SPCA LAUNCHES ‘TALE FOR TWO’ READING PROGRAM FOR 2019-2020 SCHOOL SEASON
September 4, 2019
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca
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.
Please contact SPCA Humane Education Director Christine Davis with questions: HumaneEducation@yourspca.org.
SPCA Receives South Carolina Dogs as St. Frances Animal Center Prepares for Hurricane Dorian
September 3, 2019
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca
As the state of South Carolina prepares for the possible arrival of Hurricane Dorian, St. Frances Animal Center in Georgetown sent 70+ dogs (and five cats!) on the road yesterday in an effort to open up space that may be needed for animals displaced by the hurricane.
The truck’s first stop? The SPCA Serving Erie County, receiving 14 adult dogs and five pups at 6 a.m. this morning.
A full crew was on hand to assist with the transport of these animals to the West Seneca shelter. See videos that were taken live of the transport arrival (Video 1) and hear from Devon, part of the husband-and-wife team who drove these animals to safety through the night (Video 2).
The SPCA’s Animal Transport Coordinator, Barbara Frazier, who worked through the weekend making arrangements for this transport, applauds the work of the St. Frances Animal Center. “In addition to making room for possibly displaced dogs, these dogs were proactively moved out ahead of the hurricane due to the potential danger they would be in if or when the hurricane strikes, as the shelter is right on the east coast of South Carolina,” said Frazier.
Things to know about this transport and these animals:
-The animals received by the SPCA Serving Erie County this morning had been previously surrendered to a shelter by their owners. They are not animals who have been separated from their owners by a storm.
-None of the animals in the videos will be available for adoption today.
-Many of the adult dogs are already spayed/neutered. They will be examined today, and those without pressing medical needs will be slated for behavior evaluations. This could happen as early as later this week. The dogs will be listed on the SPCA website’s Adoptable Dogs page when they become available.
-The five puppies who arrived this morning are not medically prepared for adoption and still need vaccinations and other treatments, so they are being placed in foster homes. If a foster family decides to keep and adopt its foster pet, that animal will not be available for general adoption. The animals not adopted by their foster families will be listed on the SPCA website’s Adoptable Dogs page when they become available. Puppies are adopted very quickly and rarely spend the night at the SPCA once available. If you are interested in a transported puppy, remember to check that page several times throughout the day. To learn more about becoming a foster parent to a future animal in need, please visit the SPCA’s Foster Care page.
-Read more information on out-of-town animals accepted by the SPCA on our Animal Transports page.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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!”
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! 😘
SPCA SERVING ERIE COUNTY TO BRING BACK ‘NAME YOUR OWN PRICE’ ADOPTIONS FOR KITTENS & CATS 20 WEEKS AND OLDER
Starting Monday, August 19 for 19 days, the SPCA Serving Erie County will bring back its Name Your Own Price adoption special for kittens and cats ages 20 weeks and older. The adoption special will run through Friday, September 6 and applies to felines temporarily residing at the SPCA’s 300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca site, or one of several offsite adoption locations.
Included with the adoption is the cat’s spay/neuter surgery; age-appropriate vaccinations; initial worming; flea control medicine; feline leukemia test; microchip; temporary identification; a certificate for the new pet’s first physical examination at the SPCA’s Lipsey Clinic or at the Niagara Frontier Veterinary Society’s veterinarian of choice; the option of a 30-day pet health insurance plan provided by 24PetWatch; and while supplies last, a bag of Purina cat food.
See photos of cats available in West Seneca here, and for a list of offsite adoption locations along with photos of cats available at those sites, click here. Questions about Name Your Own Price adoptions? Call SPCA Adoptions: 716-875-7360, ext. 233.
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.
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.
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.
SPCA Issues Hot Weather Reminders Designed to Keep Pets Safe
June 25, 2019
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca
UPDATE, July 1, 2019: From WGRZ-TV, 6/29/19 – Tonawanda Law Bans Dogs At City Events, Cites Canine Safety.
HEATSTROKE CAN KILL, AND FAST. Most pet owners realize that keeping pets in hot cars can kill them…but not many realize just how quickly the effects of heatstroke can set in for a dog or cat. Heatstroke is a condition animals begin to suffer gradually, but it accelerates quickly; it’s easy for early signs of heatstroke to go unrecognized, and for the pet to be in an emergency situation within mere minutes.
On warm days, a vehicle acts like an oven. It holds the heat inside, and that heat becomes very intense even on days that don’t seem too warm. On an 85-degree day, for example, even with the windows open, the temperature inside a car can climb to 102 degrees in 10 minutes, and to 120 degrees in 30 minutes. With the humidity we experience here in Buffalo, it may go even higher. Because a dog’s normal body temperature is 101-102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, he can withstand a body temperature of 107-108 degrees for only a very short time before suffering irreparable brain damage…or death.
The typical signs of heatstroke are:
– High body temperature
– Red mouth/eye membranes
– Rapid, irregular heart rate
– Weakness, looking dazed
If your pet begins exhibiting any of these signs, contact a veterinarian immediately.
Also, use caution during warm weather months when leaving animals outside in yards or on porches. Never leave them outside extended periods of time. Ensure appropriate shade and water are always available. Keep close supervision on your pet when outdoors on hot, humid, sunny summer days. If you see an animal left on a porch or in a yard with no access to shelter, or with inadequate shelter, the SPCA may be able to intervene in accordance with New York State’s Animal Shelter Law. Contact the SPCA immediately if the location is within Erie County: (716) 875-7360. In after-hours emergencies, call the SPCA at (716) 449-0363. Read more about the Animal Shelter Law here.
ADMINISTER FLEA PREVENTION PRODUCTS CORRECTLY! Early last June, the SPCA received two cats on death’s door after cheap, incorrect flea products purchased from deep discount stores were applied. The SPCA has already received several phone calls this season from people who misapplied flea products to their pets. DO NOT APPLY PRODUCTS MEANT FOR DOGS ON CATS, AND DO NOT APPLY CAT FLEA PRODUCTS TO DOGS, AND FOLLOW DIRECTIONS CONCERNING THE VOLUME AND MANNER OF APPLICATION! Read the directions carefully PRIOR to application, not during application. The application of improper flea products, low-quality flea products, or products applied incorrectly, can cause internal damage or death to your pet. Always consult a veterinarian before purchasing and applying flea products.
Flea products are not the only items that shouldn’t be purchased at deep discount stores. Some pet toys are not durable enough to withstand a pet’s play. This tip and photo came to us this summer from Patrick in South Dayton, NY. Patrick purchased a disc dog toy from a deep discount store for his dogs Roscoe and Titan. On the first throw, Titan caught the toy, which shattered, said Patrick, “…like a mirror.” (See photo, below.) Be sure the toys you purchase for your pets are safe and sturdy.
KEEP PETS HOME DURING OUTDOOR FESTIVALS. Art festivals, food festivals, summer fireworks displays, and other crowded outdoor events are no places for dogs. Extremely hot weather, paired with immense crowds of people and strange noises and scents, heightens the stress level for many animals; the repetitive, exploding sound of fireworks is enough to make even the calmest animal frantic and sometimes aggressive. Your pet’s body is closer to the asphalt and can heat up much more quickly.
The hot pavement can also burn unprotected, sensitive paw pads when dogs are on pavement for any period of time. Check out this photo from a June, 2019 post on WGRZ-TV and click on the photo for the full story:
DON’T FORCE EXERCISE, primarily after a meal or in hot, humid weather. Instead, exercise pets in the cool of the early morning or evening. Be extra-sensitive to older and overweight animals, or those prone to heart or respiratory problems. Bring an ample supply of water along on the walk. For cool, indoor walks, bring pets to shop at the SPCA’s Petique or other pet-friendly stores.
BE CAREFUL WHERE YOU WALK! Avoid walking your dog in areas that you suspect have been sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals, or have puddles or spots of auto coolant. The sweet taste of poisonous liquids attracts animals and can sicken or kill them if ingested. Clean any spills immediately or consider using animal-friendly products to help minimize risks.
WATCH WHAT THEY EAT & DRINK! In July of 2012, two family dogs in North Buffalo died after eating poisonous mushrooms (amanita) growing right in the backyard. Check yards and any areas pets frequent. If something looks suspicious, don’t take a chance….GET RID OF IT. Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection spread through the urine of contaminated animals. The bacteria can get into water (puddles, ponds, pools, etc.) or soil and survive there for months. Humans AND animals can be infected. Use caution when letting your pet drink, walk through, or swim in water that may have been exposed to infected animals (rodents, wildlife, infected domestic animals, and others).
KEEP YOUR PET WELL-GROOMED AND CLEAN to combat summer skin problems. If your dog’s coat is appropriate, cutting his hair to a one-inch length will help prevent overheating and will also allow you to watch for fleas and ticks. Don’t shave down to the skin, though; your pet can get sunburned (see below)! A cat should be brushed frequently to keep a tangle-free coat. Long-haired cats will be more comfortable with a stylish, summer clip.
KEEPS PETS SAFE WHILE OUTSIDE. Cats should be kept indoors at all times of the year and never allowed to roam loose, unprotected and unsupervised. If dogs are allowed outside for an extended period of time, ensure there is proper shade and fresh water available at all times. During the hottest and most humid parts of the day, bring dogs in the house. Keep identification on all animals at all times. And remember…pets can get sunburned too. Speak with your veterinarian about applying sunblock to your pet’s sun-sensitive areas, such as nose and ears.
USE CAUTION WHEN MAKING SUMMER PURCHASES! When purchasing lawn and garden products, always read the labels for ingredients toxic to dogs, cats, and other animals. Fertilizers, weed killers, herbicides, pesticides, and other chemicals can be fatal to your pets. “Weed out” the toxic products from your garage, and learn more about non-toxic, pet-friendly seasonal items. Snail, slug, and rat/mouse baits, and ant/roach baits and traps are also hazardous. Metaldehyde, one of the poisonous ingredients in many baits, is often very appealing to pets, and metaldehyde poisoning can cause increased heart rate, breathing complications, seizures, liver complications, and death. If insect and nuisance animal control items must be purchased, keep them in locations impossible for pets to reach.
KEEP CORN COBS AWAY FROM DOGS! In August of 2013, SPCA veterinarians removed corn cobs from the intestines of not one but TWO dogs! Both survived, but without veterinary treatment the results could have been fatal. Read this article from VetsNow.com discussing the dangers of corn cobs and corn to dogs.
DO NOT USE HUMAN INSECT REPELLENTS ON PETS! These items are toxic when ingested at high doses, and dogs and cats may lick it off and ingest it, potentially resulting in a toxicity. Read more about what you can use here.
BUNNIES NEED TO KEEP COOL TOO! Pet rabbits who live indoors with no air conditioning can benefit from an easy cooling technique. Rabbit owners can freeze a filled water bottle. Once the water bottle is frozen, it can be wrapped in a cloth and placed on the rabbit’s cage floor. If the rabbit becomes too warm, she’ll instinctively know to lie next to the bottle. Fans can also be pointed in the general direction of a rabbit cage, and rabbits will raise their ears (their natural cooling system) to catch the breeze and cool off. On hot days, pet owners with rabbits living in outdoor pens will want to ensure their pets are cool enough in outdoor locations; if not, rabbits and pens should come indoors.
If you witness animal cruelty or see any animal in need of rescue or emergency assistance this summer, the SPCA Serving Erie County may be able to help. Please call the following numbers depending on the day and time:
Monday – Saturday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.: 716-875-7360
Monday – Saturday, 4 p.m. – midnight: 716-449-0363
Sunday, 8 a.m. – midnight: 716-449-0363
Between midnight and 8 a.m., please contact your local animal control, police department, or call your local after-hours emergency clinic for prices and services.
Those who witness a situation that might constitute
cruelty and/or violence toward animals in Erie County,
including animals left outdoors with inappropriate
shelter in yards or on porches, are encouraged to report the
circumstances to the SPCA Serving Erie County:
716-875-7360 or email@example.com.