SPCA ISSUES WINTER PET SAFETY TIPS
January 12, 2024
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca
Snow is predicted to return with a vengeance to Buffalo and surrounding areas. As many veterinary clinics (including the Lipsey Veterinary Clinic at the SPCA) are dealing with smaller work forces, it’s a little more complicated to receive emergency veterinary care. Plan ahead for the upcoming snowy days and nights now to ensure your pets stay safe and healthy today and throughout the rest of the winter. Read on for some of the SPCA Serving Erie County’s winter pet safety tips.
*OUTDOOR ANIMAL SHELTER MUST BE SUITABLE FOR INCLEMENT WEATHER: …and if it’s not, animal welfare officers can rescue the pet even before he or she shows signs of suffering, thanks to New York State’s Shelter Law that went into effect in 2003. Thanks to a legislative push in late 2018 that led to stronger laws concerning the tethering of dogs within Buffalo city limits, the SPCA and other law enforcement organizations can now take even more steps to ensure dogs are protected from the elements.
* Keep a Tight Leash: Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm. Pets can lose their scent on snow and ice, especially if snow is falling at a fast rate, and your pet can easily lose his sense of direction. Pets may also panic during a snowstorm and run away; many pets are lost during the winter months. Remember to keep current identification on your pet at all times!
*Keep Pets At Home: Never leave your pet alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold. Your pet could literally freeze to death.
*Always Dry Pet’s Wet Feet: Thoroughly wipe off your pet’s legs and stomach when she comes in and out of the rain, snow or ice. Check her sensitive foot pads, which may be bleeding from snow or ice encrusted in them. Your pet may also pick up salt and other chemicals on her feet accidentally. These chemicals could hurt her if she swallows them while licking her feet.
*Lay Straw for Dogs’ Visits Outdoors: Can’t get your dog to wear booties? Lay straw on top of snow for trips outdoors by dogs reluctant to step out onto a freezing surface to relieve themselves.
*Check Cars for Cats: During the winter, stray or neglected cats outdoors sometimes sleep under the hood of the car where it’s warm and comfortable. If you start the motor, cats could get caught in or flung about by the fan belt, causing serious injury or death. To prevent this, bang loudly on the hood and sides of your car before turning on the ignition to give the cat a chance to escape.
*Keep Outdoor Sessions Short: Take your dog outside only for as long as it takes for him to relieve himself. Dogs, particularly small, short-haired breeds like Chihuahuas and terriers, suffer from the cold despite their seemingly warm fur coats. Live within Buffalo city limits? Don’t forget Buffalo’s new laws pertaining to tethering dogs in inclement weather.
*Bathe Pets Only When Necessary: Your pet runs the chance of catching a cold when wet, especially in cold weather. If you absolutely must bathe your pet, consult a professional groomer or veterinarian.
*Keep Pets Warm: Limit the clipping of your pet’s hair in the cold winter months, keeping your pet as warm as possible. Brush your pet daily in lieu of clipping to keep your pet’s coat healthy, shiny, clean and mat-free. Make sure your pet has a warm place to sleep far away from outside drafts.
*Hungry Pets: Speak to your veterinarian about increasing your pet’s supply of food, particularly protein, to keep his fur thick and healthy through the winter months. Inquire about vitamin and oil supplements.
*ANTIFREEZE IS POISON TO PETS: ANTIFREEZE, EVEN IN SMALL DOSES, IS A LETHAL POISON FOR DOGS AND CATS! Because of its sweet taste, animals are attracted to it. Be sure to clean up spills thoroughly, and consider switching to an animal-friendly antifreeze. Ensure that, if you store Antifreeze in a garage, shed, or other places accessible to your pets, it is well out of pets’ reach.
If your pet becomes lost, be sure to visit YourSPCA.org’s Lost and Found page for recommendations on where to post lost pet listings, and tips for finding your lost pets.
For more tips regarding keeping pets safe and healthy during the winter, please contact your veterinarian.
If making a significant difference in the lives of animals is something you’re passionate about, volunteering with the SPCA might be one of the most fulfilling parts of your life!
Depending on what volunteer position you decide is right for you, you’ll have the opportunity to provide compassionate care for animals, bring pets and families together, and perform purpose-driven work!
For more information about how you can get involved, go to YourSPCA.org/Volunteer! Have any questions about volunteering? Please reach out to our Volunteer Department!
Director of Volunteer Services:
Kelly Deschamps | (716) 875-7360 ext. 232 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistant Director of Volunteer Services:
Desirea Mojica | (716) 875-7360 ext. 252 | email@example.com
SPCA WARNING PET OWNERS ABOUT MISSING PET SCAM
December 5, 2023
By: SPCA Social Media Coordinator Jillian LeBlanc
The SPCA Serving Erie County has been made aware of a recent scam involving missing pets in our area.
With this scam, a caller dials the number listed on a missing pet flier and tells the pet owner they’re calling from a local animal shelter. The scammer claims the pet was found and brought to their shelter; however, the pet has been injured and needs immediate, life-saving surgery. The caller then tells the pet owner that a downpayment of several hundred dollars must be made in order for them to get their animal back after the surgery has been performed. The pet owner is then given the option to send the payment via Apple Pay, Venmo, Cash App, or PayPal.
One Buffalo resident who was on the verge of being scammed visited the SPCA yesterday seeking help finding her missing cat. Fortunately, she sought help before sending any money.
If you have fallen victim to this scam, or a similar scam, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) recommends reporting fraud to the BBB Scam Tracker. To learn more about how you can prevent falling victim to a missing pet scam, please read the BBB’s January, 2022 article BBB Scam Alert: Lost pet? Watch out for this scam.
NO BONES ABOUT IT!
KEEP PETS SAFE THIS THANKSGIVING!
November 15, 2023
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca
Planning a delicious holiday meal? Those delicious smells are enough to drive any four-legged critter into a food frenzy! The SPCA Serving Erie County has issued these Thanksgiving 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.
With changes to the veterinary industry, seeking timely medical care for your pet, especially on a holiday, can prove itself to be problematic. Pet owners are advised to take every preventative measure possible to eliminate the chance of animals requiring emergency veterinary care.
SPCA Serving Erie County Earns a Four-Star Rating From Charity Navigator
November 10, 2023
The SPCA Serving Erie County is proud to announce that its strong financial health and ongoing accountability and transparency has earned a four-star rating from Charity Navigator. This rating designates the SPCA as an official “Give with Confidence” charity, indicating that our organization is using its donations effectively based on Charity Navigator’s criteria. Charity Navigator is America’s largest and most-utilized independent charity evaluator. Since 2001, the organization has been an unbiased and trusted source of information for more than 11 million donors annually.
Charity Navigator analyzes nonprofit performance based on four key indicators, referred to as beacons. Currently, nonprofits can earn scores for the Impact & Results, Accountability & Finance, Culture & Community, and Leadership & Adaptability beacons.
“We are delighted to provide the SPCA Serving Erie County with third-party accreditation that validates their operational excellence,” said Michael Thatcher, President and CEO of Charity Navigator. “The Four-Star Rating is the highest possible rating an organization can achieve. We are eager to see the good work that the SPCA is able to accomplish in the years ahead.”
For more information or to view the SPCA’s complete rating, click here.
SPCA officers rescue 35 animals from deplorable conditions
September 26, 2023
By: SPCA Social Media Coordinator Jillian LeBlanc
On Friday, the SPCA Serving Erie County took in 31 dogs, three newborn puppies, and a cat from a house on Niagara Street in Buffalo. SPCA law enforcement officers performed an emergency rescue after receiving a tip from a mandated reporting agency.
Upon further investigation, SPCA officers discovered the animals were living in deplorable conditions. All the animals were soaked with urine, covered in feces, and were severely matted. Some of the dogs were so matted they could barely see or walk.
SPCA officers removed the animals from the home Friday afternoon and brought them back to the SPCA in West Seneca so they could receive veterinary care. The SPCA team quickly got to work, making the animals feel safe and comfortable before focusing efforts on their matted coats.
Over the weekend, the SPCA team (along with several incredible volunteers!) started the lengthy process of grooming each dog, removing pounds of matted fur from each dog. The before and after photos are truly astounding!
Thanks to our generous donors, these animals are getting the care they desperately need. We hope some of the animals can go up for adoption soon!
At this time, charges are pending.
If you suspect animal cruelty, please call the SPCA Serving Erie County Animal Cruelty Investigations Department at (716) 875-7360, ext. 214. The SPCA will respond to anonymous tips.
Two ball pythons rescued from Amherst Delta Sonic find homes
September 7, 2023
By: SPCA Social Media Coordinator Jillian LeBlanc
Last month, the SPCA Serving Erie County took in two ball pythons after they were found at a gas station in Amherst. Now, both pythons are adjusting to life in their new homes!
The first python was admitted to the SPCA on August 15 after it was found coiled in some hoses at the Delta Sonic located at 3100 Niagara Falls Boulevard. After spending the night with Amherst Animal Control, the snake was admitted to the SPCA and was immediately looked over by our veterinary team.
Three days later, a second python, a pastel clown ball python (yellow), was found in a PVC pipe not far from where the first snake was spotted. SPCA officers were called to the scene by Amherst Police to rescue the snake.
SPCA officers later discovered the snakes were two of five ball pythons that were found near the Delta Sonic. Of the three other snakes, two of the pythons were found dead, while a citizen took in the third snake.
After spending nearly two weeks with us without anyone coming forward to claim them as their own, the ball pythons were placed in two loving homes. The pastel clown ball python, now named Sonic, found a new home with experienced owners in North Tonawanda. The other python didn’t have to travel too far to get to their new home. The snake, now named Kaa, is the SPCA’s newest Humane Education Department employee! Kaa will become an animal ambassador, helping to educate the community about ball pythons and provide experience with this incredible reptile!
“Ambassador animals, or animal teachers as we like to call them, visit thousands of community members each year, teaching them about the SPCA, the variety of ways the SPCA helps our community, what to do when you find an animal/no longer can keep an animal, and what proper care looks like for certain animals,” said Christine Davis, said SPCA director of community education.
“Ball pythons are easily acquired, and while they are considered starter snake companions, they can be very picky eaters. Proper husbandry is key with any reptile, which most people are unaware of. We will utilize Kaa to teach about proper care for ball pythons and to cultivate empathy as many people have a strong adverse reaction to snakes or are afraid of them due to their past experiences or the often negative portrayal in the media. Kaa will travel to schools and community events and participate in camps, scout programs and story times appropriately titled ‘Scaly Tales.’ Ultimately, we hope that Kaa will change the hearts and minds of our community regarding snakes and highlight how the SPCA works in partnership with the community to help the animals within it.”
At this time, SPCA officers are still seeking answers about how these snakes ended up at the Delta Sonic. Anyone with information is asked to call the SPCA Serving Erie County Animal Cruelty Investigations Department at (716) 875-7360, ext. 214. The SPCA will respond to anonymous tips.
FIND TRUE LOVE AND YOUR
ADOPTION FEE MAY BE *WAIVED!*
WE’RE BRINGING IT BACK!
Get ready for a furry love connection like no other! The SPCA is bringing the excitement of speed dating back to our shelter on Friday and Saturday, August 18 and 19, from noon to 8 p.m., removing the need for guest passes and hoping you fall in love at first sight!
During these special days, we’re waiving adoption fees for all animals one year and older, making it easier than ever to find your perfect match! We guarantee sparks will fly!
And that’s not all! Adopters will not only leave with their new furry friend but also some fantastic fun favors to kickstart their journey together!
Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to find love and bring home a lifelong companion. Mark your calendars and join us for this unforgettable event at the SPCA. #GetYourFlirtOn