SPCA Serving Erie County Offers Free Adoptions to Current and Past Military Members During Vets & Pets
November 1, 2023 By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca
To thank the members of the armed services this Veterans 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 GEICO® and Moog.
Vets & Pets begins Saturday, Nov. 11 and runs through Saturday, Nov. 18* at the SPCA’s 300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca location and allSPCA off-site adoption locations.
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 Adoptions Supervisor Mindy Ussrey with any questions: (716) 875-7360, ext. 210.
*The SPCA’s West Seneca location is closed Sunday, Nov. 12, but many of the SPCA’s off-site adoption locations are open ! See a list of our off-site locations and photos of the animals available here. To be pre-approved to adopt an off-site pet, please call the SPCA’s off-site adoptions office at (716) 875-7360, ext. 235, or visit the 300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca shelter Monday – Saturday, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
SPCA Treats Pet Owners to Tricks for Keeping Pets Safe This Halloween
October 4, 2023 By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca
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:
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.
Hayley Beane & Buffalo Bills General Manager Brandon Continue Bills Muttfia for SPCA Serving Erie County Animals
September 15, 2023 By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca
“Bills Muttfia is an excellent way to highlight and bring attention to the animals at the SPCA Serving Erie County,” said Hayley. “It has also been so fun to be involved and wait to see which animals will be drafted into Bills Muttfia!”
Hayley, a member of the SPCA’s Board of Directors, adds, “If you go and visit the SPCA, you’ll be hooked like I was. The tireless work that is done there by the warm, friendly, compassionate staff is really remarkable to see. From assisting animals that are involved in abuse cases to rehabilitating injured wildlife that find their way to the SPCA…it is a wonderful thing to witness and I’m so thankful for them!”
“No matter what happens at work, good day, bad day, you win 40 to nothing, lose 40 to nothing, your dogs are fired up to see you when you come in the door, and that’s a cool feeling, the love and nurturing that they bring to the family,” Brandon stated in a BuffaloBills.com video focused on the Beanes and the importance of pet adoption.
Brandon and his consummate golfing skills were also responsible for a large Bills Muttfia donation made to the SPCA Serving Erie County last month by football analyst Pat McAfee, who told Brandon during a live broadcast that if Brandon’s upcoming golf score totaled a low 79, he’d make a $25,000 donation to Brandon’s charity of choice! (He golfed a 78!)
The Beanes not only talk the adoption talk, but they walk the walk. One Muttfia draft pick, a guinea pig named Sherman, was adopted by Hayley in December of 2021, and Sherman became quick friends of Beane rescue dogs Bodie and Peanut. The family soon became larger, with the adoptions of guinea pig Percy and one of Percy’s [surprise] babies, Coco Beane!
Another excellent lineup of SPCA animal rookies are waiting to be drafted during the ’23 – ’24 Bills Muttfia season, which begins with the Buffalo Bills’ first home game Sunday, Sept. 17 at 1 p.m.
“Brandon and I are so excited to start another season of Bills Muttfia!” Hayley remarks. “We love rescues, plus, it is heartwarming and inspiring to see the wonderful work done by the SPCA Serving Erie County. We can’t wait for lots of touchdowns!”
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.
Investigation With Homeland Security, BPD Still Resonates with One SPCA Officer
June 12, 2023 By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca
It’s not a secret. Volumes of research point to the link between cruelty to animals and violence towards people. It’s no stretch, then, to recognize the reality of this fact: when SPCA Serving Erie County representatives work tirelessly to end animal cruelty, an impact is made on reducing overall violence in the community.
The SPCA’s efforts towards ending violence in Erie County are indisputably paramount, especially now, as the organization works to transform the model of animal sheltering, care, and protection, with community members playing a larger role than ever before. We all have a vested interest in making Erie County kinder, more compassionate, less violent.
This transformation puts an even brighter spotlight on the SPCA’s animal cruelty investigations. As with all law enforcement investigations, it’s nearly impossible to share with the public details as an investigation is taking place (which could negatively impact the investigation) or even after an investigation has taken place (which could negatively impact future investigations). Because we are not constantly sharing information on animal cruelty investigations, the fact that our officers are engaging in this work every day to help abused animals and keep our community safe can be forgotten.
Hundreds of animals are rescued annually by SPCA officers as a result of cruelty investigations, and speaking with the officers emphasizes the importance of the work being done. Visions of nighttime raids, doors being kicked in, and on-the-scene chaos compete with the reality of the investigation and the emotions experienced by cruelty officers when abused animals in appalling conditions are finally found…animals that can be saved by the SPCA, and especially animals who are past the point of being saved.
SPCA Officer Lindsey Wood described one extensive animal cruelty investigation that took place in February of this year, an investigation that involved not only SPCA Serving Erie County officers but members of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Buffalo Police Department (BPD).
“On February 3, the SPCA received a call from Homeland Security Investigations,” Wood explained. “That morning, officers had executed a warrant for narcotics at a Marion St. residence, and while they were there, they saw three dogs unproperly cared for, malnourished, with scarring.” As HSI officers arrested five people at the property, SPCA officers worked to obtain their own search warrant, allowing them to enter the property to check on the dogs.
By the time SPCA Officers Wood, Paul LeShay and Jennifer Maleskis arrived that afternoon, only one dog was on location. “The poor dog was in an old closet in the basement,” said Wood. “She was tethered to an old desk with a rusty, chain-link lead, only a foot or two long. There was no food, no water, and she was emaciated, dehydrated, covered with scars. Completely neglected.” The two other dogs seen earlier were nowhere to be found.
The investigation that ensued turned up information that the two dogs not located February 3 had been removed; there was a possibility that the dogs were residing at a May St. property, the home of a Marion St. family member. SPCA officers acquired enough evidence to obtain another search warrant, and on the evening of February 8, as approximately 12 HSI and BPD officers surrounded the house, Officers Wood and Maleskis, together with SPCA Officer William Heine and SPCA Agent Nicole Abrams, executed the warrant.
Six new dogs were found at the May St. property. “Two of the dogs were found outside in a garage-like structure, tethered to makeshift dog houses,” described Wood. “Another was left in a very small crate, one was chained on a two-foot lead in a hallway space that looked to be approximately three feet. Two additional dogs were located in the basement area, short-chained to old work benches.”
Also found at the scene? Two loaded handguns. The subject was arrested by BPD officers on firearms charges and the dogs were rescued, transported to the SPCA Serving Erie County infirmary.
Officer Wood, an 18-year veteran of the SPCA, has been involved in countless animal cruelty investigations and rescues. Seven dogs rescued from brutal, violent settings in the course of just six days should offer some peace of mind. Not for Officer Wood.
“I couldn’t get those two dogs still missing from Marion St. out of my head,” Wood shared. “I knew they needed help. I knew I had to find them.”
It was this drive that led Wood to continue the investigation.
After close review of footage from the warrant executions, information came to light that the two missing dogs may be found not in another home…not in a closet or basement or other clandestine location…but they may have been hidden in plain sight. They may have been brought to a public location, a location as public as the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter (CBAS).
On February 13, Officers Wood and Maleskis headed to the CBAS and found two dogs there that fit the description of the dogs HSI officers originally found on February 3. The dogs, like the dog rescued from the location, were also in poor condition, emaciated, and severely neglected. HSI officers confirmed that the two dogs were, in fact, the dogs they saw on Marion St.
At the time of this writing, all dogs were in the care of the SPCA Serving Erie County, and charges against the owners are pending, although the owners have already been incarcerated on the narcotics and firearms charges.
“Being able to help nine dogs, dogs who may have suffered painful, barbaric deaths otherwise, is a major achievement for the SPCA Serving Erie County,” says Wood. “In addition to helping the dogs, two illegal, loaded handguns were removed from the street, narcotics were removed from the street…it’s rewarding. We’re able to assist these poor dogs and help to make the community a little safer.”
Wood commends the HSI and BPD officers who assisted SPCA officers in the investigations, calling it a true picture of organizations coming together to help animals and people. “These are the tasks we can’t talk about every day. We can’t talk to friends or family, we can’t talk to people in the community, as we engage in these rescues and these investigations. It does become difficult, dealing with the emotional pieces of these situations, but we knew what we signed up for. This is what we work to accomplish. Outcomes like this are what make our daily sacrifices all worthwhile.”
The reality of the emotions experienced by officers engaged in animal cruelty investigations is a stark contrast to what some may imagine when they picture the scenes of such rescues. While the details usually cannot be publicly discussed, and while the emotions are typically kept private, they are all part of the SPCA Serving Erie County’s role in the community, part of making Erie County a true humane society.
UPDATE 5/31/23: Congratulations to WGRZ-TV Ch. 2 photographer Terry Belke! This month, Terry won an award for his story on this bald eagle rescue and release from the New York State Outdoor Writers Association! Terry received first place in the Excellence in Craft for TV, Radio, and Audio category! (By the way, he also tied for third place in the same category!) See more on this coveted distinction here >>.
Terry, we are honored you chose to tell this story, and convey the emotion and sentiment associated with this beautiful animal, her rehabilitation, and her release!
UPDATE 9/12/21:This afternoon, the injured bald eagle found by Buffalo Police & rescued by the SPCA Serving Erie County returned to the skies of Western New York! As detailed below, the eagle was operated on by staff at Cornell University’s Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Hospital on May 27, and on June 30, the incredible team at Messinger Woods Wildlife Care & Education Center, Inc. in Holland, NY picked up the eagle for extensive rehabilitation led by Marianne Hites! Today, the Messinger Woods team (pictured here), joined by members of the SPCA and local media, released the bald eagle at Wendt Beach in Derby, NY! Check out video of the release below:
To learn more about Messinger Woods and the fine work the organization does in caring for the wildlife of our community, please visit their Facebook page here >>
Thank you to all who played a part in this gorgeous creature’s return to our skies. An entire community came together to save her life, from the Buffalo Police to members of the SPCA Serving Erie County, to the team at Cornell, and finally to the crew at Messinger Woods. Neither the SPCA Serving Erie County or Messinger Woods would be able to do the work the organizations do and save the lives of so many animals each year if it wasn’t for the donors who make our work possible. On behalf of Messinger Woods and the Wildlife team at the SPCA Serving Erie County, thank you to the donors who help us give these animals second chances.
UPDATE 5/28/21: On Wednesday, May 26, the bald eagle spotted by members of the Buffalo Police Department & rescued by the SPCA Serving Erie County after flying into a window in the City of Buffalo was transported to Ithaca, NY. The eagle was dropped off at Cornell University’s Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Hospital for surgery on a severely fractured femur; the center wanted him immediately because, as our own Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Karen Slote and Wildlife Director Barbara Haney explained earlier this week, after that fracture the muscles contract and can make surgery much more difficult.
Today, we heard from staff there that the eagle is doing “great” after surgery! Now he’ll have time to rest and they will create a rehabilitation plan for him. Exciting news for the eagle, and for this community!
Also of note: in the photo here, you’ll notice a thin, thread-like spike (for lack of a better word!) at the tip of the eagle’s wings. Barbara Haney tells us that is indicative of the eagle’s status as a first-year eagle born sometime this calendar year, probably February or March. According to the National Eagle Center website, bald eagles fledge at approximately 10 – 14 weeks, which tells us he has not been out of the nest for long.
We may not receive another eagle update from the wildlife hospital for a few weeks, but when we do, we will definitely share that update with you.
Once again, we thank the members of this community for your care and compassion. Your constant support of all types is what makes our work possible.
UPDATE 5/26/21: The bald eagle spotted by Buffalo Police & rescued by the SPCA Serving Erie County after flying into a window in the City of Buffalo was dropped off moments ago by the SPCA’s Gina Lattuca at the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Hospital, an annex of the Cornell University Hospital for Animals. He was photographed upon admission. We will provide updates on his progress as they are made available. Thank you to this caring, compassionate community, for all of the interest in and prayers for this magnificent bird. Your concern, your donations, and your constant support of all types are what make our work possible.
A juvenile bald eagle is in critical condition at the Wildlife Department of the SPCA Serving Erie County after flying into a high building window in the City of Buffalo yesterday.
The SPCA received the call yesterday afternoon from Tracy Masiello, crime analyst for Erie County, after Buffalo Police Detective Mark Costantino and Officer David O’Brien heard a loud crash outside of their offices at Court and Franklin Streets in Buffalo. They ran outside and there, across the street, a large bird was struggling on the sidewalk. The crash they heard was the bird flying into a window of a building across the street, approximately 30 feet high.
“He tried to raise himself four or five times, but he was struggling and we could see he couldn’t lift up,” Detective Costantino said today. Despite the fact that the bird didn’t have a full white-feathered head, Detective Costantino said he knew right away that the bird was a bald eagle. “He was enormous, and his talons were so large, I could tell we were looking at an eagle.”
After receiving the call from Masiello, SPCA Serving Erie County Animal Rescue Team Officers Jennifer Maleskis and Tyler Robertson arrived at the location, retrieved the young bird, and rushed him to the SPCA’s Wildlife Department hospital, where they were met by Wildlife Director Barbara Haney and, within the hour, SPCA Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Karen Slote.
“By the time the bird made it to us, he was obviously quite stressed,” says Haney. “In addition to not being able to stand, he had an injury on his beak and blood in his mouth. He was open-mouthed breathing, a clear sign of his high stress level.”
Dr. Slote was able to provide an initial examination and determined the bird, a first-year bald eagle, has a fractured femur. Further assessment and radiographs this afternoon confirmed a severe fracture.
“We are doing everything we can for this magnificent bird, considering its compromised state at the moment,” said Haney, when asked whether the bird will survive. “We’re careful not to provide any solid prognosis at this time because the bird is still in critical condition and the outcome is uncertain.”
At this time, Dr. Slote will consult with wildlife professionals at Cornell University’s Wildlife Health Center, and will send them her assessment of the eagle along with the radiograph images. If the bird survives and responds to the supportive care, fluids, and medications it is receiving at the SPCA, Haney says, “…then it’s our hope that, once he is strong and stable, Cornell will accept the bird for surgery. The surgical team at Cornell is much better-suited for this sort of surgery…they perform it much more frequently…and they have the equipment and the pins and the other necessities large enough and strong enough for this extremely large animal.”
Haney adds, “Our primary hope right now is that the bird does, in fact, survive. That’s what we’re focused on right now. We’re doing everything in our power to help his survival so that we can actually have that discussion with Cornell about surgery and rehabilitation.”
This eagle is not the first cared for by the SPCA Serving Erie County Wildlife Department. “Eagles have made quite a comeback in the last 30 years or so,” Haney said, “and we’re starting to see them in all parts of Western New York, the City of Buffalo included. It’s possible this bird became disoriented for what could be one of several reasons, possibly even due to his reflection in the window of the high building, or he may have been in a territorial scuffle with a peregrine falcon, as hypothesized by our contacts at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.”
The SPCA wishes to thank Buffalo Police Detective Costantino, Buffalo Police Officer O’Brien, and Erie County Crime Analyst Masiello for their cooperation, and for contacting our officers when they found the eagle and saw that it was in distress.
July 9, 2020 By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca
UPDATE May 19, 2023 — There is a current “puppy scam” taking place involving the SPCA Serving Erie County. Through a fake SPCA Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100092032312194 , a person is claiming to represent the SPCA Serving Erie County and is requesting down payments on Golden Retriever puppies.
One of the Buffalo residents on the verge of being scammed visited the SPCA this afternoon with proof of a Facebook conversation with the scammer, who asked her to send him a down payment of several hundred dollars before picking up her puppy at 300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca. Fortunately, she visited prior to sending any money. Since yesterday the SPCA filed numerous reports on the scammer, who is also using the organization’s federal identification number in an attempt to steal money from innocent parties. Please do not engage with this Facebook account. If you have fallen victim to this scam, information on how to file a report is available below.
One Buffalonian and friend of the SPCA who wishes to remain anonymous cautions those looking for puppies to avoid a scam to which he fell victim this week.
“Sam” has been looking for a puppy for several months and has sent online applications, which included his mobile number, to various local and national groups. When he received a text from, the sender claimed, a representative of one animal organization based in Tennessee (although the text was from a 916 Sacramento, CA area code), Sam was delighted to learn the organization had a Golden Retriever puppy available right in New York. Fulton, NY, to be exact. The text message included photos of a puppy that looked very similar to the puppy in this photo: two photos of the puppy with a red ribbon around his neck standing next to a red Valentine’s Day heart, and one photo of the puppy on a blue mat next to a pail and flowers.
The pictures looked vaguely familiar, and since Sam had been looking for a puppy for a few months, he assumed he saw the photos at some point during his search. The puppy was too appealing to pass up. Sam expressed interest and asked when he might be able to purchase and pick up the pup.
The representative said he’d hold the puppy with a 50% “reservation deposit,” nearly $400, payable through mobile payment service Cash App. The balance would be paid upon puppy pick-up the following day. The address was a home on West 3rd Street South in Fulton, NY, approximately 2 1/2 hours away.
Upon Sam’s arrival at the home yesterday, there was no animal organization representative, no puppy, and Sam was told he was the fourth person this month who arrived at the home looking for this very Golden Retriever pup.
The Humane Society of the United States shares warnings about Internet pet sale consumer scams, how to find a reputable dog breeder, and more in Consumer Scam: Internet Pet Sales.
Take This Job and Love It:
Great Benefits Program with Perks for Blue Collar Working Cats
May 1, 2023 By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca
They’re a little too temperamental to be considered perfect, in-home, companion cats. Some are even feral. What’s to be done about these categories of cats when agencies like the SPCA Serving Erie County receive them as surrendered animals, or as part of an animal hoarding situation or other type of animal rescue or cruelty case?
For more than a decade, East Aurora-based Feral Cat FOCUS Inc. (FCF) has provided an answer for this agency and other cat welfare organizations in the state. Historically called other names such as the Adopt-A-Barn-Cat program and the Adopt-A-Working-Cat program, the Blue Collar Working Cats program now encompasses more of the varied establishments that have taken advantage of the loyal presence of these hard-working cats!
One of the founders of FCF, Edie Offhaus, says, “These are cats of various temperaments. In some cases, they are not exactly feral, but they’re unsocial. This program is a beautiful adoption alternative for these types of cats who have nowhere else to go.”
According to Offhaus, Blue Collar Working Cats have been placed in various New York State establishments including wineries, warehouses, nurseries and greenhouses, barns and stables, and more. “We place cats in all parts of Western New York, and assist agencies all over New York State, even some in the New York City area,” Offhaus states. When an organization representative calls to inquire about receiving Blue Collar Working Catsto live on the property, Offhaus says, “We conduct a thorough interview to ensure proper placement, since not all of these cats will thrive in all of these settings. We also ensure there are enough people who will take full responsibility for the care and feeding of these cats throughout their lifetime.”
Once an establishment is deemed a proper setting for specific Blue Collar Working Cats, a representative of FCF brings a minimum of two cats (some larger establishments have four or more Blue Collar Working Cats), already spayed or neutered, treated for fleas, and vaccinated by veterinarians at Operation PETS: the Spay/Neuter Clinic of WNY, Inc. for “grounding” purposes. Cats are placed in extra-large dog crates at their “new home” (when a separate, closed-off room is not available) for a three-week period, which allows them time to adapt to the different people, sights, sounds, smells, and, possibly, other animals that collectively comprise the new setting. Most importantly, they begin to recognize the voices of those who will be providing the majority of care.
“Feral Cat FOCUS provides the crates and other equipment during the three-week grounding period,” Offhaus says. “After that, as with any adoption, all care is the responsibility of the new owners.” Offhaus also remarks that, in all the years of managing this program, FCF has had very few cats that didn’t respond to the new surroundings. “Now that the quality of life has increased for the animals and they’re more content, some of them become even more social and enjoy being present around people for longer periods of time.”
To date, more than 600 establishments house a minimum of two Blue Collar Working Cats. The purpose? “Rodent control, plain and simple,” Offhaus says. “Sometimes the mere presence of Blue Collar Working Cats is enough to keep rodents away from perceived food sources or food and beverage storage areas.”
FCF is unable to accept surrenders of cats from private owners who believe their cats may not be living a high quality of life indoors, yet feel guilty about keeping them outdoors or giving them up. “What we do,” explains Offhaus, “is walk those pet owners through how to set up a Blue Collar Working Catsprogram right at home. We remove the misplaced guilt they may feel over not keeping a cat indoors. Not every cat can live a high-quality life indoors. So we help these people establish a Blue Collar Working Cats program right where they are; we walk them through all the steps and assist as much as possible in their imitation of our program.”
The SPCA Serving Erie County is honored to be one of the organizations with which FCF works in its Blue Collar Working Cats program. Several hundred cats who were not viable adoption candidates found new lives through FCF and this program, and the SPCA is indebted and eternally grateful to the team at FCF for dedicating so many of their resources to these special cats with high work ethics.
Organization representatives who believe Blue Collar Working Cats might be a welcome addition to their establishments are encouraged to call FCF at 1-888-902-9717 or visit the FCF website to learn more about adopting a working cat team.
Amherst, New York – Northtown Automotive Companies, the Official Automotive Dealer of the Buffalo Sabres, is thankful to have hosted a successful SPCA Adoption Event on Tuesday April 4th at KeyBank Center. Northtown’s Subaru Share the Love campaign also had the pleasure to present a check of $34,118.29 to the SPCA during the event.
Northtown Automotive Companies’ partnership with SPCA is one of great value due to the strong mission of the SPCA. The collaboration between SPCA and its supporters is proof of what can be accomplished when like-minded people band together for a common cause, whether it be advocating for stronger animal protection laws, encouraging responsible pet ownership, or simply raising awareness about the importance of treating all animals with compassion and respect.
The SPCA Adoption Event that took place in early April was a big success. Pets were happily adopted and left with loving and kind pet owners to spend the rest of their lives with. As advertised, new owners of adopted pets would be granted 2 free tickets to the April 13th Sabres Fan Appreciation game as a show of thanks. Adopted or not, this event saw a great number of people who came in to care for a play with the animals who were searching for forever homes. Along with the adoption aspect of the event, fans also had a blast interacting with Sabres alumni Don Luce and Larry Playfair along with the Sabres’ beloved mascot, Sabretooth.
“This continued relationship with Northtown Automotive Company is something for which we are eternally grateful,” says SPCA Director of Behavior and Adoptions Mindy Ussrey. “Naturally, it helps our humane society whenever a sponsor works to help our message reach their audience, an audience we may not be able to reach otherwise. But Northtown helps us in so many other ways. Their donations are extraordinarily generous. Their support is unmatched. But by actually putting our animals in front of people…by sponsoring these adoption events and by bringing in powerhouses like the Buffalo Sabres to help increase attendance…they are personally vested in finding loving homes for animals who need these homes the most. It becomes more than a job or an obligation for them. It’s personal. We are so lucky to have found this type of a partner in Northtown Automotive.”
The mission of the SPCA is one that is simple, yet so important. Ultimately, contributing to the SPCA is a significant method to improve the lives of animals and the communities that provide for their needs.
There are various ways to help the SPCA, including giving money, volunteering, and speaking up for problems relating to animal care. Northtown Automotive Companies cherishes this partnership with the SPCA and is excited to continue to host and contribute to events that support the mission of the SPCA.
“At Northtown, we are so proud to have been a part of such a successful adoption event with the Erie County SPCA and the Buffalo Sabres at Key Bank Center. We were able to find forever homes for so many animals,” 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.”
Northtown Automotive Companies and the SPCA would like to give special thanks to the Sabres and KeyBank Center for teaming up to host such a special event. This tri-partnership is a special one and fans should be on the lookout for potential future events.
Since 1969 Northtown Automotive Companies has expanded from a small used car operation in the Northtown’s of Buffalo to 10 State-of-the-Art retail operations representing 20 separate franchises including: Toyota, Volkswagen, KIA, Mazda, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, ProMaster, FIAT, Honda, Lexus, Subaru, Hyundai, Genesis, Land Rover, Jaguar, Volvo, Porsche, Mahindra Tractors and Collision Centre. For more information on Northtown Automotive Companies, visit https://www.northtownauto.com/ .