November 20, 2023

From the office of Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn:


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Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 35-year-old James D. Brown of Buffalo was arraigned yesterday morning before Buffalo City Court Judge Samuel P. Davis on one count of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals (Class “E” felony under Agriculture and Markets Law) and one count of Overdriving, Torturing, or Injuring Animals; Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance (Class “A” misdemeanor under Agriculture and Markets Law).

It is alleged that on Thursday, November 16, 2023, at approximately 3:00 a.m., the defendant intentionally caused serious physical injuries to a companion animal by slamming his puppy to the ground. The defendant allegedly lifted the dog, a 4-month-old pit bull, by the leash then slammed the dog onto the pavement near Philadelphia and Isabelle streets in the City of Buffalo. It is further alleged that the defendant failed to provided medical treatment for the puppy, which suffered injuries to its rear legs as well as abrasions on its head and legs.

As part of the investigation, the dog was seized by the Buffalo Police Department and transported to an emergency veterinarian for treatment. The puppy is currently in the care and custody of the SPCA Serving Erie County; [the SPCA will be paying the emergency veterinary clinic costs as well as the continued costs of caring for the puppy, named Miley. Click here to contribute towards Miley’s care; remember to write “Miley” in the comments section of the form >>]

Brown is scheduled to return on Wednesday, November 29, 2023 at 9:30 a.m. for a felony hearing. The defendant was released on his own recognizance.

If convicted of the highest charge, Brown faces a maximum of 2 years in prison.

DA Flynn commends the Buffalo Police Department Special Investigations Unit and K9 Unit as well as the SPCA Serving Erie County for their work in this investigation.

“This is a disturbing case of a man accused of intentionally injuring his own dog. My office will continue to prosecute animal abusers to the fullest extent of the law,” said Erie County District Attorney John Flynn.

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.

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Additional updates on this case will be added here as they become available.


From Sierra, The Magazine of the Sierra Club:

Thousands of Wild Animals Are Killed Annually in New York for Fun; New Yorkers urge Governor Hochul to sign a wildlife killing contests bill before the end of the year

By: Lindsey Botts
November 13, 2023

Sierra magazine featured  a thorough and comprehensive article today written by Lindsey Botts, digital editor at the magazine. In the article, Botts says, “Many wildlife organizations, such as Project Coyote and the Humane Society, say most New Yorkers have no idea animals are killed in this way and warn these contests are an ineffective way to manage a species. One Humane Society survey from last year found that over 80 percent of respondents opposed wildlife killing contests. As far as impacts on livestock, the number of sheep in New York—the state’s primary livestock—has remained steady around 80,000, for years, according to data from the US Department of Agriculture. And the NY Department of Environmental Conservation estimates that the state may have too many deer.  

“The coalition of advocates also says that rapacious killing is unnecessarily cruel and unethical. Small- to medium-sized predators play a crucial role in keeping ecosystems healthy. They prey on rodents such as mice, reducing the spread of ticks and Lyme disease, and they eat sick and weak animals, ensuring that healthy individuals live on the landscape. These contests also undermine the state’s ability to recover wolves, an endangered species at the federal and state levels. In December 2021, a hunter shot a wolf and told the state wildlife agency that he thought it was a coyote. ”

Read the informative article in its entirety here >>

Read the full article in Sierra >>


Scroll down for animal photos!



Life can take unexpected twists and turns. Sadly, this can sometimes mean that pet owners are forced to make the difficult and heartbreaking decision to part with their beloved pets.

To help owners who must make this decision, the SPCA has partnered with’s Rehome program, offering free, courtesy pet listings with coupon code RCXHAQTL2U8AD8Z  (be sure to record this code or you will be charged for your listing).

The Rehome program allows pet owners to take proactive steps in selecting the ideal homes for their pets, with representatives providing expert advice and guidance throughout the entire process.

With millions of potential adopters using each month, pets find new homes quickly. That means pets never need to spend time adapting to a stressful shelter environment, and pet owners do not have to worry when organizations are at capacity, unable to accept their animals for rehoming. Plus, people who have been unsuccessful in finding a particular kind of pet through an organization may find what they’ve been waiting for right here!

How Rehome works

Submit a pet for a Rehome listing

Log in to an exiting account

Rehome FAQs for pet owners

Rehome is offered as a courtesy to SPCA Serving Erie County patrons when coupon code RCXHAQTL2U8AD8Z is entered.

Available Pets Through Rehome by

The animals featured below are not at the SPCA Serving Erie County. The SPCA provides these listings as a courtesy to both people in need of rehoming pets and people seeking new pets. The SPCA cannot attest to, nor is it responsible for, the health or temperament of the animals listed. If you are interested in a pet, click on the accompanying photo to obtain further information from the current owner.

SPCA officers rescue 35 animals from deplorable conditions

September 26, 2023
By: SPCA Social Media Coordinator Jillian LeBlanc

On Friday, the SPCA Serving Erie County took in 31 dogs, three newborn puppies, and a cat from a house on Niagara Street in Buffalo. SPCA law enforcement officers performed an emergency rescue after receiving a tip from a mandated reporting agency.

Upon further investigation, SPCA officers discovered the animals were living in deplorable conditions. All the animals were soaked with urine, covered in feces, and were severely matted. Some of the dogs were so matted they could barely see or walk.

SPCA officers removed the animals from the home Friday afternoon and brought them back to the SPCA in West Seneca so they could receive veterinary care. The SPCA team quickly got to work, making the animals feel safe and comfortable before focusing efforts on their matted coats.

Over the weekend, the SPCA team (along with several incredible volunteers!) started the lengthy process of grooming each dog, removing pounds of matted fur from each dog. The before and after photos are truly astounding!

Thanks to our generous donors, these animals are getting the care they desperately need. We hope some of the animals can go up for adoption soon!

At this time, charges are pending.

If you suspect animal cruelty, please call the SPCA Serving Erie County Animal Cruelty Investigations Department at (716) 875-7360, ext. 214. The SPCA will respond to anonymous tips.

See this story in The Buffalo News >>

See this story on Newsweek >>

See this story on WKBW >>

See this story on WIVB >>

See this story on WGRZ >>

See this story on WBEN >>

Two ball pythons rescued from Amherst Delta Sonic find homes

September 7, 2023
By: SPCA Social Media Coordinator Jillian LeBlanc

Last month, the SPCA Serving Erie County took in two ball pythons after they were found at a gas station in Amherst. Now, both pythons are adjusting to life in their new homes!

The first python was admitted to the SPCA on August 15 after it was found coiled in some hoses at the Delta Sonic located at 3100 Niagara Falls Boulevard. After spending the night with Amherst Animal Control, the snake was admitted to the SPCA and was immediately looked over by our veterinary team.

Three days later, a second python, a pastel clown ball python (yellow), was found in a PVC pipe not far from where the first snake was spotted. SPCA officers were called to the scene by Amherst Police to rescue the snake.

SPCA officers later discovered the snakes were two of five ball pythons that were found near the Delta Sonic. Of the three other snakes, two of the pythons were found dead, while a citizen took in the third snake.

After spending nearly two weeks with us without anyone coming forward to claim them as their own, the ball pythons were placed in two loving homes. The pastel clown ball python, now named Sonic, found a new home with experienced owners in North Tonawanda. The other python didn’t have to travel too far to get to their new home. The snake, now named Kaa, is the SPCA’s newest Humane Education Department employee! Kaa will become an animal ambassador, helping to educate the community about ball pythons and provide experience with this incredible reptile!

“Ambassador animals, or animal teachers as we like to call them, visit thousands of community members each year, teaching them about the SPCA, the variety of ways the SPCA helps our community, what to do when you find an animal/no longer can keep an animal, and what proper care looks like for certain animals,” said Christine Davis, said SPCA director of community education.

“Ball pythons are easily acquired, and while they are considered starter snake companions, they can be very picky eaters. Proper husbandry is key with any reptile, which most people are unaware of. We will utilize Kaa to teach about proper care for ball pythons and to cultivate empathy as many people have a strong adverse reaction to snakes or are afraid of them due to their past experiences or the often negative portrayal in the media. Kaa will travel to schools and community events and participate in camps, scout programs and story times appropriately titled ‘Scaly Tales.’ Ultimately, we hope that Kaa will change the hearts and minds of our community regarding snakes and highlight how the SPCA works in partnership with the community to help the animals within it.”

At this time, SPCA officers are still seeking answers about how these snakes ended up at the Delta Sonic. Anyone with information is asked to call the SPCA Serving Erie County Animal Cruelty Investigations Department at (716) 875-7360, ext. 214. The SPCA will respond to anonymous tips.

See this story in Newsweek >>

See this story in The Buffalo News >>

See this story on WIVB >>

See this story on WGRZ >>

See this story on WBEN >>

Buffalo News subscribers can read the full article written by the SPCA’s Cait Daly & Barbara Haney! Just click on the image below! 

No Buffalo News subscription? No problem! Read the full
letter by clicking here >>

Contact Govenor Hochul by phone:
1-518-474-8390 | Office hours: 9:00am to 5:00pm

Contact Govenor Hochul by website contact form:

Contact Govenor Hochul by mail:
The Honorable Kathy Hochul
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

SPCA Rescues 22 Dogs/Puppies from Tonawanda Home, Charges Three People with Animal Cruelty

August 9, 2023
By: SPCA Communications Manager Bethany Kloc & Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

Help care for 22 dogs/pups rescued by SPCA >>

Officer Wood returns to SPCA with first group of rescued puppies. Photo by the SPCA’s Jillian LeBlanc.

UPDATE  August 25 — From the office of Distrct Attorney John J. Flynn:


Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 30-year-old Jamie D. Aaron, 47-year-old Mary Beth Aaron and 43-year-old Marc R. Scholes were arraigned yesterday afternoon before Tonawanda Town Court Justice J. Mark Gruber. Each defendant was charged with 23 counts of Overdriving, Torturing and Injuring Animals; Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance, 23 counts of Failure to Provide Proper Food and Drink to Impounded Animal (Class “A” misdemeanors under New York Agriculture and Markets Law).

Marc R. Scholes and Mary Beth Aaron were also arraigned on an additional charge of one count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Class “A” misdemeanor).

It is alleged that on Tuesday, August 8, 2023, SPCA investigators and members of the Town of Tonawanda Police Department executed a search warrant at the defendants’ residence on Dupont Avenue in the Town of Tonawanda. The defendants are accused of failing to provide necessary food, water and care to 22 dogs and one cat confined to their home. The animals were found in unsanitary conditions without access to food and water. All of the animals were signed over to the custody of the SPCA Serving Erie County.

A 12-year-old child also resided inside of the home. Marc R. Scholes and Mary Beth Aaron, the child’s caregivers, are accused of knowingly acting in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a child involving a substantial risk of danger to the children’s life or health due to the unsanitary conditions of the home.

Aaron, Aaron and Scholes are scheduled to return on Thursday, September 28, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. for further proceedings. All three defendants were released on their own recognizance as the charges are non-qualifying offenses for bail.

At the request of prosecutors, Judge Gruber issued a “no animal” order, which prevents the defendants from owning or caring for any animals while the case is pending.

If convicted of the highest charge, Aaron, Aaron and Scholes each face a maximum sentence of one year in jail.

“These defendants are accused of failing to provide proper care for the children and numerous animals living inside of their home. I want to thank our partners at the SPCA for their work in this investigation and care they have provided to the many animals rescued from this home,” said Erie County DA John Flynn.

DA Flynn commends the SPCA Serving Erie County, SPCA Animal Cruelty Investigator Lindsey Wood and the Town of Tonawanda Police Department for their work in this investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Jordana C. Gelber of the Justice Courts Bureau.

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

August 9 — Twenty-two dogs were rescued late yesterday afternoon by the SPCA Serving Erie County after cruelty investigators found them living in a home deemed unfit for both humans and animals.

According to SPCA Officer Lindsey Wood, the dogs were found all together, contained in a small bedroom; some were standing on dressers, others on the bed and desk. As officers slowly entered the room, the dogs began chaotically running throughout the house, clearly fearful of strangers.

“The sight and smell of urine and feces throughout the home was overwhelming,” said Wood, “and all the doors and windows were covered, making it an extremely dark environment.”

All 22 dogs were rescued by several SPCA representatives and rushed back to the West Seneca location for emergency care. Wood says one cat may still be in the house and SPCA officers are continuing their efforts to rescue the cat.

Charged with animal cruelty are Mary Beth Aaron, Jaime D. Aaron, and Marc R. Scholes. Collectively, they have been charged by SPCA Officer Wood with 46 counts each of Class A misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty according to NYS Agriculture and Markets Law Article 26, Sections 353 & 356. They are scheduled to be arraigned in Town of Tonawanda Justice Court August 24. Additional charges and violations were placed by Tonawanda Police.

The dogs are now in the care of the SPCA Serving Erie County and at the time of this writing are still being examined, cleaned, and cared for; the SPCA’s dedicated team is fully committed to ensuring the animals receive top-quality veterinary care and nurturing socialization, paving the way for the brighter futures they truly deserve.

Keep watching for additional details on the condition of the animals and the cruelty charges.

Your donation will provide care, comfort, and solace to these vulnerable animals during this challenging period. Together, we can show them better days lie ahead. To contribute toward the care of these animals, please click the button below and remember to write “22 Dogs” in the comments section of the donation form:

Help care for 22 dogs/pups rescued by SPCA >>




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