DID YOU KNOW? (from Janet)

Let’s take a minute to talk about neglect of domestic dogs as it applies to the severe wintry weather.  Targeting New York State here, but these commonalities apply to many other states as well.

Social media is a great tool to use to help network for all kinds of animals in need.  But readers beware, not everything you read or see on social media is 100% accurate.  Not everything you hear is correct.  Sad, but true.

Your first reaction to help may not be the correct action to help.

Did you know?
That if you see a dog outside and you offer to pay the owner of that dog to take the dog with you to a safer location, that the majority of those dog owners promptly get another dog to replace it – as a way to get extra money fast?  Please don’t make it a practice to offer money to get a dog out of an abusive situation.  

Did you know?
That if someone on social media posts the full address of where a dog is actually or perceived to be in an unsafe situation, that person posting that information can be held legally liable in the event harm comes to the residence owner, dog, and/or anyone deciding to go to that address, trespasses or harasses and/or remove the dog?  This also includes social media harassment by others responding to a post towards the posted resident address.

Did you know?
That attempting to remove a dog from a real or perceived unsafe situation is illegal, and even if there is abuse going on, the person(s) stealing the dog can be criminally charged for trespassing, and stealing?  This would be considered Grand Larceny. 

Did you know?
Every call to local Police, Animal Control and Humane Law Enforcement is logged and documented. Whether you reach out to the same lawful entities once or one-hundred times for the same situation, the message is well received.  Every call is investigated.  If you bombard these entities with calls and emails for the same situation, this uses up time that someone else may be trying to call to get another animal help.

So, what should you do if you think a dog (or any animal) is in an unsafe situation?

Number 1:
Call 911.  

You can request anonymity in terms of making sure the pet owner does not know the complaint came from you.  

Before you call, be prepared:  You will want to report the type and breed (if possible) of the animal, the unsafe situation, the home address (with nearest cross street), and time-frame(s) of concern.  Take pictures if you can without trespassing, for additional proof.

Number 2:
If you are in the following counties (Monroe, Genesee, Livingston and Orleans), call Humane Law Enforcement at Lollypop Farm (585) 223-6500.

The same information for this call applies as if you were to call 911.

There can be some confusion on whether other entities should also be called to highlight a situation. Take a minute to jump on the Humane Law Enforcement website at Lollypop Farm to read a little more about the differences between calling them versus your local Animal Control or the DEC:  https://www.lollypop.org/humane-law-enforcement/about-humane-law/

Did you know?
Local law enforcement and Humane Law Enforcement work together.  If you have to report an unsafe situation during the hours that Humane Lawn Enforcement offices are closed, 911 will reach out to them directly.

We all want to see suffering end right away.  We all are passionate about that. It’s difficult to wait when you become aware of an animal in need.  

Many people see law enforcement as cold or uncaring because they are legally bound to follow the laws currently in place that defines the legal guidelines of what is acceptable in NYS when it comes to assessing a situation.  

Did you know?
Every animal situation reported to 911 and Humane Law Enforcement is investigated.  This means everything is taken into consideration, not just the feelings of the person feeling awful for the dog left outside.  And this can take time.

Of course, if the animal is in immediate danger, handling the situation would be immediate.

Sometimes a dog owner just needs some education or some help in being a better pet owner.  Sometimes it’s more.

You are always welcome to follow-up on your complaint by calling 911 or Humane Lawn Enforcement back.  

It’s no secret that the legal guidelines in place for NYS outdoor dogs stink.  The current law can be found here: https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/AGM/A26

There are people right now working to revise these guidelines.  Sadly, it takes more than just calling your City/Town Hall, or Mayor to get the ball rolling on changing these laws.  

Every state has guidelines for constituents (that’s us) who want to make law changes.  For NYS, you can start here:

Every animal that is helped is because someone chose to Just Do Something.  The world needs as many of these people as we can get!  Reporting animals in harm’s way helps our legal entities and rescues as that second set of ears and eyes.

We should all work together to help out where and when we can.  But let’s be responsible, level-headed and cohesive about it.  Become familiar with the law, understand how our local entities work, and understand that it’s important to see things from all perspectives and angles before decisions and judgements are made.

Thank you for caring, xo

Animal Advocacy Founder signature Janet Bovitz Sandefur just-do-something.org


Animal Advocacy just-do-something.org logo Janet Bovitz Sandefur just-do-something.org