AUBURN, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Finger Lakes SPCA of CNY, in Auburn, was one of 21 shelters or humane societies in New York State to be chosen for the New York State Companion Animal Capital Fund.

The fund, worth $7.6 million, gave the Finger Lakes SPCA $482,491.50.

Nick Lapresi, the shelter’s executive director said that his first reaction was a complete and overwhelming sense of shock.

“[It] took a lot of my time, and a lot of different people’s effort to not only apply for the grant but be able to put it together in a way that we felt really confident,” said Lapresi.

Lapresi expressed how it was a very competitive process that started all the way back in December.

The SPCA had to involve a shelter consultant to come and look at their place, an architect to draw up plans, a project manager, a professional grant writer, and more.

From February until April, they all worked to put the pieces together in time to get the grant sent in.

“Without this grant, we would not be able to be in the compliance with the Companion Animal Care Standards Act, so getting this was huge for us,” explained Lapresi.

What’re they using the money for?

1. Fully insulate their shelter

The building that the shelter currently inhabits is 70 years old. Lapresi explained that in the winter it gets too cold, and in the summer, too hot. They are looking to keep the building more stable and temperate.

2. Putting in a generator for backup power

In case of an emergency, they want to have a generator to kick the power back on for the animals.

3. Installing HVAC units

Currently, the shelter does not have ventilation.

4. Replacing the dog kennels

In this case, these new kennels being put in will have sound-absorbing walls. Lapresi said that he wants the dogs to be as comfortable as possible inside of them and that it’s time for the current ones to be retired.

5. Creating separate walls for dogs

Right now, there isn’t much cut-off from one space to the next. The idea behind creating the separate walls is to create a quarantine space for sick dogs and an intake area for non-vaccinated animals.

The shelter also wants to put in a few adoption suites.

6. Clinic room

Their current clinic room is adjacent to the dog kennels, so, they want to build a new clinic room at the other end of the building. This would include a medical-grade room, for spays, neuters, and surgeries as well.

But here’s the catch, although the shelter is receiving just shy of half of a million dollars, the grant from the state is only covering about 75% of the money they need to fulfill all of their upgrades.

They’re still looking at around $150K that needs to be raised.

How to donate to the Finger Lakes SPCA of CNY:

You can go to their website and donate online. If you want your money to go to the grant fund specifically, you’ll need to add that it is for the “kennel project.”

The same goes for mailing a check, make sure you add in the memo, “kennel project.”

Additionally, you can stop into the shelter and donate in person!

Aside from monetary donations, the shelter is always in need of animal supplies.

This includes:

  • Paper towels
  • Laundry detergent
  • Dish soap
  • Garbage bags
  • Blankets
  • Purina dog and cat food

“I’m just really excited for this opportunity. The shelter’s 70 years old, so the best way I can say it, it’s time to retire what we currently have, so, it’s done its job. Looking at a new state-of-the-art shelter is something that our animals and our community are looking for,” said Lapresi.

Alongside the Finger Lakes SPCA of CNY, there were four other shelters in the Finger Lakes Region that received a piece of the grant.

You can see the FULL LIST HERE.