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.
SPCA Serving Erie County LVT Constantino is Nominee for 2021 American Humane Hero Veterinary Nurse Award™
June 18, 2021 — The annual American Humane Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Nurse Awards™ honor the heroes who dedicate their lives to making a difference in animals’ lives, and this year, the SPCA Serving Erie County’s Marisa Constantino, LVT and Dr. Allison Kean, DVM were both nominated for these awards and recognition!
Constantino, pictured here, is one of five veterinary nurses selected to advance to the voting round!
Voting for the 2021 American Humane Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Nurse Awards™ , sponsored by Zoetis Petcare, is now open! From now until 12 p.m. Pacific Time on July 29, 2021, you can vote for your favorite vet and vet nurse each day. Your votes will determine the winners that will be featured on Hallmark Channel this fall.
If you are a U.S. resident at least 18 years old, please vote for Marisa each day right here >>
Marisa was nominated due to the outstanding care she provides. Her nomination at AmericanHumane.org reads as follows:
Marisa demonstrates the characteristics of an American Hero Veterinary Nurse on a daily basis. She demonstrates the perfect balance of professionalism, compassion, logic, curiosity, and reason. Marisa approaches each animal she is presented with as if that animal is the only one she will treat that day, and may not see again. For a large, open admission, multi-species shelter, and public-facing clinic, Marisa does the work of 3 technicians. She has taken on the role of trainer and mentor to a large number of 4th year veterinary students on a regular shelter rotation, and does so with the knowledge that she has been influenced by preceptor mentors like her, and strives to pay it forward, also with the knowledge that these future veterinarians will depend on the talents and skills of technicians as they settle into their career, and knowing how to navigate that partnership with grace and professional respect is crucial.
As animal welfare shifts to a true social service initiative, the ability to serve people with the same respect as animals in need is a skill that Marisa demonstrates without even trying. She sees the big picture, and works to undo much of the oppression and discrimination that many clients seeking services have experienced at some point in their lives. Marisa sees only solutions, not barriers.
Animal welfare needs to care about people as much as it cares about animals, and Marisa is a perfect vision of that goal.
The SPCA’s Vice President of Veterinary Services, Melanie Rushforth, says, “It is an honor to work with someone like Marisa on a daily basis. She is a humble caretaker and an innovative veterinary nurse who represents the industry with the utmost professionalism. She helps others be better.” We couldn’t agree more!
One winning Hero Veterinarian and Hero Veterinary Nurse will be featured on the 2021 American Humane Hero Dog Awards® broadcast on Hallmark Channel this fall!
Please take this opportunity to vote for Marisa as recipient of the American Humane Hero Veterinary Nurse Award™, and encourage your friends and family members to do the same!
–SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca
Lipsey Clinic COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures
November 13, 2020
New York State has recognized veterinary practices such as the Lipsey Clinic at the SPCA Serving Erie County as essential and are allowing them to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. To protect staff from the spread of this virus, veterinary clinics such as the Lipsey Clinic at the SPCA Serving Erie County have made considerations to protect both human and animal health.
The Lipsey Clinic at the SPCA Serving Erie County veterinarians are applying careful professional judgment to case management so that needed care for animals continues to be provided while limiting staff and client person-to-person exposure. This may also include prioritizing urgent patient visits and postponing non-urgent veterinary visits and elective procedures until regular business operations resume in Western New York. In some jurisdictions, executive orders will directly influence what types of procedures may be performed.
The greatest risk of COVID-19 exposure to staff at veterinary clinics comes from person-to-person transmission through respiratory droplets from coughing, sneezing, or talking, which is the main way SARS-CoV-2 spreads. Clinic staff are continuing to self-screen daily, at the beginning of shifts prior to interacting with staff and clients and will practice social distancing. The Lipsey Clinic at the SPCA Serving Erie County is taking additional precautions to minimize staff contact with all pet owners.
Effective immediately, the Lipsey Clinic at the SPCA Serving Erie County will enforce the following procedures in addition to the standard directive for all individuals to wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth completely and socially distance at least six feet apart when in an area with other people.
-When a client calls to make an appointment, the receptionist will inform the client that only one person will be allowed to approach the building to pass along the pet to a veterinary staff member within the entryway/double doors at the Lipsey Clinic at the SPCA Serving Erie County and anyone else along for the appointment will have to wait in the car. At this time, the receptionist will ask if the pet has had any exposure to a person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. The receptionist will gather applicable information for the pet’s appointment at this time. Any pet who has had exposure to an individual with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 will be deferred to an appointment at a later time.
-Upon arriving for an appointment, the client must call from the car upon arrival. At this time, an assistant may gather pertinent information from the client regarding the concerns for the veterinary visit.
-When the building is cleared from the previous appointment, the client will be invited by phone to approach the building with the pet to hand off the pet to a veterinary assistant at the double doors of the Lipsey Clinic. Only one person should approach the doors with the pet. Pet owners will not be allowed to enter the building.
-A veterinary assistant will weigh the pet in the lobby and bring the pet to the exam room for exam and treatment. Upon completion of the exam, the owner will be called again to discuss any treatments necessary. After treatments are performed, the owner will be called and given the total for the visit, and will complete the check-out process over the phone prior to collecting the pet if the owner is paying by credit card (this is preferred). If the owner is paying with cash, the owner may approach the building if another pet owner is not present, pay for services and receive change, and at that time, retrieve the pet and accompanying paperwork.
It is essential for the health and safety of staff and clients that these safety directives be followed.
For more information, please visit the Lipsey Clinic page >>
— Melanie Rushforth, SPCA Vice President of Veterinary Services
FREE ADOPTIONS TO CURRENT, PAST MEMBERS OF MILITARY DURING VETS & PETS, PRESENTED BY GEICO®
October 31, 2020
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca
To celebrate the men and women of the armed services this Veterans Day, the SPCA Serving Erie County offers Vets & Pets, waiving adoption fees on most animals five months and older for individuals on active duty, reserves, and honorable discharge, along with service-disabled veterans and those retired from military service!
Vets & Pets begins Sunday, November 1 and runs through Veterans Day Wednesday, November 11 at the SPCA’s 300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca shelter and all SPCA offsite adoption locations. (Please note, the SPCA’s West Seneca shelter is closed Sunday, Nov. 1 and Sunday, Nov. 8, but many offsite adoption locations are open.)
Military ID or DD214 will need to be presented.
November 2020’s Vets & Pets program is proudly presented by GEICO®.
Contact SPCA Adoptions with any questions: 716-875-7360, ext. 233.
The SPCA Serving Eeeerie County’s Scary-Good,
Spine-Tingling Cat Sale Starts October 26!
October 23, 2020
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca
No tricks, all treats this week as the SPCA Serving Erie County presents its first-ever SCARY-GOOD, SPINE-TINGLING CAT SALE!
Monday, Oct. 26 through Friday, Oct. 30, adopt a boo-tiful cat three years or older at the SPCA’s 300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca site or any off-site adoption location, and pay the cat’s age, $1 per year!
Adoption fees include spay/neuter surgery, age-appropriate vaccinations, initial worming, feline leukemia test, microchip, temporary identification tag, certificate for the new pet’s first physical examination at the Lipsey Clinic at the SPCA or another member clinic of the Niagara Frontier Veterinary Society, the option of a 30-day pet health insurance plan, and a free bag of Purina food (while supplies last).
Adoptions at the West Seneca shelter will open at 11 a.m. each day, and the final group of potential adopters will be allowed in the cat area (depending on number of people waiting) at 4 p.m.
And don’t let the thought of being in close proximity to too many people during the pandemic spook you. To comply with COVID occupancy guidelines and to keep visitors safe, the SPCA will continue to limit the number of visitors in the cat adoption areas at all times. When the cat rooms are at maximum occupancy, visitors can wait outdoors, or in an overflow area at the SPCA. All visitors are required to wear masks or appropriate face coverings and are asked to comply with social distancing regulations.