As I walked into the Cattaraugus County SPCA at 2944 Route 16 North in the Town of Olean, I could sense a loving atmosphere. The hardworking employees greeted me, and the manager, Shawn Jennings, told me the SPCA was housing 39 dogs and 175 cats.

The longer I stayed, the more I noticed that everyone who worked there was kind and truly cared about the animals.

As the workers took me around to see all the animals, they seemed to know every single dog and cat by name. They also seemed to know how to get the dogs to get along with each other and each dog’s personality traits.

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Every morning, workers clean the SPCA. Next they do a walk-through to see if the dogs or cats need food or water. At the end of the workday, they give the dogs blankets, said Heidi Jankowiak, SPCA receptionist.

All of the dogs got excited when they saw the workers – especially when given treats.

There have been many SPCA adoption success stories.  For instance, a dog named Junior went to a home in Wisconsin after being found on

When someone who already has a dog wants to adopt from the SPCA, “we do a meet and greet with the dogs to make sure they get along,” Jankowiak explained.  “We do everything we can to make it a success story.”

While the SPCA cares for its charges, it is contending with a big problem. Its 30-year-old roof is “in desperate need of repair,” according to Jennings. A “Raise the Woof” fundraising drive is underway. The project is set for spring and will cost around $80,000; 95 percent of the deck wood will be replaced and new ice and water mats, rain gutters and shingles will be installed, said Jennings.

Donations can be made on the SPCA’s website, by mail and by stopping in.

The SPCA is also taking donations of dog and cat food, blankets, hand towels, Dawn dish soap and laundry soap, said Jennings.

Dog lovers are welcome to stop by and walk a dog – after signing a waiver.

The SPCA is open Monday through Saturday noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 4 p.m.

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