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volunteers for animals

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.

October 24, 2019 - 2:01pm

This black kitty with a bell collar that was found Tuesday morning by reader Marcy Ewell at Suicide Corners (Route 20 and East Road) in Bethany was not claimed by its owner.

This afternoon Ewell told The Batavian the cat, which was "very cuddly and very hungry" when found, was turned over to the Genesee County Animal Shelter.

The Volunteers for Animals have posted about the lost pet and hope to find its owner. But if no one comes forward soon, it will be placed for adoption.

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 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/

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.

July 30, 2019 - 2:41pm

The 16th annual Fur Ball to benefit the Spay/Neuter Program at the Genesee County Animal Shelter will be held at the Sacred Heart Social Center in the City of Batavia starting at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28.

There will be food and beverages and basket raffles and silent auctions.

Tickets are $25; tickets for children 12 and under are $15. Tables of 10 are available for $250.

Make checks payable to: Volunteers for Animals -- Spay/Neuter Program. They can be mailed to: Volunteers for Animals, P.O. Box 1621, Batavia NY 14020

The Sacred Heart Social Center is located at 17 Sumner St.

The Volunteers for Animals is now accepting new items for the auctions/raffles for the Fur Ball. They can be left at the shelter during adoption hours.

The shelter is located at 131 W. Main Street Road in the Town of Batavia.

Adoption hours are:

  • Afternoons on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m.
  • Also, Wednesday nights from 7 to 9
  • CLOSED THURSDAYS
  • Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

[email protected]

www.vol4animals.org

[email protected]

July 16, 2019 - 5:37pm

This here's "Punkin" -- a young beagle rescue brought up from the Volunteer State -- Tennessee -- and quickly adopted, no doubt due to her winsome ways, a dash of raz-ma-taz and limpid brown lamps that could charm the staunchest malcontent.

Then the unthinkable happened -- right outta the blue!

Her new family took her home and the next day she was having severe pain and could not walk.

Punkin was taken to a local vet but they thought her problem was more serious so they suggested she go to Orchard Park Veterinary Medical Center.

She had extensive testing and needed urgent surgery. Punkin had surgery to clean up at least three bulging disks, decompress the spinal cord and relieve the mobility issue.

She is currently do well and is able to stand following surgery. 

Those indefatigible souls at the Genesee County Animal Shelter, the posse known as The Volunteers For Animals, seek your help and ask for a donation to defray the medical bills.

Punkin's medical care is more than $6,000 at this time and so far they've only been able to raise small percentage of that, or $410 (and counting).

Click here, to donate now. Easy-peasy. Win-win.

July 2, 2019 - 5:34pm

From the Volunteers For Animals:

Benny is in need of a barn home with no young children.

He is a cat that is accustomed to being outdoors and not picked up/handled.

He is negative for FIV/FeLV, up to date with vaccines and neutered.

There is no charge for an adoption fee and we ask that you confine him for a period of time until he has adjusted to his new surroundings.

If you are able to help out this guy, drop us an email at [email protected]

The Batavian communicated with Benny recently and he let us know he was eager to be on the prowl again, mousing, pouncing, stalking, and lounging outdoors in a warm, sunny spot. He's feeling a bit couped up at the Genesee County Animal Shelter, even though it's nice enough there.

He sure would like a new home where he can be his independent, unfettered self, alive and kickin'. Mice beware!

April 6, 2019 - 2:59pm

Volunteers For Animals will host a "Spring Fever Fundraiser Event" from 1 to 6 p.m., Sunday, April 28, at the Willow Bend Inn, located at 3489 W. Main Street Road in Batavia.

A $10 entry fee to the fundraiser for animals at the Genesee County Animal Shelter includes a hamburger or hot dog.

There will be 50/50 raffles and a Chinese auction.

Classic rock music will be provided by FOMR.

Is there a better way to spend a Sunday? C'mon out and have some fun to support an awesome cause!

March 27, 2019 - 4:15pm

Meet Boots, an adult neutered male domestic shorthair cat that is available for adoption at the Genesee County Animal Shelter.

Boots loves attention, in fact he craves it. But he's not pesky about it -- he's too cool and easygoing for that. You won't find him losing his dignity by dashing spastically around his dwelling, which screams "I'm sooo needy! I'm going mad from this dearth of activity and affection!"

Volunteers For Animals note that he "seems to like everyone." The key word in the descriptor is "seems." Merriam-Webster's Dictionary tells us it means (1) "to appear to the observation or understanding" or (2) "to give the impression of being."

This is a remarkable personality trait that should not be underestimated. The ability to seem to like everyone when in fact you do not or, at best, you harbor an impalpable but distinct qualm about a person and his character, yet mingle amiably with that person/dog/cat and no one is the wiser, speaks volumes about Boots's competence in jibing with others.

That is a great quality to have in a pet; coupled with his striking black and white bib and tucker and a dashing all-white moustache -- it makes for one fine speciman.

The dog here is Tessie, a spayed, adult female boxer mixed breed who straight up likes to be a household's one and only pet. She only has eyes for you and she needs you to only have eyes for her.

She does not share the limelight. She does not take a backseat to any other four-legged friend. And she does not equivocate about it.

She is loyal and true, but the key to her heart is all about fun and playfulness. Fetch? Walks? Yes! Yes! Tugs? Yes! Purposeless goofiness? Doggone right --100-percent. 

The flippy, bouncy ears tell you all of that, especially when matched with the eager eyes that say your mere existance is her pure joy.

Tessie, too, is available for adoption at the shelter.

Visit the shelter:

3841 W. Main Street Road, Batavia
Phone is 343-6410.

Feel free to drop off some needful items such as Little Friskies cat kibble or Purina Dog Chow, or bleach, paper towels, small soft blankets, etc.

Adoption Hours:
Sun, Mon, Tues, Fri  1 - 3 p.m.
Wednesday  1 - 3  & 7 - 9 p.m.
Saturday  11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Speaking of the shelter and the indefatigable volunteers there...

"Volunteers For Animals is always in need of monetary donations for the animals at the Genesee County Animal Shelter. Our largest expense is veterinary care for sick and injured animals.

"A great deal of our 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, we 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 PayPal or mail a check to: 

Volunteers For Animals
P.O. Box 1621
Batavia, NY 14020

February 5, 2019 - 3:57pm

This Saturday, Feb. 9th from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. and also on Sunday, Feb.10th from 1 - 3 p.m., three of the dogs from The Path to Home prison program will be at the Genesee County Animal Shelter.

The Volunteers For Animals are excited about this opportunity for the public to meet these special dogs. We hope to see you at the Shelter!

For previous coverage of The Path to Home behavioral training program for dogs, click here

"Chewbacca" (top right)

  • Anatolian Shepherd Mix

  • 5-6 years old/ Spayed Female

  • Graduation date: 1/23/2019

Chewy is calm and quiet. She is good with most other dogs and is crate trained.

"Max" (middle right)

  • Retriever Mix

  • 2 year old/ Neutered Male

  • Graduation date: 1/23/2019

Max is very bright, learns quickly and is good with most dogs but enjoys rough play. He would do best in a home with no small children. Max is crate trained.

"Moses" (bottom right)

  • Hound/Shepherd Mix

  • Adult/ Neutered Male

  • Graduation date: 1/23/2019

Moses is a calm dog who would probably do best in a single dog home. He is crate trained and housebroken.

January 11, 2019 - 5:40pm

From Volunteers For Animals:

Tomorrow will be your first opportunity to check out dogs who have been participating in a new behavorial training program developed by Volunteers For Animals and the Orleans Correctional Facility.

All the dogs from The Path to Home Program will be at the Genesee County Animal Shelter during adoption hours from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. tomorrow, Jan. 12th. The shelter is located at 3841 W. Main Street Road, Batavia.

There will be someone from Orleans Correctional Facility who is familiar with the dogs on hand to answer questions about the canines. The volunteers are excited about this opportunity for the public to meet the dogs and check out their progress.

The existing foster program for dogs could only handle approximately four to six dogs, with fostering done in private homes. No formal dog obedience training was easily available in these private homes.

So Volunteers For Animals applied for and received a grant from Maddie's Fund in order to start this unique prison-based program. The grant has helped pay for supplies, food and medical care for the dogs. In addition, each dog will get a crate, bedding, leash, collar, training treats, and food provided by Volunteers For Animals.

Volunteers For Animals will be pulling dogs from high-kill shelters and locally who may be in need of behavioral support to become more adoptable. More at-risk dogs will now be able to go to Orleans Correctional Facility for the fostering and basic obedience training to help their socialization.

At the prison, dogs will live with selected inmates who will care for them 24 hours per day for approximately 12 weeks. 

A certified dog trainer will also provide 1.5-hour formal weekly training class for the dogs, with extra sessions if needed, and the inmates will work daily to reinforce the formal training.

At the end of the training period the dogs will have an opportunity to take the test for "Canine Good Citizen." All dogs in The Path to Home Program will be crate trained, have basic obedience skills, and good house manners.

These dogs would love to meet you tomorrow!

  • "Max" (right)

  • Retriever Mix

  • 2 year old/ Neutered Male

  • Estimated graduation date: 1/23/2019

    Max is very bright, learns quickly and is good with most dogs but enjoys rough play. He would do best in a home with no small children. Max is crate trained.

  • "Shannon" (left)

  • Pit Bull Terrier Mix

  • Adult/ Spayed Female

  • Estimated graduation date: 1/23/2019

    Shannon is a calm dog who is good with most other dogs. She is housebroken and crate trained.

 
 
 
 
 
                   
                   "Moses" (right)
                   
                    Hound/Shepherd Mix

  • Adult/ Neutered Male

  • Estimated graduation date: 1/23/2019

    Moses is a calm dog who would probably do best in a single dog home. He is crate trained and housebroken.

  • "Valerie" (above)

  • Mountain Cur Mix
  • 4 year old/ Spayed Female

  • Estimated graduation date: 1/23/2019

    Valerie is very playful and good with other dogs. She would do best in a home with a fenced in yard since she is a fast runner!

     
  • "Chewbacca" (right)

  • Anatolian Shepherd Mix

  • 5-6 years old/ Spayed Female

  • Estimated graduation date: 1/23/2019

    Chewy is calm and quiet. She is good with most other dogs and is crate trained.

November 30, 2018 - 3:47pm

Meet pale-coated Pearl, a lovely little buff-and-white, golden-eyed feline that, despite her inherant glamour, was found in a dumpster. She is awaiting a forever home at the Genesee County Animal Shelter.

Pearl is an adult; she's spayed and sweet-tempered. She loves attention. That means she will enjoy having a pal who pets her and laughs when she tries to catch the laser beam at playtime. She prolly goes bonkers with a catnip mouse.

Another solid friend waiting for new digs is named Zeus.

You remember Zeus, king of the Greek gods who lived on Mount Olympus. He was the god of the sky and thunder. His symbols include the lightning bolt, the eagle, the bull, and the oak tree. He was married to the goddess Hera. That one.

Well, this Zeus is not married to the goddess Hera and he's a four-legged canine -- a pit bull-terrier mix who is not as complicated as his mythological namesake.

He likes long walks and is described as simply "a nice guy." He also "trains well for treats." Meaning he's motivated to do all sorts of things, like sit, down, stay, etc., if there's something edible in it for him. He's also very handsome.

If you and your family need a quality companion to make your holidays brighter, look no further that the shelter on East Main Street Road in the Town of Batavia. You won't regret it.

Speaking of the shelter, they could use some supplies. Now that the calendar has put you in a gift-giving frame of mind, why not donate to the Volunteers for Animals? Or bring in some useful items like Purina Cat Chow, plain non-clumping litter, bleach, paper towels, dog food, small pet beds, etc.

For monetary donations, make checks payable to the Genesee County Sheriff's Office and mail to:

Volunteers For Animals
PO Box 1621
Batavia, NY 14021

Visit the shelter at:

3841 W. Main Street Road
Batavia, New York 14020
585-343-6410

Hours of Operation:

  • Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Friday --  1 to 3 p.m.
  • Wednesday -- 1 to 3 and 7 to 9 p.m.
  • Thursday -- CLOSED
  • Saturday -- 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
November 10, 2018 - 1:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in volunteers for animals, animal rescue.

From the Volunteers for Animals:

Mac is in need of a cushy barn home or indoor/outdoor home with no young children. He is a great cat who just needs a job.

He is very playful but can be a bit rough at times. He is a young adult, up to date with vaccines and neutered.

There is no charge for an adoption fee and we ask that you confine him for a period of time until he has adjusted to his new surroundings.

If you are able to help out this guy, drop us an email at [email protected]

UPDATED Sunday, Nov. 11: Reader Wendy Castleman informs us that Mac has found a new home.

October 23, 2018 - 2:04pm

A 23-year-old City of Batavia man suspected of starving and neglecting a puppy found by a Good Samaritan in Stafford on Oct. 4 has been arrested.

Brandon Joseph Welch was arrested in the afternoon on Oct. 18 at his residence, 679 E. Main St., apt. 4H, and jailed without bail for allegedly making a terroristic threat to police, among other charges.

Batavia police executed a search warrant at his apartment in connection with the animal abuse case of a pup Volunteers for Animals at the shelter dubbed "Opal." That animal is now in foster care.

According to Batavia Police Det. Eric Hill, police got the warrant after receiving a tip from a witness.

Welch initially told police that he had found the puppy, a fawn-and-white colored female weighing only 9.2 pounds when rescued. The dog was not able to stand on its own and was covered in urine and feces, and was severely dehydrated and malnourished.

The police investigation determined Welch was "supposed to be caring for the dog," Hill said.

Welch said "he was going to shoot the next police officer who came to his apartment," Hill said, and police recovered firearms in Welch's possession.

Welch is charged with making a terroristic threat, which is a Class D felony, as well as falsely reporting an incident in the third degree (for claiming he found the animal); torturing/injuring/not feeding an animal; and owning/harboring an unlicensed dog.

He was arraigned the same afternoon, last Thursday, and is due in Batavia City Court tomorrow, at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24.

The case was investigated by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Quider, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

Opal, meanwhile, is looking like a different creature since she's been in foster care and received veterinary care and some decent nutrition. The pictures below -- sitting up smart and standing up strong on all fours, -- were sent to us yesterday by Volunteers for Animals. (Love those ears! Note the wagging tail!)

October 5, 2018 - 2:45pm

(Submitted photos) The condition of the abused puppy at the time she was found last night in Stafford.

The public is asked to help law enforcement find the owner of this emaciated puppy found last night on Route 33 and Prole Road Extension in Stafford.

The fawn-and-white colored female weighs only 9.2 pounds. The dog is not able to stand on its own. It was covered in urine and feces. It is severely dehydrated and malnourished.

The puppy was picked up by a Good Samaritan and turned over to the Batavia City PD and the case is now being investigated by the Genesee County Sheriff's Office.

Due to the nature of the wounds present on the puppy, this is being investigated as animal cruelty.

The puppy was immediately examined and treated by a local veterinarian and was being cared for at the Genesee County Animal Shelter with the assistance of the Volunteers for Animals. They have named her "Opal" and she is now in a foster home until she is well enough to be adopted.

If you any ANY information about the owner of this puppy, please contact Sheriff's Deputy Kevin Forsyth at (585) 345-3000, ext. 3233.

Below, "Opal" today, clean and wrapped snuggly in fleece at the vet's office.

September 24, 2018 - 5:55pm

The Pearl Street Road woman accused of failing to provide proper food and care for her 3-year-old Labrador retriever mixed breed named Maya was a no-show in Town of Batavia Court today, along with her attorney Michael Ranzenhofer.

The case of Becky L. Frens, who is about 56 years old, was on this morning's court docket for 10:30 and nearly two hours later Judge Michael Cleveland called her name and got no response from the gallery. The court clerk said earlier that the court had not heard from Frens or Ranzenhofer, nor had they appeared in court today.

Cleveland said Ranzenhofer had asked him for a second postponement in the case -- it had been delayed once on Aug. 27 until today -- but he denied the request, saying the reasoning for another postponement was not specific enough. Cleveland did not say when Ranzenhofer made the request, but he made it clear he had not heard from Ranzenhofer or Frens today and that they were due in court.

Next time, bench warrants

First Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini said she would not ask for a bench warrant to be issued for either the client or attorney in this case, although she could, because she is giving Ranzenhofer the benefit of the doubt. Since he was not present, perhaps there was a miscommunication, she said. But if it happens next time, a bench warrant(s) will be sought.

The people are ready for trial, Cianfrini said.

Cleveland set the matter on the docket for 10 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 22, for either adjudication or to set a trial date, one or the other.

Frens was arrested on July 10 by troopers from the Batavia Barracks of the State Police after she went to the Genesee County Animal Shelter to retrieve her dog.

The day or so before Maya had gotten out and somehow managed to walk many, many yards on sore paws -- with nails so overgrown they were chewing into the pads -- down the Frens' gravelled driveway to the edge of the Pearl Street Road pavement. It was there that neighbors across the street saw the dog and coaxed it into their yard, where they gave it cat food and balogna and whatever nutrition they could round up. Emaciated, Maya scarfed it all down along with three bottles of water.

Then the neighbors called the law.

Frens is charged with overdriving, torturing and injuring an animal; and failure to provide proper sustenance under the state Agriculture & Markets law, Article 26, Section 353, which is a Class A misdemeanor. If found guilty, a defendant faces jail time of more than 15 days but not greater than one year. In addition, a fine of up to $1,000 can be imposed.

Update on Maya

Meanwhile, Maya had a big day today.

According to Volunteers for Animals' Lynette Celedonia, who aided Maya from day one, she was to be spayed today and the last knots of scar tissue from infection due to demodectic mange was to be surgically removed from her back and shoulder area.

Since July, Maya has made amazing progress, Celedonia said. Gina Lippa, also with Volunteers for Animals, agreed. They came to court today to hear the Frens' case and afterward were happy to report how well Maya is doing.

"Her coat has grown in and thickened up and she's put on weight; her hip bones and ribs are no longer showing," Celedonia said. "Her infections have cleared up. And her muscles are stronger from playing and running -- which in her case is more like hopping -- and she's been adopted by the best family possible."

A public health nurse and her husband adopted Maya and share their home with her and two other doggie companions, plus avian and feline companions.

Celedonia has a recent picture on her phone of Maya, snoozing on big comfy sofa, taken after an afternoon of romping around in her new yard, plumb tuckered out and looking like a different, healthier dog.

September 4, 2018 - 2:57pm

Volunteers for Animals' 15th annual Fur Ball to benefit their Spay/Neuter Program at the Genesee County Animal Shelter will take place starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13, at the Days Inn in Batavia.

The hotel is located at 200 Oak St.

There will be food, fun, basket raffles and silent auctions.

Tickets are $25 each; tickets for children 12 and under are $15. A table of 10 -- with 10 seats -- costs $250.

The event is limited to 200 tickets.

Please make checks payable to: Volunteers for Animals -- Spay/Neuter Program.

They can be mailed to: P.O. Box 1621, Batavia NY 14021

Tickets are also available at the shelter.

Volunteers for Animals are now accepting new items for the Fur Ball raffle/auction. Items can be left at the shelter during adoption hours.

August 30, 2018 - 2:30pm

Remember Cheeto?

Well, he's still at the Genesee County Animal Shelter.

Despite the dog days of summer, this pit bull / Labrador retriever mix manages to keep his enthusiasm for life high and his mood cheerful.

You can see it in his eyes.

He's asking for a true friend to enjoy all that this wonderful old world has to offer: The buddy system; Tete-a-tete; Mano a mano; Semper fidelis; Tit-for-tat; You 'n' me, pal; A team; Us vs. them; We're in the soup together; Comrades in arms & legs; Duality; Pair of jacks; Dynamite duo; A real pair; Besties; BFFs; "Pardners"; Yin and yang; Mac 'n' cheese; We.

This neutered, adult canine gets along swimmingly with other dogs and thinks walking with humans is best thing to do on the planet.

You could take him out for a "test drive" so to speak; probably do you both good. A leash is at the ready. Just don't forget to hydrate.

Visit the animal shelter during these A-D-O-P-T-I-O-N hours:

  • Sun, Mon, Tues, Fri -- 1-3 p.m.
  • Wednesday -- 1-3 p.m. and 7-9 p.m.
  • Closed Thursdays
  • Saturday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The shelter is located at 3841 W. Main St. Road, Batavia.

August 1, 2018 - 4:34pm

The Volunteers for Animals at the Genesee County Animal Shelter are in need of a comfy barn home for this kitty.

Juniper is a neutered, declawed male cat that came to the shelter as a stray. Because it was found that he did not use his litter box consistently, he cannot be adopted to a regular home.

He is a nice fellow, friendly with people, but needs a "cushy" outdoor place to live because he is declawed and he has "rustic" ways.

A good shelter, food, water and some human companionship are all that they ask. Not really a tall order when you think about it; kind of a no-brainer as they say.

It will be necessary to confine him for a couple of weeks to acclimate him to his new surroundings.

In addition to being neutured, Juniper is tested and vaccinated. There is no adoption fee for him.

If you can help him out, call the Shelter at 585-343-6410, option 7, or email Juniper's friends at [email protected], or stop by the shelter during adoption hours.

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