Saying Goodbye to a Longtime Friend; the SPCA Mourns the Loss of Ted Balliett

December 8, 2023
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

Earlier this week, the world, and our local animals, lost a very special man.

Ted Balliett passed away at age 100.

We of course cannot detail all of his hundred years spent caring for his family, his service to our country, and his work doing much more to make the world a better place. What we CAN detail, however, are the many, many, MANY years Ted dedicated to making the lives of thousands of animals so much more wonderful.

Ted was a volunteer at the SPCA for decades. For more than 30 years, Ted worked with dogs at the SPCA. He didn’t just walk them, he didn’t just sit with them, he didn’t just spend an obligatory few minutes with them before moving on to the next. Ted talked to the dogs. He cared about them. He paid attention to the needs of every single one, trying to give all the dogs what they individually needed to make that day…that week…that month, sometimes longer, better.

I vividly remember seeing Ted in our Adoptions lobby in Tonawanda back in the 90s, so often ready for his shift the moment the doors opened. On days that our population was lighter, Ted didn’t go home early; he’d repeat walks for dogs to get them out again and again. On rainy and stormy days, Ted still showed up, even if it was just to bring the dogs into the lobby or into the auditorium to play with them, giving them breaks from their kennels. Ted was so patient, especially with the most energetic dogs. He was one in a million.

Ted was faithful to the SPCA always, even attending our 2022 donor event…at age 98! Shortly thereafter, Ted relocated to Beechwood Continued Care in Getzville.  Ninety-nine at that point, he was STILL smiling, cracking jokes, asking about some of our animals (not animals from the past…dogs who he had just viewed on the website THAT WEEK!). He still gave the best hugs, and despite everything happening with him, was still more interested in what was happening with everyone else. A rare quality nowadays. We will forever miss him.

Ted’s obituary can be found here >>>

Below are photos of Ted adopting his beloved Moose at the SPCA back in 2018. It was a special day for everyone, but especially for Moose, who found the love of his life.

To Ted’s family: thank you for letting the SPCA borrow this incredible man, and for allowing us to share with you so many of his smiles, jokes, hugs, and love. I know I speak for thousands of animals as well when I say we are all eternally grateful.

More on Ted from the Buffalo News >>