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.
RadioRotary co-host Sarah O’Connell interviews Attorney Kyle Steller of Legal Services of the Hudson Valley and Kathy Sheehan, a social worker from the Mediation Center of Dutchess County about the Coalition on Elder Abuse in Dutchess County. The Mediation Center started the Coalition, which melds social services, local churches, Country law enforcement and health services, other law enforcement agencies, and several banks. The Mediation Center obtained a grant from Dutchess County to coordinate and put together this coalition. The coalition is using grant funds to support outreach to groups to raise awareness of issue and of resources available. When a call comes in to one of the agencies to report an elder-abuse problem, Steller and Sheehan confer on the best way to handle the problem, then provide the caller with the appropriate agency to contact. For example, the Legal Services can revoke powers of attorney, recover money for small claims, and provide similar help.
The RadioRotary co-hosts interview Jody Miller, Executive Director of the Mediation Center of Dutchess Country, and Registered Nurse Carolynn Frankell, who, along with Lindsey Goldstein, chairs the third annual Anti-Bullying Walkathon. Since 1981 New York State has had a program of Alternative Dispute Resolution, which includes mediation and arbitration, with centers in every county. Mediation is a process that helps people talk about decisions and resolve conflicts. Volunteers do most of the mediation after training. The center handles small claims, landlord-tenant issues, consumer issues, divorces, caregiving problems, and workplace disputes. The Center also works with other agencies on issues such as elder abuse and bullying, a problem in many schools. Its serves can be free but some require fee payments, and mediated agreements are enforceable by the courts.
Linda Marston-Reid, Executive Director of Art Mid-Hudson (formerly The Dutchess Country Arts Council), and Paul Tesoro, Chairperson of the Board, discuss the many ways that Arts Mid-Hudson re-grants New York State funds and local donations to local artists in Dutchess, Ulster, and Orange counties. Grants aid visual arts, theater, arts education, music, performances of the written word, and community events. All grant proposals receive a peer review, which is helpful even to projects that do not get funded. The proposals supported also become one of the reasons for visitors to come to the Mid-Hudson region, where the arts are among the attractions.