For more information from the Erie County Department of Health on this year’s rabies vaccine air and ground distribution, please click on the image below:

You can also find more information on the ECDOH website >>

Scentimental SPCA Tale Blooms at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses 

July 29, 2021
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

People find love at the SPCA Serving Erie County every day.

They’ve called us Match.com. eHarmony.

But Ancestry.com? This was a first.

To be fair, this magic moment did not actually happen at the SPCA’s West Seneca shelter. It actually started nearly eight years ago at our former shelter in Tonawanda…November 30, 2013, to be exact…and continued this summer at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses in Williamsville.

That’s where Mark Yadon, vice president of Mischler’s, brings his dog, Foster, to work each day. As Yadon tells us, Foster happily greets customers as they begin their shopping…just for a few moments, Yadon said…then makes his way back to “dad.”

One day this summer, Foster left Yadon’s side to greet a male customer and didn’t immediately return. Yadon, wondering why Foster was uncharacteristically gone so long, headed to where the customer was shopping, and there with the shopper was Foster. Yadon says Foster simply would not leave the man’s side and kept sniffing his ankle and leg. When Yadon commented on this unusual behavior exhibited by Foster, the shopper replied that Foster may smell his own dog on him and that could be why Foster remained next to him.

Yadon and the customer started talking dogs, and the customer mentioned that he and his wife, Cheryl, had adopted their dog, an Australian Shepherd mix like Foster, from the SPCA Serving Erie County about seven years or so ago. He explained that their dog, Luke, was just  a puppy at the time, transported to the SPCA from Kentucky days earlier.

Yadon marveled at this adoption story because, like Luke, FOSTER was adopted from the SPCA Serving Erie County about seven years or so ago, and…yes…FOSTER was a puppy just transported to the SPCA from Kentucky.

Foster’s original name, Yadon shared, was “Randy.” Luke’s original name, the customer said, was “Travis.”

Randy. Travis. Littermates, it turns out, from the City Animal Shelter in Menifee, KY, transported from that overcrowded shelter to the SPCA Serving Erie County on November 26, 2013. Randy was adopted November 30, 2013 at 12:38 p.m., and Travis, the same day at 1:01 p.m.

The customer, Patrick Baird of Tonawanda, returned to Mischler’s the following week with Luke (Luke Skywalker is his full name) and the former Randy/Travis, now Foster/Luke, enjoyed a happy family reunion, all thanks to one expert sniffer who overstayed his welcome with a customer!

We know we speak for these two canines when we say being reunited must have felt so good. In the words of Randy Travis, they were too gone for too long.

You can meet the famous Foster at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Road in Williamsville!

See the story on WGRZ-TV here >>

A special thank you to Mark and Foster Yadon and Patrick, Cheryl, and Luke Baird for allowing us to share this heartwarming tale!

SPCA Serving Erie County President and CEO Gary Willoughby Set to Depart the Organization in the Fall; Will Lead Gulf Coast Humane Society in Florida

July 13, 2021
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

It is with regret and understanding that the SPCA Serving Erie County Board of Directors announces the departure of President and CEO Gary Willoughby.

Willoughby, who started his tenure at the SPCA in March of 2016, will be leaving New York State to be close to and care for aging relatives in Fort Myers, Florida, and will be leading the Gulf Coast Humane Society there.

Board Chair Julie Desmond Schechter stated today that board members are incredibly grateful for all that Willoughby has accomplished for the organization throughout the last five years.

In his time with the SPCA, in addition to several other accomplishments, Willoughby, currently a board member of the New York State Animal Protection Federation, helped complete the planning, construction, and subsequent move to the organization’s new West Seneca home; maintain financial health of the agency; and complete and open the Stanford & Judith C. Lipsey Veterinary Clinic at the SPCA.

During Willoughby’s tenure, a partnership with Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine in Harrogate, Tennessee commenced, whereby veterinary students come to the SPCA for rotation between the SPCA’s infirmary and Lipsey Clinic. Engagement in new initiatives including the CATalyst Council (enabling the lifelong health and welfare of companion cats) and AlignCare®  (aligning resources and activities from a community-based perspective to benefit both humans and animals) were realized, helping to ensure that the SPCA Serving Erie County remained at the forefront of animal care.

“Not the least of his challenges and successes was guiding this agency through the unprecedented period of COVID,” says Schechter. “Gary implemented protocols to ensure that our staff, volunteers, and visitors were always safe, and at the same time allowed us to maintain our budget, care for our animals, and fulfill our mission.

“I’m personally thankful for the advice, guidance, partnership, and friendship he’s provided to me during my tenure as Chair of the SPCA Board of Directors,” Schechter added.

“In many ways, this move brings me back to my home,” Willoughby states. “My family moved to the Fort Myers area when I was eight years old, but other members of our family have lived there since the 1950s. We adopted two cats from the Gulf Coast Humane Society in 1979, in fact, and I’ve watched the organization grow and thrive as the community grew.”

Willoughby adds that the Gulf Coast Humane Society has a number of programs similar to that of the SPCA Serving Erie County, including a vibrant adoption program, a high-volume spay/neuter infirmary, a public veterinary clinic, and more. “They also have a few upcoming construction projects that will allow me the opportunity to dust off my hard hat and oversee facility improvements, which has been a big part of my career over the past 20 years,” said Willoughby.

The SPCA’s Board of Directors has formed a search committee tasked first with finding a potential interim President and CEO. Willoughby will remain with the SPCA Serving Erie County three more months and will assist in the transition of the position of President and CEO.

FOURTH OF JULY, OUTDOOR FESTIVALS: No Picnic for Pets

June 30, 2021
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

The days immediately following July 4 can result in increased numbers of stray animals admitted to animal control facilities and humane societies, and often the explosive sound of fireworks is to blame. Fireworks cause many pets to panic, resulting in extreme and sometimes dangerous escape measures from homes or yards. Without identification, it is nearly impossible to reunite pet with owner.  Please keep the following tips in mind this holiday:

* ENSURE ALL ANIMALS ARE WEARING CURRENT IDENTIFICATION! Even if the animal has microchip identification, place a collar with an ID tag on your pet. If a neighbor finds your animal, an ID collar that includes your phone number can lead to a faster reunion.

* DON’T TAKE ANIMALS TO FIREWORKS DISPLAYS. The sounds and sights of fireworks often have the ability to turn the most calm, quiet, and non-aggressive pet into a stressed, frightened animal. A startled animal may not only break free and run away, but may also bite. If you bring your dog to these events and realize it’s becoming too overwhelming for him or her, DO NOT KEEP YOUR DOG IN YOUR CAR FOR ANY AMOUNT OF TIME! The effects of heatstroke on even slightly warm days begin within mere minutes. and the results could be fatal.  Stressed animals confined to cars can not only die or suffer severe brain damage, but can also experience an overwhelming stress level that can cause physical harm to the pet, and/or damage to the vehicle’s interior. Home is the safest place for pets this holiday.

* HAVE SOMEONE HOME WITH NERVOUS PETS DURING FIREWORKS. If the animal is with someone he or she knows, the pet’s stress level will be greatly reduced. Keep the volume on a television or radio turned up to block some of the noise. ThunderShirts®  reportedly work to calm the anxiety felt by some dogs and cats when they can hear fireworks, thunder, even when they experience separation anxiety, and can be found in many local pet supply shops and online. Other anti-anxiety items are carried here in the SPCA’s Petique: (716) 875-7360, ext. 237.

If a pet manages to escape, community members can visit the SPCA’s Lost & Found/Stray Animals page at YourSPCA.org, which includes effective ways to find a lost pet. A link to local animal control facilities can also be found on that page.


 Home is also the safest place for pets on extremely hot days, during arts festivals, food festivals, and other crowded outdoor events.  Very hot weather paired with immense crowds of people and loud, strange noises heighten the stress level for many animals.  Your pet’s body is closer to the asphalt and can heat up quickly. The hot pavement can also burn unprotected, sensitive paw pads

 

See the SPCA’s additional, important reminders for keeping pets safe in the summer heat here >>

If you witness animal cruelty or see any animal in need of rescue or emergency assistance this summer, the SPCA Serving Erie County may be able to help. Please call the SPCA Monday through Sunday, 8 a.m. – 7:30 p.m., at (716) 875-7360, ext. 214.

 

SPCA Issues Hot Weather Reminders Designed to Keep Pets Safe

June 30, 2021
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

Buffalo and the rest of the country have moved full-speed-ahead into hot weather, with temperatures this week again predicted to surpass 90 degrees. 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 hot 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. 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
– Weakness, looking dazed – Coma

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? As of May 2020, while a handful of states allowed good Samaritans to legally break car windows in an effort to save a suffering animal, unfortunately New York was 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 7:30 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 on your pet when outdoors on hot, humid, sunny summer days. If you see an animal left on a porch or in a yard with no access to shelter, or with inadequate shelter, 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 – Sunday,
8 a.m. – 7:30 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 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. 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! In July of 2012, 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 or see any animal in need of rescue or emergency assistance this summer, the SPCA Serving Erie County may be able to help. Contact the SPCA immediately if the location is within Erie County Monday – Sunday, 8 a.m. – 7:30 p.m., at (716) 875-7360, ext. 214.

Between 7:30 p.m. and 8 a.m., please contact your local animal control, police department, or your local after-hours emergency clinic.

_________________________________________

Those who witness a situation that might constitute
cruelty and/or violence toward animals in Erie County,
including animals left outdoors with inappropriate
shelter in yards or on porches, are encouraged to report the
circumstances to the SPCA Serving Erie County:
716-875-7360 or cruelty@yourspca.org.

SPCA Launches Tale for Two Summer Reading Challenge; Program Encourages Children to Read to Shelter Pets

June 8, 2021
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

UPDATE, JULY 7: All slots for this summer’s Tale for Two Reading Challenge have been filled! That’s a lot of dedicated readers! Look for more Tale for Two sessions in the fall, when we resume normal programming. Thanks for all the interest! Good luck readers!


UPDATE, JUNE 23: Tale for Two has received such an overwhelming response to its in-person reading slots that members of the SPCA’s Humane Education Department have added Thursday in-person options to the roster. In addition to the options listed below, children can now be registered to read aloud to shelter animals in person on Thursdays, 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.


The SPCA Serving Erie County has announced its 2021 Tale for Two Summer Reading Challenge this year, with prizes for children who read multiple books!

Tale For Two encourages children ages 5 – 16 to read aloud to adoptable animals at the SPCA. Animals benefit from the increased socialization and reduced stress levels, while children work on their literacy and reading skills, building their self-esteem and confidence.

This summer’s reading challenge sessions include both in-person and virtual options to be scheduled June 28 – September 1, 2021.

In-person 30-minute reading sessions take place Mondays and Wednesdays between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Six families will be welcomed for each 30-minute time slot, for a maximum of 18 families each day. Virtual Zoom 30-minute reading sessions are available Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

The cost of a Tale for Two Summer Reading Challenge pass is $50.00, which allows children to read once per week to an SPCA animal in person at the
300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca shelter, once per week to an SPCA animal virtually, or both.

Children in kindergarten through eleventh grade who read multiple books receive certificates of achievement and various SPCA prizes ranging from pencils and wristbands to T-shirts and sweatshirts. The top two children who read the most books will receive a small collection of age-appropriate books for their reading libraries, and memberships to the SPCA’s Kind Kids Club.

Children can bring their own reading materials, or make a selection from the SPCA’s library.

Readers and parents/guardians are required to be part of one hour-long ZOOM orientation session, during which

reading challenge details and rules will be discussed. Orientation sessions are scheduled for Monday, June 21 and Thursday, June 24 at 5:30 p.m. If attendance at one of these sessions is not possible, participants will have the opportunity to watch a recorded orientation session and complete a required orientation questionnaire.

 

Register for the Tale for Two Summer Reading Challenge and one orientation session right here >> 

Register for the SPCA’s Tale for Two Summer Reading Challenge here >>


SUMMER, 2021 MASK POLICY FOR HUMANE EDUCATION PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS:
At this time, face masks are REQUIRED for all adults and children participating in Humane Education programs, regardless of vaccination; for all unvaccinated adults and children; and for all children 11 years of age and younger.

Take This Job and Love It:
Great Benefits Program with Perks for
Blue Collar Working Cats

June 21, 2021
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca



They’re a little too temperamental to be considered perfect, in-home, companion cats. Some are even feral. What’s to be done about these categories of cats when agencies like the SPCA Serving Erie County receive them as surrendered animals, or as part of an animal hoarding situation or other type of animal rescue or cruelty case?

For more than a decade, East Aurora-based Feral Cat FOCUS Inc. (FCF) has provided an answer for this agency and other cat welfare organizations in the state. Historically called other names such as the Adopt-A-Barn-Cat program and the Adopt-A-Working-Cat program, the Blue Collar Working Cats program now encompasses more of the varied establishments that have taken advantage of the loyal presence of these hard-working cats!

One of the founders of FCF, Edie Offhaus, says, “These are cats of various temperaments. In some cases, they are not exactly feral, but they’re unsocial. This program is a beautiful adoption alternative for these types of cats who have nowhere else to go.”

According to Offhaus, Blue Collar Working Cats have been placed in various New York State establishments including wineries, warehouses, nurseries and greenhouses, barns and stables, and more. “We place cats in all parts of Western New York, and assist agencies all over New York State, even some in the New York City area,” Offhaus states. When an organization representative calls to inquire about receiving Blue Collar Working Cats to live on the property, Offhaus says, “We conduct a thorough interview to ensure proper placement, since not all of these cats will thrive in all of these settings. We also ensure there are enough people who will take full responsibility for the care and feeding of these cats throughout their lifetime.”

Once an establishment is deemed a proper setting for specific Blue Collar Working Cats, a representative of FCF brings a minimum of two cats (some larger establishments have four or more Blue Collar Working Cats), already spayed or neutered, treated for fleas, and vaccinated by veterinarians at Operation PETS: the Spay/Neuter Clinic of WNY, Inc. for “grounding” purposes. Cats are placed in extra-large dog crates at their “new home” (when a separate, closed-off room is not available) for a three-week period, which allows them time to adapt to the different people, sights, sounds, smells, and, possibly, other animals that collectively comprise the new setting.  Most importantly, they begin to recognize the voices of those who will be providing the majority of care.

“Feral Cat FOCUS provides the crates and other equipment during the three-week grounding period,” Offhaus says. “After that, as with any adoption, all care is the responsibility of the new owners.” Offhaus also remarks that, in all the years of managing this program, FCF has had very few cats that didn’t respond to the new surroundings. “Now that the quality of life has increased for the animals and they’re more content, some of them become even more social and enjoy being present around people for longer periods of time.”

To date, more than 600 establishments house a minimum of two Blue Collar Working Cats. The purpose? “Rodent control, plain and simple,” Offhaus says. “Sometimes the mere presence of Blue Collar Working Cats is enough to keep rodents away from perceived food sources or food and beverage storage areas.”

FCF is unable to accept surrenders of cats from private owners who believe their cats may not be living a high quality of life indoors, yet feel guilty about keeping them outdoors or giving them up. “What we do,” explains Offhaus, “is walk those pet owners through how to set up a Blue Collar Working Cats program right at home. We remove the misplaced guilt they may feel over not keeping a cat indoors. Not every cat can life a high-quality life indoors. So we help these people establish a Blue Collar Working Cats program right where they are; we walk them through all the steps and assist as much as possible in their imitation of our program.”

The SPCA Serving Erie County is honored to be one of the organizations with which FCF works in its Blue Collar Working Cats program. Several hundred cats who were not viable adoption candidates found new lives through FCF and this program, and the SPCA is indebted and eternally grateful to the team at FCF for dedicating so many of their resources to these special cats with high work ethics.

Organization representatives who believe Blue Collar Working Cats might be a welcome addition to their establishments are encouraged to call FCF at 1-888-902-9717 or visit the FCF website to learn more about adopting a working cat team.

Feral Cat FOCUS Inc. is an all-volunteer organization with 501(c)(3) status. Donations are welcomed and encouraged. Make a gift or learn more >>

SPCA Serving Erie County LVT Constantino is Nominee for 2021 American Humane Hero Veterinary Nurse Award

Vote for Marisa each day >>

June 18, 2021 — The annual American Humane Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Nurse Awards™ honor the heroes who dedicate their lives to making a difference in animals’ lives, and this year, the SPCA Serving Erie County’s Marisa Constantino, LVT and Dr. Allison Kean, DVM were both nominated for these awards and recognition!

Constantino, pictured here, is one of five veterinary nurses selected to advance to the voting round!

Voting for the 2021 American Humane Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Nurse Awards™ ,  sponsored by Zoetis Petcare, is now open!  From now until 12 p.m. Pacific Time on July 29, 2021, you can vote for your favorite vet and vet nurse each day. Your votes will determine the winners that will be featured on Hallmark Channel this fall.

If you are a U.S. resident at least 18 years old, please vote for Marisa each day right here >>

Marisa was nominated due to the outstanding care she provides. Her nomination at AmericanHumane.org reads as follows: 

Marisa demonstrates the characteristics of an American Hero Veterinary Nurse on a daily basis. She demonstrates the perfect balance of professionalism, compassion, logic, curiosity, and reason. Marisa approaches each animal she is presented with as if that animal is the only one she will treat that day, and may not see again. For a large, open admission, multi-species shelter, and public-facing clinic, Marisa does the work of 3 technicians. She has taken on the role of trainer and mentor to a large number of 4th year veterinary students on a regular shelter rotation, and does so with the knowledge that she has been influenced by preceptor mentors like her, and strives to pay it forward, also with the knowledge that these future veterinarians will depend on the talents and skills of technicians as they settle into their career, and knowing how to navigate that partnership with grace and professional respect is crucial.

 As animal welfare shifts to a true social service initiative, the ability to serve people with the same respect as animals in need is a skill that Marisa demonstrates without even trying. She sees the big picture, and works to undo much of the oppression and discrimination that many clients seeking services have experienced at some point in their lives. Marisa sees only solutions, not barriers. 

Animal welfare needs to care about people as much as it cares about animals, and Marisa is a perfect vision of that goal. 

The SPCA’s Vice President of Veterinary Services, Melanie Rushforth, says, “It is an honor to work with someone like Marisa on a daily basis.  She is a humble caretaker and an innovative veterinary nurse who represents the industry with the utmost professionalism.  She helps others be better.” We couldn’t agree more!

One winning Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Nurse will be featured on the 2021 American Humane Hero Dog Awards® broadcast on Hallmark Channel this fall!

Please take this opportunity to vote for Marisa as recipient of the American Humane Hero Veterinary Nurse Award™, and encourage your friends and family members to do the same! 

–SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

 

SPCA Camp-At-Home Kits

GET YOUR SPCA CAMP-AT-HOME KIT(S) HERE!

SPCA Camp-At-Home Kits let kids ages five through nine bring the fun of the SPCA home…or to any vacation location!…in an engaging, screen-free way!

Two different kits include step-by-step instructions on all craft and activity supplies; age-appropriate books; an issue of “Kind News;” an SPCA water bottle; and an SPCA wristband and pencil. Children will learn lessons about animal care, nature, and more that will keep them thinking and creating long after kit activities are complete.

SPCA Camp-At-Home Kits will be available July 6 – September 1, 2021, and include:

Rescue a Furry Friend!
Ages 5 – 9
$35.00
Children will learn about and practice the five elements of pet care and responsible pet ownership by caring for their very own pet….PLUSH pet, that is! They will rescue their new, furry friend, then foster it, care for it, and eventually ADOPT! Each activity will allow children to explore a different component of care through hands-on activities, crafts, and experiments.

Arts and Nature
Ages 5 – 9
$35.00
This is a self-paced activity kit for animal lovers with a creative side! Campers will have the opportunity to express themselves creatively through fun, impactful, indoor/outdoor crafts and activities! All required craft materials and instructions will be included in each kit.


The health and safety of our participants are our primary concerns, so all kit materials have been disinfected and handled by healthy staff members wearing masks and gloves.

Kits will be available via curbside pickup, or can be delivered within Erie County at an additional cost. Kits can also be shipped at an additional cost.

CURBSIDE PICKUP
Curbside pickup will be available at the SPCA’s 300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca shelter Monday – Saturday, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

DELIVERY
Delivery is only offered for locations within Erie County, NY.

SHIPPING
If you live inside or outside of Erie County, NY,  and  you are unable to pick up your kit at the SPCA, you may wish to have your kit shipped to you. Backpacks are shipped at an additional fee to be determined.

Register for your child’s kit here . For more information, contact SPCA Director of Humane Education Christine Davis: 716-875-7360, ext. 262 or ChristineD@yourspca.org

GET YOUR SPCA CAMP-AT-HOME KIT(S) HERE!
 


From the SPCA’s Humane Education Department regarding the safety of your children: “The SPCA Serving Erie County has and always has had strict cleaning and safety policies in place due to the nature of animal sheltering and the potential for zoonotic disease exposure. During the age of COVID-19, we will follow all CDC guidelines and recommendations, require masks, require social distancing, and will temperature-check and screen for COVID prior to entry. In addition, extensive sanitizing protocols are in place, including sanitizing areas before and after use, to keep our participants and staff safe and healthy while participating in any in-person program.”

At this time, face masks are REQUIRED for all adults and children participating in Humane Education programs, regardless of vaccination; for all unvaccinated adults and children; and for all children 11 years of age and younger when on the grounds of the SPCA.

New York State Will Mandate Veterinarians to Report Suspected Animal Abuse; Breed Discrimination by Insurers Will Be Prohibited

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

The New York State Animal Protection Federation (NYSAPF) has released two exciting pieces of news this week.

With the help of New York State Senator Michael Gianaris and New York State Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, veterinarians in the state will soon be mandated to report suspected animal abuse and cruelty to the appropriate incorporated SPCA (such as the SPCA Serving Erie County for cases in Erie County), district attorney’s office, police force, animal control officer, NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, or other law enforcement agency. Necessary records must be turned over to the agency. Veterinarians’ identities will be protected. (A.5823/S.5023)

Last night, the NYSAPF released a statement on its website thanking Senator Gianaris and  Assemblymember Rosenthal for making this happen, and thanked member shelters for their advocacy work.

Assemblymember Rosenthal states on her official Facebook page,
“🐾VICTORY! 🐾 My bill with Senator Michael Gianaris requiring veterinarians to report animal abuse has passed the Assembly and now goes to the Governor! Vets play a critical role in identifying animal abuse and this law will help protect pets and humans from harm.”

Secondly, representatives of the NYSAPF say that, soon,  insurance companies will  no longer be allowed to discriminate against homeowners based on the breed of their dog(s). A.4075/S.4254 prohibits insurers from “…refusing to issue or renew, cancel, or charge or impose an increased premium for certain policies based solely on the breed of dog owned.”

On NYSAPF.org, the organization thanked Senator Gianaris and New York State Assemblymember Deborah Glick for their work on this legislation.

SPCA Serving Erie County President and CEO Gary Willoughby is a board member of the NYSAPF, and SPCA Chief Operating Officer Beth Shapiro is also an NYSAPF board member and the organization’s chair of the 501(c)(3) Education Fund. Willoughby and Shapiro are thrilled that these important pieces of legislation have passed.

For more information, please visit the website of the NYSAPF here >>

*Images courtesy of the New York State Animal Protection Federation