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volunteers for animals

February 2, 2023 - 5:41pm


Volunteers For Animals members are asking folks to take a “paws” next Sunday and attend the Batavia Super Sunday Craft and Gift Market coming soon to Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel.

The event, featuring “wonderful craft and gift vendors,” plus door prizes and free admission, is set for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 12 at the facility at 8315 Park Road, Batavia.

All proceeds are to go towards Genesee County Animal Shelter on West Main Street Road, Batavia, and the nonprofit VFA of Genesee County. The first vendor fair was postponed due to -- you guessed it -- COVID -- in 2021, and was put on last year. 

For more information about the animal shelter, go HERE.

Click HERE for more about Volunteers For Animals.

File Photo of a preview for the 2022 vendor fair, by Howard Owens.

October 30, 2022 - 5:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in volunteers for animals, Pudgie's Lawn & Garden.



Basket raffles and door prizes brought out hundreds of animal lovers to Pudgies in Batavia on Saturday to raise money to help Volunteers for Animals service all the needs of pets residing, however temporarily, at the Genesee County Shelter.





October 26, 2022 - 8:10am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, volunteers for animals, notify, batavia.


This month may be October, but there are many people looking forward to OctoFUR this weekend.

It’s a Volunteers For Animals fundraiser (ahem, Furaiser), complete with oodles of baskets with a wide variety of items just waiting to be won. This event is set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Pudgie’s Lawn and Garden, 3646 West Main St., Batavia.

Volunteer Shelley Falitico is part of the event committee, which also includes Angie Knisley, Marcy Colantonio and Becca Walters, who have been “committed, dedicated volunteers for several years,” she says.

Falitico has been impressed with all that the nonprofit does to help animals at Genesee County Animal Shelter, from providing much-needed medical care, vaccinations, fostering, walking, assisting with adoptions, to, of course, showering them with lots of TLC. All or at least some of these services have eased the temporary transition to shelter life for dogs, cats, and even a bird, Falitico said.

digger194.jpeg“I am a new volunteer and I have met so many long-time, dedicated volunteers since my introduction to the Volunteers for Animals mission,” she said. “They hold a couple of fundraisers each year.”

This event promises to be a good one, and includes an “extra special raffle” this year featuring a grand prize of two Buffalo Bills game tickets. The game pits local favorite Buffalo Bills against the New York Jets on Dec. 11. Get ready to watch from Section 118, Row 6 if you’re the lucky winner. Tickets are $10 each.

There’s free entry and several baskets in the “giant” basket raffle event, and all proceeds support animal care. Winners need not be present to win. Pudgie’s is also offering 10 percent off all pet-safe plants.

For those wanting to help out with the cause another way, donations of new items or themed baskets may be dropped off at the shelter during regular hours: 1 to 3 and 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, and 1 to 3 p.m. Friday at 3841 West Main Street Road, Batavia.

JJ, top, and Digger are just two of the shelter residents waiting to go to a loving forever home. Photos courtesy of VFA's website.

September 15, 2022 - 5:59pm


Cassandra Elmore’s case was set for 1:30 p.m. today, and one thing was fairly certain: she would show since she was recently arrested on a warrant and put in jail. She had failed to show up two times previously.

After several other cases were brought before Judge Thomas Burns Thursday in City Court, Elmore was brought in, handcuffed and wearing a neon yellow jumpsuit with Livingston County Jail stamped on the back.

While waiting for her case to be called, Elmore turned to talk with her mother, Lisa, about posting bail, and made a one-fingered gesture to someone else in the gallery area. She was being represented by Assistant Public Defender Jamie Welch.

Judge Burns said that some correspondence was received from Volunteers For Animals, and it, in essence, asked for a “possible resolution to this case,” given that Oddey, Elmore’s dog that overdosed, has been sitting at the county shelter for more than two months.

Burns proposed adjourning the case for a week and set her next appearance for 1:30 p.m. Sept. 22.

Welch and Assistant District Attorney Jenna Bauer agreed. Burns instructed Elmore that, if she was to make bail, she needed to show up for her court date. 

Elmore has missed two prior court dates after initially asking for more time to hire an attorney. Her original charge was three counts of injuring an animal after her dog was found to have overdosed on some type of narcotics.

She failed to appear in court on Aug. 11 (when a friend reported a call from Elmore in the hospital) and Sept. 8 and was arrested in between, on Aug. 30 after a traffic stop. She was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, obstruction of governmental administration, aggravated unlicensed operation third, uninspected motor vehicle, and insufficient tail lamps.

After not showing in court on Sept. 8, a warrant was issued for her arrest, and Batavia Police Department caught up with her on Sept. 10 after a property dispute at 316 East Main St. called them to the scene. She was arrested on the spot.

In the meantime, while her case has been pending and continues to be postponed due to her being a no-show, Oddey awaits his fate at the shelter. He can’t be put up for adoption while it’s an open case.

Volunteers For Animals member Wendy Castleman said Thursday that the dog is doing well. She couldn't answer any questions pertaining to the correspondence because it's an open case, she said.

February 24, 2022 - 4:18pm
posted by Press Release in Batavia Downs, volunteers for animals, news.

Press release:

Western Region Off-Track Betting (WROTB) / Batavia Downs Gaming President and CEO Henry Wojtaszek presented representatives from the Genesee County Volunteers for Animals and the Genesee County Animal Shelter with checks totaling $2,471 to help support their efforts to take care of animals in the Genesee County area.

The Puppy Paws Indoor Craft and Vendor Market, held at Batavia Downs on February 6th, was organized by Mary Bucceri, Group Sales Manager at Batavia Downs.  100% of collected vendor fees and accepted donations by attendees were given to these 2 local organizations. 

Volunteers for Animals will use the money raised for pet supplies and medical expenses for the animals.  The Genesee County Animal Shelter will use the money to repair and replace various equipment at the Animal Shelter and in the Animal Control van. in addition to purchasing safety equipment for the officers when interacting with feral cats.

“We host several vendor events throughout the year, and we are happy to use these events to help raise money for local worthy organizations,” said Wojtaszek. “We will continue to do what we can to be a good partner to local charities and organizations.”

“The Volunteers for Animals would like to give a special thanks to Batavia Downs and their continued support, “ said VFA Board President Deb Stocking.  “We work hard every year to raise enough money to continue to help the animals. The Downs has been a huge part of this goal. Thank you all for your hard work and - the dogs and cats say 'thank you' as well!”

February 7, 2022 - 1:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in volunteers for animals, Batavia Downs, batavia, news.


Among the vendors at yesterday's Volunteers for Animals Vendor Fair, hosted by Batavia Downs, were Brock Bucceri and Hunter Wagner making their vendor show debut as entrepreneurs. 

During the pandemic, Bucceri and Wagner (along with friend Gavin Beck, not pictured) decided to start making their own fishing lures.

"We spent a lot of money on fishing lures at Dick's and Cabela's where a frog can cost up to $12," said 13-year-old Bucceri. "So we said, 'let's make some money off of it and we can get some free lures."

The trio makes the senkos they sell themselves. They design the frogs and have them custom manufactured, which they sell for $8.99.

Yeah, that's cheaper than the big retailers but Bucceri said they're still making money -- mostly with sales through Etsy -- because their frogs sell.

The first-ever vendor fair was a big success, according to Angie Knisley, who organized the event for Volunteers for Animals.  It raised more than $2,000 and the more than 300 people who attended brought in a large amount of food and other pet-care donations.





February 2, 2022 - 8:00am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, volunteers for animals, Batavia Downs, batavia.


It’s a familiar story with a surprise twist for one Batavia-based nonprofit.

Volunteers For Animals had been planning its first-ever vendor fair for early April in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic struck and rendered all public activities dead. That’s the familiar part for so many organizations that had to press pause for their fundraising events. What happened this year is a surprise.

“We found out the Downs and (Batavia Downs employee) Mary Bucceri was going to host it for us,” volunteer Angie Knisley said during an interview with The Batavian. “I think they felt bad about what happened in 2020.”

And the Puppy Paws Craft & Vendor Market was born. It’s set for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Batavia Downs & Gaming, 8315 Park Road, Batavia. Monetary donations and pet supplies and food will be accepted at the door. Admission to the event is free.

Proceeds from the event are earmarked for where most VFA fundraising goes, Knisley said: direct animal care. Rescued dogs and cats may need a veterinarian to treat wounds, fractures, or other injuries; required vaccines; dental care or other medical services, Knisley said. VFA, a nonprofit based at Genesee County Animal Shelter, pays those expenses. 

Zoey and Wasabi are two of the many animals saved with such medical services paid for by VFA. A tan brindled Boxer with white paws and chest, Zoey was rescued with a group of dogs in a hoarding situation. She was thin and found to be positive for heartworm. A vet’s exam and X-ray discovered she had a severe case of heart worm disease, and volunteers mulled the idea of a lengthy, risky, and quite expensive process to restore Zoey to better health.

The answer was yes. Zoey was housed with Diane, an animal lover who volunteered to foster, house, and care for Zoey during her treatment. The two have bonded over the past few months as Zoey has gained weight and come to enjoy her life. Perhaps no surprise is that Diane plans to adopt her new friend. 

Wasabi, a glowing green-eyed feline, was found as a stray with severe hair loss and loaded with fleas. She’s been treated, vaccinated, and, with a new outlook and “great” personality, Wasabi has been adopted and welcomed into a loving home, volunteers said.

Knisley has not only heard about and witnessed these stories, but she has also adopted rescue cats from Genesee County and other similar animal shelters over the years. Once she got to know the inner workings of VFA, it drew her to become more involved, she said.  

“So when I had the opportunity to get a closer look at all the time, care, and funding that VFA members devoted to animal welfare, I felt I would like to help however I could; maybe sort of paying it backward,” she said. “I think because I do care about animal welfare and their needs, and I have the time to help out. I felt it was something good to do, to be able to do something positive for them means a lot." 

The Corfu resident has been a hands-on member of VFA off and on for eight years, she said. Her role includes helping out with fundraisers, and she looks forward to this first vendor fair. There are more than 35 businesses registered so far, including Gourmet Dips, Epicure, Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, Paparazzi, Artful Shenanigans, Scentsy, Touchstone Crystal, Lula Roe, Pudgies Lawn & Garden, Dead Stick Fishing Company, and Tastefully Simple. Shoppers — may be in search of a Valentine’s gift? — will find a wide variety of products, from makeup, purses, popcorn, and Valentine’s gift boxes to sun catchers, photo packages, and Tupperware.

Anyone that makes a donation to VFA at the door will be entered into a drawing for a Stay & Play gift certificate valued at $225 at Batavia Downs Gaming and Hotel. All attendees age 18 and older will receive Free Play for the gaming floor. Lunch will be available for purchase.

“The Downs is really highlighting Valentine’s Day with decorations. It’s a nice day out and a fun way if someone wants to do a little Valentine’s shopping,” she said. “And it gives them a chance to learn more about the shelter and the Volunteers For Animals programs.”

The VFA will have a table with information at the event. There may be a few spots left to participate, and interested vendors may call Mary Bucceri at 585-344-6144 or email [email protected] for more information. 

Top photo: Angie Knisley, a member of Volunteers For Animals, shows off Abby, a friendly five-year-old cat who has been overlooked for adoption at Genesee County Animal Shelter on Route 5, Batavia. She really needs a home, Knisley says, and would make for a great companion. For more information about Abby and other prospective pets, go to vol4animals.org.  Photo by Howard Owens.

October 4, 2021 - 10:13am
posted by Lisa Ace in volunteers for animals, OctoFUR.
Event Date and Time: 
October 23, 2021 - 10:00am to 3:00pm
Volunteers for Animals: OctoFUR 2021 Basket Raffle and Mask Contest.
Held at: Pudgie's Lawn and Garden 3646 W Main St. Batavia NY 14020
Saturday, October 23rd from 10 AM to 3 PM
All proceeds go to animal care!

September 26, 2021 - 1:21pm
posted by Press Release in volunteers for animals, animal shelter, pets, news.


Press release:

People stop and look at me and always say, “Poor Thing”.  Then they choose another when they could have had a king.

That’s Louie’s story.  When you visit the shelter, you will find Louie hiding in the corner.   It’s difficult to see how handsome this 7-year-old Siamese mix with stunning blue eyes is as he lays curled up in a ball.  

Louie has called the shelter his home for the past few months and finds shelter life absolutely terrifying.  During the calm, quiet hours Louie enjoys and loves the attention he receives from the volunteers.

He was surrendered because he was bullying the other cats in the home and may need to be an only cat. 

He likes to keep up appearances and daily brushing is always on his agenda.   Louie is longing for a home of his own.  Longing for a stress-free, shelter-free life.  A family that will provide the patience and love he needs and so well deserves. 

Are you this special boy’s special someone?
"If you really like me, please take me home with you. I promise I’ll be good and love you long and true."

He is neutered, tested negative for FIV/FeLV, and is up to date with vaccines. Louie would do best if he is confined to a small room for a couple of weeks to acclimate to his new surroundings and give his new adopters a chance to bond with him. If you can give this kitty a nice indoor home, please stop into the Genesee County Animal Shelter, 3841 W. Main Street Rd, Batavia, NY during adoption hours to complete an adoption application or email us at [email protected].

June 26, 2021 - 1:20pm

From the Volunteers For Animals:

It has been a crazy year indeed.

One year ago everything was being cancelled and closed. We were only able to hold three fundraisers -- Scrap for the Pack, Hogs for Paws at Stan’s Harley Davidson, and a basket raffle at Pudgie’s Lawn and Garden Center.

We are grateful for the outpouring of support from the community both monetarily and through the donation of much-needed supplies.

When we compared 2020 to 2019, our overall intake and adoption numbers for cats was very close.

For dogs it was a slightly different story. We saw a drop in stray dogs in 2020 and VFA had a drop in rescue dogs brought in from out-of-state due to travel restrictions and COVID-19. So even though the coronavirus pandemic closed many places and changed our daily lives, in 2020 the Shelter saw more than 700 animals come through the doors needing our care.

We were able to continue our Community Spay/Neuter Voucher Program by providing over 700 vouchers for cats and dogs in the community to be vaccinated and spayed/neutered. The Petco Foundation grant we received in April of 2020 provided vouchers for over 200 pets.

We especially want to thank our participating vets at Perry Pet -- Batavia, the State Street Animal Hospital, and True Care for continuing to provide much needed services during a very challenging time.

In January, the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department seized 13 dogs and two cats in a cruelty case. These animals are being held at the Genesee County Animal Shelter and are being cared for by the county and Volunteers For Animals. Many of the animals were in need of medical care. To date, VFA has spent more than $5,000 for veterinary services for these animals. 

In March, Genesee County began renovations on the Animal Shelter facility including improvement of dog kennels, drains, ventilations systems, and nonslip floor surfaces. The county received a grant of $200,000 from the Department of Ag and Markets for the work. It is the first major renovation done since the Shelter was built in 2001.

Construction is always challenging, especially when animals are involved, but the end product has been well worth it. 

So right now we are at a more hopeful point than a year ago. You have always been there for the animals and we will continue to care for the animals that come through the door. We greatly appreciate all of the support this past year and look forward to seeing everyone in the upcoming year.

Thank you for your support.

To make a donation online, go to our website, click on the picture where it says "Help the animals" then click on the Donate Now button.

Or mail a contribution to: Volunteers For Animals, PO Box 1621, Batavia, NY, 14021

Make checks payable to Volunteers For Animals.

Donations are tax deductible under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code.

Of every dollar donated to Volunteers For Animals, 96 percent goes directly to help animals in Genesee County. We have no salaried employees and rely entirely on the generous support of volunteers and donations.


  • Veterninary Care -- 75 percent
  • Medications/Vaccines/Food Supplies -- 20 percent
  • Fundraising/Promotional/Operational -- 4 percent
  • Rescue Dog Fees -- 1 percent
June 19, 2021 - 3:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in volunteers for animals, animal shelter, batavia, news.


The Volunteers for Animals collected a dumpster full of scrap metal today, an annual fundraiser for the organization.  

You have plenty time yet to donate your old metal items. You can either drop it off this evening, placing it as close to the dumpster as possible, or tomorrow between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

May 19, 2021 - 12:59pm

From the Volunteers For Animals:

Here's the scoop from "CATFAx" a service of the Volunteers for Animals at the Genesee County Animal Shelter.

There are currently five pre-owned "special needs" cats available for adoption.

The standard fee of $60 has been slashed in half, 0-percent financing because only cash or personal checks are accepted!

All have had a multipoint vet inspection, been neutered or spayed, vaccinated and tested for FIV/FeLV.

Features and Specs:

  • Trixie and Lucky -- over age 10
  • Terry, Bubba and Jenna -- FIV positive
  • All models offer standard all-paw drive.
  • 100,000 purr warranty
  • All over "curtain-climbing phase."

Come see!

The GC Animal Shelter is located at 3841 W. Main Street Road in the Town of Batavia.

ALL BUSINESS (including animal adoptions and turn-ins) WILL BE CONDUCTED BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. 

(585) 343-6410
(585) 345-3075 (fax)

Hours of Operation:  
 Monday   1 - 3 p.m. 
 Tuesday   1 - 3 p.m.

  1 - 3 p.m.
  7 - 9 p.m.

 Thursday         CLOSED
 Friday   1 - 3 p.m.
 Saturday 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
 Sunday   1 - 3 p.m.
April 17, 2021 - 10:56am

Scrap weighing you down? Well, put it to good use and donate it to benefit homeless pets at the Genesee County Animal Shelter.

It'll soon be time once again to Scrap for the Pack!

The metal recycling event will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.mSaturday and Sunday June 19 and 20 in the shelter parking lot, 3841 W. Main Street Road in the Town of Batavia.

The scrap service will be handled by Ed Arnold EAS Scrap Processors of Corfu.

Accepted items include any kind of METAL: railings, doors, garbage cans, file cabinets, bicycle frames, gutters, pipes, poles, fencing, window frames, lawn furniture, tools, shelving, washing machines, dryers, stoves, wheel barrows, wagons, etc.

The Volunteers For Animals, who work tirelessly on behalf of the shelter animals, will thank you for it.

March 31, 2021 - 1:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in barn home, animal rescue, pets, volunteers for animals, news.

The Volunteers For Animals are seeking a nice barn home for Orangina.

It does not tax the mind to think it is most likely she got her colorful moniker because of her gingery coat.

It is highly unlikely it was bestowed in a nod to the lightly bubbly beverage of the same name created in exotic Algeria in 1936; all the better to rock the Casbah quarter with in a primarily Muslim nation, where a stronger quaff is "haraam" -- forbidden. The concoction is made from carbonated water, 12-percent citrus juice, as well as 2-percent orange pulp, sweetened with sugar, or that ever-ubiqitous high-fructose corn syrup, and added natural flavors.

Alas, amidst the persistant coronavirus pandemic, this young female cat has not adjusted to indoor living, like some people we know -- and their pets, too.

Speaking of people, she's not keen on them either. Frankly, there are humans who aren't people persons. The Batavian knows this to be an indisputable fact.

But as a mouser, the volunteers think Orangina would be great.

She is spayed, tested negative for FIV/FeLV and is up to date with vaccines. There is no adoption fee for her. 

"We ask that she have good shelter, food, water and some human companionship," they write in an email. "It is also necessary to confine her for a couple of weeks to acclimate her to the new surroundings." (C'mon, let's just call it what we know it to be: quarantine.)

If you can give this kitty a nice home, please stop in the Shelter, located at 3841 W. Main Street Road in the Town of Batavia, during adoption hours or email the volunteers at:  [email protected].

Phone: (585) 343-6410

Shelter Hours of Operation

  • Monday & Tuesday:  1 - 3 p.m
  • Wednesday:  1 - 3 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.
  • Thursday:  CLOSED
  • Friday:  1 - 3 p.m.
  • Saturday:  11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • Sunday:  1 - 3 p.m.

Photo and information courtesy of the Volunteers For Animals.

March 15, 2021 - 4:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, volunteers for animals, pembroke, notify.


UPDATE 10:26 a.m. March 31: The defendant's Pembroke Town Court date was later changed to Wednesday, April 14 at 1 p.m.

Olivia looks a lot better than she did on Jan. 22 when she arrived at the Genesee County Animal Shelter.

She was among 13 dogs and two cats Deputy Kevin McCarthy reportedly found in allegedly cruel circumstances. The dogs, according to his report, were covered in feces, urine, and surrounded by garbage. 

A volunteer pointed to one of the dogs at the shelter and noted she had been washed multiple times but still had a yellow urine stain on her coat.

The dogs look healthy now, but that's not the condition they were in when they arrived at the shelter, according to volunteers. They were underweight and filthy. 

The dogs have required significant medical attention, the volunteer said, driving up veterinary bills for Volunteers for Animals.

According to McCarthy, he found the dogs locked in cages at 1071 Akron Road, Pembroke.

He also reported finding 10 deceased rabbits inside the house that as well as a dead dog.

McCarthy arrested Lori Ann Adolf, 47, of Pembroke, and charged her with 26 counts of torturing or injuring animals and failure to provide proper sustenance along with one count of endangering a child.

Adolf was issued an appearance ticket and ordered to be in Town of Pembroke Court at 1 p.m., Wednesday, March 31. The court date was later changed to April 14.

The Sheriff's Office declined our FOIL request for intake photos of the dogs when they arrived at the shelter. Since Adolf was arrested on an appearance ticket, she was not booked into jail and there is no mug shot available.

The volunteer at the shelter thinks the dogs will make good family pets. They are friendly and eager to make friends. However, they can't be adopted until Adolf surrenders custody or by court order. So far, Adolf, the volunteer said, Adolf, has refused to surrender the cats and dogs, so they remain in custody at the animal shelter while her criminal case is pending.

Housing and caring for the felines and canines have been a financial burden for the volunteers and donations are requested. The following items can be donated at the shelter, and monetary donations are also welcome:

Dog food:

  • Purina One chicken and rice 
  • Wet food: chicken-based (due to dietary restrictions for dalmatians) 
  • Chicken-based dog treats

Cat food: 

  • Purina One Indoor Advantage, dry
  • Purina One Healthy Kitten (blue bag)

Donations of gift cards from Genesee Feeds and Petco are also welcome.


February 10, 2021 - 2:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in volunteers for animals, news, pet rescue, animal adoption.

This is "Stitch." He's a 3-year-old blue-tick heeler mix. He needs a new home.

Mixing native dingoes with collies and other herding dogs, Australian George Elliott developed the blue heeler in 1840. The term blue-tick heeler is colloquial; they are also called Australian heelers, Queensland heelers and Australian cattle dogs.

In general herding dogs are resilient and highly intelligent. The American Kennel Club characterizes their temperment as "alert, curious, pleasant."

Stitch is a neutered male that is heartworm negative and up to date with vaccines. He comes from a home with five other dogs and young children. He is currently in a foster home.

The Volunteers for Animal at the Genesee County Animal Shelter do not know how he is with cats. They do know he is a very sweet and friendly dog. He bonds very quickly and closely with people. He loves attention. He is housebroken, crate trained and generally very good house manners.

He responds to commands and seems very teachable. He does get nervous about strangers coming into the house but after meeting them is OK.

He can become anxious with lots of commotion, but will go into his crate willingly and relax. It is recommended that he not go to a home with children under 10 or so. Stitch is not at the Shelter -- please do not call the Shelter for information.

If you would like to meet this sweet pup, email the volunteers:  [email protected]

Submitted photo and information.

January 27, 2021 - 12:31pm

From the Vounteers For Animals at the Genesee County Animal Shelter:

We are in need of a quiet foster home for an injured dog.

The dog is a neutered male hound mix, weighs about 40 pounds, and has been around other dogs. We do not know how he is with cats.

VFA will provide all food and any other supplies.

If you can give this guy a nice home to heal, please email us at [email protected]

December 8, 2020 - 2:38pm

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


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

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




  • NEWSPAPERS for the cat cages

  • CAT LITTER BOXES (no small boxes, please)


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








  • 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.

October 18, 2020 - 3:29pm

Starting this weekend, the shelter cats are back at Petco!

Everyone is welcome to stop by the store in Towne Center at Batavia on Veterans Memorial Drive and take a gander at these furry guests.

One of them is "Chloe" (inset photo left). She is a gray domestic longhair, known to be "quite the character." The intense stare is the first clue, of course. Rescued from the not-so-great outdoors -- for homeless cats anyway -- she was petrified by people (and particularly, it seems, any person wielding a camera).

But Chloe morphs into a social butterfly once she gets acquainted, and likes to get petted and even fetch toys occasionally. Not a big fan of competition, however; it is preferable that no other cats, or young children, or horrors! -- dogs -- get in the way of her bliss -- you.

The Volunteers for Animals at the Genesee County Animal Shelter had to stop taking cats as such as Chloe to Petco for adoption in March​ due to COVID-19.

That put the brakes on an avenue of adoption that began when the store opened in September 2008 -- the ability to adopt cats and kittens directly from the store.

The six cages provided by Petco exponentially increased the chances of finding homes for homeless felines. Petco staff also assists with their daily care and the adoptions.

So it's easy to see why the Volunteers for Animals say they are excited to be able bring them back to Petco.

"We have several beautiful kittens at the store now with more to come," they wrote in an emailed bulletin. "Help get our shelter kitties home!"

You can visit prospective adoptees during regular store hours. Hey, Petco doesn't close until 7 tonight -- that means there's still time to meet-and-greet today!

You can check the Volunteers for Animals website and see the "candidates." If a cat is at Petco, the description will say so. Otherwise, they're at the shelter.

Since June 2, all animal adoptions at the shelter itself continue to be done by appointment. Please email the volunteers at [email protected] for an application and to set up an appointment.

Anyone coming into the shelter must wear a face covering and will be asked about current health and recent possible exposures to COVID-19. If you are sick, please do not come to the shelter. They also ask that you limit the number of people per family coming to the shelter to adopt animals.

For adoption, there is a $60 NONREFUNDABLE FEE for all animals, which needs to be cash or a check -- NO CREDIT CARDS. If the animal is not spayed or neutered there is a $35 REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT upon proof of surgery.

An adoption application must be filled out by the person wishing to adopt the animal. Once the application has been reviewed and approved, the potential adopter may visit and meet any of the animals. All cats must leave the shelter or pet store in a cat carrier. Please bring a cat carrier.

All animals older than 3 months of age are given rabies vaccine. Unless there is proof of a prior rabies vaccine, the vaccine is good for one year. All animals are given at least one dose of deworming medication. All cats receive a feline distemper combo vaccine (good for one year) and are tested for FeLV/FIV.

FYI: You may want to take the time to read up on Adopting a Cat.

Remember: Volunteers For Animals is always in need of monetary donations for the animals at the Genesee County Animal Shelter.

Their largest expense is veterinary care for sick and injured animals. A great deal of their money is spent spaying and neutering as many animals as possible BEFORE they leave the Shelter. Spaying and neutering animals is the ONLY way to reduce the number of homeless animals.

In addition to vet care, they also purchase FIV/FeLV tests for cats and heartworm tests for dogs. Please consider making a donation today. All donations to Volunteers For Animals, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, are tax-deductible.

You can make a donation through the Paypal button on the Volunteers for Animals home page, or by mailing a check to: 

Volunteers For Animals
PO Box 1621
Batavia, NY 14021

Petco Hours

(Phone: 343-1426)

  • Sunday -- 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Monday through Satruday -- 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

GC Animal Shelter, 3841 W. Main Street Road, Town of Batavia

(Phone: 343-6410)

Adoption Hours

  • Sunday/Monday/Tuesday/Friday -- 1 to 3 p.m.
  • Wednesday -- 1 to 3 p.m. & 7 to 9 p.m.
  • Saturday -- 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Closed Thursday

Photo of "Chloe" courtesy of Volunteers for Animals.

August 26, 2020 - 1:30pm

Volunteers for Animals will hold a jumbo, super-duper basket raffle at Pudgie's Lawn and Garden Center in Batavia from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 3.

All proceeds will benefit the homeless pets at the Genesee County Animal Shelter.

The VFA baskets will be in a separate room. There will also be a 50/50 raffle. You need not be present to win.

More than 100 baskets, covering a wide range of themes, will be up for grabs!

Themes include: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, the New Year, pampering spa, kitchen/cooking stuff and, of course, baskets for your BFFs -- your pets!

VFA will have merchandise for sale such as T-shirts and sweatshirts.

Pudgie's will have a 10-percent off sale on all pet-safe houseplants.

The volunteers ask that you please practice social distancing and wear a face mask while attending this event.

Pudgie's is located at 3646 W. Main Street Road in the Town of Batavia.

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