Thursday, December 10, 2015

Dutchess County SPCA "12 Days of Holiday Giving" Donation Drive

By Trista Polo

The 12 Days of Holiday Giving has concluded but you can still help them reach their goal!

This past Saturday, December 5th, Bella got to meet Santa Paws! We headed out to the Dutchess County SPCA in Hyde Park, NY for their "12 Days of Holiday Giving" event! This is their first “12 Days of Holiday Giving,” donation drive to benefit animals in need beginning December 1 through December 12. Written to the tune of the popular “12 Days of Christmas” carol, the DCSPCA is asking for pet-related items on its wish list, including monetary gifts toward a new SUV for Humane Law Enforcement, to be donated at designated drop-off locations or the donation drive page on Giving Grid at

Read on about our day and how you can help the DCSPCA reach their fundraising goal of $50,000 by Saturday!

When we arrived to the DCSPCA it was electric with activity and holiday spirit. Vendors stood at the entrance with so many wonderful gifts for dogs and humans alike! Yvette Yeomans, from Pampered Chef, was in a great spot to see the parade of dogs - and cats! - arriving throughout the day. Yvette says, "My favorite...was the enclosed carriage that came in carrying a cat. I looked over and saw a cat peeking through the mesh. As they went by, I could see the cat was wearing a dress. I found out later that the dress was hand made." 

A photo with Santa, taken by local pet (and people) photographer Al Nowak of On Location Studios, was the main attraction for most that attended. There was also plenty of time to shop and visit the resident "Adoptables" in Cat Land and Dog Village. According to Peggy O'Brien Jones of the DCSPCA, there are approximately 25-30 dogs and over 100 cats in residence at any one time.

Bella was definitely excited to see Santa...but being a dog's dog, she was much more interested in the many new faces (and butts) roaming around on four paws. There was a band of 6 Corgis, a group of 4 Greyhounds, a trio of 3 Cockers, a pair of Bernese Mountain Dogs, a Great Dane and even a Crate Escape alum.

Santa Paws, or Keith Jones as he is known the other 364 days per year, is a regular at the DCSPCA. Now that he is retired from his IT job at Avon, Keith volunteers regularly as a dog walker there. He has donned the Santa hat 4 or 5 times for pups and is wonderful with them. He was having a ball and it was no surprise to me when he told me he is quite an animal lover. The thing he loves most about volunteering at the DCSPCA is that despite their hard life, the rescues are "still trusting and affectionate. They have been abused but still seek out humans."

Keith and his wife Peggy (the DCSPCA employee mentioned above) have 3 dogs of their own at home. A 5 year old Golden named Dylan, a 2 1/2 Golden named Abby and a recent addition of Jessie (formerly Sweetie) a lab mix that chose Peggy's desk as the favorite place to nap during her short stint as a resident of the DCSPCA. 

I asked Peggy how things have been going with the fundraising efforts of the "12 Days of Holiday Giving" and it sounds like they have a way to go to meet their goal. They are 100% donation funded with no support from Government funding or grants. If you can help by dropping a donation at any of the locations below, it would be a huge step toward helping them reach their goal. You can also SHARE this article far and wide to your family and friends and help them get the word out for a last push toward helping them reach their goal.

Donation drop-off locations include:

· Ulster Savings Bank – 7296 South Broadway in Red Hook
· Rondout Savings Bank – 4269 Albany Post Road in Hyde Park
· Adams Fairacre Farms – 765 Dutchess Turnpike in Poughkeepsie
· A Cat’s Place – 738 U.S. 9 #15 in Fishkill
· Snug Harbor – 38 Main St. in New Paltz
· PetSmart – 2534 South Road in Poughkeepsie
· Iseman, Cunningham, Riester & Hyde, LLP – 3208 Franklin Ave. in Millbrook
· Senator Sue Serino’s office – 4254 Albany Post Road in Hyde Park
· All Sport – 17 Old Main in Fishkill
· Healey Chevrolet – 1960 South Road in Poughkeepsie

“Donations from the community are vital to the success of our organization,” said Hope Gamble, Executive Director of the DCSPCA. “Our goal is to raise the funds and necessities we need through the ‘12 Days of Holiday Giving’ drive that will help us to continue our mission work in the new year and increase awareness on all the ways we serve the community. In 2016, we seek to expand our programs and services to offer more low cost medical services for community pet owners, as well as update our popular animal welfare educational curriculum throughout Dutchess County.”

We had a wonderful time meeting all the dogs and their humans. Bella was worn out when we got home - a very unusual state for her active mind and body! We were glad to support such a great cause and organization. 

What is a favorite memory you have of the DCSPCA and its adoptables? Please share with me and share this article with your friends and family. Let's spread some holiday cheer for the animals at the DCSPCA!

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