NO BONES ABOUT IT…KEEP PETS SAFE THIS THANKSGIVING

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

Yes, Thanksgiving looks very different this year than in years past. No matter how small the celebrations, however, many people are still planning on preparing holiday meals, and those delicious smells are 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, along with other foods and candies. It’s safe for most humans, but deadly to pets, even in small quantities!  Be sure to check labels for Xylitol or other ingredients that could be dangerous for your pet. It’s also a bad idea to give any animal caffeine-laced peanut butter or other foods; 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.

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 this COVID Response period.

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 COVID-era occupancy guidelines, we minimize traffic in our kennel/dog areas through appointment adoptions. 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.

“Do I need appointments to adopt other animals?”
While dog adoptions require appointments Monday – Saturday, appointments are not necessary for other animals Monday – FRIDAY. Appointments are required for CAT adoptions on Saturdays. The reason? Saturdays are our biggest adoption day and often attract hundreds of potential adopters, and with current occupancy guidelines, we just can’t allow this (as much as we’d like to).

“How do I make an appointment?”
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. 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 appointments per day to adhere to 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 will 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 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!  For cats and other small animals Monday through FRIDAY, just visit  11 a.m. through 4 p.m. (Our Adoptions Department closes at 5 p.m., however, you’ll need time to look around and hopefully begin the adoption process, so you’ll want to arrive no later than 4 p.m.) Appointments ARE required to adopt these animals on Saturdays. Please note all visitors are required to wear masks upon entering the SPCA, and are asked to adhere to social distancing. We will need the names of everyone in your party for COVID tracing purposes. Due to 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 >>

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

Have you attended Paws in the Park in the past?
If your answer is “YES,” then we need YOUR opinion! 
Please take our quick survey by clicking the image below!

Click on the image below to see Lauren Hall’s story on the SPCA’s Paws for Love program and the Family Justice Center, airing this morning on WGRZ-TV: