RESCUE SPOTLIGHT: SPCA of Westchester
SPCA of Westchester is a no-kill, nonprofit animal welfare organization dedicated to saving homeless, abused, and abandoned animals and to protecting them from cruelty and neglect through education and enforcement of humane laws.
SPCA of Westchester runs several important and innovative programs which include:
·Animal Rescue, Shelter, and Adoption Center: Every year more than 1,500 orphaned animals find care, love, and new homes through the SPCA’s doors
· Low-Cost Veterinary Clinic: Providing affordable medical care for companion pets and Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) services for feral cats in the community
· Humane Education Programs: Empowering children through educational presentations in schools and initiatives such as Reading to Dogs, Journaling with Cats, and Camp Critter & Music with a 4-legged Buddy
· Pet Therapy: Supporting residents in healthcare facilities for more than 30 years through weekly visits with specially trained shelter dogs and canine companions, helping to combat loneliness and isolation
· Pet Safety for Victims of Domestic Violence: Enabling victims of abuse to seek the safe haven of a shelter while the SPCA cares for their pets
· Humane Law Enforcement: Enforcing New York State laws for all of Westchester County including investigations and seizures relating to animal cruelty.
SPCA of Westchester’s Humane Law Enforcement Division is not only innovative, it’s the only shelter authorized by NY State to enforce animal cruelty laws. Last year, the Division handled more than 1,250 complaints of animal neglect and cruelty involving dogs, cats, horses, exotics and farm animals, and 60 neglected and abused animals were seized as a result. With these results it’s hard to believe that, despite being charged with enforcing animal cruelty laws, SPCA of Westchester receives no federal or county funding and relies solely on the financial support of donors who care about animal welfare.
It takes a group of 300 dedicated volunteers to keep SPCA of Westchester’s programs running. Every day volunteers greet visitors and help them through the adoption process, clean and disinfect the shelter, provide support to office and clinic staff, and help with fundraising and outreach efforts. Volunteers also serve as animal fosters, dog walkers, trainers, groomers, and caretakers, as well as petters and playmates. The care and socialization that volunteers provide increases the animals’ adoptability and reduces their emotional isolation during their stay at the shelter. In 2019, volunteers contributed nearly 25,000 hours of service to the SPCA!
Currently, SPCA of Westchester is gearing up for some major changes to their animal shelter in Briarcliff Manor. The current shelter is a series of cracked and crumbling buildings that were last updated in the 1950s!
After two years of research, planning, and fundraising, SPCA of Westchester has broken ground on a new 27,000-square-foot animal-care campus! According to Lisa Bonanno-Spence, SPCA of Westchester’s Director of Development, the new animal-care campus will include an expansion of the organization’s low-cost veterinary clinic and will make use of many modern upgrades available to animal shelters today, including climate-controlled dog kennels and quarantine space to house animals recovering from communicable diseases.
Although work on the new campus has begun, SPCA of Westchester is still 1.1 million dollars short of the 9.1 million needed to complete the construction project. You can take a virtual tour of the new animal-care campus here. If you make a donation to this wonderful life-saving project you will be helping to further the many innovative programs that save and enrich the lives of so many animals in need.
The SPCA of Westchester is grateful to the individual donors, corporations, foundations and local businesses who assist them in fulfilling their humane mission. When you make a general donation to the SPCA, your gift will help shelter and care for abandoned and abused animals as well as support many community outreach programs. SPCA of Westchester is not affiliated with the ASPCA and does not receive funding from the county or federal government, so they rely on the generosity of donors. See all the ways you can give below. And please remember, many companies and corporations will match your gift!