A city is only as healthy as the health of its most vulnerable citizens. And that includes not only people, but the city’s animals too. While there are many social service agencies in Buffalo caring for the men and women in our community who are in need, who is taking care of Buffalo’s critters who are also in need? That would be the “Friends of the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter,” a small, unsung and often unrecognized organization that does great things to promote a great cause.
Functioning on a shoe-string budget with little publicity and advertising, Friends is an all volunteer organization that supports and enhances the work of the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter. The City of Buffalo Animal Shelter itself provides a range of services including: helping and treating injured, abused, lost, and abandoned animals; providing food, care, shelter, and comfort to animals; and working to help animals find a stable and loving and responsible home. The shelter reunites lost pets and their owners while ensuring that potentially dangerous pets are kept off the streets.
But as a city agency with limited resources, the shelter has been aided enormously by the work, the mission, the values and energy of the Friends of Buffalo Animal Shelter. From walking dogs, to raising funds, to promoting pet adoption and pet fostering, The Friends of Buffalo Animal Shelter is committed to helping animals live the healthy and happy life they deserve.
How do they do it? Through its successful fundraising events, the Friends of Buffalo Animal Shelter is able to pay the medical costs for rehabilitating animals that have been injured or abused; to buy equipment, like grooming tubs and off leash play area fences; and through the “Special Paws & Silver Whiskers Fund,” pay for the adoption expenses for senior pets and special needs pets.
“Basically, our services focus on five areas,” says Kerry Neaf, President of the Friends of City of Buffalo Animal Shelter, and one its most dedicated volunteers. “We promote adoption of eligible cats and dogs. We care for and house cats and dogs that have been lost and are waiting for their families to claim them. We work to heal injured or abused pets, and care for pets that have been surrendered by their owners. And lastly, for dogs that are stressed out, scared of people, very elderly and those that are potentially dangerous, we work with rescue groups who may take them for rehabilitation, if it’s possible.”
All that work requires money which is why The Friends of Buffalo Animal Shelter stages its annual Cruise for Critters Car and Motorcycle fundraiser show every summer, which in 2017 brought in a whopping $25,000 to support the work of the shelter.
And while money ensures that the shelter can provide the treatment, the equipment, the food and medical care to keep pets healthy and safe, only people can provide the love. That’s why volunteers are essential to the organization. And that’s why volunteers are always welcomed and needed – for daytime, Saturday and evening shifts, says Neaf.
So why is The Friends of Buffalo Animal Shelter so important to Buffalo? “We are adopting out more and more pets each year and saving more pets each year too, thanks to more people learning about us, about our work, and about our success stories,” says Neaf. Just one more reason why Buffalo proudly has earned the title, “The City of Good Neighbors.”
The Buffalo Animal Shelter is located at 380 Oak Street in downtown Buffalo. For more information, visit their website, or call: 716-851-5694 or find them online.
If you’re looking for a companion, click here. All of the dogs in the lead image are looking for homes.
This article has been written in memory of Fausto