The Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has been hit with an overwhelming number of requests for cats being brought to their shelter on state Highway 28 just south of Cooperstown.

SSPCA officials said they realize many people have good intentions and do not understand why they cannot just drop off an unwanted or stray animal at the shelter. The SSPCA runs a no-kill shelter; therefore, space is limited. In order for more space to become available, animals must be adopted. The shelter has been running at maximum capacity for a prolonged period of time.

If you wish the SSPCA to take an animal, whether it is a pet or a stray, you must first call the shelter and ask to be put on a waiting list. At the time that you make that call, you will be strongly urged to post a notice on the "Free to a Good Home" bulletin board maintained at the shelter, as well as other community bulletin boards throughout the county. Local newspapers and radio stations may offer ads at no cost for free animals.

The SSPCA receives multiple calls daily from people in various situations requesting that they bring an animal to the shelter. Although the SSPCA would like to take in every one at the time the request is made, that is not a reasonable expectation. People on the waiting list are notified as soon as space becomes available to set up an appointment to bring the animal to their shelter.

The number of stray cats throughout Otsego County is growing every day, and there are simply not enough homes for all of them. Thus, we must spay and neuter all of our pets and strays. The cost to neuter a cat in the local area runs between $75 and $150.

You can assist in lessening the problem by offering to assist a friend or neighbor with the cost of spaying or neutering their pet, by taking a stray to the vet yourself to be spayed or neutered or by making a contribution to the SSPCA spay-neuter fund. You can also help by being part of the SSPCA new feral cat relocation program by offering a safe haven for feral cats that have been spayed or neutered, tested, vaccinated and ear-tipped.

If you have room in your home and in your heart, come to the shelter and adopt a cat today; they have many, from kittens to adults. There is no adoption fee for a select group of cats that have been at the shelter for more than a year waiting for a home. There is a simple application process for each adoption.

If you would like to contribute to the SSPCA spay-neuter fund, mail a check to the Susquehanna SPCA, 4841 State Highway 28, Cooperstown, NY 13326. If you need spay or neuter assistance with your pet, stray or feral cats or are interested in becoming part of our Feral Relocation Program, call the SSPCA at 547-8111.

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