Erie County, New York animal welfare groups and veterinarians to receive nearly $5 million over five years to save all healthy and treatable shelter dogs and cats

October 9, 2009

Sharon Fletcher, Director of Marketing & Communications

Maddie's Fund®, the Pet Rescue Foundation, has awarded a $541,550 grant to support the first year of Maddie's® Pet Rescue Project and Maddie's® Spay/Neuter Project in Erie County, New York. As goals are achieved, Maddie's Fund will provide animal welfare groups and veterinarians up to $4.9 million to end the killing of Erie County's healthy and treatable shelter dogs and cats.

Maddie's® Pet Rescue Project is led by the SPCA Serving Erie County (SPCA-EC) working with the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter and four adoption guarantee organizations - Buffalo Humane, HEART, Second Chance Sheltering Network, and Ten Lives Club. First year goals for participating organizations and Erie County shelters include:

  • Increase the total number of dogs and cats adopted by 889 over the baseline year number of 8,863 and decrease the number of dogs and cats euthanized by 889 below the baseline number of 7,307.
  • Maintain a total of zero healthy dogs and cats euthanized.
  • Decrease the number of treatable dogs and cats euthanized by at least 406 below the baseline number of 2,030.

Strategies for increasing adoptions include operating a full time cat adoption center, adding new coalition adoption events and special adoption promotions for bully breeds.

Maddie's® Spay/Neuter Project is administered by Operation PETS: The Spay/Neuter Clinic of Western New York, Inc. (OPETS). Ten private practice veterinary hospitals have also agreed to participate. Low-cost surgeries are available to Erie County pet owning residents who receive Medicaid and to Erie County residents who manage feral cat colonies. The total number of surgeries to be performed in the first year is 3,518.

Erie County covers 1,058 square miles on the western border of New York state. It contains three cities and 25 towns, including the City of Buffalo, the second largest city in New York State. The population is 921,390.

"The SPCA-EC's track record of success motivated us to award this grant," says Maddie's Fund President, Rich Avanzino. "The large traditional shelter handling 12,000 dogs and cats per year already has a live release rate of 78% and is geared to lead the rest of the partners to no-kill status community wide within five years."

About Maddie's Fund

Maddie's Fund® is a family foundation established in 1994 by Dave and Cheryl Duffield and is the fulfillment of a promise to their inspirational dog, Maddie. She provided them much joy from 1987 – 1997 and continues to inspire them today.

The Foundation has awarded over $275.7 million in grants toward increased community lifesaving, pioneering shelter medicine education and establishing foster care as a standard across the U.S.

Maddie's Fund proudly offers the industry a national voice, important funding opportunities for bold ideas, learning resources and access to collaborate and share innovative solutions. The Foundation invests its resources in a commitment to keeping pets and people together, creating a safety net of care for animals in need and operating within a culture of inclusiveness and humility. #ThanksToMaddie.