OLEAN, NY -- The SPCA in Cattaraugus County will conduct its annual pizza sale Sunday, 11 a.m.- 2 p.m., so it can "Raise the Woof."
The pizza sale, part of an on-going fundraising campaign, will be at the Pulaski Club of Olean Inc., 1104 N. Union St. Plain cheese and cheese-and-pepperoni pizzas will be available for purchase and pickup. The pizzas, freshly made and ready for the freezer or oven, cost $8.
Though pizzas should be preordered by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, a surplus will be available for purchase on site.
"They're awesome pizzas," said SPCA shelter manager Jennifer Panepinto. "They're delicious."
Proceeds of the fundraiser will benefit the 33-year-old shelter, located on Route 16.
The "Raise the Woof" campaign's initial goal of $250,000 has been broken up into phases because of the magnitude of its costs. Phases 1 and 2 dealt with repairing the shelter's leaky roof and installing proper insulation for the building and have been successfully completed.
The third phase deals with acquiring a new ventilation system. Panepinto explained that because the shelter is home to so many animals, the ventilation system is sorely needed.
"Right now, the air in here just sits stagnant," Panepinto said.
Among the 68 dog kennels available, 38 are currently filled. A staff member who gave his first name as Joe noted that 99 percent of those dogs are strays.
"We have about 200 cats now," Joe added. "We've had over 300 here before, but certainly we don't want very many more."
The pizza sale has been "hugely successful" in the past. Still, as Panepinto noted, the shelter struggles with operating expenses.
"We have so many fundraisers and donations to help with spaying and neutering or specific causes," Panepinto said. "But we could always use help with operating expenses. We have animals with special needs. Some animals can only eat grain-free foods or need maintenance medications. We pay a lot of vet bills."
The shelter is also home to several "lifers," which Joe defined as animals who may come into the shelter very young and are never adopted for various reasons. Some are extremely shy or made anxious by strangers. Others become aggressive in pent-up spaces. Still others are incompatible with children and other animals. All of these factors can make adoption very difficult.
"We're always going to be needy," Panepinto said. "We're a shelter.”
She added, “But actually, the community has been very good to us."