BILL THE CAT: One in a Million (or one in 3,000, to be exact)!

June 24, 2020
By: Gina Lattuca, SPCA Serving Erie County Chief Communications Officer

UPDATE, JUNE 24, 6:30 p.m.: Bill has been adopted! When his story made national news today, we received more than 100 phone calls from potential adopters from all over the country! Fortunately, our boy will be staying home! Now named Milo, he’ll be living in Buffalo with Jomaira & Kiara!


BILL THE CAT is one in a million…or to be more specific, one in 3,000! Why? Because he’s a tortoiseshell kitty, and he’s a boy!

If you’re new to the cat world, that might not seem too exceptional. But those who have spent a little time in feline circles are paying close attention right now, especially after seeing Bill’s photo with that blue collar around his neck and realizing that this is a male tortoiseshell cat, an incredible rarity.

Genetics are pretty interesting when it comes to calico cats, and the same goes for tortoiseshell cats…even the “pastel” or dilute ones like Bill, with softer colors. Several genetic mutations cause these cats to develop coats with patterns that seem marbleized, much like the shell of a tortoise. And with the most common chromosome combos, all calicos and tortoiseshell felines are female. Well….almost all.

Think back to high school. Females have XX chromosomes, males have XY.

X carries the gene for coat colors; Y determines gender.

According to this article issued by Falls Village Veterinary Hospital in Raleigh, NC, “Orange coloring in cats comes from a gene in X chromosomes. Biology refresher: females have XX chromosomes. Males have XY chromosomes. So, it stands to reason that either a male or female cat can be or have orange coloring. The girls, though, are commonly calico, tortie, or orange tabby whereas the vast majority of males are only orange tabby. This is because only a cat with XX chromosomes can be calico or tortie.”

So if two X chromosomes are necessary in a calico or tortie kitten, and males are XY with just one X, how are male calico or tortie cats possible?

Very rarely, an extra strand of DNA (three chromosomes) is apparent in a male, making the male XXY. What does this mean? While the Y determines he is a male, the two Xs can, in fact, give him a calico or a tortoiseshell coat!

This is an incredibly rare occurrence. In fact, several sources researched cite a study by the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine that found only about 1 in 3,000 of these calico/tortoiseshell cats are male!

Undoubtedly, it must have occurred to someone throughout history to try and breed these cats, however, cats with three chromosomes are usually also sterile. Neutering is still important to help prevent negative medical or behavioral developments.

Because we don’t see many male calico or tortoiseshell cats at the SPCA Serving Erie County, Bill the cat is feeling pretty special these days, but he’s trying not to let it get to his head. Bill is waiting to meet his new family at our 300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca shelter! We have a feeling Bill will be scooped up quickly, but plenty of animals are at the SPCA waiting to become a part of your family! See our available animals here.

Adoption appointments can be made by calling 716-875-7360, ext. 207.

Thanks to the SPCA’s Lindsey Wood for Bill’s photos and videos!

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 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!

For more information, please contact Terry Belke: Terry.Belke@wgrz.com

SPCA LIGHTS OF LOVE 2019

November 1, 2019
By: Gina Lattuca, SPCA Chief Communications Officer

The SPCA Serving Erie County is bringing back its Lights of Love program for the 2019 holiday season!

November 4 through December 12, those wishing to purchase a labeled Christmas tree light in honor of or in memory of people or pets who have touched their lives can do so through the SPCA. The lights will adorn trees in the organization’s 300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca shelter Adoptions lobby, and will remain lit through the end of the year.

“In Memory Of” white lights and “In Honor Of” colored lights are available for a $20 donation. A string of 12 lights is available for $180. All donations will help give shelter animals a second chance at happy, healthy lives filled with light and love.

Lights of Love is sponsored by Adams Nursery and Garden Center.

Purchase one or more lights here, or call Amber at the SPCA: 716-875-7360, ext. 230.


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 for individuals on active duty, reserves, and honorable discharge, along with service-disabled veterans and those retired from military service!

Vets & Pets begins Friday, November 1 and runs through Monday, November 11 at the SPCA’s 300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca shelter and all SPCA offsite adoption locations.

Photos of adoptable animals are available here, and a list of offsite adoption locations, their addresses, and photos of animals at these sites can be found here.

Military ID or DD214 will need to be presented.

Vets & Pets is proudly sponsored by the Buffalo Bills Foundation, philanthropist Nancy Gacioch of Buffalo, and Paul’s Jewelry Designs!

In fact, all this week, Paul will be offering custom-engraved pet ID tags for $19.95, with proceeds donated to the SPCA Serving Erie County! Pet ID tags are available in store at 12 N. Ellicott Creek Rd., Amherst, or pre-order online and pick up in store. For more information on pet ID tags, contact Paul’s Jewelry Designs at 716-691-0000 or paul@paulsdesigns.com.

More information to follow. Contact SPCA Adoptions with any questions: 716-875-7360, ext. 233.