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Oneonta Bus Lines announces collection on behalf of animal rescue group

This spring, animal lovers can drop off donations of much needed pet supplies at Oneonta Bus Lines/Eastern Travel and receive the gift of travel in return.

“Dry cat food, dog and cat toys, cat litter, and pet beds are among the items we are collecting on behalf of Super Heroes in Ripped Jeans,” said OBL/ET General Manager Peggy M. Bush. “For their generosity, donors will be able to select a gift certificate at random in denominations ranging from $5.00 to $20.00 and will become eligible to win a $100.00 gift certificate.”

SHiRJ is a 100 percent volunteer-run program formed in September of 2017 and incorporated as a non-profit in February of this year. The organization’s mission is to improve the lives of animals and their caretakers.

“We do this by means of low cost spay/neuter, free trap-neuter-vaccinate-return (TNvR) for feral cats, a pet food pantry for struggling caretakers, and assistance with emergency medical costs,” said SHiRJ Founder and Board President Terra Butler. “It’s our goal to keep animals in their homes with families that love them and out of our shelters. By the end of this month, we will have made spay/neuter possible for 500 animals.”

Butler formed SHiRJ after her years of working in local animal shelters revealed a huge need for assistance with spay and neuter, emergency services, and routine needs (food, flea medication, etc.) for feral cats and low-income families with pets requiring care.

Located at 697 Winney Hill Road in Oneonta, SHiRJ is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Wednesday (closed occasionally for spay clinics). SHiRJ is currently caring for 60 adoptable animals, with another 34 becoming available as they are well enough and/or old enough.

There are adoptable animals at the Winney Hill facility, Butler explained, but the bulk of their animals are dispersed in foster homes. The adoption fee is $40.00 for cats and $75.00 for dogs.

“We have a number of special needs animals available for adoption,” she continued. “We work with local shelters, other rescue groups and veterinary offices to try to save those that are most vulnerable. Many of the animals in our program would have been euthanized had we not stepped up. And, through our outreach work, we also rescue cats and dogs, the occasional rabbit, and other critters that likely would have died without our intervention.”

According to Butler, SHiRJ’s special needs animals include dogs with behavior quirks, FIV/FeLV+ cats and “seniors.”

“If you are truly looking to save an animal that probably hasn’t had an easy past, give us a call at 607-441-3227,” Butler urged. “The more that are adopted out, the more we can help.”

The full “wish list” of supplies currently being collected at OBL/ET is: dry cat food, cat litter, flea medication (any brand), cat and dog toys, bleach, laundry detergent, 39-gallon garbage bags, paper towels, and pet beds.

Items from this list can be dropped off weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the OBL/ET offices at 41 Orchard Street, Oneonta.

“Donations are not tax deductible yet,” Butler explained, “but we are vigilantly working toward obtaining 501(c)3 tax-exempt status. When that happens, donations from 2/14/18 on will retroactively become tax deductible.”

Established in 1947, Oneonta Bus Lines is Oneonta’s full service motorcoach company, offering charters and retail tours. Oneonta Bus Lines and its subsidiary, Eastern Travel, are owned and operated by the Hilts family since 1993. For a charter quote, or to view this year’s current tour schedule, visit www.easterntrav.com or call 607-432-4040 for more information.


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