Each year, the SPCA Serving Erie County gives more than 15,000 dogs, cats, and exotic pets a new lease on life. Founded in 1867—making it the second-oldest humane society in the country—the SPCA’s compassionate animal rescue, rehabilitation, foster care, and adoption services have earned Charity Navigator’s four-star rating for extraordinary accountability and transparency, the highest rating available in all three categories. In the adoption center, furry faces peer from comfortable, clean cages as staff and volunteers evaluate customers’ needs and introduce them to compatible pets, decreasing the chance of conflict when adopters' favorite shows compete with Animal Planet specials. Before becoming eligible for adoption, pets undergo thorough health, temperament, and behavioral evaluations, and those who need extra TLC receive additional obedience training.
In addition to matching people with loving pets, SPCA Serving Erie County’s staff investigates more than 200 animal-cruelty complaints per month, and provides emergency animal-rescue services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Rescued animals receive state-of-the-art medical care in the facility’s onsite surgical suite, and rehabilitation programs prepare them to thrive in loving homes. A local, independent humane society, the donation-supported SPCA Serving Erie County is not associated with the ASPCA and receives no government funding.
No matter what kind of party his clients are throwing, DJ Dance Boogie has the accessories to make it an awesome event. Bounce houses, balloons, and carnival games such as strength contests and inflatable slides add an element of fun to parties for all occasions. DJ Dance Boogie also has Xbox and Wii consoles for rent, face-painting services, jugglers, and costumed characters that include Santa, Mario and Luigi, and Barney. Full DJ equipment, lighting rigs, and karaoke add a soundtrack to events of all occasions, and DJ Dance Boogie also has basic party supplies such as tables, chairs, and tents. Those with a flair for the exotic can avail themselves of DJ Dance Boogie?s petting zoo, which includes animals such as a 10-foot red-tail boa snake, giant cockroaches, a hedgehog, chinchillas, and a ferret.
Though they're not professional tennis players, the lively dog-lovers at the dog'SPAw Niagara boutique are constantly tossing the yellow felt-covered balls. In addition to elating pooches with stimulating games of fetch or tug of war, the dog-care specialists put their canine expertise to use in a variety of grooming services, which range from luxurious baths to stylish haircuts.
Sit Puppy Sit's founder, Tammy, has been breeding dogs since 2004. She knows what it takes to break them of bad habits, to crate train them, and to socialize them with both people and other dogs. And she can do all of that over the phone—or through face-to-face computer technology such as Skype, Google Hangout, or FaceTime. She knows it seems unorthodox, but she has seen great success with her method, and her clients love that they can consult with her on a quick lunch break or during one of their kids' after-school activities.
Tammy's prep classes help prepare people for a new dog and discuss why new puppies do what they do. For instance, she teaches people that a young puppy won't fetch a ball thrown to the side not because it disdains such a futile activity but because its eye-tracking speed is too slow to follow a ball that fast. She also teaches pet owners how to teach their dogs basic commands and social skills, as well as how to teach them more advanced skills, such as calmly riding along in a canoe.
Certified groomer and foreign-trained veterinary technician Sam Gerges loves animals so much that, in addition to caring for their health, he'll also put them up for the night. As the owner of pet daycare and dog-boarding facility Winston and Friendz, he leads a team of well-trained staff who supervise as pets spend the night in a private room or frolic in a fenced-in play area. The daycare center also keep its four-legged visitors fueled for play with a selection of homemade treats and dog cakes.
A graduate of Animal Behavior College, Mark Forrest Patrick espouses the benefits of positive reinforcement when training dogs. Using this approach, Patrick helps owners form long-lasting bonds with their four-legged companions as well as diminish bad behaviors, such as refusing to heel or illegally hiding an ace card in its coat. Rewarding pets for their good behavior can also help them learn skills in class more willingly, such as retrieving and walking on a leash. In addition to teaching dogs, Patrick also imparts owners with knowledge on how best to interact with their pets, leading to a more harmonious relationship in the home or on the Iditarod course.