This year, the Columbia-Greene Humane Society/SPCA is celebrating 55 years of caring for animals in need. Read on to find out the details on how we became a longstanding, integral part of the Hudson Valley and Greater Capital District community.
In 1955, Ella Merle and Dede Kline rose to an auspicious challenge of helping animals who had fallen through the cracks of society in Columbia County. Through their dedication and exhaustive efforts, a building with five dog kennels became the first Columbia-Greene Humane Society ancestor.
CGHS became chartered as an SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) in 1977. This granted CGHS/SPCA law enforcement authority to investigate and arrest individuals who intentionally harm animals.
Bolder still, shortly into the twenty-first century, CGHS/SPCA instituted a zero-euthanasia policy for adoptable animals. The days of space denying animals a fair chance at companionship were over at our Shelter. Better yet, every animal adopted still left our doors spayed or neutered, fully vaccinated and vet-checked, and fully licensed and identified with collar and new owner in tow.
Those humble beginnings now boast three buildings, thirty-seven dog kennels, fifty-five cat cages, a free-roam cat room and a barn for large animals. Every cat and kitten leaves our Shelter free of adoption charges, with the same caring medical treatment that we have always provided. We see and help over one thousand animals every year through our adoption and cruelty intervention departments. CGHS/SPCA is excited to have implemented many community-oriented services, from simple nail-trimming clinics to our pet food bank, feline low-cost spay neuter clinic, municipal stray dog housing, and community outreach and humane education programs to name just a few. Our generous supporters help us to keep expectations alive for so many companion animals despite receiving no federal, state, or county funding.
We are proud of our history and what we have become today, and we don’t plan on stopping here. With the help of those like you, we will continue to make change, make hope, and make legacies.