Lucia, Safe and Sound After Two Years Straying the Streets

December 29, 2020
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

UPDATE 1/14/2021: Yesterday was a big day for Lucia! She was adopted and went home to West Seneca with Katherine! Be a good girl, Lucia!
  



Sure, it takes a village to see some things through. But sometimes it takes an entire city. And this particular cat brought to the SPCA yesterday needed the City of Good Neighbors to help her see things straight!

Here is Lucia’s story, as told to us by our Director of Admissions Amy Jaworski and Admissions Counselor Tammi Cogswell:

Approximately two years ago, a calico kitty was admitted to the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter (CBAS).  While there, as part of the excellent care provided by CBAS, the kitty had eye removal surgery and was placed in foster care for several weeks before being ready for adoption.  She was named Lucia, and, when her rehab was complete, Lucia was placed up for adoption at PetSmart in Buffalo.

Lucia was adopted quickly…but moments after her adoption, while the adopter was walking to her car to bring Lucia home, Lucia fell through the bottom of the cat carrier and was gone.  Devoted CBAS volunteers, including SPCA employee Tammi Cogswell, searched for this cat, and in these two years, right up until this week, continued to put food out for her (courtesy of dedicated CBAS volunteer Mary, who made the search for Lucia a regular part of her life for two years!) in the hopes of capturing her, but with no success.

Several months ago, a woman named Susan came to the SPCA to surrender her mother’s cat, and Tammi, working at our Admissions Desk, asked Susan the general questions asked upon intake: how Susan’s mom acquired the cat, how long she owned the cat, etc. The conversation turned to stray cats when Susan responded that her mother’s cat had been a stray; Susan offhandedly mentioned that there was another stray cat who had been in the area a few years, a cat with beautiful colors and ONE EYE!

Tammi, acting as the ever-vigilant animal advocate that she is, asked Susan if this stray cat was in the vicinity of the PetSmart location  in the city.  The answer was a resounding “Yes,” the cat took up residence on Buffalo’s Rebecca Drive, and Susan promised to send Tammi photos of the cat next time the kitty came around.

Over the last few months, Tammi sent messages to Susan asking about the cat, but Susan was never able to grab another photo. Earlier this month, Susan contacted Tammi asking to borrow a live trap in an effort to safely capture and contain this one-eyed beauty.

We learned this cat had captured many hearts during her 2+-year stay in the neighborhood, and while the entire community came together to help care for her, Lucia had touched the life of one man in particular named Stephen, who was a primary caretaker (he even built a house for her, complete with a heated floor mat). Stephen had become very attached to this little girl and named her “Manechan” (Stephen later said he named this feisty cat Manechan after a feisty, Thai princess…so her full name, Stephen told us, is Lucia Manechan!).

Susan shared with Stephen the possible story behind this stray and put him in touch with Tammi at the SPCA.

Jump ahead to this week…the one-eyed stray Stephen and others in the neighborhood had been caring for was finally safely secured with no trap needed, and arrangements were made for Susan to bring the kitty to the SPCA to be scanned for a microchip.

The big scan happened yesterday, and it was finally confirmed: the beautiful, one-eyed stray is, in fact, Lucia! There were plenty of tears of joy at the SPCA and CBAS over this exciting news! Thanks to Stephen, Susan, and the other amazing, caring community members in the neighborhood unable to keep Lucia, yet dedicated to looking out for her wellbeing, Lucia is alive, safe, and unharmed more than two years after her escape! 

Today, Lucia is, understandably, a little stressed, and we’re giving her time to relax and unwind after her adventures. At the time of this writing, SPCA representatives have contacted CBAS representatives to determine what happens next in little Lucia’s story!

The compassionate teams at the CBAS and SPCA, combined with a Buffalo neighborhood full of caring individuals including Stephen and Susan, exemplify an entire community coming together to care for the lives of its animals.

Keep watching this page and YourSPCA.org for updates on Lucia!

 

FROM THE DESK OF JOHN J. FLYNN, ERIE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY

November 6, 2019

DOG DAYCARE WORKER PLEADS GUILTY TO FELONY CHARGE FOR BEATING DOG TO DEATH

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 23-year-old Jarrod Dillman of Buffalo pleaded guilty before State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia to one count of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals, a felony. The defendant pleaded guilty to the highest charge.

On Saturday, August 3, 2019, the defendant, while working as a dog daycare attendant at PawPrints by Penny & Co. on Niagara Street in the City of Buffalo, caused the death of “Alessio,” a three-year-old Havanese mix. The defendant admitted to using a leash to throw the dog against a wall. He also repeatedly kicked the dog while wearing boots. A necropsy determined that “Alessio” died as a result of blunt force trauma. (Read the original story here.)

Dillman faces a maximum of 2 years in jail when he is sentenced on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. He remains released on $5,000 bond posted in Buffalo City Court.

DA Flynn commends the SPCA Serving Erie County, including Officers Paul LeShay, Amy Jaworski, and Lindsey Styborski, for their work in this investigation.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Erin E. Hart of the DA’s Animal Cruelty Unit.

 

UPDATE, AUGUST 16, 2019: Jarrod Dillman appeared in Buffalo City Court this morning. He has waived his felony hearing and his case will now proceed to the grand jury. Please keep watching YourSPCA.org for further information on this animal cruelty case.

_____________________________MORE______________________________

August 13, 2019

DOG DAYCARE WORKER CHARGED WITH ANIMAL CRUELTY FOR BEATING DOG TO DEATH

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 23-year-old Jarrod Dillman of Buffalo has been arraigned before Buffalo City Court Judge Barbara Johnson-Lee on one count of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals, a felony, and one count of overdriving, torturing and injuring animals; failure to provide proper sustenance, a misdemeanor.

It is alleged that on Saturday, August 3, 2019, the defendant, while working as a [daycare attendant and bather] at PawPrints by Penny & Co. on Niagara Street in the City of Buffalo, caused the death of “Alessio,” a three-year-old Havanese, by throwing the dog against a wall and repeatedly kicking the dog while wearing boots. The preliminary necropsy results determined that the dog died as a result of blunt force trauma.

Dillman is scheduled to return on Friday, August 16, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. for a felony hearing. Judge Johnson-Lee set bail at $5,000 cash, bond or property.

DA Flynn commends the SPCA Serving Erie County, including Officers Paul LeShay, Amy Jaworski and Lindsey Styborski, for their work in this investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Erin E. Hart of the DA’s Animal Cruelty Unit.

As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

_____________________________MORE______________________________

From BuffaloNews.com:

Dog day care attendant arraigned on felony aggravated animal cruelty charge

By Harold McNeil
Published August 13, 2019|Updated August 13, 2019

An attendant for a Buffalo dog groomer was arraigned Tuesday in Buffalo City Court on a felony charge of aggravated cruelty to animals, after an animal in his care died, according to the Erie County District Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors said 23-year-old Jarrod Dillman of Buffalo was additionally charged with overdriving, torturing and injuring an animal, as well as failure to provide proper sustenance.

“We’re horrified and saddened by the death of the dog that was in our care, and this is the first that I’ve learned that he was arrested,” said Penelope Lanich, proprietor of PawPrints by Penny & Co., when contacted by The Buffalo News Tuesday.

“We’ve been working closely with the SPCA to make sure justice is served here,” she added.

On Aug. 3, while working as a day care employee at PawPrints by Penny & Co. on Niagara Street in Buffalo, Dillman allegedly caused the death of a 3-year-old Havanese named Alessio by throwing the dog against a wall and repeatedly kicking the animal while Dillman was wearing boots. The preliminary necropsy results have determined that the dog died as a result of blunt force trauma, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Dillman initially was identified by the District Attorney’s Office as a dog groomer at PawPrints, but Lanich said that is not a position Dillman ever held at the business during his 1 1/2 years of employment there.

“I’ve been in business for over 15 years and I’ve never had anything like this happen,” Lanich said.

Dillman is scheduled to return to court Friday for a felony hearing before City Court Judge Barbara Johnson-Lee, who set bail at $5,000.

 

UPDATE, NOVEMBER 6, 2019: Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 23-year-old Jarrod Dillman of Buffalo pleaded guilty before State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia to one count of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals, a felony. The defendant pleaded guilty to the highest charge. Read the full story on today’s developments after this SPCA investigation here.

_____________________________MORE______________________________


UPDATE, AUGUST 16, 2019
: Jarrod Dillman appeared in Buffalo City Court this morning. He has waived his felony hearing and his case will now proceed to the grand jury. Please keep watching YourSPCA.org for further information on this animal cruelty case.

_____________________________MORE______________________________

August 13, 2019

DOG DAYCARE WORKER CHARGED WITH ANIMAL CRUELTY FOR BEATING DOG TO DEATH

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 23-year-old Jarrod Dillman of Buffalo has been arraigned before Buffalo City Court Judge Barbara Johnson-Lee on one count of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals, a felony, and one count of overdriving, torturing and injuring animals; failure to provide proper sustenance, a misdemeanor.

It is alleged that on Saturday, August 3, 2019, the defendant, while working as a [daycare attendant and bather] at PawPrints by Penny & Co. on Niagara Street in the City of Buffalo, caused the death of “Alessio,” a three-year-old Havanese, by throwing the dog against a wall and repeatedly kicking the dog while wearing boots. The preliminary necropsy results determined that the dog died as a result of blunt force trauma.

Dillman is scheduled to return on Friday, August 16, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. for a felony hearing. Judge Johnson-Lee set bail at $5,000 cash, bond or property.

DA Flynn commends the SPCA Serving Erie County, including Officers Paul LeShay, Amy Jaworski and Lindsey Styborski, for their work in this investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Erin E. Hart of the DA’s Animal Cruelty Unit.

As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

_____________________________MORE______________________________

From BuffaloNews.com:

Dog day care attendant arraigned on felony aggravated animal cruelty charge

By Harold McNeil
Published August 13, 2019|Updated August 13, 2019

An attendant for a Buffalo dog groomer was arraigned Tuesday in Buffalo City Court on a felony charge of aggravated cruelty to animals, after an animal in his care died, according to the Erie County District Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors said 23-year-old Jarrod Dillman of Buffalo was additionally charged with overdriving, torturing and injuring an animal, as well as failure to provide proper sustenance.

“We’re horrified and saddened by the death of the dog that was in our care, and this is the first that I’ve learned that he was arrested,” said Penelope Lanich, proprietor of PawPrints by Penny & Co., when contacted by The Buffalo News Tuesday.

“We’ve been working closely with the SPCA to make sure justice is served here,” she added.

On Aug. 3, while working as a day care employee at PawPrints by Penny & Co. on Niagara Street in Buffalo, Dillman allegedly caused the death of a 3-year-old Havanese named Alessio by throwing the dog against a wall and repeatedly kicking the animal while Dillman was wearing boots. The preliminary necropsy results have determined that the dog died as a result of blunt force trauma, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Dillman initially was identified by the District Attorney’s Office as a dog groomer at PawPrints, but Lanich said that is not a position Dillman ever held at the business during his 1 1/2 years of employment there.

“I’ve been in business for over 15 years and I’ve never had anything like this happen,” Lanich said.

Dillman is scheduled to return to court Friday for a felony hearing before City Court Judge Barbara Johnson-Lee, who set bail at $5,000.

Get Email Updates