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Local SPCA Desperately Needs Funds after Donations Stolen


One area animal shelter is in desperate need of money after donations it was supposed to receive were stolen.

Nick Lapresi, Executive Director of the Finger Lakes SPCA of Central New York, told Finger Lakes News Radio the organization has been collecting funds for its capital campaign to renovate its Auburn facility. At the end of August, staff noticed they were getting hardly any mail.

Lapresi said he received a phone call on August 24 from a nearby business that had found mail addressed to the shelter strewn about its front lawn. When he arrived, he found that the majority of the envelopes were for donations for the campaign; however, the checks were missing.

Lapresi reached out to the US Postal Service which informed him that similar crimes targeting mailboxes had been reported in the area. It is believed that the shelter was targeted because it had publicized that donations could be mailed to it.

The mailbox has since been changed to a secure lockbox.

The capital campaign is to secure funding for vital renovations to the 41 York Street facility. Lapresi explained the work that needs to be done, saying it consists of three main components:

Firstly, its current dog kennels are 70 years old and the SPCA wants to replace them with larger ones that feature soundproofing.

Secondly, as the current clinic room is only five feet away from the dog run, the organization plans to build a new clean surgery and clinic room on the other side of the property to make it easier for staff to perform work on not only shelter animals but those which are brought in from the community for services such as spayings and neuterings.

Finally, the SPCA needs to install a backup generator and two HVAC systems as well as install new insulation and siding on the entire building.

The SPCA is hoping to secure $80,000 by year’s end so it can receive a challenge grant for renovation work of equal value. The shelter has raised $20,000 so far, meaning it must secure $60,000 by the December 31 deadline to receive the matching grant.

If you’d like to help the organization reach its goal, donations can be made online or in person. Since installing the lockbox, the group is also accepting donations through the mail.

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