TESTIMONY - Chemung County SPCA
Hours of Operation
Fridays open until 7:00
To enhance the quality of life for
companion animals in Chemung
County and surrounding areas
Board of Directors
Laura Bennett, President
Kim Nagle, Vice President
Martha Boland, Treasurer
Stephanie Gibbons, Secretary
Amy Litwiler, Immediate Past
We will be hosting a number of
events and promotions to celebrate
our 125th year in 2016. To find out
more about what we are doing to
celebrate and how you can be part
of the celebration, check out our
website at www.chemungspca.org/
events and follow us on our FB page
“The more things change, the more they stay the same….” - Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr
This proverb couldn’t be any truer as we look forward to the New Year and to celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Chemung County Humane Society and SPCA in 2016!
Reflecting on the evolution of the shelter over the years from its humble beginnings in
1891 as an organization to protect children and mistreated animals (namely horses and
dogs), to sheltering animals in a Pinnacle Road cottage in 1926, to running the first shelter facility on Lowman Road in 1942, to then moving to our present location in 1977,
the CCHS/SPCA has undergone a number of changes. First incorporated as the Elmira
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, it became the Elmira and Chemung
County Humane Society, Inc. in 1945 to reflect the work it did in the entire county. The
current name was then adopted in 1977.
The animal welfare industry has also undergone significant change over the past few
decades, but most notably have been the changes in the care and housing of animals.
And as the industry has changed, so have we. As advances in the fields of shelter medicine and animal welfare have been made, the shelter’s leadership and staff have embraced these changes and incorporated them to make the shelter animals healthier
and happier, greatly enhancing their well-being and adoptability. Technological changes have also made it easier to monitor the animals during their stay at the shelter and
promote them for adoption. The role that animals play in our lives and how they are
perceived in our society have also greatly changed over the years. As a result, we have
developed new and innovative prevention programs and support services to help pets
and families stay together.
What haven’t changed over the years are the values and core mission of the Society
- protection, compassion, education – along with the basic needs of animals for food,
water, shelter, and love, and the high quality of care given to the animals while at the
shelter. These will never change as long as we are needed.
We hope you are as excited as we are for what is in store for the SPCA in this milestone
year and will join us in the celebrations!
Chemung County Humane
Society & SPCA, Inc.
2435 State Route 352
Elmira, NY 14903
“I support the Chemung County Humane Society and
SPCA because I love animals and have always been
concerned about the plight of homeless animals in
our community. On my many visits to the shelter, I
have personally observed how dedicated, caring,
and compassionate the staff is. Despite operating
with limited resources, the facility is always very
clean and the animals are well loved and cared for.
The staff at the shelter also do an excellent job of
matching animals and their new owners for the
animals’ new forever homes.”
- Steve Albertalli, donor since 1993
Poor Seymour came to us after having suffered from some form of bluntforce trauma which required surgery to remove his damaged eye. But the
loss of an eye didn’t slow this little guy down one bit, and he soon became
a staff (and Facebook) favorite! Seymour was looking for a new home, and
his soon-to-be Mom was looking for a new companion to bring into her life. After spotting this guy on Facebook and spending some time with him at the shelter, it was clearly a match made in heaven and he was adopted during our “Clear the
Shelters” event. Seymour has since settled in nicely and his new Mom has this to say about him: “Seymour has been a great
addition to our family. His big sister, Elliot, a nine year old beagle, has taken a special shine to him. Elliot is less stressed,
especially when we leave, with Seymour around. Not only have Elliot’s anxiety levels decreased but she now occasionally
plays; something that she never did before. Seymour is a loving dog that welcomes everyone. He always brightens the day
with his clowning and when he is not playing or watching the world outside from his perch, Seymour snuggles in close for
nap time. Seymour is a great dog and we are delighted to have him in our family.”
TRAINING TIP Teaching Your Dog Not to
Jump Up on People
Jumping up is a natural behavior
for dogs that occurs because they
want to greet us, like they do
with other dogs, by sniffing our
faces. To curb this behavior teach
your dog that you only greet dogs
with “4 on the floor”. To communicate this, train yourself to:
1. only pay attention to your dog
when she has her front paws on
the floor, and
2. immediately give your dog
attention by praising and petting
her the instant her front paws are
on the floor.
Consistency and timing are key.
As long as you are consistent
with your behavior, your dog
will quickly learn the best way to
earn your attention – her ultimate goal.
While learning the new behavior,
don’t scold or touch your dog
if she jumps on you. Ignore her
and even turn your back until the
desired behavior is achieved and
then immediately reward it.
Our foster volunteers play a critical role in saving animal lives. Foster homes open
up space in our shelter so we can help even more animals, and provide a second
chance for those who are sick, injured, or too young to thrive in a shelter setting.
That’s why we continue making efforts to grow this important program, so we can
save the life of every adoptable animal in our community. Mitch (pictured) is just
one of over 170 animals placed in foster care in 2015. This vital program is only
possible thanks to the round-the-clock work of our
foster families and the generosity of supporters like
you. Gifts to the Chemung County Humane Society
& SPCA help pay for kitten and puppy formula, food,
medicine, veterinary care, and much more. If you’re
interested in learning more about this important
program, please contact us at 607-732-1827 or email
[email protected] Thank you for helping
make this program a reality!
Chemung SPCA Offsite Events Crew
Spreads an Important Message
The Chemung County SPCA Offsite Team might be described as a well-oiled machine - except that its components are a group of volunteers who exemplify that
most humane quality - compassion. They are efficient, organized, and reliable, but it
is their dedication and commitment to animal welfare that makes them invaluable.
Under the leadership of Wendy Jackson, our community outreach coordinator, they
help showcase shelter animals in the community. From the Elmira Jackals Pet of
the Game visits to Kitty Lit at the Horseheads Library, the Offsite Team spreads the
"Adopt, Don’t Shop" message wherever they go. You will find them at community
festivals, the farmers market, businesses, restaurants, quarter auctions, adoption
events, charity walks and more. They help us showcase our dogs and cats and teach
the community about responsible pet ownership. They help with volunteer orientation and training and are quick to arrive whenever we need extra help at the shelter.
It’s no cliché - we could not do it without them.
If your business, organization or group would like to arrange an offsite visit, please
contact Wendy Jackson at [email protected]
Executive Director’s Message
Thank you for helping make second chances a reality! Over the course of 2015, you have partnered with us to provide care
for over 1,000 animals. Animals like Munchkin and Chloe, two dogs who recently arrived at our shelter in search of a new
start in life. Munchkin’s and Chloe’s owners could no longer care for them and, like so many other pet owners in our community, had nowhere else to turn. They came to us knowing we would help.
It’s because of the generosity of supporters like you that we are able to continue providing second chances to animals in
our community as well as supportive services to pet owners that help keep pets in their homes and out of area shelters.
This year, over 600 cats, dogs, puppies and kittens were placed into loving new homes. And through our Pet Food Pantry
(the first in our community!) we have helped over 300 households and 700 pets get
through hard times, keeping many of these animals from being surrendered to our
We are proud to do this important work and thankful for our community of supporters.
With your help, we will continue to care for those who cannot care for themselves and
continue providing the second chances they so richly deserve.
With warm regards,
Thomas Geroy, Executive Director
Volunteer Spotlight: The Breinlinger Family
For the Breinlingers, volunteering at the Chemung
County SPCA is a family affair. Karen is a shelter volunteer who can often be found in the Cat Adoption
Room, cuddling and socializing the kitties, helping out
at events or walking dogs. Emily, a student at SUNY
Cortland, is also a shelter volunteer and completed a
Marketing and Communications internship at the shelter this summer helping with photography, graphic design, adoption promotions and video production – and
playing with the animals.
Father and son, Marty and Kody, are the artists who
created special pet-themed paintings for us at the Elmira Street Painting Festival in 2014 and 2015. The 2014
painting featured Bandit, a dog they adopted from us
many years ago. In the spirit of fair play and equal
time, this year their work featured a cat.
Sadly, Bandit died earlier this year, leaving an empty
hole in the family, as pets always do. Fortunately, Emily
and Karen’s time at the shelter allowed them to meet
and get to know many great dogs. What better way to
find a new furry family member?
On July 20, Matt, a Chinese SharPei mix, became Magnet Breinlinger. He was surrendered to the shelter in
late June by owners who were moving and could not
take him with them. He was very frightened and shy.
With love and tender care from his new family, he’s
coming out of his shell and enjoying the good life.
Lucky family, lucky dog. And we are very lucky at the
shelter to have volunteers who give so much time,
compassion and expertise to help us do the very best
we can for homeless animals!
Interested in sharing your time and talents with the
shelter? Come to a Volunteer Orientation session. Call
732-1827 to reserve your place!
Walk ‘n Wag
A crisp but sunny fall morning greeted this year’s walkers at the 23rd annual Walk
for the Animals fundraiser
on Oct. 10th at Eldridge Park.
The 113 registrants and their
4-legged companions along
with our generous sponsors helped raise over $13,000
to take care of the dogs and cats who stay at the shelter on their way to a new home. The “animal heroes”
who walked at the event were treated to clicker training
demos, face painting for kids, information and goodies
tables, and the opportunity to meet some of our adoptable dogs from the shelter. The walk was led by Samantha LaRocca, WETM Meteorologist and this year’s event chair. The top fundraiser
for the day, Kim Nagle, received an iPad mini and the team from Broadway Middle
School, won a pizza party for their extraordinary fundraising efforts.
Cat Room Makeover
Thanks to a grant received from Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the
Finger Lakes and another one from the Mrs. Cheever Porter Foundation, we have
been able to give a new look to the cat adoption room. One that not only is inviting
and pleasing to the eye but also takes best practices for cleaning and housing cats
“It’s not just the size of the cage but what you put into it – the size of the cat, length
and purpose of stay in the housing unit, condition of the cat, and the expectation
of normal daily activities,” says Dr. Tiva Hoshizaki, one of the Maddie’s® Shelter
Medicine Program at Cornell team members who consulted on the design and layout of the project. “Animal sheltering as a field has evolved so much over the years
that we now know so much more about how to better house cats for their optimal
behavioral and medical health based on scientific principles.”
We invite you to come visit and cuddle with our happy felines in their new Kitty
For the Animals is published three
Thank you to our contributors to this
President, Board of Directors
Chemung County SPCA
Chemung County SPCA
Tiva Hoshizaki, DVM
Shelter Medicine Resident
Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program
Community Education and Volunteer
Chemung County SPCA
Director of Marketing and Development
Chemung County SPCA
We want to hear from you!
Please submit questions or comments
to Barbara McLean at
We’ll be celebrating the Chemung
County Humane Society & SPCA’s
125th anniversary all year long in
2016! For the most up-to-date
information on 125th year events
and promotions, please visit www.
Help us create our new 125th year
slogan for the shelter. The new winning slogan will appear on our print
materials, signage, as well as on our
website and in our social media.
The creator of the winning slogan will
receive a prize valued at $125.
Deadline to enter the contest is January 4th, 2016.. Submit your entries at
Enter as many times as you wish!