Hayley Beane & Buffalo Bills General Manager Brandon Continue Bills Muttfia for SPCA Serving Erie County Animals

September 15, 2023
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

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

Brandon & Hayley Beane

It’s official! For the fourth year in a row, Hayley and Buffalo Bills’ General Manager Brandon Beane will continue the Bills Muttfia program at the SPCA Serving Erie County!

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 11 a.m. the next business day following each home game. 

“Bills Muttfia is an excellent way to highlight and bring attention to the animals at the SPCA Serving Erie County,” said Hayley. “It has also been so fun to be involved and wait to see which animals will be drafted into Bills Muttfia!”

Bills Muttfia shirts in a variety of styles are available through September 21, 2023 thanks to a deal Hayley struck with 26! A portion of each shirt purchased includes an $8 donation to the SPCA! Click the shirt image below to buy yours today!


Hayley, a member of the SPCA’s Board of Directors, adds, “If you go and visit the SPCA, you’ll be hooked like I was. The tireless work that is done there by the warm, friendly, compassionate staff is really remarkable to see. From assisting animals that are involved in abuse cases to rehabilitating injured wildlife that find their way to the SPCA…it is a wonderful thing to witness and I’m so thankful for them!”

“Lap dog” Bodie Beane relaxes with dad

“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 stated in a video focused on the Beanes and the importance of pet adoption.

Brandon and his consummate golfing skills were also responsible for a large Bills Muttfia donation made to the SPCA Serving Erie County last month by football analyst Pat McAfee, who told Brandon during a live broadcast that if Brandon’s upcoming golf score totaled a low 79, he’d make a $25,000 donation to Brandon’s charity of choice! (He golfed a 78!)

Beane’s low golf score = $25,000 from Pat McAfee >>

The Beanes not only talk the adoption talk, but they walk the walk. One Muttfia draft pick, a guinea pig named Sherman, was adopted by Hayley in December of 2021, and Sherman became quick friends of Beane rescue dogs Bodie and Peanut. The family soon became larger, with the adoptions of guinea pig Percy and one of Percy’s [surprise] babies, Coco Beane!

Guinea pigs Sherman, Percy, and Coco Beane are BFFs of rescue dogs Peanut and Bodie!

Another excellent lineup of SPCA animal rookies are waiting to be drafted during the ’23 – ’24 Bills Muttfia season, which begins with the Buffalo Bills’ first home game Sunday, Sept. 17 at 1 p.m.

“Brandon and I are so excited to start another season of Bills Muttfia!”  Hayley remarks. “We love rescues, plus, it is heartwarming and inspiring to see the wonderful work done by the SPCA Serving Erie County. We can’t wait for lots of touchdowns!” 

For more on the history & origin of Bills Muttfia, watch this video or read this 2020 Vic Carucci article in the Buffalo News.

Hayley & Rob Lucas Talked Muttfia on Star 102.5 in ’22>>

Bills Muttfia Recipient of ’22 Bar Bill Golf Tournament >> >>

Bills Muttfia Included in Bills’ Community Honors >>

The Beane Family

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 >>

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 >>



SPCA Charges Buffalo Woman with Animal Cruelty for Allegedly Leaving Dog in Hot Car

June 16, 2022
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

UPDATE 8/8/23 from the office of Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn:


Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that Cheektowaga Town Court Justice John Wanat has found 38-year-old Shermika A. Walker of Buffalo guilty of one count of Confinement of Companion Animals in Vehicles: Extreme Temperatures (violation under New York Agriculture and Markets Law). Judge Wanat rendered his decision yesterday afternoon following a two-hour, non-jury trial.

On Wednesday, June 15, 2022, Cheektowaga Police and Cheektowaga Animal Control officers responded to a 911 call for a report of a dog in distress inside of a parked vehicle at a plaza on Union Road. When officers arrived at the scene, the dog was seizing and vomiting due to the heat inside of the vehicle.

The defendant’s dog, an 8-year-old male Boston Terrier mix, was removed from the vehicle and taken to a veterinary emergency clinic to be treated for severe heatstroke. The dog was briefly held in the custody of the SPCA Serving Erie County, but [against the wishes and recommendations of the SPCA] was [ordered by the court] returned to the defendant. On June 29, 2022, our office requested that the Court impose a no animal order at the defendant’s arraignment, which was denied by the Town Justice previously assigned to the case.

Walker faces a maximum of 15 days in jail when she is sentenced on Tuesday, September 5, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. She remains released on her own recognizance as the charge is a non-qualifying offense for bail.

DA Flynn commends the Cheektowaga Police Department, Town of Cheektowaga Animal Control, SPCA Serving Erie County and SPCA Animal Cruelty Investigator William Heine for their work in this investigation.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Stephen C. Papia of the Justice Courts Bureau.

UPDATE 6/29/22 from the office of of Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn:  Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 37-year-old Shermika A. Walker of Buffalo was arraigned this morning before Cheektowaga Town Justice James J. Speyer, Jr. on one count of Overdriving, Torturing and Injuring Animals; Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance (Class “A” misdemeanor under New York Agriculture and Markets Law) and one count of Confinement of Companion Animals in Vehicles: Extreme Temperatures (violation under New York Agriculture and Markets Law). [See the full story, below.]  Walker is scheduled to return on Wednesday, July 13, 2022 at 9:30 a.m. for further proceedings. She was released on her own recognizance as the charges are non-qualifying offenses for bail.  If convicted of all charges, Walker faces a maximum sentence of one year in jail.

DA Flynn commends the Cheektowaga Police Department, Town of Cheektowaga Animal Control, SPCA Serving Erie County and SPCA Animal Cruelty Investigations Officer William Heine 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.
–Kait Munro, Public Information Officer, Erie County District Attorney

June 16, 2022 — The SPCA Serving Erie County has charged  Shermika Walker of Buffalo with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty and one violation after she allegedly left a dog in a hot vehicle at the Airport Plaza in Cheektowaga Wednesday, June 15.

According to, Cheektowaga temperatures reached 91 degrees Wednesday afternoon when Cheektowaga Police and Animal Control officers responded to a call regarding a dog left in a vehicle at the plaza. When officers arrived at the location, they reportedly found the dog inside of the vehicle in severe distress, seizing and vomiting.

The male dog, which appears to be a Boston Terrier, was removed from the vehicle and rushed by Cheektowaga Animal Control officers to the Greater Buffalo Veterinary Emergency Clinic on Genesee St. in Buffalo when SPCA officers were called to assist. The dog’s temperature surpassed 107 degrees and he exhibited other signs of severe heatstroke.

Clinic representatives provided emergency care to stabilize the dog, and he is now in the care of the SPCA Serving Erie County where he will receive additional treatment.

SPCA Animal Cruelty Investigations Officer William Heine opened an investigation and charged Walker this afternoon. She is set to be arraigned in Cheektowaga Town Justice Court June 29, 2022 at 8:30 a.m.

Further updates on this story will be provided when available.

The SPCA reminds community members that the effects of heatstroke can begin quickly in animals left alone in parked cars in the summer, even when cars are parked for short lengths of time in shade with windows open. Those who find animals left alone in cars during extreme temperatures are encouraged to call 9-1-1 or the SPCA Serving Erie County, (716) 875-7360, ext. 214, 8 a.m. – 6:45 p.m. seven days a week.

YOU can join us in our fight to protect animals >>

Buffalo Bills GM Brandon Beane & Pat McAfee Follow Through for SPCA & Bills Muttfia After Golf Score Bet

August 7, 2023
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

The turf is definitely greener at the SPCA Serving Erie County today, where 78 equals 25,000!

When Brandon Beane appeared on The Pat McAfee Show on YouTube Friday, Aug. 4, McAfee made good on a golf score bet previously set with our Buffalo Bills general manager.

The bet? If Beane shot a 79 in an upcoming golf game, McAfee would donate $25,000 to one of Beane’s favorite charities. Under 79 would double the donation!

On Friday, the results were broadcast live during the last hour of the show.

Beane clearly won the game, with a score of 78!

McAfee asked where Beane would like the $50,000 to go, and Beane chose to divide the winnings: $25,000 to the  Carson Senfield Impact Foundation in memory of Carson Senfield, and $25,000 to the SPCA Serving Erie County in honor of the Bills Muttfia started by Beane and his wife, SPCA Board Member Hayley!

Approximately one hour after the show ended, the SPCA received the $25,000 online donation from McAfee!

Play the entire show here! Beane’s segment begins in the third hour, at approximately 2:15, and he makes his donation choices at approximately 2:26!

Thank you to Pat McAfee for playing through, and to Brandon Beane for driving the donation! It’s unanimous at the SPCA: that’s what friendly wagers are “fore!”

August 7, 2023

From The Buffalo News:

Letter: Governor should sign wildlife bill into law
As a proud Eagle Scout and Buffalo native, I’ve been following national coverage of Sen. Tim Kennedy’s bill to end wildlife for cash competitions (“New York considers ban on cash prize contests for hunting coyotes, squirrels, some other wildlife” July 20).

The Outdoor Code is an integral part of every scout’s commitment to treat our land with respect and follow principled outdoor ethics. “I will learn about and practice good conservation of soil, waters, forests, minerals, grasslands, wildlife and energy. I will urge others to do the same.”

More on ending wildlife kill contests >>

Therefore, I respectfully ask Gov. Kathy Hochul to protect our natural resources by signing S.4099 into law. Doing so will ensure proper stewardship and care of our state’s precious wildlife.

Nicholas Hassett

See this letter at >>

SPCA Issues Hot Weather Reminders Designed to Keep Pets Safe

July 28, 2023
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

Temperatures are in the high 80s/low 90s in Buffalo and the surrounding area. 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:


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; 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? 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.


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 – 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 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  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 – 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.


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

See this story on WIVB-TV >>


A coyote in the woods.

Submit form urging Gov. Hochul to sign bill banning wildlife killing contests >>

A message from the SPCA’s Cait Daly & Barbara Haney >>

Words from HSUS NYS Director Brian Shapiro >>

Update, July 2023 — Last month the New York State Senate and Assembly passed the bill to end brutal wildlife killing contests. It now heads to the desk of Governor Kathy Hochul, whose approval would make New York State the ninth state in the nation to outlaw such kills. Those interested in encouraging Governor Hochul to sign S. 4099 into law can call (518) 474-8390, or contact her using an on-line contact form here >>


In wildlife killing contests, participants compete to kill coyotes, foxes, bobcats, and other ecologically vital species for cash and prizes. Hundreds of animals may be killed at a single event and countless others may be injured. During springtime contests, dependent young may be orphaned and left to die from starvation, predation or exposure. After the killing is over, the animals are often dumped like trash, away from the public eye.

“It is not a sport, it is not hunting, it is the killing of wildlife.” –NYS Senator Timothy Kennedy told WGRZ-TV in February.

Stopping these contests would not reduce opportunities to hunt coyotes or other wildlife, prohibit big buck competitions or fishing tournaments, prevent the lethal control of wildlife to protect livestock or outlaw field dog trials. It would simply prohibit the competitive killing of wildlife for frivolous prizes. All wildlife species play an important role in healthy ecosystems. It’s time for New York to join Massachusetts, Vermont, Maryland and the five other states that have already outlawed these cruel, unsporting and ecologically destructive events.


Please send a message to your state legislators urging them to support A.2917/S.4099 to end wildlife killing contests, using the form found here >>> . You can also take action using the Wolf Conservation Center form here >>>. Be sure to personalize it so your message stands out.

Send a message to legislators here >>

Additional action through Wolf Conservation Center >>

FAQs on wildlife killing contests >>

See this story on WGRZ-TV >>

Editorial in The Buffalo News >>

Editorial in The Daily Gazette >>

June article by ESPN Radio >>

August letter by local Eagle Scout to Buffalo News Editor >>

Cait Daly & Barb Haney letter in Buffalo News Aug. 30 >>


–SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca


June 29, 2023
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 or passer-by finds your animal, an ID collar that includes your phone number can lead to a faster reunion. Remember, don’t limit a search for a lost pet to your geographical location! A frightened animal that bolts can travel long distances, and well-meaning community members trying to help may also transport the animal to an animal control facility or veterinary clinic in a different neighborhood. Find local animal control facilities here >>. 

* 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. 

* NOISE-CANCELLING HEADPHONES FOR HOUNDS. This tip comes from the SPCA’s own Annual Giving Manager, Phil. He and his wife, Samantha, have a beautiful dog, Daenerys, who is very afraid of fireworks. Phil says, “We’ve tried everything to keep her calm, from vests to CBD, and nothing seems to work.” Phil and Samantha ordered custom-made noise-cancelling headphones especially for dogs. The headphones, which must be ordered in advance based on each dog’s specific measurements, contain Bluetooth technology which allows owners to stream their dogs’ most calming musical selections (decibal reduction for the dogs provide a “whisper volume”) directly into their ears. Here, Daenerys is pictured sporting her new headphones, which arrived only days before July 4. We’ll keep you posted on Daenerys’ review of this new calming approach! A simple online search will direct pet owners to the various companies offering these headphones.

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. Home is the safest place for pets on extremely hot days and during arts festivals, food festivals, other crowded outdoor events, and especially fireworks displays.

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 Saturday,
8 a.m. – 4:30  p.m., at (716) 875-7360, ext. 214.

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

See this story on WKBW-TV >>

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