HALLOWEEN: NO TREAT FOR PETS

October 14, 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 ENDS PARTNERSHIP WITH WNYMedia.net

In recent years, the SPCA Serving Erie County has listed WNYMedia.net as one of its media partners. The media outlet provided the SPCA with fully-edited, high-quality adoptable animal videos, event videos, wildlife videos, etc. …videos that helped us place animals in new homes and helped the SPCA share with all of you information regarding its important work in animal rescue, rehabilitation, and other animal welfare issues.  We appreciate the effort and skill that went into these pieces at no cost to the SPCA. Unfortunately, last  weekend the SPCA was made aware of a situation in which the media outlet posted on its Facebook page a video of an animal available for adoption at the SPCA Serving Erie County, but added derogatory text to the post to further its opinion on a local, public figure, an opinion in no way shared by the SPCA. WNYMedia.net and its representative, Marc Odien, have publicly accepted full responsibility for the text portion of the post, absolving the SPCA Serving Erie County of any foreknowledge of or involvement in the opinion of this media outlet. However, due to our uncertainty of WNYMedia.net’s choices on how images, names, impressions, video, etc. on and/or in donated SPCA materials will be used to further opinions of the media outlet, we are forced to end our partnership with WNYMedia.net.

                                                    –Gina Lattuca, SPCA Chief Communications Officer
                                                      October 7, 2019

SEE ALL THE CAMP INFORMATION AND REGISTER YOUR CHILD BY CLICKING THE IMAGE BELOW!

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 >>

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.

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! 😘 

 

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.

See the story on WKBW-TV >>

See the story on WYRK.com >>

See the story on WGRZ-TV >>

See the story on WBLK.com >>

See the story in Bee Publications >>

SPCA OFFERS PET FIRST AID CLASS

July 11, 2019
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

The SPCA Serving Erie County will offer its third Pet First Aid Class of the year Saturday, August 3, 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at its 300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca location.

Instructors will cover the symptoms of serious emergencies that require immediate treatment, hands-on animal CPR with CPR mannequin resusci-dog Spot, muzzling demonstrations, bandaging demonstrations, and will offer a comprehensive lecture portion on recognizing and appropriately handling life-threatening emergencies.

Included in the $20.00 registration fee is a take-home booklet for easy reference, and contact information for area emergency veterinarians.

Registration is required and interested parties can register here. Space is limited, so hurry!  Please watch YourSPCA.org, Facebook, or Twitter for future class announcements!

Kitty Crew Member Returned to Tall Ship After Brief Port of Call in Buffalo

July 8, 2019
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca


All hands were on deck at the the SPCA Serving Erie County’s 300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca site late Friday night and early Saturday morning.

When a good Samaritan brought a stray kitty to the SPCA at approximately 10:30 p.m. Friday, July 5, she was certain the cat had an owner somewhere. After all, the young cat was wearing a harness, and her ID tag said Fiji.

To ensure the four-legged visitor found on Erie Street in Buffalo didn’t require critical veterinary care, SPCA Veterinary Technician Lana Bilger immediately examined the friendly feline, who appeared unharmed, unhurt, and in excellent condition. But after scanning the cat, the SPCA crew realized she clearly had no microchip identification, and further examination of the ID tag on the cat’s harness raised questions; on the back of that tag, Lana noticed the words ‘Picton Castle.’

The SPCA;s Lana examines Fiji, brought in as a stray late Friday evening, July 5

Unaware of whether this was the name of the cat’s owner, the name of the cat’s hometown, or even, possibly, the name of the cat, SPCA representatives did a quick internet search of the words “Fiji,” “Picton Castle,” and “cat”…and within seconds, it became clear that this cat was a crew member of one of the tall ships, the Picton Castle, currently visiting Buffalo, NY!

Fiji’s bio on the Picton Castle’s ‘Ship and Crew’ page at https://www.picton-castle.com/ship-and-crew/the-crew.html

Understanding that the ship’s departure was scheduled for the weekend, Lana and SPCA Veterinary Assistant Chelsea knew that it was critical a reunion happen in a short period of time. SPCA Cruelty Investigations Officer Jay Ivory  made a call to the ship’s headquarters in Nova Scotia at approximately 12 a.m. EST Saturday morning, Lana sent an email to the address provided on the ship’s website, Fiji was set up in her own personal suite with refreshments and blankets, and the wait began.

Chelsea and Fiji

By Saturday afternoon, SPCA reps still had not heard back from the Picton Castle and started to create an alternate plan, when SPCA volunteer and AdvoCAT Cary Munschauer heard the cat’s tale and remembered that another SPCA volunteer, Donna Camp, was also volunteering to work the Tall Ships Port of Call: Buffalo.

As a volunteer, Donna was given a list of ship contact names and personal phone numbers. One call from the SPCA to one of those numbers led to three response calls from ship representatives in less than thirty minutes!

Fiji was, indeed, the ship’s four-year-old cat, has traveled the world twice over, and often disembarks the Picton Castle to explore the locations being visited before heading back to the ship when the engines start.

By the time the SPCA was contacted, Picton Castle crew members were already on their way to the West Seneca shelter to retrieve their little stowaway (who was actually adopted onto the ship at six weeks of age in 2014, during a Fiji port of call).

Fiji was microchipped by the SPCA. Staff members also worked with crew members on identification information and contact numbers to ensure that, should Fiji’s visit to a future port of call be extended, she will always be returned before the ship shoves off!

Lana caring for Fiji in the SPCA infirmary
Let’s microchip Fiji

An ardent “Ahoy” goes out to the SPCA’s Lana, Chelsea, Cary, Donna, Jay, along with Hilary Lemperle, Aaron Kandefer, and visiting Lincoln Memorial University veterinary student Marissa, who made sure Fiji was cared for, cuddled, properly identified, and prepped for her vessel’s next voyage!

Learn more about Fiji and keep up on her adventures by visiting the Barque Picton Castle!  

                

See this story on WGRZ-TV

See this story on NewsRadio 930 WBEN

See this story on WKBW-TV

SPCA LAUNCHES ‘TALE FOR TWO’ SUMMER READING CHALLENGE SCHEDULE; PROGRAM ENCOURAGES CHILDREN TO READ TO SHELTER PETS

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


(6/10/19: Tale for Two summer orientation dates have passed, but you can register children any time for the challenge! Just contact Humane Education Director Christine Davis: HumaneEducation@yourspca.org.)

The SPCA Serving Erie County will present its first annual Tale for Two Summer Reading Challenge this year, with prizes for children who read multiple books!

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 summer’s reading challenge sessions, available in groups of 6 (program cost $40) or 12 (program cost $70), are available on Tuesdays, June 18 – September 3, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the SPCA’s 300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca shelter. Reading sessions are 30 minutes in length.

Children in kindergarten through fifth grade who read three books will receive a certificate of achievement, an SPCA pencil, and a wristband; five books earn the certificate, pencil, and humane-themed book; seven books earn the certificate, book, and an SPCA
T-shirt.

Children in grades six through 11 who read two books receive the certificate, pencil, and wristband; three books earn the certificate, book, and T-shirt; and five books earn the certificate, book, and an SPCA sweatshirt.

Children can bring their own reading materials, or make a selection from the SPCA’s library.

Readers and parents/guardians are required to attend one hour-long orientation session at the SPCA either Thursday, May 30,
5 p.m. or Saturday,
June
8, 3 p.m. (Please see below for information on how to register children for the challenge after June 8.)

Register for the Tale for Two Summer Reading Challenge and one orientation session right here >> (orientation dates have passed, but you can still register children for the challenge! Just contact Humane Education Director Christine Davis: HumaneEducation@yourspca.org.)

 

Please contact SPCA Humane Education Director Christine Davis with questions: HumaneEducation@yourspca.org.

See additional Tale for Two photos here >>

See the story on WKBW-TV’s website >>