Last year, National Volunteer Appreciation Week looked unlike any year prior. The SPCA Serving Erie County chose to continue serving the community as effectively as possible while the county…and the world…continued navigating a worldwide pandemic. Our volunteers stood by, ready and willing to help us continue to serve the people and animals of our community in whatever way possible. This year during National Volunteer Appreciation Week, as we continue to rebuild and restructure, we take a look back at last year’s efforts and again thank our volunteers for their dedication, their loyalty, their smiles, and most of all, for their love.

Day 1, April 18 [Reposted April 17, 2022]

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” –Jane Goodall

Today marks the start of Volunteer Appreciation Week!
Each day [this week], we will share ways our extraordinary volunteers continue to impact our world, helping the SPCA Serving Erie County assist animals and people even during the COVID-19 crisis!

As organizations were forced to close all around us, the need for our SPCA and its services grew exponentially. COVID-19 led to stress of different types and levels, and members of our community asked for unique, innovative ways animals could help alleviate the pressures they were experiencing in their homes and amongst their family members, friends, and coworkers. At the same time, our temporarily-out-of-work therapy pets were desperate for comfort opportunities.

When it was evident the number of requests for therapy visits would only continue to increase, the SPCA created a new program that allowed our four-footed PAWS FOR LOVE volunteers to make virtual therapy visits: HOUSE CALLS! 7 Eyewitness News even joined us on some of these house calls by featuring the SPCA’s virtual therapy visits twice each week!

Forty-five of our Paws for Love animals made virtual therapy visits, and in addition to WKBW-TV viewers, nearly 6,000 people took advantage of these video doses of devotion!

Thanks, Paws for Love volunteers & volunteer program coordinator Debbie Braun, for continuing your important work even during this medical crisis. Need a little care and comfort today? Check out a few of our Paws for Love House Calls:

–Gina Lattuca, SPCA Chief Communications Officer