From the office of Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn:


DEPEW MAN TO SERVE JAIL TIME FOR BEATING HIS CAT TO DEATH WITH A BASEBALL BAT

May 12, 2022 — Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 52-year-old Boyd C. Baker of Depew was sentenced this morning before Erie County Court Judge Sheila A. DiTullio to 6 months in jail followed by 5 years of probation.

On February 14, 2021, at approximately 10:48 p.m., Depew Police officers responded to a residence on Penora Street after receiving a 911 call from a neighbor. The defendant is accused of hitting his cat, “Roxy,” multiple times with a baseball bat in the driveway outside of his home. The severely injured cat suffered for a few hours before it was found by police. The cat died a short time later. A necropsy determined that the cause of death was blunt force trauma. (Read the original story here >>)

Baker pleaded guilty to one count of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals (Class “E” felony) on February 28, 2022. The defendant pleaded guilty to the only charge in the indictment against him two days before testimony was scheduled to begin in his non-jury trial.

As part of his sentence, Judge DiTullio ordered that the defendant undergo anger management counseling and issued a lifetime ban that prohibits him from owning any animals in the future.

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

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Megan E. Mahoney and Christine M. Garvey of the Felony Trials Bureau.


For more information, contact the Erie County District Attorney’s Office at (716) 858-2529.

–Gina Lattuca, SPCA Serving Erie County Chief Communications Officer

 

 

We’re hearing from more creative kids in Buffalo!

From SPCA Humane Educator Katherine: “We had two groups of students from the Charter School of Applied Technology (CSAT) visit us in March for their visual arts class. They took photos of the animals and made them into posters promoting adoption!”

Thank you to Digital Arts Teacher Lauren at CSAT for sharing this impressive work, and thanks to the students for helping us picture our beautiful animals in such a unique, contemporary way!

–Gina Lattuca, SPCA Chief Communications Officer

The SPCA’s New SHADOW CAT Initiative

February 10, 2022
By: Vice President of Veterinary Services Melanie Rushforth

UPDATE 4/21/22: The adoption fee for all Shadow Cats, regardless of age, has been waived! This includes the adoption of Shadow Cats from either the SPCA shelter or a foster home! Wondering if an adoptable kitty has been designated as a Shadow Cat? Check out adoptable animal photos here >>  and click on individual listings of our cute cats to read their descriptions and find out if they are Shadow Cats!

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The SPCA Serving Erie County is proud to roll out a new initiative that shines the spotlight on a unique population of animals in our care.   Effective immediately, the SPCA’s Shadow Cat effort will work to meet shy or fearful cats where they are behaviorally to assist them in navigating the journey to becoming adoptable pets living out the rest of their lives in long-term homes. 

Fear is common and a perfectly normal, innate, and adaptive behavior in all animals. However, if fear isn’t addressed appropriately, it can develop into serious behavioral and health problems and result in deterioration. Our goal with Shadow Cats is to be proactive in managing a cat’s fearfulness or shyness should a cat surrendered to the SPCA present those behaviors while in the shelter.

Transitions and big changes are hard for many cats, even ones who are not identified as fearful. In preparing to introduce a cat into the home regardless of their confidence level, it is very important to set the cat up for a successful experience by making some small, but important adjustments.  The intent of Shadow Cats is to offer a home environment, in the form of a foster home setting, to allow the cat to gain confidence, relax, and build trust.  These cats may wind up being the best friend that was missing in that particular home, and we always consider that a foster “win” rather than the traditional term “foster fail.” Even if the stay is temporary, the effects of a loving and welcoming home environment will be permanent. 

Introduction to a new home can be very challenging for a fearful cat. Fearful cats usually do best in relatively quiet homes or quiet areas of the home. Many fearful cats slowly become more confident as they get used to their living space and daily routine. The Foster Department of the SPCA Serving Erie County will assist new and experienced foster parents with whatever they may need to help  Shadow Cats acclimate to their homes.  Time, patience, love, and food are some of the ingredients that will help a Shadow Cat step into the light a little bit at a time. 

It is a special experience to build a relationship and bond with a fearful cat, and it is deeply rewarding. The journey may be long, but patience is a true gift to a nervous cat in need.  Just like people, cats can have vastly different personalities.  Some of these Shadow Cats may blossom into lap cats, while others may remain the quiet roommate that is grateful for love, attention (from a distance) and a safe place to call home.  Whatever the end result, we are grateful to have the opportunity to showcase these special cats in an effort to save more lives. 

Do you have room in your life for a Shadow Cat? Find out how you can get involved right here >>

 

LILIES, CHOCOLATE HARMFUL TO PETS; OTHER EASTER PET SAFETY REMINDERS

April 5, 2022
By: Gina Lattuca, SPCA Chief Communications Officer

The SPCA Serving Erie County reminds pet owners that chocolate and Easter lilies can be harmful, even deadly, to pets.

All parts of the Easter lily, day lily, tiger lily, rubrum lily, and others are toxic to felines. Ingesting even a small amount of the plant can result in kidney failure and, if untreated, death. Shortly after ingestion, a cat may vomit, become lethargic, or develop a lack of appetite. As the kidney damage progresses, these signs worsen. In most cases, a cat must be treated within mere hours of ingesting the plant, or damage to the kidneys will be irreversible.

Most chocolate contains high amounts of fat and methylxanthine alkaloids (theobromine and caffeine) that cause constriction of arteries, increased heart rate, and central nervous system/cardiac muscle stimulation.

These effects can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, excessive panting and thirst, hyperactivity, increased urinating, stiffness, and exaggerated reflexes. Cardiac failure, seizures, coma, and death can result if the chocolate ingestion is not found within four to six hours and treated appropriately.

Other reminders:

*Thinking about bringing a bunny into the home? Check out this important article from the SPCA’s former Rabbit Coordinator Mark Schnerle and the House Rabbit Society. You’ll see the truth about the nine most common bunny myths, you’ll learn how to select the right rabbit for you and your family, and more!

*If you color your Easter eggs, ensure the food colorings or dyes do not contain ingredients that are toxic to pets. And speaking of eggs, why risk salmonella by including raw eggs in your pets’ diet? Cooked eggs will offer them the same nutritional benefit.

*Check candy for the ingredient XYLITOL, extremely toxic to dogs even in very small amounts. Xylitol is a low-calorie sugar alcohol used as a sweetener, and does not raise human blood sugar levels or damage teeth. However, it’s extremely toxic to dogs and can cause liver failure, seizures, and death.

*Keep Easter basket ‘grass’ and foil candy wrappers away from pets. These items are non-digestible and can get caught in the intestines, leading to blockage and possible perforation. They can lead to choking, strangulation, and even worse, an internal obstruction.

*If you’re using garlic, onions, or chives in meal preparation, be extra careful about ensuring your pets aren’t sneaking a taste. These items are toxic to both cats and dogs and can cause gastroenteritis and hemolytic anemia. Adding to the risk is the fact that signs of both may not appear for several days. Signs of toxicity include increased heart/breathing rates, pale gums, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, and lethargy.

*Tempted to share holiday table scraps with Fido or Fluffy? Use discretion. Be aware of bones in the mix. And don’t overfeed your animal with table food to which he’s not accustomed…diarrhea is never a pleasant thing with which to deal, especially on a holiday.

*Be careful in selecting spring plants for the home. The foliage, flower, or pod of daffodils can cause upset tummies, vomiting, or diarrhea; flower heads of hydrangeas can cause stomach pains, vomiting, and weakness; the seeds and pods of wisteria can cause all of the above plus dehydration and collapse; even ivy is toxic and can cause breathing difficulty, coma, or death.

*Be sure curious pets are not able to get at a garbage bag! Even if harmful items are properly disposed of, an unsupervised pet can chew through a plastic garbage bag and still have access to raw bones and other waste.

Contact your veterinarian for more information.  In an after-hours or holiday veterinary emergency, you can reach an emergency veterinary clinic at 716-839-4043 in Cheektowaga, or 716-662-6660 in Orchard Park.

Fun photos from this fabulous event >>

We have one word to describe March 25, 2022’s adoption event at Northtown Subaru in Amherst: SUBARUNBELIEVABLE!

The team at Northtown Automotive Companies & Northtown Subaru went full speed ahead, and brought along the Buffalo Sabres, to hold an exciting adoption event for our SPCA!

Plenty of our animals found new love, and $28,680 was donated through Subaru’s recent “Share the Love” campaign! Sabres fans were able to have their photos taken with former players Rob Ray and Pat Kaleta along with sassy Sabretooth, and adopters received a pair of tickets to an upcoming game!

On behalf of the SPCA’s staff, volunteers, and animals, thousands of tail wags go out to our friends at Northtown!

See the photo album filled with pics of the fun at bit.ly/NorthtownAdoptionEvent, or just click one of the images below!

–Gina Lattuca, SPCA Serving Erie County Chief Communications Officer

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 20 songs referenced! Answers in red below the flier!)


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, grab your good luck charm, and don’t worry too much about being lonesome tonight…or at least not on April 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 Saturday, April 23, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. at the Elks Lodge, 33 Legion Parkway, way down in Lancaster!

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…she’s the one taking care of business, and she’ll tell you where to mail your check; then the tickets will be returned to sender.

Let’s bossa nova together, and sing along too!  There’ll be a whole lotta’ shaking going on…you won’t want to miss it! See you next month!

–Gina Lattuca, SPCA Chief Communications Officer

 

ANSWERS IN RED!

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, grab your good luck charm, and don’t worry too much about being lonesome tonight…or at least not on April 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 Saturday, April 23, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. at the Elks Lodge, 33 Legion Parkway, way down in Lancaster!

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…she’s the one taking care of business, and she’ll tell you where to mail your check; then the tickets will be returned to sender.

Let’s bossa nova together, and sing along too!  There’ll be a whole lotta’ shaking going on…you won’t want to miss it! See you next  month!

Email MelanieR@yourspca.org for information or to register for the virtual session, or click on the image below for details on the SPCA’s Foster Care Department:

SHADOW CATS

Help a cat see the light! Become a member of the SPCA’s Foster Care team and bring home a “Shadow Cat!” And now, you can ADOPT a Shadow Cat for a waived adoption fee! Shadow Cats:
-Are quiet, polite roommates
-Are low-key
-Are not attention-seekers
-Keep to themselves
-Are perfect for those with busy lifestyles
-Only require food, a litter box, and plenty of hiding spots! 
NEW! Are available for adoption from either a foster home or the SPCA’s West Seneca shelter for a waived adoption fee! Read about this exciting update here! >>

Shadow Cat foster parents will foster cats in the home a minimum of two weeks; length of stay depends on each cat’s individual needs. As with all foster companions, the SPCA provides food, supplies, veterinary care, and guidance.

You can read more about the SPCA’s Shadow Cat Program here. If you’d like to help a Shadow Cat see the light, please contact the SPCA’s Foster Care Department at (716) 875-7360, ext. 216, or FosterCare@yourspca.org

Learn About the SPCA’s Foster Care Program >>

 

SPCA ISSUES WINTER PET SAFETY TIPS

January 17, 2022
By: Gina Lattuca, SPCA Chief Communications Officer

As Buffalonians, we knew that snow, wind, and frigid temps would arrive. This year is different from other years, however, in that it’s a little more complicated to receive emergency veterinary care, as veterinary clinics (including the low-cost Lipsey Veterinary Clinic at the SPCA) strive to comply with COVID-related guidelines.  Plan ahead for the upcoming freezing days and nights now to ensure your pets stay safe and healthy today and throughout the winter months. 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, contact your veterinarian or the SPCA at 716-875-7360.

 

 

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