Shelter Tails: Blind rescue horse needs a new home

Blizzard is a sweet horse who seeks affection from his handlers. Remarkable, considering how humans have treated him in the past.

This 20-year-old gray gelding thoroughbred’s body condition when he was found was rated at 2 on a scale of 1-9, falling into the category of severely emaciated.

The Ulster County SPCA seized Blizzard along with 15 other horses from a Plattekill horse-boarding property in April. They were found in waste without drinking water. They fought over the water rescuers brought them.

“The horses were crowded,” said UCSPCA Executive Director Adam Saunders, “so most of them were fighting over what grain was there, and they sustained injuries and bite marks, but nothing severe. Most were emaciated and dehydrated from lack of water.”

Without the proper equine accommodations at its Kingston shelter, the UCSPCA has placed them in local equine rescue groups, who provide daily care.

“Blizzard is the only one still in need of constant medical attention,” Saunders said. “He’s the oldest and in the worst shape.”

Blizzard’s coat is in poor condition, suffering from hair loss and rain rot. Cataracts have taken most of his sight. He was long overdue to have his teeth filed down; it had become extremely difficult for him to chew, which partially accounted for his emaciated state.

After recent dental work, he is eating better and has put on some weight. He needs regular medicated baths to deal with the damage to his skin and coat and is on a special feed to help him gain weight.

“Given his blindness,” Saunders said, “he can’t be housed with other horses. It becomes hard for him to compete for food. He gets bullied out sometimes.”

Blizzard is available for adoption to an experienced handler. Seven other horses are also available for adoption. Some of the others have already been placed, and some may be reunited with their original owners.

The UCSPCA is in need of donations to cover the cost of caring for these horses.

“Just feeding a horse alone can run $300 a month,” said Saunders. “Rescues of this nature and size can run the UCSPCA in upwards of $25,000.”

Donations can be made at or mailed to the Ulster County SPCA, 20 Wiedy Road, Kingston 12401, or call 331-5377.

Ulster County SPCA Therapy Dogs Help Substance Abusers

In the wake of the recent heroin epidemic sweeping the nation young adults in Ulster County are turning to pet therapy for help. Alexandra Weishaupt has more from one young lady whose reaping the benefits of the pilot program.

by Alexandra Weishaupt, TWC News

ULSTER COUNTY, N.Y. — It’s an eight week program that guides kids to not want to use.

For 23-year-old Sloane LaPointe and her 8-month-old sidekick “Moo,” sobriety is now a way of life.

“He keeps me active, we go hiking he needs me, so it’s amazing to have someone there with me,” said LaPointe.

But it wasn’t always that way. Sloane was battling addiction with drugs before turning to a pet for therapy.

She says caring for her pup, who was adopted from the SPCA, adds a sense of responsibility to her life that she didn’t have before.
Together they now attend the weekly Awareness Substance Abuse Education meetings, that she says are guiding her in the right direction and helping her maintain her newly found healthy habits.
“A lot of times is when kids sit down in a circle of people, they get nervous, I have anxiety, having a dog there with you relaxes you, it makes you calmer, I think it kind of opens you up to talk more,” said LaPointe.

“When I bring my dog to meetings she goes around and all the kids pet her and its already working,” said Marie Shultis, Ulster County SPCA Director.

For other young adults ages 16 through 24 who are on probation, battling addictions or in need of some direction, the animals are proving beneficial during the rehabilitation process. And now this drug-free dog owner is encouraging others to join the movement.

“Kids think that in order to have fun and to go out there they need to use drugs, and I think it’s the complete opposite, I honestly do, and that’s what kids will learn, it’s not a maybe, it’s a definite, just give it a try,” said LaPointe.

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Area youths raising money to benefit shelter animals at Ulster County SPCA

August 11, 2014

By Ariel Zangla, Daily Freeman

TOWN OF ULSTER >> Little hands are making big things happen to benefit the animals at the Ulster County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Youth GroupArea youths have been meeting on Sunday afternoons to work on projects that directly benefit the shelter animals, Marie Shultis, operations manager and volunteer coordinator for the Ulster County SPCA, said.

She said the youths have made tie-dye T-shirts, catnip toys and dog rope toys, amongst other items. The items are then sold and all the money goes to benefit the shelter and the animals there. Shultis said the T-shirts, which include the youth program’s slogan of “Little Hands Make Big Things Happen,” have proven to be a very popular item and continue to be offered for sale.

“So far they’ve just hit their $1,000 mark,” Shultis said of the program’s fundraising. “So we’re going to have a celebration for them next.”

In the meantime, the youth program is planning its first luau celebration this Saturday. Shultis said the luau will run from noon to 4 p.m. at the Saugerties Village Beach. The event will feature games, a bake sale and handmade crafts.

Shultis said the youth volunteering program began a few months ago after two area girls participated in a church project to raise funds for the shelter on Wiedy Road.

Tyler Bodie and Caelin Piper were each given $10 and asked to use it to make money for a charity. Bodie made labor intensive bracelets and donated $75 to the shelter, while Piper made dog biscuits and donated $450. The girls and their mothers then agreed to share their knowledge to help start the youth entrepreneurial program at the shelter.

The youth program meets from 11 a.m. to noon at the shelter where the kids who participate work on their projects. Shultis said anyone can come to the program and fill out an application to participate. There have been Sundays where more than 20 kids participated, Shultis said, adding that the youths come when they are available.

“We let any age come,” Shultis added. “We require the parents to be here for most of them.”

She said some of the older kids who prove to be helpful can act as mentors to the younger ones. Shultis added the children are not working with the animals, but do learn about them.

In addition to working on projects at the shelter, the youths have held bake sales in the community and a fill-the-van event to collect donations at a local grocery store, Shultis said.

“It’s actually been really great,” Wendi Piper said of the youth program.

She said her daughter, Caelin, recently turned 10 and has gotten very involved. Piper said before the youth program began her daughter had gotten a volunteer application for the SPCA. She said Caelin planned to hold on to the application until she turned 18 and was old enough to help at the shelter.

Piper added the youth program has helped reinforce some of the values she is trying to teach her children. She said it is a completely selfless thing they are doing.

Shultis said the shelter’s youth coordinator, Janis Jackman, usually sets up the activities for the kids. She added that the shelter already has a lot of the materials it needs for the projects, such as catnip and scraps of material, so has not had to spend money on the program.

Other materials are donated, Shultis said.

In addition to the projects the youth work on at the shelter, others raise money on their own and bring it to the SPCA. Shultis said some kids have held lemonade sales and made their own ice cream to benefit the shelter animals. Others have asked for donations to the SPCA instead of presents on their birthday, Shultis said.

“You’d be surprised how many birthday parties kids ask for donations instead of presents,” Shultis said.

Shultis added that when kids bring their donations to the shelter, the staff there tries to get their pictures and post them on Facebook, as well as thanking the donors for their efforts.

“It’s kind of heart warming,” Shultis said.

For more information about the Ulster County SPCA and its youth program, visit

Area Youth Help Support Ulster County SPCA

By: Alexandra Weishaupt, Time Warner Cable News

May 26, 2014

KINGSTON, N.Y. — A little creativity and some kind-heartedness is going a long way at the Ulster County SPCA, where an innovative idea is generating funds to help keep the shelter afloat.

“I love dogs so I wanted to do something dog related,” said Caelin Piper.

Caelin Piper, 9, has the knack for earning the big bucks, but she’s not raising the money for herself. She and her 10-year-old cousin Tyler Bodie are teaming up with the local SPCA to form a new entrepreneurial program.

“It’s so rewarding when you see kids that are excited and are donating their time and can create that much of a funding stream for the shelter,” said Ulster County SPCA Operations Manager & Volunteer Coordinator, Marie Shultis.

It all began when the pair was given $10 each for a church project designed to create more revenue for a charity organization.

“I had a few books on how to make different types of bracelets and I figured I could probably make some money for charity with them,” said Tyler Bodie.

Tyler raked in $75 from distributing handmade jewelry and Caelin’s cleaver home-made dog biscuits generated a total of $450. The dynamic duo’s now putting their heads together with shelter organizers to make and sell items that could hugely impact the care of their four-legged friends, according to Shultis.

“We don’t get funding from government agencies so it takes a lot to keep it going, so this could be incredible, something that really keeps the shelter moving forward,” said Shultis.

The youth group is the first of its kind in Ulster County. Shultis says she’s anticipating the program to grow rapidly and should serve as an inspiration for others.

“I think it will get kids realizing we need to take care of animals instead of treating them badly,” said Piper. “They’re our friends and not enemies.”

Youth group to support animals at Ulster County SPCA

Daily Freeman

May 18, 2014

TOWN OF ULSTER >> A youth entrepreneurial group is being started to support the animals at the Ulster County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Tyler Bodie, 10, and Caelin Piper, 9, both participated in a church project to raise funds for the shelter on Wiedy Road. They were each given $10 and asked to use it to make more money for a charity. Bodie made labor intensive bracelets and donated $75 to the shelter, while Piper made dog biscuits and donated $450.

Together with their mothers, the girls agreed to share their knowledge to start a youth entrepreneurial group to support the Ulster County SPCA’s animals. Anyone interested in participating can visit to sign up or contact Marie Shultis at (845) 331-5377, ext. 215.

Due to limited space, attendance will need to be confirmed.

The shelter started meetings with adolescents age 16 and older to create workshops to educate youth about animal care. Call or email Shultis at to join.