Click on the image below to see Lauren Hall’s story on the SPCA’s Paws for Love program and the Family Justice Center, airing this morning on WGRZ-TV:

From BuffaloNews.com: click on the image below to read Sandra Tan’s touching story about K-9 Apollo’s retirement and the K-9 Retirement Fund set up by the Erie County Sheriff’s Office and the SPCA Serving Erie County:

PUPS AT THE PEN Trainee Sora Receives the Best Graduation Gift of All: A New Family!

January 21, 2020
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

Erie County Jail Management Superintendent Tom Diina adopts inmate-trained pup

More than 50 dogs have graduated from the locally-dubbed “Pups at the Pen” program sponsored by the SPCA Serving Erie County and the Erie County Sheriff’s Office. But it took one dog’s eyes, resemblance to a pet recently lost, and charisma that jumped right out of the photo to catch the eye…and heart…of Tom Diina, Erie County jail management superintendent.

Pups at the Pen began in the summer of 2016 and allows dogs from the SPCA Serving Erie County to reside with female inmates at the Erie County Correctional Facility. The women are trained by a professional dog trainer to work with the dogs, providing a level of behavior lessons and attention that wouldn’t be possible in a shelter setting. The Erie County Sheriff’s Office credits the program as leading to better behavior by inmates at the facility and a reduced re-offense rate, while it helps shelter dogs learn important behavior lessons that contribute to faster adoptions.

In December, Sora, a one-year-old brown-eyed girl, was sent to the correctional facility as the SPCA’s latest Pups at the Pen candidate, and it didn’t take long for staff there to send Diina photos of their newest temporary resident. Noting a resemblance to a pet to whom the Diina family recently had to say sad goodbyes, Diina decided to meet Sora. The connection was immediate and led to the best grad gifts Sora could have hoped for six weeks later on graduation day: a new family and a new home!

Jan. 20, 2020 — Sora is the newest family member of the Diina family! Here, she and dad Tom prepare for the ride home from the Erie County Correctional Facility in Alden!

With the help of the SPCA’s Matt Cicatello and trainer Melissa Staniszewski of Sit n Stay Pet Services in Orchard Park, Monday’s graduation ceremony and adoption turned into a heartwarming story shared locally and by media outlets throughout the nation on Monday!

After two days in her new home, Diina tells us Sora has already made their home her own and is keeping her new four-footed sister, Marci, very busy!

Check out some of the stories as told by Newsradio 930 WBEN, WIVB-TV, WKBW-TV, Spectrum News, and just a few of the other news outlets elsewhere in the country that carried the story:
– ABC7 in NYC
KMOV4 in St. Louis
– CBS 46 in Atlanta

For more information on Pups at the Pen or SPCA adoptions, please contact the SPCA Serving Erie County at 716-875-7360.

SPCA CONTINUES ‘TALE FOR TWO’ READING PROGRAM IN 2020

March 12, 2020: Program cancelled in March & April, 2020 in response to COVID-19 health concerns

January 7, 2020

By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

Register your child for Tale for Two here >>

The SPCA Serving Erie County will continue its popular Tale for Two reading program throughout the 2020 school year!

Tale For Two encourages children ages 6 – 15 to read aloud to adoptable animals at the SPCA. Animals benefit from the increased socialization and reduced stress levels, while children work on their literacy and reading skills, building their self-esteem and confidence.

This year’s reading sessions, available in groups of 6 sessions (program cost: $40 for 6 sessions; discounts on additional sessions) or 12 sessions (program cost: $70 for 12 sessions; discounts on additional sessions) are available on Tuesdays, 4:30 p.m.-7 p.m. at the SPCA’s 300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca shelter. Sibling discounts are available. Reading sessions are 30 minutes in length.

Children can bring their own reading materials, or make a selection from the SPCA’s library.

Register your child for Tale for Two here >>

Please contact SPCA Humane Education Director Christine Davis with questions: HumaneEducation@yourspca.org.

See additional Tale for Two photos here >>

NO BONES ABOUT IT…KEEP PETS SAFE THIS THANKSGIVING

November 21, 2019
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

People aren’t the only ones looking forward to upcoming holiday dinners…the smell of Thanksgiving dinner is 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 and other foods and candies. It’s safe for most humans, but deadly to pets, even in small quantities! It’s also a bad idea to give any animal caffeine-laced peanut butter; 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.

Buffalo Bills Visit SPCA Veterans in NFL’s ‘Salute to Service’

November 13, 2019
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

On Tuesday, November 12, 2019, members of the Buffalo Bills visited veterans connected in some way with the SPCA Serving Erie County as part of the NFL’s ‘Salute to Service’ program!

From the Buffalo Bills: “In recognition of the NFL’s Salute to Service campaign, the Buffalo Bills joined local military veterans at the SPCA Serving Erie County on Tuesday to engage with adoptable animals, and promote the good work the SPCA does for our community. The SPCA’s Paws & Patriots program was developed for veterans in our community in need of giving and receiving special love and attention, and for animals at the SPCA who need exactly the same.”

Honored for past or current service were Joseph Browning, Brian Buck (with SPCA Paws for Love dog Sam), Bruce Clugston, Peter Cooley, Keith Foss, Gary Gonzalez, Dennis Hennessey, Timothy Joyner (with SPCA Paws for Love dog Bruno), Anthony Lattuca, Ray Mandel, John Miller, Allan Monaco (with SPCA Paws for Love dog Jake),  Richard Sansone (posthumous recognition), Steven Tuttle, and SPCA staff member Laura Zaranek.

Also on hand to add to the evening’s excitement were SPCA Paws for Love volunteers Brittany Betts (with Brody), Marcy Baumgarden (with Yankee and Dodger), and Deborah Williams (with Sam)!

The SPCA Serving Erie County extends a heartfelt thanks to the NFL and the Buffalo Bills for helping us honor veterans while shining a spotlight on the Paws and Patriots program here at the SPCA for the second year in a row.

If you are a veteran or active service man or woman and would like to learn more about the SPCA’s Paws and Patriots program, encouraging those who have served to work with SPCA shelter pets, please send an email to PawsandPatriots@yourspca.org.

Check out the Buffalo Bills’ photo album here, or by clicking the image below:

See WKBW-TV Ch. 7’s story here, or by clicking the image below:

See WIVB-TV Ch. 4’s story here, or by clicking the image below:

For more information, please contact Terry Belke: Terry.Belke@wgrz.com

SPCA LIGHTS OF LOVE 2019

November 1, 2019
By: Gina Lattuca, SPCA Chief Communications Officer

The SPCA Serving Erie County is bringing back its Lights of Love program for the 2019 holiday season!

November 4 through December 12, those wishing to purchase a labeled Christmas tree light in honor of or in memory of people or pets who have touched their lives can do so through the SPCA. The lights will adorn trees in the organization’s 300 Harlem Rd., West Seneca shelter Adoptions lobby, and will remain lit through the end of the year.

“In Memory Of” white lights and “In Honor Of” colored lights are available for a $20 donation. A string of 12 lights is available for $180. All donations will help give shelter animals a second chance at happy, healthy lives filled with light and love.

Lights of Love is sponsored by Adams Nursery and Garden Center.

Purchase one or more lights here, or call Amber at the SPCA: 716-875-7360, ext. 230.

From the Amherst Bee: click the image below to see how Amherst Middle School is dedicating the year to helping the SPCA Serving Erie County’s “Paws for Love” program!