COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- Susquehanna SPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes thought the shelter made it through the Halloween floods unscathed -- until that terrifying phone call from their grounds person, 6:43 a.m. the next morning.
"In my PJs, jumped in the car and came in and pulled in and I could clearly see that we were flooding and there was water in a building with animals," said Haynes.
The only thing more terrifying than the unknown, was what she actually faced when she arrived at the shelter. A non-stop alarm going off, the incessant barking of terrified dogs, and she faced it all alone.
"That day there was no cell phone service, so when I left my house, I was gonna call everybody, all my staff, so my phone wasn't working, I could not get a hold of anyone, so when I got here, I was alone, and nobody knew we were flooded," she said.
Then, a guardian angel drove up to the shelter.
"A security guard who works for Bassett, saw me, pulled in and said, 'Do you need help?' and I said 'yes.' He ran with me into the buildilng with water, helped me move dogs he had never met before, in the dark, over here to this main kennel," said Haynes.
Fortunately, the flood waters receded quickly. The animals were moved to the other kennel, fed, warmed up and spoiled with lots of love. The flood highlighted the need for the shelter's new facility, just about a mile up the road, away from the creek that runs perilously close to their current building. Bids for the new building go out in January, construction is planned to begin in March, and they hope to bein their new building by the end of next year.
"It's gonna be about a $5 million project. We've raised a little over $3 million at this point," says Haynes. "We believe that where we are, the people who care, the people who see where we are, will make it happen."