SOFT PAWS: Some shelter services restart as state pause loosens

ALLOW ME TO START by wishing you, your families, and your beloved pets a hedge of protection and health as we begin to slowly regain our bearings from this year’s challenges, and aim toward climbing our way back to some degree of normalcy. Perhaps things will never be quite the same as we once remember, but we retain our faith and hope that these things that are the most important to us will continue to be there for us, through generosity, compassion and, most of all, love.

These characteristics are worn on the sleeves of our staff every day as we work through every sunny day and every storm to fulfill an obligation we took on over 65 years ago, to care not just for animals who need our programs and services, but to a community who needed an organization that would always fill that gap in society. And we’re proud that we can continue our mission and vision to providing at least the basics—and sometimes a whole lot more—for those who so desperately need us. Beyond that, it’s not just a one-sided street. We come to realize that we are symbiotes with our animal world connections. We provide so much for them and they, in turn, provide so much for us. We’re species in partnership to profit more from being together than we can separately.

While we may be practicing social distancing as an organization… our kittens have no idea what the phrase means! CGHS/SPCA Adoption Counselor Katie Prack is holding one of our little rascals who is just too cute not to confine yourself with. Be prepared, with spring and summer on the way, we should have no trouble being able to fulfill your need for some feline fun in your home! Photo contributed

All that being said, we’re working as hard and as fast as we safely can to resume as many services as we are able. And we’re doing pretty well… not “normal” by any means yet. But we have developed new ways to safely perform many of the duties that we’re relied on to deliver and to simultaneously accommodate everyone’s health. We want to share with you the most recent developments in this process. Stay well, be safe… and shower all sorts of love on your critters!

CGHS/SPCA’s lobby will continue to be closed to the public. However, we are resuming the implementation of some programs for the community. Curbside service will ensure that our staff and our consumers/clients remain safe. Below please find an updated program and service list.

• Our Food Bank will continue to be open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you are quarantined and need food for your pet, please call (518) 828-6044 ext. 100 or 108, or email

• Surrenders are accepted by appointment only. Call (518) 828-6044 ext. 100, or email at

• We will maintain adoption services. Potential adopters can view animals on our website at cghs.org and fill out an online application to be pre-approved for adoption. Interaction with pets is limited to ensure the safety of staff and the potential adopters

• Grooming services have resumed. For an appointment, call (518) 828-6044 ext. 103

• Boarding and daycare services have resumed. For a reservation, call or text (518) 610-3232, or email

• Health and Wellness services, vaccine programs, and dog and cat spay/neuter services have all resumed. For an appointment to any of our clinics, call us at (518) 828-6044 ext. 100

• Saturday morning nail trims will resume on Saturday, May 23, between 10 a.m. and 12 noon. Clients are required to prepay. To make a reservation, call (518) 828-6044 ext. 100 or email

• Donations of pet food and supplies can be left at the front door. If you need a receipt, please call or text Ron Perez at (518) 828-6044 ext. 100 or email . Thank you!

If you have any general questions, please call Ron Perez, president/CEO (518) 828-6044 ext. 100, or email .

Aaron Clause is administrative assistant, Columbia-Greene Humane Society/SPCA.

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