SPCA Serving Erie County Animal Admission FAQs

Surrendering a Cat? 

The SPCA cannot accept felines without an appopintment. To make an appointment please call 716-875-7360.

Cats adopted from the SPCA can be returned to the shelter within 30 days if space is available. Please contact our Admissions Department at the number above to ensure there is room to accept the cat. After 30 days you will need to contact our Admissions Department to be placed on the cat waiting list to surrender your cat/kitten.

Please note that owned cats are being placed on an appointment waiting list.  Finders are encouraged, with SPCA assistance, to foster stray kittens they find. Have a tiny kitten in the neighborhood? Wait before removing it. (Read why here.) The SPCA Service Erie County is only able to accept cats from Erie County residents. If you reside outside of Erie County, pleae contact your local shelter or humane society.

When an appointment is made and a cat is surrendered to the SPCA, our team of veterinarians and veterinary technicians evaluate the cat's health and temperament.  We do ask that owners wait at the SPCA while the evaluation is being performed on their cat(s), in case the technicians have any questions regarding past behavior, temperament, or illnesses. Depending on shelter population, if the cat passes the evaluation, it will then go up for adoption. If the cat does not pass the evaluation, the owner may take him/her back home at that time, or leave him/her at the shelter signed over for humane euthanasia. Before heading to the shelter for your surrender appointment, consider your options if the animal cannot go up for adoption! Please allow 20 - 30 minutes for the surrender process, and for questions from our admissions counselors. Save time by downloading the Cat Surrender Profile, filling it out in advance, and bringing it with you.

When a cat is surrendered to the SPCA, the owner is given the opportunity to place a feline medical deposit of $15.00 on the cat. This ensures that, if the cat surrendered cannot remain on the Adoptions floor for either medical or temperament reasons, the owner will receive a call to reclaim his/her cat within 24 hours.

Only cats from Erie County, NY can be admitted to the SPCA Serving Erie County. 

Please note: photo ID is required for all cat surrenders.  

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The SPCA Cannot Accept Healthy Feral Cats

"What is a feral cat?" A feral cat is a wild, completely unsocialized cat that is one or more generations from a domestic cat. Feral cats are not able to be handled and keep their distance from humans at all times. Read what the Humane Society of the US says about Feral Cat Management.

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Tiny, Stray Kitten? Wait Before Removing It!

Each year, the SPCA Serving Erie County fields hundreds of phone calls from concerned citizens who have found very young kittens in their neighborhoods. Their concern usually arises because they may not see the mother around.

Too many young kittens are orphaned at the hands of well-meaning citizens who think the mom has abandoned the kitten. More often than not, mom is not present at the moment simply because she is out seeking food. 

We here at the SPCA strive each and every day to provide the best opportunities possible to allow these kittens to grow and thrive. Simply put, to give these kittens the best chance of survival, it is vital they remain with their mother during the early stages of their lives. Not only are valuable behavior lessons being taught, but a mother's milk provides vital nutrients that kitten formula cannot mimic.

We are confident that the kind and caring community members of Erie County will join us in our effort to provide the best possible start for these kittens by leaving 

If you have questions about a kitten you see, before scooping it up and bringing it in, please call the SPCA admissions desk at 716-875-7360.

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The SPCA Cannot Accept Healthy Raccoons

"What about confined raccoons? Will you accept them?" Under no circumstances can the SPCA admit healthy raccoons for any reason. Click here for more information on raccoons, or call the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation at 518-402-8883 with questions.

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Surrendering a Dog?

When a dog is surrendered to the SPCA., and there is room to place it for adoption, our team of veterinarians and veterinary technicians will perform a preliminary evaluation to determine the dog's health and temperament. If the dog passes the initial evaluation in the infirmary, he/she will then be evaluated by our Behavior Team within 48 hours of surrender. At the time of surrender, the dog's owner is given the option of receiving a phone call after evaluation only if the dog does not pass. The owner then has the chance to reclaim the dog and bring him/her home within 24 hours. Please allow 20 - 30 minutes for the surrender process, and for questions from our admissions counselors. Save time by downloading the Dog Surrender Profile, filling it out in advance, and bringing it with you (please see Return To Guardian "Safer" Deposit, below).

When a dog is surrendered to the SPCA, the owner is given the opportunity to take the pet back home if there is no room to place it for adoption, or if the dog does not pass the initial evaluation at the time of surrender.  If the dog is placed for adoption and later needs to be pulled from the adoptions floor for any reason, owners who did not leave a Return To Guardian "Safer" Deposit (see below) will not be contacted. By leaving pets in our care, owners have entrusted us with all decisions pertaining to the pets.

Return To Guardian "Safer" Deposit: Owners also have the option of leaving a $20 non-refundable Return To Guardian "Safer" Deposit in addition to the animal surrender fee.  With this deposit, at any time during a dog's stay at the shelter, if the dog becomes "unadoptable," the original owner will then be contacted and will be given 24 hours to reclaim his or her pet. 

Please note: photo ID is required for all dog surrenders.  

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Surrender Appointments & Fees

When space permits, dogs from counties other than Erie are admitted to this shelter on a case-by-case basis. No other animals from counties other than Erie can be admitted to the SPCA Serving Erie County. If you bring your pet into the shelter with the hopes of placing it up for adoption, please bring with you all of the pet's paperwork and veterinary records.

Appointments

Dogs: Though an appointment is not required when surrendering a dog, we encourage you to call ahead to ensure that space is available.

Cats: In our efforts to serve as many community members and animals as possible, cats are Only accepted by appointment. If you need to surrender a feline, an appointment is required! At this time, cats cannot be accepted without an appointment. Please note: currently the average wait to surrender a cat to the SPCA Serving Erie County is currently 8+ weeks, so planning in advance is necessary and required. To be added to the waiting list to surrender a feline, please call 716-875-7360 during regular business hours.

Other Animals: An appointment is required to surrender rabbits, birds, gerbils, hamsters, domestic rats, guinea pigs, and other small animals. To make an appointment, please call 716-875-7360 during regular business hours.

Fees

There is no mandatory fee to surrender an animal to the SPCA Serving Erie County. However, we request surrender fees when animals are brought in. These donations help defray our cost of caring for those animals while at the SPCA.

Our costs often include, but are not limited to, sterilization, veterinary treatments, vaccinations, medications, food, and much more, however, we ask pet owners for only a fraction of these costs incurred. 

Surrender fee requests:

If your animal is not spayed/neutered, and is not current on vaccines:
SPCA’s minimum cost of care: $427.00 -$447.00
Requested surrender fee: $150.00

If your animal is spayed/neutered, and is not current on vaccines:
SPCA’s minimum cost of care: $257.00- $277.00
Requested surrender fee: $90.00

If your animal is spayed/neutered, and you can provide paper proof of current vaccines:
SPCA’s minimum cost of care:  $192.00 -$212.00
Requested surrender fee: $50.00  

If you bring your pet into the shelter with the hopes of placing it up for adoption, please bring with you all of the pet's paperwork and veterinary records.

Please note: photo ID is required for all surrenders.  

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Locations & Surrender Hours

Animals may be surrendered only to the SPCA's Tonawanda shelter:

205 Ensminger Road
Tonawanda, NY  14150
716-875-7360

Surrender hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday: 8 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Thursday: 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.  
Saturday: 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Sunday:  Closed

Stray animal viewing hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday: Noon until 4 p.m. 
Thursday: Noon until 8 p.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Sunday: Closed

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