Why So Many Cases of Animal Cruelty Here?

Abused Puppy December 6, 2012

Buffalo, NY - Buffalo, NY (WBEN) A dog set on fire. Another left cold and hungry outside an veterinary building. Those are just two examples of animal cruelty that's happened recently in Western New York.

"I don't know really why we're seeing such a rash right now," says SPCA Executive Director Barbara Carr. "I'm hoping this is a blip and not something that's changed with humanity because we largely have a compassionate and caring community. This is what makes it disturbing that these have happened one right after the other."

Another difference says Carr is the extent of the cruelty. "We see cases normally deal with neglect or ignorance, not out and out cruelty," explains Carr. As for why someone would do such a thing like set a dog on fire? "I can't even fathom in my wildest imagination why someone would set a dog on fire, it's depraved," says Carr. Carr is looking for the person who left Metro out in the cold in front of a building, discovered by two paramedics.

- via WBEN 107.7 FM

"One Of The Teens Who Burned Jack Russell Terrier Pleads Guilty"

December 6, 2012

Buffalo, NY - Today is another victorious day on the road to justice for Phoenix – one of the two teens who burned the Jack Russell Terrier puppy in Buffalo has pleaded guilty to a felony count of aggravated animal cruelty.

Diondre L. Brown, 17, admitted that he acted as a lookout for Adell Zeigler, 19, while he doused the puppy in lighter fluid and set him ablaze. He has pleaded guilty to the highest charge for which he could have been convicted. Zeigler has also been indicted today on the same charge.

Brown could serve a two-year term in prison, but may avoid hard time altogether if he continues to cooperate. Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita III was not pleased at this prospect. “He better not get off, he must serve time for what he did to an innocent puppy; they both should be sent to prison as an example, to show others crimes like this will not be tolerated.”


“People may ask ‘How come setting an animal on fire is the lowest felony?’” Sedita asked. “Anybody who engages in such behaviour, if proven in a court of law, is twisted. And they should be appropriately punished. My problem is I can only enforce the laws the way these laws are written. I can’t enforce them the way I wish they were written.” “Quite clearly the laws need to be re-written, these heinous crimes should be amongst the highest felony’s!”

Prosecutors suggested Brown get youthful offender status for his “minimal” participation in the puppy-torturing. “Standing by & watching someone set fire to a puppy, is just as F-ing sick, obviously same mentality as Ziegler, if he wasn’t he would have stopped it before it began!”

“He acted as the lookout; whereas Mr. Ziegler, we believe is the principal actor,” Sedita said. “And given his pronounced and severe psychiatric trauma he has gone through, I felt it was appropriate,” Sedita said of the youthful offender recommendation. Brown’s attorney, Andrew C. LoTempio says his client suffers from post-traumatic stress since witnessing the brutal 2005 quadruple homicide of his mother, uncle and family friends. But to many, this is no excuse for participating in such a heinous act. Brown says his uncle Adell is completely responsible for what happened.

“I was telling him to stop. Why do you have to kill the dog?” Brown said in a telephone interview from the Erie County Holding Center. “Why didn’t he stop him??” Zeigler told police that his nephew was the culprit, “Because he’s already got felony [convictions] and doesn’t want that kind of [prison] time on him,” according to Brown. “They are both blaming each other, they were both there so both should receive the same punishment." It is still unknown who the puppy belonged to and how he came to be in the possession of Zeigler and Brown.


Phoenix is still recovering, and doing better every day. His ears have been amputated and he has received skin grafts for the most damaged parts of his body. He is scheduled for another skin graft Thursday. His left hind leg is in a cast, and may need to be removed because of a bone infection. “You can already see the behaviour change from a few weeks ago until now … He loves to be silly and play and maybe question your authorities sometimes, just like little two-year-old do,” said Rebecca Wagner, Phoenix’s primary veterinarian. [He] barks at other dogs, he wants to play with his toys. He accepts a lot of attention from basically anyone who wants to give it to him.”

Many are hoping for the chance to adopt Phoenix, but for now, they will have to wait.


"Severely burned puppy in critical condition "

Burned Phoenix November 1, 2012

Buffalo, NY - A puppy is in critical condition after he was set on fire Monday. A man heard the dog whimpering and found him along the 200 block of Herman Street on Buffalo's East Side. The dog was still on fire when Buffalo Firefighters arrived. The puppy is a Jack Russell Terrier and is being treated at the Buffalo Small Animal Hospital. The City's Animal Shelter director Kelly McCartney tells WBFO's Eileen Buckley the incident is "horrific."

"This poor little guy is really, really suffering," said McCartney. "He is very critical. He was burned over 100% of his body. 30% of those burns are third degree. He is in rough shape."

Buffalo Police say no one has claimed ownership of the dog. No arrests have been made, but police continue to investigate if foul play was involved. Friends of the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter is paying for the puppy's medical expenses with community. donations. The puppy has been named "Phoenix."

- via WBFO 88.7

"Kingston Resident Charged With Animal Cruelty"

Broken Bone X-Ray October 15, 2012

Saugerties, NY - Pursuant to an Arrest Warrant, Ulster County SPCA Investigators and Ulster PD took Damien Jackson, 22, of 279 New Salem Road, Kingston into custody on 10/14/12. Jackson was transferred to Kingston Police Department where he was charged with one misdemeanor count of “Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance”. Mr. Jackson allegedly allowed his 9 month old Pit bull, Isis, to suffer an untreated broken leg for several weeks prior to the UCSPCA gaining custody of the pup. Given the length of time the wound was left to fester, orthopedic surgery was required to repair the injury. The dog is currently recovering quickly in a new adoptive home.

“This graphic injury was obvious in the radiograph, even to an untrained eye. I can’t imagine the amount of pain the poor dog was in.” –David Fix, Senior Investigator, Ulster County SPCA.

- via PostStarNews.com

"Animal cruelty arrest"

October 2, 2012

CATTARAUGUS COUNTY, N.Y. - Cattaraugus County Sheriff's have made an arrest in a case where a dog was found hanging off a bridge. Sheriff's deputies say 44-year-old John Bird of Olean let his dog go free on a back road back in August. The dog was left with no food or water and was later found hanging from it's leash off a bridge on Underwood Road. Bird has been charged with animal cruelty and is scheduled to appear in court later this month.

- via YNN.com

"Windsor couple faces endangerment and animal cruelty charges"

October 1, 2012

WINDSOR - A town couple is facing child endangerment and animal cruelty charges following a Broome County Sheriff's Office investigation. After the execution of a search warrant Monday, deputies charged Colin Zeidenstein-Wilson and Jenn N. Xancada, both 32, with endangering the welfare of a child and animal cruelty, misdemeanors, and unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation. Wilson also was charged with multiple vehicle and traffic charges stemming from a suspended license.

Police were alerted to an issue at 226 Dutchtown Road by an equestrian rescue group that was called by a neighbor. Five horses, one donkey, two dogs and eight cats were seized from the property, said Broome County Detective Sgt. Jason T. Ellis. All the animals appeared to be malnourished and have been relocated to shelters for care. Also at the home was the 13-year-old daughter of the couple.

"We have taken the parents into custody at this point for endangering the welfare of a child," Ellis said. "We're looking for relatives." Neighbors said they believed the child was home-schooled and the family sometimes lived in tents in the woods. Police confirmed the information, saying they were still investigating which family members lived in the tents. The property included a light blue mobile home, three Jeeps in the driveway - one of which two dogs were attached to - and small pastures bordered with electrical fences.

Neighbors said they've complained to authorities for years, including Child Protective Services, state police and town officials. "I've been begging for someone to hear us," said next door neighbor Maria Garcia. "I'm so relieved. Today is my birthday and it's the happiest day in my life." Wilson and Xancada were released and ordered to appear in Windsor Town Court to answer the charges. The sheriff's office was assisted by Equine Rescue Resources, Broome County Animal Care Council, Town of Windsor Dog Control, New York State Humane Society, Forget Me Not Equine Retirement Center and Broome County Child Protective Services.

- via PressConnects.com

"Spring Grove couple charged with animal cruelty"

September 28, 2012

A Spring Grove couple face animal cruelty charges after authorities say they discovered 17 Great Danes suffering from disease and malnutrition in their house. The animals were removed from the residence by McHenry County Animal Control personnel after sheriff's officers served a search warrant at 7206 S. Solon Road on Thursday.

Sal C. Messina, 40, and Patricia C. Messina, 43, were charged with a total of 17 counts of violating the state's Humane Care for Animals Act. Animal control officers wore protective suits, glasses, masks and gloves during the service of the search warrant due to the large amount of animal excrement in the house, authorities said.

Several of the dogs removed from the house are undergoing testing and treatment for giardia, a parasite that can be passed to humans, officials said. Nine other dogs previously removed from the house tested positive for the parasite. The Messinas were arrested at the scene on outstanding arrest warrants from DuPage County. They are due in court Oct. 16.

- via The Daily Herald

"Corning woman charged with aggravated animal cruelty"

September 27, 2012

A Corning woman has been charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, a class E felony, after police charge that she stabbed her dog to death following a heated domestic dispute.

Corning police arrested Gaylynn Taylor, 32, of Steuben Street, and charged her with killing an adult pit bull by cutting its throat and stabbing it repeatedly. Taylor owned the dog with her husband, who was not home at the time of the incident and is not believed to be involved in the animal's death, police said.

Police believe Taylor killed the dog in the city and then transported it to a residence in Painted Post for disposal. Taylor was arraigned Thursday morning in City of Corning Court and released on her own recognizance. She will reappear in court Oct. 23. The Painted Post police and public works departments assisted in the investigation.

- via PressConnects.com