animals and evaluate those at the Shelter. We are hoping to be able to have her conduct classes for new dog owners. We will keep you posted.

Remember we will be at the HBH farm in Carlisle on Oct. 6-7. This is an annual event for us and loads of fun. We will be having a bake sale, selling some shirts and bringing some kittens. If you want to bake some cookies or a bread call the Shelter at 296-8390 or Mary Lou at 234-1872. We are asking that the cookies be packaged in 6 or 12 each and sealed. We will be there from 10-3 both days. Cookies can be dropped off at the Shelter on Friday the 5th or on Sat. the 6th for the next day. Thanks to John and Stephanie for their invitation.

We will be at Rotterdam Mall on Sept. 29 from 11-3. We will have a booth, some shirts, kittens and information about our Shelter. This is new for us and we are hoping to reach out to other shelter and rescues. Mary, our Shelter Manager and I will be there and it should be exciting and interesting.

We are now selling our tee shirts and sweat shirts at the Shelter. We have them all organized in the conference room. If you don’t have one come and see us. Thanks to our new office manager, Joan Radliff who is trying to get us in shape.

We have a private admission, a 10 year old Dachshund/Papillion who is going to have surgery on September 28th. He will stay at the vet’s overnight but we think we will need a foster home for at least a week. His name is Hercules and he is a very sweet dog. If you can foster him for a week or foster with an option to adopt please call the Shelter at 518-296-8390; we do not want him to be alone in a kennel. He is in good health except for the needed surgical intervention to remedy an intestinal problem.  If you can help call Mary at the Shelter.

The Annual meeting of the Animal Shelter will be on Oct. 17th, at the Shelter.  We meet at 6:30. The public is always welcome to attend. We will be electing officers and Board members for the 2018-2019 season.




August 7th brought the beginning of the Cobleskill Fair. We had a booth under the Grandstand as we did last year. We sold over 50 of our Shelter shirts gave out our famous dog/cereal bowls which we had left from last year. We searched through the sheds at the Shelter and found about 500 “pooper” scoopers with plastic bags in the handle. Pretty fancy we thought and they received a lot of attention at the Fair. Most likely the strangest item given away but we are a shelter after all and I think it was most appropriate. Besides it was fun!

Our cat and kitten population is down considerably. We have had many conversations about how to alleviate the problem in the County and cannot come up with a solution. We are in our second year of the spay/neuter program. We have had and continue to have a good response from folks who have had pregnant cats dropped off at their farm or yard. If you are not familiar with the program call the Shelter and Mary or one of her staff will give you the details. Of course, it doesn’t help those already pregnant or have given birth. We are not the only ones with the overpopulation. Kitten Angels and Scruffs, two excellent programs are just as swamped. They help us when they can.

Our dog population continues to be at a good level. Our three Pitt mixes are still with us. They are the three girls, Jewel, Luna and Letty. All are good with people but not with cats or other dogs. If you have no other pets please come and see them. They have been with us about a year now.

We are going to be in Middleburgh on August front of the high school. Our next event is the HBH Open House at 137 Prairie Rd. Carlisle. We will be there both Saturday the 7th and Sunday 8th.of October. We will have shirts to sell and breads and cookies to purchase. We will also bring some of our adorable kittens. This is an annual event for us- thank you to Stephanie and John for inviting us. We always have a good time.

Our Annual Shelter meeting will be on October 17th of the Shelter at 6:30. Our meetings are always open to the public.

We can always use supplies of kitty litter, kitten and cat food, dog food and treats. We love to have dog walkers, cat groomers or just petting them. It is so good for our animals to see different people. Also, thank you to all who continually donate to us. We could not exist without you.

Also, thank you to all of you who drop off your cans and bottles at the shelter.

We are taking items for the April Auction all year around. If you are changing your furniture or downsizing give us a call and we will pick it up. All proceeds from the sale go directly to the Shelter. This is our largest fund raiser- we always need furniture to sell.