SPCA Serving Erie County Offers Free Adoptions to Current and Past Military Members During Vets & Pets
May 17, 2022 By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca
To thank the men and women of the armed services this Memorial Day, the SPCA Serving Erie County offers “Vets & Pets,” waiving adoption fees on most animals for individuals and immediate families of individuals on active duty, reserves, and honorable discharge, along with service-disabled veterans and those retired from military service. This program, a longtime SPCA tradition, is proudly brought to our community by philanthropist and SPCA supporter Nancy Gacioch of Buffalo!
Military ID or DD214 will need to be presented. If an individual is currently serving outside of New York State, that individual’s spouse can adopt during Vets & Pets if a military spouse identification card is presented. Adopters can apply the Vets & Pets waived adoption fee promotion toward a total of two animals.
Please contact SPCA Adoptions Supervisor Krissi Miranda with any questions: (716) 875-7360, ext. 233.
*Please note: The SPCA’s West Seneca shelter is closed on Sunday and Monday, May 29 and 30, but many of the SPCA’s off-site adoption locations are open those two days! See a list of our off-site locations and photos of the animals available here. To be pre-approved to adopt an off-site pet, please call the SPCA’s Offsite Adoptions Department at (716) 875-7360, ext. 235, or visit the 300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca shelter Monday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
We’re hearing from more creative kids in Buffalo!
From SPCA Humane Educator Katherine: “We had two groups of students from the Charter School of Applied Technology (CSAT) visit us in March for their visual arts class. They took photos of the animals and made them into posters promoting adoption!”
Thank you to Digital Arts Teacher Lauren at CSAT for sharing this impressive work, and thanks to the students for helping us picture our beautiful animals in such a unique, contemporary way!
–Gina Lattuca, SPCA Chief Communications Officer
The SPCA’s New SHADOW CAT Initiative
February 10, 2022 By: Vice President of Veterinary Services Melanie Rushforth
UPDATE 4/21/22: The adoption fee for all Shadow Cats, regardless of age, has been waived! This includes the adoption of Shadow Cats from either the SPCA shelter or a foster home! Wondering if an adoptable kitty has been designated as a Shadow Cat? Check out adoptable animal photos here >> and click on individual listings of our cute cats to read their descriptions and find out if they are Shadow Cats!
The SPCA Serving Erie County is proud to roll out a new initiative that shines the spotlight on a unique population of animals in our care. Effective immediately, the SPCA’s Shadow Cat effort will work to meet shy or fearful cats where they are behaviorally to assist them in navigating the journey to becoming adoptable pets living out the rest of their lives in long-term homes.
Fear is common and a perfectly normal, innate, and adaptive behavior in all animals. However, if fear isn’t addressed appropriately, it can develop into serious behavioral and health problems and result in deterioration. Our goal with Shadow Cats is to be proactive in managing a cat’s fearfulness or shyness should a cat surrendered to the SPCA present those behaviors while in the shelter.
Transitions and big changes are hard for many cats, even ones who are not identified as fearful. In preparing to introduce a cat into the home regardless of their confidence level, it is very important to set the cat up for a successful experience by making some small, but important adjustments. The intent of Shadow Cats is to offer a home environment, in the form of a foster home setting, to allow the cat to gain confidence, relax, and build trust. These cats may wind up being the best friend that was missing in that particular home, and we always consider that a foster “win” rather than the traditional term “foster fail.” Even if the stay is temporary, the effects of a loving and welcoming home environment will be permanent.
Introduction to a new home can be very challenging for a fearful cat. Fearful cats usually do best in relatively quiet homes or quiet areas of the home. Many fearful cats slowly become more confident as they get used to their living space and daily routine. The Foster Department of the SPCA Serving Erie County will assist new and experienced foster parents with whatever they may need to help Shadow Cats acclimate to their homes. Time, patience, love, and food are some of the ingredients that will help a Shadow Cat step into the light a little bit at a time.
It is a special experience to build a relationship and bond with a fearful cat, and it is deeply rewarding. The journey may be long, but patience is a true gift to a nervous cat in need. Just like people, cats can have vastly different personalities. Some of these Shadow Cats may blossom into lap cats, while others may remain the quiet roommate that is grateful for love, attention (from a distance) and a safe place to call home. Whatever the end result, we are grateful to have the opportunity to showcase these special cats in an effort to save more lives.
We have one word to describe March 25, 2022’s adoption event at Northtown Subaru in Amherst: SUBARUNBELIEVABLE!
The team at Northtown Automotive Companies & Northtown Subaru went full speed ahead, and brought along the Buffalo Sabres, to hold an exciting adoption event for our SPCA!
Plenty of our animals found new love, and $28,680 was donated through Subaru’s recent “Share the Love” campaign! Sabres fans were able to have their photos taken with former players Rob Ray and Pat Kaleta along with sassy Sabretooth, and adopters received a pair of tickets to an upcoming game!
On behalf of the SPCA’s staff, volunteers, and animals, thousands of tail wags go out to our friends at Northtown!
–Gina Lattuca, SPCA Serving Erie County Chief Communications Officer
Email MelanieR@yourspca.org for information or to register for the virtual session, or click on the image below for details on the SPCA’s Foster Care Department:
Help a cat see the light! Become a member of the SPCA’s Foster Care team and bring home a “Shadow Cat!” And now, you can ADOPT a Shadow Cat for a waived adoption fee! Shadow Cats:
-Are quiet, polite roommates
-Are not attention-seekers
-Keep to themselves
-Are perfect for those with busy lifestyles
-Only require food, a litter box, and plenty of hiding spots!
–NEW! Are available for adoption from either a foster home or the SPCA’s West Seneca shelter for a waived adoption fee! Read about this exciting update here! >>
Shadow Cat foster parents will foster cats in the home a minimum of two weeks; length of stay depends on each cat’s individual needs. As with all foster companions, the SPCA provides food, supplies, veterinary care, and guidance.
January 17, 2022 By: Gina Lattuca, SPCA Chief Communications Officer
As Buffalonians, we knew that snow, wind, and frigid temps would arrive. This year is different from other years, however, in that it’s a little more complicated to receive emergency veterinary care, as veterinary clinics (including the low-cost Lipsey Veterinary Clinic at the SPCA) strive to comply with COVID-related guidelines. Plan ahead for the upcoming freezing days and nights now to ensure your pets stay safe and healthy today and throughout the winter months. Read on for some of the SPCA Serving Erie County’s winter pet safety tips.
*OUTDOOR ANIMAL SHELTER MUST BE SUITABLE FOR INCLEMENT WEATHER: …and if it’s not, animal welfare officers can rescue the pet even before he or she shows signs of suffering, thanks to New York State’s Shelter Law that went into effect in 2003. Thanks to a legislative push in late 2018 that led to stronger laws concerning the tethering of dogs within Buffalo city limits, the SPCA and other law enforcement organizations can now take even more steps to ensure dogs are protected from the elements.
* Keep a Tight Leash: Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm. Pets can lose their scent on snow and ice, especially if snow is falling at a fast rate, and your pet can easily lose his sense of direction. Pets may also panic during a snowstorm and run away; many pets are lost during the winter months. Remember to keep current identification on your pet at all times!
*Keep Pets At Home: Never leave your pet alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold. Your pet could literally freeze to death.
*Always Dry Pet’s Wet Feet: Thoroughly wipe off your pet’s legs and stomach when she comes in and out of the rain, snow or ice. Check her sensitive foot pads, which may be bleeding from snow or ice encrusted in them. Your pet may also pick up salt and other chemicals on her feet accidentally. These chemicals could hurt her if she swallows them while licking her feet.
*Lay Straw for Dogs’ Visits Outdoors: Can’t get your dog to wear booties? Lay straw on top of snow for trips outdoors by dogs reluctant to step out onto a freezing surface to relieve themselves.
*Check Cars for Cats: During the winter, stray or neglected cats outdoors sometimes sleep under the hood of the car where it’s warm and comfortable. If you start the motor, cats could get caught in or flung about by the fan belt, causing serious injury or death. To prevent this, bang loudly on the hood and sides of your car before turning on the ignition to give the cat a chance to escape.
*Keep Outdoor ‘Sessions’ Short: Take your dog outside only for as long as it takes for him to relieve himself. Dogs, particularly small, short-haired breeds like Chihuahuas and terriers, suffer from the cold despite their seemingly warm fur coats. Live within Buffalo city limits? Don’t forget Buffalo’s new laws pertaining to tethering dogs in inclement weather..
*Bathe Pets Only When Necessary: Your pet runs the chance of catching a cold when wet, especially in cold weather. If you absolutely must bathe your pet, consult a professional groomer or veterinarian.
*Keep Pets Warm: Limit the clipping of your pet’s hair in the cold winter months, keeping your pet as warm as possible. Brush your pet daily in lieu of clipping to keep your pet’s coat healthy, shiny, clean and mat-free. Make sure your pet has a warm place to sleep far away from outside drafts.
*Hungry Pets: Speak to your veterinarian about increasing your pet’s supply of food, particularly protein, to keep his fur thick and healthy through the winter months. Inquire about vitamin and oil supplements.
*ANTIFREEZE IS POISON TO PETS: ANTIFREEZE, EVEN IN SMALL DOSES, IS A LETHAL POISON FOR DOGS AND CATS! Because of its sweet taste, animals are attracted to it. Be sure to clean up spills thoroughly, and consider switching to an animal-friendly antifreeze. Ensure that, if you store Antifreeze in a garage, shed, or other places accessible to your pets, it is well out of pets’ reach.
For more tips regarding keeping pets safe and healthy during the winter, contact your veterinarian or the SPCA at 716-875-7360.
October’s Subaru Loves Pets Campaign at Northtown Will Benefit Animals at the SPCA Serving Erie County
September 29, 2021 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.
“Northtown Subaru is excited to add the October Adopt-A-Thon program to our annual sponsorship efforts along with the Subaru Share the Love program to support the Erie County SPCA,” said, Thomas Riggs, general sales manager of Northtown Subaru. “We’re fortunate in Western New York to have such a worthy organization.”
“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!”
To see available dogs and cats at the SPCA Serving Erie County, visit YourSPCA.org/adoptable-animals. Appointments to visit and adopt dogs every day, and cats on Saturdays only, are still required and can be made by calling 716-875-7360, ext. 207.
Injured Bald Eagle Rescued by SPCA Serving Erie County After Buffalo Police Hear “Loud Crash” Outside Building Yesterday
May 25, 2021 By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca
UPDATE 9/12/21:This afternoon, the injured bald eagle found by Buffalo Police & rescued by the SPCA Serving Erie County returned to the skies of Western New York! As detailed below, the eagle was operated on by staff at Cornell University’s Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Hospital on May 27, and on June 30, the incredible team at Messinger Woods Wildlife Care & Education Center, Inc. in Holland, NY picked up the eagle for extensive rehabilitation led by Marianne Hites! Today, the Messinger Woods team (pictured here), joined by members of the SPCA and local media, released the bald eagle at Wendt Beach in Derby, NY! Check out video of the release below:
To learn more about Messinger Woods and the fine work the organization does in caring for the wildlife of our community, please visit their Facebook page here >>
Thank you to all who played a part in this gorgeous creature’s return to our skies. An entire community came together to save her life, from the Buffalo Police to members of the SPCA Serving Erie County, to the team at Cornell, and finally to the crew at Messinger Woods. Neither the SPCA Serving Erie County or Messinger Woods would be able to do the work the organizations do and save the lives of so many animals each year if it wasn’t for the donors who make our work possible. On behalf of Messinger Woods and the Wildlife team at the SPCA Serving Erie County, thank you to the donors who help us give these animals second chances.
UPDATE 5/28/21: On Wednesday, May 26, the bald eagle spotted by members of the Buffalo Police Department & rescued by the SPCA Serving Erie County after flying into a window in the City of Buffalo was transported to Ithaca, NY. The eagle was dropped off at Cornell University’s Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Hospital for surgery on a severely fractured femur; the center wanted him immediately because, as our own Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Karen Slote and Wildlife Director Barbara Haney explained earlier this week, after that fracture the muscles contract and can make surgery much more difficult.
Today, we heard from staff there that the eagle is doing “great” after surgery! Now he’ll have time to rest and they will create a rehabilitation plan for him. Exciting news for the eagle, and for this community!
Also of note: in the photo here, you’ll notice a thin, thread-like spike (for lack of a better word!) at the tip of the eagle’s wings. Barbara Haney tells us that is indicative of the eagle’s status as a first-year eagle born sometime this calendar year, probably February or March. According to the National Eagle Center website, bald eagles fledge at approximately 10 – 14 weeks, which tells us he has not been out of the nest for long.
We may not receive another eagle update from the wildlife hospital for a few weeks, but when we do, we will definitely share that update with you.
Once again, we thank the members of this community for your care and compassion. Your constant support of all types is what makes our work possible.
UPDATE 5/26/21: The bald eagle spotted by Buffalo Police & rescued by the SPCA Serving Erie County after flying into a window in the City of Buffalo was dropped off moments ago at the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Hospital, an annex of the Cornell University Hospital for Animals. He was photographed upon admission. We will provide updates on his progress as they are made available. Thank you to this caring, compassionate community, for all of the interest in and prayers for this magnificent bird. Your concern, your donations, and your constant support of all types are what make our work possible.
A juvenile bald eagle is in critical condition at the Wildlife Department of the SPCA Serving Erie County after flying into a high building window in the City of Buffalo yesterday.
The SPCA received the call yesterday afternoon from Tracy Masiello, crime analyst for Erie County, after Buffalo Police Detective Mark Costantino and Officer David O’Brien heard a loud crash outside of their offices at Court and Franklin Streets in Buffalo. They ran outside and there, across the street, a large bird was struggling on the sidewalk. The crash they heard was the bird flying into a window of a building across the street, approximately 30 feet high.
“He tried to raise himself four or five times, but he was struggling and we could see he couldn’t lift up,” Detective Costantino said today. Despite the fact that the bird didn’t have a full white-feathered head, Detective Costantino said he knew right away that the bird was a bald eagle. “He was enormous, and his talons were so large, I could tell we were looking at an eagle.”
After receiving the call from Masiello, SPCA Serving Erie County Animal Rescue Team Officers Jennifer Maleskis and Tyler Robertson arrived at the location, retrieved the young bird, and rushed him to the SPCA’s Wildlife Department hospital, where they were met by Wildlife Director Barbara Haney and, within the hour, SPCA Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Karen Slote.
“By the time the bird made it to us, he was obviously quite stressed,” says Haney. “In addition to not being able to stand, he had an injury on his beak and blood in his mouth. He was open-mouthed breathing, a clear sign of his high stress level.”
Dr. Slote was able to provide an initial examination and determined the bird, a first-year bald eagle, has a fractured femur. Further assessment and radiographs this afternoon confirmed a severe fracture.
“We are doing everything we can for this magnificent bird, considering its compromised state at the moment,” said Haney, when asked whether the bird will survive. “We’re careful not to provide any solid prognosis at this time because the bird is still in critical condition and the outcome is uncertain.”
At this time, Dr. Slote will consult with wildlife professionals at Cornell University’s Wildlife Health Center, and will send them her assessment of the eagle along with the radiograph images. If the bird survives and responds to the supportive care, fluids, and medications it is receiving at the SPCA, Haney says, “…then it’s our hope that, once he is strong and stable, Cornell will accept the bird for surgery. The surgical team at Cornell is much better-suited for this sort of surgery…they perform it much more frequently…and they have the equipment and the pins and the other necessities large enough and strong enough for this extremely large animal.”
Haney adds, “Our primary hope right now is that the bird does, in fact, survive. That’s what we’re focused on right now. We’re doing everything in our power to help his survival so that we can actually have that discussion with Cornell about surgery and rehabilitation.”
This eagle is not the first cared for by the SPCA Serving Erie County Wildlife Department. “Eagles have made quite a comeback in the last 30 years or so,” Haney said, “and we’re starting to see them in all parts of Western New York, the City of Buffalo included. It’s possible this bird became disoriented for what could be one of several reasons, possibly even due to his reflection in the window of the high building, or he may have been in a territorial scuffle with a peregrine falcon, as hypothesized by our contacts at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.”
The SPCA wishes to thank Buffalo Police Detective Costantino, Buffalo Police Officer O’Brien, and Erie County Crime Analyst Masiello for their cooperation, and for contacting our officers when they found the eagle and saw that it was in distress.
“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.
Last year, 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.
“I think adopting is so important because you have shelters that are just full,” added Hayley, who recently joined the SPCA Board of Directors. “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 Sunday, September 12, against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
*Current SPCA adoption notes: Adoption appointments are required for dog adoptions each day, and cat adoptions on Saturdays only: (716) 875-7360, ext. 207. No adoption appointments are required for cats Monday through Friday, or for any other small animal any day of the week.