SPCA Serving Erie County
205 Ensminger Rd, Tonawanda, NY 14150
EmergencyPhone: (716) 875-7363
Fax: (716) 875-7048
Parking: Lot, On Site, Free
The behavioral department's "meet and greet" method was unacceptable-
1- waiting time (for the employees to be available) 30 minutes (excuse given - "meeting")
2- "meet and greet" time - 2 slots for 2 potential adopter's dogs - 5 minutes
3- dogs handled by leashes (restrains) - one growl and one snap (one time!)
4- the weather being too cold (the session was done outdoors) played an important part to cut short the "meet and greet"
(rather than working with the potential adopter to get the shelter dog adopted - such as "foster to adopt")
Result - shelter dog not recommended to go to potential adopter's household (reason given - "stressful" for the dogs).
(note #3 then #4)
Advice - be firm with the behavioral department employees - one might say she's a "behaviorist" but her assumptions of dogs and potential adopters are not educated.
Some employees might be honest enough to save lives but a handful of the employees are there just for the 9 to 5 40-hour week jobs.
I have adopted 9 cats and 6 dogs throughout many years. I did fostering for them as many cats and kittens come in sick and need a place to get better- this facility needs more space- every animal I adopted have been positive experiences. I would reccomend this shelter - the adoption staff, the foster staff and medical staff are caring and knowledgable . The place is clean and they provide enrichment now for bunnies, cats and dogs due to wonderful groups of volunteers!
I recently had my first experience adopting a dog from the Erie County SPCA. I don't know where to begin with praise! The intake process was efficient and thorough. From my initial interview to when I walked out the door with my new friend, I felt well-guided through the process. I also got the sense that the staff knew the pet I was adopting well enough to advise if he'd be a good fit for me. This is a really well-run facility, with top-notch staff and volunteers. Well done!
While much good is done at the EC SPCA, it's not near what it could be. For all of the voluneers that are there, very few actually work with the dogs. It seems there are problems with qualified volunteer recruitment and retainment. The behavior team refuses to use any 'averse' training techniques (coin cans, spray bottles etc) and will only use Sensation Harnesses. This makes it difficult to train dogs that have behaviorial issues so as a result too many do not make it out on the adoption floor or are subsequently taken off the floor. Despite assistance being offered by other trainers and national experts on balanced training, the EC SPCA refuses to budge from a Pure Positive approach. It is a tightly controlled atmosphere with job protection at the top of the list. I wish I could give it 5 stars. But it's not different than a large corporation that protects it's own (and by that I mean the people) and eliminates people with different viewpoints. I wish I could say they had a top notch behavior team but one of the trainers is known to recommend euthanasia to problematic dogs that were brought to her when she had her own training business. There are a lot of things that COULD change at the EC SPCA to make it better but there is such a hierarchy to work through, it's near impossible. It is it's own kingdom.
This process here to do anything whether it be to meet a pet, to set up a meet and greet, or to adopt a pet is beyond annoying.
My recent experience was extremely disappointing. I had signed up and brought my dog to do a meet and greet with a possible new dog to add to my young family. After putting my name on the list, I waited for my name to be called. I was called after a short wait and came face to face with a woman who I thought would assist me.After the lady told me I needed to get the paperwork from the dog's kennel that I wanted to do a meet and greet with, I quickly ran to get it and came back to find that the woman was helping someone else. I patiently waited for her to be done assisting whoever she was helping, naively thinking that she would help me after. After the lady was done, I walked up to her, and she walked away. I then went to the very first spca volunteer I spoke with asking her if there was someone else that could help me. She said I had to put my name back on the list and very rudely added, "We kept calling your name. I kept calling and calling you." That of course was not true, as I did respond as soon as she called my name the first and only time she called me, and it was impossible, from seeing how they crossed names off the list as they are called, that she would called my name again if I hadn't put it on the list. At this point I was very frustrated, did not want to say anything rude back to the lady, and just put my name back on the list and waited again.
My husband was outside with our dog, waiting patiently. After speaking with him briefly we decided to just leave, as our dog has been waiting with us for 2 hours with no food and water and seemed very tired.
So then I went back in, asked for my deposit back as we didn't have time to wait anymore. I was told to wait by the same spca volunteer that someone would help me, and when someone approached to process the return of my deposit, the lady again very rudely said, "This lady would like her deposit back, you know, the same lady I've been trying to find, " and rolled her eyes at me. Very very rude. As I don't like to be rude myself, I just ignored her and waited for another volunteer to give me back my deposit.
I do not doubt that the spca, as an organization, is a great thing for animals that are not lucky enough to be blessed with good owners. Sadly, even with that in mind, I will not be returning to this location. There was no reason for me to get back on a list when my name was already called. My dog was waiting for 2 hours, which is unreasonable. Volunteers were extremely rude, which is also unreasonable, and it makes me think they must have forgotten the reason why they volunteered in the first place. My advice is if you do go to this location, come with a lot of patience, because you will be waiting for some time. Make sure you bring your ID that has your most current address on it. Also, feel free to check some other spca locations, or even the buffalo animal shelter.
This orgainzation needs to be investigated for unsanitary conditions.
There is an epedimic of feline URI at this shelter. I just had a very horrible experience with a cat that I adopted from this SPCA. He had Chronic Diarrhea, I had him at my home 3 separate times, and I was told the Diarrhea was cured. The 3rd time he was here he brought a URI with him. One of my cats (10 yrs) was so ill he was hospitlized on IV fluids, anti viral med, and antibiotics for 3 days & nights. My other cat is a 13 yr old diabetic, and did not get as ill, because I got him on meds at the first sneeze. They are still not well, and remain on med for another week or 2 to prevent relapse.
The cat I adopted has been back at the SPCA since 11/3/2012, he had URI and Chronic Diarrhea. I feel very badly about the poor little sick guy I had to take back to that dirty place, but I did not have a choice. I sincerely hope he got well, and found a home.
* Also, interesting point: They evaluated this cat as 5 yrs old - When the cat was back at SPCA 2nd time, they told me he was more like 10 yrs old. (ARE THEY NOT PAYING ATTENTION?) There is much more to my story, and the turn of events.
I met 2 other people that adopted cats from SPCA, and recently, and these cats had URI also.
* I have to also report that the pet carrier they put this cat in for me to bring home was disgustingly filthy. I did not bring it into my house until I disinfected it and I had to scrub it with a brush. It had appeared to have vomit OR feces caked on the front door grid. It was just plain gross.
This SPCA professes to be so wonderful - Well you can't prove it by me!!!
I could have lost my 2 cats that I have had for many years.
It has been a very expensive, physically, mentally, and of course financially.
I am a senior citizen on a fixed income, and had to pay over $1,000 for something that should nver have happened.
THE SPCA SHOULD REIMBURSE ME FOR MY VET BILLS...
Back in july I had to move back home with my father where he was not allowed pets so i brought my pit there thinking they would take care of him he was a very sweet dog i called 1 day later to see how he was doing and they told me they put him down bc he grawled when they tried to get him out of cage i think that my baby was just nervious they told me they wouldnt mess with him "test wise" until 3 days !!! then they would put him down !!! i miss him very much and they were ignorant on the phone so please make this your last stop to turn in ANY PETS !