WILDLIFE CONSERVATION is the conversation…in our HUMANE HABITAT series!

The SPCA Serving Erie County’s Humane Habitat program addresses the need to decrease negative interactions between humans and wildlife and promotes kindness and compassion in the spaces that we share with wildlife.

Our vision is to create a community where all animals are treated with compassion and respect. In a series of six classes – three in the fall of 2022 and three in the spring of 2023 – members of the SPCA’s Wildlife Department and associates from the Citizen Coalition for Wildlife and Environment will share ways to make participants’ yard, space, school, or other outdoor area more humane and wildlife-friendly.

After attending the classes, participants will qualify to have their space deemed a Certified Humane Habitat and will receive a sign to display in their Humane Habitat. Participants will have an opportunity to invite a member of the SPCA’s Wildlife Department to come out to their property and see the space and offer suggestions.

By supporting this program and having a space certified as a Humane Habitat, participants can feel good about creating kind spaces and helping to teach about living compatibly with nature and animals!

Fall classes will take place via Zoom on Thursday evenings from 6:30 to 8:00. (Dates for the spring classes will be announced in 2023.) Classes are $20 each; register for one class or all classes! Pay $120 for both the fall and spring series and receive your yard sign!

Class 1: Thursday, Oct. 20
Why are Humane Habitats important spaces? Participants will learn about the risks that wildlife (and humanity) face.

Class 2: Thursday, Oct. 27
What is a Humane Habitat? What have you done? What are you doing? Nicole and Dave, representatives from Citizen Coalition for Wildlife and Environment, will lead tonight’s program.

Class 3: Thursday, Nov. 3
How can you start and continue your work in your designated outdoor space? How is the SPCA designating Humane Habitats?

For more information and to register, please send an email to the Wildlife Department Director Barb Haney at BarbH@yourspca.org.

October’s Subaru Loves Pets Campaign at Northtown Will Benefit Animals at the SPCA Serving Erie County

October 3, 2022
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

Northtown Subaru in Amherst is celebrating Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month this October in a different way…in about 3,100 different ways, to be exact! Plus, they’re letting the cats join in the celebration.

For every dog or cat adopted at the SPCA Serving Erie County this October, Northtown Subaru will donate  $100 to the SPCA as part of the Subaru Loves Pets campaign! The donation will be made for up to 31 animals, one for each day of the month!

Subaru is a long-standing partner of a national animal cruelty prevention society, and since 2008 has helped to support more than 1500 adoption events that helped approximately 57,000 animal nationwide.

This year, Northtown Subaru, located at 3930 Sheridan Dr. in Amherst, will keep Subaru’s donation local, and by donating to the SPCA Serving Erie County, Northtown Subaru will be assisting homeless animals right here in our community.

“Partnering with the Northtown Subaru team is always an absolute pleasure and we are so grateful for their continued commitment in helping the animals in our community,” says SPCA Annual Giving Manager Phillip Weiss. “This promotion will not only help more animals get adopted but it will also earn more funds to help the animals who are in need of medical attention, food, shelter, and comfort when they have nowhere else to turn. Northtown Subaru is a true friend of animals and the SPCA Serving Erie County!”

See adoptable animals at the SPCA >>




September 29, 2022 — We said sad goodbyes this morning to a sweet, gentle friend not only loved by SPCA staff members and volunteers, but loved by thousands throughout the community.

Even those folks just passing the SPCA on the I-90 East grew fond of looking for Newman the goat, grazing the pastures of our Educational Farm.

Newman, a 10-year-old Nubian goat, was brought to us by one of our animal cruelty investigation officers after being rescued from a neglectful owner/caretaker in January, 2014. Newman, almost 2 at the time, was tested for and was suffering from a permanent condition most likely acquired at a very young age, Caprine Arthritis and Encephalitis (CAE); he was receiving no care for the condition. Newman was also emaciated and suffered from pneumonia. After months of loving care and veterinary treatment, Newman rebounded beautifully from the emaciation and pneumonia, and became a permanent resident of the Educational Farm, helping to teach thousands of children and adults about goats and farm animal care while serving as best friend to Xylord, the SPCA’s resident miniature horse.

Newman’s CAE started to progress at an increased rate last year, and SPCA Educational Farm Manager Sheila Foss and her team went to work monitoring Newman, keeping him as comfortable as possible. By late summer, Sheila noticed Newman slowing down significantly; he was having more difficulty getting up and down, walking more slowly, and she noticed he didn’t want to stay out in the pasture as long as he usually did in the past. The SPCA’s Patti Burg, then-assistant farm manager who originally helped in bringing Newman to the SPCA and worked alongside Newman throughout his 9-year residence at the SPCA, also saw changes in him.

Earlier this month, local large animal veterinarian Dr. Jean Feldman, who has treated SPCA farm animals for decades and was Newman’s veterinarian, visited as part of an instructional presentation to veterinary students at the SPCA. When she observed Newman’s continuing decline, Dr. Feldman knew some tough choices had to be made. After discussing the situation with Dr. Feldman, Sheila, Patti, and new Educational Farm Associate Raeleigh May made the heartbreaking choice to say goodbye to Newman this morning.

We know so many of you in the community share our sorrow in bidding farewell to this amazing soul who has brightened so many of our lives just by his presence.

-Gina Lattuca, SPCA Chief Communications Officer & Sheila Foss, SPCA Educational Farm Manager

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

September 19, 2022
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

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

Hayley & Rob Lucas Talk Muttfia on Star 102.5 >>

The Beane Family

It’s official! For the third year in a row, Buffalo Bills’ General Manager Brandon Beane and wife Hayley 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 noon the next business day following 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.

“Brandon and I are so excited to start another season of Bills Muttfia!” says Hayley. “We love rescues, and have two of our own. Plus, it is heartwarming and inspiring to see the wonderful work done by the SPCA Serving Erie County. ” 

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

Two years ago, 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 program originated by former Bills kicker Stephen Hauschka and his wife, Lindsey, who paid the adoption fee of one dog, or “Hauschpup,” for every home field goal kicked.

Bills Muttfia meets the goal originated by Hauschpups:  help the SPCA Serving Erie County place animals with loving families more quickly.

To date, approximately $9000 in adoption fees have been paid by the Beanes, and more than 102 animals have been adopted through the Bills Muttfia program. In fact, one Muttfia draft pick, a guinea pig named Sherman, now sports the last name “Beane” after Hayley adopted him in December of 2021!

“I think adopting is so important because you have shelters that are just full,” added Hayley, who joined the SPCA Board of Directors last year. “We’re hoping for LOTS of touchdowns this season! GO, BILLS!”

This season’s Bills Muttfia draft will begin with the Buffalo Bills’ first home game Monday night, September 19, against the Tennessee Titans.

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

See adoptable animals at the SPCA Serving Erie County >> 

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

Bills Muttfia Included in Bills’ Community Honors >>


Make a $150 donation to 2022’s PAWS IN THE PARK and you’ll be entered to win Buffalo Bills General Manager Brandon Beane’s one-of-a-kind Bills Muttfia cleats, part of the NFL’s My Cause, My Cleats program!

No promotion code necessary! Just donate $150 or more to help animals at the SPCA Serving Erie County and you’ll be entered….but hurry! This game ends at 9 p.m. Tuesday, September 20! Score for SPCA animals and DONATE TODAY!

Winner will be notified at the email address provided on Wednesday, September 21! Good luck, and GO, BILLS!

YES, I want to ENTER with a $150 donation >>

Learn more about PAWS IN THE PARK >>

Learn more about the Beanes’ BILLS MUTTFIA >>

UPDATE, AUGUST 23, 2022:  Today, a sentencing date in the felony animal cruelty case of Dillman was set for November 30, 2022, 9:30 a.m. We will update this story with further details at that time.

: Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 23-year-old Jarrod Dillman of Buffalo pleaded guilty before State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia to one count of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals, a felony. The defendant pleaded guilty to the highest charge. Read the full story on today’s developments after this SPCA investigation here.

: Jarrod Dillman appeared in Buffalo City Court this morning. He has waived his felony hearing and his case will now proceed to the grand jury. Please keep watching YourSPCA.org for further information on this animal cruelty case.

August 13, 2019


Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 23-year-old Jarrod Dillman of Buffalo has been arraigned before Buffalo City Court Judge Barbara Johnson-Lee on one count of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals, a felony, and one count of overdriving, torturing and injuring animals; failure to provide proper sustenance, a misdemeanor.

It is alleged that on Saturday, August 3, 2019, the defendant, while working as a [daycare attendant and bather] at PawPrints by Penny & Co. on Niagara Street in the City of Buffalo, caused the death of “Alessio,” a three-year-old Havanese, by throwing the dog against a wall and repeatedly kicking the dog while wearing boots. The preliminary necropsy results determined that the dog died as a result of blunt force trauma.

Dillman is scheduled to return on Friday, August 16, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. for a felony hearing. Judge Johnson-Lee set bail at $5,000 cash, bond or property.

DA Flynn commends the SPCA Serving Erie County, including Officers Paul LeShay, Amy Jaworski and Lindsey Styborski, for their work in this investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Erin E. Hart of the DA’s Animal Cruelty Unit.

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


From BuffaloNews.com:

Dog day care attendant arraigned on felony aggravated animal cruelty charge

By Harold McNeil
Published August 13, 2019|Updated August 13, 2019

An attendant for a Buffalo dog groomer was arraigned Tuesday in Buffalo City Court on a felony charge of aggravated cruelty to animals, after an animal in his care died, according to the Erie County District Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors said 23-year-old Jarrod Dillman of Buffalo was additionally charged with overdriving, torturing and injuring an animal, as well as failure to provide proper sustenance.

“We’re horrified and saddened by the death of the dog that was in our care, and this is the first that I’ve learned that he was arrested,” said Penelope Lanich, proprietor of PawPrints by Penny & Co., when contacted by The Buffalo News Tuesday.

“We’ve been working closely with the SPCA to make sure justice is served here,” she added.

On Aug. 3, while working as a day care employee at PawPrints by Penny & Co. on Niagara Street in Buffalo, Dillman allegedly caused the death of a 3-year-old Havanese named Alessio by throwing the dog against a wall and repeatedly kicking the animal while Dillman was wearing boots. The preliminary necropsy results have determined that the dog died as a result of blunt force trauma, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Dillman initially was identified by the District Attorney’s Office as a dog groomer at PawPrints, but Lanich said that is not a position Dillman ever held at the business during his 1 1/2 years of employment there.

“I’ve been in business for over 15 years and I’ve never had anything like this happen,” Lanich said.

Dillman is scheduled to return to court Friday for a felony hearing before City Court Judge Barbara Johnson-Lee, who set bail at $5,000.

New York State Legislature Joins Senate in Passing Stop the Puppy Mill Pipeline; Bill Now Awaits Signature from Governor Kathy Hochul

June 6, 2022
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

UPDATE, AUGUST 16 — The SPCA Serving Erie County asks for increased support from the community in urging Governor Kathy Hochul to sign the Stop the Puppy Mill Pipeline bill into law.

In a press release issued earlier this year by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), New York State Director for the HSUS Brian Shapiro said, “New York’s remaining pet stores are joined at the hip with puppy mills. This long-overdue legislation seeks to protect our state’s consumers and companion animals from the scourge of puppy mill cruelty. We applaud [sponsoring legislators] for championing this game-changing bill and for their tireless work aimed at shutting down the horrible puppy mill-to-New York pipeline.”

Your voice matters. Urge Governor Hochul to sign the Stop the Puppy Mill Pipeline bill into law, and help stop puppy mills in New York State today!

Ask Gov. Hochul to stop NYS puppy mills >>

The “Stop the Puppy Mill Pipeline” bill passed in the New York State Legislature on June 3, 2022! 

The bill passed in the New York State Senate on July 21, 2020 (see full story below) and strengthened protection on May 10, 2022 (info here >> ).

That means it will now be placed in front of Governor Kathy Hochul to sign into law.

If the Stop the Puppy Mill Pipeline bill becomes a law, third-party retailers, such as pet stores, will have one year to strategize acquisition of dogs, cats, and rabbits from animal shelters and rescues rather than from sources that could include barbaric puppy mill breeding industries. The SPCA Serving Erie County joins other state animal welfare organizations in thanking NYS Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and NYS Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal for their efforts in furthering the Stop the Puppy Mill Pipeline bill.  Read the full story on PRNewswire.com >>

See this story on WGRZ-TV >>

New York State Senate Passes “Stop the Puppy Mill Pipeline” Bill; Community Members Asked to Contact Assembly Members

July 22, 2020
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

On Tuesday, July 21, the New York State Senate passed S.4234-A (Gianaris), the Stop the Puppy Mill Pipeline bill.

Now, the SPCA Serving Erie County joins the New York State Animal Protection Federation (NYSAPF) in asking members of the community to take action in encouraging the Assembly to pass this important piece of legislation.

The Stop the Puppy Mill Pipeline bill was one of the top legislative initiatives on the New York State Animal Protection Federation’s (NYSAPF) 2020 Humane Agenda.

From https://nysapf.org/legislation:
“Stop the Puppy Mill Pipeline (A6298-A Rosenthal/S4234-A Gianaris): This bill would stop the puppy mill pipeline into New York State. Instead of selling animals (puppies, kittens and rabbits) that come from breeding factories, pet stores would have the opportunity to rebrand as humane businesses and host shelter and rescue adoption events. In 2018, pet owners across the globe spent over $72.5 billion on their animals. It is estimated that only 2% of those sales are for puppies, kittens and rabbits from mills. It is time for New York to say no to these mills which are actual factories. In the case of puppies, female dogs are placed in cages day in and day out purely to breed. They are impregnated. They deliver. Within weeks, they’re impregnated again. When they are no longer “of use” to the puppy mill, they are usually euthanized.”

More information on the passing of this bill >>

Visit the NYSAPF Action Center to find an automated email form that you can send to your Assembly member urging him or her to bring A6298-A to the Assembly floor for a vote right here >> 

For more information on this and other NYSAPF legislative initiatives, visit the organization’s Legislation page here.

The information for this article was provided by the New York State Animal Protection Federation.



SPCA Rescues Farm Animals, Dogs from Orchard Park Property; Police Say Many Farm Animals Were In One Trailer

August 8, 2022
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

UPDATE, August 12: Orchard Park Police have released further details and photos on this cruelty case. On August 11, the Orchard Park Police posted the following on their Facebook page:

Photos posted by Orchard Park Police August 11, 2022; photos available at https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=373466634968425&set=pcb.373471544967934

“On 8/7/22 Officers responded to a trespass complaint in the area of 2799 Southwestern Blvd. Upon arrival officers located a vehicle on the property to the southeast of 2799 Southwestern Blvd. Along with the vehicle, a makeshift trailer was also located on the property that was housing two sheep, a cow, and a horse in deplorable conditions. There was no food or water present and the animals could not lie down due to the confined space. The animals were living in their own waste, and appeared emaciated. The animals were left unattended in the enclosed trailer in close to 90 degree weather.

The owner of the property was contacted and advised this department that no one should be on the property nor should any animals be present. Officers contacted the Erie County SPCA who responded to assist with seizing the animals and getting them medical attention. Shawn Hirschbine, age 48, and his girlfriend Deanna Huff, age 62 did appear on scene in an attempt to take possession of the animals. After refusing officer’s commands, Shawn Hirschbine began physically resisting officers and was taken into custody. In total, a cow, horse, chicken, two sheep, and four dogs were seized by the SPCA.

Shawn Hirschbine was arrested and charged with:
Trespass Penal Law 140.05
Obstruction of Governmental Administration 2nd; Penal Law 195.05
Resisting Arrest; Penal Law 205.30
Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree; Penal Law 145.00-03
Confinement of a companion animal in extreme heat; Agriculture and Markets 353D
Neglect of an Animal; Agriculture and Markets 356
Failure to Provide Sustenance for Animals; Agriculture and Markets 353

Deanna Huff was arrested and charged with:
Confinement of a companion animal in extreme heat; Agriculture and Markets 353D
Neglect of an Animal; Agriculture and Markets 356

Both defendants were released on appearance tickets with a future court date of August 25th, 2022 at 5 p.m.

The Orchard Park Police Department would like to thank The SPCA Serving Erie County, NY and Erie County Sheriff’s Mounted Unit for their help in this case.” 

Additional photos available here >>

SPCA Animal Cruelty Investigator Webb carries sheep, with leash assistance from Director of Admissions Hilary Lemperle

SPCA Serving Erie County officers were called by Orchard Park Police to a property in Orchard Park Sunday afternoon, where dogs, sheep, a chicken, a cow, and a horse were found. Police informed SPCA officers that most of the animals were found inside of a cramped trailer (the animals had been removed from the trailer upon the SPCA’s arrival).

The SPCA is working with Orchard Park Police on pending animal cruelty charges. At the time of this writing, none of the nine animals have been surrendered to the SPCA.

The SPCA’s Patricia Burg, left, and Sheila Foss wash and help to cool horse at Orchard Park property

The SPCA extends its thanks to Orchard Park Police and to the Erie County Sheriff’s Office Mounted Reserve Division for their work and their commitment to assisting in the rescue of these animals, who were examined and are being assessed and cared for at an undisclosed location.

Because this is an open investigation, further details are not available at this time. Please keep watching YourSPCA.org for further updates.

YOU can help put an end to animal cruelty >>

See this story on WIVB-TV >>

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