Local Matters

Community Sponsors

December 8, 2020 - 2:38pm

This holiday season, don't forget our four-legged furry friends at the shelter

The Volunteers for Animals at the Genesee County Animal Shelter have racked up good deeds left and right this year, unsurprisingly and most assuredly.

If you'd like to donate to a good cause this season, consider them if you'd like to make a tax-deductible contribution. Or you can donate stuff they need to care for homeless pets.

According to the volunteers' latest newsletter:

  • So far in 2020, 369 cats and 124 dogs have been adopted from the shelter and VFA.
  • In April, VFA received a $15,000 grant from Petco Foundation to provide low-cost spay/neuter vouchers for more than 230 local pets.
  • More than $70,000 has been spent this year so far on vet care, surgery, medications and vaccines for the animals that come through the shelter.
  • During the 2020 kitten season, they averaged 60 to 80 kittens in foster care. They receive around-the-clock care and attention in private homes.

The breakdown of how donations were used in 2019 was:

  • 74 percent -- Vet care
  • 14 percent -- Medications/vaccines/food
  • 7 percent -- Fundraising/promotion/operational
  • 5 percent -- Rescue dog fees

Success Stories

"Spay It Forward" -- This program is funded by VFA with the assistance of community donations and grants in two ways. Firstly, it provides vouchers to the public to spay and neuter their pets. Since 2015, more than 3,500 cats and dogs have been assisted by the program. Secondly, the funds are used to ensure that every animal at the shelter is spayed/neutered prior to adoption.

A Dog Named Wolf -- One family was very lucky to adopt this guy (the dog in the inset right photo). You know that a dog's nose is so much more sensitive that a human's. You have perhaps seen news stories about dogs who are able to tell when a diabetic is in trouble due to high or low blood sugar, or when a seizure is about to happen. Some dogs can even sniff out cancer. One of the dogs at the Genesee County animal shelter did just that for a person this spring. The canine was a young mixed breed who was adopted by a family still grieving the loss of their old dog.

That family had stopped at the shelter on a whim with no intention of adopting. But their daughter met a pup named Wolf who stole her heart straightaway and she convinced her parents to adopt him. In the following days Wolf would not stop sniffing the mom, who had recently watched a TV show about the amazing noses that dogs have. She got checked out by her doctor and found she did indeed have cancer and she was able to get treatment right away. The mom credits Wolf with saving her life and that has made him an even more treasured member of the household.

"Flower" and Her Very Happy Ending -- Flower came in to the Genesee County Animal Shelter as a stray last December. The volunteers noticed she was having trouble urinating so she was taken to the vet. An X-ray revealed her bladder was "loaded with stones."

Thanks to Winnie's Fund, they were able to get surgery for her and the stones were removed. Her recovery was great but they knew she would need a special home to ensure she had the proper care to stay healthy. In February that special person came along, and Patsy met Flower (inset photo left) and they adored each other.

"Flower is absolutely delightful, fun and smart," says Patsy. "My wonderful little companion during the pandemic. She's a little sweetheart who loves to cuddle. She rolls over onto her back so I can scratch her under her neck. ... She lives to play "red dot!" (with the laser toy)."

Flower has a great appetite and no urinary troubles -- in fact she has a clean bill of health from the vet.

This tale of true companionship would not have been possible with the "incredible support we receive from everyone in the community," say the volunteers.

If you'd like to donate money for the animals at the shelter, located at 3841 W. Main Street Road, Batavia, you can do so via PayPal or by sending a check to:

Volunteers for Animals, P.O. Box 1621, Batavia NY 14021

Shelter phone is (585) 343-6410.

Here's the shelter schedule during adoption hours:

  • Sunday, Monday and Friday: 1 to 3 p.m.
  • Tuesday and Wednesday: 1 to 3 & 7 to 9 p.m.
  • Thursday: Closed

Shelter Wish List -- Items Perpetually Needed

  • KITTEN FOOD -- Preferred food -- Purina ONE Healthy Kitten

  • CANNED DOG FOOD

  • DRY CAT FOOD -- Preferred food -- Purina ONE -- Indoor Advantage

  • DRY DOG FOOD -- Preferred food -- Purina ONE -- Chicken and Rice

  • LAUNDRY SOAP AND BLEACH

  • PAPER TOWELS

  • NON-CLUMPING CAT LITTER

  • NEWSPAPERS for the cat cages

  • CAT LITTER BOXES (no small boxes, please)

  • DOG COLLARS AND LEASHES

  • KONGS AND PEANUT BUTTER (no rawhide treats please) and LARGE NYLABONES

  • PLAIN YOGURT

  • CAT TOYS OF ANY KIND

  • RETURNABLE POP/BEER CANS AND BOTTLES

  • FOREVER POSTAGE STAMPS

  • REAMS OF COPY PAPER (LETTER SIZE)

  • GENTLY USED DOG HOUSES

  • GIFT CARDS TO WALMART, TRACTOR SUPPLY OR PETCO

  • DOG TREATS -- If you purchase rawhide, please make sure they are bones and not the small chews. The small chews can be ingested whole and may cause obstructions.

  • Amazon Wish List for Volunteers For Animals

PLEASE NO FOOD OR TREATS FROM CHINA! In recent years there have been animal related deaths due to the consumption of food and treats from China. We just don't want to take the chance.

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