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:  Dogs will be unavailable for adoption until at least September 17.  Adoption appointments are required for 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.

 

 

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 Issues Hot Weather Reminders Designed to Keep Pets Safe

August 23, 2021
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

Buffalo temperatures are again predicted to surpass 90 degrees this week. While many are happy with the warm weather forecast, it’s important to remember pets don’t fare as well as some of their owners on these hot days. Please keep the following hot weather pets tips in mind and share with pet owners you know:

IT IS AGAINST THE LAW IN NEW YORK STATE TO LEAVE ANIMALS IN A VEHICLE IN EXTREME TEMPERATURES, HOT OR COLD >>

HEATSTROKE CAN KILL, AND FAST. Most pet owners realize that keeping pets in hot cars can kill them…but not many realize just how quickly the effects of heatstroke can set in for a dog or cat. And we’re not only referring to 90-degree days; animals suffer heatstroke even on much cooler days.

Heatstroke is a condition animals begin to suffer gradually, but it accelerates quickly. It’s easy for early signs of heatstroke to go unrecognized, and for the pet to be in an emergency situation within mere minutes. The image below is provided courtesy of VeterinaryClinic.com; please click on the image for a downloadable copy of this chart:

On warm days, a vehicle acts like an oven.  It holds the heat inside, and that heat becomes very intense even on days that don’t seem too warm. On an 85-degree day, even parked in the shade with the windows open, the temperature inside a car will climb to 104 degrees in 10 minutes, and to 119 degrees in 30 minutes.  With the humidity we experience here in Buffalo, it may go even higher.  Because a dog’s normal body temperature is 101-102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, he can withstand a body temperature of 107-108 degrees for only a very short time before suffering irreparable brain damage…or death.

The typical signs of heatstroke are:
– Panting – High body temperature
– Dehydration – Red mouth/eye membranes
– Rapid, irregular heart rate – Diarrhea
– Weakness, looking dazed – Coma

If your pet begins exhibiting any of these signs, contact a veterinarian immediately.

CAN I LEGALLY BREAK INTO A CAR TO SAVE A SUFFERING ANIMAL? As of May 2020, while a handful of states allowed good Samaritans to legally break car windows in an effort to save a suffering animal, unfortunately New York was NOT one of those states.

If you see an animal alone in a vehicle in extreme temperatures:

-Immediately record the vehicle’s make, model, and license plate number, and record the time you first noticed the animal(s) alone in the vehicle.
-Next, immediately call 911 to report the incident. If the vehicle is located in Erie County, NY and the time is between 8 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., contact the SPCA Serving Erie County as well: (716) 875-7360, ext. 214.
-If you are at a location with a public announcement system (a retail establishment, office, public event, etc.), provide managers, directors, employees, or event coordinators with the details of the situation, and ask for a public announcement that the animal in the vehicle is in severe distress.
-If possible, stay at the scene until help arrives.


PORCHES AND YARDS: Short stays ONLY!

Use caution during warm weather months when allowing animals outside for short sessions in yards or on porches. Never leave them outside extended periods of time. Ensure appropriate shade and water are always available. Keep close supervision on your pet when outdoors on hot, humid, sunny summer days. If you see an animal left on a porch or in a yard with no access to shelter, or with inadequate shelter, the SPCA may be able to intervene in accordance with New York State’s Animal Shelter Law.

Contact the SPCA immediately if the location is within Erie County Monday – Sunday,
8 a.m. – 7:30 p.m., at (716) 875-7360, ext. 214.

Read more about the Animal Shelter Law here.

And remember…pets can get sunburned too. Speak with your veterinarian about applying sunblock to your pet’s sun-sensitive areas, such as nose and ears, even when the animal is only outdoors for short sessions.


ADMINISTER FLEA PREVENTION PRODUCTS CORRECTLY! Early last June, the SPCA received two cats on death’s door after cheap, incorrect flea products purchased from deep discount stores were applied. The SPCA has already received several phone calls this season from people who misapplied flea products to their pets.   DO NOT APPLY PRODUCTS MEANT FOR DOGS ON CATS, AND DO NOT APPLY CAT FLEA PRODUCTS TO DOGS, AND FOLLOW DIRECTIONS CONCERNING THE VOLUME AND MANNER OF APPLICATION!  Read the directions carefully PRIOR to application, not during application. The application of improper flea products, low-quality flea products, or products applied incorrectly, can cause internal damage or death to your pet. Always consult a veterinarian before purchasing and applying flea products.


USE CAUTION WHEN PURCHASING SUMMER PET TOYS.  Flea products are not the only items that shouldn’t be purchased at deep discount stores. Some pet toys are not durable enough to withstand a pet’s play. This tip and photo came to us in the summer of 2019 from Patrick in South Dayton, NY. Patrick purchased a disc dog toy from a deep discount store for his dogs Roscoe and Titan. On the first throw, Titan caught the toy, which shattered, said Patrick, “…like a mirror” (see photo). Be sure the toys you purchase for your pets are safe and sturdy.

 


KEEP PETS HOME DURING OUTDOOR FESTIVALS.  Art festivals, food festivals, summer fireworks displays, and other crowded outdoor events are no places for dogs.  Extremely hot weather, paired with immense crowds of people and strange noises and scents, heightens the stress level for many animals; the repetitive, exploding sound of fireworks is enough to make even the calmest animal frantic and sometimes aggressive. Your pet’s body is closer to the asphalt and can heat up much more quickly.

The hot pavement can also burn unprotected, sensitive paw pads when dogs are on pavement for any period of time. Check out this photo from a June, 2019 post on WGRZ-TV and click on the photo for the full story:


DON’T FORCE EXERCISE, primarily after a meal or in hot, humid weather. Instead, exercise pets in the cool of the early morning or evening. Be extra-sensitive to older and overweight animals, or those prone to heart or respiratory problems. Bring an ample supply of water along on the walk. For cool, indoor walks, bring pets to shop at the SPCA’s Petique or other pet-friendly stores.


BE CAREFUL WHERE YOU WALK! Avoid walking your dog in areas that you suspect have been sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals (see below), or have puddles or spots of auto coolant. The sweet taste of poisonous liquids attracts animals and can sicken or kill them if ingested. Clean any spills immediately or consider using animal-friendly products to help minimize risks.

Unfortunately, the use of wild rat poisons also increases during warm-weather months, which poses potential hazards for your pets. Be mindful of any poisons your pet(s) can reach on your property and other properties. Read the Humane Society of the United States’ recommendations on alternatives to rodent poisons here >>


WATCH WHAT THEY EAT & DRINK! In July of 2012, two family dogs in North Buffalo died after eating poisonous mushrooms (amanita) growing right in the backyard. Check yards and any areas pets frequent. If something looks suspicious, don’t take a chance….GET RID OF IT. Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection spread through the urine of contaminated animals. The bacteria can get into water (puddles, ponds, pools, etc.) or soil and survive there for months. Humans AND animals can be infected. Use caution when letting your pet drink, walk through, or swim in water that may have been exposed to infected animals (rodents, wildlife, infected domestic animals, and others).


KEEP YOUR PET WELL-GROOMED AND CLEAN to combat summer skin problems. If your dog’s coat is appropriate, cutting his hair to a one-inch length will help prevent overheating and will also allow you to watch for fleas and ticks. Don’t shave down to the skin, though; your pet can get sunburned (see below)! A cat should be brushed frequently to keep a tangle-free coat. Long-haired cats will be more comfortable with a stylish, summer clip.


USE CAUTION WHEN MAKING SUMMER LAWN/GARDEN PURCHASES! When purchasing lawn and garden products, always read the labels for ingredients toxic to dogs, cats, and other animals. Fertilizers, weed killers, herbicides, pesticides, and other chemicals can be fatal to your pets. “Weed out” the toxic products from your garage, and learn more about non-toxic, pet-friendly seasonal items. Snail, slug, and rat/mouse baits, and ant/roach baits and traps are also hazardous. Metaldehyde, one of the poisonous ingredients in many baits, is often very appealing to pets, and metaldehyde poisoning can cause increased heart rate, breathing complications, seizures, liver complications, and death. If insect and nuisance animal control items must be purchased, keep them in locations impossible for pets to reach.


KEEP CORN COBS AWAY FROM DOGS! In August of 2013, SPCA veterinarians removed corn cobs from the intestines of not one but TWO dogs! Both survived, but without veterinary treatment the results could have been fatal. Read this article from VetsNow.com  discussing the dangers of corn cobs and corn to dogs.


DO NOT USE HUMAN INSECT REPELLENTS ON PETS! These items are toxic when ingested at high doses, and dogs and cats may lick it off and ingest it, potentially resulting in a toxicity. Read more about what you can use here.


BUNNIES NEED TO KEEP COOL TOO! Pet rabbits who live indoors with no air conditioning can benefit from an easy cooling technique. Rabbit owners can freeze a filled water bottle. Once the water bottle is frozen, it can be wrapped in a cloth and placed on the rabbit’s cage floor. If the rabbit becomes too warm, she’ll instinctively know to lie next to the bottle. Fans can also be pointed in the general direction of a rabbit cage, and rabbits will raise their ears (their natural cooling system) to catch the breeze and cool off. On hot days, pet owners with rabbits living in outdoor pens will want to ensure their pets are cool enough in outdoor locations; if not, rabbits and pens should come indoors.


If you witness animal cruelty or see any animal in need of rescue or emergency assistance this summer, the SPCA Serving Erie County may be able to help. Contact the SPCA immediately if the location is within Erie County Monday – Sunday, 8 a.m. – 7:30 p.m., at (716) 875-7360, ext. 214.

Between 7:30 p.m. and 8 a.m., please contact your local animal control, police department, or your local after-hours emergency clinic.

_________________________________________

Those who witness a situation that might constitute
cruelty and/or violence toward animals in Erie County,
including animals left outdoors with inappropriate
shelter in yards or on porches, are encouraged to report the
circumstances to the SPCA Serving Erie County:
716-875-7360 or cruelty@yourspca.org.


ERIE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE
John J. Flynn, District Attorney

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 5, 2021


DEPEW MAN INDICTED ON ANIMAL CRUELTY CHARGE FOR BEATING HIS CAT TO DEATH WITH A BASEBALL BAT

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 52-year-old Boyd C. Baker of Depew was arraigned yesterday afternoon before Erie County Court Judge Sheila A. DiTullio on an indictment charging him with one count of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals (Class “E” felony).

It is alleged that on February 14, 2021, at approximately 10:48 p.m., Depew Police officers responded to a residence on Penora Street after receiving a 911 call from a neighbor. The defendant is accused of hitting his cat multiple times with a baseball bat, causing its death. The incident allegedly occurred in the driveway outside of the defendant’s home.

Baker is scheduled to return on Wednesday, August 18, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. for a pre-trial conference. He remains released on his own recognizance as the charge is non-qualifying for bail.

Judge DiTullio issued an order prohibiting the defendant from owning any animals.

If convicted of all charges, Baker faces up to four years in prison.

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

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Megan E. Mahoney of the DA’s Animal Cruelty Unit.

As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

 

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Scentimental SPCA Tale Blooms at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses 

July 29, 2021
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

People find love at the SPCA Serving Erie County every day.

They’ve called us Match.com. eHarmony.

But Ancestry.com? This was a first.

To be fair, this magic moment did not actually happen at the SPCA’s West Seneca shelter. It actually started nearly eight years ago at our former shelter in Tonawanda…November 30, 2013, to be exact…and continued this summer at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses in Williamsville.

That’s where Mark Yadon, vice president of Mischler’s, brings his dog, Foster, to work each day. As Yadon tells us, Foster happily greets customers as they begin their shopping…just for a few moments, Yadon said…then makes his way back to “dad.”

One day this summer, Foster left Yadon’s side to greet a male customer and didn’t immediately return. Yadon, wondering why Foster was uncharacteristically gone so long, headed to where the customer was shopping, and there with the shopper was Foster. Yadon says Foster simply would not leave the man’s side and kept sniffing his ankle and leg. When Yadon commented on this unusual behavior exhibited by Foster, the shopper replied that Foster may smell his own dog on him and that could be why Foster remained next to him.

Yadon and the customer started talking dogs, and the customer mentioned that he and his wife, Cheryl, had adopted their dog, an Australian Shepherd mix like Foster, from the SPCA Serving Erie County about seven years or so ago. He explained that their dog, Luke, was just  a puppy at the time, transported to the SPCA from Kentucky days earlier.

Yadon marveled at this adoption story because, like Luke, FOSTER was adopted from the SPCA Serving Erie County about seven years or so ago, and…yes…FOSTER was a puppy just transported to the SPCA from Kentucky.

Foster’s original name, Yadon shared, was “Randy.” Luke’s original name, the customer said, was “Travis.”

Randy. Travis. Littermates, it turns out, from the City Animal Shelter in Menifee, KY, transported from that overcrowded shelter to the SPCA Serving Erie County on November 26, 2013. Randy was adopted November 30, 2013 at 12:38 p.m., and Travis, the same day at 1:01 p.m.

The customer, Patrick Baird of Tonawanda, returned to Mischler’s the following week with Luke (Luke Skywalker is his full name) and the former Randy/Travis, now Foster/Luke, enjoyed a happy family reunion, all thanks to one expert sniffer who overstayed his welcome with a customer!

We know we speak for these two canines when we say being reunited must have felt so good. In the words of Randy Travis, they were too gone for too long.

You can meet the famous Foster at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Road in Williamsville!

See the story on WGRZ-TV here >>

A special thank you to Mark and Foster Yadon and Patrick, Cheryl, and Luke Baird for allowing us to share this heartwarming tale!

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 !

FOURTH OF JULY, OUTDOOR FESTIVALS: No Picnic for Pets

June 30, 2021
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

The days immediately following July 4 can result in increased numbers of stray animals admitted to animal control facilities and humane societies, and often the explosive sound of fireworks is to blame. Fireworks cause many pets to panic, resulting in extreme and sometimes dangerous escape measures from homes or yards. Without identification, it is nearly impossible to reunite pet with owner.  Please keep the following tips in mind this holiday:

* ENSURE ALL ANIMALS ARE WEARING CURRENT IDENTIFICATION! Even if the animal has microchip identification, place a collar with an ID tag on your pet. If a neighbor finds your animal, an ID collar that includes your phone number can lead to a faster reunion.

* DON’T TAKE ANIMALS TO FIREWORKS DISPLAYS. The sounds and sights of fireworks often have the ability to turn the most calm, quiet, and non-aggressive pet into a stressed, frightened animal. A startled animal may not only break free and run away, but may also bite. If you bring your dog to these events and realize it’s becoming too overwhelming for him or her, DO NOT KEEP YOUR DOG IN YOUR CAR FOR ANY AMOUNT OF TIME! The effects of heatstroke on even slightly warm days begin within mere minutes. and the results could be fatal.  Stressed animals confined to cars can not only die or suffer severe brain damage, but can also experience an overwhelming stress level that can cause physical harm to the pet, and/or damage to the vehicle’s interior. Home is the safest place for pets this holiday.

* HAVE SOMEONE HOME WITH NERVOUS PETS DURING FIREWORKS. If the animal is with someone he or she knows, the pet’s stress level will be greatly reduced. Keep the volume on a television or radio turned up to block some of the noise. ThunderShirts®  reportedly work to calm the anxiety felt by some dogs and cats when they can hear fireworks, thunder, even when they experience separation anxiety, and can be found in many local pet supply shops and online. Other anti-anxiety items are carried here in the SPCA’s Petique: (716) 875-7360, ext. 237.

If a pet manages to escape, community members can visit the SPCA’s Lost & Found/Stray Animals page at YourSPCA.org, which includes effective ways to find a lost pet. A link to local animal control facilities can also be found on that page.


 Home is also the safest place for pets on extremely hot days, during arts festivals, food festivals, and other crowded outdoor events.  Very hot weather paired with immense crowds of people and loud, strange noises heighten the stress level for many animals.  Your pet’s body is closer to the asphalt and can heat up quickly. The hot pavement can also burn unprotected, sensitive paw pads

 

See the SPCA’s additional, important reminders for keeping pets safe in the summer heat here >>

If you witness animal cruelty or see any animal in need of rescue or emergency assistance this summer, the SPCA Serving Erie County may be able to help. Please call the SPCA Monday through Sunday, 8 a.m. – 7:30 p.m., at (716) 875-7360, ext. 214.

 

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