Question/Comment: Aren’t the SPCA Serving ERIE County (SPCAEC) and the NIAGARA County SPCA (NCSPCA) part of the same organization? Is there a connection in any way?

Answer:  The SPCA Serving Erie County is in no way affiliated with the Niagara County SPCA, nor has it ever been. WE ARE NOT "SISTER" ORGANIZATIONS. We are not "counterparts." Our SPCAs are completely independent organizations. No county organizations are connected. There is NO NATIONAL SPCA. We are completely separate from other agencies. There is no "main office" or "headquarters" of humane societies. There are no universal guidelines to which humane societies must adhere, however, there are NYS Agriculture and Markets Laws which must be enforced and followed by NYS agencies. We are absolutely and completely unrelated to the Niagara County SPCA just as we are unrelated to the Wyoming County SPCA, the Cattaraugus County SPCA, and others.


Question/Comment: The SPCAEC calls itself a “no-kill” facility.

Answer: Unfortunately, people and shelters create their own definitions of the phrase ‘no-kill,’ which is why the SPCA does not position itself as or call itself no-kill. We do not believe in sweeping generalizations when it comes to this term, because in this matter, generalizations can be misleading. We call ourselves a shelter that saves thousands of lives, and improves the quality of life for thousands of other animals, annually.

The SPCAEC has not euthanized a single healthy animal in 3 1/2 years, and last year we treated and adopted out 96% of the treatable/manageable animals brought to us, despite the cost of veterinary care (some animals requiring $1000+ of care) or behavior modification. Although we were given until 2014 to reach the goal of not euthanizing 100% of the healthy, treatable,  and/or manageable animals by 2014, we may actually reach it this year, in 2012. 

One statement made in a January 11, 2012 email:   :…there are several NO-KILL organizations that could be mentioned. Most of the No-Kill organizations are all volunteer and not for profit.” We are extremely thankful for these organizations that exist in Erie County, NY. , working to help Erie County reach its goal of no healthy or treatable animal needing to be euthanized for any reason. Many of these organizations, however, are very small and have limited space or cages for animals; they fill with animals quickly. Their foster homes fill up quickly as well. Few if any would be able to accept AND SAVE  the number of animals we accept in just one summer week.

For instance, during just one week last summer, the SPCA Serving Erie County admitted exactly 300 animals: 98 dogs, 194 cats, 8 small animals. One week. Other than the owner-requested euthanasias (only performed on owned animals who are so ill or injured they are considered not treatable) not a single healthy or treatable animal out of those 300 ADMITTED THAT WEEK was euthanized.

These animals (and people) need somewhere to go, especially when they're turned away by a caring organization with the capacity to accept very few animals. They are brought to us, and we've more than demonstrated over the last two decades that we're on the right track when it comes to saving the life of every single admitted healthy (and almost every treatable and manageable) animal.

It wasn't a problem that could be solved overnight, but in the last 20 years, the SPCAEC has done an OUTSTANDING job of finding alternatives to euthanasia.

We're still working to get to a level of 0 euthanasias of treatable/manageable animals, and are praying that 2012 is the magic year this happens.

Facilities who can accept and save the lives of the number of animals with which we’re dealing are encouraged to call Gina Browning at the SPCAEC ( 716-629-3505) so they can be added to the list of animal admission transfer facilities, not just in the summer when we’re admitting an average of 1200 – 1350 animals per month (not including cruelty case rescues), but year-round.

Question/Comment: I donate to help animals at the SPCAEC. Will my donor dollars instead be placed towards this investigation? Will any of my donor dollars instead be designated to the NCSPCA?

Answer: The answer is a resounding NO to both questions. Donations made to the SPCAEC help animals at THIS HUMANE SOCIETY. As far as the investigation, we don't expect many cost-related issues, however, the NCSPCA  is reimbursing any expenses that may be incurred during the investigation.


Question/Comment: The SPCAEC and the NCSPCA share staff members. Members of the SPCAEC Veterinary Department euthanized healthy, adoptable animals at the NCSPCA.

Answer: No. When one of the SPCAEC veterinary technicians, a caring man and Niagara County resident, realized that the veterinary technician of the NCSPCA resigned, he also realized the number of animals there who may not receive any form of veterinary care. He chose to volunteer personal time to go to the shelter and provide any level of care needed until a new veterinary technician was brought aboard. In all, he donated approximately 25 hours in 1 1/2 months, and in that time, didn’t euthanize a single animal for reasons other than suffering.

As stated in a recent Buffalo News article: The president of the SPCA of Niagara board, Bruno A. "Brandy" Scrufari III, holds a part-time job at one of the seven Entercom radio stations in Buffalo. Those stations' general manager, Lawrence F. Robb, is board president of the SPCA Serving Erie County. Scrufari wasn't hired by Robb, but by a previous station manager in the 1980s. "[Scrufari] appears twice a month on Saturdays, and Larry Robb doesn't see him," [SPCA Executive Director Barbara] Carr said.

No staff members are shared between the two separate organizations.


Question/Comment: Has the SPCAEC sent animals to the NCSPCA even though the euthanasia rate at the NCSPCA is high?

Answer: In 2010, 10 cats were transferred to the NCSPCA for adoption. In 2011, 6 rodents were transferred to the NCSPCA for adoption. We are aware of errors made by the Maddie’s® Pet Rescue Project in Erie County representatives in its 2010 annual report, and are in the process of examining numbers released by that organization to determine the root of the discrepancy. A correct report has been requested from Maddie's® Pet Rescue Project by the SPCA, and when it is received it will be posted on If you are unfamiliar with the Maddie’s® Pet Rescue Project, please visit


We DO ask the animal lovers of this community to keep something in mind: we are a local shelter working to HELP another shelter become better. The better the shelter is, the better for the animals, which is our first and foremost concern and always has been. Our SPCA has been entrusted with an open, honest, and truthful investigation. We look at this investigation as the first much-needed step in helping the Niagara County SPCA provide a much-improved level of care to the animals of their county, which will improve our entire region.