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September 22, 2016 - 2:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in dogs, animals, volunteers for animals, pets, crime, batavia, news.

Lily has been granted clemency, at least for now.

Public Defender Jerry Ader, attorney David Fitch, representing the city, and City Court Judge Durin Rogers held meetings over the past two days and came to an agreement that will spare Lily her life, potentially, while the conviction of Duty Caswell for harboring a vicious dog will stand.

As part of the agreement, Ader withdraws his motion challenging Caswell's conviction and will file a new motion to vacate the sentence. That should happen in about two weeks.

In the meantime, Fitch must find a dog behavioral specialist who can certify that Lily is redeemable.

Rogers issued an order in May to have Lily put down as a vicious dog because of an incident on Hutchins Place on March 7 where she bit a 13-year-old boy.

She didn't help her case when she bit the Sheriff's K-9 deputy.

But folks at the Animal Shelter believe Lily is worth saving and rallied to her cause. They secured space for her with the Kramer Foundation, which specializes in rehabilitating dogs declared vicious and slated for euthanasia. 

Previous: Lily's fate hangs in the balance as City Court judge set to hear appeal tomorrow

September 21, 2016 - 3:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pets, animals, crime, batavia, news.



Lily, who likes to chase bubbles, has her life on the line.

In May, Judge Durin Rogers declared Lily a vicious dog and ordered her destroyed within 30 days.

Lily has had a stay of execution, so to speak, as volunteers and others have taken up Lily's cause, and the cause of her previous owner, Duty Caswell, to try and save her life.

Caswell has already surrendered ownership of Lily, and the Kramer Foundation, which specializes in rehabilitating dogs deemed vicious, has written to Rogers and confirmed an interest in obtaining Lily.

Lily's fate may rest on a hearing in City Court tomorrow (Thursday) on an appeal of Caswell's conviction of harboring a vicious dog.

The appeal was written by Public Defender Jerry Ader who stepped in after Caswell's conviction.

Ader's appeal rests on two primary points:

  • Caswell was not represented by counsel. He was not granted assigned counsel and did not hire his own attorney.
  • Caswell was convicted under Batavia's Municipal Law. A case in 2010 overturned a similar conviction because that local law, in Nassau County, was deemed void by conflicting with state law. Under state law, Lily would not be considered a candidate for euthanasia. 

Lily was taken into Animal Control custody on March 7 after she bit a 13-year-old boy on Hutchins Place while keeping a frightened woman pinned down as she screamed and Lily circled her.

At Caswell's hearing, the prosecution called three witnesses and Caswell produced no witnesses or testimony on his behalf. Rogers issued his decision after a short recess.

At some point, K-9 Deputy Chris Erion was called in to evaluate Lily. Lily bit him.

Erion confirmed he was bitten (his duty pants have a small tear, but he wasn't hurt) and said that Lily, with her current behavior, wouldn't be a good candidate as a family dog or a police dog. 

Volunteers with Volunteers for Animals believe that with proper training and socialization, she is redeemable. She is high energy and can't be trusted unsupervised, but they said she's fine when given a job to do, such as chase bubbles.

"Having a young, high-strung dog is difficult for anybody," said one volunteer. "Give her something to do and she's fine."

Another person at the shelter said, "With proper exercise and mental stimulation she is fine."

Erion, among others, said it was later learned that Lily may have given birth to a puppy prior to the March 7 incident, and her puppy was taken away from her. That would typically cause behavioral issues, both folks at the shelter and Erion said.

The hearing is tomorrow at 1:15 p.m.

File photo from March 7. The gentleman with Lily is a friend of Caswell's.

September 13, 2016 - 9:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, animals, pets.

From our news partner, 13WHAM.

September 9, 2016 - 11:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, animals, pets, news.

A caller complains that at a residence on Dellinger Avenue, a dog is being left outside all day, in the heat, without shelter.

The City's animal control officer is responding.

September 6, 2016 - 10:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, animals, pets.

The city's animal control officer has been dispatched to an address on Union Street where a caller reports that a dog is tied up outside every day and barks all day.

"The caller has had enough," the dispatcher told the officer.

A second caller, who heard the dispatch, says he believes the dog is on Woodrow.

September 1, 2016 - 10:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, agricultre, Bethany, news.

We just received this message:

There are 7 white sheep wandering around lost in the Bethany area after escaping through an open gate. Last sighted on a trail cam near Cackner Rd. and Bethany Center Rd. Please contact Barbara Hollands 585-734-2236 if you see them. They are a bit shy of people but like grain and will come to someone shaking a bucket of grain.

UPDATE Friday, 10:23 a.m.: Thanks to the help of neighbor Pat Pietrzykowski, all seven sheep have been located, rounded up and returned home, where they are safe and sound.

August 13, 2016 - 3:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Hogs for Paw, volunteers for animals, pets, animals, batavia, news.


Rocky got to visit Hogs for Paws today, the annual fundraiser hosted by Stan's Harley Davidson for Volunteers for Animals.

The volunteers were thrilled to see Rocky again and he was thrilled to see them. Then he got microchipped, which he took like a champ.

There were lots of dogs and people there, which was also thrilling for Rocky.





August 4, 2016 - 10:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in pets, animals, batavia, news.


Missy, who belongs to the brother of a local resident and not familiar with Batavia, is missing.

Missy went missing from a residence on Ganson near Jackson and was last seen on Bank Street at Alva Place.

Information, call Jerry at 602-509-1442.

UPDATE 4:45 p.m.: We regret to inform our readers that Missy was struck by a car and has died.

August 1, 2016 - 10:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in pets, animals, batavia, news.


A reader found this dog wandering in the area of College Road near Bank Street at 10:30 p.m., Friday. They've looked for info on lost dogs and seen none reported in the area and there's been no such dog reported missing to the Animal Shelter, they said. "He's the sweetest dog." They will be giving the dog a temporary home hoping the owner will be found soon. If you think this dog is yours, please call 585-409-3383.

July 29, 2016 - 10:18am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Calling All Dogs, Tori Ganino, batavia, pets, animals, news.


Because choke, pinch and prong dog collars really don't help improve a dog's behavior, and can actually make bad behavior worse, Tori Ganino, owner of Calling All Dogs, 56 Harvester Ave., Batavia, is offering a discount on training to owners who leave those collars with her so they can be destroyed.

Leave one of those types of collars and get $12 off a group class or $12 off an in-home training visit, or leave an electric collar and get $15 off.

"These collars create all kinds of negative associations and don't help build a relationship with your dog," Ganino said. "They create bad associations, so if a person is walking by and a dog is already a little bit nervous and then they see the person and they get pinched or they get choked, that just validated the feelings that the person is bad because they got hurt when they saw the person. It can make behaviors worse."

If a dog learns that pain will be associated with pre-bite warnings, such as barking or lunging, the dogs will learn to suppress those warnings and instead just bite, Ganino said, which makes them very hard to work with later when tryng to unlearn that behavior. 

And even in a good-natured dog, the pain hurts the dog's relationship with its owner, she said, because they see the owner as the one inflicting the pain. 

Ganino wants owner to bring punishment collars in and learn the kind of behavioral techniques, build around rewards and learning alternative behaviors, for the sake of the dogs, the owners and anyone they might encounter.

"I want to be able to show people is that they can change their dog's emotional response so things are not nearly so scary," Ganino said.

The phone number for Calling All Dogs is (585) 455-5387.

NOTE: Rocky update: Tori helped us a lot with Rocky and we continue to work with him.  His behavior has improved; he's lost a lot of his fear and demonstrates a lot more happy and loving behavior. 

July 13, 2016 - 12:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, crime, batavia, news.
     Darren Annovi

Darren Annovi, the 42-year-old resident of 400 Towers in Batavia, who is accused of placing his live cat in an oven and baking it to death, must undergo a forensic mental health evaluation, Judge Robert Balbick ruled today at Annovi's arraignment in City Court.

A key issue at the arraignment was whether to release Annovi on bail or on his own recognizance. Typically, a person with no criminal record and a high score on the bail evaluation would be a sure bet to be released without bail, and since state guidelines don't take into account the nature of the criminal charge, but Balbick was concerned about the last sentence in the bail evaluation.

He said that it indicated Annovi might a danger to the community. 

That assessment reportedly came from corrections officers at the jail and Assistant Public Defender Lisa Kroemer suggested that since they weren't trained mental health professionals, maybe that shouldn't weigh heavily in the bail hearing.

She thought an evaluation by a professional would be appropriate.

Bail is supposed to be based on the likelihood the defendant will appear for his next court date, but Balbick said he thought it reasonable to consider Annovi's mental health state since that, too, could be a factor in whether he would appear as ordered.

Annovi is charged with aggravated animal cruelty.

Bail was set at $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond.

He is scheduled to next appear in City Court at 9:30 a.m., July 21.

Previously: 400 Towers resident jailed without bail for allegedly killing his cat by burning it alive in hot oven

July 12, 2016 - 11:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, Oakfield.

An animal control officer has been dispatched to Sunrise Parkway in Oakfield, where a caller reports a cat may have been shot by a BB gun.

The caller does not have the cat.

No suspect information available.

UPDATE 11:53 a.m.: The animal control officer has spoken with the caller and provided advice on how to catch the cat. The officer had been unable to catch the cat to determine its injuries, if any.

July 8, 2016 - 6:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, batavia, news.


Batavia PD is asking for the public's assistance in identifying the driver of this car.

The driver is suspected of leaving two cats in a cage in the parking lot of Batavia Middle School on June 18.

The police are investigating the incident as a possible animal cruelty case.

Two black and white cats were left there in the cage on a hot day with no food or water. 

If you have information to share, contact Officer Lindsay at (585) 345-6350

June 24, 2016 - 2:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, batavia, news.


This is Jack. Jack is a brown and white Jack Russell terrier. Jack is missing.

He recently had medical treatment for an injury on his neck. He has a staple in his neck, so he wasn't wearing his collar when he went missing Wednesday. He also has two staples in his paw.

Jack is missing from the area of Oak Street and Montclair Avenue in Batavia.

If you can help, call Nathan Stoll at (585) 749-8525 or (585) 356-2965.

June 22, 2016 - 10:12am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, pets, animals, news.


Jay is missing Ginger in the Village of Le Roy. Jay is offering a reward for Ginger's safe return. Ginger was last seen on Saturday. If you find Ginger, call Jay at (585) 820-7818.

June 7, 2016 - 5:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Stafford, pets, animals, news.


This pup was lost in Stafford and found by Marrianne Newmark. She called the Sheriff's Office and the dog is being taken to the Genesee County Animal Shelter on West Main Street Road. If you lost your friendly and playful dog, that's where it is.


May 31, 2016 - 9:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in pets, animals, Oakfield, news.


A house fire struck the Mathew Pribek family residence Saturday, at 5581 Burns Road, Medina, and Pribek believes both of their dogs got out safely. One was found and one is still missing.

The residence is just over the county line, so the Pribeks are asking anyone in the North Oakfield area to on the look out for Pepper.

"She is friendly, but scared and lost," Pribek said. "Our family is desperate to have her back and are prepared to reward anyone who finds her."

If you are in the area of Burns Road, East Shelby Road or Albion Road, North Oakfield, watch for Pepper and if you find her, call Mathew Pribek at (585) 861-0211.


May 31, 2016 - 9:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, batavia, news.


Ross Fanara and his wife found themselves the unexpected babysitters of a newborn fawn over the weekend.

Fanara said they fed the baby two containers of goat milk and waited for mom to return, which she did less than 24 hours after the fawn turned up on their doorstep.

May 28, 2016 - 8:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, batavia.

A lost dog has been found on Pike Road by an area resident.

The dog was pulling 50 feet of cable.

A deputy is responding.

May 25, 2016 - 1:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deer, animals, batavia, news.

The City Council agreed by consent Monday night to move forward with a recommendation to create a task force to study what to do to with the local deer population.

There are no specific recommendations now, but council members agreed it's an issue the city needs to take a closer look at.

"I took a walk out there last fall and there is a swath of damage as wide as a street through the woods and meandering through people's property taking care of all their landscaping," said Council President Eugene Jankowski. "There's a path of dead vegetation all the way out to the edge of the city."

City Manager Jason Molino is expected to present a plan for creating a task force and providing it with directions on the scope and timing of its work.


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