From the office of Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn:


DEPEW MAN TO SERVE JAIL TIME FOR BEATING HIS CAT TO DEATH WITH A BASEBALL BAT

May 12, 2022 — Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 52-year-old Boyd C. Baker of Depew was sentenced this morning before Erie County Court Judge Sheila A. DiTullio to 6 months in jail followed by 5 years of probation.

On February 14, 2021, at approximately 10:48 p.m., Depew Police officers responded to a residence on Penora Street after receiving a 911 call from a neighbor. The defendant is accused of hitting his cat, “Roxy,” multiple times with a baseball bat in the driveway outside of his home. The severely injured cat suffered for a few hours before it was found by police. The cat died a short time later. A necropsy determined that the cause of death was blunt force trauma. (Read the original story here >>)

Baker pleaded guilty to one count of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals (Class “E” felony) on February 28, 2022. The defendant pleaded guilty to the only charge in the indictment against him two days before testimony was scheduled to begin in his non-jury trial.

As part of his sentence, Judge DiTullio ordered that the defendant undergo anger management counseling and issued a lifetime ban that prohibits him from owning any animals in the future.

DA Flynn commends the Depew Police Department, SPCA Investigator Bill Heine and the SPCA Serving Erie County for their work in this investigation.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Megan E. Mahoney and Christine M. Garvey of the Felony Trials Bureau.


For more information, contact the Erie County District Attorney’s Office at (716) 858-2529.

–Gina Lattuca, SPCA Serving Erie County Chief Communications Officer

 

 

Country Music Artist Tyler Rich and Wife, Actress Sabina Gadecki, Help Put a Spotlight on SPCA Animals

April 23, 2022
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

A little bit of country came to the SPCA Serving Erie County this afternoon!

Country music artist Tyler Rich, performing tonight at Buffalo’s Town Ballroom, and his wife Sabina Gadecki decided to share their time with some SPCA animals waiting for new homes!

As part of their Rich Rescues platform, the couple visited our SPCA and spent some time with wild animals being rehabilitated by members of the SPCA’s Wildlife Department, a couple cute puppies temporarily residing at the SPCA, and staff favorites, dogs Reese, Tiva, and Clover!

Kadie Daye Country 106.5 WYRK was along for the fun too!

Thank you, Tyler and Sabina, for taking time out of your busy schedules to spotlight our animals!

Below are photos from this afternoon’s visit. When images and videos are added to Tyler’s “Rich Rescues” platforms, we’ll be sure to share!

SPCA Serving Erie County Assists BISSELL Pet Foundation in Air Transport of 150 Animals to Buffalo

April 21, 2022
By: Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

More than 150 animals will take to the skies the morning of Saturday, April 23 as the BISSELL Pet Foundation, assisted by the SPCA Serving Erie County, engages in a major animal transport to Buffalo.

The dogs and cats will arrive by air from Baton Rouge, LA to Buffalo, NY in “…an effort to relieve overcrowded shelters due to seasonal high intake, short-staffing, a shortage of shelter veterinarians, and slowing adoptions for larger dogs,” according to the BISSELL Pet Foundation in a recent press release.

The press release stated, “This lifesaving flight has been organized and made possible through BISSELL Pet Foundation. Our trusted partner, the SPCA Serving Erie County in Buffalo, NY, will be leading the ground team for unloading and distribution to other shelter partners.”

Fifteen of the transported dogs will stay at the SPCA Serving Erie County, and the other animals will be divided between eight other animal shelters in NY, OH, PA, even Toronto and Windsor, Canada.

The SPCA Serving Erie County’s Annual Giving Manager, Phillip Weiss, will depart for Louisiana from Buffalo Friday, April 22 and will return with the animals Saturday. The flight is scheduled to arrive in Buffalo between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. at TAC-Air BUF, 50 North Airport Dr. in Cheektowaga.

“This will be such an exciting experience and I am very blessed to be a part of it,” Weiss says. “I can’t wait to represent the SPCA Serving Erie County and our region during this transport, and most importantly, help get these precious animals to Buffalo safely. These animals are coming from unfavorable situations and from shelters that do not have the resources and staffing to provide the care needed; they’ll now receive that care from us and the other receiving shelters. We are very fortunate to have such generous communities in our region that help us provide for these high-risk animals. Thank you to the Bissell Pet Foundation for making a huge difference in the lives of so many animals! ”

SPCA President/CEO Cait Daly couldn’t agree with Phil more. “We are honored to be working with the Bissell Foundation on this transport that will save the lives of these precious animals. We are incredibly grateful to our community for stepping up to foster, adopt, and donate. We could never do what we do without that support!”

“Transport is a lifeline to at-risk adoptable pets as shelters throughout the nation struggle with overcrowding,” said Cathy Bissell of BISSELL Pet Foundation. “BISSELL Pet Foundation is incredibly grateful for our shelter and rescue partners who have opened their doors to give these deserving pets a second chance.”

Photos and videos of the transport will be shared on the SPCA’s Facebook page >>  and other platforms. When the transported animals are available for adoption they will be listed, along with all other available animals, on the Adoptable Animals page of YourSPCA.org >>

 

A few behind-the-scenes photos sent by Phil on Friday afternoon:

The SPCA’s New SHADOW CAT Initiative

February 10, 2022
By: Vice President of Veterinary Services Melanie Rushforth

UPDATE 4/21/22: The adoption fee for all Shadow Cats, regardless of age, has been waived! This includes the adoption of Shadow Cats from either the SPCA shelter or a foster home! Wondering if an adoptable kitty has been designated as a Shadow Cat? Check out adoptable animal photos here >>  and click on individual listings of our cute cats to read their descriptions and find out if they are Shadow Cats!

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

The SPCA Serving Erie County is proud to roll out a new initiative that shines the spotlight on a unique population of animals in our care.   Effective immediately, the SPCA’s Shadow Cat effort will work to meet shy or fearful cats where they are behaviorally to assist them in navigating the journey to becoming adoptable pets living out the rest of their lives in long-term homes. 

Fear is common and a perfectly normal, innate, and adaptive behavior in all animals. However, if fear isn’t addressed appropriately, it can develop into serious behavioral and health problems and result in deterioration. Our goal with Shadow Cats is to be proactive in managing a cat’s fearfulness or shyness should a cat surrendered to the SPCA present those behaviors while in the shelter.

Transitions and big changes are hard for many cats, even ones who are not identified as fearful. In preparing to introduce a cat into the home regardless of their confidence level, it is very important to set the cat up for a successful experience by making some small, but important adjustments.  The intent of Shadow Cats is to offer a home environment, in the form of a foster home setting, to allow the cat to gain confidence, relax, and build trust.  These cats may wind up being the best friend that was missing in that particular home, and we always consider that a foster “win” rather than the traditional term “foster fail.” Even if the stay is temporary, the effects of a loving and welcoming home environment will be permanent. 

Introduction to a new home can be very challenging for a fearful cat. Fearful cats usually do best in relatively quiet homes or quiet areas of the home. Many fearful cats slowly become more confident as they get used to their living space and daily routine. The Foster Department of the SPCA Serving Erie County will assist new and experienced foster parents with whatever they may need to help  Shadow Cats acclimate to their homes.  Time, patience, love, and food are some of the ingredients that will help a Shadow Cat step into the light a little bit at a time. 

It is a special experience to build a relationship and bond with a fearful cat, and it is deeply rewarding. The journey may be long, but patience is a true gift to a nervous cat in need.  Just like people, cats can have vastly different personalities.  Some of these Shadow Cats may blossom into lap cats, while others may remain the quiet roommate that is grateful for love, attention (from a distance) and a safe place to call home.  Whatever the end result, we are grateful to have the opportunity to showcase these special cats in an effort to save more lives. 

Do you have room in your life for a Shadow Cat? Find out how you can get involved right here >>

 

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

April 5, 2022
By: Gina Lattuca, SPCA Chief Communications Officer

The SPCA Serving Erie County reminds 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, and 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 reminders:

*Thinking about bringing a bunny into the home? Check out this important article from the SPCA’s former Rabbit Coordinator Mark Schnerle and the House Rabbit Society. You’ll see the truth about the nine most common bunny myths, you’ll learn how to select the right rabbit for you and your family, and more!

*If you color your Easter eggs, ensure the food colorings or dyes do not contain ingredients that are toxic to pets. And speaking of eggs, why risk salmonella by including raw eggs in your pets’ diet? Cooked eggs will offer them the same nutritional benefit.

*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, and does not raise human blood sugar levels or damage teeth. However, it’s extremely toxic to dogs and can cause liver failure, seizures, and death.

*Keep Easter basket ‘grass’ and foil candy wrappers away from pets. These items 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.

*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 don’t overfeed your animal with table food to which he’s not accustomed…diarrhea is never a pleasant thing with which to deal, especially on a holiday.

*Be careful in selecting spring plants for the home. 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; the seeds and pods of wisteria can cause all of the above plus dehydration and collapse; even ivy is toxic and can cause breathing difficulty, coma, or death.

*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 716-839-4043 in Cheektowaga, or 716-662-6660 in Orchard Park.

Fun photos from this fabulous event >>

We have one word to describe March 25, 2022’s adoption event at Northtown Subaru in Amherst: SUBARUNBELIEVABLE!

The team at Northtown Automotive Companies & Northtown Subaru went full speed ahead, and brought along the Buffalo Sabres, to hold an exciting adoption event for our SPCA!

Plenty of our animals found new love, and $28,680 was donated through Subaru’s recent “Share the Love” campaign! Sabres fans were able to have their photos taken with former players Rob Ray and Pat Kaleta along with sassy Sabretooth, and adopters received a pair of tickets to an upcoming game!

On behalf of the SPCA’s staff, volunteers, and animals, thousands of tail wags go out to our friends at Northtown!

See the photo album filled with pics of the fun at bit.ly/NorthtownAdoptionEvent, or just click one of the images below!

–Gina Lattuca, SPCA Serving Erie County Chief Communications Officer

Our favorite, Terry Buchwald, is back with the WNY Elvis Appreciation Society to help the animals at the SPCA!  All the details are in the flier below! But just for fun…how many references to Elvis songs can you find in this write-up? (HINT: There are 20 songs referenced! Answers in red below the flier!)


Memories of pre-COVID days got you down and you don’t even want to get out of bed? Well, set that teddy bear aside, grab your good luck charm, and don’t worry too much about being lonesome tonight…or at least not on April 23!

We’re all shook up to announce that ELVIS FOREVER is back to benefit the hound dogs and other animals at the SPCA Serving Erie County! And we can’t help falling in love with Buffalo Music Hall of Fame member Terry Buchwald…we know you’ll love him tender too!…as he gives us a little less conversation and a whole lot more of the music we ALL have a burning love for!

Put on your blue suede shoes and join the WNY Elvis Appreciation Society and the SPCA Saturday, April 23, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. at the Elks Lodge, 33 Legion Parkway, way down in Lancaster!

See the flier here for all the details! And tickets are going fast, so it’s now or never! We don’t want to be cruel, but when they’re gone, they’re gone! Just call Trish at 716-481-0958…she’s the one taking care of business, and she’ll tell you where to mail your check; then the tickets will be returned to sender.

Let’s bossa nova together, and sing along too!  There’ll be a whole lotta’ shaking going on…you won’t want to miss it! See you next month!

–Gina Lattuca, SPCA Chief Communications Officer

 

ANSWERS IN RED!

Memories of pre-COVID days got you down and you don’t even want to get out of bed? Well, set that teddy bear aside, grab your good luck charm, and don’t worry too much about being lonesome tonight…or at least not on April 23!

We’re all shook up to announce that ELVIS FOREVER is back to benefit the hound dogs and other animals at the SPCA Serving Erie County! And we can’t help falling in love with Buffalo Music Hall of Fame member Terry Buchwald…we know you’ll love him tender too!…as he gives us a little less conversation and a whole lot more of the music we ALL have a burning love for!

Put on your blue suede shoes and join the WNY Elvis Appreciation Society and the SPCA Saturday, April 23, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. at the Elks Lodge, 33 Legion Parkway, way down in Lancaster!

See the flier here for all the details! And tickets are going fast, so it’s now or never! We don’t want to be cruel, but when they’re gone, they’re gone! Just call Trish at 716-481-0958…she’s the one taking care of business, and she’ll tell you where to mail your check; then the tickets will be returned to sender.

Let’s bossa nova together, and sing along too!  There’ll be a whole lotta’ shaking going on…you won’t want to miss it! See you next  month!

 

 


ERIE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE
DISTRICT ATTORNEY JOHN J. FLYNN

DEPEW MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO FELONY ANIMAL CRUELTY CHARGE FOR BEATING HIS CAT TO DEATH WITH A BASEBALL BAT

March 1, 2022
By: Kait Munro, Public Information Officer, Erie County District Attorney

UPDATE 5/12/22: Baker will serve jail time and five years probation according to this morning’s sentencing by Judge Sheila A. DiTullio. Read the full sentencing update here >>


Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 52-year-old Boyd C. Baker of Depew pleaded guilty yesterday morning to one count of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals (Class “E” felony). The defendant pleaded guilty to the only charge in the indictment against him two days before testimony was scheduled to begin in his upcoming bench trial.

On February 14, 2021, at approximately 10:48 p.m., Depew Police officers responded to a residence on Penora Street after receiving a 911 call from a neighbor. The defendant is accused of hitting his cat multiple times with a baseball bat in the driveway outside of his home. A couple hours after the incident was reported, a police officer found the cat severely injured before it died. A necropsy determined that the cat, named “Roxy,” died from blunt force trauma.

Baker faces a maximum of two years in prison when he is sentenced by Erie County Court Judge Sheila A. DiTullio on Thursday, May 12, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. He continues to remain released on his own recognizance.

A court order issued by Judge DiTullio that prohibits the defendant from owning any animals remains in effect.

DA Flynn commends the Depew Police Department, SPCA Investigator Bill Heine and the SPCA Serving Erie County for their work in the investigation.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Megan E. Mahoney of the Felony Trials Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Christine M. Garvey of the Animal Cruelty Unit.

–Gina Lattuca, SPCA Chief Communications Officer

Email MelanieR@yourspca.org for information or to register for the virtual session, or click on the image below for details on the SPCA’s Foster Care Department:

SHADOW CATS

Help a cat see the light! Become a member of the SPCA’s Foster Care team and bring home a “Shadow Cat!” And now, you can ADOPT a Shadow Cat for a waived adoption fee! Shadow Cats:
-Are quiet, polite roommates
-Are low-key
-Are not attention-seekers
-Keep to themselves
-Are perfect for those with busy lifestyles
-Only require food, a litter box, and plenty of hiding spots! 
NEW! Are available for adoption from either a foster home or the SPCA’s West Seneca shelter for a waived adoption fee! Read about this exciting update here! >>

Shadow Cat foster parents will foster cats in the home a minimum of two weeks; length of stay depends on each cat’s individual needs. As with all foster companions, the SPCA provides food, supplies, veterinary care, and guidance.

You can read more about the SPCA’s Shadow Cat Program here. If you’d like to help a Shadow Cat see the light, please contact the SPCA’s Foster Care Department at (716) 875-7360, ext. 216, or FosterCare@yourspca.org

Learn About the SPCA’s Foster Care Program >>

 

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