Saugerties Animal Shelter needs Woodstock’s help

The Saugerties Animal Shelter wants to remind people it is Woodstock’s shelter also. And they need some help raising money for a big, bright, new facility away from all the hubbub and distractions of the adjacent transfer station, according to representatives of the shelter who attended Woodstock’s Town Board meeting April 10.

The shelter serves Saugerties, Woodstock, the Town of Kingston and sometimes Esopus and Wawarsing. Each municipality is required by law to have an animal control officer and Woodstock contracts with the shelter for those services.

“The reason we came tonight, and to the board members, is because we need your help in figuring out how can we get the word across to the people of Woodstock that this is your shelter,” said Adele Zinderman, administrator of the Saugerties animal welfare fund, which was set up to make sure all money received goes to caring for the animals. Zinderman is the daughter of the late Marie Post, who founded the shelter. “Actually, the Saugerties Animal Shelter used to be known as the Saugerties-Woodstock Animal Shelter and you pay a fee monthly to have the services.”

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The new building designed by architect and shelter volunteer Laura Cassar will be two stories with more than a dozen cat condos, 16 dog kennels and four featured dog rooms, as well as several meet-and-greet areas and community rooms. Large dog runs will keep the canines exercised and the cat condos will be spacious so they can move around and not get achy. Shelter volunteers say the cats are kept in such small areas in the current building that they can’t move around much, causing them to lose muscle mass.

Shelter volunteers have been doing what they can to use every available square inch of space in the garage on the transfer station property that was donated to them by the town of Saugerties. But, they say, it’s just too crowded, it’s uninsulated and the heating and air conditioning is inadequate. The new building will be in a wooded area adjacent to the transfer station. A separate entrance will allow people to visit during evening and night hours, which is not possible now.

The shelter proponents had hoped to be further along in the process by now, but the COVID-19 pandemic put things on hold for awhile. To date, they have raised $1.8 million toward the $2.1 million cost through donations and a $500,000 grant from the state Department of Agriculture and Markets, according to Zinderman.

There are other costs, including furniture and the cat condos that are in addition to the construction, Zinderman said. To help bridge the gap, people can buy bricks with names of loved ones or a message that will be placed in the new building. An 8-by-8-inch brick is $200 and a 4-by-8 brick is $100. Shelter sponsorships are available for $1000. Benches with a plaque are $500. Naming opportunities are available for rooms in the new building and they range from $1000 for cat suites up to $75,000 for the lobby.

J&J Tree Works of Saugerties will donate their services for the construction and the town of Saugerties will build a new access road.

Zinderman also noted she will have an agreement from the Saugerties Town Board that  the bulk of the new building will only be used to shelter and care of animals. “I don’t want anybody to be concerned that 50 years from now it’s going to be something else,” Zinderman said.

For more information or to donate, see saugertiesanimalshelter.com or call (845) 679-0339.