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
Valentine’s Day and Pets
February 11, 2021
By: SPCA Vice President of Veterinary Services Melanie Rushforth
While we at the Lipsey Clinic at the SPCA Serving Erie County believe the best Valentine’s gift you can give your pet is the gift of a longer and healthier life without the burden of litters and pesky hormonal cycles, free of fleas and other parasites, it’s the season of love! Let’s talk a little about things to look out for this month.
Seasoned pet lovers know that all types of chocolate are potentially life-threatening when ingested by pets. Methylxanthines are caffeine-like stimulants that affect gastrointestinal, neurologic and cardiac function—they can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, seizures and an abnormally elevated heart rate. The high-fat content in lighter chocolates can potentially lead to a life-threatening inflammation of the pancreas. Go ahead and indulge, but don’t leave chocolate out for chowhounds to find.
Careful with Cocktails
Spilled wine, a half a glass of champagne, or some leftover liquor are nothing to cry over until a curious pet laps them up. Because animals are smaller than humans, a little bit of alcohol can do a lot of harm, causing vomiting, diarrhea, lack of coordination, central nervous system depression, tremors, difficulty breathing, metabolic disturbances and even coma. Potentially fatal respiratory failure can also occur if a large amount is ingested.
Life Is Sweet
Don’t let pets near treats sweetened with xylitol. If ingested, gum, candy, and other treats that include this sweetener can result in hypoglycemia (a sudden drop in blood sugar). This can cause your pet to suffer depression, loss of coordination and seizures.
Every Rose Has Its Thorn
Don’t let pets near roses or other thorny-stemmed flowers. Biting, stepping on, or swallowing their sharp, woody spines can cause serious infection if a puncture occurs. De-thorn your roses far away from pets.
Playing with Fire
It’s nice to set your evening aglow with candlelight, but put out the fire when you leave the room. Pawing kittens and nosy pooches can burn themselves or cause a fire by knocking over unattended candles.
Wrap It Up
Gather up tape, ribbons, bows, wrapping paper, cellophane and balloons after presents have been opened—if swallowed, these long, stringy and “fun-to-chew” items can get lodged in your pet’s throat or digestive tract, causing her to choke or vomit.
Find the love you’ve been looking for at the SPCA Serving Erie County! See our adoptable animals >>
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) – When it comes to supporting Buffalo’s sports teams, this weekend is all about the red and blue for the Buffalo Bills. But quietly, support is also going out to a member of the Buffalo Sabres who has suffered a personal loss.
Goaltender Linus Ullmark was with the team on Monday when he received a call from his mother in Sweden that his father had passed away at the age of 63.
On Thursday, Ullmark opened up to Sabres.com about it.
“I had my worst pregame skate in my whole life, probably,” he said. “Usually when these things sort of happen, with me, there’s always been a common theme, and that’s been that my dad has either been very sick or that something bad has happened back home. I sensed that something was wrong.”
He said he’d been checking his phone a lot since his father entered the hospital early last week. When Ullmark reached the locker room, he found that he had a missed call from his mother.
“The hunch that I had was true,” he said. “She just wanted to call me and say that that afternoon, Dad left us. He left us around 5 very peacefully, calmly with her by his side.”
Linus Ullmark has been a friend and supporter of the SPCA Serving Erie County. Last year he sponsored a program called Ullmark’s Barks. It brought more social media attention to animals that were having a harder time getting adopted.
“That was all Buffalonians needed to hear,” said SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca. “People started calling and asking how they could contribute to Ullmark’s Barks in memory of Linus’ father.”
Lattuca said they set up this special SPCA page for contributions >>.
“Linus is such a remarkable man. It gives you an indication of what kind of man his dad was. We think Buffalo is the most compassionate city in the nation and we’re honored to serve this community.”
Buffalo Bills General Manager Brandon Beane and Wife Hayley Kick Off “Bills Muttfia” for SPCA Serving Erie County Animals
September 12, 2020
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca
UPDATE 1/18/21: The Buffalo Bills are well into the playoffs, and Sunday night’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs will be a big one. The game will not be a home game, but Hayley Beane tells us today that BILLS MUTTFIA drafts will continue this weekend! We want NOTHING to destroy the mojo that’s bringing us all the way to SUPER BOWL LV! On behalf of #BillsMuttfia rookies past & future, thank you, Hayley & Brandon!
Another member of the Buffalo Bills will be scoring for the animals at the SPCA Serving Erie County this football season!
Buffalo Bills General Manager Brandon Beane and his wife, Hayley, will pay the adoption fee of one animal for every home game touchdown all season long!
The Bills Muttfia program, conceived by the Beanes, picks up where Hauschpups left off.
Last season, former Bills kicker Stephen Hauschka and his wife, Lindsey, paid the adoption fee of one dog, or Hauschpup, for every home field goal kicked. Because Stephen is no longer with the team, Lindsey, an ardent animal lover, asked friend Hayley if there was any way the program could be continued in some form.
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 similar program to help the SPCA Serving Erie County place animals with loving families more quickly.
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.
“I think adopting is so important because you have shelters that are just full,” says Hayley, who toured the SPCA’s 300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca shelter Sept. 10, in the same video.
This season’s Bills Muttfia draft will begin with the Buffalo Bills’ first home game Sunday, September 13, against the New York Jets.
See the animals drafted into the Bills Muttfia this season right here >>
Lucia, Safe and Sound After Two Years Straying the Streets
December 29, 2020
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca
UPDATE 1/14/2021: Yesterday was a big day for Lucia! She was adopted and went home to West Seneca with Katherine! Be a good girl, Lucia!
Sure, it takes a village to see some things through. But sometimes it takes an entire city. And this particular cat brought to the SPCA yesterday needed the City of Good Neighbors to help her see things straight!
Here is Lucia’s story, as told to us by our Director of Admissions Amy Jaworski and Admissions Counselor Tammi Cogswell:
Approximately two years ago, a calico kitty was admitted to the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter (CBAS). While there, as part of the excellent care provided by CBAS, the kitty had eye removal surgery and was placed in foster care for several weeks before being ready for adoption. She was named Lucia, and, when her rehab was complete, Lucia was placed up for adoption at PetSmart in Buffalo.
Lucia was adopted quickly…but moments after her adoption, while the adopter was walking to her car to bring Lucia home, Lucia fell through the bottom of the cat carrier and was gone. Devoted CBAS volunteers, including SPCA employee Tammi Cogswell, searched for this cat, and in these two years, right up until this week, continued to put food out for her (courtesy of dedicated CBAS volunteer Mary, who made the search for Lucia a regular part of her life for two years!) in the hopes of capturing her, but with no success.
Several months ago, a woman named Susan came to the SPCA to surrender her mother’s cat, and Tammi, working at our Admissions Desk, asked Susan the general questions asked upon intake: how Susan’s mom acquired the cat, how long she owned the cat, etc. The conversation turned to stray cats when Susan responded that her mother’s cat had been a stray; Susan offhandedly mentioned that there was another stray cat who had been in the area a few years, a cat with beautiful colors and ONE EYE!
Tammi, acting as the ever-vigilant animal advocate that she is, asked Susan if this stray cat was in the vicinity of the PetSmart location in the city. The answer was a resounding “Yes,” the cat took up residence on Buffalo’s Rebecca Drive, and Susan promised to send Tammi photos of the cat next time the kitty came around.
Over the last few months, Tammi sent messages to Susan asking about the cat, but Susan was never able to grab another photo. Earlier this month, Susan contacted Tammi asking to borrow a live trap in an effort to safely capture and contain this one-eyed beauty.
We learned this cat had captured many hearts during her 2+-year stay in the neighborhood, and while the entire community came together to help care for her, Lucia had touched the life of one man in particular named Stephen, who was a primary caretaker (he even built a house for her, complete with a heated floor mat). Stephen had become very attached to this little girl and named her “Manechan” (Stephen later said he named this feisty cat Manechan after a feisty, Thai princess…so her full name, Stephen told us, is Lucia Manechan!).
Susan shared with Stephen the possible story behind this stray and put him in touch with Tammi at the SPCA.
Jump ahead to this week…the one-eyed stray Stephen and others in the neighborhood had been caring for was finally safely secured with no trap needed, and arrangements were made for Susan to bring the kitty to the SPCA to be scanned for a microchip.
The big scan happened yesterday, and it was finally confirmed: the beautiful, one-eyed stray is, in fact, Lucia! There were plenty of tears of joy at the SPCA and CBAS over this exciting news! Thanks to Stephen, Susan, and the other amazing, caring community members in the neighborhood unable to keep Lucia, yet dedicated to looking out for her wellbeing, Lucia is alive, safe, and unharmed more than two years after her escape!
Today, Lucia is, understandably, a little stressed, and we’re giving her time to relax and unwind after her adventures. At the time of this writing, SPCA representatives have contacted CBAS representatives to determine what happens next in little Lucia’s story!
The compassionate teams at the CBAS and SPCA, combined with a Buffalo neighborhood full of caring individuals including Stephen and Susan, exemplify an entire community coming together to care for the lives of its animals.
Keep watching this page and YourSPCA.org for updates on Lucia!
Tommy the Cat: Reunited for Christmas! One Stray Cat’s Buffalo-to-North Carolina Journey Home for the Holidays
December 10, 2020
By: SPCA Serving Erie County Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca
See Tommy’s video here >>
“Reunited for Christmas” sounds like a favorite holiday movie with a fantasy ending. For Tommy the cat, however, this holiday fantasy ending was real!
Tommy, a sweet kitten, was adopted at the SPCA Serving Erie County by then-Buffalo resident Frances Grinage back in June of 2018. As part of his adoption, Tommy was microchipped at the SPCA. Frances says he fit right into her Buffalo home, where he lived with other four-footed friends…among them, dogs CoCo and Baby.
Frances tells us that every night, Tommy, CoCo, and Baby contentedly shared her bed for their nightly slumber, and that every morning, Tommy would wake her up with a “kiss” on the nose.
In August of 2020, Frances found herself on the move to North Carolina. Tommy, however, had other plans; as Frances was packing up the car to leave, Tommy escaped. Frances said she searched high and low and wanted to remain in Buffalo until she found Tommy, but finally had to begin her road trip without her beloved boy.
Jump ahead to earlier this December week. A good Samaritan who found a very sweet, stray cat arrived at the SPCA to surrender the kitty. It turns out this sweet cat was microchipped…and that chip identified Tommy’s owner as Frances.
When Frances received the call that Tommy had been found (approximately one mile from where Frances had lived!), she said she was elated! “I couldn’t believe it!” said Frances. “I felt like my heart was going to explode! All I wanted for Christmas was to have my Tommy back.”
The SPCA team went to work, and on Wednesday, December 9 (coincidentally during the annual SPCA T-Mobile Radiothon with Newsradio 930 WBEN and Star 102.5 FM Radio!), with a little help from the SPCA’s Cary Munschauer, Tommy packed his bags and headed to the Buffalo airport for his 1:30 p.m. flight to North Carolina!
As pictured here, Tommy patiently awaited his departure at the airport…seems he had a little bit to say when it was slightly delayed…but Tommy’s flight was closely monitored and it appeared to be a smooth trip home.
Frances contacted us early this morning to say that Tommy arrived safely home, and was resting after his travels! “He cried a lot at first, and was extremely nervous. He finally settled down around 8 p.m.”
Frances added that a 4 1/2-month break apparently did nothing to change Tommy’s routine! Right away, Frances tells us, “…he did recognize me and also CoCo and Baby! We all slept together again! It felt like old times.”
Even during a year as difficult as 2020, Tommy’s tale proves that miracles really do happen, especially in the City of Good Neighbors. An entire community came together to help this cat reunite with his loving mom and family.
“I’m truly happy he’s home,” says Frances. “Thank you and the entire staff of the SPCA for my early Christmas gift!”
See Tommy in this video re-telling of his story:
William Mattar ‘Rescue a Shelter Animal’ Campaign Features SPCA Serving Erie County’s Unending Work
November 24, 2020
UPDATE, DECEMBER 4, 2020: See more on this campaign on WKBW-TV’s AM Buffalo!
Car accident attorney William Mattar recently teamed up with the SPCA Serving Erie County to produce a new television commercial showcasing the SPCA’s tireless and vital work. The spot premiered during the law firm’s annual Rescue a Shelter Animal campaign and features several clips of what happens behind the scenes at the humane society, echoing the message that the SPCA NEVER STOPS.
“From our Rescue a Shelter Animal campaign, we have been able to learn so much about the SPCA Serving Erie County. Our campaign has always focused on rescuing animals. As important as that still is, and in growing our relationship with the Erie County SPCA, we learned that they never stop serving our community. By sponsoring the SPCA and developing this commercial, we wanted the public to be aware of all the vital work they do and encourage everyone to support them at this crucial time. Because once you see it firsthand, you want to help, and you feel a sense of responsibility to make everyone else around you aware,” said William Mattar, pictured here with Peanut Butter Mattar.
“We at the SPCA take that word ‘serving’ in our name very seriously,” says Gina Lattuca, SPCA Serving Erie County chief communications officer. “During this COVID phase, with the patient support of our community members, services like animal rescue, cruelty investigations, wildlife rehabilitation, animal adoptions and admissions, and more still haven’t stopped. We’re incredibly thankful to William Mattar and his team for allowing us to share that message and, in this commercial, provide a rare, behind-the-scenes peek into the work going on every day at the SPCA Serving Erie County.”
Before an animal is paired with its forever home, the SPCA staff and volunteers work tirelessly preparing animals for adoption, including behavioral development, training, providing veterinary care, and everything in between. “Without their ongoing efforts to prepare these animals for a smooth and lasting transition to their forever homes, adoptions would not be successful,” said William Mattar. With the launch of this commercial and through the law firm’s Rescue a Shelter Animal campaign, William Mattar encourages the public to support the SPCA Serving Erie County by providing donations that go directly towards rescuing animals, providing essential resources, and fighting animal cruelty.
William Mattar covered the cost of the SPCA Serving Erie County commercial and has donated all the airtime. The commercial is available below, or watch it on the William Mattar Rescue a Shelter Animal campaign page (beneath the Pet Photo Contest information).
For more information, visit www.WilliamMattar.com.
NO BONES ABOUT IT…KEEP PETS SAFE THIS THANKSGIVING
November 23, 2020
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca
Yes, Thanksgiving looks very different this year than in years past. No matter how small the celebrations, however, many people are still planning on preparing holiday meals, and those delicious smells are enough to drive any four-legged critter into a food frenzy. The SPCA Serving Erie County has issued these holiday reminders to keep your pets safe, slim, and trim:
HUNGRY PETS: Too many holiday treats won’t only pack the pounds on us…they’ll pack them on our pets. Many pets are on standard, limited diets; feeding them large quantities of food they don’t normally receive could cause abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, none of which are welcome during this festive holiday…or at any other time, for that matter. Use discretion. Turkey bones are also dangerous for pets. A brittle, spiky bone could cause irritation of the stomach or intestines, or could lodge in your pet’s esophagus.
NOTE: Dogs eating foods to which they’re not accustomed may experience BLOAT, a life-threatening condition. Dogs experiencing bloat may have difficulty breathing, may appear weak and/or depressed, may attempt to vomit but cannot, and/or may appear to be extremely uncomfortable for no apparent reason. If your pet exhibits signs of bloat, bring him to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Speak with your veterinarian for more information on this condition.
NO BREAD FOR BARNEY: Think twice before leaving that homemade bread dough atop the oven to rise. According to the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center, when bread dough is ingested, an animal’s body heat causes the dough to rise in the stomach. As alcohol is produced during the rising process, the dough expands. Pets who have eaten bread dough may experience abdominal pain, vomiting, disorientation and depression.
PEANUT BUTTER WARNING: Using peanut butter as a holiday treat for your pet? Remember to check the label! Xylitol is a sugar substitute now added to some peanut butters, along with other foods and candies. It’s safe for most humans, but deadly to pets, even in small quantities! Be sure to check labels for Xylitol or other ingredients that could be dangerous for your pet. It’s also a bad idea to give any animal caffeine-laced peanut butter or other foods; serious health problems could ensue.
GARBAGE PICKERS? Some animals patiently wait for the chance to pick through the garbage when you’re not around. Aluminum foils with juices, plastic wraps with frostings, even tasty strings from tying turkeys…well, the temptation can just be too much for your deprived pets. Keep your garbage bags away from where pets can chew through them to get to the goods. Ingestion of these items can be life-threatening.
SWEET TEMPTATIONS: CHOCOLATE CAN BE FATAL TO PETS! Chocolate contains a substance called Theobromine, a compound very similar to caffeine in structure. Theobromine can be toxic to dogs and cats in small quantities, causing vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, seizures, rapid and irregular heartbeats, muscle tremors, coma, even death. Keep chocolate safely away from all animals.
POTPOURRI PROBLEMS: Of course we want our homes to smell nice when guests arrive…but be mindful that liquid and other types of potpourri, especially sprinkled into rugs, along with many scented essential candles and oils are toxic to dogs, cats, even birds and other animals.
For additional holiday medical reminders, speak with your veterinarian, or call the SPCA’s Lipsey Clinic: 716-531-4700.