SPCA ACCEPTED INTO ‘WE FOSTER CHALLENGE!’

May 13, 2022
By: SPCA Vice President of Veterinary Services Melanie Rushforth

The SPCA Serving Erie County has been accepted into the Maddie’s Fund We Foster Challenge! 

The We Foster Challenge is meant to help shelter and rescue organizations create or expand community-based foster programs that will get community members involved and proudly saying, “We foster! So can you!” As we shift towards a more community-centric model of animal welfare, it’s important to get everyone in the Western NY area involved. After all, fostering is a job just about anyone can do.  Pet owners know the incredible bond that humans and animals have and the importance of keeping families together. Foster care is a powerful way to achieve that. That’s what the We Foster Challenge is all about!

SPIRIT is a Shadow Cat currently in a foster home. He’s made great progress in the home, and his foster mom Erica reports that he approaches her now when she holds a brush so he can take control of his own grooming.

Throughout the month of May, the SPCA Serving Erie County will be highlighting Shadow Cats as our We Foster Challenge project. Shadow Cats is a new initiative which works to meet shy or fearful cats where they are behaviorally to assist them in navigating the journey to becoming adoptable pets living out the rest of their lives in long-term homes.  We are seeing a positive response regarding the acceptance of these shy cats just the way they are, so we are expanding the adoption opportunities and housing of these cats to colony settings within the SPCA’s physical shelter as well.  While some Shadow Cats need to get out of the shelter to showcase their personalities, some are best kept with their buddies in the colony rooms that we have in our modern shelter.  We let the cats help us understand what they need.

SMOOCHIE was the first cat identified as a Shadow Cat. She is the “poster child” for the prestigious title, and serves as the spokeskitty! Her foster mom sent this photo and described the progress she is making in her home. Smoochie is still shy and prefers the shadows of her home, but she does come out to play, and follows foster mom around during meal time, and even approaches her for pets. Smoochie is available for adoption from foster mom’s home.

Shadow Cats are the best friend you don’t yet have.  They are quiet, stealth, and maybe just need a little extra time to acclimate into your home before they settle into being a lap cat.  Or perhaps they’ll remain the quiet and polite roommate that is grateful for your companionship and company….from a distance.  Shadow Cats offer the benefit of companionship without the burden of constant attention.  They’re great pets for individuals that work from home, or individuals who might work nontraditional shifts.  They’d be great roommates in apartments (they don’t need too much space!)

Pets are like people in so many ways, so why wouldn’t some of them be a little shyer than others?

This exciting Challenge is funded by Michelson Found Animals Foundation, Maddie’s Fund® and Cuddly in collaboration with Adopt-A-Pet.com, Adoptimize, American Pets Alive!, ASPCA, The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement, Best Friends Animal Society, Companions and Animals for Reform and Equity (CARE), Community Cats Podcast, Greater Good Charities, HeARTS Speak, Humane Society of the United States, National Animal Care and Control Association, Petco Love, and PetSmart Charities.  We are so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this important shift in the work of animal welfare.

Want to get involved with fostering (or even adopting) your own Shadow Cat?  Please contact the SPCA Serving Erie County’s Foster Care Department via email at FosterCare@YourSPCA.org.

 

 

 

Open interviews May 12 will include the following positions*: 
Animal Care
Adoptions Counselor
Facilities Attendant
Humane Educator
Seasonal Camp Counselor 
Veterinary Assistant

*This list is regularly updated; please check back for additional positions listed. There are other employment opportunities at the SPCA that may not be interviewed for on Thursday; to see all openings including those that will be interviewed for May 12, please click here >>

See this story on Newsradio930 WBEN >>

See this story on WGRZ-TV >>

See this story on WKBW-TV >>

See this story on Buffalo Scoop >>

 

Mental Health Awareness Month, and How Animals Make a Difference

May 3, 2022
By: SPCA Vice President of Veterinary Services Melanie Rushforth

Most of us don’t need a scientist or a formal study to tell us that spending time with dogs and cats makes us feel better. Those big eyes and the wagging tail that greet you at the door after a stressful day can immediately help one feel calmer. Perhaps it is the companionship, or the shared activity, or even the sense of community that comes from pet ownership.  Pet owners know from experience, but research confirms that spending time with a pet can help reduce depression, anxiety, and loneliness. There is a lot of pertinent data and research being done about ways pets make our lives better.  Should you want to research this further, you can learn more by visiting the Human Animal Bond Research Institute

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, the SPCA Serving Erie County would like to offer a few opportunities throughout this month of May as well as some ideas to help you connect with animals and get a little oxytocin boost!

Adopt a Pet

If you’ve been thinking about adding a new furry family member to your life, there couldn’t be a better time! The SPCA Serving Erie County has a wide range of pets with different personalities to fit different lifestyles. Visit our shelter (or one of our offsite locations) today and see if your new best friend is waiting for you. As with any long-term commitment by adopting a pet you are committing to many years of companionship and care.  Currently, the SPCA Serving Erie County is offering a “Name your Own Price” special through the 21st of May.  While pets are priceless in our opinion, we want to sweeten the deal of their companionship with this promotion.  Adopting a pet can impact one’s mental healthy positively in a variety of ways.

Volunteer

New research is suggesting that volunteers aren’t just helping the communities they serve. People who volunteer actually experience a boost in their mental health.  There are a variety of ways to volunteer as a representative of the SPCA Serving Erie County.  You can check out the different opportunities HERE and decide what works best for you.  If cuddling kittens is considered volunteering, then sign me up!  (It actually is, BTW).

Foster

Fostering pets reduces stress and improves your mental health. Animals add so much love, joy, and satisfaction to your days that it’s much more of a reward than a demand. When a shy cat finally comes out of hiding to snuggle, or a weak kitten starts to gain weight, or a stressed-out dog relaxes and plays happily, it’s like the sun coming out from behind a cloud and brightening the day. Fostering allows for some decompression on both ends of the leash, because the humans behind this noble work benefit as much as the animals needing that precious extra time.  Knowing you’re saving a life is a boost that can’t be matched.

Almost 20% of American adults—nearly 50 million Americans currently experience mental illness, and many of them suffer in silence because of the stigmas associated with mental illness and mental disorders.  Mental health is health and deserves to be put on the forefront just like the other illnesses that are recognized throughout the year. The more it is discussed, the less stigmatized and the more normalized it becomes.  Animal welfare is profoundly compassionate, and the impact on the lives of humans in this work is great.  The SPCA Serving Erie County is proud to invest in supporting the mental health of our team, and would be honored to have a small role in improving the mental health of our shared community via the unconditional love of an animal.


MelanieR@yourspca.org
(716) 875-7360

This Month’s Vets and Pets, and the Effect of Animals on the Lives of Veterans

An open letter from the SPCA’s Melanie Rushforth

May 1, 2022

Dear Fellow Veterans of Erie County (and beyond!),

First, thank you for your service!

Second, as a small token of appreciation for the service dedicated to this country we share, the SPCA Serving Erie County wants to invite the community at large to spread the word about an incredible promotion happening.  Between May 23rd and May 30th, the SPCA Serving Erie County is waiving adoption fees on most animals for individuals and immediate families of individuals on active duty, reserves, and honorable discharge, along with service-disabled veterans and those retired from military service.  This special offer for these special humans applies at our Harlem Rd location and multiple offsite locations.

As a veteran myself, of the US Army, I know firsthand the benefits of pet companionship.  My pets have seen me off on an overseas deployment and greeted me with unbridled enthusiasm upon my return(s) home.  The comfort of a pet is unlike anything else.  From a scientific standpoint, interacting with animals has been shown to decrease levels of cortisol (a stress-related hormone) and lower blood pressure. Some studies have even found that animals can reduce loneliness, increase feelings of social support, and boost your mood.  Pets offer a sense of community and a safe haven in a world that sometimes just doesn’t make sense all the time.

People may often hear military troops refer to each other as brothers or sisters. The military creates a structure of shared work and deepens relationships through tough times.  After leaving the military, or even transitioning from active duty to the reserves, a veteran might find this part of their life lacking. There aren’t always built-in friendships in a new workplace or neighborhood. For single veterans, it could feel as though no one needs their presence to survive.

A furry friend can provide friendship and love, plus a reason to get out of bed every day. Our pets are entirely dependent on us to survive.  Pets are there 100% of the time. Dogs and cats are ready for snuggles, long conversations and play time. Many dogs, and even some cats, enjoy going for walks with their humans. Relationships and bonds are formed and deepen over time.

This promotion wouldn’t be available without the support of longtime friend and supporter of the SPCA, Nancy Gacioch of Buffalo.

If you have a former service-member in your life, please encourage them to take advantage of this Pets for Vets celebration.  The SPCA Serving Erie County is currently beyond capacity with animals that need loving homes.  They would be honored to share their lives and love with an area veteran.

Thank you for your support of the work of the SPCA Serving Erie County and for your service.

-Melanie Rushforth, SPCA Vice President of Veterinary Services
United States Army



Veterans Day Reflections From the SPCA’s Melanie Rushforth

Veterans Day 2021 — After almost 30 years of holding a role that serves the public in some way, I’m never without gratitude. I began my social service career following military service, and while the two may seem quite different, they are actually more similar than not.  These days I wake up and look forward to the moments and challenges that come with being the Vice President of Veterinary Services at the SPCA Serving Erie County, and around Veterans Day I tend to lean heavily towards reflection. This year, I thought I’d share a few thoughts on what being a veteran off of the battlefield looks like through my eyes.

November 11, formally celebrated as Armistice Day, has been known as Veterans Day since 1954 when it was renamed. Veterans Day officially marks the anniversary of the end of World War I in 1918 and honors those who served in the armed forces.

To those who served, and for those who love the men and women who have served, Veterans Day is more than just a holiday, and for some (myself included) it is a time of reflection on years of service and the impact that service has on the work in which we are involved now.  The ongoing pandemic may be fostering an environment in which resilience is front and center, but this year seemed to call for a written reflection on the ways in which my military service shows up in my work as an animal welfare professional.  Dogs and cats are very different than tanks and battlefields, yes.  But the basics of teamwork, trust, and training span across different industries where veterans may find themselves serving in a different capacity.

As a United States Army veteran, I’m proud of my service.  It was never easy, but it was always meaningful.  I could probably apply that statement to my work in animal welfare, especially as animal welfare has shifted over time to serve whole communities and commit to tackle issues from a social justice approach, versus simply treating the symptoms over and over.  My time in service shows up on a daily basis with regards to the value I place in people, and the trust we need to have with one another to do good work in an effort to really make lasting change.

Veterans bring a sense of resourcefulness, boldness, and leadership that is often not replicated in employees with civilian backgrounds. They’ve been faced with the challenge of getting a job done without access to the resources that would ideally be available.  This resourcefulness is a highly-desirable employee trait within the nonprofit sector, since it is always trying to grow, adapt, and meet the needs of people and animals with limited resources at hand. Veterans also bring a sharp ability to stick through difficult tasks and see them through to completion.

The military cultivates many traits that serve well in business and community service. It champions collaboration, innovation, and problem-solving. Innovation shows up because of people having to think on their feet. There were many circumstances where no one knew what was around the corner, or what challenge would arise, but a standing belief that runs deep in the military is that ‘there is always a way.’ When it comes to executing a mission, there’s a strong adherence to relying heavily on the collective creativity of the team to get the job done.  Teamwork truly does make the dream work.

The military produces individuals with uncanny adaptive thinking and a capacity and passion for continuing to learn. This learning environment focuses on personal development, as well as training and developing subordinates and peers. This acts as a force multiplier when a veteran is added to the staff of any organization, whether for-profit or nonprofit. Veterans work to develop a crew that can perform well together rather than focusing on the individual. This commitment to a greater cause becomes an ingrained culture that can improve the work habits of the entire team.

For fellow veterans, I thank you for your service.  For the loved ones of fellow veterans, I thank you for your support, trust, and commitment.  In the community where we all intersect, I invite us all to continue to find ways to collaborate, grow, and strengthen the bonds that truly unite us.  We are stronger together.

— Melanie Rushforth, SPCA Serving Erie County Vice President of Veterinary Services and former member of the United States Army

March is Pet Poison Awareness Month
By Melanie Rushforth, Vice President of Veterinary Services

The month of March is designated as Pet Poison Awareness Month. It was established to help raise awareness and prevent illness and injuries for pets. Realistically, we need to focus on poison prevention all year long as veterinary professionals treat cats and dogs year-round for this type of emergency. The veterinary industry is still experiencing staffing shortages nationwide, and taking some simple precautions could save you, and your pet, the stress of hours-long waits at crowded emergency clinics.

Pets may become very ill after ingesting many common household foods, products, and plants; a thorough inspection of your home, to include outdoor patios and gardens, can help reduce the risk. Instinctively, pets are curious creatures (you’ve probably heard that age-old phrase about curiosity and cats) and if a partially empty container with cleaner, alcohol, or medication is left out, your pet may view it as a toy to be inspected, knocked around, played with and likely ingested. It’s not hard to imagine that when a spilled toxic fluid gets on a cat’s paw, she will clean herself with her tongue, ingesting something harmful. Unfortunately, with our pet’s smaller bodies and weight, just a small amount could be fatal.

Some poisons will result in an immediate reaction for your pet while others may take several days to manifest symptoms. While there is not one set of exact symptoms to indicate a pet has been poisoned, there are some general symptoms to look for, including:

– Drooling, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea

– Lethargy, weakness

– Pale or yellowish gums

– Excessive thirst or urination

– Nervousness, hyperactivity, muscle tremors, seizures, coma

If you witness your pet ingesting something the pet should not be, please gather up the materials involved. When seeking veterinary care, bring the product’s container with you as this can be helpful for veterinary professionals treating your pet.

Medications, cleaning products, oil or gasoline spills are easy to assume as toxic materials to keep away from pets and children. However, things like chocolate, raisins, glowsticks, and paint are things that don’t seem as obvious, but can be deadly if ingested. The ASPCA maintains a comprehensive list of foods, household products and plants known to cause problems to pets. That list can be found here.

Undoubtedly, pet parents want our pets around for as long as possible. Work poison prevention into your spring-cleaning ritual to make sure your four-legged friends aren’t at risk of any kind of accidental ingestion. They will repay the favor with kisses and wags and all the slow blinks we can handle.

Click on the image below to read this excellent article about the struggles currently being faced by our nation’s veterinarians:

NO BONES ABOUT IT…KEEP PETS SAFE THIS THANKSGIVING

November 18, 2021
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

Yes, Thanksgiving 2020 & 2021 have looked  very different than in years past. No matter how small the celebrations, however, many people are still planning on preparing holiday meals, and those delicious smells are enough to drive any four-legged critter into a food frenzy.  The SPCA Serving Erie County has issued these holiday reminders to keep your pets safe, slim, and trim:

HUNGRY PETS: Too many holiday treats won’t only pack the pounds on us…they’ll pack them on our pets. Many pets are on standard, limited diets; feeding them large quantities of food they don’t normally receive could cause abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, none of which are welcome during this festive holiday…or at any other time, for that matter. Use discretion. Turkey bones are also dangerous for pets. A brittle, spiky bone could cause irritation of the stomach or intestines, or could lodge in your pet’s esophagus.
NOTE: Dogs eating foods to which they’re not accustomed may experience BLOAT, a life-threatening condition. Dogs experiencing bloat may have difficulty breathing, may appear weak and/or depressed, may attempt to vomit but cannot, and/or may appear to be extremely uncomfortable for no apparent reason. If your pet exhibits signs of bloat, bring him to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Speak with your veterinarian for more information on this condition.

NO BREAD FOR BARNEY:  Think twice before leaving that homemade bread dough atop the oven to rise. According to the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center, when bread dough is ingested, an animal’s body heat causes the dough to rise in the stomach. As alcohol is produced during the rising process, the dough expands. Pets who have eaten bread dough may experience abdominal pain, vomiting, disorientation and depression.

PEANUT BUTTER WARNING: Using peanut butter as a holiday treat for your pet? Remember to check the label! Xylitol is a sugar substitute now added to some peanut butters, along with other foods and candies. It’s safe for most humans, but deadly to pets, even in small quantities!  Be sure to check labels for Xylitol or other ingredients that could be dangerous for your pet. It’s also a bad idea to give any animal caffeine-laced peanut butter or other foods; serious health problems could ensue.


GARBAGE PICKERS?
  Some animals patiently wait for the chance to pick through the garbage when you’re not around. Aluminum foils with juices, plastic wraps with frostings, even tasty strings from tying turkeys…well, the temptation can just be too much for your deprived pets. Keep your garbage bags away from where pets can chew through them to get to the goods. Ingestion of these items can be life-threatening.

SWEET TEMPTATIONS: CHOCOLATE CAN BE FATAL TO PETS!  Chocolate contains a substance called Theobromine, a compound very similar to caffeine in structure. Theobromine can be toxic to dogs and cats in small quantities, causing vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, seizures, rapid and irregular heartbeats, muscle tremors, coma, even death. Keep chocolate safely away from all animals.

POTPOURRI PROBLEMS:  Of course we want our homes to smell nice when guests arrive…but be mindful that liquid and other types of potpourri, especially sprinkled into rugs, along with many scented essential candles and oils are toxic to dogs, cats, even birds and other animals.

With changes to the veterinary industry, seeking timely medical care for your pet, especially on a holiday, can prove itself to be problematic. Pet owners are advised to take every preventative measure possible to eliminate the chance of animals requiring emergency veterinary care.

SPCA Treats Pet Owners to Tricks for Keeping Pets Safe This Halloween

October 18, 2021
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

WITH A FEW EXTRA PRECAUTIONS, PETS CAN HAVE A HAPPY HALLOWEEN TOO!

Halloween is meant to be fun for children of all ages, but according to the SPCA Serving Erie County, pets often experience the dark side of Halloween fun.  With extra precautions, seasonal problems can often be avoided:

-HUNGRY PETS:  CHOCOLATE CAN BE FATAL TO YOUR PET!  Please share this tip with children, who may be tempted to share their Halloween take with their best four-footed friends! The sweet smell of Halloween chocolate and other candy left by a door pleases pets, as do cookies and cakes served at Halloween parties. Sweets can cause diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain or worse.  Purchase Halloween treats made specifically for pets and keep the “people” treats away from where pets can reach them.


-PETS AS VICTIMS:
 
 Halloween is traditionally known for trick-or-treaters…and pranksters.  KEEP ALL PETS INSIDE on Halloween night, and the nights immediately preceding and following October 31.  This will prevent them from being stolen, teased, kicked, blinded by flashlights or abused in other ways.

-NERVOUS/TERRITORIAL PETS:  Constant door-knocking or doorbell-ringing may cause an extremely nervous pet to shake or tremble uncontrollably, or have an “accident” in the house.  Territorial pets may become aggressive at the sound of unfamiliar visitors.  Keep nervous or territorial pets distracted in another room with the door closed.

-CURIOUS PETS:  Keep pets away from costume-making areas, where sequins or buttons can be swallowed.  Scissors used for cutting patterns, or knives used for carving jack o’lanterns, can harm your pet.  Also remember to keep pets away from a candle-illuminated jack o’lantern.  Halloween has become a popular season for decorations as well.  Keep decorations out of your pet’s reach, or securely attached in place to prevent your pet from pulling the decorations down.  Swallowing a decorative object may cause intestinal problems and present a potential emergency.

-KEEP CURRENT ID ON PETS: Exuberant or nervous pets may bolt out doors opened for trick-or-treat candy handouts. Ensure they are wearing proper identification (even if they are microchipped) in case they become lost. Collars are available for purchase at the SPCA Petique, located at the 300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca shelter, and other pet supply shops. If you lose or find a pet, visit the SPCA’s Lost & Found page for tips on what to do next.

Contact the SPCA Serving Erie County with any questions or concerns: 716-875-7360.

SPCA’s ‘Name Your Own Price’ October Adoption Special >>

SPCA DOG ADOPTIONS REOPEN AFTER TEMPORARY PAUSE THIS MONTH

UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 21 — Dog adoptions will reopen today at the SPCA Serving Erie County.

This comes to us from SPCA Vice President of Veterinary Services Melanie Rushforth:

“Starting 9/21, the SPCA Serving Erie County will slowly reopen our canine adoption center to facilitate adoptions of the recovered or exposed and quarantined dogs to help reduce our population.

The SPCA Serving Erie County has recently seen multiple cases of complicated upper respiratory disease including life-threatening pneumonia.  Our testing so far identified Canine Pneumovirus as well as Canine Adenovirus 2 and Mycoplasma cynos on Idexx Respiratory PCR.  These dogs were all vaccinated on intake with a 5-way DHPP and an intranasal trivalent Bordetella vaccine.    With the assistance of Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at University of Florida we were able to obtain more information on this newer virus, and wanted to share as much information as possible in case this is running through the general population.

Canine Pneumovirus

-First identified in 2010
-Considered part of CIRD (Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex) “kennel cough” which also includes Bordetella, Canine Adenovirus, Canine parainfluenza
-Incubation period <1 week – avg 2 to 5 days
-ShedS <10 days and starts prior to visible clinical signs
-Recovery 1 to 2 weeks
-Isolation of cases is key to preventing additional cases – increases in cases are likely due to importation of dogs from higher density areas and overcrowding in shelter
-There is no vaccine nor likely to be one
-Treatment is symptomatic – treat for cough, secondary infections, pneumonia; most recover with minimal interventionWe treated our shelter dogs’ pneumonia cases with Baytril and Clavamox for 14 days, but Doxycycline seemed to help clear the Mycoplasma. Each dog in our care was quarantined for 10 days minimum to assess for symptoms.  Only one bulldog required in hospital IV fluid and antibiotic therapy as well as nebulization.

The SPCA Serving Erie County worked with local municipalities and foster homes to halt the physical intake of dogs on 9/9 when we identified multiple cases.  We have been diligently monitoring the situation, treating aggressively and no new pneumonia cases have been identified in more than a week.   We have rescheduled local dog surrenders due to this issue and will be prioritizing the local community needs before we consider bringing in transport dogs from other states.

Concerning cats, Panleukopenia is also currently going through the stray/public feline population at a significant rate.  We experienced an exposure situation in the shelter a few weeks back but were able to quickly identify and isolate.  Our cat adoption center is open and currently doing well.  We are being vigilant with intake testing for this disease to prevent exposures.  (Incidentally, ringworm has also been seen at increased rates in the stray/public population.) ”

In an effort to properly address the pneumonia affecting our shelter population, the SPCA consulted directly with Clinical Assistant Professor in Shelter Medicine and Director of the Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program Dr. Cynda Crawford at the University of Florida. Dr. Crawford’s areas of expertise include diagnosis, treatment, management, and prevention of infectious diseases in dogs and cats in sheltering facilities. She focuses on the diagnosis and management of viruses and bacteria that cause respiratory infections in shelter dogs. Dr. Crawford’s accomplishments include discovery of canine influenza virus and development of the canine influenza vaccine. Educational achievements include partnering with Dr Julie Levy to develop the Professional Certificate in Shelter Medicine for advanced training of veterinary students in the knowledge and skills to serve as veterinarians in shelters.

Rushforth added, “In learning about the situation affecting animal health at the SPCA, Dr. Crawford commented that this is not unique to our facility, and nationwide, shelters are facing significant challenges with infectious diseases and overpopulation issues as well as staffing shortages. Dr. Crawford also commended our quick response to the medical situation faced at our shelter, and called our ability to reopen adoptions in this period of time good news and a sign that the situation is being managed properly.”



September 9, 2021
— This week, we experienced more than one case of dog pneumonia at the SPCA Serving Erie County.

The SPCA is responding to this in a number of different ways, including a change in how staff members and volunteers interact with animals in the building.

We are carefully observing the animals for any early signs of illness and immediately administering early treatment if necessary, and expanding our deep-cleaning protocols to rectify this situation.

There’s quite a bit involved in containing and clearing the shelter of an infectious disease, but it’s imperative we do so to protect our current population while not putting animals outside the shelter at risk. This is why we’ve chosen to pause dog adoptions.

“Outbreaks of this nature are unfortunately not uncommon in animal sheltering, especially when part of our mission is to serve sick and injured animals,” says SPCA Vice President of Veterinary Services Melanie Rushforth. “Our team of professional caretakers has increased safety protocols to ensure we contain this, and our quick response will have a positive effect on the health of both our current and future population.”

Some unfamiliar with infectious diseases may consider pausing dog adoptions an over-the-top response to the situation, but SPCA Serving Erie County representatives believe the situation calls for this extreme of a response. We cannot take a chance on someone transporting the virus on shoes or clothing simply by walking through our kennels, thus putting animals at home at risk. And we know we cannot place our dogs in homes right now if there is a chance they may have been infected.

The choice to pause dog adoptions for a minimum of one week gives us time to monitor the health of our dogs while fully clearing the shelter of this illness.

“We encourage all pet owners to stay up-to-date on preventive medicine for their pets,” Rushforth added. “We all play a role in decreasing a pandemic of any nature.”

At the end of next week officials at the SPCA will reevaluate the situation and determine whether dog adoptions need to remain paused beyond September 19. While it’s possible the pause date may have to be extended, we of course are hoping this will not be necessary.

Thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter.

–Gina Lattuca, SPCA Serving Erie County Chief Communications Officer

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