ECMC Staff Receiving SPCA Serving Erie County Paws for Love Therapy House Calls

April 14, 2020
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

The SPCA Serving Erie County Paws for Love therapy animals are hitting the virtual road again as they make more HOUSE CALLS, this time bringing their comfort and care to Erie County Medical Center (ECMC).

When ECMC staff members were asked what could be done to help make them feel just a little better, the response included an overwhelming desire for therapy pets.

Enter the SPCA’s Paws for Love therapy animals. The SPCA Serving Erie County Paws for Love two and four-footed volunteers will be making virtual house calls to the staff at ECMC through recorded therapy visits. “SPCA Serving Erie County Paws for Love: HOUSE CALLS, Project ECMC” starts this week;  ECMC staff members will be informed about where they can view the “visits” on ECMC’s Intranet site.

ECMC Corporate Associate Medical Director and Emergency Department Attending Physician Dr. Sam D. Cloud said, “Our dedicated clinical and support staff are working many long, difficult hours each day to address the many needs of our diverse patient population during this pandemic. On behalf of us all at ECMC, I am pleased to offer our sincere thanks to the SPCA for providing virtual access to their therapy animals through their ‘Paws for Love’ video visits.”

Read more about the SPCA Paws for Love: HOUSE CALLS program and find a playlist of house calls here >>

The SPCA Serving Erie County shares its gratitude and thanks to the professionals at ECMC for doing everything in their power to help us recover and rebound during the current health crisis. Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers are with you all.

MYRTLE THE TURTLE (and her rubber ducky):
HEADING HOME TO BUFFALO!

April 11 — And now, for your viewing pleasure…straight from the SPCA in West Seneca, NY…ladies and gentlemen, after a stay of approximately 111 days…join us in saying goodbye to MYRTLE THE TURTLE!

Today, Anthony and Jill from Buffalo brought Myrtle home to her new 100-gallon aquarium!

They also adopted Myrtle’s rubber ducky and smiley-face balloon, so we know Myrtle will easily make the transition! Thank you, Jill and Anthony, for loving our gorgeous girl as much as we do! GOODBYE, MYRTLE! We’ll all miss you SO MUCH! Be a good girl! Have a happy,loooooooooooooong life!

–Gina Lattuca, SPCA Chief Communications Officer

 

See the story on WIVB.com here >>

April 9, 2020This story was released last year to help pet owners make it a safe Easter for pets. This year’s holiday is very different from last year’s, but some of these reminders are still applicable for community members planning on bringing at least a few Easter traditions into the home on Sunday. 

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

March 25, 2019
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.

Spending time social distancing in the backyard or on a nature walk? Check out the warnings concerning ticks and Lyme Disease from the Erie County Department of Health by clicking on the image below.

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 Chief Development Officer Jennifer Kathleen Gurz Has Been Awarded the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) Designation

From CFRE INTERNATIONAL:

Alexandria, VA – CFRE International has named Jennifer Kathleen Gurz as a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE).

Jennifer Kathleen Gurz, Chief Development Officer for SPCA Serving Erie County joins over 6,700 professionals around the world who hold the CFRE designation.

Individuals granted the CFRE credential have met a series of standards set by CFRE International which include tenure in the profession, education, and demonstrated fundraising achievement. They have also passed a rigorous written examination testing the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of
a fundraising executive, and have agreed to uphold Accountability Standards and the Donor Bill of Rights.

“The CFRE credential was created to identify for the public and employers those individuals who possess the knowledge, skills, and commitment to perform fundraising duties in an effective and ethical manner,” states CFRE International President and CEO Eva E. Aldrich, Ph.D., CAE, (CFRE
2001-2016). “As the certification is a voluntary achievement, the CFRE certification demonstrates a high level of commitment on the part of Jennifer Kathleen Gurz to the fundraising profession and the donors who are served.”

CFRE recipients are awarded certification for a three-year period. To maintain certification status, certificants must demonstrate on-going fundraising employment and fundraising results and continue with their professional education. Employers and donors who work with CFREs know they are getting a professional who is committed to the best outcomes for their organization and has the requisite knowledge and skills.

The CFRE certification signifies a confident, ethical fundraising professional.

Since 1981, CFRE has set standards for fundraising professionals. As the only globally-recognized fundraising certification, CFRE indicates professionalism, confidence, and ethics. It is how today’s fundraiser shows accountability, service, and commitment to making a difference for good. The CFRE  certification program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute and is the only accredited certification for fundraising professionals.

As the premier global credential for career fundraisers, the CFRE designation is endorsed and supported by the world’s leading professional and philanthropic associations, including:

Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP)
Association of Fundraising Consultants (AFC)
Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP)
Association of Lutheran Development Executives (ALDE)
Association of Philanthropic Counsel (APC)
Boy Scouts of America (BSA)
Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BCGA)
Brazilian Fundraisers Association (ABCR)
China Association of Fundraising Professionals (CAFP)
Canadian Association of Gift Planners—Association Canadienne des Professionnels en Dons
Planifies (CAGP-ACPDP)
Educate Plus
European Fundraising Association (EFA)
Fundraising Institute Australia (FIA)
Fundraising Institute New Zealand (FINZ)
The Giving Institute
Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI)
Hong Kong Management Association (HKMA)
International Catholic Stewardship Council (ICSC)
Japan Fundraising Association (JFRA)
Kenya Association of Fundraising Professionals (KAFP)
Korea Society of Philanthropy (KSoP)
National Association of Cancer Center Development Officers (NACCDO)
National Association of Charitable Gift Planners (CGP)
National Catholic Development Conference (NCDC)
Nepal Center for Philanthropy and Development (NCPD)
New England Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (NEAHP)
North American YMCA Development Organization (NAYDO)
Texas Association of Community College Foundations (TACCF)
United Way Worldwide (UWW)
Virginia Association of Fundraising Executives

CFRE International congratulates Jennifer Kathleen Gurz for achieving the CFRE designation.

For more information please visit http://www.cfre.org or call +1 703.820.5555.

Further details on the 2019 CFRE class are available here.