DOG ADOPTION & VISITATION APPOINTMENTS AT THE
SPCA SERVING ERIE COUNTY, NY

We know. It’s frustrating. It’s frustrating for us too. And we know the dogs aren’t crazy about it either.

But dog adoption and visitation appointments, while time-consuming and inconvenient, are the best way to keep members of our community, our volunteers, and our staff members healthy and safe during our ongoing COVID Response period. Plus, same-day appointments are often available!

Find the answers to some of the questions you may have regarding dog visitation and adoptions below.


“Why do I need to make an appointment to adopt a dog?”
We at the SPCA Serving Erie County love all our animals equally, of course…we can’t play favorites! However, our dogs seem to attract a higher number of visitors. To comply with the SPCA’s COVID-era occupancy guidelines, we minimize traffic in our kennel/dog areas through appointment adoptions and viewing. This is to help preserve the health and safety of our visitors, as well as the health and safety of our volunteers and staff members.

Same-day appointments are often available, but during periods of high-volume calls, your appointment may be scheduled for later in the week.

“Do I need appointments to adopt other animals?”
Appointments are required for cat adoptions on Saturdays only.
The reason? Saturdays are our biggest adoption day and often attract hundreds of potential adopters, and with our current occupancy guidelines, we just can’t allow this (as much as we’d like to). No appointments are needed for other animals at this time.

“How do I make an appointment to adopt a dog?”
Make your appointment by calling 716-875-7360, ext. 207. PLEASE LEAVE ONLY ONE MESSAGE! Your call will be returned in the order it was received.

“I left a message earlier today. Why hasn’t anyone called me back yet? Should I leave another message?”
The SPCA averages approximately 100 dog appointment request phone messages each day. That’s no exaggeration. EACH DAY. Your call will be returned in the order it was received. Same-day appointments are sometimes available. However, because our community is filled with so many dog-lovers who want to visit, it may not be returned the same day. Depending on the number of messages left before yours, your call may not be returned by our Adoptions crew for one or two business days. Please do not leave additional messages!

“When can I expect my appointment to be scheduled? Will it be the same day?”
Because we receive about 100 requests for an appointment per day, but can only allow approximately 10 dog viewing/adoption appointments per day to adhere to our COVID-era occupancy guidelines, it’s possible your appointment will not be scheduled to take place for at least one week in the future, usually longer. That means the dogs pictured at https://YourSPCA.org/Adoptable-Animals the day your call is returned will (hopefully) already be in new, loving homes by the time you are scheduled to come in. We understand how frustrating this can be, especially when you fall in love with a dog just through a photo on our website. We’re betting, though, that an all-new population of dogs will be available during your visit, and (hopefully) that you will find the love of your life that day!

“What if that DOESN’T happen? What if I DON’T find a new dog the day I visit? How do I make another appointment?”
Because you already had to wait what may have been a long time to visit the SPCA, we won’t make you call again! Before you leave the building, please stop at the Adoptions Desk. Your next appointment will be scheduled then and there, and you’ll be given your date and time to return.

“What should I do when I arrive for my scheduled appointment?”
Please note all visitors are required to wear masks upon entering the SPCA, and are asked to adhere to social distancing. When you arrive, simply check in at our Adoptions Desk! This way we’ll know you’re here and will be able to assist you and answer any questions you may have! For COVID tracing purposes, we may require the names of everyone in your party.

“What if I can’t make my scheduled appointment?”
Out of consideration for others just like you who want to bring a new family member into the home, we ask that you take a moment to call (you will be given a special cancellation number at the time your appointment is scheduled) and leave a message cancelling your appointment. This will allow us to schedule another potential adopter in your place, and hopefully another animal will be taken to a new home as early as possible. We appreciate the time you take to cancel, allowing another family to fill your spot.

“This appointment process is so complicated, and I’m missing out on a lot of dogs I think I would have liked to adopt. Isn’t there an easier way?”
Believe us, we understand. We’re in the business of finding loving, new homes for animals, and have dedicated our lives to doing just that. We, too, find this process frustrating, and would like nothing more than to clear the shelter in a day’s time. However, while this system is quite a bit more complicated, we’re willing to do whatever it takes to safely remain open and find new homes for these beautiful animals; right now, this is the safest way we can do just that while obeying our COVID occupancy guidelines. Like you, we can’t wait until this is all over. That’s why your patience and understanding are incredibly appreciated by our staff and volunteers.

“What if I want to adopt an animal other than a dog? Do I need an appointment?”

Yes AND No!

CATS: Appointments ARE required to adopt cats on Saturdays. Please call (716) 875-7360, ext. 207 to make your appointment. For cat adoptions  Monday through Friday, just stop in and visit us  11 a.m. through 4 p.m. (Our Adoptions Department closes at 5 p.m., however, you’ll want time to look around and hopefully begin the adoption process, so you’ll want to arrive no later than 4 p.m.)

FARM ANIMALS: Appointments are not needed, but you may call (716) 875-7360, ext. 212 or 215 for more information on any farm animals we have available.

OTHER SMALL ANIMALS: No appointments are necessary at this time.

Please note all visitors are required to wear masks upon entering the SPCA, and are asked to adhere to social distancing. We may need the names of everyone in your party for COVID tracing purposes. Due to our occupancy guidelines, depending on the number of people already visiting the animals you came to visit, you may have to wait in an overflow area or in your car until people exit the building.

“Where can I find more information?”
Find more on our COVID Response Phase adoption guidelines here >>
Find answers to other adoption questions here >>
Find photos and listings of adoptable animals here >>

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE AS WE WORK TOGETHER TO FIND NEW HOMES FOR AS MANY ANIMALS AS POSSIBLE IN A SAFE, HEALTHY MANNER!

–Gina Lattuca, SPCA Serving Erie County Chief Communications Officer

FREE ADOPTIONS TO CURRENT, PAST MEMBERS OF MILITARY DURING VETS & PETS, PRESENTED BY GEICO®

October 31, 2020
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

To celebrate the men and women of the armed services this Veterans Day, the SPCA Serving Erie County offers Vets & Pets, waiving adoption fees on most animals five months and older for individuals on active duty, reserves, and honorable discharge, along with service-disabled veterans and those retired from military service!

Vets & Pets begins Sunday, November 1 and runs through Veterans Day Wednesday, November 11 at the SPCA’s 300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca shelter and all SPCA offsite adoption locations. (Please note, the SPCA’s West Seneca shelter is closed Sunday, Nov. 1 and Sunday, Nov. 8, but many offsite adoption locations are open.)

Military ID or DD214 will need to be presented.

November 2020’s Vets & Pets program is proudly presented by GEICO®.

Contact SPCA Adoptions with any questions: 716-875-7360, ext. 233.

SEE ADOPTABLE ANIMALS >>
SEE OFFSITE ADOPTION LOCATIONS >>

The SPCA Serving Eeeerie County’s Scary-Good,
Spine-Tingling Cat Sale Starts October 26!

October 23, 2020
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

No tricks, all treats this week as the SPCA Serving Erie County presents its first-ever SCARY-GOOD, SPINE-TINGLING CAT SALE!

Monday, Oct. 26 through Friday, Oct. 30, adopt a boo-tiful cat three years or older at the SPCA’s 300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca site or any off-site adoption location, and pay the cat’s age, $1 per year! 

Adoption fees include spay/neuter surgery, age-appropriate vaccinations, initial worming, feline leukemia test, microchip, temporary identification tag, certificate for the new pet’s first physical examination at the Lipsey Clinic at the SPCA or another member clinic of the Niagara Frontier Veterinary Society, the option of a 30-day pet health insurance plan, and a free bag of Purina food (while supplies last).

Adoptions at the West Seneca shelter will open at 11 a.m. each day, and the final group of potential adopters will be allowed in the cat area (depending on number of people waiting) at 4 p.m. 

And don’t let the thought of being in close proximity to too many people during the pandemic spook you. To comply with COVID occupancy guidelines and to keep visitors safe, the SPCA will continue to limit the number of visitors in the cat adoption areas at all times. When the cat rooms are at maximum occupancy, visitors can wait outdoors, or in an overflow area at the SPCA. All visitors are required to wear masks or appropriate face coverings and are asked to comply with social distancing regulations. 

See our Bewitching Beauties here >>

See our Offsite Adoption Locations here >>

See our Halloween Pet Tips here >>

 

 

BID NOW!
Remember when there was hockey in Buffalo? Think back. When last we left the ice, the Buffalo Sabres were in the midst of celebrating their 50th anniversary….and announcer Dan Dunleavy is one of the people you’d often hear calling each Sabres’ goal. Now, Dan, longtime SPCA supporter, is the one scoring for the animals at the SPCA Serving Erie County, and you can get the assist!

Buffalo Sabres broadcasters Marty Biron, Brian Duff, Rick Jeanneret, Dan, and Rob Ray are auctioning off the commemorative gold blazers they wore this season, and Dan is donating the proceeds from his blazer auction to the animals at the SPCA Serving Erie County! Dan will personally sign his jacket to the winning bidder, and to complete the hat trick, his jacket will also be signed by fan favorites Jeanneret and Ray!

YOU can get the assist on this goal! Bid now through
9:15 p.m. August 23, and bring a little hockey history home! Place your bid and learn more at https://auctions.nhl.com/iSynApp/auctionDisplay.action?auctionId=3280575

–Gina Lattuca, SPCA Serving Erie County Chief Communications Officer

SPCA SERVING ERIE COUNTY WELCOMES THREE NEW STAFF MEMBERS IN VETERINARY SERVICES AND ALL-NEW ANIMAL BEHAVIOR & RESEARCH DEPARTMENTS

August 10, 2020
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

The SPCA Serving Erie County is pleased to announce the hiring of three new staff members, two in its Veterinary Services Department and one in its redesigned Animal Behavior & Research Department.

MELANIE RUSHFORTH (holding Sophie) is the SPCA’s Vice President of Veterinary Services. After working in the human services industry, Rushforth became the Executive Director of Northwest Spay & Neuter Center in Tacoma, WA in 2014. During her tenure, Rushforth stabilized the clinic’s income stream while maintaining a focus on cost-management. More than 70,000 animals were altered, the organization’s animal transport program expanded from three to 16 counties served, and registered partner relationships with other animal welfare organizations grew from one to 83. Rushforth has presented at national animal welfare conferences and symposiums.

Together with her staff in the SPCA’s infirmary and in the public Stanford & Judith C. Lipsey Veterinary Clinic at the SPCA, Rushforth will help the SPCA design and deliver compassionate, efficient medical services to the animals in its care. Rushforth is committed to increasing efforts to keep pets in loving homes by making the SPCA a resource for affordable care and by providing educational resources surrounding prevention and ongoing wellness.

“I’m excited to be at the SPCA Serving Erie County because it is such a cornerstone of Western New York,” says Rushforth. “It is rich with history and deep roots that demonstrate compassionate service and the ability to evolve over time to meet the needs of the community. I’m looking forward to being part of the work that meets the whole family, human and animal, where they are in an effort to preserve and maintain a healthy bond for life.”

Rushforth shares her home and heart with four cats and “…one perfect, senior dog.”


DR. ALLISON KEAN is returning to the SPCA Serving Erie County, this time as Shelter Veterinarian. Her duties will include performing surgery and managing medical cases for the SPCA’s shelter population alongside those who she calls, “…a  very dedicated group of technicians, assistants, and volunteers.”

Originally from Western New York, Dr. Kean volunteered at the SPCA prior to attending veterinary school. She completed her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at Colorado State University after attending Canisius College, where she majored in psychology with a concentration in animal behavior.

After veterinary school, Dr. Kean, Fear Free-certified and certified in veterinary acupuncture, worked in small animal non-profit and shelter medicine in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. Dr. Kean volunteers with multiple organizations and performs surgeries around the world; she has most recently been involved with “Spayathon” for Puerto Rico.

Excited to bring her experience and enthusiasm for shelter medicine to the SPCA, and to be able to continue helping the animals in our community, Dr. Kean is happy to be closer to her family, and enjoys hiking and spending time with her own pets. “I volunteered at the SPCA before veterinary school,” Dr. Kean says, “and I was always impressed with the various programs and the people. I knew that if I moved back to the area, this is where I wanted to be.”


MIRANDA K. WORKMAN, anthrozoologist and former owner of Purrfect Paws Animal Behavior Center, LLC, also returns to the SPCA Serving Erie County as the Director of the all-new Animal Behavior & Research Department. Workman has spent the last decade as a professor at Canisius College and is lead trainer/mentor and program developer for the Jackson Galaxy Project’s Cat Pawsitive programs at GreaterGood.org; she is also a current PhD candidate in Sociology at the University at Buffalo, focusing on exploring the intersection of humans, other animals, family, and the environment. Workman currently serves as a council member for the American Sociological Association’s Animals & Society section council. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, Inc. and as the Chair of the Cat Division for the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

Workman is looking forward to developing a new, top-notch Behavior & Research Department focused on the behavioral welfare of the animals in the care of the SPCA. “I’m excited to return to the SPCA, this time as the Director of Animal Behavior and Research,” she says. “It’s a position that allows me to combine my academic and applied experiences in animal behavior, anthrozoology, and sociology. I look forward to using my unique skill set, knowledge, and experience to maximize the behavioral welfare of sheltered animals, and endeavor to create a rich research program aimed at improving the human-animal relationship through evidence-based programs and networking with research scientists.”

Workman and her husband share their home with three dogs, four cats, four rats, and one mouse.

All three professionals have started their work at the SPCA Serving Erie County, and the organization’s Board of Directors and staff members are excited over the collective level of experience added to both the Veterinary Services and Animal Behavior & Research Departments.

Information and news from both departments will continue to be shared at YourSPCA.org.

SPCA Set to Receive Animals from Two Massive TN Hoarding Cases

July 23, 2020
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

Next week the SPCA Serving Erie County will receive approximately 27 animals rescued from two massive hoarding cases in Tennessee.

The SPCA is an emergency placement partner of the Animal Rescue Corps (ARC), a nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC dedicated to conducting large-scale rescues throughout North America. Organization members rescue animals from abusive and neglectful situations including puppy mills, hoarding situations, fighting rings, exotic animal cases, and more, along with conducting rescues during natural disasters such as floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and blizzards.

Animal Rescue Corps: Operation Fresh Air

On June 23, the ARC assisted the Henry County Sheriff’s Department in Paris, TN with Operation Fresh Air, the removal of 45 dogs living in what the Corps called “…horrendous conditions in a single-family trailer.” See video from this rescue here, and see coverage from Knoxville, TN CBS affiliate WVLT-TV 8 here.

Animal Rescue Corps: Operation Fresh Air
Animal Rescue Corps: Operation Caged Hell

Just two days later, on June 25, the organization again assisted the Sheriff’s Department with Operation Caged Hell, a rescue of 726 animals from a home in Buchanan, TN that included the rescue of an 18-month-old toddler living in an animal cage mere feet away from a 10-foot boa constrictor and other snakes. (See video from this rescue here, along with the full story, videos, and photos from the rescue as covered by Nashville, TN Fox affiliate Fox-17 here.)

Animal Rescue Corps: Operation Caged Hell
Animal Rescue Corps: Operation Caged Hell

As one of several ARC emergency placement partners, two volunteers from the SPCA Serving Erie County are scheduled to meet ARC drivers just outside of Cleveland, OH on Tuesday, July 28, to receive two dogs and four pups from Operation Fresh Air, and four dogs, four pups, four parakeets, eight domestic rats, and one gecko from Operation Caged Hell.

Barring any last-minute changes or delays, you can watch the SPCA’s Facebook page to see these animals arriving at our West Seneca shelter live on Tuesday. Estimated time of arrival is not yet determined, but will be announced on our Facebook page Tuesday.

Each animal has already received initial examinations and crucial care, and will receive further examination and any necessary additional care at the SPCA’s 300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca shelter infirmary. Most of the animals are expected to be temporarily placed in volunteer foster homes.

There is no word on when the animals will be available for adoption, but as they become available the animals will be listed on the SPCA’s Adoptable Animals website page.

Updates on this story will be provided as they become available.


YOU can help stop the puppy mill pipeline in New York State! The NYS Senate passed the “Stop the Puppy Mill Pipeline” Bill. Now we’re asking YOU to contact your assembly members to bring this bill to the floor for a vote! Find out how & read the full story here >>  

INTERNET PUPPY SCAM HITS CLOSE TO HOME

July 9, 2020
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

It was just last month that the American Kennel Club issued a warning about online “puppy scams” in its article How to Spot a Puppy Scam Online.

The scams have hit close to home.

One Buffalonian and friend of the SPCA who wishes to remain anonymous cautions those looking for puppies to avoid a scam to which he fell victim this week.

“Sam” has been looking for a puppy for several months and has sent online applications, which included his mobile number, to various local and national groups. When he received a text from, the sender claimed, a representative of one animal organization based in Tennessee (although the text was from a 916 Sacramento, CA area code), Sam was delighted to learn the organization had a Golden Retriever puppy available right in New York. Fulton, NY, to be exact. The text message included photos of a puppy that looked very similar to the puppy in this photo: two photos of the puppy with a red ribbon around his neck standing next to a red Valentine’s Day heart, and one photo of the puppy on a blue mat next to a pail and flowers.

The pictures looked vaguely familiar, and since Sam had been looking for a puppy for a few months, he assumed he saw the photos at some point during his search. The puppy was too appealing to pass up. Sam expressed interest and asked when he might be able to purchase and pick up the pup.

The representative said he’d hold the puppy with a 50% “reservation deposit,” nearly $400,  payable through mobile payment service Cash App. The balance would be paid upon puppy pick-up the following day. The address was a home on West 3rd Street South in Fulton, NY, approximately 2 1/2 hours away.

Upon Sam’s arrival at the home yesterday, there was no animal organization representative, no puppy, and Sam was told he was the fourth person this month who arrived at the home looking for this very Golden Retriever pup.

According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), most victims of puppy scams lose between $100 and $1000, although some report losing considerably more. The BBB recommends reporting fraud to the BBB Scam Tracker, Petscams.com, the Federal Trade Commission (1-877-FTC-HELP), and others. Find this information and more in the BBB’s November, 2019 article Puppy Scams: How Fake Online Pet Sellers Steal from Unsuspecting Pet Buyers / A BBB Study .

The Humane Society of the United States shares warnings about Internet pet sale consumer scams, how to find a reputable dog breeder, and more in Consumer Scam: Internet Pet Sales.

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