SPCA Serving Erie County presented a check for $124,670 (WBEN Photo/Tim Wenger)

SPCA Radiothon Raises $124,670

Your donations benefitting SPCA Serving Erie County

December 13, 2018 - 6:14 pm

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - Western New York banded together on Thursday and raised $124, 670 for the SPCA Serving Erie County.

WATCH: Grand unveiling of the check for the SPCA Serving Erie County

The funding will go to support all of the SPCA Serving Erie County's programs and services. Since 2004, the SPCA Radiothon raised more than $2.5 million.

"Everything that we do is only done because of the donations," Jennifer Gurz, SPCA Chief Development Officer, told WBEN. "Any time we're going out on an animal rescue, any time we're getting an animal ready for adoption, we're presenting our humane education programs, or we're sending our therapy dogs out to various locations in the community, all of that is being done through things like the radiothon."

Adoption fees were 50 percent off during the SPCA Radiothon, but it's important to note that regular adoption fees only cover about one-quarter of what goes into the care of animals before adoption.

"Between the spay and neuter surgeries, vaccinations, general medical care, and extensive medical care, that adds up," Gurz added while noting the SPCA is fortunate that food and litter is provided through a sponsor. "Animal rescue and all that investigation work that we do, being in court with cases that could go on for months and months, that really adds up."

The animal rescue operation by the SPCA is conducted by a group of about eight peace officers, who, along with their roles at the main office on Harlem Road, are often at various rescue operations and animal cruelty cases.

"We get calls from overwhelmed caregivers all the time," Amy Jaworski, who is both the Director of Admissions and Outreach Coordinator plus a Peace Officer, said. "They've taken in a couple of animals on a cold, winter day. They're not spayed or neutered and then all of the sudden in the new year, their house is overrun by 30 or 40 cats and they just can't handle it."

Jaworski said there's no consequence for people who reach out to the SPCA if they find themselves overwhelmed by the number of animals. However, cruelty cases are different. Jaworski said these cases come from situations where the SPCA is not wanted.

"We need to make sure that we follow the confines of the law," Jaworski explained. "We can't break the law in order to enforce it. The cruelty laws, in some cases, are very specific."

Fortunately, Jaworski said that the vast majority of the roughly 3,500 calls they receive annually are for rescue cases and few are cases of animal cruelty.

Gurz said education about what the SPCA does and engaging the new donors will be key for them to build on the success of the 2018 radiothon.

"If it wasn't for you, we couldn't have done that," Gurz said. "We're constantly trying to find new partners, whether individuals or corporations in the area, just people who love animals that want to be a part of what we're doing."

If you couldn't donate to Thursday's radiothon, you can visit www.YourSPCA.org to donate. You can also visit the SPCA offices on 300 Harlem Road in West Seneca to make an in-person donation.

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