SPCA Treats Pet Owners to Tricks for Keeping Pets Safe This Halloween

October 18, 2021
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.

SPCA’s ‘Name Your Own Price’ October Adoption Special >>

Injured Bald Eagle Rescued by SPCA Serving Erie County After Buffalo Police Hear “Loud Crash” Outside Building Yesterday

May 25, 2021
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

See the full story from WGRZ-TV on “2 The Outdoors” >>

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:

See the full release video complete with photos here >>

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 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.

Photo courtesy of Buffalo Police Detective Mark Costantino

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.

Photo courtesy of Buffalo Police Detective Mark Costantino

“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.

Keep watching YourSPCA.org/EagleRescue2021 for updates on the bald eagle.

Thank you to Detective Costantino, for providing us with the video and photographs from the scene of the rescue.

YOU can be part of saving these beautiful, wild animals in Erie County! Consider making a gift to the SPCA’s Wildlife Department right here >>

 

 

SCORE! Buffalo Bills General Manager Brandon Beane and Wife Hayley Continue “Bills Muttfia” for SPCA Serving Erie County Animals

September 9, 2021
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

Give in honor of the Beanes and their Bills Muttfia HERE! >>


The Beane Family

It’s official! For the second year in a row, Buffalo Bills’ General Manager Brandon Beane and wife Hayley will continue the Bills Muttfia program at the SPCA Serving Erie County!

For every home game touchdown scored by the Buffalo Bills, the Beanes will pay the adoption fee of one SPCA animal!

Dogs, cats, small animals, birds, reptiles, even farm animals will be drafted into the Bills Muttfia depending on the SPCA’s population on game day.* New Muttfia team members will be announced on the SPCA’s social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) at noon the day after each home game.* 

“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 Beane says in a BuffaloBills.com video focused on the Beanes and the importance of pet adoption.

“Brandon and I are so excited to start another season of Bills Muttfia!” says Hayley. “We love rescues, and have two of our own. Plus, it is heartwarming and inspiring to see the wonderful work done by the SPCA Serving Erie County. ” 

The Bills Muttfia program, conceived by the Beanes, picks up where Hauschpups left off.

Last year, the Beanes, staunch supporters of pet adoption and owners of two rescue dogs (Bodie and Peanut Beane, pictured here), immediately jumped at the chance to reimagine a program originated by former Bills kicker Stephen Hauschka and his wife, Lindsey, who paid the adoption fee of one dog, or “Hauschpup,” for every home field goal kicked.

Bills Muttfia meets the goal originated by Hauschpups:  help the SPCA Serving Erie County place animals with loving families more quickly.

“I think adopting is so important because you have shelters that are just full,” added Hayley, who recently joined the SPCA Board of Directors. “We’re hoping for LOTS of touchdowns this season! GO, BILLS!”

This season’s Bills Muttfia draft will begin with the Buffalo Bills’ first home game Sunday, September 12, against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

For more on Bills Muttfia, watch this BuffaloBills.com video or read Vic Carucci’s article in the Buffalo News.

See adoptable animals at the SPCA Serving Erie County >> *

*Current SPCA adoption notes:   Adoption appointments are required for dog adoptions each day, and cat adoptions on Saturdays only: (716) 875-7360, ext. 207. No adoption appointments are required for cats Monday through Friday, or for any other small animal any day of the week.

 

 

Updated October 7, 12:32 p.m.

At this time, face masks are REQUIRED, regardless of vaccination status, for patrons of the Lipsey Clinic, Wildlife Department, and Humane Education programs; for unvaccinated adults and children; and for all children 11 years of age and younger. Face masks are OPTIONAL for all adults and children 12 years of age and older who are vaccinated and not patrons of one of the programs or departments listed above.

 



SPCA SERVICES & PROGRAMS

During the COVID pandemic, the SPCA Serving Erie County is regularly modifying its services and programs in an effort to protect community members, patrons, volunteers, and staff members. This information is updated when necessary, and supersedes other information you may see on this website or others. Thank you!


ANIMAL ADOPTIONS:

-Appointments are necessary to adopt dogs and farm animals Monday – Saturday. Same-day appointments are often available.

-Appointments are necessary to adopt cats Saturday only (no appointment needed for cat adoptions Monday – Friday).

-No appointments are necessary to adopt any other type of animal.

Only those with adoption appointments will be able to visit and/or adopt dogs Monday – Saturday. Remember, same-day appointments are often available.

-Please note: during periods of high-volume calls,  your call requesting an adoption appointment may not be returned the same day. All calls are returned in the order they are received. 

-Because our community is filled with people who love animals and want to adopt, while we often have same-day appointment availability, dog adoption appointments sometimes must be scheduled for several days, even weeks, in advance during high-volume call periods, so be sure to schedule your appointment early.

-To schedule an appointment, please call our Adoptions Desk at
716-875-7360, ext. 207, to leave your message. 

-A maximum of four people will be allowed to view animals on one guest pass.

We ask all visitors to comply with current social distancing requirements.

See more on all COVID-era adoption guidelines and adoption appointments here  >>


ANIMAL ADMISSIONS:
-The SPCA admits surrendered animals BY APPOINTMENT ONLY at this time and you will be added to a surrender waiting list. There is a long WAITING LIST TO SURRENDER ANIMALS. This list is vital in allowing us to save animals’ lives and remain open for animal admissions. As of September 24, 2021, cat surrenders are being scheduled in January of 2022, and dog surrenders are being scheduled in November of 2021. Please think ahead and make your surrender appointments early!

-Admission appointments will be made in accordance with staff and shelter population during this updated COVID Response phase. We will also schedule appointments around the admission of animals already owned by the SPCA residing in volunteer foster homes (200+ animals) who will slowly and safely be brought back into the shelter and placed for adoption.

-Please know we do not take your patience in this matter for granted! The consideration you’ve shown us during this phase is tremendously appreciated.

-If you are calling Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., please call 716-875-7360, press 0, and ask for the Admissions Department. If you are calling Monday through Saturday, 4 p.m.-7:30 p.m., with an emergency only, please call 716-875-7360, ext. 214.

-At this time we are unable to assist after 7:30 p.m., however, there are emergency animal clinics in Erie County with systems in place to assist you after 7:30 p.m.

 

ANIMAL EMERGENCIES, ANIMAL RESCUE, & ANIMAL CRUELTY INVESTIGATIONS:
-If you are experiencing an emergency with your animal or find that an animal is in an emergency situation, please call the SPCA Monday through Sunday, 8 a.m. – 7:30 p.m., at 716-875-7360, ext. 214.

-At this time we are unable to assist after 7:30 p.m., however, there are emergency animal clinics, animal control organizations, and law enforcement agencies in Erie County with systems in place to assist you between 7:30 p.m. and 8 a.m.

-When you call, please advise the dispatcher if you or any members of your household are experiencing flu-like symptoms. This information will ensure first responders can prepare to prevent the spread of any illnesses.

DONATIONS:
-Those wishing to make financial donations are encouraged to do so online, by phone at 716-875-7360 ext. 227, or through the mail at SPCA Serving Erie County, 300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca, NY 14224.

-The SPCA is once again able to accept in-kind donations of towels, sheets, blankets, newspapers, etc. dropped off by those wearing masks at our West Seneca shelter’s Adoptions doors! Although we are not able to pick up these donations, we sincerely appreciate the time and effort made by those who think of our animals and drop off these items to us. Receipts for in-kind donations can be picked up at the time of donation drop-off.

EDUCATIONAL FARM:
OPEN once again to the general public! Educational Farm hours:

Monday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Sunday: Closed

-Those interested in adopting farm animals or fowl should call 716-875-7360, ext. 212 or 215 for more information.

-If you have farm animals or fowl you wish to surrender to the SPCA Serving Erie County,  please follow the Animal Admissions guidelines above.


END-OF-LIFE SERVICES:

-If you have made that difficult decision for your pet, the SPCA is still able to help with euthanasia services at this time BY APPOINTMENT.

-If you are calling Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., please call 716-875-7360, press 0, and ask for the Admissions Department to make your appointment. If you are calling Monday through Saturday, 4 p.m.-7:30 p.m., in an emergency euthanasia situation only, please call 716-875-7360, ext. 214.

-Information on pet euthanasia  is available here >>  

FIELD TRIPS, TOURS, OTHER GROUP VISITS:
See virtual field trip and tour options here >>

HUMANE EDUCATION:
See existing programs for children, including Tale for Two,  here >>

LIPSEY CLINIC AT THE SPCA SERVING ERIE COUNTY:
-At this time, the Lipsey Clinic is unable to accept new clients. The Lipsey Clinic staff have been working hard in accordance with CDC guidelines to ensure compliancy with all COVID-related standards. In an effort to properly serve our client base during this COVID era, we are forced to temporarily stop accepting new clients. Thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter.

-For existing clients, the Lipsey Clinic offers limited hours by appointment only, and is following strict COVID-related operating procedures.

-Masks are required of all Lipsey Clinic patrons regardless of vaccination status.

-Learn more about the Lipsey Clinic and find the operating procedures here >>

PETIQUE:
OPEN to the general public Monday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  The number of people shopping in the Petique at one time will remain in accordance with current county occupancy guidelines.

Curbside pick-up is available to the general public. For more information on curbside pick-up and items available, please contact the Petique: 716-875-7360, ext. 237. You may pay for your items by credit card over the phone, or have exact cash with you when you arrive at 300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca to pick up your items! When you arrive, just call the number above and we will bring your items out to you. We promise, we’ll be wearing face masks, and we ask that you wear yours as well!

VOLUNTEERS:
-There is an immediate need for volunteers in particular departments. See those volunteer opportunities here >>

-All youth volunteer attendance is postponed. There will be no new Paws for Love volunteer evaluations or orientations at this time. If you are a current volunteer, please check with your team’s coordinator for further instructions…and thank you for everything you’re doing to stay informed while you’re continuing to help our animals.

WILDLIFE:
-The Wildlife Department will be responding to animal emergencies.

-Anyone with a wild animal emergency should CALL BEFORE TOUCHING THE ANIMAL(s) OR BRINGING THE ANIMAL(s) IN!

-MASKS ARE REQUIRED OF ALL WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT PATRONS REGARDLESS OF VACCINATION STATUS.

Through September 30, 2021, the Wildlife Department at the SPCA can be reached Monday – Sunday, including holidays, at the following times:
8 a.m. – 8 p.m. : Please call 716-875-7360, ext. 247.
8 p.m. – 8 a.m. : We are closed.

Beginning October 1, 2021, the Wildlife Department at the SPCA can be reached Monday – Sunday, including holidays, at the following times:
8 a.m. – 6 p.m. : Please call 716-875-7360, ext. 247.
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.: Emergencies only, 716-875-7363.
8 p.m. – 8 a.m. : We are closed.

 

At this time, other departments will operate in limited capacities. Again, this information is rapidly changing.


PETS IN HOMES

Can you assist ill family members or friends by caring for the household pet(s) if someone becomes ill? If so, click on the images below for full-sized infographics to share, courtesy of Animalsheltering.org:

  

Pertaining to pets in homes, Animalsheltering.org recommends pet owners take the following simple steps to ensure preparedness in case of illness:

– Identify a family member or friend who can care for pets if someone in the household becomes ill;
– Have crates, food, and extra supplies on hand for quick movement of pets should it become necessary;
– All animal vaccines should be up-to-date in the event boarding becomes necessary;
– Ensure all medications are documented with dosages, administering directions, and if possible, your veterinarian’s prescription;
– Ensure pets are wearing identification (collar & ID tag) or are microchipped.

The SPCA also reminds you to eliminate any contact with your pet if you are exhibiting signs of illness.

-Find a list of recommendations for SPCA Officer Tyler Robertson’s  PET DISASTER PREPAREDNESS KIT here >>

-Find SPCA Serving Erie County recommendations for properly caring for your pets during this COVID-19 Response period here >>

-Find information on equine care during the COVID-19 pandemic here >>

-For more information on your pets and COVID-19, please speak with your veterinarian.


CURRENT INFO: Pets & COVID-19

Because information and updates are continuing to change at an incredibly rapid pace, we do not want to run the risk of providing anything less than the most current information concerning animals and COVID-19. The SPCA urges viewers of our website to seek information at any given time by speaking personally with their trusted veterinarians, or find relevant up-to-date information using one of the trusted resources we’ve cited in the past:
Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC)
-Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association (HSVMA)
-American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
-World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA)
-United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

In a WSAVA advisory document entitled The New Coronavirus and Companion Animals, it is stated, “You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people,” recommending that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. “This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.”


This page will be regularly updated with the most current developments at the SPCA Serving Erie County. Please check back frequently.

–Gina Lattuca, SPCA Chief Communications Officer

Reading to SPCA Animals is Back!
New Tale for Two Season Offers In-Person and Virtual Options.

September 1, 2021
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

The SPCA Serving Erie County is now welcoming readers into its 2021 – 2022 season Tale for Two program, encouraging children ages six through 16 to read aloud to adoptable animals at the SPCA, or therapy pets who are volunteers of the SPCA’s Paws for Love program! 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.

If registered for in-person reading, one adult and one child can visit the SPCA’s 300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca shelter to read aloud to shelter pets. To remain consistent with COVID-related occupancy guidelines, only six child/adult teams will be allowed on the Adoptions floor at any given time, so space is extremely limited.

Virtual reading will take place on a Zoom call, during which participants will read to a Paws for Love therapy animal. Each virtual session will conclude with an opportunity for the child to ask the shelter representative questions about the animal or the SPCA.

This year’s reading season begins October 4, and is available in a three-month package (program cost: $50 for one 30-minute in-person reading session per week, or unlimited 30-minute virtual reading sessions); a ’21-’22 school year package (program cost: $85 for one 30-minute in-person reading session per week, or unlimited 30-minute virtual reading sessions; this package has an end date of June 9, 2022); or a full year 12-month package (program cost: $125 for one 30-minute in-person reading session per week, or unlimited 30-minute virtual reading sessions; this package has an end date of September 15, 2022).

In-person shelter reading opportunities along with virtual reading slots are available Mondays and Wednesdays, 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., at the SPCA’s 300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca shelter. 

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

REGISTER NOW  to choose your reading package and to select your desired virtual orientation date (orientation is mandatory for adults and recommended for the child readers). Space is extremely limited. For more information on Tale for Two, please contact SPCA Director of Humane Education Christine Davis at 716-875-7360, ext. 262, or christined@yourspca.org .

Register for TALE FOR TWO now!


From the SPCA’s Humane Education Department regarding the safety of children participating in one of the Humane Ed programs:

“The SPCA Serving Erie County has and always has had strict cleaning and safety policies in place due to the nature of animal sheltering and the potential for zoonotic disease exposure. During the age of COVID-19, we will follow all CDC guidelines and recommendations. At this time, the SPCA Humane Education Department requires social distancing and masks for all participants, regardless of vaccination status. There will also be a temperature check and COVID screening prior to entry.”

Just click on the image below to find out if the SPCA’s Foster Care program is right for you! Our greatest need is feline foster parents, but we will accept applications from those willing to foster other kinds of animals as well!

The Parakeet and the Juggler

UPDATE, August 23, 2021 After a few close calls, no owner came to claim Hilby the parakeet. He went up for adoption today at 11:05 a.m. We didn’t have to wait long for the end to Hilby’s story…at 11:14 a.m. he was adopted! A nine-minute adoption floor length-of-stay may be the shortest on SPCA record, and that’s a 154-year-old history! We of course won’t give too many details on Hilby’s new residence other than to say this…Hilby is now called DION, and if you see a “wanderer” that looks like the bird pictured above flying the West Seneca, NY skies, well, please give us a call, because it might be Dion!


August 17, 2021 — If you have seen Hilby The Skinny German Juggle Boy at the #ErieCountyFair or elsewhere, you already know his remarkable talent is unmatched. Now you can add “….and Compassionate Animal Lover Who Takes Action When Needed!” to his long resume! As caring as he is skilled, check out this saga that unfolded yesterday! Read about it here >>

The bird’s name? Why, it’s Hilby, of course, at least while he’s with us! Hilby’s stray hold period lasts until August 23, so hopefully his owner will hear of this story and come to our 300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca shelter!

SPCA’S SPECIAL BIRTHDAY GIFTS TO JUST PIZZA OWNER MARY ALLOY: DEDICATION OF A ‘DOG SUITE’ & PAWS IN THE PARK ’21 

July 7, 2021
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca


UPDATE, JULY 14: “The dogs love each other!” That’s the latest report we received from Mary, who sent us this photo of her daughter’s two dogs, Rocky (formerly Caspian!), left, and Asia!


UPDATE, JULY 9: Just when you think a story cannot become more meaningful than it already is, it does! When Mary Alloy and her son, Alex, visited the SPCA July 7 and learned one of our kennels is now permanently dedicated to Mary, they of course had to take a moment to meet the first dog whose presence graced this elite suite! That dog was German Shepherd Caspian, and clearly Caspian turned on the charm for Mary right away!

Alex quickly contacted his sister, Stacy, and possible adoption plans were  made. Today, Caspian, now named Rocky (although Angel was the first new name considered!), is the newest Alloy family member!  You never know when he may be making an appearance outside the 2319 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst location where he’s pictured below, with Alex and Stacy! Here’s to a wonderful, new beginning for all involved! Congratulations to the Alloy Family!


 
 

Mary Alloy is just one of those people who makes our community a better place. As owner of Amherst’s JUST PIZZA location, she has been a longtime donor and friend of the SPCA Serving Erie County, doing and giving so much to help give our animals second chances.

Today, July 7, is Mary’s birthday, and we couldn’t think of a better day to honor her in two ways!

This year’s Paws in the Park walk has been dedicated to Mary, and today’s surprise birthday gift was the permanent naming of a “Dog Suite” (kennel B-7, of course, for her 7/7 Birthday!) in Mary’s honor!

Check out the photo album from today’s tribute that includes pictures of Mary and her wonderful son, Alex, along with the photos in this story here >>

Mary, thank you for your unending generosity…your permanent smile no matter the circumstances, no matter how you’re feeling…and for showing love and kindness to every animal and person who come your way. You are a rare individual and our organization is blessed by your friendship and compassion.

Check out Mary’s Paws in the Park team, the Just Pizza Warriors, at https://bit.ly/3yrVUoQ !

Take This Job and Love It:
Great Benefits Program with Perks for
Blue Collar Working Cats

June 21, 2021
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 Cats to 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 Cats program right at home. We remove the misplaced guilt they may feel over not keeping a cat indoors. Not every cat can life 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.

Feral Cat FOCUS Inc. is an all-volunteer organization with 501(c)(3) status. Donations are welcomed and encouraged. Make a gift or learn more >>

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 17, and extra credit for another one that is loosely referenced!)


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 and don’t worry too much about being lonesome tonight…or at least not on May 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 Sunday, May 23, 12 p.m. – 3 p.m., in the parking lot of the Elks Lodge, 33 Legion Pkwy., way down in Lancaster! (Our good luck charms should keep the rain away, but just in case, a rain date is set for June 6!) 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 and she’ll tell you where to mail your check; then the tickets will be returned to sender. Even if we can’t bossa nova together, at least we can all sing along! See you later this month!

–Gina Lattuca, SPCA Chief Communications Officer