Sullivan County Democrat
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Democrat Photo by Dan Hust

THE SULLIVAN COUNTY SPCA’s recent canine birthday party featured, from the left, Marlene Zimmerman and Corona, Miss SC Teen Andrea Grastataro, Zoe and Mark Schulman, and Jackie and Janice Gentile and Misty. The SPCA put on the party to reunite the littermates and bring attention to the organization’s difficult plight.

Trio Celebrates a Truly
Happy Birthday

By Dan Hust
ROCK HILL — August 10, 2001 – Sully’s certainly come a long way.
In fact, the good-sized female Rottweiler mix isn’t even called Sully anymore – she’s now Zoe.
And except for a slight bump in her paw, it’s not at all evident that this one-year-old dog endured multiple surgeries to repair a broken paw after she was found abandoned last year alongside a road in Jeffersonville.
On Saturday, Zoe was the epitome of happy dogs everywhere, enjoying all the attention she was getting at the Sullivan County SPCA in Rock Hill.
And why not? It was her first birthday, after all.
Besides, two of her sisters were also present to celebrate their birthdays, and she was serving as a mascot of sorts for a worthy cause: the rescue of unwanted animals in a county plagued by strays.
“She is very lucky,” said Zoe’s new owner, Mark Schulman of Masten Lake, who adopted her from the SPCA after reading about her plight in a newspaper.
Schulman went one step further, however, in also paying hundreds of dollars for Zoe’s surgeries – something the SPCA wanted to do but could not.
“I think it’s marvelous,” remarked SPCA Vice-President Bonnie Swack. “We’re just very grateful to him.”
Schulman is just one of many people who adopt animals from the SPCA, but it’s very evident that many more needy animals than potential owners come into the aging 1961 building at 104 Rock Hill Drive.
In fact, right now there are 21 dogs and 34 cats (likely even more by the end of today) at the SPCA. Add a handful of volunteers (a few paid employees earn $6/hour) and a $14,000 annual budget from the county (Swack says minimum costs are ten times that), and there’s plenty to do but no one and no money to do it.
“The county doesn’t think it’s that important,” said SPCA Secretary Bess Davis bitterly. “They used to give us $60,000 [a year] in the ‘80s.”
So Zoe’s birthday party was conceived to serve the purpose of encouraging people to adopt animals, donate time and/or money, and remember to spay or neuter their pets, said Davis and Swack.
Yet it was not forgotten that Saturday was a time to be glad – for Zoe and her sisters, Corona and Misty.
Each dog (even the unadopted ones) got special doggie ice cream, but Zoe was the only one to get a crown, courtesy of Miss SC Teen Andrea Grastataro.
That apparently didn’t bother Corona and her owner, Marlene Zimmerman of Westfall, Pa.; or Misty and her owners, Janice and Jackie Gentile of Forestburgh.
“I’m happy! I think this is wonderful,” said Janice Gentile. “I just hope people will come to the SPCA.”
For more information, call the SPCA at 796-3120.

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