Changes Down On The Farm; Longtime SPCA Farm Manager Sheila Foss Retires

June 20, 2024
By: Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

Bills fans Sheila and Newman

Retirement is often thought of as the end of something, but the beginning of something else.

What happens, however, when it’s time to retire from an organization that has shaped the person one becomes…that has been a major part of one’s life from the age of 10 and continued for another 50 years?

We’re going to find out…because we won’t leave her alone.

Today, SPCA Educational Farm Manager Sheila Foss announced her retirement in an emotional, eloquent speech delivered to many of us whose lives she’s impacted for decades.

“I’ve had the privilege of working with Sheila more than two years, and in that short time she and her work have left an incredible impression on me,” our President/CEO Cait Daly said. “Her passion for her work is evident, surpassed only by her love for the animals. Thousands of lives were made better…thousands of children learned more about farm animals and the respect they deserve…because of Sheila’s knowledge, dedication, and caring. The impact she has made is immeasurable.”

As a child, Sheila volunteered at the SPCA and spent time working with us in the mid-70s through mid-80s, right up until she was hired in October of 1985. It’s impossible to number the animals’ lives she’s impacted since then, lives of resident animals along with lives of animals cared for as part of cruelty cases.

Days became nights, weekends became non-existent, when there was an animal in need of extra care…an animal ready to deliver…a restless animal that just needed an overnight buddy to calm anxieties after being rescued from a dark, dreary reality, transferred to the SPCA’s impossibly-immaculate farm, which must have felt like something pretty close to Heaven. Even a televised, important game being played by her beloved Buffalo Sabres couldn’t coax Sheila away from an animal in need.

Longtime SPCA fans will remember Olivia the pig, a Tonawanda farm resident who, at one point, received more visitors and had more fans than any other animal, or person, for that matter, at the SPCA in the early 90s. Sheila started the Olivia Fan Club, a card-carrying members’ club for children that helped teach the children more about farm animals and their care. It didn’t take long for Sheila to realize the responsibility of the SPCA to teach more about all animals, not just domestic; under her guidance, the SPCA’s petting farm became the SPCA Educational Farm, with teaching stations at and around animal stalls, games children could play that educated them about the farm animals in their midst and the magic these animals brought to the world.

Throughout her career, Sheila continued to be amazed at the faces of not only children but also adults petting a goat or llama for the first time…holding a chicken…feeding Olivia a peppermint. If school classes couldn’t get to the SPCA, Sheila brought the animals to them. Why? Because she knew the value of teaching children at an early age that farm animals, too, deserve compassion, care, respect, and love. These weren’t just words or personal beliefs for Sheila. She lived them. Not even cruelty cases concerning several large animals…not even 10,000 chickens running along the I-190 (true story from August, 2008, and no, the number is not an exaggeration)…not even escaped horses running down Ensminger Rd., turning Tonawanda into a scene from Bonanza, could stop her.

When in court for farm animal cruelty cases, Sheila wouldn’t say much; just her silence and expressions made her feelings known. Sheila spent these days lodged somewhere between sadness and anger and every emotion in between as she imagined the suffering endured by case animals. In fact, these and other animal rescue situations only increased Sheila’s fervent desire to better the lives of such special animals, teaching others along the way why they, too, should share this desire.

Despite her stellar achievements, Sheila never loved, or even remotely liked, being the center of attention. In the 34 years I have known her and been blessed to call her my friend, she never easily gave a television interview, never relished being on the radio, never wanted the camera on her for a social media video…she wanted the focus and the attention fixed on the animals and the people with whom she worked. Her humbleness, like her dedication and devotion, is immense.

Sheila saw many changes at the SPCA. Her pristine barn converted to a fundraising “Haunted Barn” for several years. The growth of a staff numbered at around 25 when she was hired to 110 today. A major move from Tonawanda, NY to West Seneca, NY.  In Sheila’s own words this morning, “The SPCA is a haven, where animals are cared for, and where people learn the importance of kindness and respect for all living creatures.”  Sheila witnessed so much change around her, yet her impression of what the organization stands for never wavered.

I know she won’t mind my sharing that her closing comment today was a quote by Charlotte Bronte: “There is no happiness like that of being loved by your fellow creatures, and feeling that your presence is an addition to their comfort.”

Thank you, Sheila, for consistently and lovingly providing comfort to our SPCA creatures, animal AND human, your entire life.
****************************

The SPCA’s Patricia Burg worked with Sheila for three decades, and adds these touching words:

One of my very best friends has just retired.

The sheep manicures at the SPCA included a pedicure at no extra charge!

I have known Sheila for more than the almost 30 years that we worked together.  When I was first tasked with caring for an assortment of farm animals at another job, she gave me great advice and helped me learn the ins and outs of taking care of them well.  After I started working at the SPCA’s Educational Farm with Sheila, it was clear that she had a great store of knowledge and skill when we had to help animals in serious need.  She always ran the farm with the goal of being an example of how well things could be done.

No matter what animals came in, she always found ways to do best by them.  No matter how old the farm got, she always made it look the best it could.  For all of the tough cases that came to the farm, and there were plenty, she always focused on the animals that needed our help.  For all of the tough times to deal with and decisions to make, there were always lovely letters and emails of how some farm critter adopted from us made such a difference in someone’s life.

In that long of a time together, we share a host of memories – everything from being there for a variety of babies being born on the farm and catching a stray emu to watching animals blossom with good care and having to say goodbye to farm friends when it was the right time to do so.

There have been a lot of fine people that came our way to help out or adopt animals and some of them became good friends because Sheila always treated them well and appreciated them.

Sheila didn’t confine her interests just to the farm, either, but was instrumental in producing our earlier newsletters, the foundation of our Wildlife Department and even our first website – I have to admit that it was truly funny watching Sheila type html code in as one of her friends read it over the phone to her!

While I will miss Sheila’s presence at the shelter more than I can express, we already have plans to do some fun things together this summer!

SPCA Issues Summer Reminders Designed to Keep Pets Safe

June 13, 2024
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

They’re back! Temperatures are predicted to be in the high 80s/low 90s in Buffalo and the surrounding area very soon. While many are happy with the warm weather forecast, it’s important to remember pets don’t fare as well as some of their owners on these warm days. Please keep the following hot weather pets tips in mind and share with pet owners you know:

IT IS AGAINST THE LAW IN NEW YORK STATE TO LEAVE ANIMALS IN A VEHICLE IN EXTREME TEMPERATURES, HOT OR COLD >>

HEATSTROKE CAN KILL, AND FAST. Most pet owners realize that keeping pets in hot cars can kill them…but not many realize just how quickly the effects of heatstroke can set in for a dog or cat. And we’re not only referring to 80-degree days; animals suffer heatstroke even on much cooler days.

Heatstroke is a condition animals begin to suffer gradually, but it accelerates quickly. It’s easy for early signs of heatstroke to go unrecognized, and for the pet to be in an emergency situation within mere minutes. The image below is provided courtesy of VeterinaryClinic.com; please click on the image for a downloadable copy of this chart:

On warm days, a vehicle acts like an oven.  It holds the heat inside, and that heat becomes very intense even on days that don’t seem too warm. On an 85-degree day, even parked in the shade with the windows open, the temperature inside a car will climb to 104 degrees in 10 minutes, and to 119 degrees in 30 minutes.  With the humidity we experience here in Buffalo, it may go even higher.  Because a dog’s normal body temperature is 101-102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, he can withstand a body temperature of 107-108 degrees for only a very short time before suffering irreparable brain damage…or death.

The typical signs of heatstroke are:
– Panting – High body temperature
– Dehydration – Red mouth/eye membranes
– Rapid, irregular heart rate – Diarrhea and/or vomiting
– Weakness, looking dazed, confusion – Comatose state

If your pet begins exhibiting any of these signs, contact a veterinarian immediately.

CAN I LEGALLY BREAK INTO A CAR TO SAVE A SUFFERING ANIMAL? Currently, while a handful of states allow good Samaritans to legally break car windows in an effort to save a suffering animal, New York is, unfortunately, NOT one of those states.

If you see an animal alone in a vehicle in extreme temperatures:

-Immediately record the vehicle’s make, model, and license plate number, and record the time you first noticed the animal(s) alone in the vehicle.

-Next, immediately call 911 to report the incident. If the vehicle is located in Erie County, NY and the time is between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., contact the SPCA Serving Erie County as well: (716) 875-7360, ext. 214.

-If you are at a location with a public announcement system (a retail establishment, office, public event, etc.), provide managers, directors, employees, or event coordinators with the details of the situation, and ask for a public announcement that the animal in the vehicle is in severe distress.

-If possible, stay at the scene until help arrives.


PORCHES AND YARDS: Short stays ONLY!

Use caution during warm weather months when allowing animals outside for short sessions in yards or on porches. Never leave them outside extended periods of time. Ensure appropriate shade and water are always available. Keep close supervision of your pet when outdoors on hot, humid, sunny summer days, and around inground pools. If you see an animal left on a porch or in a yard with no access to shelter or water, or with inadequate shelter or water, the SPCA may be able to intervene in accordance with New York State’s Animal Shelter Law.

Contact the SPCA immediately if the location is within Erie County Monday – Saturday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., at (716) 875-7360, ext. 214.

Read more about the Animal Shelter Law here.

And remember…pets can get sunburned too. Speak with your veterinarian about applying animal-safe sunblock to your pet’s sun-sensitive areas, such as nose and ears, even when the animal is only outdoors for short sessions.


ADMINISTER FLEA PREVENTION PRODUCTS CORRECTLY! Early last June, the SPCA received two cats on death’s door after cheap, incorrect flea products purchased from deep discount stores were applied. The SPCA has already received several phone calls this season from people who misapplied flea products to their pets.   DO NOT APPLY PRODUCTS MEANT FOR DOGS ON CATS, AND DO NOT APPLY CAT FLEA PRODUCTS TO DOGS, AND FOLLOW DIRECTIONS CONCERNING THE VOLUME AND MANNER OF APPLICATION!  Read the directions carefully PRIOR to application, not during application. The application of improper flea products, low-quality flea products, or products applied incorrectly, can cause internal damage or death to your pet. Always consult a veterinarian before purchasing and applying flea products.


USE CAUTION WHEN PURCHASING SUMMER PET TOYS.  Flea products are not the only items that shouldn’t be purchased at deep discount stores. Some pet toys are not durable enough to withstand a pet’s play. This tip and photo came to us in the summer of 2019 from Patrick in South Dayton, NY. Patrick purchased a disc dog toy from a deep discount store for his dogs Roscoe and Titan. On the first throw, Titan caught the toy, which shattered, said Patrick, “…like a mirror” (see photo). Be sure the toys you purchase for your pets are safe and sturdy.

 


KEEP PETS HOME DURING OUTDOOR FESTIVALS.  Art festivals, food festivals, summer fireworks displays, and other crowded outdoor events are no places for dogs.  Extremely hot weather, paired with immense crowds of people and strange noises and scents, heightens the stress level for many animals; the repetitive, exploding sound of fireworks is enough to make even the calmest animal frantic and sometimes aggressive. Your pet’s body is closer to the asphalt and can heat up much more quickly.

The hot pavement can also burn unprotected, sensitive paw pads when dogs are on pavement for any period of time. Test the pavement! Place your hand on the pavement for ten seconds. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog. Check out this photo from a June, 2019 post on WGRZ-TV and click on the photo for the full story:


DON’T FORCE EXERCISE, primarily after a meal or in hot, humid weather. Instead, exercise pets in the cool of the early morning or evening. Be extra-sensitive to older and overweight animals, or those prone to heart or respiratory problems. Bring an ample supply of water along on the walk. For cool, indoor walks, bring pets to shop at the SPCA’s Petique or other pet-friendly stores.


BE CAREFUL WHERE YOU WALK! Avoid walking your dog in areas that you suspect have been sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals (see below), or have puddles or spots of auto coolant. The sweet taste of poisonous liquids attracts animals and can sicken or kill them if ingested. Clean any spills immediately or consider using animal-friendly products to help minimize risks.

Unfortunately, the use of wild rat poisons also increases during warm-weather months, which poses potential hazards for your pets. Be mindful of any poisons your pet(s) can reach on your property and other properties. Read the Humane Society of the United States’ recommendations on alternatives to rodent poisons here >>


WATCH WHAT THEY EAT & DRINK! It wasn’t long ago that two family dogs in North Buffalo died after eating poisonous mushrooms (amanita) growing right in the backyard. Check yards and any areas pets frequent. If something looks suspicious, don’t take a chance….GET RID OF IT. Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection spread through the urine of contaminated animals. The bacteria can get into water (puddles, ponds, pools, etc.) or soil and survive there for months. Humans AND animals can be infected. Use caution when letting your pet drink, walk through, or swim in water that may have been exposed to infected animals (rodents, wildlife, infected domestic animals, and others).


KEEP YOUR PET WELL-GROOMED AND CLEAN to combat summer skin problems. If your dog’s coat is appropriate, cutting his hair to a one-inch length will help prevent overheating and will also allow you to watch for fleas and ticks. Don’t shave down to the skin, though; your pet can get sunburned (see below)! A cat should be brushed frequently to keep a tangle-free coat. Long-haired cats will be more comfortable with a stylish, summer clip.


USE CAUTION WHEN MAKING SUMMER LAWN/GARDEN PURCHASES! When purchasing lawn and garden products, always read the labels for ingredients toxic to dogs, cats, and other animals. Fertilizers, weed killers, herbicides, pesticides, and other chemicals can be fatal to your pets. “Weed out” the toxic products from your garage, and learn more about non-toxic, pet-friendly seasonal items. Snail, slug, and rat/mouse baits, and ant/roach baits and traps are also hazardous. Metaldehyde, one of the poisonous ingredients in many baits, is often very appealing to pets, and metaldehyde poisoning can cause increased heart rate, breathing complications, seizures, liver complications, and death. If insect and nuisance animal control items must be purchased, keep them in locations impossible for pets to reach.


KEEP CORN COBS AWAY FROM DOGS! In August of 2013, SPCA veterinarians removed corn cobs from the intestines of not one but TWO dogs! Both survived, but without veterinary treatment the results could have been fatal. Read this article from VetsNow.com  discussing the dangers of corn cobs and corn to dogs.


DO NOT USE HUMAN INSECT REPELLENTS ON PETS! These items are toxic when ingested at high doses, and dogs and cats may lick it off and ingest it, potentially resulting in a toxicity. Read more about what you can use here.


BUNNIES NEED TO KEEP COOL TOO! Pet rabbits who live indoors with no air conditioning can benefit from an easy cooling technique. Rabbit owners can freeze a filled water bottle. Once the water bottle is frozen, it can be wrapped in a cloth and placed on the rabbit’s cage floor. If the rabbit becomes too warm, she’ll instinctively know to lie next to the bottle. Fans can also be pointed in the general direction of a rabbit cage, and rabbits will raise their ears (their natural cooling system) to catch the breeze and cool off. On hot days, pet owners with rabbits living in outdoor pens will want to ensure their pets are cool enough in outdoor locations; if not, rabbits and pens should come indoors.


If you witness animal cruelty this summer, including animals left outdoors extended periods of time with inappropriate shelter in yards or on porches, the SPCA Serving Erie County may be able to help. If the location is in Erie County, contact the SPCA  Monday – Saturday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., at (716) 875-7360, ext. 214. Other times, please contact your local animal control agency, police department, or your local after-hours emergency clinic.

Local Students Protect Dogs from Extreme Buffalo Cold & Heat by Building Doghouses for SPCA’s Operation P.A.W.S.

June 11, 2024
By: Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

Students from The Foundry and OLV Human Services presented student-built doghouses to the SPCA Serving Erie County today as part of the SPCA’s Operation P.A.W.S. (Providing Adequate Water & Shelter) program!

Each winter and summer the SPCA receives calls for service in response to dogs left outdoors in extreme temperatures. Some community members lack the resources and/or knowledge concerning appropriate shelter for their dogs, Operation P.A.W.S. is a program of the SPCA Serving Erie County designed to provide pet owners and at-risk dogs appropriate shelter and other supplies.

This semester, students at The Foundry [ a hands-on education facility dedicated to increasing neighborhood prosperity by empowering individuals through education and entrepreneurship ] built doghouses for Operation P.A.W.S. to help the SPCA assist these pets and pet owners.

The Foundry held a ceremony today at its 298 Northampton St., Buffalo location to celebrate the students’ work, and students and staff presented the doghouses to the SPCA

“We’re so excited to build new partner relationships as we work on initiatives designed to keep people and pets together,” says Tyler Robertson, SPCA strategic initiatives program manager. “This relationship with The Foundry is not only valuable to us, it is valuable to every pet owner who will benefit from the hard work of these students, building doghouses to protect four-footed family members.”

Amina Boyd, The Foundry’s education director, says, “At the Foundry, we are dedicated to equipping our students with essential life skills through hands-on learning experiences. Watching them create quality products that positively impact our community is truly rewarding. Their achievements and the community’s appreciation of their hard work make it all worthwhile.”

Sr. Director of Innovative Learning at OLV Human Services Marga McMahon adds, “This opportunity not only allows our students to participate in hands-on learning, but also exposes them to vocational and volunteer opportunities in their communities.”

For more information on collaborating with the SPCA and Operation P.A.W.S. in the construction of doghouses, please contact Robertson at the SPCA, (716) 875-7360, ext. 238.

Find more on The Foundry here >>
Find more on OLV Human Services here >>

#SPCACompassionInAction

From Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn: Cheektowaga Man Pleads Guilty in Dog Fighting Case

Trisha Yearwood featured one victim from this case, Wade, as her #EveryDog ‘Spokesdog’ of the Week

July 22, 2022
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

UPDATE, June 11, 2024:  According to the Erie County District Attorney’s office, sentencing for James A. Jackson that was supposed to happen this morning was once again postponed until July 2 at 9:30 a.m.


UPDATE, June 4, 2024:  According to the Erie County District Attorney’s office, sentencing for James A. Jackson that was supposed to happen this morning was once again postponed until June 11 at 9:30 a.m.


UPDATE, June 3, 2024: According to the Erie County District Attorney’s office, sentencing for James A. Jackson that was supposed to happen this morning was postponed until tomorrow, June 4, at  9:30 a.m.



UPDATE, March 21, 2024:
From the desk of Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn:

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that James A. Jackson pleaded guilty Tuesday to all eight counts against him (listed below). The defendant admitted that he trained three pit bull mixed breed dogs, two males and one female, under circumstances evincing an intent for the dogs to engage in animal fighting and intentionally depriving the dogs of food and medical treatment. Jackson faces a maximum of 7 years in prison when he is sentenced on two files on Monday, June 3, 2024 at 9:30 a.m. Prosecutors requested that the Court remanded the defendant pending sentence on the second file, a gun case, but his release under supervision was continued. The charges against a co-defendant who was also indicted for their alleged role in the dog fighting case will be dismissed after the sentencing proceeding. See the full update here >>>



UPDATE, Feb. 4, 2024
From the desk of Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn:

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 23-year-old Aveon D. Lockhart of Cheektowaga and 24-year-old James A. Jackson of Cheektowaga were arraigned late last month before Erie County Court Judge Sheila A. DiTullio on an indictment charging them each with the following offenses:

*Three counts of Prohibition of Animal Fighting (Class “E” felonies under New York Agriculture and Markets Law)
*Four counts of Overdriving, Torturing, and Injuring Animals; Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance (Class “A” misdemeanors under New York Agriculture and Markets Law)
*One count of Prohibition of Animal Fighting, Possession, Sale or Making of Animal Fighting Paraphernalia (Class “B” misdemeanor under New York Agriculture and Markets Law)

An investigation began after the Cheektowaga Police Department received an anonymous tip regarding dog fighting on April 12, 2022.

It is alleged that on April 13, 2022, SPCA Serving Erie County investigators executed a search warrant at the defendants’ residence on Andrews Avenue in the Town of Cheektowaga. Investigators allegedly recovered evidence common in dog fighting operations inside and outside of the home. Three dogs, found in the basement and first-floor of the residence, were seized. The remains of two deceased dogs were recovered from the backyard.

The defendants, while acting in concert with one another, are accused of training three pit bull mixed breed dogs, two males and one female, under circumstances evincing an intent for the dogs to engage in animal fighting for amusement or gain. The defendants are also accused of intentionally depriving the dogs of food and medical treatment.

Lockhart and James are scheduled to return before Erie County Court Judge James Bargnesi on Tuesday, March 19, 2024 at 9:30 a.m. for a pre-trial conference. Both defendants were released on their own recognizance as the charges are non-qualifying offenses for bail.

“These defendants are accused of using cruel methods to train these dogs to become dangerous animals. This case highlights the tragedy of these underground, illegal activities. I want to thank the SPCA Serving Erie County for their work in this case and other animal cruelty investigations,” said Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn.

DA Flynn commends the SPCA Serving Erie County Chief Investigations Officer Lindsey Wood, Cheektowaga Police Officer Joshua Katashuk and Town of Cheektowaga Dog Control Officer Aaron Kandefer for their work in this investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Christine M. Garvey of the Animal Cruelty Unit.

As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Updates on this story will be provided as they become available.


UPDATE, Nov. 1, 2022: Wade was ADOPTED! After 202 days with us at the SPCA, this loving boy, who somehow lived through the most barbaric cruelty imaginable…who we never thought would survive…found his place in the world, and in two special hearts!

We were honored to meet the warm, caring, compassionate Frank and Brenda of Amherst last week, and when they met Wade, it was an instant love connection.

Today, Wade survived again! He made it through all the tears and goodbyes and hugs and kisses, and he has officially started his brand-new life, a life Frank and Brenda plan on filling with…well…more hugs and kisses!

Be a good boy, Wade, and to Frank and Brenda, our warmest gratitude for making this boy the newest member of your family!


July 23, 2022: Watch Trisha Talk About Wade & the SPCA >>>

From Animal Cruelty Victim to Adoptee to Trisha Yearwood’s #EVERYDOG, Wade has Stepped His Way to the Top!

Avid country music fans already know Garth Brooks will be performing in Buffalo tomorrow night!

As part of a new program in conjunction with Brooks’ stadium tour this summer, his wife, 3x Grammy (along with a host of CMAs and ACM Awards!) winner TRISHA YEARWOOD wants to help every dog find a loving home!

Through her new #EveryDog effort, Trisha uses her Trisha Yearwood Pet Collection platforms to showcase an adoptable dog at an organization located in each tour city. The #EveryDog Campaign (details here >>) uses a dog in that community as a “spokesdog” for getting EVERY dog in that community (and beyond!) adopted!

According to the website, #EveryDog is described this way:

After doing some research, Trisha and her marketing team picked the SPCA Serving Erie County as the representative organization, and current adoptee WADE will be the official #EveryDog this week! It’s an all-new effort that kicked off mid-April, so we are thrilled to be part of the program’s beginnings!

And the exciting news doesn’t end there! Trisha will be talking about our SPCA and Wade on Facebook Live Saturday morning, July 23, during her “Coffee Talk” session!

Now, we can’t tell you too much about Wade’s journey YET. We want to leave that to Trisha. But we promise you…it’s heroic and touching and emotional and most of all, a story of hope and healing.

Be sure to tune in to Facebook at around 11:30/11:35 a.m. Saturday! Trisha should be live with Coffee Talk at approximately 11:40 a.m., and you can watch at https://www.facebook.com/TrishaYearwood.  [UPDATE: See Trisha talk about Wade and the SPCA Serving Erie County at bit.ly/TrishaYearwoodFeaturesWADE72322]

You’ll see Wade’s photo, hear more about his story, and you may even see some videos of our staff members (Lindsey Wood, Dr. Allison Keane, Mindy Ussrey, Phil Weiss, and Cait Daly) talking about Wade’s heroic journey! We know this touch of country will find him a loving home!

Learn a little more about handsome Wade right here >>>! Interested in adopting during our Summer of Love? Then come on in to our 300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca shelter and meet him in person; Wade’s adoption fee is half-off! Remember, as Trisha says, what’s meant to be will always find a way! We guarantee, you’ll fall “…in love with the boy!” 

There's never been a better time to join our pack!

SPCA EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES 

Animal Care, part time

Behavior Assistant

Community Outreach/Research Coordinator

Community Support Services Consultant

Veterinarian

The opportunity to spend your days working around beautiful animals and people who love them seems like it would be enough of a benefit, right? But when you join our pack as a full or part-time staff member we offer you even more! Check out our benefits:
Benefits >>


OTHER SPCA OPPORTUNITIES 

College Internships

Volunteer Opportunities


Our goal at the SPCA Serving Erie County is to be a diverse and inclusive workforce that is representative of the community we serve in the most effective way possible. All employment decisions are decided based on qualifications, merit, and business need.

SPCA Serving Erie County Offers Free Adoptions to Current and Past Military Members During Vets & Pets

May 22, 2024
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

To thank the members of the armed services this Memorial Day, the SPCA Serving Erie County once again offers Vets & Pets, 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 program, a longtime SPCA tradition, is proudly presented by the kind, caring, and patriotic folks at Northtown Subaru.

Vets & Pets begins Saturday, May 25 and runs through Saturday, June 1* at the SPCA’s 300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca location (off-site locations are not included in this campaign).

“Northtown Automotive is proud of our longstanding partnership with the SPCA and our commitment to supporting those organizations that support Western New Yorkers. The SPCA Serving Erie County helps thousands of animals in need every year,” said Harold Erbacher, chief operating officer and co-owner of Northtown Automotive Companies. “We pride ourselves on assisting others by creating a sense of family, generosity and sharing, both at the dealerships where we work and in the community we serve.”

Photos of adoptable animals can be found here >>.

Adoption hours can be found here >>.

Military ID or DD214 will need to be presented. If an individual is currently serving outside of New York State, that individual’s spouse can adopt during Vets & Pets if a military spouse identification card is presented. Adopters can apply the Vets & Pets waived adoption fee promotion toward a total of two animals.

Please contact SPCA Senior Director of Operations Mindy Ussrey with any questions: (716) 875-7360, ext. 210.

*The SPCA’s West Seneca location is closed Sunday and Monday, May 26 and 27. See a list of our animals available here.  Adoption hours are 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and 12 p.m. – 8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. Final guest passes for those wishing to adopt from the SPCA’s West Seneca location are issued one hour prior to closing.

#SPCACompassionInAction

50% OFF ADOPTION FEES FOR GUINEA PIGS & BUNNIES MAY 13-18

Looking for a smaller furry friend to add to your family? Now is the perfect time to adopt a guinea pig or bunny from the SPCA Serving Erie County! From May 13 to May 18, we’re offering a 50% discount on adoption fees for these adorable animals. Take advantage of this amazing opportunity to give a loving home to a new pet while supporting a great cause. Visit us today and find your new best friend!

** Other small mammals made available for adoption from May 13 to May 18 will also qualify for the 50% discount on adoption fees. This includes gerbils, mice, rats, hamsters, and ferrets. **

This limited-time offer is only available at the SPCA Serving Erie County at 300 Harlem Road, West Seneca. It is not valid at any offsite adoption locations.

To see what animals we currently have available for adoption, click here.

SPCA PARTNERS WITH ERIE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT ON FREE RABIES VACCINATION CLINIC FOR DOGS, CATS, & FERRETS

Registration required.
Click the image below for details on how to register.


#SPCACompassionInAction

BEN GARELICK DONATES 50% OF ALL JEWELRY PURCHASES TO SPCA APRIL 11 IN CELEBRATION OF NATIONAL PET DAY; SUPPORT LASTS THROUGH MAY

April 10, 2024
By: Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

Peter Manka makes friends with adoptable Arthur Slugworth

Ben Garelick, premier local jewelry shop, will once again be supporting the SPCA Serving Erie County in celebration of National Pet Day Thursday, April 11! Plus, Ben Garelick’s support of the SPCA will last throughout May.

Fifty percent of all sales at Ben Garelick’s 5001 Transit Rd., Williamsville location on April 11 will be donated to the SPCA Serving Erie County! Ben Garelick has also sponsored a charismatic, adoptable dog at the SPCA, Arthur Slugworth, in honor of National Pet Day!

Ben Garelick’s support of the animals at the SPCA will continue through May. In observance of May’s National Pet Month, Ben Garelick will donate 50% of proceeds from the sales of select pet-related jewelry items. Additionally, April 12 – May 12, Ben Garelick will donate a portion of the proceeds from all Mother’s Day gifts to the SPCA.

“We are incredibly excited to partner with the SPCA and support its mission to save and enhance the lives of animals,” said Peter Manka Jr., co-owner of Ben Garelick. “With this campaign, our goal is not just to gather substantial donations for the shelter, but also to motivate our community to unite in backing an initiative that plays a crucial role in the well-being of numerous animals.”

For more information on Ben Garelick’s support of the SPCA, photos of charitable jewelry items and Arthur Slugworth, or the jewelry shop, visit bit.ly/BenGarelickHelpsSPCA or call the shop at (716) 631-1584.

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