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genesee county animal shelter

New companion animal law means big expense, potential grant for GC animal shelter

By Joanne Beck
File Photo of a volunteer and occupant at Genesee County Animal Shelter.
File Photo of a volunteer and occupant at Genesee County Animal Shelter.
Photo by Howard Owens.

County legislators gave a thumbs up and fingers crossed Tuesday for a grant application to make mandated and costly upgrades to Genesee County Animal Shelter per recently passed state legislation requiring at least two sets of ventilation systems, isolation areas, treatment rooms, washing facilities and other amenities at the Route 5 facility. 

Undersheriff Bradley Mazur made the request during the Public Service Committee meeting, as Deputy Highway Superintendent Paul Osborn helped to explain the need for funding. Gov. Hochul recently signed the Companion Animal Care Standards Act, prompting New York State shelters to ramp up their to-do lists to meet new compliance orders. 

Osborn reviewed some of the physical aspects of those tasks, including the need for a new HVAC system that keeps the air temperature between 60 and 80 degrees, separate ventilation systems  -- three, Osborn said -- for the adoption and stray side of the shelter, larger kennels for both dogs and cats, isolation rooms for sick dogs and cats, treatment rooms for dogs and cats, separate washing facilities for both dogs and cats, additional wash sinks for volunteers, and daylighting for diurnal lighting. 

The upside, county Manager Matt Landers said, is that the building footprint itself won't have to be enlarged, as the work can be done -- with necessary reconfiguring of rooms, an added wall, and such -- within the current site.

The deadline for applying for a maximum award of $500,000 is Jan. 29, and work must be done by December 2025. Osborn said estimated expenses for those mandates would easily meet or surpass half a million dollars, which prompted Legislator Marianne Clattenburg to ask who pays if they go over cost.

“We do,” Landers said. 

The Batavian asked him what would happen if the county couldn’t pay the tab and didn’t make the required upgrades. Could the shelter get shut down?

“I am confident we will find a solution that is cost-effective and meets the new requirements from NYS Ag & Markets,” Landers said.  “The State has stated it is not their goal to close down shelters.”

“The county is confident that between the next couple of NYS budget years that it will secure necessary grant funds to largely offset the required improvements,” he said.

The Batavian wanted to clarify Clattenburg’s comment made during the meeting about whether the shelter should even be where it is. Would she like to see it shut down?

She didn’t mean that, she said.

Marianne Clattenburg with certificate letter
File Photo of Legislator Marianne Clattenburg
Photo by Joanne Beck

“No, not closing it. But, you know, reimagining it. Maybe shared services with other counties, maybe a different location and a better building, you know, something along those lines, because it's going to be very expensive to retrofit where it is now,” she said. “And so, I was just thinking along those lines. We're always looking for shared services models, and maybe, if the state wants better ventilation and better cages, better everything, then maybe it's time to look at regionalizing, that was my thought.”

The Batavian also asked Landers his thoughts about a future shared animal shelter facility, per Clattenburg’s comment, to save on costs.

“Legislator Clattenburg is a huge proponent for sharing services when it makes sense.  We will always examine when a shared service model may work and save municipal resources,” he said.  “At this point, our focus is on securing state funds for the required upgrades, but we will always keep an open mind for opportunities to share services with other municipal partners.”

Legislators had no problem with the grant application and passed it onto the Ways & Means Committee and the Legislature to authorize the submission of the proposal for a maximum of $500,000 award, with a 10 percent county match for required upgrades at the shelter. Other provisions in the new law include changes to animal bedding, transportation, behavioral record keeping and mandatory training.

Super Sunday Craft Fair to benefit GC Animal Shelter and VFA

By Joanne Beck


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.

Adoptions and donations are gifts for people and animals at Batavia shelter

By Joanne Beck


Wednesday evening seemed to be the right time to check out what was going on at Genesee County Animal Shelter on West Main Street Road, Batavia. Evening hours provided opportunities for several folks to visit, adopt a pet and/or drop off generous donations.

Sara Rose donated edible goodies on behalf of Revival Salon in Batavia. The salon staff members “are all animal-loving people,” she said.

“We wanted to do something to make sure that they had something that made their holiday special,” Rose said. “We know that the shelter does rely a lot on donations for food and treats, so being able to contribute to it so they can keep running and keep the animals comfortable and happy brings us so much joy.”

Brothers Jonathan and Henry Maher, nine and six years old respectively, decided to take some of their allowance money and donate it to benefit the animals, and Kevin and Krista Kretschmer brought in oodles of assorted pet items. Volunteers For Animals has a wish list of needed items on its website, including dry cat and dog food (preferably Purina One), canned dog food, laundry soap, bleach, paper towels, non-clumping cat litter, dog collars and leashes, large nylabones, cat toys and Forever postage stamps. 

The nonprofit is an “all volunteer group” that funnels money donations “directly to the animals and their care,” member Wendy Castleman said.

“In 2020, 75 percent of the money we spent went towards veterinary care, which includes spaying and neutering all animals prior to adoption, as well as treatment of conditions like skin issues, upper respiratory, GI issues, broken bones and heart worm disease,” she said. “Monetary donations go a long way in helping the animals in the Shelter as well as in the community.”

Targeted areas for monetary donations include:

Veterinary Care: Volunteers For Animals pays for all the medical treatment of the animals that come through the Shelter to ensure that animals are healthy prior to adoption. The group purchases all medications, special foods, and supplies for the animals at the Genesee County Animal Shelter that the County does not supply.

Spay-Neuter Program: A huge goal has been to spay and neuter all animals prior to adoption, and to assist with low cost spay/neuter of pets in the community.

Rescue Dogs: VFA pulls dogs from high volume shelters and transports them to the Batavia-based shelter be adopted into the community.

Fundraising and Promotion: Advertising is done to publicize the shelter and adoptable animals through the VFA website, local media and mailings and events.

No matter what the donation is, homeless pets deserve the gesture, Rose said.

“I myself have always adopted my family dogs from the shelter,” she said. “And it's always been so heartbreaking to see these animals without families, especially at the holidays.” 

Shelter animals are checked out by a veterinarian and treated with vaccinations and routine tests as needed. Most of them are spayed or neutered before leaving the shelter or a $35 deposit is required, to be returned upon proof that the spay/neuter surgery has been completed. Fees are $60 for county dogs and cats and $50 to $150 for out-of-state rescues. 

To schedule a visit, call 585-343-6410, Option 7. For more information, check out



Top photo: Sara Rose of Revival Salon in Batavia brings in a donation of edible treats Wednesday evening for the animals at Genesee County Animal Shelter on West Main Street Road, Batavia. Bottom photos: Kevin and Krista Kretschmer donate a large assortment of items, a chart on the Volunteers For Animals website displays how donations are used, Ken Krueger adopts Princess, a cat makes itself comfortable in the greeting room and Mike and Patty Uzialko snap a photo of their future household addition, Juliette. Photos by Howard Owens

Spirit of giving and visits with animals a pre-holiday treat at Batavia shelter

By Joanne Beck


Jonathan Maher, 9, and his younger brother Henry, 6, couldn’t help but check out the dogs heard barking down the hall at Genesee County Animal Shelter.

The boys had come to the West Main Street site this week to make their donation to Volunteers For Animals, which operates out of the shelter. It was one of at least three donations brought in during a 90-minute span.

“We had some share money and didn’t know what to do with it,” Jonathan said as to why they were visiting on a snowy Wednesday evening. “I really like animals.”

His mom, Melannie, explained that the youngsters earn a regular allowance, and they merge some of the money for a “share” fund, which is given to charity. 

“We had dropped off some stuff before and thought it’d be nice to help the local shelter,” she said. “They were so excited to come and see the animals.”

Seeing the animals: Ruben


The boys met Ruben, a friendly and energetic pit bull terrier mix with a light tan coat and spots of white at his paws and chest. Reuben was previously adopted, but was returned when his family discovered he needed “an attitude adjustment,” VFA President Debbie Stocking said. 

“He has a lot of behavioral issues and is getting training,” Stocking said. “He loves people. He wants to learn, he really tries.”

Ruben is about 2 years old and loves to play with toys. The blue-eyed looker would be ideal with someone who can be his leader and understand his need for exercise and having “room to run,” Stocking said. He is a playful and affectionate boy who will do best in a household that provides consistent guidance and direction. Ruben is learning loose leash walking and receiving some basic obedience training while at the shelter. Volunteers say he will excel in a household that will maintain the training and give him a structured environment.

And Sammie … 




Then there was Sammie, who stood taller than his cellmate as a black and tan hound mix. Found as a stray at the Rez Smoke Shop and Gas Mart, Sammie’s sweet disposition belies her untold time without a home. She’s in heat and will get spayed when possible.

“This is the best place for her to be, rather than going out and getting pregnant,” Stocking said. 

Sammie can go to a good home now, and the spaying procedure will be paid for by VFA. Stocking wasn’t certain whether she gets along with dogs and/or cats because she was just brought in, however, she demonstrated an enthusiastic joy for mingling with people. She is estimated to be 1-1/2 years old and weighing in at around 70 to 80 pounds. She is a strong young lady and is receiving some training as well.

Volunteer Vern Luce favors Sammie, he said, because she reminds him of a dog he adopted when the new shelter first opened. That other dog, named Kazoo, was a 10-month-old shepherd-Rottweiler mix.

“She was just so sweet,” Luce said of his prior pup, turning to the brown, long tail-wagging Sammie. “That’s why I like her.”

Coco and River …




Coco is a brown Labrador retriever mix from a shelter in Kentucky. After torrential storms leveled nearby states, the Kentucky shelter cleared out some of its inventory to make way for animals from those devastated communities, Stocking said. VFA took in six of those dogs, about half of which have already been adopted. Coco is a “very sweet” 4-year-old who loves greeting visitors. River is another rescue from Kentucky. He is a 2-year-old black Labrador retriever/German Shepherd mix.

“They’re good with other dogs, and they play with everybody,” Stocking said. 
Hunter and Felco …


Jonathan and Henry also met up with Hunter and Felco, two Catahoula puppies. Rather tall and lean for their age of nine months, the light brown pups are differentiated by a lighter white vertical patch on Felco’s face. 

“They love to play, and they can run and run and run,” Luce said. 

There were 10 dogs up for adoption, and about a half dozen cats, as of Wednesday evening. The Batavian will be publishing periodic stories about the animals in need at the shelter, including those that have been rescued, turned in, or found as strays. That doesn’t mean they will make ideal holiday gifts, Stocking said. What may seem like a cute surprise to hand to a child — or even to an adult — can soon become an inconvenience, she said. 

“We don’t recommend a pet for Christmas,” she said. “Nine out of 10 come back. I would never suggest a pet as a gift. Adopting a pet is a lot of responsibility.” 

Adoption fees are $60 for county dogs and cats and $50 to $150 for rescues from out of state. If the animal is not spayed or neutered, there is a $35 refundable deposit that is returned upon proof of surgery. An adoption application must be filled out at the shelter 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 in a cat carrier, to be supplied by the adopter.

If you’re ready for the long-term commitment of raising a four-legged friend, contact the shelter at 585-343-6410, Option 7, to schedule an appointment. For more information, go to

Top photo: Jonathan and Henry Maher drop off a monetary donation to Volunteers For Animals during a visit Wednesday at the Genesee County Animal Shelter in Batavia. They visit with residents Ruben, Sammie, Coco, River, Hunter and Felco, assisted by volunteers Cindy Moag, Debbie Stocking, and Vern Luce. 

Photos by Howard Owens.

Volunteers For Animals soldier on after 'crazy year' and ask for your continued support

By Press Release

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

Five felines at the shelter have special needs and need special homes

By Billie Owens

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.  Wednesday

  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.  

Time to compile a big pile of metal junk to donate at Scrap for the Pack event in June

By Billie Owens

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.

This is National Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week

By Press Release

Submitted photos and press release:

National Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week is celebrated every second full week of April and is endorsed by the National Animal Care & Control Association.  

For those in the community that may not be aware, Genesee County Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr. is responsible for the Genesee County Animal Shelter and its two Dog Control Officers (DCO), Ann Marie Brade (inset photo below right) and Ashley Cummings (inset photo below left).  

DCO Brade and Cummings are tasked with picking up stray or dangerous animals every day, all year round.

They protect animals from abusers and people from dangerous animals. These officers seek justice in cases of abused, neglected and abandoned animals; they conduct humane investigations pursuant to NYS Agriculture and Markets Laws, Public Health Laws, and bring in helpless animals.

They ensure any and all animals impounded are properly sheltered, fed, and watered and properly adopted, redeemed, or disposed of in a humane manner.

If you see Dog Control Officer Brade or Cummings this week, give her a thumbs up or friendly wave. 

Remember, pet owners, license and tag your pet. Your local animal control officer will be happy knowing regular vaccination protocols have been followed and the tag (or chip implant) will help the officer identify the animal and you, the owner.

“The work of the Genesee County Dog Control Officers is so important for our community," said Sheriff Sheron. "Additionally important is the support and unique relationship we have with the Volunteers for Animals organization.

"Dog Control Officers Brade and Cummings, along with the VFA, ensure the shelter runs efficiently and needed services are provided to the community."

Injured dog needs quiet foster home to heal, all food and supplies provided

By Press Release

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

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

By Billie Owens

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.

Back at Petco: Catties and kitties ready, willing and able to be adopted by YOU

By Billie Owens

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 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.

Mark Your Calendar: Volunteers for Animals hold basket raffle bonanza at Pudgie's Lawn and Garden on Oct. 3

By Billie Owens

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.

'Scrap for the Pack' scrap metal collection event June 27-28 to benefit homeless pets

By Billie Owens

Come out and support the animals of the Genesee County Animal Shelter. We are collecting scrap metal to raise money for the animals from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 27th and Sunday, June 28th at the shelter parking lot.

It is located at 3841 W. Main Street Road, Batavia.

We are accepting metal of any kind: 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.

We CANNOT take propane tanks, A/C units, or refrigerators.

Scrap service provided by Ed Arnold EAS Scrap Processors of Corfu.

Barn homes needed for Precious and George, no adoption fee

By Billie Owens

The Volunteers For Animals need to find barn homes for kitties Precious and George. There is no adoption fee for them.

Precious is a beautiful brindle tiger, sweet and friendly "on her own terms," but like all of us, she "has her moments." Doubtful? Just meet that unwincing deadeye stare of hers.

They say she has really made progress but would probably do best with some independent time on her own. 

George is rather pugilistic looking, a veteran of the strife of survival. He was rescued by some very nice and decent people and came in quite skinny, dirty and sick.

The champ is doing much better but is used to the outdoors and would be happier in that setting.

Both cats have been tested, vaccinated and spayed/neutured.

The volunteers aren't asking for the world, just good shelter, food, water and some human companionship.

If you can do right by these creatures of the good Earth, please call the Genesee County Animal Shelter at (585) 343-6410, option 7, or email:

The Genesee County Animal Shelter is located 3841 W. Main Street Road, Batavia.

Adoption Hours:
Sunday - Friday 1 - 3 p.m. (closed on Thursdays)
Wednesday 7 - 9 p.m.
Saturday 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

"When you adopt a shelter pet you help to save two lives: the one you bring home and the one who takes its place."

Byron-Bergen students compete with staff in volleyball to help shelter animals

By Billie Owens

Submitted photo and press release:

Bergen -- Byron-Bergen students and staff hit the volleyball court on March 6 to benefit the Genesee Valley Animal Shelter.

The event was organized by Byron-Bergen seniors Auburn Schwartzmeyer (photo, left) and Abby Vurraro (photo, right) as a way to help the animal shelter receive needed supplies, have some fun, and fulfil their National Honor Society community service project.

“We decided that we wanted to do a fundraiser for the Genesee Valley Animal Shelter,” Abby said. “I thought that it would be fun to spread my love of volleyball, have a good time, and have it go toward a good cause.”

Three teams of students competed for the opportunity to play against the faculty team for the event. Student teams joined the tournament by donating items from a list provided by the Genesee Valley Animal Shelter.

In the end, Vurraro’s team took on the faculty players, which included Superintendent Mickey Edwards, Jr./Sr. High School Principal Pat McGee, and several Junior and Senior High School teachers.

In the end, the students were victorious and the Genesee County Animal Shelter received needed supplies to help place pets in forever homes.

'Spay-ghetti Dinner' March 14 at Notre Dame HS will benefit GC shelter animals

By Billie Owens

Volunteers for Animals at the Genesee County Animal Shelter will host a "Spay-ghetti Dinner" in the Notre Dame High School cafeteria on Saturday, March 14.

Time is 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. -- eat in or take out.

Dinner includes spaghetti with homemade sauce and meatballs, salad, bread, cookies, and a beverage.

Tickets cost $10 each; $5 for children age 12 and under.

There will also be a 50/50 raffle, basket raffles, and fun!

Notre Dame is located at 73 Union St. in the City of Batavia.

He purrs, he growls, Blondie needs a barn home for his 'mixed personality'

By Billie Owens

This hunk of handsomeness is a guy named "Blondie" and he is in need of a nice barn home.

Besides being easy on the eyes, he likes to nibble, we're told, and occasionally growls.

"He also purrs up a storm," say the Volunteers for Animals at the Genesee County Animal Shelter who are soliciting a Good Samaritan to come to Blondie's aid. "So, he has a mixed personality."

Read: He's not all sweetness and light.

He is neutered, tested negative for FIV/FeLV and is up to date with vaccines. There is no adoption fee for him. 

"We ask that he have good shelter, food, water and some human companionship," say the volunteers. "It is also necessary to confine him for a couple of weeks to acclimate him to his new surroundings."

If you can give this guy a home, please stop in the Shelter during adoption hours or email the volunteers at

(Photo courtesy of Volunteers for Animals.)

Debut 'Crafting for Critters' bazaar is April 4 at Batavia Downs, vendors wanted

By Billie Owens

The debut "Crafting for Critters" bazaar will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 4, at Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel. All proceeds benefit homeless pets at the Genesee County Animal Shelter.

Admission is free. The event is hosted by Volunteers for Animals.

They would like you to consider being a vendor. For more information and a registration form, please email the volunteers at:

Vendors should respond by Feb. 1 to get a spot at this indoor event.

Craft Information Sheet

Craft Registration Form

Black kitty with bell collar found Tuesday in Bethany now at GC Animal Shelter

By Billie Owens

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.

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