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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

May 23, 2016 - 11:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in St. Joe's School, batavia, schools, education, animals, pets, news.

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Students in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades of the Saint Joseph School in Batavia, all members of the National Junior Honor Society, collected useful items and monetary contributions for the PAWS Animal Shelter in Albion over the course of two weeks. All SJS students and their families donated pet items, pet food, cleaning supplies, and money to the fundraiser. Friday, the NJHS members delivered more than 300 items and $150 to PAWS.

Info and photo submitted by Alicia Palmer.

May 9, 2016 - 10:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, outdoors, batavia, Batavia HS.

This video is from Christopher Weicher at Batavia High School. He said each year the same mallard duck returns to the school to lay her eggs in the courtyard, where's sheltered from predators. The problem arises after the ducklings hatch and have no way on their own to get out of the courtyard for food and water, so staff gently nudges the family toward the doors and the great outdoors.

Saturday, Amy Scott sent in these pictures of city firefighters saving ducklings from a storm drain.

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May 6, 2016 - 8:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, animals, pets.

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    Jeffrey Johnson

A 28-year-old Oakfield resident, Jeffrey Johnson, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 3rd, in connection with the alleged theft earlier this week of a van from a residence on Ellicott Street, Batavia.

The incredible part of the story is that the owner's dog, Duke, was in the Toyota Sienna, and after the vehicle was recovered in Rochester, Duke was returned to Betty and John O'Brien.

"Our fear was something happened to the dog, because Duke is a very gentle dog," Betty Carlet Cleare, a reporter with our news partner 13WHAM. "He could have sold him, he could have beaten him, and he could have done any number of things to him. The gods were with us this week."

Duke is apparently so gentle that he did not make a sound when the van was taken.

"He didn't say a peep," Betty said, "which we're thankful of, because that's why I think he survived."

April 12, 2016 - 9:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, outdoors, Le Roy, news.

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Eric Almeter sent in this photo of a fox he spotted trotting through Le Roy at Route 19 and Union at about 8:30 this morning.

April 11, 2016 - 8:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, outdoors, alexander, news.

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A reader sent in this picture from Sunday afternoon of a young bald eagle that he spotted feasting on a fawn that was dead near the side of the road on Dodgeson Road near Ridge Road, Alexander.

January 29, 2016 - 2:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in lost pets, pets, animals, batavia.

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The employees at Castilone Chrysler Dodge and Jeep took in these two handsome canines they found wandering and lost near the dealership.

"They are both very nice and want to go home," Sara Stockwell said.

She's hoping the owner will claim the dogs by 5:30 p.m.

UPDATE 4:30 p.m.: The owner has picked up the dogs.

January 27, 2016 - 2:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in pets, animals, batavia.

Police are responding to 10 Seneca Ave. after a caller reported two dogs outside attacking another dog.

November 2, 2015 - 11:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, pets, Pavilion.

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Reggie, on the left, a 3-year-old Rottweiler, and Zoe, a 5-year-old Austrailian shepard, have been missing in the Asbury Road and Route 20 area of Pavilion since yesterday afternoon. Owner Crystal Geitner thinks they may have ran off into the woods chasing a deer. 

If you can assist in locating them, call Jaret (716) 474-1881 or Crystal (716) 560-3644.    

October 13, 2015 - 8:18am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Calling All Dogs, animals, pets, batavia, business.

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We think of dogs who bite, lunge, snarl and bark as aggressive, but that isn't necessarily the case, according to Tori Ganino, co-owner of Calling All Dogs, on Harvester Avenue.

Those behaviors are often a response born of fear, Ganino said, and dogs can be taught to be less fearful in situations they find stressful.

"What we do is train them that these situations aren't so bad, that you don't have to be afraid, you don't have to bite to make the person or thing go away,"  Ganino said. "Instead, we're going to help you feel better about it. So we change their emotional responses from a fearful one to a good one so that when I they see this person coming along, it's not such a bad thing. It's a good thing."

Ganino is a certified animal behavioralist, certified by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, the only such certified consultant in Genesee County.

The certification process includes more than 400 hours of coursework, 500 hours of work with clients and a 12-part, essay-based exam. Certification also requires ongoing training and keeping abreast of the last research-based behavior and training techniques.

Ganino started on the path toward certification after becoming the owner of a dog who had become fearful after a bad experience with a man in a pet store where the dog had been available for adoption. Ganino said in certain situations, the dog would just shake with fear. She wanted to help her pup handle fearful situations better so she sought some training.

The first training class used what's known as "flooding," which is repeated exposure to the fearful situation until the dog learns not to fear the stimulus any longer, usually by just emotionally shutting down. Ganino didn't feel good about that technique for her dog, so she sought out alternatives and discovered animal behavior training.

"I wanted to find a way to help him feel better about the situation and not put him in a situation he couldn't handle," Ganino said.

Unlike techniques that rely on punishment or dominance, behavioral training is about positive reinforcement for correct behavior.

If a dog snarls and lunges at certain people, the owner shouldn't scold, but rather divert the dog's attention, elicit the desired response and then reward the dog for the correct behavior.

"If he's in a situation where he's growling, he's over the point where he's comfortable with what's going on, so you need to take him away from it so can get him at a place where he's comfortable and then start the training," Ganino said. "That's where the behavior work really starts. You can't reinforce the emotion. You can make changes to get him to feel better, but at the time that he's seeing that person and thinking, 'I'm upset and I'm getting yelled at, too,' he learns that it validates his concerns. He's feeling a threat. It's not a good situation and he's getting yelled at."

Dogs look to their owners for leadership and an owner who is upset in a bad situation is telling a dog "This is a situation where you should be upset."

"With behavior work, we don't say, 'I don't want you to bark at this person,' " Ganino said. "Instead, we say, 'Why don't you look at me. Why don't we go over here and do this.' because 'no' just means stop, but you're not helping him understand what he's supposed to do. When he's lunging at another person, back him up and work with him so he realizes, 'I can look at that person, but what am I supposed to do when I look at him? I'll look back at mom and dad and they'll guide me through it. We'll play. We'll get rewards for it and then we'll go on our way.' "

Ganino owns Calling All Dogs with her husband, Rich, and while Ganino specializes in working with fearful and aggressive dogs, Calling All Dogs offers a range of obedience classes and personal training sessions as well as doggie day care.

A typical six-week class is $99, but on a space-available basis, owners of foster dogs can sign up for free classes.

Well-behaved dogs are socialized, get plenty of exercise and ample mental stimulation. They know what's expected of them and can count on their owners to provide a stable routine. Obedience classes are as much about training the owners as training the dogs, and it helps the owners understand how to avoid situations that maybe their dogs can't handle and then raising the fear factor.

"Any dog can have that emotional change to 'I'm upset and I'm scared,' " Ganino said. "A lot of times biting is a response to 'I'm afraid.' We can help a dog feel better, but it's up to the owners not to put them in situations they're not ready to handle."

October 3, 2015 - 4:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in volunteers for animals, petco, batavia, pets, animals.

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This kitty was known as Porky until today, but Porky will soon have a new name, undecided at the time of the picture, says new parent Diana Fox, of Holley.

Fox was one of at least four people to adopt cats today during the Volunteer For Animals 50th Anniversary Fall Fur Event at Petco this afternoon.

The Volunteers for animals will continue the 50th anniversary festivities later this month with its annual Fur Ball. The 12th annual event is at 6 p.m., Oct. 24, at the Days Inn in Batavia. For more information, click here.

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