Animal shelter opens in city

May 18, 2012 By AMANDA WHISTLE, The Leader Herald

GLOVERSVILLE – A paw-print-patterned ribbon severed by oversized scissors fell to the ground in front of the Regional Animal Shelter’s city annex Thursday, officially opening the shelter’s doors to the public. Officials say the project is an example of a public-private partnership in which politicians and local organizations worked together toward a common goal. The shelter includes eight kennels for dogs with outdoor enclosed space.

Robin Wentworth, left speaks during the Regional Animal Shelter ribbon-cutting ceremony in Gloversville on 5/17. The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan
Robin Wentworth, left speaks during the Regional Animal Shelter ribbon-cutting ceremony in Gloversville on 5/17. The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan

Curtains sewn by 1st Ward Councilwoman Robin Wentworth adorn the windows in puppy and kitten patterns. The property is fenced in and includes a storage shed. It’s far from the boarded-up shell of a 16-by-36-foot building that sat vacant and unused for years on the city property south of the Transit Building. In an arrangement with the city, the Regional Animal Shelter finished the shelter and will run it for the city. On Thursday, state Assemblyman Marc Butler, R-Newport, cut the ribbon and called the shelter “an expression of the caring heart of Gloversville.” “You came together and created this beautiful facility,” Butler said.

Former Councilwoman Cynthia Morey was instrumental in securing a $20,000 anonymous donation in 2007 to start the project. The city used the funding to build the structure along with about $10,000 worth of labor by the Department of Public Works. For years, it sat vacant and unused, until last spring, when 4th Ward Councilwoman Ellen Anadio and Councilman-at-Large James Robinson approached the Regional Animal Shelter.

The Regional Animal Shelter Board member Peg Galpin speaks at the podium during the Regional Animal Shelter Annex ribbon-cutting ceremony in Gloversville on 5/17. The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan
The Regional Animal Shelter Board member Peg Galpin speaks at the podium during the Regional Animal Shelter Annex ribbon-cutting ceremony in Gloversville on 5/17. The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan

Regional Animal Shelter continues to raise money to open a $250,000 shelter on 26 acres on Maple Avenue in Johnstown. “It’s all for the animals, and that’s the way it should be,” Regional Animal Shelter President Robin Markert said. Under a four-year lease agreement approved by the Common Council in 2011, the Regional Animal Shelter will provide shelter services to the city. The group will lease kennel space to the city for $1 and the city will rent the building to the group for $1 per year. Completing the shelter would have cost city taxpayers tens of thousands.

Instead, it was completed with a year’s worth of volunteer work that culminated in the ceremony Thursday.

“This annex to the Regional Animal Shelter, that is coming down the road, is a glaring and very brilliant example of what can happen when a relatively small group of people decide they’re going to do something,” Morey said.? Anadio said the shelter is saving city taxpayers money in other ways. Previously, the city paid fees to house each stray dog at the contracted veterinarian’s office. Now, shelter volunteers look after the animals as long as they aren’t sick or dangerous. The shelter does not yet have the capacity to house cats, but Markert says the group hopes to soon.

Animal Control Officer Richard Schuyler said when he picks up a dog, the first step is to attempt to find the owner. If the animal doesn’t require veterinarian care, it will now go to the shelter. The city now contracts with Dr. Mark Will of Glove Cities Veterinary Hospital for veterinarian care. Anadio said the city is still working through setting redemption fees. Hours of operation are not set for the shelter yet. “There were a number of people who brought this to where it is today,” Wentworth said. Electrician and former 3rd Ward Councilman Don Ambrosino and his friend Randy Bailey of Rotterdam volunteered their time to finish the electrical work. Mike Darling, a contractor, donated his services.

Goderie’s Tree Farm donated a young maple tree and planted it in the fenced-in yard around the shelter building. “I’m so happy to see so many people turn out today, and boy, we really need it,” said shelter board member Peg Galpin. Anyone interested in volunteering can visit the Regional Animal Shelter’s Facebook page.

Group Helping Shelter

June 2, 2011 By AMANDA WHISTLE, The Leader Herald

GLOVERSVILLE-Thanks to a public-private partnership blooming between the city and the board of the Regional Animal Shelter, the city’s unfinished animal holding facility may be completed.

Officials have set a target date of completion for July 1, in time to have an open house during Railfest. An anonymous $20,000 donation in May 2007 along with a $10,000 match by city taxpayers paid for construction of the structure, which now remains a 16-by-36-foot unfinished shell south of the Gloversville Transit Building.

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The boarded up property on West Fulton Street.

In July 2010, city officials said another $10,000 to $15,000 was needed to complete plumbing, heating and other necessities for the building, where the city could bring animals picked up by the dog-control officer. Regional Animal Shelter President Debby Hupkes said 4th Ward Councilwoman Ellen Anadio contacted the shelter group. From there, Anadio and Councilman-at-Large James Robinson attended a board meeting to talk about the idea of the Regional Animal Shelter and the city working together to finish the building.

The group’s board decided to help finish the shelter and then run it. The group is gathering donations to finish the project and may cover leftover costs. “It’s a public-private partnership and it’s a win-win for the city of Gloversville and our shelter,” Hupkes said. The board was formed about nine years ago.

The group purchased 26 acres on Maple Avenue in Johnstown to build a $250,000 shelter. Hupkes said the group will continue with its fundraising and building the new shelter while possibly using the Gloversville location as an “interim” site untilthe new shelter is built and an “annex” after the new shelter is built.

The group meets at 6:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month at the Johnstown Town Hall. Hupkes said anyone who would like to get involved can call her at 773-7275. “I think this is a big win for the city,” said Anadio, who spearheaded the effort. “We’re still in the process of working out a contract and figuring out how it will function, but I don’t see this as a loss for the city.”

She said part of the agreement will be working out how staffing and by whom the utilities are paid as well as ownership. Anadio said Robinson and 3rd Ward Councilman Don Ambrosino, both electricians, have offered their services at no charge.

She said she also knows a plumber who will help and has already been able to get some other items donated. Hupkes said attorney Ron Schur donated his services to draw up the contract.

Amanda Whistle covers Gloversville news. She can be reached at gloversville@leaderherald.com.