SPCA Summer Camp Offers Three Active Options for 2020

July 7, 2020
By:  SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

The SPCA Serving Erie County’s annual Summer Kindness Camp program has been modified to teach important lessons while keeping kids active, entertained, safe, healthy, and distant!

Three different camp options will be offered this summer:
KINDNESS CAMP: The Backpacks
KINDNESS CAMP: The Backpacks OFF-LEASH! (Update 7/15: Off-Leash Registration Closed)
KINDNESS CAMP: The Live, Virtual, Veterinary Experience

KINDNESS CAMP: The Backpacks is a non-interactive kindness camp experience providing children with fun, engaging, hands-on activities and games that can be enjoyed at their convenience. Backpacks include one week’s worth of materials and instructions needed for the themed activities, art projects, educational handouts, and fun swag items…all children will need are safe scissors, glue, and a table cover for messy projects! There are three backpack themes available for $30 per backpack for children ages 5-12 and 12-15. See more on backpacks and register for your child’s backpack here.

KINDNESS CAMP: The Backpacks OFF-LEASH! (Update 7/15: Registration Closed) is a kindness camp with backpack projects that take place in the child’s home and yard, but the backpacks also go “off-leash” with some interactive, virtual experiences! Each day, 30-60-minute live, virtual interactions with people and animals will take place; campers will virtually meet different animals, participate in interactive games and activities, and learn lots of new things! Also included are on-demand videos, and additional, downloadable activity sheets! Themes, age ranges, dates, and costs vary; see more about KINDNESS CAMP: The Backpacks OFF-LEASH! here. (Update 7/15: Registration Closed)

KINDNESS CAMP: The Live, Virtual, Veterinary Experience is a veterinary camp series for children who love animals and are interested in exploring veterinary careers! Campers will learn what it takes to be a veterinarian through a combination of live virtual content and fun activities, plus enjoy a take-home kit of materials. They will learn how to check a pet’s vital signs, discover what heartworms are, watch an animal exam, observe a neuter surgery, and so much more. Both live, virtual experiences, Introduction to Veterinary Science and Advanced Veterinary Science, are open to children ages 9-14 and cost $120. More information, dates, and registration are available here.

All backpacks and take-home materials have been handled by healthy staff members at the SPCA who were wearing gloves and masks. All materials have been thoroughly disinfected.  Backpacks are available via curbside pick-up, delivery, or shipping.

To find more information on all three types of camp experiences and to register your child for one camp (or all three!), please visit our all new SPCA Kindness Camp page here.

The SPCA Serving Erie County has revised its COVID-19 phase adoption policies. This new policy was put into effect July 6, 2020. Please note, while we are waiving the need for adoption appointments for cats and small animals at this time, we may revert to adoption appointments for these animals again in the future. The current adoption policy is as follows:

THANK YOU FOR CONSIDERING THE SPCA SERVING ERIE COUNTY WHEN YOU DECIDED TO BRING HOME A NEW FAMILY MEMBER!

FOR YOUR PROTECTION AND OURS, THE SPCA SERVING ERIE COUNTY WILL REMAIN CONSISTENT WITH OCCUPANCY GUIDELINES DURING OUR COVID-19 RESPONSE PHASE.  FACE MASKS ARE REQUIRED!

-Except for cats, bunnies, & other small animal adoptions, an adoption appointment is required to enter the Adoptions Lobby.

-To make an adoption appointment for any type of animal besides cats, bunnies, and other small animals, please call 716-875-7360, ext. 207. Please understand it may take up to 48 business hours to receive a return call. With the exception of required “meet and greets” with pets at home, animals cannot be placed on hold.

-Beginning July 6, it is not necessary to make an adoption appointment for cats, bunnies, and other small animals ONLY. This may change at any time, and we may revert to appointment adoptions for cats/small animals.

-Upon entering the building, it is imperative that you sign in with contact information. We require the name of every guest in your party, including children, for tracing purposes.

-Three people will be allowed per guest pass in the cat room or small animal areas, which means only 3 family members or friends should come together to the SPCA to adopt. Please remember if you are planning to adopt a cat/small animal, only three people per party will be allowed on each guest pass.

-Five families (5 guest passes) will be allowed in the cat/small animal adoption areas at any given time.

-Each guest pass allows a family one hour in the cat/small animal adoption areas to help accommodate all potential adopters and increase the number of animals who find homes each day. (Please note: time limits with adoptable animals are only being enforced during our COVID-19 Response phase. Normally, we encourage visitors to spend as long as possible with an animal prior to adoption!)

-If you are here to adopt a cat, bunny, or other small animal and the maximum number of people are present in the cat/small animal rooms, you have the opportunity to wait in a small overflow area in our lobby or, if you prefer not to wait there or if that area is filled, outdoors. Your sign-in information determines the order of admission into the building. If you choose to wait outdoors, we will call you on your mobile phone when it is your turn to visit!

-Wait times will vary depending on shelter population, so please plan accordingly. Traditionally, the busiest adoption day is Saturday, so if you plan to visit Saturday, please allow yourself enough wait time and understand the cat/small animal visitation 1-hour time limit described above.

-Adoption hours remain 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The final appointment(s) for adoption will be made at 3 p.m. Our final group of potential adopters will be allowed in adoption areas one hour prior to closing.

-We may not be able to accommodate everyone on any given day. Depending on the number of people who have arrived at the shelter before you, it is possible you will not be able to see animals on the day you visit. Believe us, we don’t like it either. We’re in the business of placing these animals in new homes…including YOURS! But we understand, and hope you understand, this is for your safety as well as the safety of our volunteers and staff members. 

-See animals available for adoption on this page! Remember, our population changes several times each day, so you’ll want to check back frequently!

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE AS WE WORK TOGETHER TO KEEP PEOPLE & ANIMALS SAFE & HEALTHY!

–Gina Lattuca, SPCA Serving Erie County Chief Communications Officer

MYRTLE THE TURTLE (and her rubber ducky):
HEADING HOME TO BUFFALO!

April 11 — And now, for your viewing pleasure…straight from the SPCA in West Seneca, NY…ladies and gentlemen, after a stay of approximately 111 days…join us in saying goodbye to MYRTLE THE TURTLE!

Today, Anthony and Jill from Buffalo brought Myrtle home to her new 100-gallon aquarium!

They also adopted Myrtle’s rubber ducky and smiley-face balloon, so we know Myrtle will easily make the transition! Thank you, Jill and Anthony, for loving our gorgeous girl as much as we do! GOODBYE, MYRTLE! We’ll all miss you SO MUCH! Be a good girl! Have a happy,loooooooooooooong life!

–Gina Lattuca, SPCA Chief Communications Officer

 

See the story on WIVB.com here >>

PUPS AT THE PEN Trainee Sora Receives the Best Graduation Gift of All: A New Family!

January 21, 2020
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

Erie County Jail Management Superintendent Tom Diina adopts inmate-trained pup

More than 50 dogs have graduated from the locally-dubbed “Pups at the Pen” program sponsored by the SPCA Serving Erie County and the Erie County Sheriff’s Office. But it took one dog’s eyes, resemblance to a pet recently lost, and charisma that jumped right out of the photo to catch the eye…and heart…of Tom Diina, Erie County jail management superintendent.

Pups at the Pen began in the summer of 2016 and allows dogs from the SPCA Serving Erie County to reside with female inmates at the Erie County Correctional Facility. The women are trained by a professional dog trainer to work with the dogs, providing a level of behavior lessons and attention that wouldn’t be possible in a shelter setting. The Erie County Sheriff’s Office credits the program as leading to better behavior by inmates at the facility and a reduced re-offense rate, while it helps shelter dogs learn important behavior lessons that contribute to faster adoptions.

In December, Sora, a one-year-old brown-eyed girl, was sent to the correctional facility as the SPCA’s latest Pups at the Pen candidate, and it didn’t take long for staff there to send Diina photos of their newest temporary resident. Noting a resemblance to a pet to whom the Diina family recently had to say sad goodbyes, Diina decided to meet Sora. The connection was immediate and led to the best grad gifts Sora could have hoped for six weeks later on graduation day: a new family and a new home!

Jan. 20, 2020 — Sora is the newest family member of the Diina family! Here, she and dad Tom prepare for the ride home from the Erie County Correctional Facility in Alden!

With the help of the SPCA’s Matt Cicatello and trainer Melissa Staniszewski of Sit n Stay Pet Services in Orchard Park, Monday’s graduation ceremony and adoption turned into a heartwarming story shared locally and by media outlets throughout the nation on Monday!

After two days in her new home, Diina tells us Sora has already made their home her own and is keeping her new four-footed sister, Marci, very busy!

Check out some of the stories as told by Newsradio 930 WBEN, WIVB-TV, WKBW-TV, Spectrum News, and just a few of the other news outlets elsewhere in the country that carried the story:
– ABC7 in NYC
KMOV4 in St. Louis
– CBS 46 in Atlanta

For more information on Pups at the Pen or SPCA adoptions, please contact the SPCA Serving Erie County at 716-875-7360.

SPCA Chief Development Officer Jennifer Kathleen Gurz Has Been Awarded the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) Designation

From CFRE INTERNATIONAL:

Alexandria, VA – CFRE International has named Jennifer Kathleen Gurz as a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE).

Jennifer Kathleen Gurz, Chief Development Officer for SPCA Serving Erie County joins over 6,700 professionals around the world who hold the CFRE designation.

Individuals granted the CFRE credential have met a series of standards set by CFRE International which include tenure in the profession, education, and demonstrated fundraising achievement. They have also passed a rigorous written examination testing the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of
a fundraising executive, and have agreed to uphold Accountability Standards and the Donor Bill of Rights.

“The CFRE credential was created to identify for the public and employers those individuals who possess the knowledge, skills, and commitment to perform fundraising duties in an effective and ethical manner,” states CFRE International President and CEO Eva E. Aldrich, Ph.D., CAE, (CFRE
2001-2016). “As the certification is a voluntary achievement, the CFRE certification demonstrates a high level of commitment on the part of Jennifer Kathleen Gurz to the fundraising profession and the donors who are served.”

CFRE recipients are awarded certification for a three-year period. To maintain certification status, certificants must demonstrate on-going fundraising employment and fundraising results and continue with their professional education. Employers and donors who work with CFREs know they are getting a professional who is committed to the best outcomes for their organization and has the requisite knowledge and skills.

The CFRE certification signifies a confident, ethical fundraising professional.

Since 1981, CFRE has set standards for fundraising professionals. As the only globally-recognized fundraising certification, CFRE indicates professionalism, confidence, and ethics. It is how today’s fundraiser shows accountability, service, and commitment to making a difference for good. The CFRE  certification program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute and is the only accredited certification for fundraising professionals.

As the premier global credential for career fundraisers, the CFRE designation is endorsed and supported by the world’s leading professional and philanthropic associations, including:

Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP)
Association of Fundraising Consultants (AFC)
Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP)
Association of Lutheran Development Executives (ALDE)
Association of Philanthropic Counsel (APC)
Boy Scouts of America (BSA)
Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BCGA)
Brazilian Fundraisers Association (ABCR)
China Association of Fundraising Professionals (CAFP)
Canadian Association of Gift Planners—Association Canadienne des Professionnels en Dons
Planifies (CAGP-ACPDP)
Educate Plus
European Fundraising Association (EFA)
Fundraising Institute Australia (FIA)
Fundraising Institute New Zealand (FINZ)
The Giving Institute
Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI)
Hong Kong Management Association (HKMA)
International Catholic Stewardship Council (ICSC)
Japan Fundraising Association (JFRA)
Kenya Association of Fundraising Professionals (KAFP)
Korea Society of Philanthropy (KSoP)
National Association of Cancer Center Development Officers (NACCDO)
National Association of Charitable Gift Planners (CGP)
National Catholic Development Conference (NCDC)
Nepal Center for Philanthropy and Development (NCPD)
New England Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (NEAHP)
North American YMCA Development Organization (NAYDO)
Texas Association of Community College Foundations (TACCF)
United Way Worldwide (UWW)
Virginia Association of Fundraising Executives

CFRE International congratulates Jennifer Kathleen Gurz for achieving the CFRE designation.

For more information please visit http://www.cfre.org or call +1 703.820.5555.

Further details on the 2019 CFRE class are available here.

SPCA CONTINUES ‘TALE FOR TWO’ READING PROGRAM IN 2020

March 12, 2020: Program cancelled in March & April, 2020 in response to COVID-19 health concerns

January 7, 2020

By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

Register your child for Tale for Two here >>

The SPCA Serving Erie County will continue its popular Tale for Two reading program throughout the 2020 school year!

Tale For Two encourages children ages 6 – 15 to read aloud to adoptable animals at the SPCA. Animals benefit from the increased socialization and reduced stress levels, while children work on their literacy and reading skills, building their self-esteem and confidence.

This year’s reading sessions, available in groups of 6 sessions (program cost: $40 for 6 sessions; discounts on additional sessions) or 12 sessions (program cost: $70 for 12 sessions; discounts on additional sessions) are available on Tuesdays, 4:30 p.m.-7 p.m. at the SPCA’s 300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca shelter. Sibling discounts are available. Reading sessions are 30 minutes in length.

Children can bring their own reading materials, or make a selection from the SPCA’s library.

Register your child for Tale for Two here >>

Please contact SPCA Humane Education Director Christine Davis with questions: HumaneEducation@yourspca.org.

See additional Tale for Two photos here >>

LOCAL BAKERIES: SUGAR-COATING THE HOLIDAY SEASON FOR THE SPCA SERVING ERIE COUNTY WITH “SWEETS UNLEASHED!”

November 27, 2019
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

This year, six local bakeries will brighten the spirits of animals at the SPCA Serving Erie County by participating in “Sweets Unleashed!”

December 1-12, visit one of these local bakeries for a special Sweets Unleashed deal! A portion of your fee will be donated to the SPCA Serving Erie County!

JUST SAY CHEESECAKE
106 Webster Street, North Tonawanda, NY 14120 * https://www.justsaycheesecakecafe.com/
($2 from every petit four sold will be donated)

DONUT KRAZE
365 Somerville Avenue, Tonawanda, NY 14150 * http://donutkrazebuffalo.com
($2 from every dozen donuts sold at Tonawanda location ONLY will be donated)

EARLY BIRD BAKERY & CAFÉ
85 Central Avenue, Lancaster, NY 14086 * https://www.earlybirdlancaster.com
(50 cents from every cinnamon bun sold will be donated)

FRY BABY DONUT COMPANY
336 S. Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14201 * https://www.facebook.com/FRYBABYDONUTS
(Item to be determined)

MUSCOREIL’S FINE DESSERTS, GOURMET CAKES & BISTRO
3960 Niagara Falls Boulevard, North Tonawanda, NY 14120 * https://muscoreils.com
($1.50-$5 per every bag of gourmet dog treats sold will be donated)

WHEATBERRY BAKE SHOP
3985 Harlem Road, Snyder, NY 14226 * http://www.wheatberrybakeshop.com
(15% of all vegan sales will be donated)

For more information, visit our Sweets Unleashed page here!

Buffalo Bills Visit SPCA Veterans in NFL’s ‘Salute to Service’

November 13, 2019
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

On Tuesday, November 12, 2019, members of the Buffalo Bills visited veterans connected in some way with the SPCA Serving Erie County as part of the NFL’s ‘Salute to Service’ program!

From the Buffalo Bills: “In recognition of the NFL’s Salute to Service campaign, the Buffalo Bills joined local military veterans at the SPCA Serving Erie County on Tuesday to engage with adoptable animals, and promote the good work the SPCA does for our community. The SPCA’s Paws & Patriots program was developed for veterans in our community in need of giving and receiving special love and attention, and for animals at the SPCA who need exactly the same.”

Honored for past or current service were Joseph Browning, Brian Buck (with SPCA Paws for Love dog Sam), Bruce Clugston, Peter Cooley, Keith Foss, Gary Gonzalez, Dennis Hennessey, Timothy Joyner (with SPCA Paws for Love dog Bruno), Anthony Lattuca, Ray Mandel, John Miller, Allan Monaco (with SPCA Paws for Love dog Jake),  Richard Sansone (posthumous recognition), Steven Tuttle, and SPCA staff member Laura Zaranek.

Also on hand to add to the evening’s excitement were SPCA Paws for Love volunteers Brittany Betts (with Brody), Marcy Baumgarden (with Yankee and Dodger), and Deborah Williams (with Sam)!

The SPCA Serving Erie County extends a heartfelt thanks to the NFL and the Buffalo Bills for helping us honor veterans while shining a spotlight on the Paws and Patriots program here at the SPCA for the second year in a row.

If you are a veteran or active service man or woman and would like to learn more about the SPCA’s Paws and Patriots program, encouraging those who have served to work with SPCA shelter pets, please send an email to PawsandPatriots@yourspca.org.

Check out the Buffalo Bills’ photo album here, or by clicking the image below:

See WKBW-TV Ch. 7’s story here, or by clicking the image below:

See WIVB-TV Ch. 4’s story here, or by clicking the image below: