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June 17, 2017 - 4:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pets, animals, news, batavia.


A resident on Slusser Road, between Pratt and Killian roads, reports his neighbor's dog took off last night around 8:30. He answers to "Ruben." If you have information about the dog, call Amy at (716) 998-1860 or Tom at (585) 993-2163.

UPDATE: Ruben is home safe.

June 16, 2017 - 3:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, batavia, news.


This afternoon, County Manager Jay Gsell and two passersby along with the City's animal control officer, James Scheflin, tried to help a momma duck and her ducklings cross Ellicott Street by the Upton Monument so they could get to the Tonawanda Creek.

Momma would have none it, though, choosing to try and shelter in the plants at the time.   

Scheflin decided to leave her be for the time being and monitor the situation.


June 14, 2017 - 5:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, news, batavia, walmart.

Two dogs are locked in a black Ford Explorer in Row 7 at Walmart with the windows rolled up.

A deputy has been dispatched.

June 3, 2017 - 3:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in volunteers for animals, batavia, news, animals, pets.


Volunteers from Volunteers for Animals were at the Animal Shelter today collecting donated scrap metal as a fundraiser for the shelter and the support provided by Volunteers for Animals.

May 31, 2017 - 12:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in alexander, news, animals, pets.

"There's a loose dog killing his neighbor's chickens -- occuring now," says a dispatcher about a call just received. The incident is at 2414 Walker Road, Alexander. Sheriff's deputies are responding.

UPDATE 12:05 p.m.: An officer at the scene reports the dog has tags, but he can't get close to the dog (to read them). An animal control officer is responding.

UPDATE 12:08 p.m.: The officer is able to read the phone number of the dog's owner on a tag and provides it to the dispatcher.

May 17, 2017 - 9:13am
posted by Howard B. Owens in pets, animals, bergen, news.


This dog was found on Reed Road in Bergen this morning. It's only tag is a rabies tag from Texas. Stacy Stanton found the dog and said the dog is very sweet. She called Animal Control and was keeping the dog this morning until an officer picked up the dog.

UPDATE: Owner and dog have been reunited.

May 14, 2017 - 8:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, pets, Oakfield, news, animals.

A caller has a pig cornered at 3600 Batavia-Oakfield Townline Road.

A deputy who has responded is going to check with neighbors to see who might have lost a pig.

UPDATE 9 p.m.: It sounds like the pig's owner has been located.

May 7, 2017 - 12:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, animal rescue, batavia, news.


An animal control officer and Town of Batavia volunteer firefighters attempted this morning to rescue three ducklings that fell into a storm drain at Main and Lewiston by House O' Laundry.

The duckling's mother left the area after a passerby tried to keep her and her six other ducklings out of the roadway, so duck calls from smartphones were used to try and lure the ducklings out of the storm drain pipes and to the open grate. They simply wouldn't come out of the pipe, even after attempts to create noises at the drain east of their location.

Their best hope now is to find their way to an opening that drains into the Tonawanda Creek.






April 26, 2017 - 6:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pets, animals, batavia, news.

Roamer, who went missing two days ago after escaping from his owner when charged by another dog, was spotted today by Councilwoman Rose Mary Christian on Clifton Avenue.

Christian called Batavia PD and Animal Control Officer Jimmy Shefflin responded, but he couldn't find him.

At 5 p.m., Rose Mary and her daughter Raelene went looking again. Raelene spotted Roamer behind a house on Clifton Avenue. She didn't try to approach Roamer, she said, because he seemed really scared. She called Don Mengs who came over right away with his wife and Roamer's brother Elvis. 

From the video, you can see, Roamer was definitely happy to see Don.

Raelene said she and Rose Mary only knew about Roamer because they had seen the posts on The Batavian.

April 25, 2017 - 6:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pets, animals, batavia, news.


We told you about Roamer yesterday, the German shepherd pup belonging to Don Mengs. Roamer ran off into the woods near Country Max and went into the DeWitt Recreation Area. Roamer is still missing. It's possible somebody has found him and still has him. If you see Roamer, contact Don at (716) 698-6096.

April 24, 2017 - 10:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in pets, animals, batavia, news.


Yesterday, as Don Mengs was leaving the Country Max store on East Main Street, Batavia, an English bulldog pushed open the door of a van and charged his two German shepherd puppies.

One of the puppies, Roamer, slipped from his splitter and collar and ran south into the woods and area of the quarry behind the store. 

Batavia PD officers helped search the area for a length of time, including the area of the park on the other side of the lake. Mengs returned from 6 to 9 p.m. and searched the area with one of his older dogs but they could not find him.

Batavia PD is resuming the search this morning. 

Roamer is just over three months old, a black and tan German shepherd. He weighs 30 pounds and is 18 inches high. He responds to his name and sits and shakes quickly on command. He has a distinguishing Roman-helmet-looking mark on his snout with light-colored eyebrows.

If found, call Batavia PD at (585) 345-6350.

April 21, 2017 - 1:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Calling All Dogs, batavia, business, pets, animals, news.


Tori Ganino, owner of Calling All Dogs, in the Harvester Center, has been accepted for membership in the International Canine Behaviorists.

The England-based organization provides ongoing professional development for dog behaviorists and enforces a code of ethics and code of conduct and requires certification for membership.

Ganino said she believes she's the first member in the United States.

April 9, 2017 - 2:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, pets, animals, news.


A reader says this dog seems to be wandering the area of Batavia Elba Townline Road, near Plum Creek Driving Range, the past few days, apparently lost.

The dog is skittish and the reader hasn't been able to get close enough to check for tags.

March 7, 2017 - 2:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Neptunes Gardens, batavia, pets, animals, news.

An SPCA necropsy of a dead animal found in the basement of a former pet store on Ellicott Street has determined the animal was a cat, Batavia PD announced this afternoon.

The cause of death could not be determined, but the SPCA found no signs of abuse and the absence of bite marks or claw marks inside the box indicate it was dead before being placed in the box.

Neptune's Gardens closed more than five months before the dead cat was found by an employee of I.D. Booth, owner of the building, while cleaning it out so the retail space could be rented to another tenant. 

The employee posted a picture of the dead animal on social media and said she had found the skeleton of a dead dog. Regional media outlets, including The Batavian, and the dozens and dozens of people who shared the initial post, did not question the conclusion that the bones were dog remains.

The Batavian spoke with members of local law enforcement a few days later who indicated the remains were probably not of a dog.

During the 31 years that Nick and Kathy LaFarnara owned Neptune's Gardens (the storefront was Ellicott Street, but the actual address is on Liberty Street), people would drop off boxes of kittens and sometimes puppies and the LaFarnara's would try to find homes for the animals.

"We always took them to the vet and made sure they were healthy before we sold them for $5," LaFarnara said. "They object was to find them good homes."

The kittens and puppies needed to be at least 8 weeks old, depending on size, by state law. LaFarnara said she was told the dead kitten found in the box was 6 weeks old.

"The only time anybody ever dropped off kittens that were 6 weeks old, we took them to Lollypop Farms because we could not legally keep them," LaFarnara said.

She said she has no idea how the kitten wound up in the box in the basement.

As far as opening another store across the street, LaFarnara said she and her husband are still discussing it.

March 3, 2017 - 10:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, batavia, crime, news.


A Batavia woman is upset after her 5-year-old beagle Shar-Pei mix was attacked by another dog on State Street last week not only because her dog was injured, but because there was also a recent report of the same dog biting a person earlier in the month.

The dog reportedly bit a person inside of its home on State Street on Feb. 7, according to the owner of the dog that was attacked, who lives on State Street, and a member of law enforcement familiar with the incident. 

Angelina Pellegrino posted about the attack on her dog on social media on Tuesday. 

"Ridiculous that while walking my dog innocently with her harness and leash yesterday I had to witness the horror of my dog getting attacked unprovoked by an unleashed dog," Pellegrino wrote.

Her dog suffered four puncture wounds that had to be treated and the dog has been placed on antibiotics.

"I just kept screaming at the top of my lungs in the middle of the sidewalk," Pellegrino told The Batavian this morning. "I kept trying to get between the dogs to pick my dog up to no avail."

Pellegrino is also upset that the owner of the dog denied that his dog attacked her dog.

"(The) owner insists to the police that his dog did nothing," she said.

According to sources, the dog's owner was cited for letting a dog run off leash. We don't have information on the owner this morning because Assistant Chief Todd Crossett said he would not release the arrest report until a later date with other arrest reports.

"The sad thing is is the cops told me that there is nothing they can do about a dog that attacked their owners or continues to attack their owners," Pellegrino said. "It does not matter. Only what matters is the fact that now the dog attacked my dog and it has to continually attack other people or things for anything to be done."

March 1, 2017 - 4:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, Announcements, animals, pets, volunteers for animals.

From Volunteers for Animals:

We all know that it is important to have ID tags on our pets but how many of us don't have them? Be honest. VFA is committed to helping families get lost and missing pets back home.

Since 2006, we have offered low-cost microchipping and continue to encourage it. But we all know that ID tags on our pets will help get them even faster, many times by passing the Shelter altogether.

To help encourage getting our pets properly tagged, VFA recently purchased an engraving machine. Now you can stop by the Genesee County Animal Shelter during regular adoption hours to have a personalized ID tag engraved while you wait. All we are asking is for is a donation for the tag and to go home and get the tag on your pet.

We are also encouraging you to put collars and ID tags on your cats, including indoor cats. No one plans for our cats and dogs to escape the house or yard, so please plan ahead!

February 21, 2017 - 12:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, batavia, news.

The remains of an animal found in the basement of a former Batavia pet shop have been sent to an office of the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), according to Officer Eric Hill, spokesman for Batavia PD.

One of the things SPCA examiners will try to do is determine what kind of animal it was that was found in the basement of the former location of Neptune's Gardens.

An employee of I.D. Booth, the company that owns the building on Ellicott Street, with a store next door, reportedly found the remains in a box while cleaning out the basement to prepare the store space for a potential new tenant. That employee posted a picture of the dead animal to social media, saying it was a dog, and the dozens of people that reposted it (the post has since been removed) and media who reported on it, including The Batavian and the radio show Kimberly and Beck, didn't stop to question whether it really was a dog in the picture.

The skull was not in complete profile in the picture, so it's indistinct, but there is no clear sign that it had a snout or canine-like teeth. Also, from a picture, without anything of scale next to the remains, it's impossible to tell the actual size of the animal. 

Asked if it might not be a dog, Hill said, "Nothing has been ruled in or out at this time."

Reached last week, at a time when everybody believed the bones were the remains of a dog, Neptune's co-owner Kathy LaFarnara said she had no idea how bones from a dog could have wound up in the basement of their former store. Neptune's closed that location, with plans to open another one in a smaller space across the street, more than five months ago.

Hill said the case is open pending a report from SPCA and otherwise there is no new information to report.

February 16, 2017 - 11:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pets, animals, Neptunes Gardens, batavia, news.

An employee of a local electric supply company, while cleaning out the basement of a former pet store in the same building, made a grisly discovery today  -- the bones of a dead dog in a box.

The box was reportedly stuck into some shelving in the basement.

Police were contacted immediately, according to John Booth, CEO of I.D. Booth, the company that owns the building on Ellicott Street in the City of Batavia.

Somebody who identified herself as an employee of I.D. Booth also posted the picture on social media and it was shared dozens and dozens of times today and became fodder on the radio talk show of Kimberly and Beck in Rochester.

Booth said he and his company are fully cooperating with the police on their inquiry into what might have happened.

Kathy LaFarnara, co-owner of Neptune's Gardens with her husband, Nicholas, told The Batavian today that neither she nor her husband knew anything about the dog prior to posts about it popping up on social media.  

They closed the location, which was behind the Pok-A-Dot, about five months ago and haven't been back inside since, she said. They were intending to open a smaller store on the other side of Ellicott Street, but with all the negative publicity on social media and Kimberly and Beck, she isn't sure what their future business plans are now.

"In 31 years of business, we always disposed of animals properly, even the rabbits," LaFarnara said.

Asked if an employee might have put the box in the basement, LaFarnara said their only employee was Nick's daughter.

"And she didn't like to go down in the basement," she said. "I didn't either. It was creepy down there. The stairway was open and you always felt like somebody might reach up and grab your legs.

"Right now, I have no idea where the dog came from," she added.

Det. Eric Hill this afternoon could not confirm anything other than that police had been called and asked to look into the matter.

Booth issued the following statement this evening:

I.D. Booth, Inc. learned of a tragic and disturbing situation on February 16, 2017. While an I.D. Booth employee was cleaning out property that is presently owned by I.D. Booth, but had been leased to former tenant Neptunes Gardens, the I.D. Booth employee discovered what appears to be the remains of an animal. The remains appear to not have been handled properly.

I.D. Booth has never occupied the Neptunes Gardens property, and has no information about the condition of remains, or the treatment or condition of any animals that were housed at the facility. I.D. Booth is horrified about this alarming discovery, and does not condone the unethical treatment of animals.

Upon discovering the remains, I.D. Booth immediately reported the discovery to the police, who have opened an investigation. I.D. Booth takes this situation very seriously, and is cooperating fully with the Batavia Police Department. Anyone with any information about this situation is encouraged to pass such information to the Batavia Police Department.

February 7, 2017 - 11:58am
posted by Billie Owens in animals, batavia, news.

A person was reportedly attacked by a dog on State Street in the city and has multiple bite wounds. Police and Mercy medics are responding to 160 State St., lower apartment. The dog is now confined.

UPDATE 12:24 p.m.: An animal control officer is on scene and working to determine the status of the dog that bit a man. The dog is in the basement of the building where it lives. It is an older golden retriever/Labrador retriever mixed breed. It was playing inside with a newly acquired puppy that is a boxer mixed breed. The couple who owns both dogs was at home. The animal control officer said he was told the dogs have not been getting along well. Their play began to get aggressive and there was growling. The male resident tried to break up what became a dog fight and was subsequently bitten by the older dog, said the animal control officer. The man suffered bites on an arm and a leg, which will likely need stitches, and he was transported to UMMC.

January 20, 2017 - 9:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, batavia, news.


This friendly pouch was found on Ellicott Street this morning. No collar or tags. Kristin Bates took him to work at Remedy Staffing and he's there now.

"He is a sweet boy, who is clearly used to being in a home," Kristin said.

She can be reached at (585) 993-6336.

UPDATE: Dog and family have been reunited.


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