ITHACA, N.Y. –– The animals of the Tompkins County SPCA are in for a treat this holiday season.

Danby resident Jutta Locker and her daughter, Jessi, brought in over $2,000 of donated goods to the SPCA on Monday, including toys, food and various other pet supplies.

Locker has been bringing in large yearly donations annually, for over a decade. She’s a staunch advocate for philanthropy –– her motto is children, elderly and animals.

She believes it is the responsibility of everyone to “step up and help.”

Locker donates goods other times of the year as well –– she donated feral cat cages and toys over the summer. But her big donation is always around Christmas.

“You know, ’tis the season,” Locker said.

The SPCA has come to rely heavily on the donation.

“We have more than 2000 animals here a year. They need to be taken care of, and they need to be fed. If you’re a cat you need litter, if you’re a kitten you need kitten food…canned dog food, treats, toys –– all of the above Jutta helps us with,” said Lynne Conway, volunteer and philanthropic programs manager for the SPCA of Tompkins County.

Some shelter puppies at Tompkins County SPCA

Conway said whatever volunteers donate, is one less item the SPCA needs to purchase out of pocket. “It’s a tremendous help to us because then we can redirect that money straight into the veterinarian medical care for the animals,” she said. 

The Tompkins County SPCA caters mostly to dogs and cats, and Locker’s donation came mostly in the form of canned food, dog biscuits and kitty litter. However, in November, over 300 rodents were found abandoned on the side of the road in Tompkins County and were taken into the TCSPCA for treatment and adoption.

Locker was thoughtful enough to add guinea pig bedding to her donation this year.

Locker has every intention of keeping her donations going for years to come. “We have no intention of ever stopping,” she said. “I wouldn’t want somebody to count on this happening and then it just stops. I don’t see a reason that it should.”

Her daughter Jessi, home from college for the holidays and to help her mom with the donation, shares her mother’s passion

Jutta and her daughter Jessi

“Most definitely I’ll continue on the tradition that my mom has done,” she said. “And then I’ll continue the tradition with my future children.”

Anyone interested in donating can drop off food and supplies to the SPCA during their regular operating hours. They’re open Friday through Monday, from noon to 5 p.m. and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 7 p.m.

There is a wishlist for items that are in special need on the SPCA website.

Photos courtesy of Lynne Conway.

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at