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pets

January 12, 2020 - 3:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in dogs, Mutt Strut, Genesee County Park, animals, pets, news.

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Joshua Finn says he always wanted a blond female running partner and he wound up with Charlotte, a young golden retriever full of energy.

They run together a lot, as much as six miles on a weekend run.

"If she sees me grab my headphones and leash, she goes nuts," Finn said.

On one of his runs, Finn, who also runs in 5Ks, said he thought, "wouldn't it be cool to run in a 5K with dogs."

He shared his idea with Adrienne Penders and she, well, ran with it.

Penders, owner of Matted Mutts and involved with rescues and Volunteers for Animals for more than 15 years, has spent dozens of hours and thousands of dollars of her own money to bring together the "Mutt Strut," a 5K walk in the Genesee County Park & Forest at 9 a.m. on Sunday, April 19. (She also was helped by her boyfriend Jonathan Wright, who helped promotional material, including building the promotional website).

To bring the event together, there was insurance to secure, waivers to sign, release forms, and other paperwork and numerous meetings involved in getting approval from county officials.

All in the name of creating a family-friendly, and dog-friendly event where people can enjoy a relaxing walk in one of Genesee County's most scenic areas.

Since it's the first-ever large-scale dog walk/run event in the park, park officials wanted to keep it manageable so it's limited to 100 participants.

"We want it to be a success not only for the dogs but for the park so we can keep doing it year after year after year," Penders said.

To help with the success, dog trainer Tori Ganino, owner of Calling All Dogs, will be on hand to help spot dogs that might be not be suitable for the event. The event is for dogs who are comfortable around other dogs and children.

"Obviously, everybody thinks their dog is wonderful but sometimes you get into a close encounter with 50 dogs and 100 kids running around dogs, some dogs might act a little differently, so she’s there basically to either explain to somebody how to control their dog or advise that the dog shouldn't attend the event because it’s not going to be safe," Penders said.

Dogs and their handlers can sign up at mattedmutts.com/muttstrut/. Registration is $30 per person or $80 for a family of four. All proceeds benefit Volunteers for Animals.

The canines get a doggie gift bag and there will be food for participants afterward.

Photo: Joshua Finn, Charlotte, Adrienne Penders, and Pablo.

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December 5, 2019 - 4:44pm

Above, file photo of Rocky, the beloved pet of Howard and Billie Owens, who adopted him from the GC Animal Shelter in September of 2015.

Information from Volunteers For Animals:

There are three opportunities this month to bring your pet to Petco for a photo with Santa Claus. You'll get a photo with your $9.95 donation to benefit homeless pets at the Genesee County Animal Shelter.

Sponsored by the Petco Foundation, the photo ops will be available from 1 to 4 p.m on Saturdays, Dec. 7 and 14, and on Sunday, Dec. 15.

Petco is located at 4226 Veterans Memorial Drive in Towne Center at Batavia.

The money from this fundraiser will be put to good use.

Here are some examples of the invaluable work performed on behalf of companion animals needing forever homes in Genesee County.

The Path to Home

In July, 2018 Volunteers for Animals and the Orleans Correctional Facility launched the canine training program. Four dogs were sent to the prison to live in a dorm with their inmate trainer/handlers and the program began. Two weeks prior to the dogs’ arrival trainer Tom Ryan held classes for selected inmates to prepare them for their role in the program. The dogs were greeted by staff and inmates with much fanfare and high hopes for success.

Inmates were selected by the prison staff based on criteria they had established in the months before the program started. Volunteers for Animals provided crates, food, treats, leashes, collars, and other training equipment paid for with money from a grant from Maddie's Fund. After grant funds were exhausted VFA continued to financially support the program.

Classes range from four to six dogs per 12-week session. Ryan and two training assistants hold classes twice a week. The dogs learn basic obedience and are crate- and house-trained. Most of the dogs learn a few tricks, too.

The inmate handlers have become very adept at teaching the basics as well as dealing with dogs who bark at night, chew on socks and leashes, jump on visitors or misbehave in other ways. Inmates see participation in the program as a privilege and always look forward to the next class.

The prison staff has been extremely supportive of the program and on the day after the first four dogs arrived one staff member said it was the first time she had seen a bit of joy in the prison. Many of the graduate dogs have been adopted by prison workers.

This partnership with Orleans Correctional Facility has saved the lives of dogs from overcrowded shelters in the South and some local dogs who needed a little more structure to make them adoptable. It has also been an opportunity for the inmates to learn new skills they might be able to use after release.

In talking to the inmates at graduation, most of them say they have learned patience, problem solving and satisfaction in helping others. They are genuinely pleased when a dog is adopted.

Volunteers for Animals is committed to continuing to support the canine training program. Thanks to supporters, they will be able to provide food, training equipment and medical care when health issues arise.

Ember the Cat's Lucky Charm

Ember (inset photo below) was in pretty bad shape when she came to the Genesee County Animal Shelter. The vet suspected she got caught in an automobile engine fan -- her back legs were degloved, which means the skin was torn away; three of her paws were broken and she had some broken teeth. In spite of her injuries, she seemed like a very nice cat.

But it was August and the middle of kitten season, which meant there were more than 80 kittens in the volunteers' care. Ember was in luck -- a staff person from the vet’s office offered to nurse her back to good health.

Ember needed a lot of TLC to recover from her injuries. She needed regular care, especially for her open wounds. And later she would need dental surgery to address the broken teeth.

After six weeks of care from her foster mom, Ember was ready to come back to the Shelter. It was amazing how beautiful she was considering where she started. Lucky for Ember, she did not have to wait long for a home. After a week or so, a family came in looking for a very special kitty to adopted. Needless to say, Ember fit the bill perfectly.

Humane Works By the Numbers

  • In 2018, 419 cats and 198 dogs were adopted from the Genesee County Animal Shelter and the Volunteers For Animals.
  • In 2018, VFA proivded low-cost spay / neuter vouchers for 144 dogs and 654 cats -- including 152 feral cats. That's a total of $65,000 in vet care charges.
  • Since it began in 2015, more than 3,500 cats and dogs have been spayed or neutered through vouchers available in the "Spay It Forward" program and to ensure shelter animals are spayed and neutered prior to adoption.
  • Since the start of Winnie's Fund, the Volunteers For Animals have helped more than 20 animals with serious medical issues get the treatment they need so they could be adopted -- spending more than $12,000 in the process to make that possible.
  • More than $70,000 was spent in 2018 on vet care, surgery, medications and vaccines for more than 800 animals that came through the Genesee County Animal Shelter.

Consider Donating This Season

This 100-percent volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization -- Volunteers For Animals -- uses your tax-deductible monetary donations and donated goods to help save lives and provide comfort to animals who depend on us -- to a degree that is not possible to achieve via the county's operating budget.

To make a monetary donation, click here.

Bring them your empties: Returnable pop/beer/soda/water cans and bottles can be donated at the shelter -- located at 3841 W. Main St. Road, Batavia. Or take them directly to the following three sites* for redemption money that goes directly to VFA:

  • Eastown Beverages in Eastown Plaza on East Main Street in Batavia;
  • Arc Recycling Center (Mon. thru Sat. 8-2, Wed. till 8 p.m.) at 3785 W. Main St., Batavia;
  • Le Roy Redemption Center on Route 19 (8 1/2 Lake St.).

*Note that NONE of the recycling sites accept crushed containers.

To donate goods, here's a wishlist of some useful items needed:

  • Kitten food -- Prefer to have Purina Kitten Chow and Purina ONE Healthy Kitten
  • Canned Dog Food
  • Dry Cat Food -- Prefer to have Purina ONE - Indoor Advantage
  • Dry Dog Food -- Prefer to have Purina ONE - Chicken and Rice
  • Paper Towels
  • Non-clumping Cat Litter
  • Newspapers for the cat cages
  • Cat Litter Boxes (no small boxes, please)
  • Dog Collars and Leashes
  • Kong toys and Peanut Butter
  • Large Nylabones and Dog Treats (no rawhide treats please)
  • Plain Yogurt
  • Cat Toys of ANY KIND
  • Rubbing Alcohol, Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Forever U.S. Postage Stamps
  • Letter-size Copy Paper
  • Gently Used Doghouses
  • Gifts Cards to: Walmart, Tractor Supply Store, Genesee Feeds, or Petco

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. The volunteers just don't want to take the chance.

November 12, 2019 - 8:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pets, animals, batavia, news.

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Who knows what Stone has been up to for the past five weeks or so (we reported him missing Sept. 30) but over the weekend Stone returned home on his own. Owner Kathleen Dixson said he sure was tired when he got home but was happy to be back where he belongs.

October 4, 2019 - 2:41pm

Many people have heard about CARFAX, the one-stop-shop online for used cars. The Genesee County Animal Shelter's Volunteers For Animals offer their own version, called CATFAX, but it's an in-person opportunity for those interested in "certified pre-owned adult cats."

We're not making this up; they are. (Cleverness credit where cleverness credit is due.)

For only 60 bucks, with zero-percent financing -- cash or check only, you can bring home your very own feline companion.

Features and Specs:

  • All cats over 1 year old;
  • All makes and models;
  • Standard 4-paw drive;
  • 100,000 purr warranty;
  • Over curtain climbing phase.

Multi-point Inspection:

  • Spayed or neutered;
  • Vaccinated;
  • FIV/FeLV tested;
  • General grooming;
  • Flea, earmite, worm treatment.

To test drive your potential pet, or at least check under the hood, visit the Genesee County Animal Shelter at 3841 W. Main Street Road in the Town of Batavia during adoption hours.

Adoption Hours:

  • Mon‑Fri: 12 ‑ 6 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. ‑ 4 p.m.

Contact the Volunteers For Animals at www.vol4animals.org

Or call the shelter at (585) 343-6410.

Serious inquiries only. Real pets for real people. Must be able to provide food, water, shelter and affection. Those not up to the task need not inquire. Providing catnip, luxury bedding, bejeweled collars, crystal supping dishes, a chaise longue (lounge), and other whimsies optional.

This message has been brought to you as a public service on behalf of fur friends county-wide.

September 30, 2019 - 11:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in missing pets, pets, animals, batavia, news.

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Stone isn't at home where he belongs and his owner, Kathleen, is worried about his whereabouts.

Stone's home is on Elmwood Avenue, by Kibbe Park. He's been missing since Sunday afternoon.

The feline is all gray, with green eyes, very friendly, and he loves to hide and play. He's 4 years old but is not an outdoor cat.

If anyone has seen him or has any information about him, please contact Kathleen at (585) 409-8099.

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September 28, 2019 - 7:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, news, Oakfield.

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Tracy Zakes found this friendly lost chap up by the U.S. Gypsum Co. plant in Oakfield during the rainstorm today. Tracy took him home and dried him off and is keeping him safe.

If this guy is your pal, call Tracy at (585) 507-6054.

September 21, 2019 - 6:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in lost animals, animals, pets, batavia, news.

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Raelene and RoseMary Christian found this three-legged dog, apparently lost, on Williams Street in Batavia this evening.

Raelene can be reached at (585) 330-8869

UPDATE: Raelene informs us the owners had called police this morning and are picking up the dog.

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September 19, 2019 - 1:35pm

Volunteers for Animals (VFA) is preparing for the 16th annual Fur Ball to be held at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28. The event has been moved to a larger venue this year – Slomba Hall at Ascension Parish (17 Sumner St., Batavia).

The Fur Ball is the largest fundraiser for the VFA with proceeds going toward spays/neuters, medicine and the health care of the animals.

In addition, a portion of this year’s proceeds will be donated to an animal rescue program in the Bahamas. Parts of the Bahamas were devastated by Hurricane Dorian earlier this month with animal care shelters also bearing significant damage and loss.

The Fur Ball will feature food catered by Main Street Pizza Co. There will be 200+ baskets along with a silent auction and a 50/50 raffle. Ticket are $25. each (children 12 and under $15).

The volunteers will give a review of the past year’s work and programs as well as an update on the canine "graduates" from the Path to Home prison-based dog-training program.

Tickets are available for purchase at the Genesee County Animal Shelter. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door.

The VFA is a nonprofit group that works in partnership with the Genesee County Animal Shelter. For more information about Volunteers for Animals and the work they do please go to: www.vol4animals.org/

September 4, 2019 - 11:52am

Press release:

The Genesee County Health Department is offering a free Anti-Rabies Immunization Clinic on Thursday, Sept. 19th, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Pembroke Highway Department, 1145 Main Road (Route 5), Pembroke.

Vaccinations are free for dogs, cats and ferrets. Each animal must be leashed or crated and accompanied by an adult who can control the animal. Voluntary donations are accepted.

You can save time by filling out your registration form before going to the clinic. To do so, click here. If you fill out your registration form in advance, please be sure to print out two copies for each pet to be vaccinated and bring them with you.

August 26, 2019 - 1:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, animal abuse, animal rescue, pets, scanner.

City police are responding to the JCPenney parking lot for a report of a dog locked inside a black Chevy sedan with the windows rolled up.

August 22, 2019 - 6:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, lost cat, animal rescue, pets, news.

This is a senior cat on the lam from her newly adoptive home on East Main Street in Batavia.

The new owners adopted her about a week ago, and she managed to slip out the front door Wednesday morning and has not returned.

They were trying to teach her her new given name -- "Terrapin" -- which may have confused her since she's not a turtle. But the moniker was intended to be a nod to her unique mottled coloring, you know, tortoiseshellish (gray and brown). She may not answer to it yet, though.

She has yellow eyes and a little notch in her left ear.

Her adoptive papa confirmed that she played it real nonchalant, seemingly unfazed by her new digs, and looking for all the world as if she were bored and ready for a long nap in the sun -- the kind real tortoises especially love.

But it is more likely, say cat people, that the 10-year-old was scheming and biding her time for the first opportunity to beat it to nowheresville PDQ.

If you see Miss Speedy Boots, AKA "Terrapin," please call Gregory Lebens-Higgins, who's new in town, at (585) 690-2044 or email him at:   [email protected]

UPDATE 11:07 a.m. Friday, Aug. 23: The cat named after a turtle returned home late last night, her owner says. She was lured back, perhaps, by their cleverness of leaving food out on the porch for her. All is well. 

August 14, 2019 - 2:18pm

It will be raining kittens at Petco from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Sunday, Aug. 18.

Kittens of all colors, shapes, sizes, personalities, males and females will be visiting Petco from their foster homes. Foster parents will be on hand to answer any questions and help you find the purrrfect kitty friend!

Volunteers for Animals will be accepting adoption applications on kittens not yet old enough for adoption.

Kittens ready for forever homes will be $60, which includes vaccines, testing, and neutering or spaying.

Petco is located at 4226 Veterans Memorial Drive in Towne Center at Batavia.

August 12, 2019 - 6:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in missing pet, animals, pets, news.

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Sam managed to get his doggie door unlocked and then wandered off.

At about 4:15 p.m., Saturday, a man was seen trying to get him from the side of the road near a neighbor's house, according to a witness who contacted Debbie Douglas, and so that couple stopped to help him. The man said he was going to check with the farm down the road to see if the dog belonged there and if not, he would take the dog to the shelter.  

Debbie has contacted the animal shelters in Genesee and Wyoming counties and Sam is at neither shelter.

The man who picked up Sam is described as older, with a thin build, gray hair, tattoos on both arms and driving a red Chrysler Pacifica. The witnesses are almost certain that he has a gray beard also. 

"We just really want to find him," Debbie said. "We appreciate that someone cared enough to pick him up and is taking care of him."

If you can assist in getting Sam home, call Debbie Douglas at (585) 356-0820 or Tom Douglas at (585) 356-0824. I am attaching photos.

UPDATE 10:18 p.m.: Sam is home safe. A couple from Medina had him and returned him.

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August 12, 2019 - 11:42am
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, animal abuse, animal rescue, pets, scanner, news.

An unoccupied SUV in the grocery pickup section of the Walmart parking lot reportedly has a dog locked inside. The caller waited by the vehicle 15 minutes to see if the owner would return before calling dispatch. An animal control officer and a deputy are en route.

UPDATE 11:44 p.m.: The deputy is on site and speaking with the dog owner. The deputy advises the animal control officer can disregard the dispatch.

August 3, 2019 - 12:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in animal abuse, animal rescue, pets, news, scanner, batavia.

A dog is locked in a vehicle in the Aldi parking lot on East Main Street in Batavia. It's a white car near the end of the lot, says the dispatcher. The window is down one inch. It's 77 degrees outside now. An animal control officer is responding.

UPDATE 12:14 p.m.: The vehicle has Florida license plates.

August 2, 2019 - 3:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in animal rescue, animal abuse, batavia, pets, news.

Photos and information from reader Roberta White:

This dog was in a truck in the Walmart parking lot in Batavia for 20-25 minutes minimum before dispatch was contacted and law enforcment officers arrived at about 2 p.m.

An animal control officer said the dog was definitely uncomfortable. She said if it was an older dog, it would have been in serious trouble.

She also said it was her third call to Walmart today. She's had made four or five trips in Genesee County today for dogs locked inside hot vehicles.

The truck owner was paged in the store while officers tried to unlock the vehicle. Surface temperature inside was 102 degrees. It's 80 degrees outside.

July 13, 2019 - 11:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, Darien, news.

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Mike and Kayleigh Meyers recently moved to Darien Center so their husky, Kiya ("Ki-ya"), is unfamiliar with the area.

Tonight, about 8 o'clock, Kiya managed to get out of the house.

Kayleigh said she and Mike were inside feeding their baby and the door must have been open a crack.

"Most likely, she went after an animal," Kayleigh said.

Kiya is friendly and food motivated so if you see her, try calling her by her name and bribing her with food, Kayleigh recommends.

The Meyers live in the area of Country Cottage and My Saloon, around Harper Road and Route 20.  

If found, call or text Kayleigh at (585) 813-4385.

UPDATE Sunday: Kiya came home on her own early this morning.

July 11, 2019 - 8:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, crime, news, batavia, notify.

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Pledges from Volunteers for Animals and animal lovers in the community have led to at least a $2,000 reward being offered for the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for tossing an eight-week-old kitten from the window of a red car on Route 98 near West Saile Drive on Saturday night.

The kitten had to be euthanized because of its extensive injuries. 

The Sheriff's Office announced the award this evening.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at (585) 343-5000.

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