SPCA Officers Rescue Swan from Busy Highway After Concerned Drivers Report Sightings

March 11, 2021
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

Rescued mute swan, resting up at the SPCA in West Seneca March 11, 2021

UPDATE, MARCH 12: Members of the SPCA Wildlife Department will continue speaking with representatives of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) regarding the mute swan rescued two days ago. On a DEC informational website page found here, the organization states that it recently adopted regulations listing the mute swan as a “prohibited” invasive species, which prohibits the sale, importation, transport, or introduction of this species in New York. More information can be found on the DEC website.


There was no ‘swan song’ for this gorgeous bird last night, thanks to watchful drivers and SPCA animal rescue officers. Side note to those caught in this rush hour back-up yesterday evening on the I-90 near the I-290: at least now you’ll know it was for a good reason!

The SPCA Serving Erie County started receiving calls late yesterday afternoon from concerned drivers about what appeared to be a large swan seen at various places along the I-290.

At dusk, SPCA officers Jasil Ivory, William Heine, and Leanne Webb (celebrating her second day on the job!) were finally able to capture this beautiful swan right near Exit 50.



Thanks to excellent work by the officers, kind assistance from the NYS Thruway Authority  and New York State Police, and several compassionate and patient drivers, the swan is now resting comfortably in the Wildlife Department at the SPCA’s Harlem Rd., West Seneca shelter, where the bird is being examined and evaluated. 

The bird has been identified by wildlife professionals at the SPCA as a first-year Mute Swan, an invasive, non-native species. SPCA Wildlife Department Director Barbara Haney has been in constant communication with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and will have more information to report on the swan’s prognosis within the week.

Posted here are photos of last night’s rescue, another example of a community coming together to save the life of a beautiful animal, and an example of yet another way the SPCA Serving Erie County has continued to serve the people and the animals of this community throughout the pandemic. 

Remember, the SPCA Serving Erie County’s important programs and services are funded *only* through donations. Make your gift today and be part of these incredible animal rescues and rehabs!

Be Part of the SPCA’s Rescues & Rehabs >>

Remember that time Bernie came to Lipsey? Yeah, me, too.

THANK YOU FOR CONSIDERING THE SPCA SERVING ERIE COUNTY WHEN YOU DECIDED TO BRING HOME A NEW FAMILY MEMBER! 

The SPCA Serving Erie County is consistently revising these COVID-19 phase adoption policies in accordance with changing county COVID guidelines.

DOG ADOPTIONS
Appointments will be necessary for all dog viewing and adoptions
Monday – Saturday. Adoption appointments: (716) 875-7360, ext. 207. Read more about dog adoption appointments here >>

CAT ADOPTIONS 
Saturdays:  Appointments are necessary to view and/or adopt cats. Adoption appointments:
(716) 875-7360, ext. 207.

Monday – Friday:  No appointments are necessary for cat adoptions. Please note: visitors will be allowed in the cat viewing areas when space allows, in accordance with current limited occupancy guidelines. Because the Adoptions Dep’t. closes at 5 p.m. each day, final groups of visitors will be allowed in cat areas at 4 p.m. when space allows.

FARM ANIMAL ADOPTIONS
Appointments will be necessary for all farm animal adoptions Monday – Saturday. Please call
(716) 875-7360, ext. 212 or 215 to make your appointment.

ALL OTHER ANIMALS
No appointments are necessary to view and/or adopt other animals. Please note: visitors will be allowed in animal viewing areas when space allows, in accordance with current limited occupancy guidelines. Because the Adoptions Dep’t. closes at 5 p.m. each day, final groups of visitors will be allowed in cat areas at 4 p.m. when space allows.

*PLEASE NOTE: The status of all animal adoptions is subject to change at any time. Please check this page regularly for adoption status updates.

*Further details on animal adoptions and appointments are provided below.
________________________

FOR YOUR PROTECTION AND OURS, THE SPCA SERVING ERIE COUNTY WILL REMAIN CONSISTENT WITH OCCUPANCY GUIDELINES DURING OUR COVID-19 RESPONSE PHASE.  FACE MASKS AND SOCIAL DISTANCING ARE REQUIRED!

-Appointments are necessary to adopt dogs & farm animals at the SPCA Serving Erie County Monday – Saturday.

-Appointments are necessary for cat adoptions on Saturdays. No cat adoption appointments are required Monday – Friday.

-To reiterate: On Saturdays, only those with adoption appointments will be able to adopt a dog or a cat.

-No appointments are required to adopt bunnies, ferrets, or other small animals or reptiles at this time.

-To schedule an appointment, please call our Adoptions Desk at 716-875-7360, ext. 207, to leave your message.

-Please note: due to a high volume of calls, your call requesting an appointment may not be returned the same day. All calls are returned in the order they are received.

-Because our community is filled with people who love animals and want to adopt, dog adoption appointments are generally scheduled for several days, even weeks, in advance, so be sure to schedule your appointment early.

Read more about the need for dog adoption appointments here.

 -Adoption hours are currently 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and depending on the number of people waiting to see animals, the final group of potential adopters will be allowed to view cats and other small animals at 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Final dog adoption appointments will be made at 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and final appointments for other animals on Saturdays will be at 4 p.m.

-Upon entering the building, it is imperative all visitors sign in with contact information. We require the name of every guest in each party, including children, for tracing purposes.

-Four people will be allowed per guest pass in animal areas, which means up to four family members or friends should come together to the SPCA to adopt. Please remember if you are planning to adopt an animal, only four people per party will be allowed on each guest pass.

-A limited number of guest passes will be allowed in the cat rooms and small animal areas at any given time. This allows visitors to spend time safely meeting available animals without worry about proximity to other potential adopters. Visitors wishing to view dogs will need to have a
pre-existing appointment to do so.

-Concerning animals other than dogs: each guest pass allows a family time in the animal areas to help accommodate all potential adopters and increase the number of animals who find homes each day. Depending on the volume of visitors on any given day, a time limit may need to be put in place. (Please note: time limits with adoptable animals are only being enforced during our COVID-19 response phase. Normally, we encourage visitors to spend as long as possible with an animal prior to adoption!)

-If you arrive to adopt and the maximum number of people are present Monday through Friday in the cat & small animal viewing areas (appointments are required to adopt cats on Saturdays), you have the opportunity to wait in a small overflow area in our lobby or, if you prefer not to wait there or if that area is filled, outdoors. Your sign-in information determines the order of admission into the building. If you choose to wait outdoors, we will call you on your mobile phone when it is your turn to visit! Remember, you will not be able to view dogs without an appointment on any day, and appointments are necessary for dogs AND cats on Saturdays.

-Wait times to see cats Monday – Friday (Saturdays require an appointment) and other small animals Monday through Saturday will vary depending on shelter population, so please plan accordingly. If you arrive before 4 p.m. and there is a long wait, you may not be able to view the animals on the day you visit. Thank you for understanding our efforts to abide by occupancy guidelines; while not viewing animals on the day you visit is frustrating for all involved, we must make every effort to remain consistent with current health regulations in place to keep our visitors safe.

-Adoption hours are 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. On Monday through Friday, the final group of potential adopters will be allowed in cat/small animal adoption areas one hour prior to closing if space allows. Final dog adoption appointments will be made at 4 p.m. each day, and final cat adoption appointments on Saturdays will be made at 4 p.m.

-This bears repeating: we may not be able to accommodate everyone on any given day. Depending on the number of people who have arrived at the shelter before you, it is possible you will not be able to see animals on the day you visit. Believe us, we don’t like it either. We’re in the business of placing these animals in new homes…including YOURS! But we understand, and hope you understand, this is for your safety as well as the safety of our volunteers and staff members.

-See animals available for adoption on this page! Remember, our population changes several times each day, so you’ll want to check back frequently!

-Our adoption policies during this COVID era are changing frequently in response to community developments. Please remember to check this website prior to your visit for our most current adoption policy.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE AS WE WORK TOGETHER TO KEEP PEOPLE & ANIMALS SAFE & HEALTHY!

–Gina Lattuca, SPCA Serving Erie County Chief Communications Officer

SPCA ISSUES WINTER PET SAFETY TIPS

February 5, 2021
By: Gina Lattuca, SPCA Chief Communications Officer

It was a mild winter so far, but as Buffalonians, we knew that snow, wind, and frigid temps would return. This year is different from other years, however, in that it’s a little more complicated to receive emergency veterinary care, as veterinary clinics (including the low-cost Lipsey Veterinary Clinic at the SPCA) strive to comply with COVID-related guidelines.  Plan ahead for the upcoming freezing days and nights now to ensure your pets stay safe and healthy throughout the weekend and the remaining winter months. Read on for some of the SPCA Serving Erie County’s winter pet safety tips.

*OUTDOOR ANIMAL SHELTER MUST BE SUITABLE FOR INCLEMENT WEATHER: …and if it’s not, animal welfare officers can rescue the pet even before he or she shows signs of suffering, thanks to New York State’s Shelter Law that went into effect in 2003. Thanks to a legislative push in late 2018 that led to stronger laws concerning the tethering of dogs within Buffalo city limits, the SPCA and other law enforcement organizations can now take even more steps to ensure dogs are protected from the elements.

* Keep a Tight Leash:
Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm. Pets can lose their scent on snow and ice, especially if snow is falling at a fast rate, and your pet can easily lose his sense of direction. Pets may also panic during a snowstorm and run away; many pets are lost during the winter months. Remember to keep current identification on your pet at all times!

*Keep Pets At Home: Never leave your pet alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold. Your pet could literally freeze to death.

*Always Dry Pet’s Wet Feet: Thoroughly wipe off your pet’s legs and stomach when she comes in and out of the rain, snow or ice. Check her sensitive foot pads, which may be bleeding from snow or ice encrusted in them. Your pet may also pick up salt and other chemicals on her feet accidentally. These chemicals could hurt her if she swallows them while licking her feet.

*Lay Straw for Dogs’ Visits Outdoors: Can’t get your dog to wear booties? Lay straw on top of snow for trips outdoors by dogs reluctant to step out onto a freezing surface to relieve themselves.

*Check Cars for Cats: During the winter, stray or neglected cats outdoors sometimes sleep under the hood of the car where it’s warm and comfortable. If you start the motor, cats could get caught in or flung about by the fan belt, causing serious injury or death. To prevent this, bang loudly on the hood and sides of your car before turning on the ignition to give the cat a chance to escape.

*Keep Outdoor ‘Sessions’ Short: Take your dog outside only for as long as it takes for him to relieve himself. Dogs, particularly small, short-haired breeds like Chihuahuas and terriers, suffer from the cold despite their seemingly warm fur coats. Live within Buffalo city limits? Don’t forget Buffalo’s new laws pertaining to tethering dogs in inclement weather..

*Bathe Pets Only When Necessary: Your pet runs the chance of catching a cold when wet, especially in cold weather. If you absolutely must bathe your pet, consult a professional groomer or veterinarian.

*Keep Pets Warm: Limit the clipping of your pet’s hair in the cold winter months, keeping your pet as warm as possible. Brush your pet daily in lieu of clipping to keep your pet’s coat healthy, shiny, clean and mat-free. Make sure your pet has a warm place to sleep far away from outside drafts.

*Hungry Pets: Speak to your veterinarian about increasing your pet’s supply of food, particularly protein, to keep his fur thick and healthy through the winter months. Inquire about vitamin and oil supplements.

*ANTIFREEZE IS POISON TO PETS: ANTIFREEZE, EVEN IN SMALL DOSES, IS A LETHAL POISON FOR DOGS AND CATS! Because of its sweet taste, animals are attracted to it. Be sure to clean up spills thoroughly, and consider switching to an animal-friendly antifreeze. Ensure that, if you store Antifreeze in a garage, shed, or other places accessible to your pets, it is well out of pets’ reach.

If your pet becomes lost, be sure to visit YourSPCA.org’s Lost and Found page for recommendations on where to post lost pet listings, and tips for finding your lost pets.

For more tips regarding keeping pets safe and healthy during the winter, contact the SPCA at 716-875-7360, or call the Lipsey Veterinary Clinic at the SPCA, 716-531-4700.

 

 

January 22, 2021

SPCA donations in memory of Sabres’
Linus Ullmark’s father

 

Donations are coming into the SPCA Serving Erie County in memory of Linus Ullmark's father who passed away in Sweden earlier this week.

Buffalo Sabres goaltender Linus Ullmark Photo credit AP / Jeffrey T. Barnes

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) – When it comes to supporting Buffalo’s sports teams, this weekend is all about the red and blue for the Buffalo Bills. But quietly, support is also going out to a member of the Buffalo Sabres who has suffered a personal loss.

Goaltender Linus Ullmark was with the team on Monday when he received a call from his mother in Sweden that his father had passed away at the age of 63.

On Thursday, Ullmark opened up to Sabres.com about it.

“I had my worst pregame skate in my whole life, probably,” he said. “Usually when these things sort of happen, with me, there’s always been a common theme, and that’s been that my dad has either been very sick or that something bad has happened back home. I sensed that something was wrong.”

He said he’d been checking his phone a lot since his father entered the hospital early last week. When Ullmark reached the locker room, he found that he had a missed call from his mother.

“The hunch that I had was true,” he said. “She just wanted to call me and say that that afternoon, Dad left us. He left us around 5 very peacefully, calmly with her by his side.”

Linus Ullmark has been a friend and supporter of the SPCA Serving Erie County. Last year he sponsored a program called Ullmark’s Barks. It brought more social media attention to animals that were having a harder time getting adopted.

“That was all Buffalonians needed to hear,” said SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca. “People started calling and asking how they could contribute to Ullmark’s Barks in memory of Linus’ father.”

Lattuca said they set up this special SPCA page for contributions >>.

“Linus is such a remarkable man. It gives you an indication of what kind of man his dad was. We think Buffalo is the most compassionate city in the nation and we’re honored to serve this community.”

Buffalo Bills General Manager Brandon Beane and Wife Hayley Kick Off “Bills Muttfia” for SPCA Serving Erie County Animals

September 12, 2020
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

Give in honor of the Beanes and their Bills Muttfia HERE! >>

UPDATE 1/18/21: The Buffalo Bills are well into the playoffs, and Sunday night’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs will be a big one. The game will not be a home game, but Hayley Beane tells us today that BILLS MUTTFIA drafts will continue this weekend! We want NOTHING to destroy the mojo that’s bringing us all the way to SUPER BOWL LV! On behalf of #BillsMuttfia rookies past & future, thank you, Hayley & Brandon!

The Beane Family

 

Another member of the Buffalo Bills will be scoring for the animals at the SPCA Serving Erie County this football season!

Buffalo Bills General Manager Brandon Beane and his wife, Hayley, will pay the adoption fee of one animal for every home game touchdown all season long!

The Bills Muttfia program, conceived by the Beanes, picks up where Hauschpups left off.

Last season, former Bills kicker Stephen Hauschka and his wife, Lindsey, paid the adoption fee of one dog, or Hauschpup, for every home field goal kicked. Because Stephen is no longer with the team, Lindsey, an ardent animal lover, asked friend Hayley if there was any way the program could be continued in some form.

The Beanes, staunch supporters of pet adoption and owners of two rescue dogs (Bodie and Peanut Beane, pictured here!), immediately jumped at the chance to reimagine a similar program to help the SPCA Serving Erie County place animals with loving families more quickly.

For every home game touchdown scored by the Buffalo Bills, the Beanes will pay the adoption fee of one SPCA animal. Dogs, cats, small animals, birds, reptiles, even farm animals will be drafted into the Bills Muttfia depending on the SPCA’s population on game day. New Muttfia team members will be announced on the SPCA’s social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) at noon the day after each home game.

“No matter what happens at work, good day, bad day, you win 40 to nothing, lose 40 to nothing, your dogs are fired up to see you when you come in the door, and that’s a cool feeling, the love and nurturing that they bring to the family,” Brandon Beane says in a BuffaloBills.com video focused on the Beanes and the importance of pet adoption.

“I think adopting is so important because you have shelters that are just full,” says Hayley, who toured the SPCA’s 300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca shelter Sept. 10, in the same video.

This season’s Bills Muttfia draft will begin with the Buffalo Bills’ first home game Sunday, September 13, against the New York Jets.

For more on Bills Muttfia, watch this BuffaloBills.com video or read Vic Carucci’s article in the Buffalo News.

See the animals drafted into the Bills Muttfia this season right here >>

See adoptable animals at the SPCA Serving Erie County >>

 

Lucia, Safe and Sound After Two Years Straying the Streets

December 29, 2020
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

UPDATE 1/14/2021: Yesterday was a big day for Lucia! She was adopted and went home to West Seneca with Katherine! Be a good girl, Lucia!
  



Sure, it takes a village to see some things through. But sometimes it takes an entire city. And this particular cat brought to the SPCA yesterday needed the City of Good Neighbors to help her see things straight!

Here is Lucia’s story, as told to us by our Director of Admissions Amy Jaworski and Admissions Counselor Tammi Cogswell:

Approximately two years ago, a calico kitty was admitted to the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter (CBAS).  While there, as part of the excellent care provided by CBAS, the kitty had eye removal surgery and was placed in foster care for several weeks before being ready for adoption.  She was named Lucia, and, when her rehab was complete, Lucia was placed up for adoption at PetSmart in Buffalo.

Lucia was adopted quickly…but moments after her adoption, while the adopter was walking to her car to bring Lucia home, Lucia fell through the bottom of the cat carrier and was gone.  Devoted CBAS volunteers, including SPCA employee Tammi Cogswell, searched for this cat, and in these two years, right up until this week, continued to put food out for her (courtesy of dedicated CBAS volunteer Mary, who made the search for Lucia a regular part of her life for two years!) in the hopes of capturing her, but with no success.

Several months ago, a woman named Susan came to the SPCA to surrender her mother’s cat, and Tammi, working at our Admissions Desk, asked Susan the general questions asked upon intake: how Susan’s mom acquired the cat, how long she owned the cat, etc. The conversation turned to stray cats when Susan responded that her mother’s cat had been a stray; Susan offhandedly mentioned that there was another stray cat who had been in the area a few years, a cat with beautiful colors and ONE EYE!

Tammi, acting as the ever-vigilant animal advocate that she is, asked Susan if this stray cat was in the vicinity of the PetSmart location  in the city.  The answer was a resounding “Yes,” the cat took up residence on Buffalo’s Rebecca Drive, and Susan promised to send Tammi photos of the cat next time the kitty came around.

Over the last few months, Tammi sent messages to Susan asking about the cat, but Susan was never able to grab another photo. Earlier this month, Susan contacted Tammi asking to borrow a live trap in an effort to safely capture and contain this one-eyed beauty.

We learned this cat had captured many hearts during her 2+-year stay in the neighborhood, and while the entire community came together to help care for her, Lucia had touched the life of one man in particular named Stephen, who was a primary caretaker (he even built a house for her, complete with a heated floor mat). Stephen had become very attached to this little girl and named her “Manechan” (Stephen later said he named this feisty cat Manechan after a feisty, Thai princess…so her full name, Stephen told us, is Lucia Manechan!).

Susan shared with Stephen the possible story behind this stray and put him in touch with Tammi at the SPCA.

Jump ahead to this week…the one-eyed stray Stephen and others in the neighborhood had been caring for was finally safely secured with no trap needed, and arrangements were made for Susan to bring the kitty to the SPCA to be scanned for a microchip.

The big scan happened yesterday, and it was finally confirmed: the beautiful, one-eyed stray is, in fact, Lucia! There were plenty of tears of joy at the SPCA and CBAS over this exciting news! Thanks to Stephen, Susan, and the other amazing, caring community members in the neighborhood unable to keep Lucia, yet dedicated to looking out for her wellbeing, Lucia is alive, safe, and unharmed more than two years after her escape! 

Today, Lucia is, understandably, a little stressed, and we’re giving her time to relax and unwind after her adventures. At the time of this writing, SPCA representatives have contacted CBAS representatives to determine what happens next in little Lucia’s story!

The compassionate teams at the CBAS and SPCA, combined with a Buffalo neighborhood full of caring individuals including Stephen and Susan, exemplify an entire community coming together to care for the lives of its animals.

Keep watching this page and YourSPCA.org for updates on Lucia!

 

Tommy the Cat: Reunited for Christmas! One Stray Cat’s Buffalo-to-North Carolina Journey Home for the Holidays

December 10, 2020
By: SPCA Serving Erie County Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

See Tommy’s video here >>
“Reunited for Christmas” sounds like a favorite holiday movie with a fantasy ending. For Tommy the cat, however, this holiday fantasy ending was real!

Tommy, a sweet kitten, was adopted  at the SPCA Serving Erie County by then-Buffalo resident Frances Grinage back in June of 2018.  As part of his adoption, Tommy was microchipped at the SPCA. Frances says he fit right into her Buffalo home, where he lived with other four-footed friends…among them, dogs CoCo and Baby.

Frances tells us that every night, Tommy, CoCo, and Baby contentedly shared her bed for their nightly slumber, and that every morning, Tommy would wake her up with a “kiss” on the nose.

In August of 2020, Frances found herself on the move to North Carolina. Tommy, however, had other plans; as Frances was packing up the car to leave, Tommy escaped. Frances said she searched high and low and wanted to remain in Buffalo until she found Tommy, but finally had to begin her road trip without her beloved boy.

Jump ahead to earlier this December week. A good Samaritan who found a very sweet, stray cat arrived at the SPCA to surrender the kitty. It turns out this sweet cat was microchipped…and that chip identified Tommy’s owner as Frances.

When Frances received the call that Tommy had been found (approximately one mile from where Frances had lived!), she said she was elated! “I couldn’t believe it!” said Frances. “I felt like my heart was going to explode! All I wanted for Christmas was to have my Tommy back.”

The SPCA team went to work, and on Wednesday, December 9 (coincidentally during the annual SPCA T-Mobile Radiothon with Newsradio 930 WBEN and Star 102.5 FM Radio!), with a little help from the SPCA’s Cary Munschauer, Tommy packed his bags and headed to the Buffalo airport for his 1:30 p.m. flight to North Carolina!

As pictured here, Tommy patiently awaited his departure at the airport…seems he had a little bit to say when it was slightly delayed…but Tommy’s flight was closely monitored and it appeared to be a smooth trip home.

Frances contacted us early this morning to say that Tommy arrived safely home, and was resting after his travels! “He cried a lot at first, and was extremely nervous. He finally settled down around 8 p.m.”

Frances added that a 4 1/2-month break apparently did nothing to change Tommy’s routine! Right away, Frances tells us, “…he did recognize me and also CoCo and Baby! We all slept together again! It felt like old times.”

Even during a year as difficult as 2020, Tommy’s tale proves that miracles really do happen, especially in the City of Good Neighbors. An entire community came together to help this cat reunite with his loving mom and family.

“I’m truly happy he’s home,” says Frances. “Thank you and the entire staff of the SPCA for my early Christmas gift!”

See Tommy in this video re-telling of his story:

You can help make miracles like this happen at the SPCA Serving Erie County every day! Make your gift today >>