Briarcliff Manor, NY – You can’t put a price on the love and happiness a pet can give you. But caring for adoptable animals takes money, as the SPCA of Westchester, one of the busiest and most renowned animal shelters in the County, will attest. In response to the shelter’s need to rebuild its aging facility, Senator Terrence Murphy is pleased to announce that the SPCA of Westchester will receive a $500,000 from the New York State Companion Animal Fund. The Westchester SPCA is one of 14 animal shelters and humane societies across New York State to receive a statewide grant initiative that is the first of its kind.

The SPCA offices on North State Road in Briarcliff Manor occupy the same land where the original shelter was established in the nineteenth century. Over time, the facilities have deteriorated and can no longer handle the increasing animal intake and the interaction with the community that takes place on a daily basis.

“The SPCA has been a temporary home for thousands of animals. The SPCA runs numerous programs such as their Golden Outreach Pet Therapy, a foster care component, the Simpson Clinic, and behavioral and enrichment programs that have literally opened doors for many animals that might have otherwise not been adopted,” said Senator Murphy. “I am proud to have helped provide the financial assistance that will assist the SPCA’s rebuilding efforts. Refurbishing the facilities will enhance the experience of the shelter and increase its efficiency.”

Shannon Laukhuf, Executive Director for the SPCA said, “This important and substantial gift from New York State will help us to make our dreams of a brand new facility a reality. Thank you, Senator Murphy, for your service to our wonderful County and for your shared vision of a humane world that is inclusive and compassionate.”

Ossining resident Mary Dusenberry founded the SPCA of Westchester in 1883 after she observed horses being mercilessly whipped and beaten as they trudged up nearby hills to deliver heavy loads of coal. Working with a group of caring friends, she obtained land on which to build the Society’s first home and established a fund to be used to prevent cruelty to animals. The SPCA is still located on the same spot, making it one of the oldest landholders in Briarcliff Manor.

The SPCA has evolved to become a leader in animal welfare by not only sheltering abandoned cats, dogs and horses, but by serving the greater Westchester community through proactive outreach, affordable alternatives for veterinary care and educational services. Today, the SPCA of Westchester is the only humane society in Westchester County empowered to enforce the laws of New York State relating to animal cruelty.

Each year the SPCA sponsors a Dog Walk and Pet Fair to benefit our four-legged friends. This year’s event will be held at Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park in Yorktown on May 5.