Us vs. Them

Who adopts out more animals? Who has the bigger and better fundraisers? Who has more volunteers?  Who gets the best animals?  Who has more money?

Food donation to Halfway Home: Rescued City Kitties of Binghamton

These are not questions that should be asked when working in animal rescue.  It’s not us versus them.   It is not Southern Tier Animal Rescue vs. The Humane Society, or Little Mews or Halfway Home Rescued City Kitties of Binghamton.   A big part of our mission is to work with other rescues not against them.  We need to support each other because we are all working towards the same goal: finding displaced animals their forever homes and building happy, healthy families.



Cindy with Oliver

STAR has worked with Little Mews Rescue in Oxford to help hand raise some kittens who were abandoned by their mother.  Almost 1 year later they are thriving in their new homes.   Summer saw us support the Humane Society by going to their Duck Derby that was a big success.   This past September I had the joy of donating my time with Jimmy J’s Avian Rescue and visiting a nursing home.  It was great fun and I learned a lot about the birds.  (Plus I got my Oliver fix …who could resist that handsome boy?)

Earlier this year,  I was contacted by Heart of Niagara Animal Rescue located in Amherst, NY.  A local woman was interested in adopting a yorkie from them.  Since it was too far for Heart of Niagara to come down and do a home visit they contacted us asking if we would be willing to do so.  Wendy and I jumped at the chance.  We did the home visit and reported back to them that she would make an excellent adopter.  It was not our rescue, or our animals, but we were happy to assist in the process that could help an animal in need find a home.

I have also decided to lend a hand with adoptions events for Halfway Homes:Rescued City Kitties of Binghamton.  Wendy, who graciously donates her time to both rescues allows me to tag along.  It is always a wonderful time. I have met some great people doing great work.  I have learned a lot from them and certainly certainly always enjoy being with the kitties.

Food donation from STAR to Jimmy J’s Avian Rescue Center

Rescues supporting rescues.  Learning from each other, helping each other, swapping stories (from the ridiculous to the vital) and keeping the mission alive is what is important.   Reaching out to all members of the rescue community to continue the goal of helping  animals till they all have a home.   -Cindy

STAR Volunteer Cat with a Jimmy J bird, helping at an event



Michael Barrett,  VP of Grants Management for the ASPCA wrote:

“The bond between pets and humans goes way beyond the simple obligation and affection.  Very often,  things that affect one invariably and profoundly affect the other.”

This is true for fostering.  There are so many reasons why you should foster, and to offer a bit of perspective I asked friends three reasons why they foster.

Christy from Missouri wrote:

“My number one reason would be to save their lives.  Normally the ones I foster are from high kill shelters.  Second, I get to find the perfect forever home that I believe is the best fit.  Third, I can choose to foster a big dog, little dog, a puppy, a senior dog, long term or short term- it’s flexible.”

Wendy one our seasoned fosters and cat wranglers says:

“First, It’s fun. When fostering kittens, you will laugh out loud at least once a day, guaranteed. Second, it’s heartwarming. Watching a cat you have fostered go to its forever home is priceless. Third, it’s rewarding. You are making a genuine difference in another life. How often in your day-to-day routine do you get to do that? With fostering, you are doing it every day (I could keep going on…)

From Katelyn, part of one of the great families that work with us, chimes in with these wise words:

“My name is Katelyn and I am 10 years old. I think that fostering is great! You get to spend time with cats you like.  If you’re looking for a cat that fits you, it’s good to “try out” cats for a few weeks. Then you might be able to adopt a cat more easily. Also, I think that it’s a good idea for the cats too. Cats at adoption centers can get depressed.  When they go to a new environment with new toys and people, it can make them feel better. My family has fostered cats a few times, and even though it is hard to bring them to be adopted and not have them in our house anymore, it makes me feel good to know that I helped each cat get used to people so it can find a forever home.”  Fostering is a family affair.

The bottom line is that fostering buys an animal time.  Wherever an animal comes from (high kill shelter, abandoned on the streets, or surrendered) fostering gives that cat, dog, ferret or any other animal a new chance at life.  If an animal has graced your life won’t you pay it forward by fostering for us?  We are in desperate need of fosters.  The more fosters we have the more lives we can save.   If interested please let us know.  It’s a rewarding experience you will never forget.




Even the Slithery Ones Get Adopted!

Usually it is the cute and fuzzy that find homes first. But this time the snakes got their happy ending. Persephone and Thanatos (renamed Penelope and Calliope) are being enthusiastically spoiled by their new companions, two very pleased young girls.



First they came over to get comfortable with handling two adult-sized ball            pythons. It was love at first sight and they were hooked. I am told they are fascinated with the feel of how the muscles work as the snakes move.


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And now…well, the snakes pretty much get carried about everywhere. Not a bad gig if you can get it!

I am, honestly, ecstatic to find young girls as excited about reptiles as I am, and for them to have such supportive parents. I continue to wander over regularly to teach them the finer points of snake feeding and to answer questions along the lines of “tank too cold?”- a fun learning experience for everyone.

Even if the snake cage does take up the better part of one girl’s bedroom.



It’s Official!

It is with huge grins across the board that we want to announce that as of today, Southern Tier Animal Rescue Network is officially a tax exempt charity.  Now that we can officially fund raise, expect much more activity, both here on the blog and around the community!



Do not look up!  You might get hit in the head with a golf ball like I did when I was a kid at the BC Open with my Dad.  Yep, true story I got hit in the head with a golf ball that Lee Trevino hit on the 9th hole. He shanked it.  Dad by the way was more interested in getting Chi Chi’s autograph (which he didn’t) than my close encounter with a golf ball.  Thanks for the memory Dad.

What does golf have to do with an animal rescue?  I know it seems like a stretch but hang in there with me.  It has to do with fundraising.

At Life Long Tails, I was fortunate enough to work with our STAR Vice President Jesse Cotcamp.  In STAR one of the many talents she brings to the table is her incredible skill when it comes to fundraising.  I cannot wait to see what she has in store for us, as we work towards our official nonprofit status (about which we should hear back from the IRS very soon. I am rubbing the cat’s belly for good luck as I type this).


Last year Southern Tier Animal Rescue Network became a part of BCC Charities, the fundraising arm of the Dicks Sporting Goods Open.  They were very generous with their donation, and eager to support a new rescue.  We ran their store for them and helped raise a great deal of money.  It was a great way to give back to the community and be part of the charities. We had a great time.

We are back this year, from August 12-18 and our volunteers are very excited to be a part of it.  I will be heading over to Enjoie to set up on Monday August 12.  I am eager to see what merchandise they have for us- I know they will have hats, T-shirts, chairs and all sorts of good stuff.   We will be ready for business on Wednesday August 14. Our goal is to sell out the store!  With your help, we can get it done!  We will even be open during the Tim McGraw concert.

We will also have volunteers who will be Marshaling holes on various days- running crowd control and making sure things run smoothly for the athletes.  Thanks to Dave Baker for setting this up.

There is still time to volunteer if you are interested. Come enjoy some great golf, the concert, and Wendy’s Walk for Kids.  It is not just an event for those who love golf.  Help support another great cause.  Remember to pick up a hat or chair to help support BCC charities. Click on the DSG Open link for more information:

Thanks to entire Open Staff.  You are such brave folks for putting up with us!  We are super excited and we can’t wait to see all of you there!  Here’s to a great week of golf!

Meet Hitch and Little One!


Meet Hitch. Hitch gained his name by being found after ‘hitching’ a ride in the engine of the car belonging to one of our volunteers.

After being socialized in his new foster home, Hitch has become very cuddly and friendly. He even loves to sit on laps for pets and hugs. He is very playful with toys, is litter box trained and will be great for anyone at this point.

If you are interested in adopting Hitch, please contact Cindy at

Little One

Also introducing Little One.  Little one is a frisky and adorable little fellow.  We are still teaching him that hands are NOT play toys, but he is getting the hang of it.  He is very playful, loves toys and is litter box trained.

If you are interested in adopting Little One, please contact Cindy at

 Both kittens are currently in foster care and ready for adoption! Please contact Cindy if you would like to meet them, or would like more information.


YerviMeet Yervi, an 8 year old, long-haired, declawed male. He is neutered and up to date on his shots.

Yervi needs a good home where he will be the center of attention. His owner has been traveling a great deal for work, leaving Yervi left to his own devices and lonely much of the time.

If you need more information or you think you might be the home for Yervi please contact Cindy at


Meet Angelica



Meet Angelica! She is 3 years old, very sweet while still being very independent and looking for a home.

She would be great for an experienced cat owner who is willing to spend time with her, to be patient and let her get to know you. She is playful and loving but enjoys human interaction on her own terms.

Angelica is currently in foster care. If you would like to meet her, please contact Cindy at to arrange a visit!

Persephone and Thanatos


Persephone and Thanatos are adult ball pythons that were, surrendered to us a few months ago. They are eating well, shed easily, and have good body mass. I am the snake person of the rescue, and I can happily say they are even tempered and very used to being handled.

Interested in more information about Persephone and Thanatos? Please feel free to fill out the form below!



Introduction- Cindy Began

CindyCynthia Began is our Director of Felines as well as our Board Secretary.  A highly organized and efficient person, Cindy comes to us with a wealth of experience.  For the past two years she has been Director of all things feline for Life Long Tails Rescue.  Under her direction, the feline side made huge strides in sending over 150 cats and kittens home- all of which had been micro chipped as well as spayed and neutered.  She was responsible for overseeing the adoption center at Pet Smart and supervising volunteers.  She  did a local news interview that brought attention to cats that had been rescued from the 2011 flood, the importance of being prepared and what it means to work in rescue.  This was a great success and the applications poured in.

Cindy also comes to us with a wealth of PR experience and networking skills.  It was her ability to think outside the box that enabled Life Long Tails and now Southern Tier Animal Rescue to work with the Dicks Sporting Goods Open.  Because of that we are happy to announce that STAR has become an official part of Broome County Charities.  One wouldn’t have thought that  donating one day of volunteering at a golf tournament would lead to such a thing, but through Cindy’s tenaciousness (she’s really stubborn) it did.  Her ability to talk to anyone and we mean ANYONE is a great asset. She knows just about everyone in the community and that is a great help when trying to figure out who we need to contact.

As Director of all things feline with STAR, she hopes to continue the great work she started in Life Long Tails.  By constantly reaching out and  talking to people about cats, working with other rescues, and saving/improving the lives of not only animals but families she turns her dedication to this endeavor. It is her motto and passion “Till they all have a home” be it a cat, dog, ferret or mouse.  The more education the better.   Look for her blogs in the near future.