Christina Novak, Communications and Development Coordinator of the Dutchess Country SPCA, visits the RadioRotary studio to describe the work of her organization, which is much more diverse than most persons realize. While the letters SPCA stand for Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to animals, most people think of the Dutchess County SPCA largely in terms of pet adoptions (and they do handle this for all kinds of pets, including birds, rabbits, rats, and Guinea pigs, as well as dogs and cats), but there are many other services. A low-cost clinic, open to the public, provides routine veterinarian care for all sorts of pets. There is outreach to schools, humane law enforcement, a pet cemetery and crematorium, and a lost and found service. There is even a Pet Pantry, a food bank for pet food. Learn about this and more, as well as how to become one of the more than 200 volunteers that make the Dutchess SPCA work.
Deanna Mancuso tells the story of how her grandfather’s gift to her of an abused horse when she was 12, gradually led her create the Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue farm, which now hosts 43 formerly abused, neglected, or abandoned horses. Today these horses are not only living out the remainder of their lives (which can be as long as about 50 years), but also they are providing significant equine-assisted therapy to humans in need of help—it is people helping horses helping people. Dutchess County currently has a horse population of about 42,500 horses, but abused horses from all over the country are also welcomed to the Lucky Orphan’s farm. Volunteers, some of whom are doing community service, provide all the work on the farm.
RadioRotary host Jonah Triebwasser interviews Maureen Roche, Program Director for 4-H Youth Development at Cornell Cooperative Extension in Dutchess County. The 4-H organization officially set up by the US Department of Agriculture in 1914, although built on a number of youth organizations from around the turn of the 19th century into the 20th. The name stands for Head – Hearth – Hands – Health. Although best known for members raising animals and competing with them at county fairs, 4-H today goes beyond agriculture with programs emphasizing public speaking, robotics, college preparation, photography, arts and crafts, and community service. Dutchess Country has an active 4-H program that includes, among other projects, “Agriculture Literacy Week,” in which volunteers read stories based in agriculture to 2nd graders; “College Planning 101,” and drives to provide food, coats, and toys for the needy.
Jackie Rose, executive director of Dutchess County SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) describes the facilities and activities of this nonprofit corporation. Located in Hyde Park, the DCSPCA provides humane law enforcement for the Country and a shelter for about 250 pets, including not only dogs and cats but also “pocket pets” such as hamsters, guinea pigs, or ferrets. The shelter houses homeless, abandoned, or abused animals, or animals donated by owners who can no longer care for them, and seeks to have the animals matched with appropriate families that can provide a “forever home.” In addition to the shelter, DCSPCA also provides low-cost medical services, as well as a cemetery and a crematorium. Primarily funded by donations, DCSPCA also runs a gold tournament annually and a “canine circus” called Paws in the Park Petwalk.