Season’s Greetings from the Ulster County SPCA
The holidays are always bittersweet in this business. This time of year, rippling with symbolism that inspires generosity, or reflection and rebirth, always creates in us the need to look forward, while giving what came before an equally thorough appraisal. What kind of year just passed? How does it inform the year ahead?
For us, in keeping with the holiday tradition, we are reunited with old friends, as the shelter hosts its Halloween gathering and later its holiday party in December. Animals that we came to know and love over the years return for photo opportunities, and they bring with them the people that made their transition into beloved family members possible. Smiles, tail wags, and licks are all part of the season’s greetings, Ulster County SPCA style.
A glance at the year ahead, though, focuses us on the task at hand: a shelter full of homeless souls and hundreds more out in the cold, or in abusive homes, or simply unloved in their day-to-day lives. We must continue to help the ones we find, while bettering the lives of those we don’t find, through successful cruelty case prosecutions and animal rights legislation.
In our own shelter, we have watched the rebuilding of our ‘Real Life Side’ housing for dogs, following an almost complete demolition. Each day I walk the building, eagerly anticipating the reintroduction of dogs to those rooms, the reintroduction of barking to that hallway, and the reintroduction of dirty paw prints to that floor.
In the same sense, we anticipate breaking ground on our new wing, an addition designed to increase our capacity for dogs. This long planned expansion will provide 15 more kennels to the jewel of animal rescue here in Ulster County, our very own UCSPCA.
For these reasons, and the continued presence of the most dedicated group of staff and volunteers that I have had the honor of working with in my fifteen years, I am hopeful for the year to come. This is a group of people that will stop at nothing to improve the lives of our residents, stop at nothing to rescue those in need outside our walls, and stop at nothing to educate our community and lawmakers about the moral imperative that these animals are respected, housed and loved. We talk about Home for Holidays, our effort to empty the shelter of as many residents as possible, into good forever homes. We talk about children delighted by their new dog or cat, and we talk about that dog settling in by the fire to greet Santa with a playful wag of the tail; but the reality is that none of those joyful moments would be possible without the shelter quietly operating at the end of Wiedy Road here in Kingston. So, as you consider your generosity this year, please consider us, and consider those we care for each day. Somewhere in here, there is a warm heart, a full belly and a contented sigh that will be the best ‘thank you’ that you have ever received. Happy Holidays.