The Oswego Animal Shelter will be using nearly $500,000 state grant to improve its facility in addition to its partnership with Paws Across Oswego County.
Linda DeMassi, R-2nd Ward has seen the condition of the shelter and is happy that this improvement is happening. She said, “This has been a long time coming and I think it will be beneficial to the community because it is a crowded shelter and this grant allows more animals a comfortable life while in the shelter hopefully allowing them to become more adoptable.”
Fortunately, the city was able to fit it in the budget to make this happen and the improvements will be completed by next spring, Demassi said.
She added that the improvements being made are weatherizing the existing rooms in the facility and expanding the quarantine areas to improve disease control among the animals. Along with adding more rooms to provide quieter and roomier housing for the animals.
Her stance as a councilwoman for the community is to manage the city’s financial operations with other members of the city council along with providing community leadership, and more.
Oswego city was one among the 14 animal shelters and humane societies across the state to receive funding through the New York State Companion Animal Capital Fund totaling nearly $5 million, according to Feb. 28 news report by the Oswegocountytoday website.
The shelter mainly offers cats and dogs for adoption, but occasionally will offer anything from birds to guinea pigs. “They are making more than just an animal adoptable,” DeMassi said. “They are making a new family member adoptable.”
DeMassi thinks this grant will benefit Paws Across Oswego County and the shelter saying, “The improvements will allow them to take in more animals and not be as reliant on other organizations to help them out.”
According to Oswego Animal Control, less than 50 percent of dog owners will claim their dogs from them, and less than 10 percent of owners claim their cats.
Animal Control Officer Caroline Anderson said, “On average the shelter houses 50 to 75 cats and 10 to 20 dogs on a daily basis.”
“The shelter has a maximum capacity of about 25 dogs and 100 cats,” Anderson added.
The Animal Shelter is not alone when it comes to getting a helping hand with these many animals. Paws Across Oswego County lends a hand daily according to owner Kimberly Bauer.
Bauer said, “We pull animals from shelter and dog control officers when the need comes for space and we foster and adopt these animals to forever homes.”
Paws Across Oswego County is a 501(c)3 non-profit animal rescue organization (Tax ID 22-3729416). Our group fosters and adopts animals as well as supports local shelters and our community with various programs.
Bauer said, “Our rescue began as a way to support the Oswego City Shelter.”
“By taking animals, space was made for other animals in need at the shelter. Over the years, the organization has grown and evolved to provide many different services to the shelter, dog control officers, and community while functioning as an independent rescue,” she added.
The animal shelter here in Oswego is beneficial to the community because many volunteers at the shelter to care for the dogs and cats to help them with their own issues. Alumna of Oswego and animal rights activist Sarah Stephens said, “Oswego animal shelter was my outlet for my bad days.”
Just like the shelter is beneficial to the community so is Paws Across Oswego County. “Seeing so many happy faces as families are completed and dog’s get their happy endings after some rough beginnings is a great feeling,” Bauer said.
“Thanks to this organization I have also found an amazing support system in the members of PAOC,” she added. “We are all friends outside of the rescue and enjoy spending our time together for such a great cause.”
Expressing her fondness for animals, Stephens said: “These animals don’t judge you they just wag their tails with excitement when you give them attention. You have to think when the weather is cold, rainy, or even too hot someone has to feed and walk these dogs. I would rather help then stand back and watch these dogs in the kennels.”
Stephens agreed that the grant was needed for the facility, stating: “They will get more volunteers more adoptions and an overall better environment if the facility looks more appealing intriguing people to visit. Right now, the actual facility looks like a tiny shack on the side of the road.”