This past weekend, I accompanied a family friend to the Susquehanna SPCA just outside of Cooperstown on Rt. 28 to pick up her new 5-month-old kitten named "Jack". It had been quite a while since my last cat adoption experience. I had had two young cats that I had adopted back in 1998 from the Susquehanna Animal Shelter and thoroughly enjoyed that experience. Both have since passed away but I currently have a cat named "Mitzy" who was from a friend who found her and her kitten siblings alongside the road one morning on her way to work. How could I say no to adopting one of these adorable, homeless kittens?

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And here we are seven years later at the brand new Susquehanna SPCA shelter which I have been curious about since learning from Executive Director Stacie Haynes all about it and how amazing and better it is for the comfort and care of the homeless dogs and cats it will temporarily shelter.

I can tell you that Haynes did not exaggerate how wonderful it is! Since I had been to the previous shelter location just down the road many times with my animal-loving kids when they were younger and loved spending time in the cat playroom with all the cats, I could easily see why this new shelter was a better place for all the pets.

First of all, there's so much more space! There is a wonderful, large, fenced-in play yard for the dogs to run around in. You can see it right on the front lawn.

Play yard for dogs (TSM Oneonta)

I was also very impressed with the cat areas. I saw two different rooms: one for younger cats and the other seemed to be for adult cats. The adult cat room even had an open door that leads outside into an enclosed area where cats can lounge and play. It's like having the best of both worlds.

Outdoor cat area (TSM Oneonta)

I can tell you, no cats or kittens were complaining. They all seemed perfectly happy. At the last shelter, they certainly didn't have this kind of room to roam around.

The dogs are in a separate area and not viewable for the public unless you get an appointment to come check out the selection. There's a good reason that dogs are away from public viewing - because they would all get worked up and create an anxious atmosphere. To also make sure the dogs are calmer, there is a special ventilating system so that none of the dogs can smell each other. This is a state-of-the-art facility but it's all for the benefit of the animals that staff is caring for. Studies show that calmer pets make them more adoptable and that's the goal after all - to find them their forever homes.

To help the SPCA with all of their expenses in caring for the dogs and cats, they have a wonderful thrift shop right on the property. You can donate gently used items or do some shopping there to support their mission.

TSM Oneonta

I know this all looks amazing but there's a reason the new shelter is designed the way that it is and it's ultimately to adopt out more animals that come into their care. That's the bottom line and they continue to need support to fulfill that mission. If you would like to find out more about adoptable dogs and cats at the Susquehanna SPCA or donate to their cause, visit sqspca.org.

As happy as Jack looks in this photo taken at the shelter, I can tell you that he is getting all kinds of love and spoiling in his new home with our friends!

"Jack" (TSM Oneonta)

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