The North Country SPCA has opened the new Frances Miller Adoption Center at 7700 Route 9N in Elizabethtown. More than 1,000 people contributed to building the new shelter, according to Margaret Reuther who co-chaired the capital campaign.
The Miller Center (named for the mother of a donor), is expected to care for more than 400 homeless, abandoned, and abused cats and dogs each year. The new facility replaces the overcrowded, Westport shelter, which was built in the 1960s. It is the only animal shelter in Essex County; a dedication ceremony and open house is planned for mid-June.
A recent notice sent to the press described the new facility:
The adoption center houses up to 65 cats and 20 dogs in separate areas that have a mix of shared rooms and individual spaces. This no-kill shelter meets today’s standards for animal care, including comfortable and fun get-acquainted areas where people can spend time with a pet before adopting, plus separate rooms for new arrivals. The building, nestled on a beautiful, forested 18.5 acres, has an extensive network of walking paths. It is an inviting destination for potential adopters as well as pet-loving visitors in the region.
The energy-efficient building was designed by ARQ Architects, the small firm that designed the innovative shelters for the ASPCA headquarters in New York City and the San Francisco SPCA. The $1.6 million Miller Center was built by the Bread Loaf Corporation. They have worked with many non-profits throughout the area, including the Mars Education Center at Ft. Ticonderoga.
Area veterinarians shared their support for the new shelter. David Goldwasser, DVM at the Adirondack Veterinary Hospital, said, “People from all walks of life have given their time, money and expertise to this project. It is a fitting gift to the deserving dogs and cats of Essex County.” Sue Russell, DVM at the Westport Veterinary Hospital, said, “The 1960s building had outlived its usefulness. A new shelter was a necessity.” James Mack, DVM at the Ticonderoga Animal Hospital agreed, “A new shelter is a welcome addition to the North Country.”
The Miller Adoption Center is located on Route 9N, one mile west of Northway Exit 31 and three miles east of Elizabethtown. The new phone number is 518-873-5000, email is firstname.lastname@example.org and the website is www.ncspca.org. Shelter hours are Tuesday thru Friday & Sunday, 12:00-4:00, Saturday, 10:00-5:00. It is closed on Monday.
The North Country SPCA does not receive any state or federal funding. Town contracts and adoption fees account for less than 15 percent of the annual budget and private donations from area residents provide the other 85 percent.
Photos provided. Above, the exterior of the new shelter; middle, two cats in a cat “colony” room housing up to 10 cats; and below, “Trouble” looks out of his dog room.