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SPCA EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES 

Animal Care, part time

Behavior Assistant

Community Outreach/Research Coordinator

Community Support Services Consultant

Veterinarian

The opportunity to spend your days working around beautiful animals and people who love them seems like it would be enough of a benefit, right? But when you join our pack as a full or part-time staff member we offer you even more! Check out our benefits:
Benefits >>


OTHER SPCA OPPORTUNITIES 

College Internships

Volunteer Opportunities


Our goal at the SPCA Serving Erie County is to be a diverse and inclusive workforce that is representative of the community we serve in the most effective way possible. All employment decisions are decided based on qualifications, merit, and business need.

SPCA Serving Erie County Offers Free Adoptions to Current and Past Military Members During Vets & Pets

May 22, 2024
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

To thank the members of the armed services this Memorial Day, the SPCA Serving Erie County once again offers Vets & Pets, waiving adoption fees on most animals for individuals and immediate families of individuals on active duty, reserves, and honorable discharge, along with service-disabled veterans and those retired from military service! This program, a longtime SPCA tradition, is proudly presented by the kind, caring, and patriotic folks at Northtown Subaru.

Vets & Pets begins Saturday, May 25 and runs through Saturday, June 1* at the SPCA’s 300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca location (off-site locations are not included in this campaign).

“Northtown Automotive is proud of our longstanding partnership with the SPCA and our commitment to supporting those organizations that support Western New Yorkers. The SPCA Serving Erie County helps thousands of animals in need every year,” said Harold Erbacher, chief operating officer and co-owner of Northtown Automotive Companies. “We pride ourselves on assisting others by creating a sense of family, generosity and sharing, both at the dealerships where we work and in the community we serve.”

Photos of adoptable animals can be found here >>.

Adoption hours can be found here >>.

Military ID or DD214 will need to be presented. If an individual is currently serving outside of New York State, that individual’s spouse can adopt during Vets & Pets if a military spouse identification card is presented. Adopters can apply the Vets & Pets waived adoption fee promotion toward a total of two animals.

Please contact SPCA Senior Director of Operations Mindy Ussrey with any questions: (716) 875-7360, ext. 210.

*The SPCA’s West Seneca location is closed Sunday and Monday, May 26 and 27. See a list of our animals available here.  Adoption hours are 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and 12 p.m. – 8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. Final guest passes for those wishing to adopt from the SPCA’s West Seneca location are issued one hour prior to closing.

#SPCACompassionInAction

50% OFF ADOPTION FEES FOR GUINEA PIGS & BUNNIES MAY 13-18

Looking for a smaller furry friend to add to your family? Now is the perfect time to adopt a guinea pig or bunny from the SPCA Serving Erie County! From May 13 to May 18, we’re offering a 50% discount on adoption fees for these adorable animals. Take advantage of this amazing opportunity to give a loving home to a new pet while supporting a great cause. Visit us today and find your new best friend!

** Other small mammals made available for adoption from May 13 to May 18 will also qualify for the 50% discount on adoption fees. This includes gerbils, mice, rats, hamsters, and ferrets. **

This limited-time offer is only available at the SPCA Serving Erie County at 300 Harlem Road, West Seneca. It is not valid at any offsite adoption locations.

To see what animals we currently have available for adoption, click here.

LILIES, CHOCOLATE HARMFUL TO PETS; OTHER EASTER PET SAFETY REMINDERS

March 25, 2024
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

As shopping for the Easter holiday continues this week, the SPCA Serving Erie County reminds pet owners and people bringing gifts to pet owners that chocolate and Easter lilies can be harmful, even deadly, to pets.

All parts of the Easter lily, day lily, tiger lily, rubrum lily, Asiatic lily, and some others are toxic to felines. Ingesting even a small amount of the plant can result in kidney failure and, if untreated, death. Shortly after ingestion, a cat may vomit, become lethargic, or develop a lack of appetite. As the kidney damage progresses, these signs worsen. In most cases, a cat must be treated within mere hours of ingesting the plant, or damage to the kidneys will be irreversible.

Most chocolate contains high amounts of fat and methylxanthine alkaloids (theobromine and caffeine) that cause constriction of arteries, increased heart rate, and central nervous system/cardiac muscle stimulation.

These effects can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, excessive panting and thirst, hyperactivity, increased urinating, stiffness, and exaggerated reflexes. Cardiac failure, seizures, coma, and death can result if the chocolate ingestion is not found within four to six hours and treated appropriately.

Other holiday reminders:

*Thinking about bringing a bunny into the home? Check out this important article from the well-respected House Rabbit Society! It’s true…even at Easter time, there are responsible ways to bring a bunny into your life!

*If you color your Easter eggs, ensure the food colorings or dyes do not contain ingredients that are toxic to pets.

*Check candy for the ingredient XYLITOL, extremely toxic to dogs even in very small amounts. Xylitol is a low-calorie sugar alcohol used as a sweetener, safe for many humans but extremely toxic to dogs, possibly causing liver failure, seizures, and death.

*Keep Easter baskets, basket ‘grass,’ candy, and foil candy wrappers away from pets. Hiding those Easter baskets? Be sure the pets can’t find them before the kids! Basket grasses and foil wrappers are non-digestible and can get caught in the intestines, leading to blockage and possible perforation. They can lead to choking, strangulation, and even worse, an internal obstruction. In addition to chocolate, discussed above, other candies can be dangerous for pets. Be sure children aren’t tempted to share their Easter basket candies with their four-footed friends!

*If you’re using garlic, onions, or chives in meal preparation, be extra careful about ensuring your pets aren’t sneaking a taste. These items are toxic to both cats and dogs and can cause gastroenteritis and hemolytic anemia. Adding to the risk is the fact that signs of both may not appear for several days. Signs of toxicity include increased heart/breathing rates, pale gums, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, and lethargy.

*Tempted to share holiday table scraps with Fido or Fluffy? Use discretion. Be aware of bones in the mix. And remember not to overfeed your animals with table food to which they’re not accustomed; this could lead to digestion problems and other unpleasant gastrointestinal issues.

*Be careful in selecting spring plants for the home. In addition to lilies mentioned above, the foliage, flower, or pod of daffodils can cause upset tummies, vomiting, or diarrhea; flower heads of hydrangeas can cause stomach pains, vomiting, and weakness; even the seeds and pods of wisteria can cause all of the above plus dehydration and collapse.

*Be sure curious pets are not able to get at a garbage bag! Even if harmful items are properly disposed of, an unsupervised pet can chew through a plastic garbage bag and still have access to raw bones and other waste.

Contact your veterinarian for more information.  In an after-hours or holiday veterinary emergency, you can reach an emergency veterinary clinic at  (716) 403-4370  in Cheektowaga or (716) 662-6660 in Orchard Park.

Free pet supplies will be available while supplies last!

Two Amherst Men Arraigned on SPCA Charges of Animal Cruelty in Beating of Small Dog

June 29, 2023
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

Erie County DA John Flynn’s Comments >>

UPDATE, Feb. 22, 2024 — The SPCA learned that Blake Hiligh and Zachary Pilarcek pleaded guilty to one count of Disorderly Conduct (violation) before Amherst Town Court Justice Ann Nichols on February 7, 2024. Both defendants were sentenced to a one-year conditional discharge and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service. Additionally, Hiligh was ordered to surrender the dog.


Blake Hiligh, 19, and Zachary Pilarcek, 20, of Amherst, were arraigned in Amherst Town Court at 12 p.m. today. Both men were charged by the SPCA Serving Erie County with animal cruelty, Class A misdemeanors in accordance with Article 26, Section 353 of the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law, in the alleged beating of a small dog.

At 11:20 p.m. June 13, an anonymous email was sent to the SPCA’s Animal Cruelty Investigations Department. The email included a video that had been posted on a Snapchat account that evening.

In the video one man, Pilarcek, a native of Endicott, NY, is speaking off-camera about damage a dog did to a couch in a Sweet Home Road apartment he shares with the dog’s owner, Hiligh, a native of Maryland, and claims he will film the punishment the dog will receive.

Hiligh, the dog’s owner, is then filmed yelling at the dog, a four-year-old buff-colored male Miniature Poodle named Kobe, and proceeds to beat him with what appears to be a leather belt.

An investigation was launched the morning of June 14 by the SPCA Serving Erie County. The email sent to the SPCA included the name of one of the individuals and provided information leading SPCA Animal Cruelty Investigator Lindsey Wood to contact University at Buffalo Police officers, who received similar incident reports and fully cooperated with the SPCA investigation.

Wood, assisted by SPCA Animal Cruelty Investigator Jennifer Maleskis and SPCA Agent Nicole Abrams, located Hiligh and Pilarcek the same afternoon. Both men were charged at that time. Kobe was rescued from the property and immediately transported to the SPCA Serving Erie County’s veterinary team for a full examination and any necessary treatment. Kobe is currently in the care of the SPCA at an undisclosed location and has not been surrendered to the organization.

Amherst Town Court Justice Geoffrey Klein placed a temporary order on the defendants prohibiting them from owning or caring for any animals while the case is pending. Further proceedings for Pilarcek are scheduled for Thursday, July 27 at 9:30 a.m. ; further proceedings for Hiligh are scheduled for Thursday, August 3 at 9:30 a.m. for further proceedings. Both were released on their own recognizance as charge is a non-qualifying offense for bail. There will be a bond hearing in Cheektowaga Town Court on July 6.

A press release issued by the office of Erie County District Attorney John Flynn states, “Hiligh and Pilarcek, both University at Buffalo football players, were subsequently suspended then dismissed from the program.  ‘I want to thank our partners at the SPCA for their work in this investigation and the many services that they provide to help animals in our community. I also commend the University at Buffalo and the UB Football program for taking immediate action, which further demonstrates that animal abuse will not be tolerated in this community,’ said Erie County DA John Flynn. DA Flynn commends SPCA Animal Cruelty Investigators Jennifer Maleskis and Lindsey Wood and SPCA Agent Nicole Abrams as well as University at Buffalo Police for their work in this investigation.”

Keep watching YourSPCA.org for important updates on this case.

Join us in our fight to protect animals >>

#SPCACompassionInAction

SPCA ISSUES WINTER PET SAFETY TIPS

January 12, 2024
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

Snow is predicted to return with a vengeance to Buffalo and surrounding areas. As many veterinary clinics (including the Lipsey Veterinary Clinic at the SPCA) are dealing with smaller work forces, it’s a little more complicated to receive emergency veterinary care.  Plan ahead for the upcoming snowy days and nights now to ensure your pets stay safe and healthy today and throughout the rest of the winter. Read on for some of the SPCA Serving Erie County’s winter pet safety tips.

*OUTDOOR ANIMAL SHELTER MUST BE SUITABLE FOR INCLEMENT WEATHER: …and if it’s not, animal welfare officers can rescue the pet even before he or she shows signs of suffering, thanks to New York State’s Shelter Law that went into effect in 2003. Thanks to a legislative push in late 2018 that led to stronger laws concerning the tethering of dogs within Buffalo city limits, the SPCA and other law enforcement organizations can now take even more steps to ensure dogs are protected from the elements.

* Keep a Tight Leash:
Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm. Pets can lose their scent on snow and ice, especially if snow is falling at a fast rate, and your pet can easily lose his sense of direction. Pets may also panic during a snowstorm and run away; many pets are lost during the winter months. Remember to keep current identification on your pet at all times!

*Keep Pets At Home: Never leave your pet alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold. Your pet could literally freeze to death.

*Always Dry Pet’s Wet Feet: Thoroughly wipe off your pet’s legs and stomach when she comes in and out of the rain, snow or ice. Check her sensitive foot pads, which may be bleeding from snow or ice encrusted in them. Your pet may also pick up salt and other chemicals on her feet accidentally. These chemicals could hurt her if she swallows them while licking her feet.

*Lay Straw for Dogs’ Visits Outdoors: Can’t get your dog to wear booties? Lay straw on top of snow for trips outdoors by dogs reluctant to step out onto a freezing surface to relieve themselves.

*Check Cars for Cats: During the winter, stray or neglected cats outdoors sometimes sleep under the hood of the car where it’s warm and comfortable. If you start the motor, cats could get caught in or flung about by the fan belt, causing serious injury or death. To prevent this, bang loudly on the hood and sides of your car before turning on the ignition to give the cat a chance to escape.

*Keep Outdoor Sessions Short: Take your dog outside only for as long as it takes for him to relieve himself. Dogs, particularly small, short-haired breeds like Chihuahuas and terriers, suffer from the cold despite their seemingly warm fur coats. Live within Buffalo city limits? Don’t forget Buffalo’s new laws pertaining to tethering dogs in inclement weather.

*Bathe Pets Only When Necessary: Your pet runs the chance of catching a cold when wet, especially in cold weather. If you absolutely must bathe your pet, consult a professional groomer or veterinarian.

*Keep Pets Warm: Limit the clipping of your pet’s hair in the cold winter months, keeping your pet as warm as possible. Brush your pet daily in lieu of clipping to keep your pet’s coat healthy, shiny, clean and mat-free. Make sure your pet has a warm place to sleep far away from outside drafts.

*Hungry Pets: Speak to your veterinarian about increasing your pet’s supply of food, particularly protein, to keep his fur thick and healthy through the winter months. Inquire about vitamin and oil supplements.

*ANTIFREEZE IS POISON TO PETS: ANTIFREEZE, EVEN IN SMALL DOSES, IS A LETHAL POISON FOR DOGS AND CATS! Because of its sweet taste, animals are attracted to it. Be sure to clean up spills thoroughly, and consider switching to an animal-friendly antifreeze. Ensure that, if you store Antifreeze in a garage, shed, or other places accessible to your pets, it is well out of pets’ reach.

If your pet becomes lost, be sure to visit YourSPCA.org’s Lost and Found page for recommendations on where to post lost pet listings, and tips for finding your lost pets.

For more tips regarding keeping pets safe and healthy during the winter, please contact your veterinarian.

 

 

If making a significant difference in the lives of animals is something you’re passionate about, volunteering with the SPCA might be one of the most fulfilling parts of your life!

Depending on what volunteer position you decide is right for you, you’ll have the opportunity to provide compassionate care for animals, bring pets and families together, and perform purpose-driven work!

For more information about how you can get involved, go to YourSPCA.org/Volunteer! Have any questions about volunteering? Please reach out to our Volunteer Department!

Director of Volunteer Services:
Kelly Deschamps | (716) 875-7360 ext. 232 | kellyd@yourspca.org

Assistant Director of Volunteer Services:
Desirea Mojica | (716) 875-7360 ext. 252 | desiream@yourspca.org

View current volunteer positions

 

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