SPCA Set to Receive Animals from Two Massive TN Hoarding Cases

July 23, 2020
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

Next week the SPCA Serving Erie County will receive approximately 27 animals rescued from two massive hoarding cases in Tennessee.

The SPCA is an emergency placement partner of the Animal Rescue Corps (ARC), a nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC dedicated to conducting large-scale rescues throughout North America. Organization members rescue animals from abusive and neglectful situations including puppy mills, hoarding situations, fighting rings, exotic animal cases, and more, along with conducting rescues during natural disasters such as floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and blizzards.

Animal Rescue Corps: Operation Fresh Air

On June 23, the ARC assisted the Henry County Sheriff’s Department in Paris, TN with Operation Fresh Air, the removal of 45 dogs living in what the Corps called “…horrendous conditions in a single-family trailer.” See video from this rescue here, and see coverage from Knoxville, TN CBS affiliate WVLT-TV 8 here.

Animal Rescue Corps: Operation Fresh Air
Animal Rescue Corps: Operation Caged Hell

Just two days later, on June 25, the organization again assisted the Sheriff’s Department with Operation Caged Hell, a rescue of 726 animals from a home in Buchanan, TN that included the rescue of an 18-month-old toddler living in an animal cage mere feet away from a 10-foot boa constrictor and other snakes. (See video from this rescue here, along with the full story, videos, and photos from the rescue as covered by Nashville, TN Fox affiliate Fox-17 here.)

Animal Rescue Corps: Operation Caged Hell
Animal Rescue Corps: Operation Caged Hell

As one of several ARC emergency placement partners, two volunteers from the SPCA Serving Erie County are scheduled to meet ARC drivers just outside of Cleveland, OH on Tuesday, July 28, to receive two dogs and four pups from Operation Fresh Air, and four dogs, four pups, four parakeets, eight domestic rats, and one gecko from Operation Caged Hell.

Barring any last-minute changes or delays, you can watch the SPCA’s Facebook page to see these animals arriving at our West Seneca shelter live on Tuesday. Estimated time of arrival is not yet determined, but will be announced on our Facebook page Tuesday.

Each animal has already received initial examinations and crucial care, and will receive further examination and any necessary additional care at the SPCA’s 300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca shelter infirmary. Most of the animals are expected to be temporarily placed in volunteer foster homes.

There is no word on when the animals will be available for adoption, but as they become available the animals will be listed on the SPCA’s Adoptable Animals website page.

Updates on this story will be provided as they become available.


YOU can help stop the puppy mill pipeline in New York State! The NYS Senate passed the “Stop the Puppy Mill Pipeline” Bill. Now we’re asking YOU to contact your assembly members to bring this bill to the floor for a vote! Find out how & read the full story here >>  

INTERNET PUPPY SCAM HITS CLOSE TO HOME

July 9, 2020
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

It was just last month that the American Kennel Club issued a warning about online “puppy scams” in its article How to Spot a Puppy Scam Online.

The scams have hit close to home.

One Buffalonian and friend of the SPCA who wishes to remain anonymous cautions those looking for puppies to avoid a scam to which he fell victim this week.

“Sam” has been looking for a puppy for several months and has sent online applications, which included his mobile number, to various local and national groups. When he received a text from, the sender claimed, a representative of one animal organization based in Tennessee (although the text was from a 916 Sacramento, CA area code), Sam was delighted to learn the organization had a Golden Retriever puppy available right in New York. Fulton, NY, to be exact. The text message included photos of a puppy that looked very similar to the puppy in this photo: two photos of the puppy with a red ribbon around his neck standing next to a red Valentine’s Day heart, and one photo of the puppy on a blue mat next to a pail and flowers.

The pictures looked vaguely familiar, and since Sam had been looking for a puppy for a few months, he assumed he saw the photos at some point during his search. The puppy was too appealing to pass up. Sam expressed interest and asked when he might be able to purchase and pick up the pup.

The representative said he’d hold the puppy with a 50% “reservation deposit,” nearly $400,  payable through mobile payment service Cash App. The balance would be paid upon puppy pick-up the following day. The address was a home on West 3rd Street South in Fulton, NY, approximately 2 1/2 hours away.

Upon Sam’s arrival at the home yesterday, there was no animal organization representative, no puppy, and Sam was told he was the fourth person this month who arrived at the home looking for this very Golden Retriever pup.

According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), most victims of puppy scams lose between $100 and $1000, although some report losing considerably more. The BBB recommends reporting fraud to the BBB Scam Tracker, Petscams.com, the Federal Trade Commission (1-877-FTC-HELP), and others. Find this information and more in the BBB’s November, 2019 article Puppy Scams: How Fake Online Pet Sellers Steal from Unsuspecting Pet Buyers / A BBB Study .

The Humane Society of the United States shares warnings about Internet pet sale consumer scams, how to find a reputable dog breeder, and more in Consumer Scam: Internet Pet Sales.

SPCA Summer Camp Offers Three Active Options for 2020

July 7, 2020
By:  SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

The SPCA Serving Erie County’s annual Summer Kindness Camp program has been modified to teach important lessons while keeping kids active, entertained, safe, healthy, and distant!

Three different camp options will be offered this summer:
KINDNESS CAMP: The Backpacks
KINDNESS CAMP: The Backpacks OFF-LEASH! (Update 7/15: Off-Leash Registration Closed)
KINDNESS CAMP: The Live, Virtual, Veterinary Experience

KINDNESS CAMP: The Backpacks is a non-interactive kindness camp experience providing children with fun, engaging, hands-on activities and games that can be enjoyed at their convenience. Backpacks include one week’s worth of materials and instructions needed for the themed activities, art projects, educational handouts, and fun swag items…all children will need are safe scissors, glue, and a table cover for messy projects! There are three backpack themes available for $30 per backpack for children ages 5-12 and 12-15. See more on backpacks and register for your child’s backpack here.

KINDNESS CAMP: The Backpacks OFF-LEASH! (Update 7/15: Registration Closed) is a kindness camp with backpack projects that take place in the child’s home and yard, but the backpacks also go “off-leash” with some interactive, virtual experiences! Each day, 30-60-minute live, virtual interactions with people and animals will take place; campers will virtually meet different animals, participate in interactive games and activities, and learn lots of new things! Also included are on-demand videos, and additional, downloadable activity sheets! Themes, age ranges, dates, and costs vary; see more about KINDNESS CAMP: The Backpacks OFF-LEASH! here. (Update 7/15: Registration Closed)

KINDNESS CAMP: The Live, Virtual, Veterinary Experience is a veterinary camp series for children who love animals and are interested in exploring veterinary careers! Campers will learn what it takes to be a veterinarian through a combination of live virtual content and fun activities, plus enjoy a take-home kit of materials. They will learn how to check a pet’s vital signs, discover what heartworms are, watch an animal exam, observe a neuter surgery, and so much more. Both live, virtual experiences, Introduction to Veterinary Science and Advanced Veterinary Science, are open to children ages 9-14 and cost $120. More information, dates, and registration are available here.

All backpacks and take-home materials have been handled by healthy staff members at the SPCA who were wearing gloves and masks. All materials have been thoroughly disinfected.  Backpacks are available via curbside pick-up, delivery, or shipping.

To find more information on all three types of camp experiences and to register your child for one camp (or all three!), please visit our all new SPCA Kindness Camp page here.

The SPCA Serving Erie County has revised its COVID-19 phase adoption policies. This new policy was put into effect July 6, 2020. Please note, while we are waiving the need for adoption appointments for cats and small animals at this time, we may revert to adoption appointments for these animals again in the future. The current adoption policy is as follows:

THANK YOU FOR CONSIDERING THE SPCA SERVING ERIE COUNTY WHEN YOU DECIDED TO BRING HOME A NEW FAMILY MEMBER!

FOR YOUR PROTECTION AND OURS, THE SPCA SERVING ERIE COUNTY WILL REMAIN CONSISTENT WITH OCCUPANCY GUIDELINES DURING OUR COVID-19 RESPONSE PHASE.  FACE MASKS ARE REQUIRED!

-Except for cats, bunnies, & other small animal adoptions, an adoption appointment is required to enter the Adoptions Lobby.

-To make an adoption appointment for any type of animal besides cats, bunnies, and other small animals, please call 716-875-7360, ext. 207. Please understand it may take up to 48 business hours to receive a return call. With the exception of required “meet and greets” with pets at home, animals cannot be placed on hold.

-Beginning July 6, it is not necessary to make an adoption appointment for cats, bunnies, and other small animals ONLY. This may change at any time, and we may revert to appointment adoptions for cats/small animals.

-Upon entering the building, it is imperative that you sign in with contact information. We require the name of every guest in your party, including children, for tracing purposes.

-Three people will be allowed per guest pass in the cat room or small animal areas, which means only 3 family members or friends should come together to the SPCA to adopt. Please remember if you are planning to adopt a cat/small animal, only three people per party will be allowed on each guest pass.

-Five families (5 guest passes) will be allowed in the cat/small animal adoption areas at any given time.

-Each guest pass allows a family one hour in the cat/small animal adoption areas to help accommodate all potential adopters and increase the number of animals who find homes each day. (Please note: time limits with adoptable animals are only being enforced during our COVID-19 Response phase. Normally, we encourage visitors to spend as long as possible with an animal prior to adoption!)

-If you are here to adopt a cat, bunny, or other small animal and the maximum number of people are present in the cat/small animal rooms, you have the opportunity to wait in a small overflow area in our lobby or, if you prefer not to wait there or if that area is filled, outdoors. Your sign-in information determines the order of admission into the building. If you choose to wait outdoors, we will call you on your mobile phone when it is your turn to visit!

-Wait times will vary depending on shelter population, so please plan accordingly. Traditionally, the busiest adoption day is Saturday, so if you plan to visit Saturday, please allow yourself enough wait time and understand the cat/small animal visitation 1-hour time limit described above.

-Adoption hours remain 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The final appointment(s) for adoption will be made at 3 p.m. Our final group of potential adopters will be allowed in adoption areas one hour prior to closing.

-We may not be able to accommodate everyone on any given day. Depending on the number of people who have arrived at the shelter before you, it is possible you will not be able to see animals on the day you visit. Believe us, we don’t like it either. We’re in the business of placing these animals in new homes…including YOURS! But we understand, and hope you understand, this is for your safety as well as the safety of our volunteers and staff members. 

-See animals available for adoption on this page! Remember, our population changes several times each day, so you’ll want to check back frequently!

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE AS WE WORK TOGETHER TO KEEP PEOPLE & ANIMALS SAFE & HEALTHY!

–Gina Lattuca, SPCA Serving Erie County Chief Communications Officer

SPCA Issues Hot Weather Reminders Designed to Keep Pets Safe

July 5, 2020
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

Buffalo has moved full-speed-ahead into hot weather, with temperatures this week predicted to surpass 90 degrees. 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:

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. 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.

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, for example, even with the windows open, the temperature inside a car can climb to 102 degrees in 10 minutes, and to 120 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.

Here’s what New York State residents can do if a pet is seen in a hot vehicle.

Also, 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. During our current COVID Response phase, contact the SPCA Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., at 716-875-7360, ext. 214. During the hours of 4 p.m. – 8 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., please call 716-449-0363. 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 last summer 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, below.) Be sure the toys you purchase for your pets are safe and sturdy.

 


KEEP PETS HOME DURING OUTDOOR FESTIVALS.  This tip may not be as relevant in 2020 as it’s been in the past, since the pandemic has caused the cancelation of most events this summer. However, for future reference: 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. During our current COVID Response phase, contact the SPCA Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., at 716-875-7360, ext. 214. During the hours of 4 p.m. – 8 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., please call 716-449-0363.

Between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m., please contact your local animal control, police department, or call your local after-hours emergency clinic for prices and services.

_________________________________________

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.

SPCA, Continuing to Serve: Wildlife Rescue Stories

There have been so many terrific wildlife rescue stories happening, that we decided to put them together on the same page!

Tree Swallows Find Adoptive Parents

This comes to us from SPCA Serving Erie County’s Wildlife Department’s James Sevigny, Licensed Veterinary Technician and Wildlife Rehabilitator

June 22, 2020 — On June 17, two baby birds were dropped off at the SPCA Serving Erie County’s Wildlife Department. At first, we thought they might be Northern Mockingbirds, a common bird in the southern United States. After a few days, however, they started making noises… and immediately we could tell they were Tree Swallows! Tree Swallows are beautiful iridescent blue aerial insectivores (meaning they catch bugs in flight). While we have raised these birds successfully in the past, aerial insectivores are extremely challenging patients and we make every effort to reunite them with their parents, or to find wild foster parents if a reunion with their parents isn’t possible.

After we figured out what these little birds were, we called Celeste Morien of Friends of Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge. Celeste was able to identify a few nest boxes with tree swallow nestlings of a similar age. After getting permission from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, I brought the birds to Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge on June 22. Together we decided which nest the little birds would go into. The first nest had six baby birds already and we decided that the parents had enough mouths to feed! The next nest only had four babies, and while the babies were a little bit older, we decided that this nest offered them the best chance. We gingerly placed them in the nest box with their new siblings and closed the door. Within a few minutes, BOTH parents had entered the nest box to feed their new blended family!

 

 

Eastern Spiny Softshell Turtles Find Refuge with SPCA Wildlife Department Volunteer

This comes to us from SPCA Serving Erie County’s Wildlife Department’s James Sevigny, Licensed Veterinary Technician and Wildlife Rehabilitator

June 24, 2020 — On January 7, three baby Eastern Spiny Softshell turtles were seized by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) from a person in Chautauqua County who had illegally collected them out of the wild to keep as pets. In New York State it is illegal to keep any native wild animal as a pet. Like most aquatic turtles, Spiny Softshell turtles hibernate through the winter, so the DEC entrusted the SPCA Serving Erie County’s Wildlife Department with the care of these adorable reptiles until they could be released in the spring.

After getting a thorough physical exam, the three turtles were placed into home foster care with wildlife rehabilitator and turtle expert Shelby Priester who took care of the little guys until the weather and water temperature was just right to give them the best chance for survival in the wild.

Typically, wildlife is released to the same place it was found, but we didn’t know where these guys came from. We reached out to the Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown, New York who have been monitoring turtle populations in the area for several years. Fortunately, they knew of the perfect spot for release.

On June 9, wildlife rehabilitator Shelby Priester, SPCA wildlife veterinarian Dr. Karen Slote, and Roger Tory Peterson Institute staff Jonathan Townsend and Twan Leenders met in Jamestown to release the turtles. Watch the video here.

This story illustrates how many different individuals, agencies, and organizations come together to help these turtles: from the DEC officer who rescued the turtles, through the vets and wildlife rehabilitators of the SPCA Serving Erie County’s Wildlife Department who took care of them, to the staff of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute who assisted with their release… We thank everyone for their help!

 

Snapping Turtle Rescued From Drainpipe

This comes to us from SPCA Serving Erie County Animal Cruelty Investigator / Animal Rescue Officer Tyler Robertson:

July 3, 2020 — A snapping turtle was found stuck inside a drainpipe in Clarence. Employees from the Town of Clarence Highway Department assisted in cutting the pipe to free the turtle. The turtle was transported back to the SPCA Serving Erie County’s Wildlife Department where he got a clean bill of health. He was released near a body of water where he was originally found shortly after.

 

Crafty Fox Rescued from Underneath Porch

This comes to us from SPCA Serving Erie County Animal Cruelty Investigator / Animal Rescue Officer Tyler Robertson:

July 3, 2020 – With the assistance of Amherst Animal Control, Officer Heine and I worked to rescue this fox who had been eluding them all week. The fox went under a porch on Robin Road and the homeowners were quick to make a phone call noting the fox’s location. The fox was transported back to the SPCA’s Wildlife Department for assessment. He was released shortly thereafter. Watch his release here.

BILL THE CAT: One in a Million (or one in 3,000, to be exact)!

June 24, 2020
By: Gina Lattuca, SPCA Serving Erie County Chief Communications Officer

UPDATE, JUNE 24, 6:30 p.m.: Bill has been adopted! When his story made national news today, we received more than 100 phone calls from potential adopters from all over the country! Fortunately, our boy will be staying home! Now named Milo, he’ll be living in Buffalo with Jomaira & Kiara!


BILL THE CAT is one in a million…or to be more specific, one in 3,000! Why? Because he’s a tortoiseshell kitty, and he’s a boy!

If you’re new to the cat world, that might not seem too exceptional. But those who have spent a little time in feline circles are paying close attention right now, especially after seeing Bill’s photo with that blue collar around his neck and realizing that this is a male tortoiseshell cat, an incredible rarity.

Genetics are pretty interesting when it comes to calico cats, and the same goes for tortoiseshell cats…even the “pastel” or dilute ones like Bill, with softer colors. Several genetic mutations cause these cats to develop coats with patterns that seem marbleized, much like the shell of a tortoise. And with the most common chromosome combos, all calicos and tortoiseshell felines are female. Well….almost all.

Think back to high school. Females have XX chromosomes, males have XY.

X carries the gene for coat colors; Y determines gender.

According to this article issued by Falls Village Veterinary Hospital in Raleigh, NC, “Orange coloring in cats comes from a gene in X chromosomes. Biology refresher: females have XX chromosomes. Males have XY chromosomes. So, it stands to reason that either a male or female cat can be or have orange coloring. The girls, though, are commonly calico, tortie, or orange tabby whereas the vast majority of males are only orange tabby. This is because only a cat with XX chromosomes can be calico or tortie.”

So if two X chromosomes are necessary in a calico or tortie kitten, and males are XY with just one X, how are male calico or tortie cats possible?

Very rarely, an extra strand of DNA (three chromosomes) is apparent in a male, making the male XXY. What does this mean? While the Y determines he is a male, the two Xs can, in fact, give him a calico or a tortoiseshell coat!

This is an incredibly rare occurrence. In fact, several sources researched cite a study by the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine that found only about 1 in 3,000 of these calico/tortoiseshell cats are male!

Undoubtedly, it must have occurred to someone throughout history to try and breed these cats, however, cats with three chromosomes are usually also sterile. Neutering is still important to help prevent negative medical or behavioral developments.

Because we don’t see many male calico or tortoiseshell cats at the SPCA Serving Erie County, Bill the cat is feeling pretty special these days, but he’s trying not to let it get to his head. Bill is waiting to meet his new family at our 300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca shelter! We have a feeling Bill will be scooped up quickly, but plenty of animals are at the SPCA waiting to become a part of your family! See our available animals here.

Adoption appointments can be made by calling 716-875-7360, ext. 207.

Thanks to the SPCA’s Lindsey Wood for Bill’s photos and videos!

Have you attended Paws in the Park in the past?
If your answer is “YES,” then we need YOUR opinion! 
Please take our quick survey by clicking the image below!

FANIMAL’s $64,000 Goal: MET!

Watch our “personal” thanks to EVERYONE who helped push our FANIMAL competition to a victorious finish line: a WIN for ALL ANIMALS!

Updated July 27, 2020,  11:15 a.m.

 

ON THIS PAGE:

-Status of the SPCA Serving Erie County’s programs and services during its COVID-19 Response period;

-Tips for pets at home and information on creating a pet disaster preparedness kit;

-The most current information available to us concerning COVID-19 and companion animals;

-List of cancelled SPCA events and programs.

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





On March 20, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo named “Animal Shelters” to the list of essential businesses in NYS.  In an effort to protect community members, patrons, volunteers, and staff members, the SPCA Serving Erie County is modifying its services in the following manner. Please check back frequently as this information is rapidly changing:

ANIMAL ADOPTIONS:
-On July 6, the SPCA Serving Erie County waived the need for adoption appointments for cats and other small animals. See the new adoption guidelines here. Please note that, at any time, the SPCA may revert to adoption appointments for cats and other small animals.
-Adoptions for dogs and some other animals will still be
BY APPOINTMENT ONLY Monday through Saturday. Adoptions are open 10 a.m.-4 p.m., & appointments will be made until approximately 3 p.m.
-In accordance with New York State regulations of 8 p.m. 4/17, anyone with an appointment must come to the SPCA wearing a mask or appropriate face shield.
-If you are interested in adopting an animal at the SPCA Serving Erie County, please call 716-875-7360, ext. 207 to schedule an appointment to visit the animals. At this time, appointments are not necessary for cats and other small animals.
-Please note that we are allowing a limited number of people in the Adoptions Lobby each day to reduce the number of people in our building at one time, in accordance with Erie County occupancy guidelines. This means that, depending on the number of people who arrive at the shelter before you, you may not be able to see the animals at the SPCA on the day you visit unless you have an appointment for adoption. While we’re thrilled you’d like to visit, the only people who will be allowed in SPCA adoption areas are those people wearing masks. Thank you for your understanding.

ANIMAL ADMISSIONS:
-The SPCA will slowly start admitting animals BY APPOINTMENT ONLY at this time. 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., please call 716-449-0363.

-In accordance with New York State regulations of 8 p.m. 4/17, anyone with an appointment must come to the SPCA wearing a mask or appropriate face shield.

-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.

-For more information on how to proceed with either owned or outdoor cats who have kittens, please visit our #bestwithmom page.

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 Friday at 716-875-7360, ext. 214, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. During the hours of 4 p.m.-7:30 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m., please call 716-449-0363.
-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.
-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.

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.
-Due to staffing restrictions at this time, most donation receipting is on hold.  We ask for your patience as receipts may be delayed by a few weeks.
-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:
Closed to the general public.
-If you have farm animals or fowl you wish to surrender to the SPCA Serving Erie County,  please follow the Animal Admissions guidelines above.
-If you are ill and have farm animals or fowl to surrender, please follow the Animal Admissions guidelines above to schedule an appointment for possible pick-up.
-Adoptions are BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.
-Those interested in adopting farm animals or fowl should call 716-875-7360 ext. 212 or 215 to make an appointment to meet the animals.
-Find information on equine care during the COVID-19 pandemic here >>

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 in an emergency euthanasia situation and are calling Monday through Saturday, 4 p.m.-7:30 p.m., please call 716-449-0363.
-Information on pet euthanasia  is available here >>  

FIELD TRIPS, TOURS, OTHER GROUP VISITS:
Currently-scheduled visits have been cancelled.

HUMANE EDUCATION
See programs currently offered virtually, including book-reading and crafts, on our virtual
video playlist >>

HUMANE POSTER & CREATIVE WRITING CONTEST:
Extended. New deadline for submissions: August 31, 2020. Children’s pieces can now be submitted digitally. For all revisions to this contest, please visit http://YourSPCA.org/RevisedContest .

LIPSEY CLINIC
CLOSED
– no new appointments will be made at this time.

PETIQUE
-OPEN to the general public Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Face masks or proper face coverings are required to shop in the Petique! Two people per family will be allowed to shop at one time in the Petique.

Curbside pick-up is also available to those who do not wish to enter the building! 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!

SUMMER CAMP 
Our traditional, on-site Summer Camp program has been cancelled for 2020, however, the SPCA will offer a variation on our camp program, along with various children’s activities. More information is available here >>

VOLUNTEERS
There will be no new volunteer orientations at this time. All youth volunteer attendance is postponed. There will be no new Paws for Love volunteer evaluations or orientations until later this year. 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!
Monday-Sunday
8 a.m.-6 p.m. please call 716-449-0727.
6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. please call 716-449-0363.
7:30 p.m.-8 a.m. we are closed.
-In accordance with New York State regulations of 8 p.m. 4/17, anyone with an appointment to bring an animal to the SPCA must come to the shelter wearing a mask or appropriate face shield.
-For more information on how to proceed with baby bunnies or squirrels you may find outdoors,  please visit our #bestwithmom page.

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



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.


Spring/Summer 2020
Because information and updates are continuing to change at an even more 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 below. Thank you.

Updated April 27, 7:05 a.m.
The Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) state in a recent document concerning COVID-19’s transmission between humans and animals, “CDC is aware of a small number of pets, including dogs and cats, to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after close contact with people with COVID-19. Only a few of the animals reported to be positive showed signs of illness.” Read that entire document from the CDC here.

Updated April 24, 5:09 p.m.
Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association DVM states ““It is critically important that pet owners keep these few positive cat cases in perspective and not make rash decisions about their pets. At this time there is no reason to think that pets can spread COVID-19 to humans. It is likely that the pets were infected by people with COVID-19. We do know that our pets provide very important and positive roles in our lives.” Read the full HSVMA document
here >>

Updated April 24, 9:17 a.m.
The American Veterinary Medical Association has released a statement regarding the confirmation of COVID in two New York State cats. Read that statement and find more information on testing pets here.

Updated April 22, 4:14 p.m.
The USDA has released a document regarding the confirmation of COVID in two cats residing in separate parts of New York State. Included in this document is the following statement: “Public health officials are still learning about SARS-CoV-2, but there is no evidence that pets play a role in spreading the virus in the United States. Therefore, there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals that may compromise their welfare. Further studies are needed to understand if and how different animals, including pets, could be affected.” Read the full USDA document here.

Updated April 15, 11:30 a.m.
The American Veterinary Medical Association has released information from the National Dog Bite Prevention Coalition offering tips for safely sheltering at home with pets during the COVID crisis. See that document here.

Updated April 6, 10:27 a.m.

The American Veterinary Medical Association has released important information concerning animals and COVID-19. That information can be found here. As we frequently remind you, this situation is rapidly evolving. Please check back for the latest published research findings as more information becomes available.

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association has released an updated advisory document today. That document can be viewed here.

Updated April 5, 2020, 8:50 p.m.
Today, news was released of a tiger at the Bronx Zoo testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans). Read the USDA’s statement on the tests that were conducted, as well as FAQs on animals and COVID-19 based on what is known about the virus at this time (including ‘Can people give this virus to animals?’ and ‘Should I avoid contact with pets and other animals?’) here.

Updated April 3, 2020, 7:26 p.m.
The World Small Animal Veterinary Association has released an updated advisory document today. That document can be viewed here.

Updated March 27, 2020, 9:47 p.m.
The World Small Animal Veterinary Association has released an updated advisory document today. Please view that document here.

Updated March 26, 2020, 10:45 a.m.
The World Small Animal Veterinary Association has kept current a second advisory document from March 20 (in addition to the document linked below) that no evidence exists that COVID-19 can be contracted from pets.

Updated March 20, 2020, 2:54 p.m.
Today, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) released an updated advisory document concerning COVID-19 and companion animals. Please find that document here >> .

Updated March 17, 2020, 11:57 a.m.
Yesterday, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) released an updated advisory document concerning COVID-19 and companion animals. Please find that document here >> .

March 12, 2020
As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 increases in New York State and worldwide, the SPCA Serving Erie County is taking proactive measures to ensure the safety of people and animals on its premises.

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) is releasing advisory documents and information concerning animals and COVID-19. In an 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.”

Please regularly check for updates as more information becomes available.


The SPCA has cancelled events through Summer, 2020. Some of these events will be rescheduled. Cancelled events include but are not limited to:

April 8:                 Wake Up With Wildlife “Wildlife Rescue” seminar
For more information, contact SPCA Wildlife Director
Barbara Haney: 716-875-7360, ext. 220.

April 13-17:          School Break Camp
For more information, contact SPCA Humane Education Director
Christine Davis: 716-875-7360, ext. 262.

April 20:                “CBD and Pets” seminar
For more information, contact SPCA Humane Education Director
Christine Davis: 716-875-7360, ext. 262.

April 26:                 Paws at the Pub
For more information, contact Buffalo Brewpub: 716-632-0552.

March & April:   “Furry Tales Preschool Story and Adventure Time” sessions
For more information, contact SPCA Humane Education Director
Christine Davis: 716-875-7360, ext. 262.

March & April:   “Tale for Two” reading sessions
For more information, contact SPCA Humane Education Director
Christine Davis: 716-875-7360, ext. 262.

March & April:   Scout workshops
For more information, contact SPCA Humane Education Director
Christine Davis: 716-875-7360, ext. 262.

March & April:   New volunteer orientations
For more information, contact SPCA Volunteer Services Director Kelly Deschamps: 716-875-7360, ext. 232.

March & April:   Youth volunteer attendance and programs
For more information, contact SPCA Volunteer Services Director Kelly Deschamps: 716-875-7360, ext. 232.

June 2020:   Wine & Wags
For more information on our socially-distant FANIMAL Fundraiser, please contact Caitlin at the SPCA: CaitlinF@yourspca.org

Summer Camp June-August, 2020
On-site Summer Camp 2020 has been cancelled, however, the SPCA will offer a virtual camp program, along with various children’s activities. Details are available here. For more information, please contact Christine at the SPCA: ChristineD@yourspca.org.

If an SPCA Serving Erie County program or event on your calendar is not on this changeable list, please contact the SPCA at 716-875-7360 prior to attending for confirmation.

This is NOT a static list. As officials at the SPCA work to address the ever-changing health needs in our community, any new information will be released as soon as possible.


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