Month: November, 2019
Saturday, November 23, 2019
Representatives from the Chautauqua County Humane Society and Northern Chautauqua Canine Rescue had the opportunity to sit down with Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello who was recently elected to the New York State Senate, 57th District, representing all of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Allegheny counties and a portion of Livingston county.
The discussion started with talk of what more can be done to protect animals in a state whose animal protection rating is in the lower half of all of the states in the country according to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, and the fact that animals are still considered personal property. Borrello said, “First and foremost, you’re probably aware that (as Chautauqua County Executive) I pushed hard to get the Animal Abuse Registry and we got that done, which is great. One of the issues when we were looking into this is the fact that our Ag and Markets laws are really outdated.” Borrello added that he would like to see the Animal Abuse Registry go statewide.
There is a Standing Committee on Domestic Animal Welfare in the NYS Senate and Borrello is hoping to be on that committee. Borrello says that the goal is to be able to reform the state’s very outdated Ag and Markets law, but do so in a way that it doesn’t overtax the already overburdened farmers. Borrello said that we do need to make our laws stricter to safeguard domestic animals. “There are not enough penalties out there,” he said. “If you do something involving abuse or neglect the penalties are just not harsh enough. It doesn’t discourage people from doing it. Anyone capable of harming an animal is obviously capable of far worse. That is someone who doesn’t value life, period.” He also said that if he lands on the committee he hopes they can come up with some “clear cut legislation that would have broad support. I’m going to ask to be on that committee and they probably need people to be on that committee.”
Regarding puppy mills, Borrello said, “There are so many unwanted animals that are neglected, there’s no reason to buy a dog or a cat, go adopt an animal that needs a home. We have currently five indoor cats and all of them are rescues.” Borrello pointed out that what is going to make the difference is education and awareness to eliminate the demand for puppy mill dogs.
The issue of feral and community cats is one that Borrello is all too familiar with. Borrello said, “We started doing our TNR program in our community ten years ago. We had a horrible problem with our ferals and now our colonies are small and we haven’t had a litter of kittens in I don’t know how long. The problem we have now is that people will drop cats off. We just had one two weeks ago and it was the most lovable kitten I’ve ever met and we had it in the house for a while. We got it fixed and we found some people that we knew that wanted to adopt it.” Borrello went on to say that if we could get some community-based TNR programs in place, it would be better to fund community organizations that have the right team of people to address these issues and get animals the necessary help.
Recognizing the problem of our exploding local cat population, it was noted to Borrello that with the work of contracted veterinarians the Chautauqua County Humane Society now performs 3,100 spay/neuter surgeries annually. CCHS is held to that number due to space and resource issues, including the inability to consider bringing on a full time veterinarian due to stipulations in the New York State education laws (§6706). Borrello offered that laws of this nature need to be looked at and changed to better reflect our times.
The conversation ended with Borrello urging those in attendance to work with other local animal organizations to create a list of priorities for reform as he will be looking to introduce new animal welfare legislation in the New York State Senate.
The purpose of this conversation and others like it is, “To create a culture throughout the area where people know how to get involved in the political process to make a real difference in the lives of animals,” said Kellie Roberts, CCHS Executive Director. “Using social media to air concerns is not effective in creating change. If you know where your representatives stand on the issues that are important to you -- such as the welfare of animals -- then you can become a better advocate. We also want animals to be on the radar of our elected officials and we are opening that door by meeting with area leaders to keep the conversation moving forward.”
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Thanksgiving is a time for friends, family and holiday feasts—but also a time for possible distress for our animal companions. Pets won’t be so thankful if they munch on undercooked turkey or a pet-unfriendly floral arrangement, or if they stumble upon an unattended alcoholic drink.
Check out the following tips for a fulfilling Thanksgiving that your pets can enjoy, too:
- Talkin’ Turkey: If you decide to feed your pet a small bite of turkey, make sure it’s boneless and well-cooked. Don't offer her raw or undercooked turkey, which may contain salmonella bacteria. Do not give your pet the left over carcass–the bones can be problematic for the digestive tract.
- No Bread Dough: Don't spoil your pet’s holiday by giving him access to raw yeast bread dough. When a dog or cat ingests raw bread dough, the yeast continues to convert the sugars in the dough to carbon dioxide gas and alcohol. This can result in bloated drunken pets, which could become a life-threatening emergency, requiring hospitalization.
- Don't Let Them Eat Cake: If you plan to bake Thanksgiving desserts, be sure your pets keep their noses out of the batter, especially if it includes raw eggs—they could contain salmonella bacteria that may lead to food poisoning.
- A Feast Fit for a King: While your family enjoys a special meal, give your cat and dog a small feast of their own. Offer them made-for-pets chew bones. Or stuff their usual dinner—perhaps with a few added tidbits of turkey, vegetables (try sweet potato or green beans) and dribbles of gravy—inside a food puzzle toy. They’ll be happily occupied for awhile, working hard to extract their dinner from the toy.
A few small boneless pieces of cooked turkey, a taste of mashed potato or even a lick of pumpkin pie shouldn’t pose a problem. However, don't allow your pets to overindulge, as they could wind up with a case of stomach upset, diarrhea or even worse—an inflammatory condition of the pancreas known as pancreatitis. In fact, it’s best keep pets on their regular diets during the holidays. Please visit our People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets page for more information.
Find this article and more at ASPCA.ORG.
Sunday, November 3, 2019
Jamestown mayoral candidates Andrew Liuzzo (Libertarian), Eddie Sundquist (Democratic, Independence, Working Families), and David Wilfong (Republican, Conservative) were invited to the Chautauqua County Humane Society’s (CCHS) Strunk Road Adoption Center this week for a conversation with Executive Director Kellie Roberts, Board Vice President Mary Schiller, Esq., Director of Animal Services Sue Bobek, and Board Secretary Stephanie Malinowski-Church regarding the future of animal welfare and related laws in the city. The following is taken from the discussions with the three candidates.
The purpose of these conversations is, “To create a culture in Jamestown and throughout the county and beyond where people know how to get involved in the political process to make a real difference in the lives of animals,” said Kellie Roberts. “Using social media to air concerns is not effective in creating change. If you know where the candidates stand on the issues that are important to you -- such as the welfare of animals -- then you can vote accordingly so that progress is made. We also want animals to be on the radar of city officials and we are opening that door by meeting with the candidates for the mayor of Jamestown.”
Libertarian candidate Andrew Liuzzo came to CCHS with an open ear and the intention to learn about animal-related issues within the city. The first topic was the area’s pet population and what is being done to keep all pets healthy and spayed or neutered. Liuzzo listened to information about CCHS’s 2018 Healthy Pet Clinics which served 131 Jamestown dogs and cats, a total which will be surpassed in 2019. He learned that of the 3,100 animals altered through the spay-neuter services at CCHS in 2018, 817 of those cats and dogs were from the city of Jamestown and that CCHS always has a waiting list for spay-neuter surgery appointments. He questioned why the number of these surgeries is held to about 3,000 and learned that there is a lack of low cost options in the area and a limited number of slots available at CCHS’ clinic due to the size and usage of the surgical space and other resource issues which puts a cap on the number of possible surgeries. Liuzzo offered the suggestion of adding a vet to the staff and was informed that in and of itself having a vet on staff would not solve the problem and that this is not currently permitted under New York State Law. He also questioned the possibility of bringing in interns to perform surgeries and was met with the reasoning that there would still need to be a vet on staff to oversee an intern. Ultimately he suggested bringing up the issue with state assembly members to change the law to allow CCHS to add a veterinarian to the staff as a step toward solving the need for spay and neuter services. Liuzzo said, “What we are up against are laws that are being written down state. What we need to do is get the community involved to work on a culture change to make that happen.”
The issue of community cats in Jamestown was another point of discussion. Liuzzo was asked if he were elected mayor would he be willing to direct some city resources to help tackle the problem. Liuzzo said, “We will need a new city council and mayor who is willing to listen and create a new mindset.” He commented that any action taken by the city would be somewhat restricted because CCHS is outside of the city limits and was informed that CCHS would be happy to work with the city to remove whatever barriers exist.
Liuzzo was very open to the possibility of partnering with CCHS to ensure a healthier and safer city for our animals. On the topic of microchipping Liuzzo said, “Working with animal control might be a good place to start. If they pick up a dog that does not have a chip, there could be a regulation that they need to get a chip to insure their safety and well being.”
In closing, Liuzzo said, “I was not including animals before, but now I am. I did not know this was an issue before and now I know.”
Democratic, Independence, and Working Families Party candidate Eddie Sundquist was appreciative that CCHS reached out to discuss animal-related issues prior to election night. The topic that garnered the most conversation was that of community cats in the city. Sundquist said there have been, “Numerous calls about feral cats and animals in the city and that the city had changed their policies regarding them and it does not seem to be fixing the problem.” Along a similar line the question arose regarding animal control in the city of Jamestown and the passing of the “No Pet Gets Left Behind Bill” (https://bit.ly/2pkOiHb) which is intended to protect pets from being abandoned when an eviction occurs. Sundquist responded to these problems by saying, “The key is to partner with local organizations and talk about the best ways to solve the issues.” Regarding community cat overpopulation, he says this problem is on his radar and it is something that is important to him personally. Regarding No Pet Gets Left Behind, Sundquist said, “I have heard that some people have been told to just release the animals, but have not had that verified.”
The city website came up as a point of conversation, primarily for its lack of animal-related information. Sundquist was asked for ideas to improve on this, including when it comes to the issue of dog licensing and he said, “I’m not sure everyone who should be licensing animals is licensing their animals and having a campaign on that and why we do it would be a good campaign for local shelters.” He noted that this type of campaign is already being done in Olean. Sundquist was also open to the idea of adding this information to the city website.
Ultimately Sundquist said that he wants to move the city forward and grow it and that he would be all for teaming up with CCHS on the possibility of doing joint events to promote microchipping, licensing, and pet adoption. He wants to help create an open, transparent, and even welcoming city government.
Republican and Conservative Candidate David Wilfong came to CCHS to talk about Jamestown breaking through old schools of thought and moving forward. The conversation started with Wilfong speaking about his awareness of animal issues within the city. Wilfong illustrated his familiarity with CCHS, saying that he has adopted there and noting that his children have walked dogs at the Adoption Center.
Regarding animals in the community, Wilfong said, “I know there is an issue with feral cats, where I live there is a terrible cat problem.” When it was explained that the spay and neuter program at CCHS is maxed out on space and resources and that additional alternatives are being sought, Wilfong said, “I believe the city needs to do something, possibly a stipend to help cover the cost of spay and neuter.”
Other topics addressed during the conversation were the No Pet Gets Left Behind Law and how NYS Ag and Market Law states that municipalities are responsible to help any animals who are under distress. Feedback to CCHS from citizens point toward these laws not being followed in the city. Wilfong said that he has not seen anything saying that the city should not be doing as the laws specify but he also does not know the Jamestown Police Department’s workload. Addressing this as part of a greater issue within the city, Wilfong said, “There is a transient group moving from apartment to apartment that are not taking care of their kids or pets well and this is something that we need to deal with.”
Wilfong also addressed the people in the community that truly love their animals and commended CCHS on the Healthy Pet Clinics that have been held at St. Luke’s Church in Jamestown for the past two years as a way to keep those pets in loving homes.
Wrapping up, Wilfong said things need to change to increase the health and welfare of animals in Jamestown and that will happen through better communication and a strong city government that is loyal to wanting the best for all of the City of Jamestown.
CCHS wants to thank the candidates for coming to our Adoption Center during this busy time of the campaign to talk about some of the animal issues in the city of Jamestown.