Article and Photos by Elijah Robinson
The Niagara SPCA held its third annual “Fall in the Falls Fest,” at the shelter in Lockport on Sept. 16, to benefit its lifesaving work.
Throughout the fest, there was an adoption event. Staff and volunteers walked all over the Niagara SPCA showing off their shelter dogs, hoping one would welcome a furry friend into their home.
Adoptable dogs featured at the event have been at the shelter from eight months to a year. Some of the dogs included Loretta, Tyler and J. Cole.
Music acts at the fall fest included rising Nashville country music star Trey Taylor, Michael Bly, along with 2019 Taste Of Country Riser winner Fuzzy Thurston.
Taylor, who loves animals and giving back, works with organizations across the country in an effort to share the compassion he feels for companion animals. All proceeds come back to the Niagara SPCA.
“It was nice of him to choose us as his local charity, so all the sponsors that we received, any money that we’re making, it all comes back to us, nothing goes to him,” said Liz Marshall, director of events and marketing. “He does this in all different states, so it was just nice that in Buffalo he chose us to do this for.”
The fall fest is the only Niagara SPCA event in the year that features live music, and it brings the community out to show support and come face to face with adoptable dogs waiting for a good owner and a good home. Attendees in the VIP section were treated to Anchor Bar wings, Mr. Ventry's pizza and Chili's chips and salsa, two drinks in a private cash bar, and a meeting with Taylor after the concert for photos and autographs. Also at the event, for general admission, were baked goods, concession foods, and a raffle for a Stefon Diggs signed jersey.
Marshall remarked that this is one of the SPCA’s four big fundraisers. Events help raise funds that provide the agency with everyday essentials and care.
She said more than $10,000 was raised, including sponsor contributions.
“We made a lot of money for the shelter, so it’s a good fundraiser,” she said.
Animals lovers, and prospective owners, have the option to adopt or pay for an animal’s adoption for a lucky future owner, in case of any reason they’re unable to bring a pet into their home.
Loretta, a pit bull who’s been at Niagara SPCA for over a year, for instance, has had her adoption fee paid for – so, if someone decided to adopt, the fee is waived.
“We’re just trying to give them more attention and a little more highlight,” Marshall said
One lucky dog, Josephine, was adopted at the fall fest.
“When people had come in, they just said that they were here to look at dogs,” Marshall said. “Josephine was just selected based on if they have another dog, their household, and everything like that.”
Scenes from the Niagara SPCA’s third annual “Fall in the Falls Fest,” including Fuzzy Thurston on stage.