Blog the Change – Little Things Can Have a Big Impact

Blog the Change for Animals

Keep the Impact Happening; Support me and Honey in the SPCA March for the Animals!

A decade ago, the Tompkins County SPCA was another underfunded, open-admissions animal shelter also doing animal control work throughout the county. Staff, who loved animals, were forced to kill them because they didn’t see other alternatives and were faced with limited resources.

Today, TCSPCA is still open-admissions. But now, euthanasia is no longer the solution to over-crowding. The shelter has many volunteers and foster families. They’ve opened an adoption center at the local shopping mall that is fully stocked with cats and kittens. TCSPCA has created new community partnerships including one with one of the most respected vet schools in the country. And they are regarded as a model program by the Best Friends Animal Society.

Mixed breed dog in canoe

At nine years old, Shadow found her way into our hearts and our home.

As a result of the changes at the local animal shelter, Tompkins County in New York has gotten a reputation as a place where dogs are more likely to be adopted. Local rescue organizations now bring dogs here from other states to increase their chances of finding forever homes.

Changes to one shelter have affected dogs in many states. And have served as an example to many more people who care about animal welfare.

The Tompkins County SPCA was where I adopted Shadow, the dog gracing the header of Something Wagging This Way Comes. It’s where we took her to adult dog play group to work on her reactivity to other dogs. And it’s where Honey started her socialization at puppy play date, began her education in Good Manners class, and learned K-9 Nose Work.

Honey and I want to give something back. So we’re entering the SPCA March for the Animals on October 1, 2011. This is the Tompkins County SPCA’s biggest fundraising event of the year. Honey and I are looking for sponsors to help us meet our goal of $500. Visit my fundraising page here to give quickly and securely.

And Thank You!

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  1. It is so great to hear that Tompkins County SPCA has come so far! How heartwarming!

    So great that you have committed yourself to this fundraising- it is an amazing cause- good luck!


    • Thanks. I’ve always wanted to march in the past but didn’t have dogs that would be comfortable with it. So I’m looking forward to doing this with Honey.

  2. Hurray for Tompkins County SPCA! I hope you have a wonderful and successful walk in support of such a great organization! Thanks for sharing some details about what makes them so great too. I love the idea of opening an adoption center in the mall. Nothing like competing with the mill owners where they make their money!

    Thanks for Blogging the Change!

    • The mall adoption center has been a big hit. And it provides education all the time, whether someone adopts a cat or not. I hope more shelters consider it.

  3. Oh Pamela! What a great an inspiring story! I had not heard of the TCSPCA, but what a shining example they are for what really is possible when people go out and make a difference. I love that they turned things around for the animals in your area. I wish I could do the walk with you and Honey. I have no doubt that she will be enjoying the walk as much as you. :)

    I can’t donate much, but I am happy to do so!


    • Mel, thank you so much for starting off my fundraising. I really appreciate your support.

      I know it’s a local cause but I’m glad people can see how actions in one place can affect communities all over the world. As one of the first no-kill shelters, TC SPCA developed a manual to teach other shelters how to change their policies too.

  4. What a great idea to have puppy class and other training organized by the local SPCA. Another example that prevention is always the best. We can learn something from that here in Europe.

    • It’s especially great because the SPCA doesn’t limit their programs to shelter pets. If you adopted your dog from a shelter, you get a discount. But everyone is welcome.

  5. It’s great when you can give something back to an organisation you feel strongly about, and I think this walk is a wonderful idea to get like minded people together for a good cause. And to influence other people along the way. The video is lovely:)

    • It is great to be a part of a local cause. I know that GAP has been a really important part of your life. I’ve enjoyed your sharing about it on your blog.

  6. Of course I will support you and Honey! Just make sure to keep reminding us every once in awhile so I won’t forget.

    I read a lot about the amazing success of Tompkins County in Nathan Winograd’s book and I think there is a lot of hope for the future of animal welfare. The Nova Scotia SPCA bases their model off of Tompkins County and has had a huge turnaround in the last year. Hopefully eventually they will achieve an open admissions status as well.

    • I was debating on whether to mention that Nathan Winograd was the director who took TC SPCA no-kill. He seems to be a lightning rod for some people.

      The Open-Admissions thing is key. I agree with the criticisms that it’s easy to call yourself no-kill when you’re just passing off the tough cases to other shelters and rescues.

      Maybe someday you’ll write about the Nova Scotia SPCA’s efforts.

  7. What an encouraging story. There’s no telling what will happen when people with love and determination work together to save animals! Thank you for sharing the hope!