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!

NO BONES ABOUT IT…KEEP PETS SAFE THIS THANKSGIVING

November 21, 2019
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

People aren’t the only ones looking forward to upcoming holiday dinners…the smell of Thanksgiving dinner is enough to drive any four-legged critter into a food frenzy.  The SPCA Serving Erie County has issued these holiday reminders to keep your pets safe, slim, and trim:

HUNGRY PETS: Too many holiday treats won’t only pack the pounds on us…they’ll pack them on our pets. Many pets are on standard, limited diets; feeding them large quantities of food they don’t normally receive could cause abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, none of which are welcome during this festive holiday…or at any other time, for that matter. Use discretion. Turkey bones are also dangerous for pets. A brittle, spiky bone could cause irritation of the stomach or intestines, or could lodge in your pet’s esophagus.
NOTE: Dogs eating foods to which they’re not accustomed may experience BLOAT, a life-threatening condition. Dogs experiencing bloat may have difficulty breathing, may appear weak and/or depressed, may attempt to vomit but cannot, and/or may appear to be extremely uncomfortable for no apparent reason. If your pet exhibits signs of bloat, bring him to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Speak with your veterinarian for more information on this condition.

NO BREAD FOR BARNEY:  Think twice before leaving that homemade bread dough atop the oven to rise. According to the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center, when bread dough is ingested, an animal’s body heat causes the dough to rise in the stomach. As alcohol is produced during the rising process, the dough expands. Pets who have eaten bread dough may experience abdominal pain, vomiting, disorientation and depression.

PEANUT BUTTER WARNING: Using peanut butter as a holiday treat for your pet? Remember to check the label! Xylitol is a sugar substitute now added to some peanut butters and other foods and candies. It’s safe for most humans, but deadly to pets, even in small quantities! It’s also a bad idea to give any animal caffeine-laced peanut butter; serious health problems could ensue.


GARBAGE PICKERS?
  Some animals patiently wait for the chance to pick through the garbage when you’re not around. Aluminum foils with juices, plastic wraps with frostings, even tasty strings from tying turkeys…well, the temptation can just be too much for your deprived pets. Keep your garbage bags away from where pets can chew through them to get to the goods. Ingestion of these items can be life-threatening.

SWEET TEMPTATIONS: CHOCOLATE CAN BE FATAL TO PETS!  Chocolate contains a substance called Theobromine, a compound very similar to caffeine in structure. Theobromine can be toxic to dogs and cats in small quantities, causing vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, seizures, rapid and irregular heartbeats, muscle tremors, coma, even death. Keep chocolate safely away from all animals.

POTPOURRI PROBLEMS:  Of course we want our homes to smell nice when guests arrive…but be mindful that liquid and other types of potpourri, especially sprinkled into rugs, along with many scented essential candles and oils are toxic to dogs, cats, even birds and other animals.

For additional holiday medical reminders, speak with your veterinarian, or call the SPCA’s Lipsey Clinic: 716-531-4700.

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

From the Amherst Bee: click the image below to see how Amherst Middle School is dedicating the year to helping the SPCA Serving Erie County’s “Paws for Love” program!

HALLOWEEN: NO TREAT FOR PETS

October 24, 2019
By: Gina Lattuca, SPCA Chief Communications Officer

WITH A FEW EXTRA PRECAUTIONS, PETS CAN HAVE A HAPPY HALLOWEEN TOO!

Halloween is meant to be fun for children of all ages, but according to the SPCA Serving Erie County, pets often experience the dark side of Halloween fun.  With extra precautions, seasonal problems can often be avoided:

NO CHOCOLATE for you! Just dog treats this Halloween!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-HUNGRY PETS:  CHOCOLATE CAN BE FATAL TO YOUR PET!  Please share this tip with children, who may be tempted to share their Halloween take with their best four-footed friends! The sweet smell of Halloween chocolate and other candy left by a door pleases pets, as do cookies and cakes served at Halloween parties. Sweets can cause diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain or worse.  Purchase Halloween treats made specifically for pets and keep the “people” treats away from where pets can reach them.

-PETS AS VICTIMS:  Halloween is traditionally known for trick-or-treaters…and pranksters.  KEEP ALL PETS INSIDE on Halloween night, and the nights immediately preceding and following October 31.  This will prevent them from being stolen, teased, kicked, blinded by flashlights or abused in other ways.

-NERVOUS/TERRITORIAL PETS:  Constant door-knocking or doorbell-ringing may cause an extremely nervous pet to shake or tremble uncontrollably, or have an “accident” in the house.  Territorial pets may become aggressive at the sound of unfamiliar visitors.  Keep nervous or territorial pets distracted in another room with the door closed.

-CURIOUS PETS:  Keep pets away from costume-making areas, where sequins or buttons can be swallowed.  Scissors used for cutting patterns, or knives used for carving jack o’lanterns, can harm your pet.  Also remember to keep pets away from a candle-illuminated jack o’lantern.  Halloween has become a popular season for decorations as well.  Keep decorations out of your pet’s reach, or securely attached in place to prevent your pet from pulling the decorations down.  Swallowing a decorative object may cause intestinal problems and present a potential emergency.

-KEEP CURRENT ID ON PETS: Exuberant or nervous pets may bolt out doors opened for trick-or-treat candy handouts. Ensure they are wearing proper identification (even if they are microchipped) in case they become lost. Collars are available for purchase at the SPCA Petique, located at the 300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca shelter, and other pet supply shops. If you lose or find a pet, visit the SPCA’s Lost & Found page for tips on what to do next.

Contact the SPCA Serving Erie County with any questions or concerns: 716-875-7360.

SPCA LAUNCHES ‘TALE FOR TWO’ READING PROGRAM FOR 2019-2020 SCHOOL SEASON

September 4, 2019
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

Register your child for Tale for Two here >>

The SPCA Serving Erie County will present its second season of Tale for Two for the 2019-2020 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 >>

The SPCA Says Goodbye After 38 Years of ‘Butler Service,’ as Joe & Fran Butler Retire

August 28, 2019
By: Gina Lattuca, SPCA Chief Communications Officer

 

This week, we at the SPCA Serving Erie County say goodbye to a husband and wife team whose names are practically synonymous with the organization. Joe Butler, a 38-year employee and former dog control officer in the town of Evans, and Fran Butler, a 33-year employee, will be retiring August 30 after a history with the SPCA that brought them to three different shelters: Pontiac Rd. in Angola, Ensminger Rd. in Tonawanda, and now Harlem Rd. in West Seneca.

Joe Butler down on the (SPCA) farm

For 24 and 23 years respectively, Joe and Fran managed the SPCA’s satellite shelter in Angola. Because they lived nearby, the two often worked around-the-clock helping thousands of animals along with thousands of people (many who were known to knock on the Butlers’ door at all hours of the night). They were involved in animal cruelty investigations, rescues, adoptions, admissions, public relations, special events…every single aspect of shelter work was handled by Joe and Fran, along with their small team of staff members and volunteers.

Fran at the SPCA’s Angola satellite shelter

When that satellite shelter was closed, the two relocated to the Tonawanda shelter (Joe had worked there prior to the opening of the satellite shelter) and eventually to our current West Seneca site. Here, their important work with animals continued in the Behavior & Training and Adoptions Departments.

Last week, I asked Joe and Fran a difficult question…consider the last 30+ years at the SPCA and share with me something you love now, or a favorite memory. For Joe, a significant time was in the early 90s, when the SPCA started performing early-age spay/neuters. Fran is thankful for the fact that the Adoptions Department is like a group of family members who can count on each other for help.

Fran (sitting, in green) working at a busy Tonawanda shelter Adoptions desk

For the 29 years I’ve known her, Fran continues to teach me the importance of making a human connection no matter how busy you are. I’d watch her at a very busy Angola shelter adoption desk with several people waiting for attention; no matter how busy she was, she took the time to look each patron in the eye, thoughtfully respond to questions, and in doing so, made each and every patron feel valued. I still see her doing this today in West Seneca. That is a gift, and it’s one she shares with all of us.

Joe (right) at the SPCA’s Radiothon, talking with NewsRadio 930 WBEN’s Sandy Beach

I was a little afraid of Joe when I first met him. I was 24 and even in heels had to look up at this serious, steadfast man who was in charge of our Angola shelter. It didn’t take long to realize I now knew one of the most genuine, determined people I’d ever meet in my life. The love he exhibited for animals was unsurpassed, as evidenced by the work he did 24/7 (not an exaggeration), and I’ll always be thankful for his never laughing at how much I didn’t know, and how he helped me learn about the most difficult parts of the job while becoming acclimated to a small, insightful, tightly-knitted staff.

Left: Joe (left) and the SPCA’s Tim Tomkinson on a rescue. Right: Joe prepares for an investigation.

Sheila Foss, SPCA educational farm manager and 34-year employee, says, “When I think of Joe and Fran, the words that spring to my mind are respectful, dedicated, concerned, thoughtful, humble, gracious, helpful, humorous, calming, and mentors.”

She adds, “Fran & Joe demonstrate these descriptors to everyone they encounter: each other, co-workers, visitors, and patrons. I am blessed to have had the pleasure of being on their team, and hope their journey continues to bring forth an abundance of treasures, small and large.”

Fran attempts to untangle the neatly-put-away lights used as holiday decorations in Tonawanda

SPCA Petique Retail Store Manager Jessica Tyler, a 12-year employee, says “Over the last 12 years at the SPCA, I’ve had the pleasure of knowing these two. Joe is so knowledgeable and passionate about what he does here, and his love for animals shows.

“I worked with Fran doing adoptions for nine years, and we shared many laughs, many tears, and overall had a great time at work,” Jessica said. “She is more than a co-worker; she is family to me. She’s always there for me, and….I will miss talking to her and seeing her smiling face every day. Joe and Fran will be missed, but it’s time for more fun to happen!”

Joe and Fran make the big time

The impact Joe and Fran have made on the SPCA, its programs and services, its staff members and volunteers, and most of all its animals, will not be forgotten.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

Thank you, Joe and Fran, for spending nearly four decades putting others’ happiness ahead of your own, and for living lives that truly made a difference in our community!

***************************************************

Susan Royce, Administrative Financial Assistant:
Fran is one of the kindest people I have ever had the privilege of working with.  When I stepped into my position of Administrative Financial Assistant I was constantly going to her with questions regarding Adoptions procedures and the reports they generated.  She was always right there to help me with a kind heart and gentle demeanor.  She is the Adoptions matriarch and her retirement will leave such a void; knowing Fran she will make sure that the staff is well-prepared in stepping in and picking up where she left off.  A sweet, kind and genuinely nice person.  I am going to miss her terribly!

I learned so much from Joe in how to handle and work with dogs.  He was always there to answer any questions with dogs and delivered information in a succinct and clear method so even a novice dog handler could understand.  It was always a comfort knowing that he was on the job taking great care of the animals, comforting the dogs who came in frightened and unsure.  The admiration and respect I have for him is huge, and he will be missed in so many ways.  Here’s to a job well done!!

Stephanie Pepper, Shelter Manager:
Fran has an amazing way of treating every adopter/potential adopter with kindness. I have never seen Fran frazzled; she always remains calm with a “can- do” attitude…no matter what came her way. I love how she refers to every animal while going over adoption paperwork as “your baby” –  always made me smile!

Fran was a great asset to the Adoptions Department. Every morning Fran comes in, and she cleans and prepares for the day. There is so much that Fran does behind-the-scenes that having her gone will definitely leave a void. Every morning when I come in I always said, “Good morning Fran!” I will miss her!

Krissi Miranda, Adoptions Supervisor:
Fran, you have the kindest heart of anyone I know! I’m going to miss the way you called every animal being adopted the adopters new baby. From coming in early every morning and making sure we were ready to hit the ground running as soon as the doors opened, making sure this place didn’t look like it went to the dogs, to working from the moment you came in until the moment you left, this place will not be the same without you!!!

I will miss your smile and your kind heart. I am so excited that you are retiring and able to do the things you enjoy most!  I’ll miss you but you deserve to retire while you’re still young enough to enjoy it!!!!!!

Joe, you have a kind heart and it shows in the love you have for your family. The thousands of animals whose lives you changed I’m sure would thank you if they could. This place will not be the same without you. I am so excited for you and Fran and in some way I’m envious of you both. Take care, live large, and enjoy your golden years! You deserve it!!!!

Jennifer Grzeskiewicz, Adoptions:
One thing I have learned from Fran is that there is no “I” in team. Teamwork is a very important part of our jobs and without it we wouldn’t be able to function the way we do. I love that Fran welcomed me into our Adoptions family – without them to talk to or rely on for help, things would be much more difficult.

Tina Corcoran, Adoptions:
I remember bringing my daughter Devan to the Angola shelter when she was young. We would walk the dogs and even adopted our second family dog named Bojangles from Fran and Joe!

Sandy Comes, Adoptions:
To Fran: I will miss the morning stories and jokes; you always made the mornings silly!  Thank you for always being there as a co-worker and a friend to help me when I was stuck with anything. You always made it seem easy.  I will miss you my dear friend. You were a joy to work with and honor to become friends with. I hope you and Joe get to enjoy all the wonderful things retirement offers! Always remember you can volunteer anytime as a greeter! Love you!!
To Joe: Over time I got to know you and learned what a wonderful person you really are.  You have done the work of many in this shelter and I am sure [there were times that were not] easy, so please enjoy your retirement! You have more than earned it!

Julia Walsh, Lipsey Clinic & former Veterinary Department Assistant:
Joe and Fran are very passionate and dedicated to the SPCA. 

I look up to them and am inspired by their relationship- it must have not always been easy to work with your spouse for 30 + years 🙂 !

I looked forward to Fran’s warm greetings every morning. It has been a pleasure working with them both! Best wishes!

Lydia Stineman, Veterinary Technician/Lincoln Memorial University Program Support:
I [had heard] about “Fran and Joe from the Southtowns” and when that shelter closed, heard they were coming to the “Northtowns” shelter [in Tonawanda]. I was excited to meet them, because I had heard so much about them but had never seen them! Fran was so sweet, and we connected right away. Joe is a big teddy bear! He gets right to the point, and that’s THAT! It was awesome working with them, and I will miss them both! 😘 

 

See the latest canine guest on WNLO’s ‘MEL’S MUTTS‘ segment by clicking the image below!
(Pssssst: each Thursday morning it’s a dog from our very own SPCA!)