Radiothon Day for the SPCA Serving Erie County

Spotlight on Therapy Pets and Wildlife Program

Susan Rose
December 13, 2018 - 12:00 pm

SPCA Therapy dogs/Susan Rose


West Seneca, N.Y. (WBEN) - The SPCA Serving Erie County is holding its 15th annual Radiothon and Open House at its Harlem Road shelter.  12-thousand animals come through the SPCA each year through adoptions, admissions, rescues, transports, cruelty investigations and seizures.   Make a donation to the SPCA Serving Erie County HERE

Anyone visiting the shelter during the Radiothon is bound to see therapy dogs from the Paws For Love Program.  The SPCA is a pioneer with the program. It was developed almost 30 years ago.  Therapy pets visit nursing homes, hospitals, funeral homes, the Buffalo Airport and the Family Justice Center, working with victims of domestic violence.  "Thousands of people are affected by our Paws For Love therapy dogs, cats and cockatoo," said Gina Browning.  " The all white cockatoo, "Mr. Bird" and his owner Danelle, visited the SPCA Thursday morning along with a number of dogs in the program.

About 900 animals are in the Paws for Love program and there is a waiting list to join. 

Altogether, the SPCA enlists about 1900 dedicated volunteers each year.  Kim Wieder and her husband were answering the phones at the Radiothon Thursday.  They began volunteering at the SPCA 2 years ago.  "My husband and I were thinking about getting a dog when we retired, but we wanted to travel, so we decided to volunteer with the SPCA to get our fix every week." 

One of the busiest departments at the SPCA has to be Wildlife.  "We get 8-thousand calls a year," boasted Barb Haney, Director of Wildlife.  "We get all sorts of questions from "I think there's an eagle in my backyard", to "What do I do if there's a raccoon under my deck?"  "We take all of those calls.  It's our mission to help humans and wildlife cohabitate," she said.  

The Wildlife Department has a staff of 3.  But she has 100 volunteers.  'The Wildlife department is here out of the kindness of peoples' hearts. It is strictly donation-based.  There are no fees.  If you call us, if you bring an animal in, if you need help figuring out what to do with a wild animal in your backyard, there are no fees. We rely on the angels here to pay attention to wildlife and support us." 

Haney said she's thankful and grateful for the SPCA and she comes back everyday because she sees miracles happen. 

The Radiothon also presented a rare opportunity for us to visit the Infirmary.   WATCH below to see a surgery at the SPCA Serving Erie County



Comments ()