Patty Ralabate, discussing her work with Star 102.5 FM’s Roger Christian during one of the SPCA’s annual Radiothons

August 23, 2019

Next week, our own Patty Ralabate will be retiring from the SPCA.

Patty has been affiliated with this organization either as a volunteer (Petique, Veterinary Department, Adoptions, and Admissions) and/or as an employee (Adoptions, Admissions) for 23 years! Patty worked as Volunteer Rescue Coordinator for the SPCA part of the time she was an employee, communicating with rescue organization representatives, maintaining the database of the SPCA’s approved rescue groups, and engaging in the transports of those rescue dogs brought to our organization.

Transports have been a large part of Patty’s work during her tenure at the SPCA. She helped coordinate transports between southern states and into Canada for various rescue groups. Patty, who transported dogs between the US and Canada as well as within the US (New York, Pennsylvania), also maintained the database and assisted in aquiring volunteers to participate in different legs of transport runs, often monitoring some of the runs to ensure they were glitch-free. If there were problems, Patty smoothed them over.

Patty also obtained farm dogs and dogs from puppy mills during her many trips to Ohio, sometimes attending auctions to rescue these dogs from harsh treatment. She is a founding member of Furever Friends Dog Rescue of WNY, is currently the Intake Coordinator and a writer for that organization, creates and maintains records and statistics for each of their transports, and if that’s not enough, she is at the SPCA to personally meet every Furever Friends transport. You may see Patty representing Furever Friends at various events, educating members of the public on the link between pet stores, the Internet, and puppy mills.

We asked Patty about some of her favorite SPCA memories. She said that, in addition to Furever Friends becoming a respected partner of the SPCA, one of her fondest memories is of the day former executive director Barbara Carr agreed to accept Patty’s first four dogs from a puppy mill dog auction: two Pomeranians and two Cocker Spaniels.

When asked what has meant the most to Patty here at the SPCA, she responded in this way: “Just the fact that, even on the busiest day, or the most emotional day, or during truly tragic events that occur on any given workday at the shelter, I have been so blessed to be considered both an employee and a volunteer with an organization to works tirelessly for the good of all animals. I never once had the feeling, ‘I don’t want to go to work today!’ And I have been surrounded by a whole army of people who feel the same way! “

We know Patty’s pets Corrie, Lilly, Farren, Aubree, and Shea, will be thrilled to have her around more often, and we know thousands of pets’ lives will continue to be enriched by Patty’s work. She has dedicated her life to making each little life she touches better, and we’re honored she has spent so much of her time bettering the lives of the animals and people at the SPCA!

–Gina Lattuca, SPCA Chief Communications Officer