Super Heroes in Ripped Jeans (SHIRJ), a grassroots non-profit organization run by and founded in Oneonta by Tara Butler that concentrates on helping people keep their pets to prevent as many animals as possible from ending up in the shelter and needing new homes has announced some very exciting news.

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After leasing a property on Whinny Hill Road in the Town of Oneonta, that property has gone up for sale with SHIRJ needing to find a new home. After an exhaustive area search, SHIRJ has found a property that suits the needs of an animal shelter, and the organization is in the process of purchasing a one-story building at 160 Pony Farm Road in Oneonta. The closing is expected in September and the hope is that SHIRJ can move into the new location as early as next spring.

The structure will ultimately need to be renovated first to best serve the animals temporarily housed there, so SHIRJ has set up a capital campaign fund for those renovations -  Super PAWSabilities Capital Campaign. The goal of the campaign is to raise $200,000 that will go toward renovations of the new shelter. Click here to contribute. The group is seeking additional renovation funding by applying for a $500,000 grant through the New York State-funded Companion Animal Capital Fund.

Below is a rendering of the new shelter from architects BBL Construction Services.

Credit: Super Heroes In Ripped Jeans, Facebook
Credit: Super Heroes In Ripped Jeans, Facebook

Volunteer Lisa Meschutt informed me that the shelter has struggled financially during the pandemic as the group was unable to hold public event fundraisers. There is one fundraising event coming up called PAWsome Pet Portraits this weekend, August 7 and 8 at Foothills Performing Arts Center, running 10 am to 4 pm both days. For $75, a professional photographer will take up to five protrait photos of your pet. Find out more on the PAWsome Pet Portraits Facebook event page.

SHIRJ also has a great need for volunteers to work at their thrift store on South Main St. in Oneonta. The thrift store helps the organization with much-needed funds to continue operating and during the COVID-19 pandemic, they've had a hard time finding volunteers. If interested in donating even two hours of your time on occasion, please contact Kristin at SHIRJ by calling (607) 437-1432 or you can email:

Follow news from Super Heroes In Ripped Jeans on their Facebook page and you can learn more about their mission and about adopting or fostering a pet at

You can also learn more about the new shelter on August 14 during our community affairs radio program, "This Week In Central New York" as I interview SHIRP volunteer Lisa Meschutt. That program will air from 7:00 am to 7:30 am.

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