Barbara Carr’s last day: Honoring 23 years of service to the SPCA Serving Erie County

(Carr, with her pets Charlie, Enny and Dibbs.)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Barbara Carr has spent the last 23 years as the Executive Director of the SPCA serving Erie County, but walked into the building with that title for the final time on Friday, March 18, 2016. She now begins a new journey; retirement.

“What I’m going to miss most is probably the interaction with the animals that I get on a day-to-day basis. It’s fun to see who our new guests are and make that connection with people too”, explained Carr about leaving after so many years.

Carr has been a fixture at Channel 4 during her time as Executive Director, making weekly appearances during the station’s SPCA segments featuring a new animal every Monday. She says those segments alone have been responsible for saving more than 1,500 animals.

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Carr joined the SPCA after serving as the Executive Director of a shelter in New Hampshire. At that time, she never thought she’d see the day when they could guarantee an adoption for every healthy, treatable, manageable animal that comes in, but the SPCA is now at that point. She hopes to see the person who replaces her continue the agency’s efforts, and successfully move into a new building.

Gary Willoughby takes over the position of SPCA Executive Director after serving in that same role for the Toledo Area Humane Society for three years. Prior to his time in Toledo, Willoughby was president and CEO of the SPCA Albrecht Center in Aiken, South Carolina for six years.

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He led both organizations through capital campaigns, and oversaw new facilities for each group, so Carr feels confident he will be successful in leading the SPCA Serving Erie County through the same transition. They are still raising money for the new facility; donations can be made to the Raise the Roof Campaign here. Currently, there is a match program, so a $10 donation becomes a $20 donation, up to $1,000,000.

Although Carr is looking forward to spending time in her pottery studio, sewing, traveling, and most-of-all, playing with her grandson, she says she will miss watching the transformations that happen at the SPCA every day. “To see something come in that has really been hurt by a human, and how this loving community and staff puts that animal back together, I’m going to know that it continues to go on every day, but I’m going to miss seeing it”.

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